TCR Extra: Shows, shows shows -- The Calandra Report

The Calandra Report

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September 10, 2012

• Shows, Shows & More Darn Shows

• Redemption ... & A Mamma-Tibi/Abba Mia

TCR Question: How do you know whether the executives and geos you follow are attending the correct conferences?

TCR Answer: At this time of year, there is no 'correct." There are so many of 'em. This week is the Denver Gold Show. Last week was Casey in Carlsbad, California, and Precious Metals Summit outside of Denver. That last one drew more than 400 attendees in its second year.

Autumn brings a new Chicago show later this month from operators of the NYC and SF shows. At the close of the month is a Cambridge House conference in Toronto. Cambridge House International in Canada is the publisher of this Cambridge Cafe.

Then there is La Feria de Las Minas in Medellin, Colombia; Brien Lundin's annual New Orleans investing and geopolitical gathering in October; Munich's Gold Show in early November and many smaller ones in between. That's just autumn.

I enjoy the Cambridge House Toronto show at the close of September because I get to see CEOs and geos whom I only see once or twice a year: Ari Sussman of Continental Gold (CNL in Canada), Glenn Mullan of Golden Valley Mines (GZZ), the folks from Gerry McCarvill's Norvista companies and many others, some of whom I have known for 10 or more years. Those include my cherished researchers and gold-believers from the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (, which I support.

I like the social setting now that Cambridge House uses the Sheraton Hotel; it feels right to just hang in the lobby and let the resource world pass in front of me. That one is free and gets a young crowd.

New Orleans is special, too. It's more political than most of these conferences -- for the resources biz, that is. Sarah Palin this year, Margaret Thatcher some years back and so on. I saw two top GOP and Democratic sharpies, Karl Rove and Howard Dean, just decimate, I mean shred a regular gold commentator in a debate there. Don't feel bad, man; they do that for a living.

In New Orleans, there is a loyal audience -- year in and out. I swear I see them there and nowhere else on the planet. The eccentric couple from Texas who have owned gold companies their entire two lives. The German aristrocrat. The Vegas tycoon. Truth: And folks, same ones every year, 'Aren't you that one who dyed his hair gold when it hit $400?'

Scary good.

I get to see individuals, investors and subscribers whom I only catch when the saints come marching in at the close of October.

Just recently, Precious Summit outside Denver concluded several days of golden sunshine in Colorado. The Precious concept: has lots of one-one-ones, no investor relations vendors, no investment bankers. Jessica Levental, the show's director and an attorney, told me the Precious count was 86 company presentations and 420 attendees.

Ms. Levental and her team take the advice of an advisory panel that includes NYC gold equity fund manager John Hathaway on which companies to invite to their summit.

Colin J. Andrew of Sunward Resources, a Colombia gold and copper prospector I  have toured several times, told me. "The Precious Summit attracts a range of excellent companies by invite only and both buy / sell side financial institutions. We had wall to wall meetings throughout."

That is good to hear. Brisk attendance there will lead to brisk attendance in Toronto and New Orleans.

Precious Summit gets top marks for ease of use for those who do not attend and instead rely on web-casts. No Internet sign-ins or rigmarole. In Colin's Sunward pitch, for instance, you can pick up every nuance, like the Royal School of Mines & Imperial College London graduate's pronunciation of picture (pitch-ah) and Cauca (cow-ker). "You can get the blacktop road from Medellin to get heavy underground mining equipment in and out of Titiribi," Mr. Andrew says about his company's Cerro Vetas gold-copper project. (I own a small number of shares.)

Colin told attendees Sunward has been hiring refugees from Ivanhoe Mines in Mongolia and from Allied Nevada in Nevada to kick-start an actual mining operation in the Middle Cauca Belt of Antioquia, Colombia. Sunward has $39 million Canadian of cash and is running a $4 per-ounce discovery cost at Titiribi. I was researching the project even before it went public three years ago.

