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George B. Cross chronicled and supported the Canadian mining industry through the George Cross News Letter Ltd., an authoritative and respected source of daily mining news that served the resource and investment communities for more than 50 years. He has been described as the founding father of the development of real-time access to reliable information about the activities of Canadian mining companies worldwide, a tribute earned before the advent of electronic media and the Internet.
The George Cross News Letter was founded by George Carmichael Cross, who published the inaugural issue on April 7, 1947. George joined the family enterprise in 1952, and became publisher in 1966. He was also the principal writer and researcher and came to personify its motto of “Reliable Reporting” for the benefit of subscribers all over the world. The publication chronicled the activities of mining and exploration companies listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, with particular emphasis on the vibrant junior sector and its many world-class discoveries at home and abroad.
The George Cross News Letter provided breaking news and daily updates on many new discoveries before they were recognized as such by mainstream media, with the Hemlo gold discoveries in Ontario being one notable example. George Cross went beyond disseminating the “news” provided by mining companies. He was a diligent reporter and researcher who visited hundreds of mineral projects around the world in order to confirm or question the technical information first-hand. The feature articles resulting from his on-site visits were based on intimate knowledge of the projects and the promoters behind them, and were valued by both the industry and investors.
The George Cross News Letter was published five days a week, 254 issues a year, for a total of 13,388 issues from 1947 to December 29, 2000, which represents a legacy of more than 50 years of service to the Canadian mining community. As publisher, George Cross witnessed and recorded for posterity many of the most important discoveries made by Canadian companies using venture capital raised on the Vancouver Stock Exchange (since replaced by the TSX Venture Exchange). He was equally at home in the boardroom with financiers and promoters and in the field with geologists and prospectors. His broad knowledge base, passion for exploration and support of junior companies made him a legend in industry and investment circles. George Cross ceased publication of the news letter in late 2000, but continued to support the industry by providing consulting services and sage advice to junior companies and the investment firms financing their activities. A retirement dinner held in his honor on February 28, 2001, attracted more than 620 guests and many letters of tribute from government leaders and friends from afar.
George Cross generously donated his personal collection of the George Cross News Letter to the University of British Columbia, where it will be digitized to preserve an Internet-accessible source of Canadian mining history.