PDAC -- the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada -- had its annual conference this week at the Toronto Convention Centre. More than 31,000 people turned up, which made the show crowded, but exciting. Despite the fact that some people were saying the show has become unmanageable, we got a charge out of seeing that many energetic and enthusiastic mining and service companies in one place.
We walked and walked and talked and talked. We heard scads of great stories -- it amazes me how undervalued some of the smaller players are, priced far below asset value.
Key to getting those valuations up to a more reasonable level is, of course, attracting investors. Federal Mining Minister Joe Oliver did his best to help, announcing that he foresaw $100 billion in new investment in mining over the next 10 years (http://www.mining-journal.com/finance/canada-could-see-c$100-bn-mining-investment-in-next-decade-minister).
Given that 40% of global exploration spending, amounting to $4.2 bn in 2012, comes from Canadian companies, it's clear that mining is a big ticket item for Canada. In fact, mining employs more people in Canada than any other industry, including the automotive.
So, is the show too big? I think, not big enough!