by Greg Klein
The event takes place in familiar surroundings at the Vancouver Convention Centre West from May 31 to June 1. But while Canvest ’15 has become an annual institution, it’s one that adapts to the times. That gives mining and exploration investors a chance to not only catch up with companies’ progress but learn more about the convergence of commodities with energy and technology. Nearly 40 speakers will present talks, panel discussions, corporate presentations and workshops, along with almost 100 exhibitors ready to meet investors one-on-one.
Considering the challenges of resource markets, Chris Berry credits Canvest organizer Cambridge House International for this new approach. “I think a lot of stakeholders in the natural resource space are searching for the new model,” says the Disruptive Discoveries Journal co-editor. “My sense is that Cambridge House may be on to something by trying to broaden its scope and provide opportunities for investors to get some insights into how natural resources and technology are converging.”
With such a broad range, not every sector links up with each other. But topics include mineral exploration, oil and gas, liquefied natural gas, agriculture, life sciences, energy metals, technology and—appropriately for a city where weed wafts ubiquitously—marijuana.
Canvest’s opening day promises to keep Berry busy with a keynote talk and four panel discussions. “My presentation will focus on disruptive technologies, not so much in the mining space but in the economy, taking a macro view of some of the forces I think are converging right now that make learning about disruptive business models and the potential for metals demand very, very important,” he says.
Even with minerals markets facing a prolonged downturn, Berry sees signs of hope. “I think the really optimistic and bullish case has to do with how quickly energy technologies, and technology in general, are being adopted and advanced. Longer-term, you want to be looking at a country like India. It’s much less urbanized than China, which served as the engine for metal demand.”
Among Berry’s Sunday panels will be an 11:30 a.m. commodities forum with reps from four holdings of prospect generator Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC. On board will be Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE (rare earths, tantalum, niobium), Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT (nickel), Electra Stone TSXV:ELT (jade, industrial minerals) and Lakeland Resources TSXV:LK (uranium).
Cambridge House describes its speaker line-up as “top industry analysts, newsletter writers, c-suite executives, hedge fund managers, trends forecasters and finance celebrities.” Twenty “young” clean tech companies will take their places at the new PowerHaus Pavilion. Events that aren’t formally on the agenda but remain well-entrenched Canvest customs include networking, schmoozing, gossiping and maybe just a bit of rumour-mongering.
Sunday’s 8:30 a.m. opening features a keynote presentation by Gianni Kovacevic, chairperson of CopperBank Resources CSE:CBK and author of My Electrician Drives a Porsche? His talk covers emerging markets, their “new spending class,” the merger of technology and energy, and other aspects of “the new energy renaissance.” He’ll also discuss his book, in which Kovacevic expresses his ideas through the interplay of two fictional characters, a boomer-generation doctor and a younger tradesman who became a canny investor by studying new and emerging trends.
Kovacevic will be giving away free copies of the novel.
He sees positive signs for the minerals sector through the simple necessity of supply. “Nobody’s building anything new of significance—I mean big, big new mines,” he says. “Ultimately you need a stronger underlying commodity price or nothing’s going to get built, so it’s a matter of time.”
A veteran of previous Cambridge House events as well as other investor shows, Kovacevic expects to see a lot of new faces among Canvest’s new diversified exhibitors. As for returning companies, he says they’ll offer investors a report card on their progress.
“The hard core resource investor talks to the 30 people he always talks to, he meets five or 10 new guys, he kicks the tires,” Kovacevic explains. “Even if you’re not going to invest right now, you’re going to see a company you like and you’re interested in, and if that sector moves or that company moves, you get very interested very quickly.”
Disclaimer: Zimtu Capital Corp, Commerce Resources Corp and Lakeland Resources Inc are clients of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in those companies.