Mining company offers a golden opportunity to help fund college educations |

Mining company offers a golden opportunity to help fund college educations

Barry Ginter
Appeal Editor

I have some urgent advice for students in grades four through eight – get yourself to the library or a computer ASAP and start researching why mining is important to Nevada. It could be time very well spent.

HE-5 Resources Corp., which owns the Overman Pit in Gold Hill, will award five scholarships of $2,500 each for the best essays submitted in a contest that is only for students living in Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties.

That’s a lot of money. In fact, every time I speak to company spokesman George Abisaleh, I repeat the question, very slowly and clearly, “so, it’s five scholarships for $2,500 each, right?” making sure I’ve not developed dyslexia and it’s really five scholarships of $25 each, or some other variant.

But no, it’s definitely five scholarships of $2,500 each. For any parent wondering how they’re going to afford a college education for their children, this could be a part of the answer.

Here’s a press release quote from the company’s CEO, Denyse Raynault: “We are very pleased and honoured to be the sponsor of this scholarship contest. It is a great way for HE-5 to give back to the children of Carson City, Nevada, for the community’s support of our Overman Property mining project. As a socially responsible corporation, we believe that actively sponsoring these types of contests is a key element of our operational program.”

When I reached talked to the company’s vice president, Serge Ollu, in his Quebec office, he said their board of directors had been seeking a way to have a visible presence in the region in which it is doing business. Suggestions such as contributing money to preserve historic cemeteries in the area were brought up, but the scholarship idea brought enthusiastic support from everyone.

“People around the table said ‘let’s put money into the future instead of putting it into the past,'” Ollu said.

So here’s what you need to know about the contest: It’s open to students in grades four through eight, who must write essays of no more than 300 words on the topic “Why is mining important to Nevada?”

Judging will be done by editors at the Appeal along with selected members of the community, who will choose a winner in each grade. It won’t be open to children of Appeal employees or their immediate relatives.

The contest deadline is Oct. 22, and entries must be postmarked by that date and mailed to: HE-5 Scholarship Contest, c/o Nevada Appeal newsroom, 580 Mallory Way, Carson City, NV 89701.

As far as the topic goes, it opens up a world of possibility in a state with such a rich mining history. Fortunes were made and lost here and it’s still vital to our economy.

But remember, parents, this is a contest for the students. Strongly resist the urge to provide anything beyond general guidance.

Why did the company choose to make the contest open to younger grades rather than those ready to begin their college education? The company wants to create an incentive for students to study hard and go to college, Abisaleh said. And that’s a noble purpose. Too many students graduate from high school – or worse, they drop out – and enter the work world only to regret later the wasted opportunity to get an education. That opens up a world of opportunity and higher paying jobs.

So, who is this company? It’s self-described as an “emerging growth-oriented mining company focused primarily on the exploration and development of the Overman Property, Comstock District, Nevada.” It also owns the Montauban Gold Mine in Batiscan City, Quebec. Overall, the company’s mission is to invest in mining projects that haven’t yet reached the production stage in extracting five precious metals: Gold, Silver, Copper, Zinc and Platinum.

HE-5 acquired the Overman Pit in 2006. Since then, the company has been doing a lot of work at the pit, including rebuilding roads and drilling to determine the value of their operation. They’ve found “terrific concentrations” of precious metals, Ollu said.

Now they’re preparing to start production, Ollu said, and that includes building a processing plant. It’s a plant he said will be available to holders of smaller claims nearby.

He vows it won’t be harmful to the environment, and that it will provide local jobs. How many he couldn’t say … it will depend on the size of the production facility they end up with, he said.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site at The company’s stock symbol is HRRN.

• Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at 881-1221 or via e-mail at