Saturday 20th January 2018

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Cambridge House International’

Jon Ardeman and John Kilburn: Two humourists look at mining’s lighter side

January 18th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 18, 2018

Southern Africa, a land beautiful but perilous: Erratic baboons, poisonous snakes, cultural confusion, frustratingly scarce women, downright angry vegetation and, maybe most challenging of all, Boere dance hall music. Life’s an ongoing tribulation. Even so, it seems unfair to everyone involved that they should be subjected to a geologist.

Jon Ardeman and John Kilburn Two humourists look at mining’s lighter side

As this story begins, however, Timothy’s still at that relatively innocent stage occasionally seen in the younger practitioners. His temptations with the roguehood more typically associated with the profession coincide with life lessons at the Yellow Snake Mine, where pretty much nothing is as it should be. That’s the background for Jon Ardeman’s first novel, Miner Indiscretions.

A number of excerpts from the book, and from a sequel entitled Miner Altercations, are available on the Republic of Mining (for example here and here). Ardeman’s books can be ordered from Amazon here and here.

Another mining wit will be signing books at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference. Northern Miner cartoonist John Kilburn’s background includes time as a mining engineer, broker, journalist, equity analyst and investor.

For all that, he retains a sense of humour. Meet him at VRIC booth 913 on January 21 between noon and 2 p.m., when he’ll autograph copies of The Art and Humour of John Kilburn.

And you thought this industry’s hilarity consisted only of stock picks.

When the mighty fall

January 16th, 2018

The gold cartel’s a scandal in waiting, says GATA’s Bill Murphy

by Greg Klein

Don Quixote comes in two guises. Bill Murphy of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee associates his group with neither.

Cervantes wrote of a delusional character convinced he was protecting the local peasantry from horrific monsters as the wannabe knight charged on horseback at a windmill. The words “Quixotic” and “tilting at windmills,” however, later came to describe not delusions but the pursuit of a real and noble campaign that’s also a lost cause.

The gold cartel’s a scandal in waiting, says GATA’s Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy

Understandably, Murphy would reject any comparison with the original Quixote. He also rejects the second interpretation because, while firmly believing in GATA’s legitimacy, he sees it as anything but an exercise in futility. Especially now. That’s the message he’ll bring to the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference with his January 22 presentation, The Gold Cartel, Sex Scandals and GATA.

The recent wave of scandals has taken down some rich and previously powerful people, showing limitations to their supposed invincibility. But to Murphy, there’s an additional lesson to be learned. Disturbing conditions of injustice or corruption can fester for decades, known only to a few. They become scandals only with widespread public awareness—and the ensuing outrage.

Murphy’s concern with market machinations began as he worked for a brokerage in the 1980s. Recognizing the burgeoning Internet’s potential, he began LeMetropoleCafe.com to express his views and those of others. An epiphany of sorts came in 1998 with the collapse of Long Term Capital Management.

“I realized something was wrong when gold was capped at $300 an ounce. We knew that LTCM had to get out of all their positions and they were heavily short the gold market. They couldn’t let the price go up because it would affect the positions of the bullion banks. They got together and stopped it and I realized the price was being rigged.

“At the time I thought it was just the bullion banks. Then I realized it was much bigger and included the Fed, the Treasury, the Bank for International Settlements and other central banks. It was much bigger than we realized. I started GATA with my colleague Chris Powell, who was a daily newspaper editor. That was around the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999, when we realized the market was rigged. We decided to expose it and try to do something about it.”

The gold cartel’s a scandal in waiting, says GATA’s Bill Murphy

Nearly 20 full years have seen lots of GATA writing and presentations, along with some GATA conferences. But no big breakthrough. Undeterred, Murphy sees a parallel in current high-profile scandals taking down the likes of CBS News host Charlie Rose, NBC News host Matt Lauer, U.S. senator Al Franken and Hollywood bigshot Harvey Weinstein.

