Jamie Keech | How an Outsider Can Profit Like an Insider in Junior Resource Investing

Jamie Keech is a formally-trained Canadian mining engineer. He has worked in mineral exploration, development and mine operations in Albania, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Colombia, Peru and throughout North America. His undergraduate degree is in Mineral Engineering from the University of Toronto and he has a Masters degree Mining Engineering from the Camborne School of Mines. Jamie also has extensive experience in mining finance.  He has brought together his first-hand technical and financial knowledge of the sector and combined it with his extensive network of CEO’s and junior mining insiders to co-found Resource Insider.  Resource Insider is an investment service focused on providing subscribers with independent research and access to exclusive investment opportunities in the mining & metals space.

In this interview, Jamie shares his insights on why the well-connected Vancouver junior mining insiders have a competitive advantage over the average mining investor.  But Jamie states it is still possible for the diligent retail mining investor to succeed if they really apply themselves and do what is necessary.  Jamie also shares regarding what investment criteria he looks for in early-stage, development and producing company; his most important guiding principles for junior mining speculators; errors of incompetence and malice that junior mining company management commit that investors should be aware of; and how a retail mining investor can utilize a mining conference to succeed.

0:05 Introductions of topic and guest

2:42 Jamie’s background in mining engineering and finance

7:41 What is Resource Insider & why focus on private placements

10:24 Why do junior mining insiders have such a competitive advantage?

12:53 Can diligent, non-accredited retail mining investors succeed without being a well-connected insider?

17:23 Top 3-5 guiding principles for junior resource speculators

20:49 Top management errors of incompetence and malice to be aware of

26:04 How Jamie values pre-discovery exploration companies

28:56 Valuing developers with a M&I resource

34:17 What Jamie looks for in a producer

35:27 How attending mining conferences benefits the retail investor

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT (edited for readability and clarity)

Bill: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. This is Bill Powers with MiningStockEducation.com and for this episode, I’m onsite in Vancouver, the beautiful yet, in my opinion, overpriced city, which is the center of the junior mining investment world, and a benefit and a nice thing about coming here is that you get to be introduced to a lot of people, movers, and shakers in the industry. I’m sitting down with one today. His name is Jamie Keech. He has an extensive background as a mining engineer and in mining finance and running mining companies. He’s also the co-founder of Resource Insider, an independent research service and he’s the host of his own podcast entitled “Resource Insider.” So, Jamie, I appreciate you sitting down with me today. 

Jamie: Thanks for having me, Bill. And I am inclined to agree with you on the overpriced-ness of Vancouver, actually living here, it’s…yeah, let’s just hope gold goes on a run.

Bill: Yeah, I mean, what a hotel cost and I talked to some people about what rent is here, I don’t know how the common man could even survive here. 

Jamie: Yeah. Well, it’s an issue and a lot of people are getting pushed out for just that reason.

Bill: So I mentioned your background briefly, your extensive experience as an engineer and in finance, but could you give listeners a little more detailed history on how you got to this place? 

Jamie: Yeah. So I guess first and foremost, you hit the nail on the head there. I am a mining engineer. I come from a technical background. I started in that when I was 17 in working summer jobs in the bush, everything from logging core in Mexico to cutting lines for geophysics in Nevada. I helped run an exploration program in the Yukon, so that was through a university. I went to the University of Toronto, which, in my opinion, is the best mining school here in Canada and others may disagree with me on that. I got into mining for two reasons. I was always a bit of an outdoors nut growing up. I liked camping and hiking and climbing and all that, but I didn’t wanna make $30,000 a year as a whitewater rafting guide so I asked my guidance counselor, I said, you know, “How can I make good money and still work outside?”

And he told me he had a friend who was a geologist who was working in jungles in Brazil exploring for gold and all that stuff and I was like, “Yeah, no, that sounds pretty good. That sounds better than working in an office.” And so my father was an engineer, so engineering was a bit of a better…a closer fit for me and I joined up and it’s been good. So after that, I worked all over the world. I worked in Albania for some time on a gold project. I then did a Master’s in Engineering in the UK at the Camborne School of Mines. I focused on actually the environmental aspects of mining and I did my thesis exploring mining projects throughout Europe and in the EU and the perception of those and the impact of those. And then I really got into my career in earnest after that and went off to Hong Kong and Mongolia. I worked for the biggest mining contractor in the world. We were building open-pit coal mines in Mongolia, which is about as glamorous as it sounds. I, at one point…

Bill: Pretty remote, I would guess. 

