What am I buying...?
Featured Image: A rubbish picture I took at last year's show in Colorado
Hey y’all, from Nuss Café in Vienna, and also from Beaver Creek, Colorado. We’re still here in the Rockies in spirit!
I'm penning this quickly to get it to you before we hit the conference floor again, so please excuse likely spelling, formatting and grammatical errors!
Today we’re back into the mix with 6 meetings and also hosting our Rupert Resource investor update show at 17:00 London time, if you haven’t registered to hear about their awesome new drill results in Finland, do so HERE.
Day 1 was hectic, it turns out running 3 businesses and also taking 6 hours out of a day for meetings is a real challenge, but it is very nice to be attending a conference for the first time as an investor, not a company sales rep! The attitude is of course different, people are far more willing to discuss their work and projects in detail when there’s money on the table than when I’m just writing an article or making a video!
I have 19 pages of notes so, I’ll try and give you the highlights from my favourite few meetings. I should note, I made a point of avoiding research before meetings as I wanted to go in free of prejudice or ideas, I wanted info straight from the horses mouth, just like I would at a physical conference when stumbling across a new company’s booth.
Number 1: Salazar Resources
This was a new name for me, but not for the industry or region… I met with Merlin and Freddy from the company late in the day and we were all weary, both were succinct, logical and blunt about their work. The presentation style was superb, I gained more important information (zero nonsense) from our 20-minute chat than I have done in hours with some boards.
Salazar have a mass of property in Ecuador, own their own drills and have several significant discoveries to their name. Looking at the immense scale of their work in country it would be ridiculous to assume they won’t be hitting something somewhere. They have agreements with royalties and revenues that cover most of their G&A, own shares in their historical discoveries worth $40-50m and have a $30m market cap…
From a broad overview this was an instant winner… Immediately after the call I sent out a few whatsapps to mutual connections (through the Oxford Mining Club) in the UK and received instant glowing reports about Merlin as a character and worker.
I put in an order straight away. This was a stand-out long-term buy for me, I’ll be looking to pick up more if there are suitable dips and build a decent position.
Number 2: District Metals Corp
Also a new name to me… met with Garrett first thing in the morning. Another extraordinarily strong story, simply put… Sweden, next to major producers, historic production and huge potential to expand. EMX involvement and a VERY strong board of names.
Not much more needed, a logical, technically sound and well supported project. I’ll be doing a few quick checks on the area and environmental permitting etc, but I’m planning to put in an order.
Number 3: Novo Resources
Famous in Twitterland, loved, hated pumped by newsletter writers and ditched by some big names before they’ve really begun, I couldn’t avoid knowing a little about this project just from past online engagement. To simplify, the project seems to me like a glorified Aussie gold hunters episode, which is in no way a bad thing. Simple, accessible and logical gold projects in decent jurisdictions are an easy win right now.
Their projects are near surface, nuggety gold and quickly mechanically processable, they have recently acquired a mill (through purchase of Millenium) and capacity to process their claims. Huge land packages still to be explored and potential for some novelty giant nuggets, always fun. My concerns are: high strip ratio… The deposits are all horizontally bedded alluvial fans and forms and will need large areas of soil and ground to be torn up and rotated. This is not necessarily a bad thing… The team explained (when I pushed the question) that they strip topsoil from the first 5-10cm and relay it on their first strip and the seedstock is resilient enough to regrow with limited long-term impact.
As there’s no chemical processing this seems logical to me as long as it’s done responsibly. Turning over soil can dry it out and cause structural issues for smaller/seasonal plants, but we’re not talking about the same kind of forest stripping as in Brazil, it’s a dry expanse and considering the actual size of Australia, stripping 5, 10, 50km of land won’t make any realistic lasting impact, it may even create new habitats.
I’ll need to do some more reading there before putting any money up, but the project and team seem decent... I’m wondering how much their model will come back to shareholders with all of the news and potential already in the public sphere.
Project 4: Calibre
I met with Ryan from Calibre and had a good chat. I like their concept and they have a good mix of production and exploration. Their method is sound and well designed. Nicaraguan gold with good long-term projections for lowering costs and bringing more projects online.
I like their concept, but won’t buy or follow due to ties with Rio Tinto in a Northern licence, I’m still annoyed about Rio’s Australian heritage explosives blunder, which is a shame for Calibre (and all associated companies). I see Rio’s CEO and several high-level members resigned from the company, but If I’d blown up a native site in our era of great racial tension, I’d have ended up in prison. They have a long way to go before reaching atonement in my eyes. Sorry Calibre, not your fault on that one!
Project 5: Sama Resources
An outlier in my gold hunt! I met Marc-Antoine and Matt to talk Nickel in West Africa. I love West Africa, it is the best region (in my mind) to go exploring right now, with governments and communities developing and huge resources yet to be found all over the place. (Hence our founding of Origin Exploration!).
For me, this one is too big, they have a respectable resource in Côte d'Ivoire, reasonable potential for expansion and upside, but I’m not sure where it would fit in my headspace. Nickel sulphide deposits are big business right now and this one is comparatively cheap so, may be a good entry point for those looking to ride the nickel and battery metal wave.
There was talk of large nickel laterites in the package and those just bring in dirty strip mining and risk to an area that doesn’t need that.
For now, I’m sticking to Canada for nickel, but I’ll be watching closely and may reconsider down the line.
Side-note… If anybody knows of any significant copper plays in West-Africa I’d love to hear, that’d definitely spark my interest!
On to day 2… Have fun and play safe amigos!