When allegations first surfaced against Bernie Madoff, “the authorities did nothing,” Murphy points out. Enron’s accolades included America’s Most Innovative Company, bestowed by Fortune for six years straight. “The people who tried to expose the company were fired.” But eventually widespread public awareness brought widespread public outrage.

“When you take on the rich and powerful, it can go on for decades,” he says. “Then all of a sudden the dam breaks. We now have mega-scandals with a senator and major media people having to resign. It’s going to be a major financial scandal in the U.S. when gold and silver prices finally blow up.”

Newton’s law of equal and opposite reaction is going to take hold. As the cartel loses control, prices are going to explode.—Bill Murphy

The markets face other serious issues too, he acknowledges. “But in my opinion, number one is how artificially low these prices are because of what this gold cartel has done. Newton’s law of equal and opposite reaction is going to take hold. As the cartel loses control, prices are going to explode.

“It’s going to happen and it’ll probably happen when many of us least expect it. But it’s coming because they’ve gone through too much physical gold and silver at too-cheap prices over the years. Eventually, when the horde moves in to buy, they won’t be able to stop it. Gold and silver are so cheap they’re the most under-valued assets on the planet. And they’re going to explode.”

Bill Murphy speaks on The Gold Cartel, Sex Scandals and GATA at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018 on January 22 at 11 a.m. GATA’s Ed Steer gives a presentation called JPMorgan and Scotiabank: Still Rigging the Silver Price on January 21 at 1:40 p.m. Click here for more VRIC 2018 information and complimentary registration.

Visual Capitalist and VRIC 2018 look at the raw materials that fuel the green revolution

January 10th, 2018

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | January 10, 2018

 

Records for renewable energy consumption were smashed around the world in 2017.

Looking at national and state grids, progress has been extremely impressive. In Costa Rica, for example, renewable energy supplied five million people with all of their electricity needs for a stretch of 300 consecutive days. Meanwhile, the UK broke 13 green energy records in 2017 alone, and California’s largest grid operator announced it got 67.2% of its energy from renewables (excluding hydro) on May 13, 2017.

The corporate front also looks promising and Google has led the way by buying 536 MW of wind power to offset 100% of the company’s electricity usage. This makes the tech giant the biggest corporate purchaser of renewable energy on the planet.

But while these examples are plentiful, this progress is only the tip of the iceberg—and green energy still represents a small but rapidly growing segment. For a full green shift to occur, we’ll need 10 times what we’re currently sourcing from renewables.

To do this, we will need to procure massive amounts of natural resources—they just won’t be the fossil fuels that we’re used to.

Green metals required

Today’s infographic comes from Cambridge House as a part of the lead-up to its flagship conference, the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018.

A major theme of the conference is sustainable energy—and the math indeed makes it clear that to fully transition to a green economy, we’ll need vast amounts of metals like copper, silicon, aluminum, lithium, cobalt, rare earths and silver.

These metals and minerals are needed to generate, store and distribute green energy. Without them, the reality is that technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, lithium-ion batteries, nuclear reactors and electric vehicles are simply not possible.

First principles

How do you get a Tesla to drive over 300 miles (480 kilometres) on just one charge?

Here’s what you need: a lightweight body, a powerful electric motor, a cutting-edge battery that can store energy efficiently and a lot of engineering prowess.

Putting the engineering aside, all of these things need special metals to work. For the lightweight body, aluminum is being substituted for steel. For the electric motor, Tesla is using AC induction motors (Models S and X) that require large amounts of copper and aluminum. Meanwhile, Chevy Bolts and soon Tesla will use permanent magnet motors (in the Model 3) that use rare earths like neodymium, dysprosium and praseodymium.

The batteries, as we’ve shown in our five-part Battery Series, are a whole other supply chain challenge. The lithium-ion batteries used in EVs need lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and many other metals or minerals to function. Each Tesla battery, by the way, weighs about 1,200 pounds (540 kilograms) and makes up 25% of the total mass of the car.

