The history of Franco Nevada business starts with our predecessor company, Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation Limited, founded by Seymour Schulich and Pierre Lassonde. Pierre bought Franco-Nevada’s first royalty in 1986 on the Goldstrike mine in the Carlin Trend. At the time it was a small heap-leach mine operated by Western States Mining. Shortly thereafter, American Barrick (now Barrick) purchased Goldstrike and did the deep level exploration that would ultimately reveal a 50 million ounce orebody that drove the success of both Barrick and Franco-Nevada.
Pierre and Seymour, assisted by David Harquail, began acquiring royalties in the more prolific gold camps in the world including the Carlin & Getchell trends in Nevada, Timmins and Kirkland Lake camps in Ontario and the Kalgoorlie belt in Australia. They also expanded into PGMs including a royalty on Stillwater in Montana which, along with Goldstrike, stands out as one of their most successful royalty purchases.
In the early 1990s as part of their prospect generation model, Franco-Nevada discovered the high-grade Ken Snyder deposit in Nevada. They determined that the deposit had a high enough silver credit to carry all operating costs, creating an effective 100% gold royalty and proceeded to construct the mine. In early 2001, Franco-Nevada sold the mine to Normandy Mining in exchange for 20% of Normandy and a royalty on the mine.
Later in 2001 AngloGold made a bid for Normandy. Seeing the potential for a better alternative transaction, Seymour and Pierre struck a deal with Newmont to acquire both Franco-Nevada and Normandy. When the transaction closed in 2002, Franco-Nevada was valued at close to US$3 billion.