Columbus has an exclusive agreement with Cordilleran Exploration Company (operating as Cordex Exploration Co.) to design, initiate and carry out generative mineral exploration activities in the United States on behalf of Columbus; with the objective of identifying, acquiring and exploring new mineral properties. Cordex also designs and operates the exploration programs on Columbus' existing portfolio of properties.
Under the terms of the agreement any new properties acquired as staked mineral claims or through lease, option or purchase agreements with third parties are acquired and maintained by Cordex on behalf of Columbus; in consideration, Cordex is entitled to a net smelter royalty (NSR) on such properties of between 1% and 2%.
John Livermore resigned from Newmont in 1969, a few years after he was credited with the original Carlin Mine discovery. He put together a syndicate for Nevada gold exploration, operating under the name Cordex Exploration Co. Andy Wallace started working for Cordex in 1974 and eventually became manager of Cordex in 1985.
Cordex was a successful venture. It discovered the Pinson, Preble, and Dee gold mines under Livermore's management. The Marigold mine, the Daisy mine and the Stonehouse/Lone Tree mines
Cordex, Drill site, Nevada
were discovered under Wallace's management. In addition, Cordex managed the exploration programs around producing mines, leading over time to large reserve increases at Pinson, Dee and Marigold. Significant discoveries were also made by Cordex at Florida Canyon, Hasbrouck Mountain and Stirling.
Cordex' partners changed at times over the years and included Lacana (ultimately to become Corona, then Homestake), Camflo (ultimately Barrick), Canadian Superior, Dome Mines (ultimately Placer Dome, then Barrick), Rio Algom and Rayrock Mines (ultimately Goldcorp).
Cordex/Cordilleran has operated for more than thirty-five years. They are one of the most successful gold exploration groups in the history of Nevada, and arguably the United States. Although Nevada has been explored heavily in the last thirty years, good surface showings remain untested and additional major discoveries are imminent.