Our first live Q&A session featured geologists Brent Cook of ExplorationInsights.com and Ron Parratt of AuEx fame. We fielded questions for two hours, translating technical matters into ideas investors can understand and actually use. And it was a lot of fun. Please see timestamps below in order to jump to specific issues that interest you the most. I hope you enjoy this free educational session and bring more questions to the next one.
00:00:00 — Welcome and introductions: Ron Parratt and Brent Cook
00:02:10 — Is all the geo-jargon in company press releases really necessary?
00:07:35 — Is there ever too much data?
00:08:40 — What is high grade? How to assess grade?
00:15:30 — Does it take multiple geologists to evaluate a project? What if they disagree?
00:17:15 — Geology is half science, half art, and interpretation is key.
00:22:05 — How much weight to place on preliminary, pre-fease, and full feasibility studies?
00:27:00 — Is there a bias towards positivity in these studies?
00:31:20 — Key variable in studies: coefficient of variation (CV) in resource estimates.
00:32:00 — Beware of high internal rates of return (IRR) in small projects.
00:33:00 — Beware of metallurgy assumptions in economic studies.
00:34:10 — Who should investors believe when experts disagree (e.g. on Pretium’s resource estimates)?
00:37:10 — Mea culpa on setting industry best practices aside too quickly.
00:40:00 — When does a discovery become a Success In Progress play? (See article.)
00:43:10 — What indicators to look for along the Lassonde Curve. (See free PPSS report.)
00:45:25 — Brent: When the data stops supporting your thesis, get out.
00:46:25 — How long do drill results normally take?
00:49:00 — Ron: What makes results material enough that companies are required to release them.
00:51:50 — Important to check to see if “material” new results duplicate past exploration.
00:53:25 — Has Brent ever been sued for calling BS on company news or projects?
00:45:55 — How much weight to put on categories of resources and reserves?
00:58:35 — Thoughts on giving away company evaluations...
01:00:40 — The importance of knowing when to sell.
01:01:10 — Are there appropriate value per ounce/pound metrics?
01:03:35 — I’ve found that in a frothy market, Inferred ounces can overtake M&I.
01:06:00 — Optionality on ounces in the ground (land bank plays).
01:07:30 — Which is more important: AISC or Payback?
01:11:00 — How are Canadian 43-101 and Australian JORC regs different? Can we trust them?
01:04:00 — Does Ron or Brent have a favorite evaluation metric?
01:17:05 — Some projects are good enough to increase company valuation, but not share prices...
01:19:30 — How much does the market re-rate companies for moving ounces to higher resource categories?
01:23:30 — Are there any other recommended geologists? Oil patch geos?
01:25:45 — Is there a good book on economic geology for investors?
01:26:55 — What areas should a geo going back to school focus on?
01:28:20 — Where should new geos coming out of school focus?
01:30:15 — Is there a shortage of exploration geologists? Is that changing?
01:34:30 — What to look for in Ni-PGM deposits?
01:36:45 — Why “I don’t know” is a great answer...
01:39:35 — Impact of new technologies on mineral exploration, "peak gold"?
01:42:55 — Merits of, problems with BIOX processing
01:45:15 — Thoughts on Bitcoin?
01:47:00 — Discussion of different ore types, importance of oxide ore, refractory ore, Carlin type...
01:54:10 — Problem minerals to look out for in drill results/potential ore.
01:57:00 — Preference for copper porphyries vs. other types of deposits?
02:00:10 — How long before that giant platinum-gold asteroid trashes metals prices on Earth?
02:03:35 — Key points non-geologists should take away from this session...