Jamie: Yeah, it’s… So I mean, we would fly into some town I don’t even remember the name of and then drive you, know, four or five hours into the desert and then you’d live in a shipping container for months at a time and eating nothing but some sort of meat and French fries. So, I mean, it was a good, good experience. I worked for a great company, I really enjoyed myself, but after a year of doing that job, I was ready to come back to Canada and I moved back to Toronto at the time and I worked for a big consulting group, building an iron ore mine in the Arctic here and, again, it was another great project to be on. But it was around that time in my career that I really started to see who was making the money in the industry, who was making the decisions, too, and where a lot of the power lied and a lot of the authority to get things done. And more and more, it was the guys who were in finance, the guys who were building companies and financing companies.

So I made a decision. I basically packed up my stuff and headed up to Vancouver where most of the startup stage companies really get started. So there’s a lot of, as you probably know, there’s a lot of mining companies, you know, bigger mining companies with their head office in Toronto, you know, the Barrick Golds of the world, the Kinrosses of the world. But the startup center for mining is Vancouver. I mean, it’s the Silicon Valley really of the mining space and that’s where I wanted to be, so I came here. I didn’t know anyone and truthfully, I didn’t know that much about finance or anything like that and I basically kicked around for three or four months and harassed different management teams to come and see me, and to talk to me and to meet me.

And I ended up hitting it off very well with one after a few repeated attempts and they brought me in. It was a small company, startup company with an asset in Peru and there were three people working there. They were all accountants and I convinced them to hire me to basically be the general dogsbody around the office and help on the technical side and it was good. I mean, some days I was doing complex financial models and other days I was making photocopies, but over the course of three years, I worked with that group and that company now is Equinox Gold. So that was a, I think a $20 million market cap when I started.

Bill: So you know Ross Beaty pretty well?

Jamie: I have worked with Ross Beaty and met him a few times and he’s been a great person to learn from and to see how he operates and to see how he leads a company, for sure. Working with him and the management team of that company is in general, the CEO’s a gentleman named Christian Milau, the President, Greg Smith, have…has been extremely educative and just very valuable for me.

Bill: And how many years have you been in Vancouver here? 

Jamie: I’ve been in Vancouver for three and a half years now. Yeah.

Bill: So you’ve networked for three and a half years and you came here to learn the inside of the financial side and from that, you’ve now launched a research service called Resource Insider, which focuses on private placements. Can you give us an insight of what you’re trying to accomplish with Resource Insider? 

Jamie: Yeah, of course. So, I mean, the last three years, a lot of what we were doing was growing a company through acquisition and through merger and, you know, we completed several major mergers and a big component of that, of the financing was done through private placements. And that was very eye-opening to the power of that and in the shift in the industry from where capital is being sourced from. So you’re seeing a lot less of these big bought deals from the big investment banks and you’re seeing people start sourcing from, you know, retail or accredited investors and, you know, Equinox and its predecessor companies raised tens of millions of dollars that way from very interested, very committed accredited investors.

That’s what really planted the seed in my mind of the opportunity there and it kinda came with the perfect storm. So I work with a group called Capitalist Exploits, so that’s a website, capitalistexploits.at and it’s run by a gentleman named Chris MacIntosh. Chris is almost the opposite of me. He’s a big scale macro investor. He’s invested in bonds and stocks and various equities and currencies and what have you. And he decided probably about a year ago that the way he sees the world shifting is that there’s gonna be a big run in commodities and hard assets. And he started to position his portfolio to take advantage of that over the next, you know, we estimate five years or so.

