INDIAN WELLS, California — I am paddle-boarding the video wave. Swift broadband speeds and neat video production values … well, moving pictures are making text reports look Neanderthal in comparison.
I don’t say that easily, as I am more a text-pert: newspapers, wire, Internet … than I am a broadcaster: CBS Radio, MarketWatch, national and local TV.
Here are a couple vids from the Cambridge House Metals Conference in Vancouver. On the actionable front, please note companies in the 3-minute splice that might have actionable events in coming days and weeks. In the RECAP video, for instance, you’ll see a few company posters and presenters at their exhibit hall booths. Jot down their names. I think one or two will see bust-out assays or sizeable additions to their compliant resources in short order. (More actionables in second half of this article.)
Here is another vid, this one me yakking with Scott Gibson of Canada’s Kitco. (See video.) I mention Dr. Copper and several companies that are developing what they believe are significant gold-copper porphyrys. In Colombia and Nicaragua. Watch it.
Sandspring's Richard Munson
On the Torrey Hills front: Scorpio Gold (SGN) shares are now above a buck. They’re a client of the firm, and I know CEO Peter Hawley and have seen the Nevada project. What else? Michael Nikiforuk from African Gold Group (AGG) is in Cape Town this week for the INDABA conference. So is CEO Paul Zyla from Xtra-Gold Resources (XTG). They are both clients, and I own shares of both and have seen their projects (Ghana, Mali) numerous times.
This is the first year in a while that I have not hopped a flight to Africa in February; it’s usually a good time to see properties because everyone is there for INDABA and one other show. I guess I have Cambodia (two paragraphs down for more) on the brain. I have a few folks scouting the Cape Town show for me and reporting back on the Africa companies I have surveyed over the years. These include Mike Jones and his Platinum Group Metals (PTM and PLG), which is a client of Torrey Hills and a South Africa mine developer, along with its neighbour, Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum. I have owned both shares, one private and one public, for many, many years.
My ownership list for the great continent of Africa includes PMI Gold (PMV), Stellar Diamonds (STEL in London), Tigray Resources (TIG), Canaco (CAN), Great Basin Gold (GBG), Platinum Group Metals (PLG), Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum and West African Iron Ore (WAI). Oh, and one hapless and disorganized tantalum prospector in Mozambique that has melted down in value, and not UP: Noventa (NTA).
Next weekend, I’m speaking in the California desert. Cambridge House California Feb. 11-12. That’s in Indian Wells, California, USA. If you have time, please come by and say hello. I have a few metals equities surprises that even the experts have not staked out. I speak on Sunday, Feb. 12. Lots of friends and colleagues will be there, including Cambridge House’s Joe Martin, GATA’s Bill Murphy, Chris Powell and, I am told, Murphy siblings; that’s plural siblings. The Queen of England is celebrating her 60th year of a monarchy; who knows what in the name of gold or golf the Bill Murphy family is celebrating. I do know the non-profit educator Gold Anti-Trust Action Comittee (GATA) is celebrating its 12th year of anarchy.
Also converging on this Indian Wells hotel that I imagine will melt up in the desert springs of gold, golf, and GATA : our gang from Torrey Hills Capital, Texas asset manager Frank Holmes, diamond maven Colin Ferguson and other gold (and golf) pros. I can’t wait. I went to graduate school in the Arizona desert and was lucky to snag a master’s degree or two amid the cacti and hallucinogens. For me, returning to the desert, ANY desert, is a melt-up, strip-down mineralized affair.
After the California desert, it’s off to Cambodia to see properties under development by Mike Weeks’ Angkor Gold (ANK). I own the shares, having broken a rule I set last year about NEVER purchasing anything before I see it with my own eyes. (The gold grades look giddy they’re so high. We’ll see.)
I also will be spending time with Mr. Weeks and his wife, Delayne Adams, as we deliver medical equipment from their stomping grounds in Alberta, Canada, and as we assist a Cambodia hospital. Mike and a group of his oil & gas friends have their own money in Angkor Gold; now isn’t that a crowd pleaser. Their community contributions in ravaged Cambodia qualify the two of them and their friends and company for nominations to the just-created (this moment) 2012 Siddhartha Award For Sacrifice & Grace. (Photo courtesy Angkor Gold)
Oh yes, before I forget, a friend at the health club in Strawberry this weekend dropped in to ask why Revett Minerals (RVM) is sitting back, share-price-wise, whilst lots of other silver companies have seen some heady share action these past two weeks. My answer on that is “Just Wait & See.” John Shanahan’s Revett is not just pure silver from the Troy Mine in Montana; it’s poly metallic. I think the shares this coming week will reach all-time highs as folks realize the potential of Revett’s Rock Creek project. I own the shares, and Revett is a Torrey Hills Capital client.
Revett, along with several other companies, including Manitoba’s Carlisle Gold (CGJ) and Ghana/Mali’s African Gold Group, are on my 2012 takeover roster. I own many shares of both, all purchased in the market; only AGG is a Torrey Hills client. Also on the cheap heap is Sandspring Resources (SSP), whose Guyana project I have seen a couple of times. It’s copper and gold. That’s CEO Rich Munson in the photo, above — at the Vancouver metals show. I own Sandspring shares, but they have been hammered — in fact, more than most any metals equity I follow.
On the SSP front, since I was a believer in the Guyana prospector as recently as five or six months ago, I have to say I am concerned to see Abraham Drost, who was president of Sandspring and is a Thunder Bay resident and geologist, leave Sandspring. I follow Tall Abraham as an indicator of hard work, clean living, smart corporate choices and safe driving (not always a given with brilliant geos). The good news is that Mr. Drost is now pitching in BIGTIME at Howard Katz’s Tamaka Gold, an Ontario project that I have seen and that is shaping up as the second coming of Osisko Meets Rainy Creek. Tamaka’s market debut, using the ticker TKT in Canada, is just around the corner. I think Tamaka might blow out the cobwebs that cloak Northeast Canada metals valuations. We’ll see.
Birthday wishes: To Hugh Clarke of Endeavour Silver (EXK and EDR); he turns a round-number this week; thank you, Hugh you, for contributing vastly to my monetary wealth here at home … and to my growing wealth of knowledge about silver, about Mexico and about coolness.
THOM CALANDRA is a principal of Torrey Hills Capital and a lifelong journalist. He co-founded CBS MarketWatch and FT MarketWatch. (Also, co-founder of Stockhouse’s Ticker Trax) His reviews of natural resources companies are found on this Baby Bulls, at the Cambridge Cafe, on GATA.org and on Stockhouse. Also: The Gold Report, 321Gold.com and other publishers of metals material. Thom is an investor and a speaker for Cambridge House in Canada and the New Orleans Investment Conference. Thom also speaks in San Francisco, New York and in Europe. He lives with his family in California.