Will Simon Henderson Build On Past Gold Successes With Rua Gold?

Will Simon Henderson Build On Past Gold Successes With Rua Gold?
Management counts in mining.

Sure, this is true for every business. But there are important reasons why strong leadership is particularly crucial for a junior mining company.

On the financial side, the capacity to raise capital (often in challenging conditions) is pivotal to the success of a junior mining company.

On the operations side, mining exploration is one part science and one part art (meaning experience). Having strong leadership in exploration greatly improves the odds of success.

Strength at the top

Rua Gold Inc. (CAN:RUA / US:NZAUF) is a Vancouver-based junior gold mining company operating in New Zealand that demonstrates such strengths. We first introduced Rua Gold to investors in a full-length feature on May 20th.

CEO Robert Eckford is a financial specialist in the mining industry. He gained international experience with household names in the gold mining industry like Barrick Gold, Yamana Gold, and Leagold Mining.

Then, as Co-Founder and Head of Finance for Aris Mining Corp (CAN:ARIS), Eckford helped build that company from a corporate shell to a $620-million, emerging mid-tier gold miner.

On the exploration front, Rua Gold is led by its COO, geologist Simon Henderson. Henderson is becoming a legend in New Zealand gold mining, specifically the nation’s North Island.

Simon Henderson has more than 40 years of experience as a mining geologist, with academic credentials that include an MSc in Economic Geology from the University of Tasmania. His career really took off in the 1980s while working as a geologist for Amax Exploration (NZ) Limited.

Amax was a joint venture that included, among others, Newmont Corporation (US:NEM). Henderson was part of a two-man team who drilled out the Waihi high-grade gold deposit in the Hauraki region on New Zealand’s North Island, a classic epithermal gold district.

Newmont consolidated the various holdings and became operator of the Waihi Gold Mine before ultimately selling that project to OceanaGold Corp. (CAN:OGC) in 2015. Today, the Waihi Gold Mine is a 10+ million ounce high-grade gold mining operation.

For many geologists, a gold exploration success of that magnitude would mark the pinnacle of their career. However, Simon Henderson was just getting started.

Henderson racks up more gold exploration achievements

Following the success at Waihi, Henderson broadened his experience in several mining jurisdictions around the world before notching his second major, gold success – this time in Northern Australia with Otter Mines. While there, he led the exploration team that defined a >1 million ounce gold resource.

By this time, Simon Henderson was ready to start up his own mining exploration company, Glass Earth Gold (CAN:GEG), which commenced trading on the TSX-V in 2005. Glass Earth raised a total of $40 million, staking out and commencing development of a large portfolio of land packages on the North Island.

Most notable among the properties that Henderson staked out with GEG were Wharekirauponga (WKP) and Glamorgan. And, once again, Newmont was a central player here. As Glass Earth was uncovering high-grade gold mineralization in early exploration at WKP, Newmont bought into these projects.

WKP has already lived up to its potential. An initial resource estimate was prepared for WKP: an Indicated resource of 1.0 million ounces @ 15.9 g/t gold (Au), and an Inferred resource of 0.4 million ounces @ 9 g/t Au.

New Zealand mining insiders saw WKP as a potential clone of Waihi: clear multi-million ounce potential – and maybe another 10+ million ounce gold mine.

By this time, Newmont had acquired control of the two projects, but Glamorgan remained undeveloped.

When Newmont sold the Waihi Gold Mine to OceanaGold, included in that sale were the mining licenses for both WKP and Glamorgan. However, due to the lack of exploration work on Glamorgan, under New Zealand law, that mining license lapsed and the project became available.

Once again, Simon Henderson re-entered the picture. Having originally staked Glamorgan, Henderson never lost track of that mining license.

When the license became available, Glamorgan was acquired for nothing more than an administrative fee of NZ~$4,000.

Henderson’s karma, Rua Gold’s good fortune

By this time, Simon Henderson had signed on as COO for Rua Gold.

Glamorgan is less than 3 kilometers to the north of the high-grade gold discovery at WKP. While many gold mining experts see WKP as another Waihi, Henderson views Glamorgan as being a close geological parallel to WKP.

Simon Henderson shared some of the geological clues that support his thinking.
Newmont/OceanaGold had completed a considerable portion of surface exploration on the general area in the 2014-2016 period (prior to the WKP discovery) highlighting key characteristics of a classic epithermal gold system.
Newmont geologists described:

  •          Quartz sinters and alteration, surface indicators of an intact epithermal system (i.e. not eroded)
  •          Quartz boulders assaying up to 95 g/t gold
  •          Soil samples collected over a 3.8 km length with > 50ppb gold along a linear ridge (Wires Ridge)
  •          Historical Auckland and Wentworth mines immediately east with modest gold recovery

All are strong surface indicators of a major epithermal system, and strike parallel to the WKP veins 3km to the south.

Other indicators: strong magnetic destruction over a 4 km x 6 km area, and major regional faults bisecting the area are key elements of the WKP discovery.

Rua Gold recently obtained its drone concessions for Glamorgan. Operations have now commenced – led by Henderson, himself.

However, Rua Gold is already actively exploring its co-flagship project: the Reefton Goldfield. This is located on the South Island where there was a major gold rush on the South Island that recovered ~2 million ounces of bonanza-grade gold in the Reefton Goldfields district.

Rua Gold’s Reefton Goldfield Project hosts many of these historical, bonanza-grade mining operations, which are open at depth.

As Dynamic Wealth Research explained in our last Rua Gold feature, management is excited about the potential for deep drilling at Reefton, and perhaps duplicating the high-grade gold success of Southern Cross Gold Ltd (US:SXGDF). Rua Gold has commenced a three phase, 4,500-meter drilling program here for 2024.


Drilling operations at Glamorgan are further down the road. Mining investors who subscribe to the importance of management will like the odds of Rua Gold achieving exploration success on one or both of its flagship projects.

As a geologist, Simon Henderson is already synonymous with high-grade gold on the North Island of New Zealand.

Can Henderson ‘do it again’ with Rua Gold? With a market cap of only $26 million, Rua Gold’s high-grade gold opportunity is still accessible to investors at an entry-level price.

Rua Gold corporate presentation

DISCLOSURE: Rua Gold Inc. is a paid client of Dynamic Wealth Research.


Rua Gold's new acquisition more than triples its Reefton Goldfields land package in one of the world's least-explored high-grade gold districts.


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