But as Chris will tell you, you know, he likes copper and he can buy Freeport, but he doesn’t know anything else about mining besides that. He doesn’t have the contacts or the relationships in the industry, and so he set out to find someone to compliment his skill set with, you know, technical background and a mine finance background and through a variety of introductions from mutual friends, that ended up being me. So I was looking at doing something on my own and Chris kinda came along at the perfect time and he had an idea of working together to help position himself and myself and then our potential subscribers for any product we would launch in the commodity space and what came out of that was Resource Insider.

Bill: And could you describe the inside workings of Vancouver and how…in your writings, you’ve wrote about this, how the insiders have an extreme competitive advantage over the average investor and they specifically use the method of private placements to accomplish that? Could you speak a little to that? 

Jamie: Yeah, so I mean, as you might know, Resource Insider is designed to provide access for ourselves and our subscribers to private placement opportunities. And, you know, a private placement opportunity is basically what occurs in an equity financing. So when a company is looking to raise capital, if they’re not taking debt and especially in the junior mining space where debt is often not an option and should almost never be an option, what they choose to do is issue equity and there’s various ways to fill that equity but one of the popular ways is private placement. Now, what can typically occur is, and this depends very much on the deal, or the opportunity, rather, and how popular it is, who’s running it, what project it is, but the most sought-after deals generally don’t have a hard time raising money and the people they tap first are the people they know.

It’s a lot of what I would call insiders in the industry. These are people that are geologists, engineers, accountants, ex-investment bankers that have a very tight network in this space of people running companies and these are the first people that get tapped to participate in these private placements. And I mean, the value of that is often at the stage of the private placement, not a lot has been done so you’re betting on the team to deliver what they say they’re gonna deliver. And so people get a good…they get a good deal, they get, you know, a discounted price to what would be typically seen if the project is trading on a public market. Often, they’ll get warrants attached to this which gives them, you know, exposure to future upside or they’re participating in the IPO stage or the pre-IPO stage and they’re gonna get it basically before anyone else.

So that is a massive advantage to the people that have those relationships in the industry that, you know, I mean, a lot of the private placements I’ve participated in, it’s been in a friend’s company or one of my ex-bosses or, you know, a friend of a friend or an accountant that I know and it’s only because I know them that I’ve had those opportunities.

Bill: I’ve observed online that there’s a very passionate retail investment crowd that follows the junior mining space. So my next question is, do you think it’s possible for a diligent non-accredited retail investor to succeed in junior mining speculation without being a well connected Vancouver insider?

Jamie: What I would say to that is yes, it is absolutely possible, but it’s very difficult. Now, if we’re in the midst of a bull market and everything is going up, then it’s very easy and I’m sure there are a lot of people listening to this out there that have been in that…that have been that person and been in that experience. Some of them will know that they’re getting lucky and others will think that they’re a genius and the ones that know they were getting lucky probably still have some of the money they made on that. It’s very difficult to properly evaluate projects, one, if you don’t have the time to commit to it and two, if you don’t know what you’re looking at, and the average retail investor doesn’t have that.

That being said, I have met retail investors. I have met, I’m thinking of one person, in particular, you know, professional retail investors that have made a tremendous amount of money on the junior mining space. Some of them aren’t accredited and they just…they spend their days researching, talking to people, being on the phone, being…poring through financial documents. It is possible but it requires commitment. I think what a lot of people don’t understand is how complex it is. Now, I say that being in…I say that even for myself. So I’m a mining engineer. I’ve worked largely in open pit projects, in coal, in iron ore, in gold. I’m not an expert on everything, so when I evaluate a deal, chances are I’ve never worked on a project like that, but chances are I know somebody who has, so I’ll tap, be they geologists or other engineers or technical experts that are familiar with that type of deposit, that are familiar with that country or in that environment and they know what to look for to see a success. They know what can go wrong in that environment and it really, I mean, it really is a group effort generally. So that’s a lot of the advantages that someone in my position has. Now you can make up for those advantages, but you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Bill: In the successful retail investors that I’ve met, they usually come to conferences like this, we’re at the Sprott Conference, they connect with geos, they get their email, they get their phone numbers and then when they’re looking at investing a significant amount of money, they usually call up those geologists and ask for the technical opinion. 

