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The Risk - Reward Myth of Mineral Exploration: Jon Hronsky

Coffee with Samso Episode 76 is with Jon Hronsky, of Western Mining Services

Mineral Exploration has always been thought of as highly speculative and hence is a high-risk investment. Jon Hronsky, a geoscientist who has been on the scene in the last 37 years shares his thoughts on why this is actually not true.

I met Jon way back in late 1989 when I was in the second year of my undergraduate geology studies. I have been following his work since then and value his high-level (regional) targeting strategies.

One of the hardest things to research is the myriad of projects that exist in companies in ASX. Over the years, I have been asked many times what I think of the projects in different companies. What is hard to comment on is the legacy that exists in these projects. If you do not know the history or the content of management, it is extremely difficult to give a "correct" answer.

The general consensus is that if there is a historical record of mineralisation, it will be a better project. As many experienced proponents of this sector will tell you, this is not anywhere near sufficient information to make an "intellectual" comment. There is way too much information required before one can come anywhere near the point of making an "educated" estimation.

Jon Hronsky comes from a breed of mineral explorers who look at the picture and this is what I call the need for the right ingredients. I am talking about greenfield projects where the "out of the box" thinking has taken the "risk" to chase the potential. These kinds of projects normally offer the greatest rewards for investors.

In this episode, Jon shares with us his thoughts on mineral exploration and why he thinks the Empress Springs project is a great example of the First Mover Strategy for Moho Resources Limited (ASX; MOH). Jon has looked at the work that was initiated in conjunction with Ryan Noble from the CSIRO and he made the following comments:

This is the biggest coherent anomaly I have seen. - Jon Hronsky on the Empress Springs project.

This was part of the Coffee with Samso entitled "Applying Scientific Sampling Methods into Mineral Exploration - CSIRO"

Another interesting point that came up during our chat is that Jon shares very similar thoughts about the level of risk in exploration projects.

The risk for investors is realistically less for greenfield exploration as opposed to advanced projects.

I have included time stamps for the video below:


0:39 Jon Hronsky Introduction

2:42 Where is the Current Market Going?

5:50 Renewed Funding Giving Life to Projects

6:39 Time to Understand Project and Management Quality

7:52 The Empress Spring Story: Moho Resources Limited (ASX: MOH)

13:51 First Mover Strategy

14:39 The Olympic Dam Discovery Analogy

15:00 The Bigger Deposit is the Easiest to Find.

15:23 The Upside Down Lightning Bolt Theory

20:10 Understanding the Pathway of Source Rocks

21:16 The Project Generator Model for Exploration Company

22:50 The Boddington Gold Mine

24:07 The New Exploration Region

25:11 The Myth of Risk - Reward Ratio

25:38 The Beauty of Exploration

26:08 Exploration Vs. Brownfields

27:25 The Biggest Challenge for an Investor

28:08 Reasons to be a member for the CET ( Center for Exploration Targeting)


This is a good time to download the first Ebook (FREE) from Samso as it is all about VMS (Volcanogenic Massive Sulfides).

About Jon Hronsky

Jon Hronsky OAM (BAppSci, PhD)

Chairman of the Board of the Center for Exploration Targeting in Western Australia

Chairman of the Australian Geoscience Council (the peak body for geoscience organisations in Australia)

Adjunct Professor at both the University of WA and Macquarie University.

Jon Hronsky has more than thirty-five years of experience in the global mineral exploration industry, primarily focusing on project generation, technical innovation and exploration strategy development. He has worked across a diverse range of commodities and geographies, and has particular expertise in targeting nickel sulfide and gold deposits. His targeting work led to the discovery of the West Musgrave nickel sulfide province in Western Australia. His experience includes leadership roles in both major mining and junior mining companies, and he has consulted globally for the last 12 years. In January 2019 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the mining industry.

Jon is currently Chairman of the Board of the Center for Exploration Targeting in Western Australia, Chairman of the Australian Geoscience Council (the peak body for geoscience organisations in Australia) and an Adjunct Professor at both the University of WA and Macquarie University. He was the 2009 Society of Economic Geology Distinguished Lecturer. Jon joined WMS in 2007. Prior to that, he was Manager-Strategy & Generative Services for BHP Billiton Mineral Exploration and Global Geoscience Leader for WMC Resources Ltd.

About Western Mining Services

Western Mining Services (WMS) provides the best in geoscientific and risk management advice and services to mineral explorers globally.

WMS offers a range of essential services:

  • Advice on exploration strategy development both brownfield and greenfield

  • Review and critique of mineral exploration strategies, plans and programs

  • Assistance with the organisational structures

  • Metallogenic framework and mineral targeting studies that deliver viable greenfield targets

  • Brownfield and near-mine studies and target generation

  • Support for target validation at all scales

  • Technical due diligence and new opportunity analysis

  • Deal terms review and evaluation

  • Commercial risk analysis

WMS' proven track record:

  • Over the last 12 years, WMS helped more than sixty companies pursue exploration programs and opportunities globally.

  • The resulting rewards include the largest gold-copper skarn discovery in the Americas and major nickel and gold discoveries in Australia.

  • Over 600 students attended their popular Senior Exploration Management (SEM) Course which, by many accounts, ranks as “one of the best”.

  • WMS offers the SEM Course annually in Perth WA and Denver CO, and also offers the course in-house for clients who want a course tailored to their strategy and exploration program.

  • WMS developed an on-line Senior Exploration Management (SEM) course that tracks in-person SEM Course and that will make excellent, experienced training services more available to exploration groups worldwide.

WMS Team is experienced, focused and eager to help achieve the mineral exploration mission. Please contact us, and let’s discuss how we can help.


m/ +61 417992518



The information or opinions provided herein do not constitute investment advice, an offer or solicitation to subscribe for, purchase or sell the investment product(s) mentioned herein. It does not take into consideration, nor have any regard to your specific investment objectives, financial situation, risk profile, tax position and particular, or unique needs and constraints. Read full Disclaimer.

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