Junior mining gets an all-new showcase at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference
by Greg Klein
There are times when Vancouver exudes a sense of optimism, as bustling crowds go about their business amid stunning scenery. Other times spirits are dampened by dark, dismal clouds and incessant drizzle. As the world capital of mineral exploration, the city’s two extremes might serve as metaphors for the industry’s bipolarity. But these are the times when enduring companies stand out, and from January 24 to 25 this year’s Vancouver Resource Investment Conference takes a new approach to present their stories.
“It’s never been tougher to navigate this sector and the companies that can still do so are very, very promising,” says Cambridge House International president Jay Martin. “It will be very exciting to see what they do over the coming years and very opportune to meet them now.”
Co-producing the event with Marin Katusa of Katusa Research, Martin says attendees will see an all-new approach to the world’s largest investment conference focused on exploration.
“You’ll see a lot of people you’ve seen before, but there’ll be almost no keynote speakers,” he explains. “We’ve re-thought how we want to approach our content and everybody you see on our speaker page will be featured in a one-on-one Q&A, if not a panel discussion. It provides a different experience for the attendees because when you have people asking speakers the right questions, you get intimate stories, real heart-felt advice. You hear about how these people got where they are, about the good decisions they made and the bad decisions too. It’s really much more of a character profile than just a presentation.”
The format underwent a trial run in November at the San Francisco Silver Summit and Resource Expo. “It was the best agenda we’ve ever put together,” Martin enthuses. “That feedback came from our attendees, our exhibiting companies and even the speakers.”
Taking the same strategy in Vancouver, Martin says, “both days look fantastic. I think without a doubt it’ll be the best Cambridge House conference you’ll have been to yet.”
Another new feature will be the 5:00 p.m. recap closing each day. “All the people featured in the Speaker Hall over the course of the day, anyone who said anything striking during a workshop, comes back to the stage,” Martin says. “There could be 15 people on stage and one moderator. What’s really cool about this is you get organic, spontaneous conversations or debates happening amongst the group. So not only do you get to see all the stars from the day at once, but you see them breaking out in sporadic arguments, debates and conversations while they expand on topics. It’s a lot of fun.”
I think without a doubt it’ll be the best Cambridge House conference you’ll have been to yet.—Jay Martin, president of
Cambridge House International
That sounds like a potentially volatile mix, with a cast that includes Rick Rule, John Kaiser, Rob McEwen, Frank Holmes, Brent Cook, Gianni Kovacevic and John McCoach, among other investors, analysts, CEOs and sector stalwarts. (See the complete list.) Whether they form a love-in or a rumble remains to be seen. But if the latter prevails, moderator Katusa will be on hand to enforce Queensberry rules.
Topics run a wide-ranging gamut of perspectives, but most talks will address your choice of three themes: money, money, money—and how to make it. Exhibitor booths and corporate presentations, meanwhile, will offer investors a chance to scrutinize potential money-making opportunities.
Martin estimates about 150 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees will show up. The numbers obviously pale compared to peak years but “those 5,000 attendees are the people who still invest in this sector despite the downturn. They’re well-educated resource investors and they recognize an opportunity to buy.”
If the law of cyclicality holds, better times are coming. As for the present, “there’s every force working against the junior mining sector,” Martin says. “But there’s still 150 companies at the show pushing projects forward, raising money, demonstrating strong management teams. If you want to know which companies will be setting the bar for the next bull market, I think it’s the companies that can still do business in this market.”
The Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2016 takes place January 24 and 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Attendees can avoid the $20 door charge by pre-registering for free. This year’s event overlaps Mineral Exploration Roundup 2016, presented by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia next door at the Vancouver Convention Centre East from January 25 to 28.