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Let’s Go to a Mining Convention by Crad Kilodney

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Crad Kilodney, P.O. Box 72577, 345 Bloor St. East, Unit 7, Toronto, ON, M4W 3S9

Crad’s new writing is now at CradKilodney.wordpress.com

 

 

Let’s Go to a Mining Convention by Crad Kilodney

May 2001

 

See also: PDAC 2002, PDAC 2003, and PDAC 2004

 

     Hooray! It’s the PDAC Convention (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada), held every March at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre! This is the biggest mining show of the year for all of North America. I even dress up!     You don’t have to be a member. You don’t have to be “technical.” You can skip the part of the convention that costs big bucks and go to the Investors Exchange, where about 200 small exploration companies (we call them junior miners) are eager to pitch their stocks to people like me. Today’s penny stock could be tomorrow’s moon shot. You never know. I’m looking for a few good speculations. So follow me, and let’s have a look-see.

 

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Photo 00
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Not much of a crowd again this year — again. I should explain that the junior mining sector has been in a slump for a few years now. The Bre-X fraud was devastating, the price of gold fell sharply, and Internet stocks drew a lot of the hot money needed for speculative action. But Canada’s mining people never say die, and neither do I. I’m sporting my retro look for 2001, and if you laugh, I’ll break your head. 
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I know, it looks about as perky as a small-press book fair, but serious stuff is happening. Prospectors are here to pitch properties to the junior miners, the juniors are pitching joint ventures to the seniors, mining analysts are grilling management and looking at core samples, and investors like me are collecting information packages on anything that looks good. Last year and the year before, diamonds were the hot play. This year it’s “platinum group metals.” Have a look at a price chart on palladium, and you’ll see why. 
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Placer Dome is a senior company, not a junior. They’re one of the biggest gold producers in the world. I own 1,000 shares. It’s my favorite Canadian stock for selling options. I’ve made easy money on Placer Dome without having to sell a single share. The stock is PDG on Toronto and New York, but all Canadian options trade on Montreal
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I told this babe I was the mining columnist for Bondage Quarterly. Starfield is exploring for platinum group metals in the frozen North. I wish them luck. No, the climate is not the problem, and neither is the absence of roads. It’s the bloody aboriginals, who gleefully obstruct the white man’s mining projects while collecting welfare from our guilt-ridden Liberal government. You can look for Starfield on the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX), but it’s too risky for me. 
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Here’s one of the penny stocks I recommended to my cousin Phil — prematurely, I’m afraid. Fortunately, he’s still speaking to me and still holding the stock. Keep the faith, Phil. This is a Lundin Family outfit, which means they will never run out of money. Check out SCQ on the CDNX
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I picked up 10,000 shares of Freewest at 24¢ (Canadian) and could have sold it at 39¢ in February, but I wanted to keep my shares at least until I met them at the convention. This is one of the most actively-traded stocks on the Montreal Exchange (ticker symbol FWR). 
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Once upon a time, nobody believed there were diamonds in Canada. Then some rich deposits were discovered in the Northwest Territories, thanks to an iconoclastic geologist named Chuck Fipke. (There is even a book about this find, called Fire Into Ice). Then the diamond hunt spread out across Canada, with minor discoveries being made in several places. Navigator and Canabrava are just two of many juniors eager to “prove up” an economic deposit. Of all categories of mineral exploration, diamonds are the riskiest but also provide the biggest payoff for a small exploration company. NVR and CNB on CDNX
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Mustang is on my list of stocks to watch — one of several outfits exploring for platinum and palladium in Ontario. Very speculative. You want to wait till November or December, during what we call bottom-fishing season, to buy a stock like this. Check out YMU on the CDNX
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Twin Mining has been attracting a fair amount of attention for their diamond property in Quebec, and now they’ve added a property in the Arctic. If you want to check them out, they’re TWG on Toronto. Like a lot of junior miners, the fundamentals look great, but the stock is not getting much respect, at least at the moment. Junior mining stocks have to be considered technically, not fundamentally. You have to study the charts
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It’s nice to see the biggies here along with the juniors. Teck is a terrific company, one of our big diversified Canadian miners. Unfortunately, the stock is not optionable, and I only buy big stocks if they’re optionable. Other seniors at this year’s gig were Cominco, Inco, Falconbridge, and Noranda. Why is this guy smiling? The stock is up! 
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What do I think of Poplar? As my old boss Ed Uhlan would have said: “Rhymes with Sphinx.” 
