A To-Do List for the Mardi Gras of Mining — #PDAC2017
It’s back! The Mining Show runs from March 5 to March 8 in Toronto — PDAC. Let the games begin!
This is the world’s largest mining, finance and trade show. In 2012 over 30,000 people attended. Last year, even suffering through the downturn in mining investments, roughly 22,000 people spun the turnstiles. With the recent uptick in commodities and the broader markets, expect larger crowds this year who will come seeking fun and knowledge.
Since the first modest conference was held in 1932, this convention has become the preeminent global mining event. Learn from the geologists who invent new techniques or who actually found the world-class deposit, dance with an ambassador from a country looking for mining investment, meet new and old colleagues – there is nothing like The Show. If you haven’t already booked a room in downtown Toronto, you will now probably have to find a bunk buddy.
I am an ongoing fan of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and this show it sponsors. No one has done more to promote a globally responsible, vibrant and sustainable minerals industry than PDAC, and year after year the directors and management continue to support the industry through lobbying, education and funding. Thank you to Glenn Mullan and the team for another year of defending Canada’s most important industry.
It’s easy to get lost at The Show if you’re not a seasoned pro. The noise on the show floor makes yelling mandatory – it’s lined with 10×10 booths filled with mining companies good and not-so-good seeking investment dollars. Law firms and auditors offer seminars, brokerage firms try to find and fund the next big thing, mining jurisdictions compete to attract new investments for mining and for infrastructure projects, and investors wander from booth to booth trying to extract a hidden gem from all the data. The trade show, which is a separate pass, targets the infrastructure of the industry, with booths selling items as diverse as safety clothing, the latest aerial survey technology, data management services, and environmental services.
All this usually starts at 7 in the morning (for me, it will be breakfast and seminars at two law firms: Goodmans on Monday and Gowlings on Tuesday) and runs until, well, breakfast the next day, because the night life is legendary. Shenanigans abound, and while there is a lot of fun, more deals get solidified in the party hallways than on the shop floor. Relationships get built in the bar, not on the shop floor.
It’s not cheap for a mining company to attend The Show, considering the cost of admission, hotels, travel, entertainment, promotional materials and food. If the company takes a booth, that’s an added cost of roughly $3,000. To measure whether we had a successful Show, every year I write a to-do list and afterwards check to see whether those goals were hit. Some of the goals are soft, some are definite, and some get made up on the fly. That’ll happen when you try to coordinate with 20,000 people!
In addition to walking the show floor and the trade show, my goals for PDAC2017 are:
- meet with Mr. Mullan, the president of PDAC;
- listen to anyone who knows anything about cobalt, which I think will be one of the hottest metals of 2017 and 2018. If you like lithium, you have to love cobalt! There’s more cobalt than lithium in the battery in your cell phone or electric vehicle;
- meet with Tom Ogryzlo. Tom started working in mining in 1965 and hasn’t forgotten a thing along the way. Not only a gentleman, Tom is a storyteller and incredible resource. Time with Tom is mandatory;
- host representatives from Saudi Arabia, who will be our guests at the the awards ceremony gala on the Tuesday night. The Kingdom is a rich mining resource with a limited mining history, which creates an opportunity for Canadian investment and mining knowledge;
- attend at least two technical courses on things I don’t understand. Last year I made it to a seminar on a new kind of VLEF survey technology;
- meet with the representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to stay current on permitting requirements;
- make it to the Ontario Pavilion on the Sunday at 2:00 to give a quick presentation on “Sudbury Cobalt: the Gift That Keeps on Giving”
- attend James Macintosh’s presentation on GTA Resources and Mining Inc.(TSXV: GTA) and its Ontario joint venture project called Northshore Gold;
- cheer loudly for the tremendous Pete Moses, a very deserving winner of this year’s Skookum Jim Award;
- attend a session on CSR, aboriginal engagement and social licence;
- attend The Art of Mining at the Art Gallery of Ontario, on the Sunday night;
- find someone to explain to me the growing buzz around Alkane Resources Ltd. (ASX: ALK | OTCQX: ANLKY); and
- make it to March 9 without getting laryngitis.