Red-Hot Resources

"Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Ol' Prospector

You run into old prospectors around Vancouver and it’s always a treat to talk to them. Yesterday, I did just that, talking to a guy who has knit together a portfolio of uranium/vanadium properties across the American Southwest. Some of these were once “mom and pop” uranium mines, if you can imagine such a thing. “You have to wonder what the kids looked like,” the prospector told me.

Man, he was relishing uranium’s high tide – he’d been through the crash in the uranium sector in the ‘80s (“absolutely no fun”) and now he was enjoying having the shoe on the other foot. He has enough money to keep him going. He’s drilling like mad, working on his NI 41-101 compliant resource status. He scoffed openly at some other players that have already seen their share prices take off when “they have no compliant resource at all.”

His portfolio of properties is changing as he swaps with other companies. Looking at a map of any uranium-prospective territory you can see a patchwork quilt of claims. You could even see some deals coming to mind across the exhibitor booths, as CEOs of various companies finally got a chance to get together and say something like: “hey, you have two working projects in Athabasca, and I’ve only got the one claim there and no time to work it. Meanwhile, you’ve got a stray property near my project in Wyoming. Let’s make a deal!”

The big buzz for 2007 is mergers and acquisitions, for a couple of reasons. First, there simply aren’t enough people with the technical knowledge necessary to staff all these companies and projects. The second is the bigger the fish get, the more investor money they attract, as well as a potential buyout by one of the major uranium players. I heard SXR Uranium One and Rio Tinto invoked like patron saints more than once. In case you’re wondering, the patron saint of miners is St. Piran. Piran shares in common with some miners that his is a great story, if not, perhaps, entirely true.

It should be an exciting year. As for today, I have an 8:30 appointment on Pender Street. I set up 2 more tentative meetings yesterday, and I think I'm being interviewed by both and Tom Jeffries for his new radio show. And the day is still very young.

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