The title 'The Business of Mining" sounds very simple doesn't it? But the 'business of mining' may not be what you think.
I recently attended my first mining conference in Mexico, actually in Durango, MX, August 29 - September 1. While this may have been my first, it will not be my last conference in Mexico and as I have met many new friends and have great respect for their hard work in this business.
My previous experiences with mining conferences in the United States and Canada draw a striking contrast.
There are 2000 to 3000 companies in the natural resource sector including gold, silver, copper, zinc, oil and gas, etc. Most of these companies are headquartered in Canada, either Vancouver or Toronto and are listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange or the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Many of the companies have operations and mining activities around the world but Mexico has become one of the favorite countries to do business because of its long mining history, great resources within the Country, a very favorable mining environment and mining friendly laws.
The number of employees in the mining industry has risen to almost 286,000, according to the Mexican Social Security Institute's latest data and women are a growing part of the work force here in Mexico. For more information on mining in Mexico, click here.
In the United States and Canada the purpose of most mining conferences is to attract investors and provide them with the opportunity to meet with the management of mining companies with the intent of these potential investors buying shares in the companies.
These 'north of the border' conferences are a great platform for the thousands of resource companies to showcase their particular company. But again, the focus is on the investors or potential investors. Most of the attendees are concerned with current price of gold and silver, the continuing trend and climate for the resource shares and how that will affect the performance of the shares.
We don't find any of the Canadian mining companies operating in Mexico with a listing on the Mexican Stock Exchange, the BOLSA. Many of these Canadian companies have a listing in Germany on the Frankfurt Exchange, but not in Mexico. In my opinion, those companies with significant activities in Mexico would be well served to get a BOLSA listing making it easier for the Mexican investors to buy the shares in Mexico without having to access either the Canadian or United States markets. I can only ask, why not? Por Que No? What is the problem?
Now fast forward to my recent experience and observations in Durango, MX.
No one I met was talking about the price of gold and silver or even knows where the price is currently. Out of the 100 or so vendors attending the conference only 3 were mining companies with shares trading in Canada and/or the United States. There was no top management from Canada of these 3 companies in attendance but the booths were represented by qualified Mexican employees. There were virtually no American or Canadians present and only those like myself, living in Mexico and working in the mining business.
What I discovered first hand is the 'business of mining' is a very serious business.
The vendors at the Durango conference consisted of those truly performing the 'business of mining' at the ground floor level. Equipment companies like Case and Caterpillar, drillers and manufactures of drilling equipment, manufactures of drill bits, cables, cement, mining supplies, clothing, safety equipment, petroleum representatives from Conoco and all of the other support services you can imagine.
Immediately one realizes the 'business of mining' is very capital intensive and requires much time and patience. There may be many years from the time a mining company acquires a property until production, if ever. The odds of actually finding and developing a commercially productive mine any where in the world is very, very small. Great odds and much capital must expended by companies to accomplish this task.
Mining is truly a people business and I was pleased to meet many of the Mexican business men and women at the conference, the owners and representatives of the companies which actually make this business happen. These are professionals and many speaking great English making this conference easier for me and a wonderful experience.
I now see the many players and vendors and the complexity of the business of mining and have met many new friends which I will see again at the next conference in Hermosillo, MX, October 23 - 26. Visit their website for full details. For those up north, remember, we are in Mexico and the seminars, speeches or workshops will be in Espanol.
It will never be easy to discover those mining companies which will provide us as investors an extraordinary return on our investment. But, this is our business to seek resource companies which we believe will greatly reward investors but with the full awareness of the difficulty, capital intensive, uncontrollable costs, i.e., fuel and labor, in this 'business of mining'.
Congratulations on a great conference,
If you are not familiar with our services, we encourage you to visit both of our websites to learn about all of our services and to sign up for our free weekly email.