In 1954, Robert M. Reininger took over leadership of the 75-year-old New York and Honduras Rosario Mining Company, which then held only one old, depleted gold mine and a small new startup mine, El Mochito, in Honduras. From these limited resources, Bob Reininger built Roasario into a powerful and diversified mining and oil company, with interests stretching out to North America, South America, and the North Sea. Bob’s love of people, his vision, magnetic personality, patience, integrity, and dynamism combined with a disarming humility to attract an ever-more-capable team of adventurous mining and oil technologists to the company. He motivated them and provided the momentum for a corporate growth rate rarely seen in the natural resources industry.
Under Bob’s leadership, El Mochito, with its rich ore and spectacular wire silver, soon became Central America’s largest precious and base metals producer. Out of El Mochito’s profits, Rosario made successful investments in new projects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, as well as a major Canadian gas discovery in 1969 and 1970’s oil play in the British North Sea. From these projects flowed a cornucopia of gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, mercury, granite, limestone, and petroleum. These properties, largely developed internally, multiplied the value of the company many times from 1954 through 1980, when Rosario was acquired by AMAX, Inc.
In 1969, Rosario discovered the Pueblo Viejo oxide gold deposit in the Dominican Republic, which became at startup in 1975 one of the largest gold mines in the Americas, producing more than 400,000 ounces per year. Also in 1969, Rosario discovered Alberta’s prolific Dunvegan Gas Field, up to that time the largest gas field found in Canada. In the 1960s, the company acquired an industrial minerals business, producing granite and limestone in Florida. In 1973, the company was renamed Rosario Resources Corporation to reflect its greater geographic and product diversification. In 1976, Rosario’s acquisition of the Fresnillo Company in Mexico helped it become the largest silver producer in the Western Hemisphere.
In the late 1970s, the rapid rise of prices for all of Rosario’s products resulted in spectacular profits for the company, and it became a highly visible target for larger companies searching for growth. After a takeover fight, Bob Reininger negotiated highly rewarding terms for the merger of the company into AMAX in April 1980. Having become a hero in the eyes of his shareholders, he retired.
Bob Reininger was a regular lecturer at meetings of the New York Section of SME and the New York Mining Analysts Society, where he was admired for his candor. He was instrumental in the founding of the Silver Institute and the Gold Institute.
Originally trained as an accountant, Bob Reininger ventured out from his home in Colorado to seek his fortune in Honduras in 1924. He quickly became knowledgeable in all the basics of mineral exploration, extraction, and processing and, later, the basics of the petroleum industry. He built a legendary company during his 46 years of service with Rosario Resources Corporation.