Continuing in its tradition of providing a forum for investors to connect with resource and exploration companies, great speakers and one another, the 2013 edition of the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference by Cambridge House International was by many accounts, a successful event.
The official numbers reported over 10,000 individuals in attendance over the two days, taking in just over 500 companies, 50 speakers and 130 company presentations. Some of the highlights of this year’s show were a treasure hunt and an art exhibition and of course, the iconic bull. The presentations ranged from topics as diverse as gold market manipulation to mining on asteroids ensuring there was something entertaining, relevant and engaging for all types of investors to think about.
Even though the junior mining sector was well represented at this show, there were some heavyweight names in the room, such as Silver Wheaton and Detour Gold. Interestingly, the combined market capitalization of the top 6 companies was about equal to the combined market cap of 230 other companies present, so there was no mistaking the room was full of companies hopeful to grow. Our pre-show analysis showed that about 80% of the companies exhibiting were precious metals-related companies, highlighting the popularity of these metals in spurring companies looking to cash in on the historically high prices of gold and silver. Of course, one of the burning questions on the mind of many investors is why, in spite of the performance of gold prices, share prices of producers and explorers of gold have not rallied in step – questions that were tackled by several speakers.
While a conference dedicated to resources and exploration will usually have a lot of junior companies jockeying to tell their story, there were a couple of noteworthy speakers, such as Brent Cook, Sid Rajeev and Danielle Park that painted a picture in numbers that put the enthusiasm of the conference floor into perspective. A common thread among many speakers was that a lot of junior mining companies are facing challenging times raising money or have to confront increased costs to exploration.
The bottom line: there is good data suggesting investors have to work harder to understand what they’re stepping into, especially in the commodity space, because many companies around today may not be around by year’s end.
In spite of the darker clouds, there were some ‘silver’ linings. The treasure hunt put on by Visual Capitalist managed to literally net some lucky conference attendees pieces of silver. Also, the sentiment from exhibitors we polled was positive overall. On twitter, the comments we measured from exhibitors, attendees and media were also mostly positive.
Overall this conference was a great experience filled with lots of walking as well as opportunities to meet and engage with junior mining and exploration companies. The Cambridge House conference tour will return to Vancouver in May for the World Resource Investment Conference, however between now and then there will be shows in Calgary (April 5/6) and Saskatoon (April 19). It will be interesting to see how many of the forecasts play out between now and the next time the show comes to town.