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Seahawk‘s stock was higher when they were merely exploring for emeralds in Brazil. Now that they’re in production, the stock is down, and the trading volume has dried up. Go figure. Look for SKM on the CDNX
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I lost money on this company, and it looked so good at the time. That’s often the case with penny stocks. Anyway, they’re BSWon Toronto, in case you want to suss them out. I’m not saying they suck. I just got tired of waiting for the stock to move and ditched it for a tax loss. 
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JNR‘s shareholders must be getting awfully bored waiting for the uranium market to perk up. Could be a long wait. Did you know that nuclear power is the cheapest source of electricity? But don’t tell the California state legislature. They think windmills will save them. JNN on CDNX
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Thank you, Jim Dines, for recommending North American Palladium, one of only two primary producers of platinum and palladium in North America (the other is Stillwater in Montana, which trades on the AMEX and on which I’ve made money selling puts). I’ve taken a little profit on this one but am still holding most of my shares. It’s PDL on Toronto and PAL on the AMEX. Buy it now! Why isn’t this geologist smiling? What horrible secret lies hidden deep underground, waiting to suck out the brains of the residents of Thunder Bay, Ontario? 
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I made some quick and easy money on Trivalence, which is producing diamonds in Guinea. I jumped in when I saw heavy insider buying on the website of the British Columbia Securities Commission. (You have to go to bcsc.bc.ca, then click on Industry Information, then click on Weekly Summary, then click on Download a Weekly List of Transactions, and then click on Current Edition of Insider Trading Reports.) Anyway, I’m too chicken to jump in a second time, but you can check out TMI on the CDNXif you’re curious. 
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My best bottom-fish ever — Pacific NorthWest Capital (PFNCDNX). You should check this one out but maybe wait till next bottom-fishing season to buy in. Their promotor used to call me once a month, which is usually a bad sign, but I knew this one was for real. It was just a matter of waiting to get in at a stinker of a cheap price. 
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Marie-Claude Poitras is the most beautiful lady at the PDAC Convention every year, and I can’t bear to sell out or I wouldn’t have an excuse to stop and flirt with her. Too bad for me she’s very married and very pregnant (second time, way to go!). Virginia is VIA on Toronto, and I love the company, even if the stock is doing nothing. Buy it under 75¢ Cdn. and just be patient. These people have the largest land position of any junior in Quebec, they’re in joint ventures with bigger companies, and they’ve got money in the till. Something big is bound to happen enventually. 
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Did I mention that Marie-Claude Poitras is beautiful, sweet, charming, intelligent, and a good sport for posing with me and for not poking fun at my bad French, and that she makes all Toronto women look like dead fish? Did I mention that seeing her every year is the high point of the convention for me, and that I bought this new tie especially for her? Did I tell you to buy the damn stock already while it’s still cheap? What do you want to buy, some miserable dot.com company represented by some dyspeptic, anorexic lesbian who does speed? Hey, this is real! This is flesh and blood and dirt and muck and rocks and adventure and romance! Or am I exaggerating? Okay, whatever. 
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First time I’ve seen these guys here. I didn’t know the Iranians had anything worth mining. Didn’t the Ayatollah Khomeini ban mining a long time ago? I know he banned chess. Anyway, I guess they’ve forgotten that it was the Canadians who helped sneak some Americans out of Iran during the hostage crisis. Anyone remember Ken Taylor? 
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Dig this! A vermiculite project in Uganda. (Is that a mineral or a trendy sort of homosexual art food?) Anyway, I can think of two pluses that make this one less risky than almost anything in British Columbia — no native land claim, and no eco-bastards screaming about the endangered yellow-striped newt. You want it? It’s about 4¢ a share (YIBCDNX), and worth every penny, I’m sure! 
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“So I says to this guy, ‘You trying to tell me that this sub-calcic pyrope garnet came from an eclogitic xenolith in a setting of ordovician carbonates? Who you trying to kid?'” 
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Bye-bye, mining convention. See you next year! 
     Hey, boys and girls, want to find out more about Canadian mining and mining stocks? You need these websites:
pdac.caNorthernMiner.com (best one!)

tse-cdnx.com/m

tse.com

me.org

 

 

     Here are some charts at Canada-StockWatch.com.
BSW: Black Swan Resources

CNB: Canabrava Diamond Corp.

FWR: FreeWest Resources, Canada

YIB: IBI Corporation

JNN: JNR Resources

YMU: Mustang Minerals

NVR: Navigator Exploration

PDL: North American Palladium

PFN: Pacific NorthWest Capital

PDG: Placer Dome

SKM: Seahawk Minerals

SCQ: South Atlantic Resources

SRU: Starfield Resources

SWC: Stillwater Mining (AMEX chart)

TMI: Trivalence Mining

TWG: Twin Mining

VIA: Virginia Gold Mines

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