Canadian Mining Journal


Staying in touch with investors

One of the things I find most interesting about potential mines and where they're located is how in the world prospectors honestly think developers will ever get their discoveries to market?For goodness sake, just look at where the vast...

One of the things I find most interesting about potential mines and where they’re located is how in the world prospectors honestly think developers will ever get their discoveries to market?

For goodness sake, just look at where the vast majority of minerals are found. They’re either high in glacial mountains or close to hell in equally hellish parts of the world.

In other words, they’re so far out of reach that even the most ardent promoter must sometimes have a hard time believing what he’s telling potential investors. Keeping those already committed is another story but let’s get back to the point.

I’m not knocking promoters, or maybe I am a bit, but some of the stories I hear about the “potential” for a new mine are pretty hard to swallow. I know it’s a promoter’s job to sell new discoveries per se (and core and soil samples do a great job in helping support their pitch) but truthfully, what they don’t say is that realistically, it would almost take a Moses-like“Parting of the Waters” through rock in many cases to economically get at the mother lode.

Too much hope is being placed on too many discoveries these days and what’s even more concerning is that the information that’s being conveyed about “hot properties” is being done so by promoters (in-house investor relations personnel or, heaven forbid, independent Public Relations companies) who know very little about the property and, worse yet, have never set foot on it.

As much as I have a certain respect for those responsible for promoting a property, I also have a greater disrespect for those who don’t know what they’re selling or even where it’s located on the map.

Mining promoters have been an integral part of the Canadian mining industry for more than a century now but I’m sorry to say that too many of them today are missing the boat when it comes to truly believing in and knowing a project for what it really is. And furthermore, for what it’s worth!

Old-timers will remember Murray Pezim: a man considered by many in the late 70s and early 80s for his enthusiasm and, perhaps moreover, his perseverance in promoting a property he honestly believed had ‘worth.’

It was his Corona gold property in Ontario — a claim that many investors had little faith in because of an atypical geological setting that did not conform to the conventional quartz-vein-type gold deposits exploited in the past.

Seventy-six holes later, however, Pezim proved what he truly believed in and despite the skeptics, he worked and promoted his “slim-to-no-chance” claim into one of the great Canadian mineral discoveries of all times… the Hemlo gold camp, site of three gold mines!

It was Pezim’s faith and understanding of mining that led to his success with Hemlo and numerous other gold discoveries afterwards, but it was also in the way that he marketed his properties that led others to support him. He was a producer, but most of all he was consummate promoter and a strong believer in keeping his supporters informed and involved.

As I alluded to earlier, I think mining in Canada is perhaps placing too much hope on probables and not enough on the provens and that’s why it’s so important for those responsible for investor relations to know their projects inside and out.

Mining is a profession based on “slim hopes” and “fat chances” and unless some companies orchestrate a more enthusiastic Murray Pezim approach to doing business, I’m afraid many will find themselves out of tune with their investors.

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