Jamie: And you should do that. And to add to that point is, don’t just take the word of the company you’re investing in. If you ask them, then they always have a great project. The key is to develop that sort of network you’re talking about where you meet geos or other technical or financial experts familiar with these types of deals that you can draw on their opinion of deals that are not their own. You know, you don’t wanna ask a barber if you need a haircut because the answer is always yes.

Bill: That’s right. And another thing with these conferences, I can think about what Rick Rule said, some of the best places you can find to invest are asking the CEOs of mining companies that are here, ask them for referrals of what would be…they would consider a good company. 

Jamie: Yeah. And I mean, that goes back to our point earlier that, you know, these people are the industry insiders. You know, I mentioned in my ebook we recently released called “The Resource Insider” that a lot of these people running these companies are extremely talented people. You know, they could be probably CFOs or senior management positions at big, big companies or they could be investment bankers pulling in half a million dollars a year, no problem. And they give up those bigger title jobs to run, you know, little tiny junior companies with huge upside, but very high risk. And the way they balance that is they get to spread their capital, they get to invest in these other deals and, you know, they get access to things that most people would not and that really helps balance the risk of running one junior company, which, at the end of the day, has a low chance of working out.

Bill: Junior resource speculation is a high risk, high reward endeavor, as you already know. With that in mind, what would be your top three to five guiding principles for junior resource speculating? 

Jamie: All right, let me think about this. So three to five guiding principles, I would say my number one…okay, I would say three things. You need a good project, you need a great team and you need to have that team’s incentives aligned with yours. At the end of the day, it’s very hard for mediocre or poor performing teams to pull off a project even if the asset is great. Now, there are people that disagree with me on this and everyone can cite an example, but this is the exception, not the rule. Mining is really hard. I mean, really, a lot of things are basically set to work against you. I mean, there’s no other industry where you don’t really know how much of your product you have and you don’t know which price you can sell it at. So this is a situation unique to mining and…

Bill: And somebody can take it away from you. 

Jamie: Exactly. Yeah. You can lose it in the wrong place at almost any time. So you really need capable people that are very, very familiar with the type of project that they’re working on, are very familiar with how the country they’re operating in works, you know, have a track record of pulling off these sort of things and even they might not pull it off. And then, of course, you need a good asset. I mean, you can promote a mediocre asset, but there’s only so far that can take it. And I mean, if I’m an investor at home, you only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so don’t, I mean, don’t waste your time putting it into mediocre things. You know, I see a lot of CEOs do this. They have a…call it a copper company and they say, “Here’s two slides in my presentation on my asset, and then here’s 100 slides on the copper market.”

Okay, like you don’t need to sell me that there’s a lot of potential in copper right now. I know that, that’s why I’m watching this presentation. But where is the best place that I can put my money to get exposure to copper and that’s in good assets? And then the third is…and this may be the most important, is having a management team and investors whose…who are aligned with their shareholders. So the best way to do this is looking at how the company is structured. If you know, management will typically own or…one, management should own a big portion of stock in the company, but two, they should have…

Bill: Preferably bought in the open market.

Jamie: Bought in the open market or at least bought at a reasonable price. I mean, there do… Having worked for mining companies for a long time, you are taking a risk as, you know, as an engineer, I could go work at a big company and have a guaranteed salary, if I go work at a junior company, I am taking a risk, so there should be some incentive for me to do that. But if I’m going to invest my money in a company, run a company, convince other people to put their money in, the amount of money I should put in should be very meaningful for me. It should be a meaningful amount of money and it should be, you know, not at a…not discounted to a point that I can basically screw over every shareholder who comes in after me and still make money. That is not what I would call being aligned with your shareholders.

Bill: We’re in Vancouver and this is the heart of the industry and not everything that goes on here is above board or moral. So my next question is, what are your top three to five shady things that occur in the junior mining space in Vancouver that newer resource investors should be aware of? 

Jamie: Okay, I don’t know if I have three to five. I’ll have two general…

Bill: A few, any.

