Inferred: What the miner said at Diggers and Dealers. Measured: What the miner meant
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This week, hundreds of miners and their thousands of hangers-on will converge on Kalgoorlie for the annual Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum, to hear 70 mainly small cap explorers spruik their projects.
Investors generally can expect to be deluged with ASX lodgements of presentations and news – fake or otherwise – on ventures ranging from little more than speculative scratchings to grown-up projects with actual funding.
Here’s some of the terminology you will see in the formal disclosures – and what management will tell you they really mean over a Kalgoorlie Bitter at the town’s famed Palace Hotel.
“Our mineralisation is continuous and open at depth …”
Deep all right – no wonder the old time prospectors left so much of the stuff in the ground. We would have to dig our way to China to get our hands on any of it.
“with Fosterville-style mineralisation …”
We’re comparing our early-stage turf to Australia’s richest gold mine in Victoria, thousands of kilometres away. But it also has eerily similar mineralogy to the project up the road that went broke recently.
“… and close to infrastructure including roads, water and power”
Proximity is a relative thing in the context of WA’s vast expanses. But that cattle track 100km away could sure come in handy.
“As we emerge from Covid, salary pressures and supply chain issues persist”
We can’t believe that a 20-year-old field assistant is asking for $250,000 and getting it. Bring on the next WA mining bust, that’ll teach that useless snot a lesson.
As for the assay labs, a six-month turnaround on drill samples? We would go to a competitor if they were any better.
“We operate in (insert relevant African country), which is a stable and mining -friendly jurisdiction”
It hasn’t had a coup for at least three months and environmental laws are non-existent.
“A world-class deposit with exciting polymetallic potential”
We’re positioning ourself as a copper developer because that’s the vogue metal, but if lithium takes off again there’s enough traces of the stuff to double the share price.
“The prospect was extensively drilled by Newmont/BHP/Barrick in the 1970s but has been underexplored since”
The big guys spent a motzah and we’re happy to exploit their drilling data, but why did they lose interest. Do they know something we don’t?
“With a rich battery minerals content within our strike zone, we are exquisitely well placed for the low-carbon renewables era”
We’ve found some rare earths with funny names and are trying to work out what they are actually used for.
“Here at Acme Exploration we operate according to the highest ESG standards”
We may need to chop down a few trees and dig some ugly pits but do those greenies realise you can’t have electric vehicles without lithium or cobalt?
“We are debt-free with multiple funding options”
No mainstream bank would touch us but as a last resort we could issue convertible notes on usurious terms to some vulture investors who hope to take control of the company on the cheap.
“We are poised for an expected supply shortage for the (insert relevant mineral) from 2035”
Sorry – we missed the boom this time around but given the snail’s pace of the project the timing is exquisite, serendipitously.
“Your directors believe that at current levels the share price materially undervalues the company”
… not that we’re buying any shares ourselves. But if we can talk up the share price enough so our options are worth exercising, that will do the trick.
“We cautiously welcome the return to Covid-normal conditions”
The WA Hermit Kingdom’s borders have fallen and lunches and the overseas convention circuit are back with a vengeance. So suck on that, Mark McGowan – and cheers!
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.