Glenn Mullan | PDAC President Discusses 2018 PDAC Convention & How It Benefits the Mining Investor

In a sector such as mining where the investor can either multiple or deplete his or her wealth quickly, knowledge and its wise application is absolutely crucial. The investor’s knowledge is often the determining factor regarding whether the investor is successful or not. One of the best ways to grow in knowledge, to learn about new investing opportunities and to stay on top of current trends is by attending the annual PDAC Convention in Toronto. The PDAC Convention is the world’s largest and premier mining conference attended by people from all over the world. In 2017, the PDAC Convention had over 24,000 attendees from 130 different countries.

In this interview, Glenn Mullan, President of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) shares about the upcoming PDAC Convention. Glenn Mullan is the 36th President of the Prospectors & Developers of Canada (PDAC).

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Below you will find the interview transcript:

Interview Transcript has been edited for readability and clarity.  Begin transcript:

Bill Powers: Welcome back to another Mining Stock Education expert interview.  I am your host Bill Powers.  Joining me today is Glenn Mullan, the president of PDAC, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada.  And Glenn joins me today to discuss the upcoming 2018 PDAC Convention that’s going to be held in downtown Toronto March 4th through 7th.  Glenn thanks for joining me today.

Glenn Mullan: It’s a pleasure, thanks for having us.

Bill Powers: As many as you, the listeners, know, knowledge is absolutely crucial in mining stock investing.  We are talking about a sector in which you can multiply your investment capital 10 times in a year or lose 60-80 percent of it.  And the crucial determining factor is the knowledge that the investor possesses and how one investor applies that knowledge. One of the greatest ways I was able to learn was through attending PDAC convention last year.  I went to the 2017 convention. I’ll be attending the 2018 in Toronto.  There is so much that you can learn and it can set you up for a great year of investing so I have asked Glenn to come on to share with us some of the things we can expect at this upcoming convention and how it can help you, the retail mining stock investor, to be further equipped to make wise investment decisions. So Glenn, please begin by giving us an overview of what we can expect at this year’s PDAC Convention?”

Glenn Mullan: Certainly and thanks.  I think I guess I am a real PDAC veteran.  This is my 43rd straight convention.  I started attending when I was 16 and haven’t missed one and I can’t say I have demonstrated that kind of commitment to too many other things.  The convention is always an annual highlight.  The reasons really haven’t changed very much over the years, decades even. At the top of the list would certainly be networking.  The primary reason that anybody would or should attend the convention is essentially to conduct what most of us would call networking: getting to know more about our industry, renewing contacts, seeking out some new opportunities.  There’s a broad range of programming offered at PDAC.  It’s not just a great big evening spectacle.  There are a lot of things that go on from very early morning with breakfast seminars through luncheon speakers, technical programs, capital markets program, aboriginal affairs program, CSR corporate responsibility program.  There are an awful lot of program opportunities, not including the rocks or the drill core.  There is certainly tables and tables of displays with physical specimens representing not just new discoveries but areas of interest, different commodities, different geological domains, a lot of the rocks and samples of the rocks from other continents: South America and Australia to name but a few.  There are a lot of opportunities for investors to actually see what is being talked about at the same time.  Always the main draw would be the investor’s exchange: where the mining companies themselves are and where there are talks most of the days of the convention.

Bill Powers: What key trends do you see occurring in the mining sector right now and how can investors learn more about them by attending PDAC?

Glenn Mullan: If you go back a few years it was a very different sentiment.  So it was very hard to find optimists a few years ago so the biggest challenge was probably survival.  And for those who recall the topics ranged from zombie mining companies and maintaining listings and emergency measures taken by stock exchanges to help companies essentially stay alive.  Now things have changed significantly to the point where investment is back, finance is back and the many of the companies and individuals who attended the PDAC convention are coming to Toronto to avail themselves of the mining center for finance.  Toronto is the center of most of the world’s mining finance and it will be very hard for people that haven’t set their meeting already to try to do so during that week because just about every firm and institution in the mining finance game will be fully booked and maxed out.  So finance is at the top of the list because companies are able to do that on a scale that is essentially unprecedented.  So there is more financing on a larger scale.  Mining is back and PDAC is at the center of that.

