By Staff writer
San Isidro, El Salvador.  Walking through a sea of businessmen and information booths at a Toronto trade show, mining executive Tom Shrake saw gold.

The poster board that caught the eye of Mr. Shrake, president of Canada-based Pacific Rim, detailed core samples from a deposit in northern El Salvador – fittingly called El Dorado, or the golden one. It's a name that conjures up images of fabled lands brimming with riches that have lured European explorers to Latin America for centuries.

By Shrake's calculations, the geologist's company should have sampled deeper into the earth. "My gut, my geologic gut tells me there are over 5 million ounces [of gold] there," says Shrake, who immediately booked a flight to El Salvador to take a look for himself. He paced the property, gauging surface-level geologic formations that might give an indication of what lay thousands of feet beneath him. "By the second day, I was ready to acquire the district." (READ MORE)