While EVs are a topic we’ve studied in depth, the same principles apply for solar panels, wind turbines, nuclear reactors, grid-scale energy storage solutions or anything else we need to secure a sustainable future. Solar panels need silicon and silver, while wind turbines need rare earths, steel and aluminum.

Even nuclear, which is the safest energy type by deaths per TWh and generates barely any emissions, needs uranium in order to generate power.

The pace of progress

The green revolution is happening at breakneck speed—and new records will continue to be set each year.

Over $200 billion was invested into renewables in 2016 and more net renewable capacity was added than coal and gas put together:

Power Type Net Global Capacity Added (2016)
Renewable (excl. large hydro) 138 GW
Coal 54 GW
Gas 37 GW
Large hydro 15 GW
Nuclear 10 GW
Other flexible capacity 5 GW

The numbers suggest that this is only the start of the green revolution.

However, to fully work our way off of fossil fuels, we will need to procure large amounts of the metals that make sustainable energy possible.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

The Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018 takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre West from January 21 to 22. Click here for more details and free registration.

Copper crusader

December 29th, 2017

Gianni Kovacevic sees even greater price potential for the conductive commodity

by Greg Klein

Evangelist he may be, but Gianni Kovacevic’s hardly a voice crying in the wilderness. His favourite metal displayed stellar performance last year, reaching more peaks than valleys as it climbed from about $2.50 to nearly $3.30 a pound. But Kovacevic believes copper has a long way to go yet. That will be a function of necessity as the metal shows “the strongest demand growth of any of the major commodities.” Especially persuasive in his optimism, Kovacevic brings his message to the 2018 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference on January 21 and 22.

Gianni Kovacevic sees even greater price potential for the conductive commodity

Increasing copper demand will unlock
lower-grade resources, says Kovacevic.

As a researcher, commentator and investor who’s also the CEO/chairperson of CopperBank Resources CSE:CBK, co-founder of CO2 Master Solutions Partnership and author of My Electrician Drives a Porsche, he brings new approaches that link topics of energy demand, commodity supply and environmental stewardship.

Kovacevic sees a new paradigm driving copper’s future. “The invisible hand in commodities during the last cycle was China,” he says. “Its economic growth just came out of nowhere. This time the invisible hand is this pervasive use of copper in everything that’s electrified. That means even the smallest village in Africa, which per capita has negligible copper consumption, is becoming a line item. When you create, transfer and utilize greener and cleaner energy, it takes more copper by a power of magnitude. For example to establish a megawatt of windpower it takes five times more copper than it does a megawatt of conventional thermal-generated energy.”

Then there’s the battery-powered revolution and the attention it’s brought to lithium, cobalt and graphite. Saying “I like anything in electric metals,” Kovacevic stresses the importance of nickel as well. Still, “copper wins because the interconnectivity will always be copper and copper plays a role in each battery as well.”

That leads to a supply problem that can have only one solution. “I believe we’re going to have to make uneconomic deposits economic. And there’s only one way to do that—with a higher copper price.”

With no foreseeable hope of a copper mining “renaissance” comparable to the effect that fracking brought to oil and gas, the metal will simply require more money. “We’ve got the old legacy mines,” Kovacevic points out. “We’ve spent a lot of money on exploration in the last cycle and didn’t find a lot. What we do have is lower-grade resources. They are simply not economic at a low copper price.”

Gianni Kovacevic sees even greater price potential for the conductive commodity

Kovacevic: Electrical generation, storage and
connectivity put copper at the top of energy metals.

Apart from diminishing grades, the business of putting new mines into operation is “taking longer with water, electricity and permitting issues, and it’s getting into funkier places,” he continues. “The Elliott Wave [technical/fundamental analysis] on copper is $7.50 a pound. I find that very interesting. All the buy-out action in the copper space happened for the most part between 2006 and 2012. The mean price for copper during that time was about $3.50 a pound. The all-time high was about $4.50 for a short while, but the mean was $3.50.”

