EDITOR: | March 5th, 2016 | 5 Comments

March Madness and PDAC – Let the Games Begin!

| March 05, 2016 | 5 Comments

Rare Earth Party PrepThe NCAA can claim whatever it likes – everyone in the financial community knows the real March Madness starts now.

The real name of this annual event is the “Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, International Convention”, but everyone just calls it The Mining Show, The Show, or PDAC. About 25,000 people come to Toronto in the first week of March from 100 countries and from every industry possible, to catch up with old friends, hear new ideas, refresh old ones, source financing, talk about prospectus exemptions, plant seeds that might bloom later in the year, learn at technical seminars, and just do deals.

The host organization, PDAC (Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada), “represents the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration and development industry. The association is a national organization with more than 7,000 individual members and more than 1,200 corporate members.” Part of the way it fulfills its education and networking mandates is to annually host this massive trade show cum MardiGras.

In addition to the technical sessions, there’s the Core Shack displaying split core from mining projects around the world, a Prospectors’ Tent with non-core samples, an Investor Exchange with about a thousand exhibitors, presentations from the industry’s leading independent commentators, CSR and Aboriginal Sessions, and full day sessions sponsored by countries looking to increase foreign investment into their mining projects. At those sessions there are always questions about royalties, taxes and repatriation of capital.

Securities law underwent an evolution this year with many new prospectus exemptions introduced. The rights offering regime and the takeover bid rules also saw fundamental change. The Tuesday session on The Future of Mineral Exploration Financing and the Wednesday session on those exemptions should be well attended.

And of course, there’s the nightlife. Parties, er, um, client appreciation nights, start around 4 in the afternoon and seem to end never. The mezzanine level at the venerable Fairmont Royal York Hotel is still the centre of PDAC’s universe, a funnel for hotel guests returning from outside functions before heading up to a suite party. Sometimes networking on the trade show floor can be a little forced and artificial – more hands-on networking gets done at the parties.

I always have been and continue to be an unapologetic fan of PDAC. As the world’s largest mining trade show, The Show brings millions of tourist dollars to Toronto, confirms Toronto (and Canada’s) stature as the world’s leading mining financing jurisdiction, and brings together people from every corner of the globe. We’ve mentioned before that in 2011, at an impromptu lunch meeting, we sat with Russian private equity investors, some of the Chileans involved in rescuing the trapped miners at Copiapo, a rep from a California cloud data company, an auditor from one of the BigFour firms, a Bay Street corporate lawyer from Chile, and some other miners / deal junkies. That doesn’t happen this easily anywhere else in the world.

There are two metals that I think will not have as difficult a year as the rest of the periodic table. I think we’ll hear a lot about lithium at this year’s show – that element is a key component in batteries for the growing electric vehicle market. Whether or not Tesla Motors ever achieves its sales goals, Tesla is doing a strong job of creating investor perception that lithium will be in high demand. Lithium’s perception could become reality. The other metal is gold:  it’s back in favour, trending around USD$1270. The juniors have shown some life as air is breathed back into the commodity.

Like many other companies, during this challenging resource market GTA Resources elected not to incur the cost of a booth this year, so instead the leadership team will be walking the floor and stalking the classrooms. Also like many other companies, GTA will likely have a surprise or two to share during the Show.

The technical part of the Show has already begun. The Investor Hall opens Sunday, March 6 this year and runs to March 9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Start the Madness!

(As has been disclosed previously, the author is an insider of GTA Resources.)


Mr. Clausi is an experienced investment banker, executive, director and shareholder activist. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School called to Ontario's bar in 1990, ... <Read more about Peter Clausi>

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  • Tracy Weslosky

    Great piece Peter. Spent an hour searching for PDAC photos and for some reason….have few to none that I could track down. Having hosted many parties over the years, the above was in our office during the height of the rare earth movement, when there was nearly REE 400 exploration plays and we were stuffing promotional bags for a RareMetalBlog party that had nearly 600 people attend, and if I recall: 22 rare earth companies sponsored this event — in 2011.

    Today in 2016, you cannot walk down the street in Toronto during PDAC without running headlong into people you know. What do we average? 23-25 thousand people? The concierge at the King Edward was telling me today that “PDAC is like the Wild West with Cowboys coming in from the range….” The doorman said “what can you expect, half these guys have been in the backwoods for Kazakhstan searching for gold for the last year.”

    This will be my 15th PDAC and well, I won’t be trying to break my record of attending 16 events in 1 evening, nor do I want to be calling a naturopath in to inject a client with an IV of vitamins towards trying to sober him up after a record drinking binge he had been on, trying to get him on a flight home to the family that had reported missing him — or, well — yes, PDAC-itis as I call it….has officially begun. And we are right in the middle of it….

    March 5, 2016 - 6:25 PM

  • Janet

    I too love the PDAC! The upturn in gold and the markets will undoubtedly make for a much happier show than last year! Thanks for this great article and maybe I will see you at the PDAC.

    March 6, 2016 - 6:52 PM

  • Peter Clausi

    GTA’s surprise: GTAResources will use Stockhouse’s DealRoom for flowthrough crowdfunding .The first company in Canada to do this! http://mwne.ws/1QZTkJ9

    March 7, 2016 - 10:10 AM

  • jake adleson

    A paltry $100k targeted raise and for flow-through no less?!? Please, Peter… it’s a sad commentary on GTA and not anything to be proud of whatsoever.

    April 8, 2016 - 7:07 PM

  • Peter Clausi

    not sure why the attack, Jake. The press release spoke of a $250,000 raise, with a closing minimum of $100,000. Any financing is something to be proud of.

    April 10, 2016 - 11:21 AM

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