Jamie: …general categories. So you need to look out for errors of incompetence and errors of malice, and despite the reputation for the junior mining industry, in my opinion, most things that go wrong are errors of incompetence and it’s generally a management team has gotten themselves in over their head or in a position that they are not capable of filling. This could be doing something entirely new and getting themselves into a type of project or a location where they have no experience and it’s a costly error to figure out how to do it. Or it could be that they are not focused on what they’re doing. So a lot of times you’ll see management teams running two, three, four things and the project an investor is in is, you know, priority number three, and, you know, they are trying but they haven’t set up their life or their career in a way that really benefits their shareholders.

And then you have errors of malice and these are more rare, I believe. And, you know, I’ve seen very few examples of this, but it’s mostly, it occurs in the gray areas and this goes back to what we talked about before of aligning ourselves with shareholders. It’s companies that have been set up in a way to be your classical pump and dump. And what that means is certain people got in at a very, very cheap price, you know, for pennies or fractions of pennies on the dollar, into the shell that would become the company. So if people don’t know what that is, a lot of mining companies are…they complete a reverse takeover, RTO, to go public. And that means a management team might have an asset and that can be, call it a gold mine in Nevada, and they wanna take it public, you know, maybe they’re geologists, maybe they’re engineers, they’re not market people, they’re technical guys that wanna run their project, so they find a shell.

This is a essentially dead company that is still listed. It doesn’t have anything of value in it and it’s waiting for an asset to be spun into it. And so there will be people who own the shell and control the shell and they might be very moral, great people that wanna work with the management team, support them, help finance them, build that into a great company that makes them money and then makes their shareholders money. Alternatively, they may be, you know, pump and dump experts. They may have a huge portion of the shell or they might put money in very cheap. They’ll bring the asset in, they will pay to have it, you know, the hell promoted out of it, run the stock price up. You know, these big shareholders who got in for nothing, you know, they own a big portion of the stock, they’ll sell it into this marketing, it will tank the price of the stock.

And even though the management may be extremely well-intentioned and hardworking and competent and capable and all those things, it’s hard to come back from that when your share price has been decimated. Shareholders have been burned, you can’t finance further and, I mean, you know, these earlier stage projects generally need multiple rounds of financing to get to a place where they create real value. So it creates a bit of a trap for the unexperienced or the underexposed investor.

Bill: An error of incompetence that I’ve been frustrated with is when you have a geologist running a pre-revenue company even if they have gold ounces or silver ounces or whatever the commodity may be, a verified resource, yet they’re not good at marketing and they’re not good at finance and then the share price lags and you’re also not doing your investors a service when you’re poor in those things. 

Jamie: Yeah. I mean, I have two schools of thought on that. Yes, I mean, particularly as a CEO, if you’re going to be a CEO, your job is to, you know, not only make good decisions on the ground for the company but also get exposure of that company for existing shareholders. That said, at some points of the project, you know, sometimes it makes sense just to put your head down and work hard and worry about the marketing later when you’ve got something good to show. And you’ve seen a few CEOs do that lately and it can be frustrating for investors, but sometimes you gotta wait and good things take time. So I would just balance with that having been involved in companies where that’s been the case and, you know, it’s a bit of a balancing act and not everyone gets it right the first time, for sure.

Bill: Let’s talk about, Jamie, how you value mining companies. What’s the most important valuation metric that you apply to pre-discovery explorers? 

Jamie: Well, I guess, you know, I don’t know if I can say a metric, but I look at a few things. I mean, I sound like a bit of a broken record here, but it’s first and foremost, the team. Yeah, absolutely the team. It needs to be someone…

Bill: The asset of the team.

Jamie: …who has… No, the actual team.

Bill: Right, the team is the asset I mean.

Jamie: Yeah. And you know, especially in these early-stage things, it’s like, you know, how do you evaluate them, really? I mean, if there’s no resource done, it’s an educated guess and I mean, anyone that tells you otherwise is lying to you. You know, it’s almost like public market experiments, right? You know, if you’re a scientist in the lab, what you’re doing is you have a hypothesis and you test that hypothesis and if it works, great, you know, you’ve found your new miracle drug, if not, which you probably won’t, you’re back to the drawing board, you rejig the hypothesis and then you try again. That’s basically what’s happening to a lot of these early-stage exploration companies, especially the ones that don’t have drilling yet. And you know, a geologist who is a scientist might have a very good idea, but they don’t know and so they need to test that idea. And most of the time they’re wrong and that’s just the way science works, but unfortunately, sometimes it costs millions or tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to prove it wrong.

