Episode 18: Laura Stein - The God Mother of Mining

show Jan 12, 2018

Laura Stein is the most amazing woman. I gave her the nickname of “The God Mother” of mining. I have a philosophy that if you want to know about an industry, go find the one who is the most informed and connected. Well, that is Laura Stein. I am honored that she allowed me to spend a few moments interviewing her while in San Francisco. Laura rarely does interviews, so this was a very special treat and once you hear Laura’s story about how she got involved with mining it will make your hair stand up on your arms. Here is just a brief synopsis of what I was fortunate to gather from our conversation.

Laura’s father was originally from Russia near Romania. Before WW2, his family had over a hundred relatives, and after the war, only four remained. Those four managed to escape to Switzerland and then onto Israel. They were able to do so by using gold to bribe the military. As a child, she viewed gold as a safety net and has always had an interest in it.

It’s...

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The Last Decade

banks bonds economy Jan 10, 2018

2007-2017

Back in 2007, I was closing New Century Mortgage with the Receivers appointed by the Bankruptcy court.  At the time, New Century was the largest Subprime Lender in the country.  When closing a company during bankruptcy all of the problems are visible and magnified.  What made this one unique was that New Century's problems would soon be felt by the entire world. 

Realizing this situation, I proceeded to call a colleague, Gwen, who was the head of Single Family Credit Risk at Fannie Mae to inquire if they were going to take any precautionary measures to contain the potential crisis.  Unfortunately, she didn't know what I was talking about.  Shortly thereafter, I witnessed Ben Bernake, The Chairman of the Federal Reserve on Television stating that the subprime crisis was contained.  At that moment, it became apparent that financial illiteracy was much, much worse than anything I could ever have...

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Episode 17: Marcel de Groot - Maximizing Value and Raising Capital

Uncategorized Jan 08, 2018

Marcel de Groot is Cofounder and President of Pathway. Pathway is a leading private equity fund-of-funds manager for institutional investors worldwide. Pathway’s team of over 100 employees across four offices manages over $25 billion. With an average of more than 20 years of private equity experience among its investment principals, Pathway is one of the most experienced and stable firms in the industry. It should be obvious why I had to spend a little time with Marcel to understand how deals were financed.

Marcel discusses the deal they did with three separate companies. Two years ago they took several small mining companies and the put them together. In October 2016, they formed a company called JDL Gold. This brought them some scale and created additional value.

In March they merged JDL to form Trek Mining. This has given them a near-term production asset with great exploration upside and a well-capitalized company. They then pushed forward and they discussed potential...

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Episode 16: Matt Geiger - Private Equity Mining Fund

show Jan 05, 2018

Matt discusses his company, MJG Capital which has a focus on the natural resource industry exclusively. MJG is a private equity firm which allows investors to participate in a fund approach vs. direct investing which offers an alternative for investors to gain exposure to the sector in the exact same way, accredited investors are able to participate in other asset classes such as real estate, oil and gas, etc.

Matt’s viewpoint is that investors in Natural Resources should think long term. His fund will allow redemptions after 10 years which is the lockout period, due to the market cycle this is ideal as the bull market for this sector is in the early stages vs. other sectors which are at the end of their cycle.

Matt feels that the broad hard asset space has bottomed and we are beginning a new bull market. 2017 has been a slower year and a consolidation period. He says their portfolio has done quite well over the last year.

The junior space is where they maintain their focus....

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Episode 15: Jillian Sidoti – Managing Risk and Crowdfunding

show Dec 29, 2017

Jillian works for Crowdfunding Lawyers where she helps advise real estate entrepreneurs. They work with investors to acquire more extensive properties, set up the financing, and structure private placements. She started out in the music industry and then became interested in real estate investing and later in 2008 she began practicing law.

Crowdfunding is just another term for private money investors. It’s a term for getting a group of people to invest and is similar to partnerships or joint ventures. It can be equity financing and/or debt financing. It just means that multiple people are investing with you. Jillian works on structuring the deal terms for the syndicators/operators and their investors in what is called a private placement memorandum.

Anyone investing in this space should be looking for full disclosure. It’s important to make sure you know what you are getting into when making these deals.You can be assured that people with shady deals will likely cut...

