Take physic, pomp

Postcard from PDAC: Low lies and high fives

Superspy “Codename NRI” is back with a second missive, direct from the heaving bosom of PDAC. If you missed the first, here it is. So here we go with the second NRI view of things. Enjoy (because I did…in fact it’s a hoot).

NRI here, with a few tales to tell…
I thought I should act on the suggestions of Otto, the incisive analyst, and locate a few of his interesting miners. I spotted the Petaquilla Minerals booth; and got straight to the point:
NRI: Aren’t you the guys that have an unpaid fine?

Pet. rep: No. We don’t owe a fine.
NRI: What do you mean?

Pet.rep. (defensively): They don”t have the authority to impose a fine.

NRI: Who?
Pet.rep.: The environment group. Only the Ministry. Nothing is being enforced against us.

NRI: Are you saying that the Ministry hasn’t imposed a fine?
Pet.rep. : Not that I’m aware of.

NRI: Who are you?
Pet.rep.: Bassam Moubarak, the CFO.

NRI: The CFO…so, if a fine were imposed, you would know.
Pet.rep. : I’m not aware of any fine. A misconception in the media.

NRI: Which media?

Pet rep. responded but I didn’t catch the reference. It sounded like a Panamanian newspaper.
This ended our exchange and I hurried off to a bench to sit and make a transcript of the questions and answers, while the exact words (as I recalled them) were fresh in my mind.
Now, Otto, if you find out that my interview might be of any help to Panamanian authorities I am responsive to providing evidence and would be delighted to have an expense paid trip to Panama for that purpose.
Digressing, I paid a visit to the booth of Eastmain Resources – ER.to – explorationists with some great projects in the James Bay area of Quebec, Canada, one of which is a JV with Goldcorp, which is developing the Roberto Mine on an adjacent property. ER is one of my favourites (I have shares) and I like their people a lot. I talked to one of the geologists, Cathy B, and she told me this PDAC has been very busy for them. I asked Cathy whether she and husband Don (ER’s CEO) exhibited at the show in Phoenix last week. Cathy told me they had and, though they expected that it might be quiet, it was very very busy. Cathy told me that a coin dealer was set up right behind them; and he sold out his entire inventory – $173,000 in coins – in the first three hours of the show.
Returning to Otto’s crib sheet, I really wanted to find Rob McEwen. Well my buddy, JG, informed me that the
McEwen companies Rubicon Minerals, U.S.Gold, Lexam, Mineras Andes – were hosting a reception Tues eve at 1King St – a tony location in the power vortex of Toronto. Off I went – to this, my fourth reception so far, with the first three having been in suites in the Fairmont Royal York and the Intercontinental Hotel. Digressing again, the other night at the Royal York, a staff person told me that the PDAC is their biggest and busiest engagement of the year – and the one during which the most booze is served. Many many receptions are hosted simultaneously in each of several hotels. The McEwen reception was not in a suite – but in a ballroom! – and it was packed. I was given 2 bar tickets upon entry. Waitstaff circulated with platters of hors d’ouvres; rep’s from each of the McEwen companies had stations to receive and respond to questions; and a photographer had a station to take one’s photo as one held a 400oz. gold bar.
My buddy JG arrived and we connected. He told me that McEwen must be economizing, because last year, the bar was open – no 2 drink limitation – and there was a lot more food. I hadn’t sighted Rob McEwen in the packed ballroom but JG had and pointed him out. I approached Mr. McEwen and waited for the couple who were chatting with him to finish; and then, responded to his greeting by thanking him for hosting this reception. I told him I had been following the Minera Andes story and was really glad that he had jammed Hochschild. Mr. McEwen responded that they deserved to be jammed. I asked whether he had heard about Inca Kola News; He had not. I told him this guy Otto had this blog and encouraged anyone spotting McEwen to highfive. Gawd love him, Mr McEwen immediately responded with the highfive. Anybody reading this: he is such an accessible guy. I have had an opportunity to speak with him before and my buddy JG told me that he once called one of the McEwen companies; and Rob McEwen answered the phone and was absolutely responsive to the questions which JG posited.
Wearing down here, I wanted to report on my meeting the charismatic and very impressive Juan Vegarra, the CEO of Vena Resources, and the question I didn’t get to ask him; but I must sign off.

more later…

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Postcard from PDAC: Where have all the people (and freebies) gone?

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