In a recent interview with the Northern
Miner’s Alisha Hiyate, I gave some tips for
the retail lay investor to maximize his or her experience at the upcoming Prospectors
and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)
annual convention, March 3-6, Toronto, Ontario.
PDAC is the world’s largest exploration and
mining show with well over 30,000 people in attendance last year. It is the
annual must-attend event for exploration and mining professionals and
micro-cap resource investors.
This musing elaborates on my ideas posted recently
in Mining Markets Magazine (Mercenary Interview, February 17, 2013).
Despite having many years of PDAC experience since
1989, this is about all I know of downtown Toronto in March:
· The weather sucks; I get
my yearly week of winter via this excursion.
· Hotel rates double in
price for four nights.
· There are tens of
thousands of people and a myriad of company promoters with exhibition booths;
they are all trying to sell you a story.
· The nightly hospitality
parties are boisterous and at times, a bit crazy.
· The booze at said parties
is free so there is little reason to go to the bar and pay outrageous Ontario
sin-tax prices for an exactly measured one-ounce pour.
· It is difficult to get
real work accomplished because of the sheer number of humans and companies
confined to one space.
That said, amongst all the noise and hubbub, there
are tricks of the trade to maximize your 3.5 day business and entertainment
Here are my suggestions regarding logistics:
· Dress well and warmly
before braving the out-of-doors. Standard outdoor apparel is overcoat,
leather gloves, and umbrella. If your pate is bald like mine, a Peruvian
alpaca toque is necessary.
· To avoid waiting in long
queues on Sunday morning, obtain your registration credentials on Saturday (7
am - 6 pm).
· Walk from and to your
hotel. Not only is it healthier but usually quicker than taking a cab
anywhere within the financial district. There are also free, regularly-run
shuttle buses from 10 downtown hotels to the convention center during the
If the weather is really bitter, take the Toronto Underground, which
gets you most places within the financial district from Dundas
Street to the Convention Center. Here’s a word of caution, however:
Know your destination address (including cross streets) and pay close attention
to the signs; otherwise you will get lost.
· When you are in a hurry
(as I always seem to be), avoid convention center escalators, especially
during rush periods. Take the stairs or elevators instead.
Investor registration is free and gets you all of the following:
· Access to the Investors Forum , which is from 9 am - 5 pm on Sunday, with
presentations from 19 newsletter writers and analysts including yours truly
at 1:40 pm.
My talk is entitled, “Bull
Market Fundamentals of Copper, Gold, and Uranium”, and will include
stock picks on each of these commodities and perhaps a couple others.
· Access to the Investors
Exchange; that’s the two main halls where approximately 575
publicly-listed companies exhibit Sunday thru Tuesday 10 am -5:30 pm and
Wednesday 9 am – 12 pm.
· The Core Shack where 60
or so companies show off their rocks. There are two sessions: Sunday-Monday,
and Tuesday-Wednesday with different sets of companies exhibiting.
· The Prospectors Tent
where 11 grizzled guys come in from the bush to spread news and rumor while
trying to coerce one of the few remaining promoters with money to buy their
claims on some piece of goat or moose pasture in bum-blank nowhere.
This is how the entire PDAC used to operate except the
“Prospector” set up at the Royal York Hotel in a room the size of
a walk-in closet. He stuck his maps and assay sheets on the wall, put his
rocks on the bed, and had a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and a bucket of ice
on the dresser, all in an effort to woo the “Developer”.
· Aboriginal Program
Sessions: Sunday 2 - 5:30 pm; Tuesday 9 am - 12 pm; 2 - 5 pm.
· Corporate Social
Responsibility Sessions: Sunday 9 am - 4:30 pm; Monday 9 am - 12:30 pm;
Tuesday 9 am - 6:30 pm.
· Finance and Security
Sessions: Monday 9 am - 12 pm; Tuesday 5 - 6 pm.
Here’s what you don’t get unless you
fork over $734 loonies and become a
· Access to the Technical
Program with sessions about geology, mining, finance, permitting,
environment, aboriginal issues, social responsibility, etc.