So the first thing I would look at is, you know, has this person had this theory before? If he’s a geologist that explores for epithermal gold deposits, has he found one? Well, he’s a lot more likely to do it twice than he is to do it once and that’s how it works. And that’s why you see these, you know, serially successful teams, you know, you see the Ross Beatys of the world who have been involved in many discoveries, or built many successful companies. You know, the person that I’ve had the, in a lot of ways, honor to work with the most is David Lowell. So David Lowell is arguably the most successful geologist of all time. He invented what’s called the Porphyry Copper Model, the Guilbert-Lowell Porphyry Copper Model, and that was this system by which to discover porphyry copper deposits. Well, Dave went on to discover, I think, something on the order of 17 of them, some of the biggest mines in the world, you know?

I’d be more inclined to bet on David Lowell after his fifth discovery than I would be on, you know, the fresh face geologist straight out of, you know, a middle management position at a big company onto his first one. Now that guy might still get it right, but if you pick these good teams, the odds are more so in your favor.

Bill: If we’re looking at a developer, they have at least a measured and indicated resource, what’s the most important valuation metric that you use there?

Jamie: Most important valuation. So, I mean, I won’t get into it again, but it needs to be run by a team that’s put projects into development before. You need to be looking at…I mean, this is almost the basics of any company now, so what is the size of the asset? You know, if we’re talking in gold, how many ounces are there? If we’re talking in copper, how many tons are there? What is the mining cost supposed to be? So you know, if the price of gold is $1,200 an ounce and the, you know, the cost of mining is 13…sorry. Yeah, I’m mixing that up. So if the value in a ton of rock from that potential mine is gonna be $1,000, but it cost $1,100 to mine that ton, well, you know, that’s gonna be a problem. Even if it’s gonna cost $800 to mine that ton, you wanna see a pretty significant margin in the value of a ton of rock to the cost of mining that ton of rock. And that goes for every other stage. It goes for the cost of processing it.

So, you know, these are common enough for it to the all-in sustaining costs. You wanna make sure that it has the, at least the opportunity to operate at a profit. Also, I mean, how is this mine gonna get built? How much does it cost? Does it cost, you know, a million dollars to put it into production? Probably not. Does it cost a couple hundred million dollars, which is probably the norm? You know, and how long will that be getting paid back? Has it been taken out with debt? Is the cost of servicing this debt going to basically gut the value of that company for the next decade? You know, it’s really difficult for me to lock it down to one or two or three things because every asset is gonna be different. Everything is gonna have different challenges, but I mean, this is what mining analysts do. They look at dozens if not hundreds of valuation metrics and they build very complex models to help figure out if these assets have a chance at making money.

Bill: For how you personally invest. If we’re looking at a company that’s had at least the pre-feasibility study accomplished, it’s gonna be years before it would actually be in production. What are you comfortable with investing in a late stage developer? How many years away do you have to see potential commercial production starting before you’d be willing to invest in that company? 

Jamie: You know, most of what I actually invest in is earlier stage things. I do that primarily because I see that and especially with what we’re doing at Resource Insider as creating the most leverage to our capital. And I also personally have a network of very accomplished early-stage explorers and people whom I trust and whom I wanna get behind. For a later stage asset, I mean, here’s what I’ll say to that, if you ever read something that looks pretty good, then it’s not good. You know, these feasibility studies, pre-feasibility studies, what have you, are, generally speaking, the most humanly possible optimistic view of what could happen. And, you know, there’s a lot of reasons for that, but you should take it that way.

So if anything looks marginal, it’s probably horrible. If something looks good, then it’s probably gonna have some challenges, but like it needs to look great and I don’t want to invest in anything if at the very least it doesn’t look phenomenal on paper. Like, it should really look like that mine’s gonna just be spitting out money right away because it won’t, but at least then it has a shot.

