CONFERENCE CALLER: Investment conference specialists, Vertical Events manager Doug Bowie reports on the company’s annual trek to Vancouver in January to attend the Vancouver Resources Investment Conference (VRIC).
VRIC is run by Cambridge House International and Vertical Events have been the agent for this conference since 2009.
The VRIC has been running since 1997 and this year attracted over 8500 delegates (mostly investors), 330 Exhibitors, and 60 speakers.
Of these exhibitors there were eight Australian companies exhibiting with two companies giving corporate presentations and two company CEOs appearing as experts on panels.
The Exhibiting Companies were:
Azure Minerals Ltd (ASX: AZS)
Blackstone Resources Ltd (ASX: BSX)
Heron Resources Ltd (ASX: HRR)
Polar – X Ltd (ASX: PXX)
S2 Resources Ltd (ASX: S2R)
Transatlantic Mining Ltd
White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX: WRM)
Xanadu Mining Ltd (ASX: XAM)
Held on a Sunday and Monday, the VRIC started early on the Sunday morning with three of the most well-known newsletter writers (Frank Holmes, Rick Rule, and Marin Katusa) facing off with their best company predictions to an audience of over 800 people whilst at least another 200 people were still in line waiting to get in to the conference.
Gold was still and clearly, the major commodity represented in the Exhibition area with copper, uranium and lithium quite a fair way back in numbers but still well represented.
In line with tradition, Sunday at the VRIC is very much retail investment focussed with casual dress the order of the day.
It closed with a debate on Cryptocurrency vs Gold which filled the main auditorium.
In between there were plenty of keynote presentations, company presentations, and panel sessions.
Tony Rovira of Azure Minerals presented on its Mexican operations and left a very positive impact on all the investors that attended.
Wayne Taylor of Heron Resources followed and gave an informative presentation on the company’s Woodlawn project.
Meanwhile in Auditorium one: Matt Gill’s White Rock Minerals were part of the Alaskan panel entitled ‘Alaska: North to Opportunity’.
Overall Day One was highly successful and everyone was kept entertained by the presentations or by the NFL playoffs that were televised at about four exhibition booths at the conference.
Day Two came and the suits were out in force.
Brokers and funds from the BC area as well as the United States and Toronto were in abundance and looking for bargains.
Part of the value options were seen in the Cobalt Panel where Scott Williamson of Blackstone Minerals provided a great overview of its cobalt project in British Columbia.
Overall, the companies that travelled for the conference were all happy with the VRIC.
“For a first-timer to the VRIC, I did find the format and location ideal,” White Rock Minerals managing director and CEO Matt Gill said.
“With not too many parallel sessions, I was able to attend those I wished to, and still leave room to man my booth and wander the exhibition hall to meet and network with other companies and suppliers.
“With White Rock’s globally significant zinc VMS project in Alaska, and plans to be on the ground this season, the VRIC was held at an ideal time and location for us.
“With over 300 companies and some 8,500 attendees, it provided great exposure and the chance to meet many all in the one location.”
The conference wound up at about 5pm that day and all Monday the Vancouver Round Up run by the AMEBC was in the Exhibition hall next door.
This is another 6000 plus delegate event that looks at the technology and geology behind many projects in Canada and the Americas.
Australian companies featured in the core shed were Solgold on the first two days and Xanadu Minerals and Blackstone Minerals on the final 2 days.
Over the past few years, the week in Vancouver has got bigger and better with many other events evolving including the Metals Investor Forum on the Friday and Saturday before the VRIC featuring over 20 companies and 1000 investors and an event in Whistler later in the week as well.
The general feeling is that the resources industry is alive and well in Canada, but unusually, lagging a little behind Australia due to the confusion in the investment market supplied by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and Cannabis stocks.
Australian markets have been less exposed to these markets giving the resources market better access to capital and a bigger spotlight.
Long may that continue.