Bill Powers: With all the PDAC has to offer if you were a first time retail mining stock investor how would you proportion your time over those four days?

Glenn Mullan: That is a great question. And I’ll tell you just using my own strategy. I still do the same thing at this convention that I have done all the way back as far as I can remember.  I actually look at the program and start ticking off areas of interest.  So is it gold and gold seminars? Is it lithium? Is it rare earth elements? Every investor has their sweet spot or their areas of interest.  It might be financing.  It might be social license issues.  There’s a pretty broad spectrum of programming, talks and seminars at the PDAC convention.  So I would invite everyone to begin with a very good look at the program. Highlight areas of your own personal interest and then develop your own schedule and then work that in the four days of the programming.  So it begins on the Sunday and ends on the Wednesday.  And one of the things that is extraordinary is that it is just as packed on the Wednesday as it is at the beginning so definitely very difficult to not fill days. Time will be best used by those who actually take the effort to build their own schedule.

Bill Powers: You understand the mining and commodities cycle every well.  You are the CEO of multiple mining companies. Can you speak to the opportunity investors have right now to profit with where we are in the mining and commodities cycle?

Glenn Mullan: Well it’s actually a good time for most of the commodities.  Of course there are exceptions; uranium being at the top of the exceptions list.  Most of the base metals and precious metals are in a very good environment right now.  Often when I’m on my travels for my day job the questions I’m asked is what level does gold or silver have to attain for them to be of more interest? And my answer is usually there in a very good spot right now. Whether it is priced in US dollars or Canadian dollars for the domestic market gold is very attractive to most exploration companies and certainly producing companies in its current environment and the same for silver.  In the base metal side, copper is very attractive. There are a lot of very interesting projects both held by majors who are attaining earnings at unprecedented levels and juniors who are advancing projects and fast tracking large projects on scales that we haven’t often seen in the past.  Some of the other commodities that are doing very well include zinc. Zinc has been a star performer for the past two years. Zinc, copper and gold together represent the upper echelon of the commodities cycle. Some of the other lesser known commodities are lithium and cobalt. They have enjoyed very strong, robust markets. There’s often a rush to finance and marketing when a commodity moves up.  It’s been the same in this cycle with many lithium and cobalt explorers enjoying very good financing opportunities.  And as a prospector I look at these commodities in the opposite sense and look for the ones that are the worst performers because they are the most affordable types of transactions.  So from robust markets often come very unique opportunities by those that are brave enough to look down scale. So certainly uranium and nickel would be some would be some of the laggards in the current cycle and there are a lot of prospectors and mining companies that are looking at those commodities because they are the most affordable opportunities right now.

Bill Powers: Glenn, before you go do you have any concluding thoughts for the listener?”

Glen Mullan: I look at the PDAC annual convention the way I suppose the way July 4th in the USA or Canada Day here.  It’s an annual celebration.  And for many of us in the mining industry it’s the one time in the year that we actually cross paths and see each other.  It’s definitely an annual highlight.  A lot of prospectors from the north mining companies come south to Toronto for many of our visitors from Africa and Australia it’s their first visit to Canada. So there’s a lot of enthusiasm that reigns supreme around the PDAC convention. And not to forget it’s all about the networking and the programming. So the reason people come we think is because the programming is very well planned in advance. So capital markets, aboriginal affairs, CSR to name but a few, the technical program featuring new discoveries, new exploration techniques.  There is something for everyone in the mining and finance domains.  But PDAC is about one thing primarily and that’s really about networking.  There is just a huge number of opportunities over a few days to cross paths, to enter new domains of knowledge, to seek out thing that investors might not have considered before or to physically touch and see rocks and drill core from a lot of the most exciting discoveries on the planet.  So whether it’s your first time or your 43rd or 50th convention, we have a few of those, by all means come to Toronto and check the PDAC you won’t regret it.

Bill Powers: And to learn more and to register you can go to  Last year there were over 24,000 attendees and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a lot more this year with the greater interest and rising interest again in the mining sector. Glenn I appreciate your time. Thank you for joining me.

Glenn Mullan: Thank you very much Bill. It was a pleasure.


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