Metals' Tenacity Aids Wheelchair Efforts: Thom @ Large

Thom @ Large: Bull Market Boosts Donations

By Thom Calandra

BAMAKO, Mali — I am seeing more and more metals companies discover that "giving in the field" is compatible with their goals.

The "greater giving" comes as a bull market continues, albeit with a bit of bull bucking & rearing, for metals and most commodities.

[caption id="attachment_1144" align="alignleft" width="199" caption="Bamako: Wheel Chair Ceremony: Photo courtesy of Streetwise Gold Reports"][/caption]

In the most pragmatic example I have come across, prospectors and miners are doling out dough to take part in a wheelchair donation program for needy villagers. The wheelchairs go to residents of areas where metals prospectors and miners work. In West Africa this month, the good news came to 260 chairs in Mali and 260 in Ghana.

Gordon Holmes of The Gold Report started donating wheelchairs a few years ago via a winery he owns up the freeway from where I live in northern California. “Each shipping container holds 260 chairs,” Gordon, a media publisher and active metals investor, says.

I experienced the wheelchair spirit in November, when Great Panther Silver and Endeavour Silver chipped in to donate a bunch of them to disabled Mexicans in and around the hillside town of Guanajuato. The emotion was intense.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="199" caption="One of hundreds of disabled Mali residents in the capital of Bamako"]Wheelchair Foundation[/caption]

“There were real tears there,” says Robert Archer, CEO of Great Panther Silver. Bob Archer, Gordon and others met with former Mexico President Vicente Fox and the Fox family's charitable foundation at that event.

Gordon’s wheelchair program started at his Lookout Ridge Winery, whose $100 bottles of wine help subsidize the cost of the China-made chairs. In the case of Mexico, Africa and other corporate efforts, the program coordinates with miners and prospectors to place chairs directly in the hands of the folks who need them.

I am hoping my beloved nation of Colombia is next. I have seen poverty in Africa. I have seen poverty in Peru, where the folks who ran Antares Minerals' Haquira copper camp spent a thick slice of their time making medical services available to the high-altitude region's residents.

I have seen poverty in Oakland, Calif. And crime. I have seen the gaping void of medical supplies in Colombia, which probably has one of Latin America's largest middle-class populations in city centres, but one of the thinnest in the countryside. "We need to do this in Colombia," one representative of an Antioquia prospector told me today. I can think of 10 prospectors in the Medellin area alone that easily could participate.

In West Africa, in addition to Michael Nikiforuk’s African Gold Group, Keegan Resources and Legend Gold stepped up to the plate in West Africa this month. All three have working camps trolling for gold.

In Canada, Joe Martin’s Cambridge House conference company is contributing its metals-market heft for the wheelchair effort. Next weekend, Mr. Martin and his team will partner with Mr. Holmes to assist Vancouver-area residents afflicted with ALS, a neurological disease nicknamed Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"Wheelchairs for ALS sufferers are a lot more expensive to manufacture," Joe Martin tells me. Mr. Holmes, using the semi-annual Cambridge metals conference as a bakcdrop, will present a wheelchair and a cheque donation to ALS British Columbia. That will take place Monday Jan. 23. (Whisper: There might even be a nod to the bull-market theme at the donation ceremony.)

Probably North America’s largest conference for individual investors, Cambridge House’s natural resources gathering is Jan. 22-23 in downtown Vancouver. I am hoping a few CEOs and COOs who are in town for the conference or for the annual B.C. Round-Up of geologists and prospectors will hunt down Joe Martin or Gordon to see how they might assist families in their respective mining and exploration jurisdictions. I'll be at the Cambridge House show, speaking and shuffling around.

How to do it? Support wheelchair programs here.

– Thom Calandra of

– Thom Calandra is a lifelong author whose work has appeared in newspapers, newsletters, magazines and across the Web. He is a founder of CBS MarketWatch, now Dow Jones MarketWatch. He is a member of Torrey Hills Capital in Del Mar, California. African Gold Group and Great Panther Silver are clients of Torrey Hills Capital. Your comments are welcome. See: