A story on FastCompany.com describes how one Canadian company is using an "Open Source model" to mine for gold. McEwen believed that the high-grade ore that ran through the neighboring mine was present in parts of the 55,000-acre Red Lake stake -- if only he could find it. His strategy began to take shape at a seminar at MIT in 1999. Company presidents from around the world had come there to learn about advances in information technology. Eventually, the group's attention turned to the Linux operating system and the open-source revolution. "I said, 'Open-source code! That's what I want!' " McEwen recalls.
His reasoning: If he could attract the attention of world-class talent to the problem of finding more gold in Red Lake, just as Linux managed to attract world-class programmers to the cause of better software, he could tap into thousands of minds that he wouldn't normally have access to. He could also speed up exploration and improve his odds of discovery.