I gave up going to these sessions years ago
because for every three talks, there was one where the graphics were
unintelligible, one where the guy put me to sleep, and one where I actually
learned something. A .333 average is great for baseball but doesn’t cut
it for busy investors and businessmen.
· Access to the Trade Show,
which includes a smorgasbord of 412 companies, governments, professional organizations, and universities
promoting the latest technology, products, services, and mining
You can buy a Trade Show pass for $81. It’s
good for one day and is a good idea and a good deal because the service
companies have really good swag.
· Access to several paid
events (luncheons, dinners, receptions, etc.) and some free ones that require
a delegate badge. Fee-based short courses and workshops are offered before,
during, and after the convention.
Finally, I offer some advice from one who has been
there and done that:
· Read the program
beforehand, look at the exhibitor list and map, decide which companies
interest you the most, and develop a plan every day for efficiently
navigating the floor.
· From my previous
experience, cell phone service can be at best sketchy in the bowels of the
South Convention Center. There is free wireless internet in the concourses
but that’s a paid service inside the exhibit halls and trade show hall.
· Carry pen and paper and
take notes so you can remember all the screaming-buy stock tips and the
parties that gave them to you for later retribution as admissible evidence.
· If you want to see a
long-lost friend, schedule a meet in advance. Otherwise you’ll see some
person you dislike five or six times and never see the friend with whom you
really want to quaff a beer or two.
· Please wear your
convention badge at all times if you expect others to recognize and address
you by name. Most of us in this business, particularly newsletter writer and
media-types, meet so many people at these shows that we cannot possibly
remember everyone’s name. That includes me.
· Set up business meetings
off-site at a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, etc. This is the only way you
will not be interrupted by someone you haven’t seen in 20 years and probably
wouldn’t recognize anyway.
· Get to the hospitality
suites early and slide some food down the gullet before drinking free adult
beverages becomes so much fun that you forget to eat.
· Pace yourself for the
first couple nights. Waking up with cottonmouth and a pulsating headache on
Sunday and/or Monday morning is
guaranteed to negatively impact the rest of your conference experience. That
is, unless like the Aussie geos you sleep until the parties start up again
the next afternoon.
· Stay out of the Brass
Rail unless a public company officer on expense account is buying the drinks
· Make your hockey ticket
arrangements now: Monday versus the Devils or Wednesday versus the Senators.
Although the Maple Leafs are Canada’s closest version of the Cubs,
there will be at least one good hockey team (American) taking the ice in
Toronto next week
· Most importantly, work
hard, play hard, and have fun!
I trust this guide is helpful and look forward to
chatting with my loyal subscribers and meeting new speculators after my
presentation on Sunday afternoon.
Ciao for now,
Michelle Lopez is the editor of MercenaryGeologist.com.
Geologist Michael S. “Mickey” Fulp is
a Certified Professional Geologist with a B.Sc.
Earth Sciences with honor from the University of Tulsa, and M.Sc. Geology
from the University of New Mexico. Mickey has 35 years
experience as an exploration geologist and analyst searching for
economic deposits of base and precious metals, industrial minerals, uranium,
coal, oil and gas, and water in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
worked for junior explorers, major mining companies, private companies, and
investors as a consulting economic geologist for over 20 years, specializing
in geological mapping, property evaluation, and business development. In
addition to Mickey’s professional credentials and experience, he is
high-altitude proficient, and is bilingual in English and Spanish. From 2003
to 2006, he made four outcrop ore discoveries in Peru, Nevada, Chile, and
is well-known and highly respected throughout the mining and exploration
community due to his ongoing work as an analyst, writer, and speaker.
am not a certified financial analyst, broker, or professional qualified to
offer investment advice. Nothing in a report, commentary, this website,
interview, and other content constitutes or can be construed as investment
advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell stock. Information is
obtained from research of public documents and content available on the
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and stock information services, through discussions with company
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While the information is believed to be accurate and reliable, it is not
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