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.
Finex 2010 was a financing mining exploration conference held at the Royal Geological Society in London. It was organised under the chairmanship of Dr. Bob Foster of Stratex, who set the tone early with an upbeat and good humoured introduction which was replicated throughout the two day conference.
The great and the good were all there with academics, eminent brokers, economists and financiers presenting a collectively rounded programme which occupied all topics eloquently, objectively and completely. The rules disallowed blatant promoting (there were a range of sponsors and a small fee for entry), which further enhanced the speaking standard.
There were many cautionary tales and success stories from commodities to jurisdictions – Bob and his team deserve the highest praise for putting together a great conference. By the way, the mining schools were on hand with undergraduate exploration geologists looking for summer placements, feel free to respond to this with a comment if you are interested or get in touch with the schools direct.
Check out the “who’s who” of speakers:
- Dr Adrian Boyce – Manager, NERC Isotope Community Support Facility, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
- Bill Scotting – Exec VP, Head of Strategy, ArcelorMittal
- Dr Bob Foster – CEO, Stratex International plc
- Cedric Chehab – Head of Commodities Research & Strategy, Business Monitor International
- Charles Gibson – Sector Head, Mining Research, Edison Investment Research Ltd
- Charles Kernot – Director, Metals & Mining, Evolution Securities Ltd
- Dr Charlie Moon – Programme Leader, MSc Mining Geology, Camborne School of Mines
- Chris Watling – CEO & Chief Markets Strategist, Longview Economics
- Dr Chris Hinde – Editorial Director, Mining Journal, Aspermont UK
- Christopher Hall – Mining Consultant, Grant Thornton
- Claire Dorrian – Senior Manager, Product Management, AIM
- Dr Clive Hallett – Principal, CRT Minerals; Project Manager, MIRO (Minerals Industry Research Organization)g
- Dr Duncan Large – Consulting Geologist
- Fergus Anckorn – Technical Director, AMEC Earth and Environmental (UK) Ltd
- Gabriel Didham – MD, Objective Capital Research Ltd
- Graham Brown – Group Head, Geoscience & Exploration, Anglo American
- Dr Hazel Pritchard – Director, Exploration & Resources BSc, Cardiff University
- Hugo de Salis – Principal, St Brides Media & Finance Ltd
- Prof. John Ludden – Director, British Geological Survey
- John Meyer – Head of Resources, Fairfax ISL plc
- Prof. Laurence Robb – Univ. Oxford; Director, Savannah Gold Ltd
- Liv Carroll – Senior Business Analyst, Gemcom Software International Inc.
- Michael Lynch-Bell – Partner, Global Mining & Metals, Ernst & Young
- Prof. Neil Phillips – Univ. Melbourne; Phillipsgold Pty Ltd (SIR JULIUS WERNHER MEMORIAL LECTURE)
- Nigel Jackson – Chairman, CBI Minerals Group
- Paul Dewison– Research Manager, Bloomsbury Mineral Economics
- Phillip Crowson – Hon. Prof., Univ. Dundee; former Director, London Metal Exchange
- Richard Chase – Managing Director, Ambrian Partners
- Roger Goodwin – President & Group Finance Director, Griffin Mining Ltd
- Dr Sacha Backes – Investment Officer, Oil, Gas, Mining, & Chemicals, International Finance Corporation
- Dr Stephen Henley – Deputy Chairman, PERC (Pan-European Reserves & Resources Reporting Committee); MD, Resources Computing International Ltd
- Tanya Costello – Associate Director, Control Risks
- Dr Tim Williams – Director, Global Mining and Metals, Ernst & Young
If you are an individual with access to an excellent project or commercial opportunity, perhaps we can help. For several months, we have been looking at project ideas in their infancy, sometimes even with only one individual driving the establishment of the business.
We have contacts all over the world which we indeed use typically to fill conventional search assignments. However, for such projects we are very happy to work with a project initiating individual or team to ‘wrap around’ a balanced board and senior management (when the timing is appropriate) which will be able to assess and promote a project. We will behave as a people partner to the new business in return for equity in the start up business. This is on a success only basis, there is no obligation for either a consultation or our assistance unless specially agreed in writing. If you have a project and are seeking to find the people and funding to go with it, please get in touch privately, we may well be able to help. Likewise, if you would like to privately suggest any refinements or other complementary ideas, please let us know.
If you have an interest in this as an idea as a topic of discussion, we welcome your comments on this page.