Copper’s 2017 performance makes that figure look viable again. Kovacevic, however, cites analysis from BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP stating that 75% of future projects will require more than $3.50. “Could we see a scenario in which the copper price goes past the old all-time high and stays there for a while? And will the buy-outs in the next wave, if they occur, be higher on average than those in the previous 2006-to-2012 cycle? I believe the answer will be yes. But if you look at the average grade that went through the top 15 copper producers’ mills in 2010, it was 1.2% copper. In 2016 it was 0.72% copper. So if you were mining 30 million tonnes a year, now you have to mine 40 or 45 million tonnes for the same metal yield. And without higher copper prices, that doesn’t make much of a business case.

“So the first question is, are we going to need more copper in the next five, 10, 15 years? The answer in my opinion is yes. In fact it has the strongest demand growth of any of the major commodities. And where will that copper come from? Well, it’s going to come from a mix of places but we’ll have to make these projects economic. That should bode well for people who have invested in the copper junior space.”

Addressing the topic of how investors might look at the energy revolution in 2018 and beyond, Kovacevic speaks at the 2018 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, to be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West from January 21 to 22. Click here for more details and free registration.

Cambridge House International president Jay Martin looks forward to the San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit on November 20 and 21

November 14th, 2017

…Read more

‘The next world order’

November 7th, 2017

Gold’s our best preparation for a new global monetary system, says James Rickards

by Greg Klein

Gold’s our best preparation for the new global monetary system, says James Rickards

James Rickards

An economic crisis looms, ready to strike within a few years and maybe imminently. Exponentially worse than 2008, it will be a disaster “so large the system does not bounce back. The system ceases to exist.” That’s the bleak vision of James Rickards, lawyer, economist, portfolio manager, newsletter writer, author of four books and a keynote speaker at the Silver and Gold Summit to be hosted in San Francisco on November 20 and 21. He offers some advice on how to prepare for the impending peril.

The collapse will hardly leave a void, he maintains. World powers redesigned the international monetary system three times last century and will do it again. Among the first casualties will be bank deposits, investments and the rest of a digitized belief system that many people think guards their future security. As citizens react, “the money riots will begin.”

Sovereigns don’t go down without a fight. The response to money riots will be confiscation and brute force. Governing elites will be safe in their hollowed-out mountain command centers. Private elites will fend for themselves in their yachts, helicopters, and gated communities, which will be converted to armed fortresses.

Gold’s our best preparation for the new global monetary system, says James Rickards

There will be blood in the streets, not metaphorically, but literally. Neofascism will emerge, order responding to disorder, with liberty lost.

This is the “next world order” that Rickards describes in his two most recent books, The New Case for Gold and The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis. Published last year, the books share overlapping content, with the latter volume focusing on why and how Rickards believes such events will take place. The New Case for Gold emphasizes owning the stuff as a survival strategy.

Rickards says the too-big-to-fail banks that failed in 2008 are even bigger now and more bloated with leverage. As are derivatives, the Warren Buffett-labelled “weapons of mass destruction.” Moreover the complexity of markets goes beyond “interconnected.” They’re unfixable.

A watchmaker, he points out, can open the back of a timepiece, fix or replace a gear and put everything back together. “Now imagine you take the back off the same watch and instead of gears you find a metallic liquid soup. How do you change a gear now?” Old models of economic intervention won’t work.

Gold’s our best preparation for the new global monetary system, says James Rickards

And this time the crisis will accompany a worldwide lack of confidence in the U.S. debt-diminished dollar as a reserve currency. China, along with Russia and other countries, could hasten events by conducting international trade in other currencies, throwing the dollar into freefall. Countries that have been buying and hoarding gold (contrary to Canada’s selloff) will demand a say in the scrip’s replacement. Yellow metal will prevail, either as a gold-backed international special drawing right “or the oldest form of money, which is gold.”

“It’s not a ten-year forecast,” he insists. “Could it be five years? Maybe. Could it be one year? Yes.” Watch for the endgame when China’s gold-to-GDP ratio meets or exceeds that of the U.S.

