by Greg Klein | February 1, 2016
The world’s largest investment conference focused on mineral exploration returned to the world’s capital of mineral exploration on January 24 and 25. Some attendees, exhibitors and presenters spoke of a more buoyant atmosphere this year, suggesting a growing optimism despite the market malaise. To try to capture that mood, we offer a retrospective in photos.
by Greg Klein | January 25, 2016
Rick’s best-known rule maintains that bear markets beget bulls. But the stockbroker guru who says “I’m party to numerous conflicts of interest and actively soliciting more” offered a Vancouver Resource Investment Conference audience his prediction on when the horned beast might return. Emphasizing his forecast is based not on hard data but on anecdotal evidence, he suggested late 2017 or early 2018. That indication, again anecdotal, comes from issuer capitulation.
Rule defines issuer capitulation as the time when equity issuers realize they can no longer defer financings while waiting for more favourable circumstances.
At such a time they lose the high expectations caused by the previous bull. “From a cheque-writer’s point of view, bear market capitulation is what performance is made of,” Rule said.
His observations span the last three market declines. For example in July 2000, after about 30 very bearish months, people like the Lundin family, Robert Friedland, Bob Quartermain and Ross Beaty decided the only way they could find and develop deposits was “to acquire capital on whatever terms are necessary.”
Expensive the capital might have been, but it allowed their companies to generate news during a news vacuum, Rule argued. He said those companies “doubled in 12 months” and doubled again the following year.
“I would argue that it was the performance exhibited by those companies in conjunction with the rolling over of the U.S. dollar that gave us that wonderful lift-off market that we enjoyed in the second part of 2002…. I believe we’re starting to see that today.”
Such issuers “understand they need to move forward, and to move forward they need to price equity at a level that attracts equity. They get to go back to work, they get to drill, they get to explore, they get to stake.”
He believes recovery takes place about 18 to 24 months after the first quarter of issuer capitulation. If that holds true, he said, late 2017 or early 2018 “should begin to show the market we enjoyed in 2002 and 2003.”
Rule acknowledged a longer timeframe might be necessary for the juniors. But any improvement in larger companies could benefit active small-caps, he pointed out.
by Greg Klein
The New Year barely gets started before miners and explorers converge on Vancouver. The attractions are events for investors and industry—first the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference from January 24 to 25 and, located next door and overlapping in dates, Mineral Exploration Roundup from January 25 to 28. Although the latter constitutes one of the industry’s largest trade shows, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia event also serves as a forum for ideas, discussion and debate.
Such is the world of exploration that essential knowledge now goes far beyond geological excellence. Human resources, aboriginal relations, environmental issues, workplace safety, corporate social responsibility and land access will come under scrutiny. As usual, the event features the Core Shack and Prospectors’ Tent along with courses, technical sessions, showcase events, keynote speeches, community dialogue and awards. That’s not to mention the usual deal-making, networking, gossiping, rumour-mongering, schmoozing and boozing.
Over 300 exhibitors and an estimated 6,600 attendees from maybe 36 countries are expected.
Their goal, ultimately, is to provide commodities crucial to our way of life. Although AME BC members search the world for these necessities, the province’s geological abundance makes many of them available at home. Yet extracting them has left a surprisingly tiny footprint. Since the industry began here in the 1850s, mining has impacted only about 0.05% of B.C.’s 95 million hectares. Over 40% of that turf is now under reclamation.
Those are among the details in a land use report released by AME BC on January 20. Anticipating dialogue with B.C.’s mines minister and other government reps at Roundup, the group argues that a “shrinking” land base effectively closes over half of B.C.’s territory to mineral exploration. While government policy implies that 88% of the province’s land remains open to the sector, the study finds over 18% is off limits entirely and another 32.9% has restricted access.