Precious Summit's list of presenting companies is useful for folks like you and me. Here is the list from Beaver Creek, Colorado: Like the Cambridge House roster for each conference, these presenting lists and exhibiting lists tell us who is marketing actively. Both Cambridge and Precious Summit feature small and mid-sized prospectors of gold, silver, copper, platinum.

Ultimately, these conferences are prospectors or people, investors. Tim Wood at Denver Gold Forum tells me today the longstanding show brought 1,160  to town this week. There are 165 companies participating. The size of the show is a record, like the Cambridge Vancouver Resource Show was in January of this year, when metals equities heated up, albeit briefly. Interesting note: Mr. Wood of Denver says the record-breaker for the show "wasn't looking that way two weeks ago."

If the metals equities rebound that began (with a whimper) May 16 of this year continues into the early autumn, you can bet we will see these shows re-inherit their former allure and relevance among investors and bankers.  

Wish I was there: The gang from Grupo de Bullet (Medellin, Colombia-based land and mineral rights owner in that country and vendor of gold, copper properties to SVV, CNL, CLB, AGD, others) and many of their friends, including lead bullet Bob Allen, chief Bullet operating officer Jim Felton, Allen nephew and pilot Bob Neill and many others, are holding their annual dove hunt and alligator shoot as I write this. I was there at the dove hunt last year and had to pass this year because of my attendance in the RCP Tiburon One-Mile open-water swim in frigid SF Bay this past Sunday. The Grupo de Bullet gang is in Arkansas and Mississippi. See you 'gator, hombres y chicas.

Finally, speaking of redemption for metals equities, Quebecois and net-smelter-royalty aficionado Glenn Mullan and I were having a weekend phone cha. I have covered Golden Valley Mines in Quebec and its chief spinoff, Abitibi Royalties (RZZ), and owned them, for more than a year now. Joe Martin of Cambridge House helped introduce me to Glenn.

Glenn and I were chatting about getting the wives together in Toronto at the close of September. Glenn said he expects to see waves of redemption, figuratively, among the speculative prospectors whose declining equity prices, or smelter fires, or lack of ability to raise cash, buffeted the juniors and the penny-dreadfuls.

"I think some might actually be odds-on good choices for investors who understands the risks," he says.

Redemption is a theme I can deal with right now. I mean, hey, I survived that dang ocean swim this weekend with all of its monstrous sized Olympians, its crazy currents and body-part reducing temperatures. I survived the 15-month decline in resource equities that I believe ended definitively May 16 or 17, 2012. Glenn, for his part, notes that Abitibi Royalties, joint venture operator of the CHL Malartic Gold Project near Val D'Or in Quebec, along with Canada's No. 1 gold producer, Osisko Mines, is probably the cheapest thing punto final among Canadian resource juniors. I think it has 10 million shares fully diluted, and GZZ, Golden Valley Mines, owns about 60 percent of those shares.

RZZ shares are almost impossible to purchase. I think I spent half a year accumulating 20,000 of 'em, and overpaying every time. The spread between the RZZ bid and ask is like 70 cents / $1 Canadian. If Osisko ever indicates its interest in exploiting the rich, I think massively rich ground that Abitibi Royalties controls at CHL* Malartic, well, the stock probably goes to $10 in a hockey league minute. There is a royalty involved, too, and shareholders, including parent Golden Valley Mines, would get a piece of that if it were to materialize.

Glenn is a rabid Montreal Canadiens fan and also owns a CHL (*Canadian Hockey League) minor-league team at Val d'Or. His wife, Jackie, is not. A rabid hockey fan, that is. She's a fine chef, though.

Keep the hearth warm and the equities toasty, I guess.


Thanks for helping me revive TCR. The Calandra Report is closing in on 300 subscribers. The current price is $48. This is a free copy for Cambridge Cafe readers, published here on a time delay and in abridged format.

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