Rickards expects $10,000 an ounce, maybe $50,000. Manipulation will end when powerful states have the price where they want it, nullifying the hustling ability of far less powerful players.

He recommends making gold 10% of an individual’s investible assets, excluding a principal residence and equity in one’s own business. Or 15% to 20% “if you’re somewhat more aggressive.” If he’s wrong and gold drops 20%, for example, the 10% allocation causes a 2% loss on the entire portfolio.

He believes the time to buy is now. “I know that when the crunch comes, the large players are going to get all the gold available. The institutions, the central banks, the hedge funds, and the customers with relationships with the refiners are the ones who are going to get all the gold. Small investors will find they can’t get any.”

Store it in a non-bank depository, he cautions. Americans might consider the Texas state bullion vault. “In an extreme situation, you should be able to drive down to Texas, pick up your gold, and drive home before the highways are closed. If the highways are clogged, use a motorcycle.”

Sweetness and light, he ain’t. But whether you’re seeking survival strategies or evaluating dystopian possibilities, he presents a compelling case.

Rickards delivers a keynote address and takes part in a panel discussion on the first day of the Silver and Gold Summit, to be held in San Francisco from November 20 to 21. To save 25% on admission click here and enter promo code RESOURCE25.

Finance legend James Rickards to speak at San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit

October 19th, 2017

October 19, 2017

His book titles hardly suggest an optimistic outlook. But for James Rickards, pessimism has proved no impediment to profit. Others might benefit from his success when he appears as keynote speaker at the Silver and Gold Summit to be held in San Francisco on November 20 and 21.

Finance legend James Rickards to speak at San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit

Rickards’ books have been translated into 14 languages.

A New York Times bestselling author whose work has been translated into 14 languages, his books include Currency Wars, The Death of Money, The New Case for Gold and The Road to Ruin. Rickards serves as chief global strategist for Meraglim Inc, which provides a new technology for predictive analytics in capital markets. He also edits the newsletter Strategic Intelligence and sits on the advisory board of the Center for Financial Economics at Johns Hopkins. An adviser on international economics and financial threats to the U.S. Department of Defense and the American intelligence community, Rickards served as a facilitator of the Pentagon’s first-ever financial war games.

This year’s Silver and Gold Summit features over 30 speakers with some of the best-known names including Marin Katusa, Frank Holmes, Rick Rule and Doug Casey. Their insights will complement an event showcasing 70 exhibitors and offering pre-booked one-on-one meetings to connect investors with companies.

Watch this space for new additions to the speaker list.

To save 25% on admission click here and enter promo code RESOURCE25.

Read more about the San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit.

Golden gateway

October 13th, 2017

San Francisco’s Silver and Gold Summit 2017 bridges investors and opportunities

 

What a year it’s been for some of the rare metals, energy metals and base metals that have shaken the markets. Still, precious metals have a way of retaining their distinctive allure. That helps explain why they get top billing as the Silver and Gold Summit returns to San Francisco on November 20 and 21, in an event that promises to be bigger than ever.

“Precious metals are a lot of what you’ll see at this show and the roots of this conference are based in the silver and gold market,” explains Cambridge House International president Jay Martin. But he emphasizes that they won’t monopolize the agenda, as some exhibitors and speakers have other commodities and strategies in mind.

San Francisco’s Silver and Gold Summit 2017 bridges investors and opportunities

Exhibitor space sold out early with 70 companies, Martin says. “We’re going to cap it at that. When you cap it like that you can maintain the quality.”

The speaker list, on the other hand, has many more presenters to come. Apart from big names like Katusa, Holmes, Rule and Casey, “we’ll be adding probably about 50 speakers to the agenda,” Martin says. “When we build this program we look at about two dozen topics in the mineral sector, then we drill down to what we see as demand, what investors are asking for. Then we assemble the topics and fill the speaker list from there.”

Through surveys, outreach programs, focus groups and social media, Cambridge House and co-producer Katusa Research determine “what attendees want to learn about, what’s getting traction, what’s controversial or exciting.”

