To say Eric Sprott has left a legendary mark on the world of mining investment would be an understatement. With a career spanning five decades, Sprott played an instrumental role in shaping the industry’s landscape and driving the growth of countless mining companies. Sprott stands as a true champion of the mining sector.
Sprott’s influence within the investment community is undeniable. He founded Sprott Securities, now Cormark Securities Inc., and later established Sprott Asset Management LP in 2001.
Sprott’s career in investing began in the 1960s. He quickly established himself as a driving force, leading a team of financiers and research analysts who played a pivotal role in elevating junior mining companies onto the global stage. His efforts, combined with astute investments, brought these companies to the attention of institutional and retail investors, contributing to the mining boom of the early 2000s.
Born in Ottawa, Sprott graduated with a bachelor of commerce from Carleton University (where he would later receive an honorary doctorate) and designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He was awarded the Fellow Chartered Accountant designation in 2011 and was elected Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (FCPA, FCA), a designation reserved for those who demonstrate outstanding career achievements and service to the community and profession. Sprott began his career as a research analyst at Merrill Lynch.
His ability to uncover the true value of mineral resources and facilitate their journey to successful production became legendary. Sprott’s investments were not just monetary; they were a mark of endorsement, with a “Sprott cheque” becoming synonymous with success in the sector. By 2010, his influence extended to nearly 300 companies, including positions in mining, development, and exploration firms. He was also involved in numerous mergers and takeovers.
Through Sprott’s establishment of the monthly column, “Markets at a Glance,” his guidance enabled Sprott’s clients to amass significant wealth.
Following retirement from the company, Sprott transitioned to a family office investor. He obtained a stake in Kirkland Lake Gold and became its chairman. He oversaw its merger with Crocodile Gold, a move that led to the success of Fosterville gold mine. In 2022 he invested $125.9 million in New Found Gold, an early stage exploration company in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Sprott’s philanthropic endeavours have created an indelible legacy. The Sprott Foundation, established in 1988, is committed to addressing urgent human needs, including hunger and homelessness. His endowments to institutions such as Carleton University, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, and the Daily Bread Food Bank have left a lasting impact on society.
Sprott’s support for Canadian athletes is equally inspiring. His generous contribution of $1.4 million to CanFund is a result of his promise to donate $100,000 for every gold medal won at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, for a total of 14.
Perhaps most impactful is Sprott’s $50-million donation in support of the Department of Surgery at the University Health Network (UHN), one of the largest donations in UHN history. Eric Sprott personally and the Sprott Foundation, have donated more than $337 million to various charities.
He has received many awards and accolades over the years. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; in 2013, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada and in 2019, he was inducted into the Investment Industry Hall of Fame.
Sprott is considered a lifeline for junior mining companies, transforming them into significant industry players. His commitment, integrity, and unyielding support for even the most ambitious projects define his legacy.