COVID-19 has put a stop to many events but not the eleventh annual Gold and Alternative Investments Conference (GAIC), which kicks off next week with one big change – it will now be hosted online.
This year’s event, aptly named the Virtual Gold Conference 2020, will be accessible for registered delegates through the GAIC website on 20 August and boasts keynote addresses from leading market commentators, as well as updates from ASX-listed gold and silver mining companies.
The conference comes at a time of soaring gold prices, with the price spiking to an all-time high of US$2,068 last week and the deepening coronavirus-driven recession making investors turn to the precious metal as a safe haven asset.
Speaking with Small Caps, GAIC founder Kerry Stevenson said while social distancing measures have impacted the ability to host a large in-person event, the high calibre of guest speakers makes for an impressive lineup.
“We are going online on the very day that we should have been at the Sofitel in Sydney. While we cannot meet in person technology gives us the ability to continue to deliver content to our community. Right now the gold and silver prices are strong but how do you know how to best to harness that? We have a great agenda and it is complimentary to register. ” she said.
According to Ms Stevenson, around 325 people have already registered for the virtual gold conference, which has a capacity limit of 750. Register now at goldevent.com.au
Last year’s event in Sydney was attended by over 1,000 delegates over three days.
“That was before gold even started to really boom. We’ve always had very strong, loyal clients that would come back year on year, but last year for the first time, I saw a younger demographic starting to come in and get interested,” Ms Stevenson added.
Gold prices surge as investors lose faith in currencies
The conference will feature four keynote speakers who will provide insights on “how to protect and grow your wealth” in the gold market, according to Ms Stevenson.
She said a highlight of the day will be the keynote address from Matterhorn Asset Management founder Egon Von Greyerz, who received great attention at the 2019 GAIC.
For years, the Switzerland-based finance guru has forecasted soaring gold and silver prices as fiat currencies increasingly lose their value.
“What few realise is that the Deep State or Powers That Be are going to lose control totally. They are totally dependent on the world in which they can control everything through debt and the fake monetary system they have created. But, let me make it clear that this fake system is about to implode,” he wrote in an article in May.
Ms Stevenson said all governments are printing money, noting the US has added US$3 trillion to its supply since February alone.
“With all that money, the purchasing power starts to lose its value and so, in looking at gold and gold stocks, it’s a way of preserving and protecting your wealth,” she said.
“I really want people to understand the difference between money and currency – and they are different,” Ms Stevenson added, describing gold exposure as a good “insurance policy”.
“The world is in a much more precarious place than we thought in the beginning… what we’re seeing is lots of small to medium businesses that will not survive.”
“But it’s not all doom and gloom, people just need to get educated then they can be in a good position to take action,” she added.
Other guest speakers include Lion Selection Group (ASX: LSX) executive director Hedley Widdup, Fat Tail Media chief editor and gold expert Shae Russell, and Martin Place Securities executive chairman Barry Dawes.
“Shae is a great analyst and the value she gives her subscribers is amazing and Barry has been a gold bull for the last probably 20 years,” Ms Stevenson said.
Viewers can get questions answered by presenting companies by submitting these to GAIC beforehand or will be provided details to contact the companies later.
“Gold equities can be risky, so people do need to do their research, which is why I want them to come and listen to the executives that are speaking. If people want to ask a question of a company, I want to encourage them to send it to me in advance so I can make sure I get those questions answered while the managing director or CEO is on the line,” Ms Stevenson said.
There will also be an opportunity at the end of the day for viewers to join a networking event via Zoom.
“We will have as many of the speakers online as possible and people can come in and ask questions there as well,” Ms Stevenson added.
A total of 14 ASX-listed companies will host virtual presentations to provide updates on their operations.
“As the gold and silver price strengthens, these projects become very economic and some of them are literally money-printing machines – but with real money, not currency,” Ms Stevenson said.
First up is Kalamazoo Resources (ASX: KZR), an Australian explorer with gold projects in both Western Australia’s Pilbara region and Victoria’s historic goldfields. In the last two months, the company has added the large 1.65-million-ounce Ashburton project in WA and a new exploration licence adjoining its Castlemaine project in central Victoria to its portfolio.
Next in line to present is Southern Gold (ASX: SAU), the only foreign gold explorer currently active in South Korea. The company holds 100% interests in largely greenfield epithermal gold-silver projects in the country’s southwest.
Earlier this month, it announced it plans to sell its 50% stake in the Gubong and Kochang joint venture company to the operating partner, London-listed Bluebird Merchant Ventures. This divestment will allow it to focus on an intensive drilling program already underway on its wholly-owned exploration tenure.
The presentation will be followed by Navarre Minerals (ASX: NML), which holds a portfolio of early to advanced stage gold and base metals projects in Victoria. Earlier this month, the company announced its drilling activities at Resolution Lode are allowed to continue despite Victoria’s increased COVID-19 restrictions and four drilling rigs are expected to be in operation by October.
