Coronavirus Concerns, Protests and More: PDAC 2020, Day 1

Resource Investing News
Resource Investing

On the first day of PDAC, attendees contended with coronavirus worries and protesters outside the building. Here’s what else happened.

Day one of this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention is over, and the Investing News Network (INN) team had a full schedule.

While the mood was somewhat subdued due to uncertainty surrounding the gold price and concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus, business continued as usual, with attendees networking, taking in presentations and walking the show floor.

If you didn’t make it to the show or just weren’t able to take everything in, read on for a brief overview. You can also click here for day two details and here for coverage of days three and four.

Coronavirus concerns weigh on attendees

COVID-19 continues to spread, with over 3,000 deaths and more than 90,000 cases at the time of this writing. As mentioned, the atmosphere on day one was more cautious than optimistic, with those at PDAC using liberal amounts of hand sanitizer and navigating handshakes versus fist bumps or foot taps.

Speakers also honed in on COVID-19 — Eric Sprott took to the stage in the morning as part of a session geared at new investors, and it was one topic he touched on. He said his firm is currently spending more time researching the virus than it is on researching gold and silver, and he thinks the possibility that it will become a pandemic is high.

For his part, Brien Lundin raised the question of whether PDAC would have happened if it was scheduled for later in the year — a question that seems even more relevant with the cancelation of the World Copper Conference in Chile, which was scheduled for later this month.

So far INN has published two PDAC video interviews that focus on the coronavirus. Click here to hear Rick Rule’s thoughts on the outbreak, and click here to learn about Jayant Bhandari’s perspective.

Convention faces ire from protesters

Outside the doors of PDAC another issue was taking shape — around 200 people took to Front Street to protest the convention on Sunday. According to one participant interviewed by CBC, the demonstration was partially in support of the Wet’suwet’en chiefs in BC who are opposing Coastal GasLink’s pipeline, which runs through the province.

There’s been no official response to the protests from PDAC, but those in the resource space who have aired their thoughts have mainly honed in on the idea that mining is an integral part of how the world operates, and can be done sustainably and responsibly.

Protests have taken place a number of other recent conferences INN has attended, including the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne, Australia, and the London, England, iteration of Mines and Money. Both took place late last year.

At Mines and Money the protests sparked an interesting conversation at the event, with speakers at the show suggesting that the mining industry has not done enough to mitigate its sometimes poor reputation and has no central body that can help educate the public.

Canada still an attractive jurisdiction

Finally, INN took to Twitter to ask followers about the state of the Canadian mining industry. The question comes after the release of the Fraser Institute’s latest mining company survey. It saw Canada drop from first to third place in terms of investment attractiveness, and no Canadian provinces or territories achieved a top 10 ranking in that category

By the time the poll closed, the results were split fairly evenly — while just under 40 percent of respondents said that the country is a “very attractive” jurisdiction, around 35 percent said it is only “moderately attractive” and about 26 percent said it is “not attractive.”

We’ll be asking more questions on Twitter on the second and third days of PDAC, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts. You can also watch the video above to see responses to similar questions from companies on the floor of PDAC.

To learn more about what happened at PDAC, click here for our coverage of day two and here for our notes on days three and four. PDAC will be held next year from March 7 to 10. We’ll see you there!

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Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Copper Fox and FPX Nickel are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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