Playing to what he calls “a healthy retail market,” the event shares similarities with the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, returning next year on January 21 and 22. “It’s easy to get to San Francisco from anywhere, so we see a lot of traffic coming in from all over the U.S. and Canada. But I’d say the number #1 difference with the San Francisco/Oakland area is there’s a larger appetite for wealth preservation. You’ll also see some content about new asset classes that are competing with gold, like cryptocurrencies.

“You’ll definitely hear speakers address questions about cryptocurrencies’ validity as an asset class for wealth preservation. That’s a big debate right now. People are asking if bitcoin is the new gold, and people will want to hear what our experts have to say about that. I anticipate that being a very large feature.”

With every single show we’re getting better at connecting investors with the opportunities they’re specifically looking for.—Jay Martin, president of
Cambridge House International

Other goals include “educating people on the opportunities in small cap mineral exploration. And with every single show we’re getting better at connecting investors with the opportunities they’re specifically looking for. We offer matchmaking services to help companies and attendees meet and discover opportunities.”

The summit’s online concierge service lets attendees schedule one-on-one appointments with exhibitors, and also lets exhibitors schedule appointments with speakers and qualified buyers. “That makes everyone’s time more productive,” Martin points out. “On top of that, we’re always reaching out to funds we know and investors we know to make sure they’re meeting the people they should be meeting.”

That promises to make a busy two days, especially since Martin expects about 1,500 attendees, up considerably from last year’s 800. The turnout follows a “phenomenal response” to the International Metal Writers Conference held in Vancouver last May.

“There’s a lot of demand now for high-quality junior mining deals on a global scale,” he adds. “We’re seeing more international traffic coming to the shows. We’re seeing more companies getting pre-booked prior to the event for one-on-one meetings.”

The heightened quest for investor intel comes amid unsettling geopolitical and domestic circumstances. “It’s such a volatile time in the States right now, unlike any year I’ve ever seen,” Martin notes. “I think investors are more aware that it’s up to them to take care of themselves and make smart investment decisions. I think investors are getting more intelligent and more productive with their time at our conferences. That’s great to see.”

The Silver and Gold Summit takes place at San Francisco’s Hilton Union Square from November 20 to 21. To save 25% on admission click here and enter promo code RESOURCE25.

New to mining? Or want a refresher course? Consider the Mining Insight Seminar, a two-hour separate ticketed event offering an overview of the industry, its economics and stakeholder considerations.

The ‘serially successful’

June 2nd, 2017

The International Metal Writers Conference hears Rick Rule dissect the traits of mining titans

by Greg Klein

The International Metal Writers Conference hears Rick Rule dissect the traits of mining titans

The International Metal Writers Conference hosted the world’s largest
gathering of investment newsletter writers. (Photo: www.VisionPhoto.ca)

 

“It’s all about the people.” That sentiment popped up repeatedly this week at the International Metal Writers Conference, where several speakers related their most important consideration in evaluating stocks. Maybe no one expressed it more emphatically than Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC president Dave Hodge, whose unamplified but booming voice overwhelmed the event’s microphone-dependent speakers, even seeming to threaten the Vancouver Convention Centre with seismic damage.

“No matter what the company is, no matter what the commodity is, what makes stocks successful is the management!” he roared. “What really determines a winner in this high-risk game is the management!”

Good people, he argued, will overcome bad projects. And it wasn’t just his volume that drove the point home. As newsletter writer David Morgan noted, “I think everyone from Rick Rule on down will tell you it’s all about the people.”

The International Metal Writers Conference hears Rick Rule dissect the traits of mining titans

Rick Rule, Frank Holmes and Jayant Bhandari were
among some 50 speakers who shared their insights.

Rule expanded on that the following morning when he said, “The most important determinant for success is not properties, not assets, but rather people.” But what kind of people? Successful ones obviously, especially those Rule calls the “serially successful.” So what do they have in common?