Bill: I’m doing this from memory, but I believe the stat is only 30% of pre-feasibility studies actually achieve the profitability that they expected. 

Jamie: I don’t know, but I would say that’s probably optimistic. I mean…

Bill: Even that number is optimistic.

Jamie: Even that, so, you know, if you think about it as, on a cash flow level, they might do that at some point, but like none of them get there on time. None of them get there on time. The number of like, I can’t…someone is gonna probably comment on this and tell me I’m wrong, but I can’t think of a project that, in the pre-feasibility stage, gave itself a timeline to production or even to completion of construction that actually met it. And, you know, even less of them do it on the budget they initially estimate. Once a project now…once a study gets to the feasibility stage, once they’re bringing in, you know, the big scale construction contractors to help work with them on that and build it, timelines get much more reasonable, costs get much more reasonable, and companies do start to make that.

But I mean, you know, mining is hard and even if they hit their initial deadline, so they say, “We’re gonna be pouring gold by the end of next year,” and they do it, it’s one thing to pour gold once and hold that gold bar up in front of the camera and say, “Lookit, we did it. We’re in production.” It’s another thing altogether to have that mine operating like clockwork and to be making, you know, making a profit quarter in, quarter out. That takes, you know, it takes time to iron out the bugs just like anything else.

Bill: If you could bear with me with this last question, even though you focus on the early-stage explorers, what’s the most important valuation metric for producers that you look for? 

Jamie: Cash flow, and debt.

Bill: Catalysts, upcoming catalysts?

Jamie: In the industry, in general?

Bill: For a company, like a mid-tier that’s poised for growth.

Jamie: Yeah. I mean, you know, truthfully, I would look at a mid-tier that’s making money in an undervalued commodity. I don’t know if there are any of them out there right now, but like a uranium producer that’s still making money right now.

Bill: Nobody in America or Canada…

Jamie: I don’t know if there are any, but that would be something that’s very interesting. Copper producer, I would feel the same about, a platinum producer that was still making money, these…if you’re making cash flow in a bad market and you haven’t completely destroyed the structure of the company or your balance sheet with debt, the time will come when that commodity will get a run and then all of a sudden, the underlying equity is gonna benefit greatly from that and so that’s what I would look for.

Bill: As an investor, we’re at the Sprott Conference. What does a conference like this serve for you? How do you utilize this to succeed in investing?

Jamie: Besides meeting people like you?

Bill: Right, yeah, thank you. 

Jamie: You know, really convenience, I suppose. The real value is less for people like me and more for retail investors. So if you’re, you know, you’re at home, you’ve got a good job, you’ve got some money to play with, you want to invest in mining stocks, something like this is really valuable because you actually get to meet the people you’re investing in and, you know, you’ve got a lot of CEOs here and a lot of senior management. Not only do you get to hear them speak, but like you actually get to go and meet them and sort of kick the tires and, you know, I would never underestimate sort of a gut feel on people and that’s, I mean, that’s how I make a lot of decisions.

You know, you can generally tell someone is competent to a degree and it’s hard to do that if you don’t get to look them in the eye and shake their hand and ask them a few basic questions and see how they treat you as a shareholder and, I mean, and that is important. See how they treat you as a shareholder because I can tell you that will…how they’ll treat you in person will probably be reflective of how they treat the shareholders of their company. So it’s really, it’s a good opportunity for a gut check and to get to know where you’re putting your money.

Bill: Jamie, if listeners wanna get in touch with you, how would they do that and how can they learn more about Resource Insider? 

Jamie: Yeah, I mean, first and foremost, please check our website. It’s www.capitalistexploits.at. I’m on Twitter just @Jamie_Keech, at Twitter, so J-A-M-I-E, underscore, Keech, K-E-E-C-H. Those are probably the best ways to find me or just send me an email at [email protected]

Bill: This is Bill Powers with MiningStockEducation.com. I’m reporting from Vancouver at the Sprott Conference. I appreciate you listening. Thanks for tuning in.

The Resource Insider

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