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Episode 14: Robert Carrington – Junior Miner Exploring Columbia and Nevada

show Dec 25, 2017

Robert started prospecting with his father when he was nine years old. Newrange is a junior exploration company listed on the TSX.V and are based out of Canada. They began the company with a focus on South America where they have two properties under development near El Dovio and Yarumalito, Columbia.

They recently purchased a property in Pamlico, Nevada which has had minimal modern exploration. The property has been in private ownership since 1898 and therefore has missed most of the recent exploration cycles. They acquired the property in July of 2016 and are conducting an extensive drilling program. The region is part of the historical Comstock load where large quantities of silver and gold were discovered. He points out that Nevada is the third largest gold producer in the world.

Mr. Carrington feels there are some very promising anomalies to be further explored on the property and that 2018 should be a strong year for them. The drilling so far has seen grades of up to 10g/ton....

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Episode 12: Carl Johnston – An Interview With a Seasoned Accredited Investor

show Dec 18, 2017

Carl discusses how he became an investor and his background in real estate. Very early on he realized he wanted his money to work for him. The career that offered the best chance for this was investing in real estate. He picked up an MBA and worked in the finance industry for a few years. He went on to build and own a shopping center. This was a business that produced steady cash flow. He says cash flow is of particular importance to him.

He saw opportunities in investments like the oil and gas sector as well as much of the resource markets. He is fond of streaming companies with their royalties.

Investors need to recognize the difference between good and bad debt. Good debt is money that you can put to work for you that makes you more money. Bad debt is credit card debt that just costs you money. He likes to build up a depreciation base which allows him to protect the income from excess taxes.

He discusses how money is made by being a general partner of a limited partnership. He...

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Episode 11: Amir Adnani - Uranium Exploration in the United States

show Dec 15, 2017

Amir discusses the uranium market and the growth opportunities with nuclear power. The world’s population is growing, and everything needs electricity including electric vehicles. In the long-term, we can’t satisfy our energy needs just from renewables. Any balanced energy portfolio needs to have nuclear energy exposure. Today there are only ten companies in the world that mine uranium. Nuclear energy is carbon-free, and it takes very little uranium to produce incredible amounts of energy. These are things that drove Amir to get into the uranium business in 2005.

Uranium Energy Corp. wants to be a leading producer of uranium in the world. There used to be over 30,000 U.S. jobs mining uranium, but today there are only 400. For any commodity, you want multiple supply sources, and almost all of U.S. uranium is imported. In 2005, Amir looked at the uranium sector, and he realized that a lot of exploration was taking place in Canada but none in the United States. Several...

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Episode 10: Jordan Trimble - Uranium’s Supply and Demand Imbalances

show Dec 10, 2017

Jordan discusses Skyharbour Resources and how they invest in uranium projects in the Athabasca region of Saskatchewan. This area is the most massive highest grade depository of uranium in the world. His company explores and looks for uranium deposits in this region. They have accumulated several prospects and projects. They are one of the few surviving businesses that remain in the uranium space.

The uranium business has been a tough one over the past few years as the price is below the cost of production. Something has to give in the market, and we finally see some good news regarding production cuts. These have been made by Cameco which will hopefully help reduce whatever remaining supply is in the market which will allow the uranium price to rise.

He discusses Denison Mines projects who has recently found some of the highest grades of ore ever drilled. Uranium is increasingly used for power plants in places like China and India where air quality is important. Nuclear is a clean...

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Episode 9: Amir Adnani - Maximizing Shareholder Value

show Dec 08, 2017

Starting with strategy, Amir explains that the key to understanding gold mining is recognizing that the commodity business is a very cyclical. In the last 15 years, there have been three bear markets and three bull markets for the gold sector. The valuations for gold mining projects tend to be extremes of either bearish or bullish.

He recognizes that the gold mining sector is running out of resources and reserves. They try to consolidate during bear markets on those projects that have been drilled out. If there is a known resource you’re not taking on high risks hoping to find something new. You’re not laden with overhead costs and operations which could be difficult to have especially in a bear market.

Correction: This episode is about the gold mining sector, the episode with Amir on uranium will be out soon. We apologize for any confusion.

In the last six years, Amir’s company has made acquisitions and now have one of the largest pre-production gold portfolios...

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