His association with several titans of the industry led him to ponder their similarities. Some of the names he mentioned include Seymour Schulich, Aldof, Lukas and Ian Lundin, Robert Friedland, Ross Beaty, Bob Quartermain and Clive Johnson.

“This isn’t to say they haven’t had failures on occasion,” Rule acknowledged. “Robert Friedland’s first effort, Galactic, was a galactic failure.”

But there’s a compound benefit to success. Those who achieve it “attract better people,” Rule said. “The people who are serially successful attract other serially successful people to them. And they attract better projects…. Similarly with the quest for capital.”

Among their traits, they’re “pathologically curious…. I think this makes them successful because they’re not willing to accept present dogma. I think because they’re curious they approach a problem from a whole bunch of points of view. It’s certainly true that many of the properties that become successful have had three or four approaches before the approach that made them successful.”

Not surprisingly, success-mongers turn out to be “really, really hard-working and focused.” And they’re “very smart,” although intelligence alone hardly guarantees success, he warned.

Additionally, the winners prove to be “amazingly tenacious. They carry a project in good times through bad times, carry it through the bad times back into good times.” Rule says they’ll commonly remark, “Yup, on that deal I worked seven years to be an overnight success.”

And stereotypes of domineering fat cats notwithstanding, “another thing I found out is these people turn out to be extremely nice,” Rule maintained. “They are, in my experience, genuinely happy that they delivered value to their employees and shareholders…. They want to build a mine. They want to employ local people. They want their shareholders to do well.”

The International Metal Writers Conference hears Rick Rule dissect the traits of mining titans

There’s more to life than money,
insisted Zimtu Capital’s Dave Hodge.

As for their own stock, “They buy once and they sell once.” They might sell options from time to time, but they don’t cash out until their involvement in a project finishes, Rule said.

“Sadly,” the 60-something concluded, “they’re all my age…. The challenge is to find the next generation of the serially successful people.”

Echoing those comments, another well-connected industry insider believes the replacements might already be making their presence known. Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard of the Mining Recruitment Group presented six such prospects, three each on two panel discussions. One showcased a 35-and-under power trio while the other presented a threesome slightly older and commensurately closer to serial success status.

But isn’t this definition of success overly materialist? Surely life has loftier goals than ardent ambition, the lust for lucre, the mania for moolah. That was another point stressed most emphatically by Zimtu’s Dave Hodge.

“It’s not about the money!” he thundered to the four corners of the convention hall. “It’s about the bragging rights!”

‘Everyone’s hiring again’

May 24th, 2017

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting presages a wave of M&A

by Greg Klein

As an executive search firm, the Mining Recruitment Group might serve as a bellwether for the industry. Founder and self-described mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says, “I put together management teams for companies, I connect people with opportunities and opportunities with people.” In that role, he experienced the upturn well before many industry players did.

To most of them, the long-awaited resurgence arrived late last year. Pollard saw it several months earlier.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

“The market came back in a huge way, at least in the hiring side, early last year when my phone started ringing a hell of a lot more,” he explains. “There was a huge volume. And what I’ve found is that the available talent pool for executives shrank in a period of about six months. In January 2016, for example, I was working on a search and there was almost a lineup out the door of some really big-name people. What I’m finding now, a year and a half later, is that the available talent has almost evaporated. It’s much harder to recruit for senior positions.”

Lately his work suggests another industry development. “The major upturn I’m seeing in the market now is a huge demand for corporate development people who can do technical due diligence on projects. Over the last few years large mining companies and investment banks cut staff almost to the bone in that regard because no one was interested in doing deals or looking at acquisitions.”

Just completed, his most recent placement was for Sprott. “They had me looking for someone with a technical background who can do due diligence for their investments. In doing so I spoke with everyone on the street, from investment banks to some big name corporate development people and they all said the same thing: Everyone’s hiring again. These are people who couldn’t get job offers a year ago, now every single candidate on the short list for this last search has multiple offers from companies looking to get them. I haven’t seen that in five years.