What’s at stake is the well-being of an industry that supports 30,000 B.C. jobs and spent $2 billion since 2010 on exploration, says Scott Weston, chairperson of AME BC’s Land Access and Use Committee. “Any time a dollar is invested in our economy, that has a spinoff for society, helping fund hospitals, schools, roads, all the things we need,” he adds.
“What we are seeing now is subtle restrictions applied to the land base that are cumulatively impacting the ability of mineral explorers to get on the land.” They can include old growth management plans, wildlife management restrictions, hunting restrictions or local rules by other levels of government. In some cases it means “you’re not allowed to explore for minerals except in the dead of winter, when it’s not possible to do mineral exploration.”
What the conference really does is create a forum for dialogue on issues facing mineral exploration and development, largely in British Columbia but increasingly across Canada and around the world.—Scott Weston, chairperson of AME BC’s Land Access
and Use Committee
The group calls on the province to consider the hidden economic potential of a region’s geology in land use planning, conduct risk assessments and socio-economic evaluations on the loss of potential economic activity, and streamline or clarify contradictory land use plans and designations.
The report notes that most of B.C.’s resource development takes place where aboriginal rights and title haven’t been settled. To Weston, that’s not so much a problem as an opportunity.
A geomorphologist whose career has spanned forestry, hydro, mining and exploration, he says, “Explorers don’t normally have revenue but what they can offer people is capacity-building, training, employment, community-building infrastructure…. There’s lots of stories of win-win benefits for explorers and the people in the areas they’re working in. It takes time and a positive attitude to find out how to make this a positive opportunity for everybody. I think business in British Columbia has changed its view and First Nations have too, and I’m seeing a very positive entrepreneurial spirit now.”
Community discussion holds an important role at Roundup, Weston emphasizes. “What the conference really does is create a forum for dialogue on issues facing mineral exploration and development, largely in British Columbia but increasingly across Canada and around the world.”
To that end, Roundup’s Gathering Place devotes two full days to aboriginal engagement. As VP of technical and government affairs for AME BC, Glen Wonders says, “We have myriad speakers, both First Nations and industrial leaders who will detail what their interests are, how they have achieved success, their future goals. So it’s a very good venue for putting across ideas and hearing different perspectives.” As last year’s event showed, attendees get plenty of opportunity to speak up. Some, natives anyway, did so with candour.
Among the biggest challenges in consultation is the number of native bands, something like 220 in B.C. “They can have similar interests but also specific needs from a particular project,” says Wonders. “You have to take your time and build a relationship to understand their perspective on any particular opportunity. Companies are now engaging early and often to ensure First Nations are involved in projects in a meaningful way.”
We have myriad speakers, both First Nations and industrial leaders who will detail what their interests are, how they have achieved success, their future goals. So it’s a very good venue for putting across ideas and hearing different perspectives.—Glen Wonders, VP of technical and government affairs
for AME BC
Having taken part in native consultation for Mount Milligan, Wonders credits the B.C. government for negotiating aboriginal economic development agreements and supporting training programs.
As for the feds, they’re considering a request from a coalition of B.C. bands to provide loan guarantees for native investment in resource stocks, according to a January 19 Vancouver Sun report. Wonders likes the idea “not only from the standpoint that they’re directly involved in the development and operation of a resource opportunity but also from the standpoint that they’ll have a long-lasting stake that’s going to be of value to them.”
Even with commodities markets down in the dumps, Wonders expresses the optimism that prevails at Roundup. “The B.C. advantages are still there with great minerology and great people who can develop those resources. We’re extremely well-positioned to capture the expansion in markets when they do come back.”
Preceded by a weekend of short courses, AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup takes place January 25 to 28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Click here for more info and registration. This year Roundup overlaps the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference next door at the Vancouver Convention Centre West on January 24 and 25.
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.
by Greg Klein | January 13, 2016
This time the morning ritual celebrated the “resilience of B.C.-based mineral explorers and developers,” as the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia sounded the Toronto Stock Exchange’s opening siren. B.C. mines minister Bill Bennett joined the group on its annual investment mission to Toronto, which gives companies “an opportunity to increase awareness of British Columbia as we get prepared for an eventual upswing in the markets,” said AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom.
