LOTS of London conferences – a summary

The silly season has started again with back to back conferences in London to celebrate uncharacteristically cold English weather for this time of year. The Canadians may laugh but averaging -5°C is cold!

The Investing in Africa conference by MineAfrica clashed with Australia Day but was nonetheless extremely well attended despite the travel disruptions caused by the weather. The outlook was considered to be excellent, with some superb prospects in some emerging provinces, with Eritrea represented strongly with speakers of ministerial rank at the conference.

The assembly was honest about the challenges, with continuing difficulty for foreign investors in Zimbabwe and South Africa featuring less than usual because of commercial and political challenges – however, the delegates at Australia Day probably said the same of the recently blunted federal super-tax from Canberra.

There were some illuminating presentations not only from some excellent resource companies, but markedly from TMX, who highlighted their bullishness and their marked competitive successes over the last year or so; the UK Bribery Act and its equivalents threw up some interesting and heated discussions, with interesting country corruption ratings scales aired.

Mines & Money was the busiest for several years, with Canadian and Australian companies leading the charge with some great stories and distinctly bullish sentiment – their UK based colleagues were carried on a tide of optimism. The level of development and renewed exploration is already highlighting intense shortages of expertise – exploration geologists are particularly in demand with experienced mine developers closely following on the shopping lists. Watch this space for soaring salaries, particularly in the mining hotspots and compensation to offer the most sympathetic non-financial incentives! Overall some great business done, even better sentiment and collectively optimistic for 2011 – but ready for a holiday after 2010!

The third London conference of the week was Canada Day, which again was affected by the weather but reiterated the bullishness of the Canadian companies and the positive support given by the TSX investors for endeavours all over the world. Some juniors have demonstrated massive resilience and magical timing, pulling great prospects out of the bag to catch the market upturn.

Best wishes to one and all for a safe journey home, a restful Christmas and a fantastic 2011 – and to all those that brought that breath of great sentiment from abroad into London this week… you hum it, we’ll sing it.

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