Sunday 29th March 2020

Resource Clips



Investors beware: VRIC returns

by Greg Klein | January 14, 2020

Actually this might be the best event in years but, as is obligatory with all investment decisions, any stock tips gleaned from the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference require due diligence. Last year’s Top Picks Competition provided a case in point.

Marin Katusa and Frank Holmes staged a fast-paced contest promoting three companies apiece. A rep from each company spoke for six minutes then, adding to the game show format, audience members cast their verdicts with votes—and, no doubt in many cases, investments too.

In keeping with our policy of not publicizing stock tips, ResourceClips.com didn’t name the companies. But nearly a year later it’s instructive to review the performance of the stocks and their pickers.

The competition took place Sunday, January 20. Closing prices are given for the previous Friday, January 18, 2019, and the afternoon before press time, January 13, 2020.

 

Katusa went first, with these three companies (all charts from TMX Group):

Lucara Diamond TSX:LUC
(Closed January 18, 2019, on $1.56. Closed January 13, 2020, on $0.84.)

Investors beware VRIC returns

Equinox Gold TSX:EQX
(Closed January 18, 2019, on $5.24. Closed January 13, 2020, on $10.50.)

Investors beware VRIC returns

Uranium Energy NYSE:UEC
(Closed January 18, 2019, on $1.29. Closed January 13, 2020, on $0.898.)

Investors beware VRIC returns

 

Holmes said he also invested in Katusa’s three picks. Here are Holmes’ selections:

Gran Colombia Gold TSX:GCM
(Closed January 18, 2019, on $3.53. Closed January 13, 2020, on $5.21.)

Investors beware VRIC returns

GoldSpot Discoveries TSXV:SPOT
(Went public February 21, 2019, closing that day on $0.38. Closed January 13, 2020, on $0.135.)

Investors beware VRIC returns

Mene TSXV:MENE
(Closed January 18, 2019, on $0.60. Closed January 13, 2020, on $0.485.)

Investors beware VRIC returns

 

The Top Picks Competition doesn’t appear on this year’s VRIC agenda. But stock tips have always been a mainstay of the event, now in its 25th year according to host Cambridge House International. Founder Joe Martin, however, has previously told ResourceClips.com that the event began with a diamond conference that he held in 1994, which would make this the 26th year. An earlier report comes from a 1993 Vancouver Sun story that mentioned Martin’s International Diamond Conference & Exhibition, held in May of that year.

Investors beware VRIC returns

VRIC: Promotion aplenty, but no soliciting.

That must have been quite the spectacle. Still basking in reflected glory from the 1991 Ekati discovery of Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson, juniors clamoured for cash after staging possibly the biggest staking rush in mining history. As the 1993 Sun article reported, “At last count, there were 138 diamond exploration companies listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange, 37 on the Toronto exchange, 23 on Alberta and 10 on Montreal.”

The hustle might be more diffuse this time, but VRIC 2020 offers the most impressive speaker lineup in several years. That follows a few years of decline, when the agenda conspicuously narrowed to exclude some speakers and some topics, for example energy minerals.

But maybe recognizing mining’s plight in the culture wars, VRIC organizers featured Rex Murphy last year. Expanding on that approach, some 2020 highlights include uncategorizable political and social commentator Conrad Black, Greenpeace founder and critic Patrick Moore, and rare earths analyst Clint Cox.

Next door to VRIC at the Vancouver Convention Centre and overlapping with the event will be the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup 2020 from January 20 to 23.

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