The association quoted TSX figures showing 59% of TSX-listed mineral exploration and mining companies (785 of 1,334) keep head offices in B.C.
Among upcoming Toronto events will be the January 14 Canadian Mining Hall of Fame dinner, this year honouring diamond pioneer Stewart Blusson and Ivanhoe founder Robert Friedland.
by Greg Klein
Update: See a photo gallery from the event.
With a new location and new approach, an annual industry event now offers even broader perspectives on resources. The 2015 Silver Summit and Resource Expo moves from Spokane to San Francisco for its conference from November 22 to 24. This time it’s co-produced by Katusa Research along with Cambridge House International. And this year the Silver Summit’s about a lot more than silver.
“It still has the foundation of the silver conference but it really capitalizes on everything California has to offer,” Cambridge House president Jay Martin tells ResourceClips.com. “Given the state’s large population of investors and their interest in resources, it made sense to include a wider range of opportunities. Of 50 handpicked companies, we chose about 30 from outside the silver space.”
Marin Katusa, a guest at previous Cambridge House conferences and author of the New York Times bestseller The Colder War, credits himself with raising over $1 billion for the energy and mining sectors. Now channeling his energies into Katusa Research, he’s taking a prominent role at this year’s summit, where he moderates over half a dozen panel discussions.
“We’ve worked with Marin for a long time. He’s an incredibly hard worker, very connected, very well-respected and brings a network of new speakers and new institutions to this conference. The partnership with Marin is largely content strategy so he put a lot of thought into our agenda.”
Over 30 speakers will provide a range of insights for industry insiders and investors alike. Monday opens on a positive note with Frank Holmes’ Get Ready for a Better 2016! The following day starts with Recovery! The Dawning of a Bull Market, expressing Rick Rule’s indomitable optimism.
Other speakers include Rob McEwen, whose Midas touch raised Goldcorp’s market cap from $50 million to over $8 billion. Mike Maloney, author of Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver and host of Hidden Secrets of Money, discusses A Decade in the Perfect Economic Storm.
Investors are going to see 50 of the top resource companies in the world right now. These people do have stories, they are moving forward. This is a very select show.—Jay Martin, president of Cambridge House International
Frank Curzio, considered one of America’s most respected stock experts, offers his advice on How to Invest in Junior Mining Stocks. Streetwise Reports president Karen Roche moderates a panel of fund managers offering their top picks.
Junior miners come under scrutiny from a number of perspectives, as do other topics including energy, the economy, the Fed, the currency wars, gold manipulation and, of course, silver.
Through corporate presentations and exhibitors’ booths, attendees will meet and mingle with the people presenting opportunities. “Investors are going to see 50 of the top resource companies in the world right now. These people do have stories, they are moving forward. This is a very select show,” Martin says.
“It’s a tough market out there but there’s still lots of good things happening. There are some great companies making progress, companies are still getting financed, mergers are still happening, investors are still looking at deals. It might be a smaller show in this market, but I think it’ll be a much more productive show than some of the biggest conferences we’ve been to in some of the bullish years.”
The 2015 Silver Summit and Resource Expo takes place at the Park Central Hotel San Francisco from November 22 to 24. Click here for more info and registration.
by Greg Klein | June 4, 2015
Investors attending Canvest ’15, Cambridge House International’s Canadian Investor Conference in Vancouver on May 31 and June 1, got a chance to learn about more than mining and exploration companies. A new focus put minerals in context with emerging trends in energy and technology.
Saying he founded Cambridge House “22 years ago, maybe 23,” Joe Martin said, “I take pride in the fact that we like to be there when it’s all starting.” Referring to a panel discussion on the Fusion of Technology and Metals, he added, “I haven’t heard this at other conferences.”
Here’s a random selection of photos from the two-day event.