“So that leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams. I see that as a major sign that you’re going to see M&A pick up in a huge, huge way, probably over the next three to six months.”

An early example would be last week’s Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD buyout of Integra Gold TSXV:ICG—“one of my best clients over the years”—in a deal valued at $590 million.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

Andrew Pollard: Executive recruiting “leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams.”

“I think there’s leverage for other companies to start pulling the trigger faster because they’re adding the expertise to get these things done.”

Having founded the Mining Recruitment Group over a decade ago at the age of 20, “a snotty kid” with only a single year of related experience, he’s placed people in companies with market caps ranging from $5 million to well over $200 million. Now in a position to pick and choose his assignments, Pollard’s business concentrates on “the roles that will have the most impact on a company’s future.” That tends to be CEO, president, COO and board appointments.

Last year he placed five CEOs, as well as other positions. Among those assignments, Pollard worked with Frank Giustra on a CEO search for Fiore Exploration TSXV:F and filled another vacancy for Treasury Metals TSX:TML as it advances Goliath toward production.

But the hiring surge coincides with an industry-wide recruitment challenge. Pollard attributes that to a demographic predicament complicated by mining’s notorious cyclicality.

During the 1990s, he points out, fewer people chose mining careers, resulting in a shortage of staffers who’d now be in their 40s and 50s. Greater numbers joined up during the more promising mid-2000s, only to “get spat out” when markets went south. Now Pollard gets a lot of calls to replace baby boomers who want to retire. Too many of those retirements are coming around the same time, he says, because stock losses during the downturn had forced executives to postpone their exit.

Now, with a wave of retirements coinciding with a demographic gap, Pollard sees a “perfect storm to identify the next batch of young leaders.”

But he also sees promise in a new generation. That inspired him to assemble Young Leaders, one of two panel discussions he’ll present at the International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver on May 28 and 29.

“By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.”

By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.

Well, it’s either talent or a precocious Midas touch that distinguishes these panel members. Maverix Metals TSXV:MMX CEO Dan O’Flaherty co-founded the royalty/streaming company just last year, already accumulating assets in 10 countries and a $200-million market cap.

As president/CEO of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Jordan Trimble proved adept at fundraising and deal-making while building a 250,000-hectare uranium-thorium exploration portfolio in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Integra president/CEO Steve de Jong raised the company from a $10-million market cap in 2012 to last week’s $590-million takeout.

And, demographic gap notwithstanding, Pollard’s second panel features three other success stories, just a bit older but with lots of potential left after guiding three of last year’s biggest M&A deals. They’ll take part in the Vision to Exit discussion, which closes the conference on May 29.

Eira Thomas burst into prominence at the Lac de Gras diamond fields where she discovered Diavik at age 24. Her most recent major coup took place last year on the Klondike gold fields with Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) $520-million buyout of Kaminak Gold.

Featherstone Capital president/CEO Doug Forster founded and led Newmarket Gold, producing over 225,000 ounces a year from three Australian mines and enticing Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX:KL) billion-dollar offer.

Now chairperson of Liberty Gold TSX:LGD and a director of NexGen Energy TSX:NXE, Mark O’Dea co-founded and chaired True Gold Mining, acquired in April 2016 by Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV. Three other companies that O’Dea co-founded, led and sold were Fronteer Gold, picked up by Newmont Mining NYSE:NEM in 2011; Aurora Energy, sold to Paladin Energy TSX:PDN in 2011; and True North Nickel, in which Royal Nickel TSX:RNX bought a majority interest in 2014.

“We’ll be looking at how they go into deals, what their philosophy is, what’s their current reading of the market and what they’re going to do next. They each have a big future ahead of them.”

Pollard’s two panel discussions take place at the International Metal Writers Conference on May 28 and 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Pre-register for free or pay $20 at the door.

In all, the conference brings generations of talent, expertise and insight to an audience of industry insiders and investors alike.

Read more about the International Metal Writers Conference.