World Travelling Mineral Dealer, Rusty James, Tells us about his passion

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Welcome!!! We are delighted that you have found us! I will from time to time post blogs about a wide variety of subjects. I travel extensively, filling two passports in ten years to source rocks and minerals where they come directly out of the ground. I am on the pulse of new exciting finds and I fund small mining operations that help feed local miners and give them opportunity in regions where there are few.

I have focused primarily on Southern Africa, and have travelled there quite a number of times over the past 12 years. I have trustworthy people on the ground in quite a few countries and I am constantly sifting through photos and offers of new things popping up out of the ground. Many leads are goose chases, as Africa is ripe with challenge. 

The relationships I have in the field have developed over many years into deeply rooted trust. But it has not come easily. I have been through the ringer, having trial and error'ed through dozens of charlatans, under qualified middle men and individuals incapable of keeping their word or performing unethical business practices. Having a diverse array of experience with suppliers, I can safely say that direct investment in Africa is not for the meek. To engage fully in african minerals on the level that we have chosen requires some percentage of expected loss due to the vast complications that we encounter. Having said that, Africa is one of the last frontiers, and artisanal mining is one of the last time-proven professions left where one can literally create wealth with nothing more than one's own hands and the will to survive.

It's still very challenging, but the odds are far better than the lottery for a miner in Africa to find something that can substantially change his life. Here at Throwin Stones, we have honed in on stones that we enjoy and want to bring to market, and we support the local miners in their efforts to get them. 

As a company, Throwin Stones operates from a "Power from Within" paradigm. I personally believe that the "Power Over" paradigm that is ever-present in our world must come to an end. We have the means to support all people of the world with the resources that we have and we no longer need to oppress the poor for the extreme exploitation of the rich. 

I engage in my business practices with this concept in mind. I see what it takes for these miners to survive and I do my best to give them fair prices and support them when they need assistance. I have seen far too many others treat the miners and middle men poorly and never give them a chance to grow their business and get a foothold beyond survival. I have even seen successful businesses that have failed due to the greed of others in what they will offer them in times of need. I place a greater value on the relationship.

This is why I travel. To give a hand shake and observe someone’s body language is to read them and know them in a different manner. Anything less than that is building up what I believe to be blind trust. Blind trust can be successful, but I have found that it does not have the solidity of a relationship formed and maintained in person.

Love, Rusty