Another presenting company is Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE), which holds the 2.15Moz Abujar gold project in Cote d’Ivoire and recently announced a $62.5 million capital raising to fund drilling, as well as a pre-feasibility study and definitive feasibility study.
After midday, virtual attendees will hear from silver explorer Investigator Resources (ASX: IVR). Its flagship Paris silver project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is considered Australia’s highest grade silver project with a resource of 9.3 million tonnes at 139 grams per tonne silver and 0.6% lead for a contained 42Moz silver and 55,000t lead.
WA-focused gold explorer Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) has 100% owned projects in the Pilbara and Eastern Goldfields regions and recently announced plans to start a 5,000m reverse circulation drilling campaign across its Mt York and Croydon projects.
Earlier this week, Anglo Australian (ASX: AAR) extended the gold discovery at depth at its flagship Mandilla project, south of Kalgoorlie in WA, with 34 instances of visible gold uncovered in four drill holes. The company has been undertaking a 3,000m diamond drilling program at the project and a 10,000m reverse circulation (RC) campaign is anticipated to begin shortly.
Kingston Resources (ASX: KSN) is focused on advancing its Misima gold project in Papua New Guinea, where it recently announced a 15% resource expansion to 105Mt at 0.93g/t gold for 3.21Moz gold.
In June, the company acquired its joint venture partner’s 19% stake to move to full ownership of Misima. A pre-feasibility study and ore reserve estimate is on track for completion by year-end.
Kingston also holds the Livingstone gold project in WA, where a 5,000m RC drilling program began in July at the Kingsley prospect. It also secured co-funding for a further 1,000m of RC drilling at the Stanley Deeps prospect through the WA Government Exploration Incentive Scheme.
Mid-tier gold explorer Bardoc Gold’s (ASX: BDC) released a pre-feasibility study for its namesake project in WA’s eastern goldfields in March. The company has now commenced a definitive feasibility study, which is targeting completion by the first quarter of 2021 with a view to commence mining and construction in the 2021 third quarter.
In light of the higher gold price, work includes re-optimisation of the Excelsior, Zoroastrian and Aphrodite open pit deposits using an Australian dollar gold price of A$2,000/oz.
The company also recently reported wide, high-grade gold intercepts from drilling at Zoroastrian and Aphrodite, with an updated mineral resource estimate on track for completion by the end of the 2020 third quarter.
Following Ms Russell’s keynote speech will be Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN), a $9 billion gold mining company with operations spanning NSW, Queensland, WA and Canada. Last month, the company announced a maiden underground ore reserve for its Cowal NSW project (currently an open pit mine) of 9.96Mt at 2.51g/t gold for 804,000oz, which supports an accelerated stage one underground mine development.
Genesis Minerals (ASX: GMD), which recently acquired the Kookynie gold project adjacent to its flagship Ulysses gold project in WA, will follow. As a result of the acquisition, the company has increased its total Ulysses mineral resource to 17Mt at 2.34g/t gold for 1.28Moz.
A feasibility study is planned to start immediately on a larger standalone gold project at Ulysses (which will be fed by both underground and open pit ore sources) with completion anticipated in the first quarter of the 2021 calendar year.
Last month, De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG) outlined a near-term growth strategy for its projects with a particular focus on the recent Hemi gold discovery at its Mallina project in WA’s north. The company announced a 2.2Moz resource estimate for Mallina back in April thanks to positive drilling results from late 2019, with the Hemi discovery not even included yet.
Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) is due to announce an interim upgrade to the 2.5oz maiden resource at its Estelle gold project in Alaska any day now as a drilling program nears completion. A final global resource for the Korbel prospect is planned for release in December, with feasibility and baseline environmental studies expected to begin at the same time.
Rounding out the company presentations for the day will be Calidus Resources (ASX: CAI), which just revealed early construction works are due to start at its Warrawoona gold project in WA’s Pilbara region.
Part proceeds from a recent $25 million capital raise is being used to fund the access road and construction of a 240-person accommodation village. Construction of the main project – which is expected to produce 623,000oz gold over an eight-year mine life – will start early in 2021, Calidus said.
Virtual conferences: the way of the future or a temporary alternative?
Ms Stevenson said she sees virtual conferences as a good substitute for the current environment but looks forward to the return of physical events, as that’s where the best deals are made.
“Human beings are social animals. Ultimately, people will want to get back and have the conversations you can’t have in a public forum.”
“I’ve been to conferences where the deals get done in a quiet corner with no other people around. It’s a very different environment, so I believe that when we can get back to having conferences, people will be chomping at the bit,” she added.
To register for the Virtual Gold Conference go to: goldevents.com.au