King of the Mining Ring 2020: Results

Video Replay: Watch the full show here if you'd like to see the battle as it happened... Beware scrollers, spoilers below!


Happy Friday y’all!

Today there’s a few sore heads in the Spotlight camp as we celebrated the end of our 3 month ‘King of the Ring’ tournament last night.

I want to start with the biggest thank you I can shout into a laptop screen. When Corona hit and travel bans swept across the industry we were in absolute panic mode. Most of our work relies on site-visits and human networking to deliver A) awesome content to our clients and B) cheeky gossip and news from the darkly lit bars after conference shows to our investor subscribers.

Thanks to our superb web development manager Sam, we managed to launch our E-Conference shows long before most others could mobilise online coverage. Alongside our friends at Mundoro, Riverside, Mountain Boy and Supercharged Stocks, our first show in March had a cute 20 viewers, but set the template for bigger things to come.

Our ‘King of the Ring’ tournament was conceived (as most of our ideas are) after a few too many beers in a Bratislava bar with some fellow Brits, somewhere between our second Jägermeister and first Slivovitz.

In total we had 24 entries and averaged 150 registrations per event during our opening 6 heats. Many students, investors, geologists and friends joined and pitched questions, several phoned me up afterwards for direct contact info and put money into shares (Chakana Copper Corp are going to get a special mention here, I know of 4 people who bought a position after their presentation in our ‘LATAM’ heat.

We also achieved a novelty record for ‘greatest stock drop’ during an E-conference, with Excellon losing 8c off their price during their first presentation in the ‘Silver’ heat (which, ironically, they went on to win!).
My absolute highlight of this run of events wasn’t the fundraising, or corporate promotional side for me, it was the access our online forum gave to people who we’d never normally get to meet, or who’d never normally be able to attend Vancouver/Toronto/Melbourne/London events.

Every week I flicked through the registration list for a little ‘back-of-envelope’ demographic counting. We had several regular investors joining us from India, Malaysia, Argentina, and Scandinavia who had never been to a physical mining conference and had been investing for years based on what they’d seen on company websites and through vague chats on and dull graphing/fundamentals etc. They were tired of it and just saw it as a way to manage their savings.

The opening up of online events meant our new global friends had a chance to see these presentations live, to ask questions and to actually get involved with the projects, not just wire money to a broker in Toronto and hope for the best. One of these chaps from India bought into 3 of our presenter’s companies and had no idea he could email the CEOs or geologists anytime for a chat and an update.

Add to this the 5-10% of our audience who were students or unemployed graduates, who’d never be able to afford a flight out to Round-up to learn about these projects and we begin to see… What we’ve all come together and achieved (unintentionally, I must add!) is the removal of barriers to less economically developed nations and social classes to accessing the mining world and valuable mining knowledge.

Before this lockdown, penny/212/traderepublic/RobinHood/etc. investors were at a significant disadvantage, relying on second-hand news online, while the CEOs and major players mingled in London Hotel lounges. Now, they are mingling via Zoom and everybody with an internet connection is invited to the talks.

For that reason, although the season is over, we’ll endeavour to continue running shows online, opening up access and engaging as wide an audience as possible.

Something else our company prides itself on is delivering shareholder value. While some conferences and brokers were charging $2-3k for online shows, we asked every entry for $300 Canadian. We also have to answer to the shareholders of every company we work with, to make sure we deliver something positive at a price shareholders are comfortable with.

I am an investor and there’s nothing I hate more than going to a conference, hearing a talk or visiting a booth and knowing the company paid thousands of investor currency units to be there. 99% of the time, the conference table is worth more than my total investment in the companies I visit and I would rather those thousands went in the ground and delivered solid drill hits.

Spotlight Mining will be launching a physical conference in Central Europe in 2021, following the same goal of affordability. We won’t be serving presidential-suite-10-course dinners and champagne like the VRIC, but we will be presenting great projects, with great people and great networking events. Most importantly, it’s going to cost shareholders a lot less to get their company forefront and centre, so the teams can focus on delivering proper geology to investors, instead of crisp suits.

The entire show will be streamed live online for free for those who can’t travel and We’ll be inviting (and funding) exceptional students and young geoscientists in economic geology to present short, relevant pieces alongside companies, as well as new investment tech firms like 212, Trade Republic and RobinHood, to discuss how to get the most out of junior mining using these new affordable services and workshops for companies on how to reinvigorate your stock for a new generation of feisty <millennial retail investors.

So, back to the original point, Our King of the Ring competition is over. The final heat was a very tight run with everybody receiving a decent share of the votes. We had 370 registrations to this event which is monumental by our basement-run-start-up-company standards!

Massive thanks go to our expert judges for giving up their Thursday morning/evening to grill our competitors: Tim Strong - Kangari Consulting, Sean Kingsley - Kingsley Capital, Miranda Werstiuk - OCIM & Claudia Tornquist - Kodiak Copper.

Hi-fives go first to Jason Beckton from Prospech Limited, winner of our ‘Wildcard’ heat and Brad Rourke from Scottie Resources who kept the major developers high on their toes in the first round. Coming into a tournament as a pre-IPO/early exploration play and facing off against producers and developers with $100-$400m market caps is not a small hill to climb...

Excellon also came into bat with their new Silver city project in Germany instead of falling on safer tales from Mexican successes. Anybody who reads this email regularly will know Braunsdorf (Now Silver City, although I'm really REALLY not sold on the renaming!) is one of my favourite projects in the world and Excellon are one of my top 5 holdings as they approach drilling in Saxony.

After one round of judge’s feedback and votes, the audience decided to eliminate Prospech Limited, Excellon Resources and Scottie Resources. Now, it was ‘to the death’.

Solgold’s Ingo Hofmaier, Minera Alamos’ Doug Ramshaw and Regulus’ John Black gave 8 minute technical talks and all were of a very high standard. But only one could raise the coveted Spotlight beer cooler and e-trophy… The judges were swayed by the final presentations, with their votes moving from Minera Alamos, over to Regulus… While the audience gave SolGold a huge boost, the overall scores were:

Judges Votes:
Regulus: 4 (Judges Choice Award)
Minera Alamos: 1
Solgold: 0

Audience votes:
Solgold: 53% (Audience Choice Award)
Regulus: 39%
Minera Alamos: 8%

Making the final scores:
Regulus 59.5% (Kings of the Mining Ring)
Solgold: 26.5%
Minera Alamos: 14%

Regulus Resources’ John Black raised the trophy as our 2020 King of the Ring.

Entertaining side-note... During the show I announced the wrong numbers, but luckily not the wrong result... Apparently both Spotlight Mining and the Oscars can make significant mistakes! After the show me, my girlfriend and our web tech Sam all poured over the incredibly simple calculations and all got different results twice before agreeing! As Claudia Tornquist kindly suggested, maybe it's time I bought a calculator!

To everybody who gave feedback, logged in, asked questions, pushed companies to join and got involved in any way… My heartfelt thanks.

You can view the replays of all of our shows at:

Our next major show will be on August 13th and will feature 20 companies presenting exploration updates from their summer programs. Register HERE for the 'Spotlight Summer Slam'. We'll be hosting investor meetings before then with Mountain Boy Minerals, Vangold Mining, Riverside Resources and more in the coming weeks, stay tuned for registration links!

For now… Have a wonderful weekend, from me, Sam, Daniela, Laurita, Chris, Esme, Teejo, Elena, Andres at Spotlight's virtual HQ.

Liam Hardy
Spotlight Mining