by James Kwantes
Published first at

Age is relative.

I’ve been to some mining/investment events where the audience makes Henry Kissinger look like a schoolboy. The “grey tsunami” is receding though.

Identifying young up-and-coming mining entrepreneurs is one of the keys to investor success in this sector, and a major focus of my writing.

There's an opportunity cost to focusing only on well-known resource entrepreneurs who have experienced big M&A wins. They tend to be well-fed and many never repeat their big score.

Three young explorationists recently participated in a webinar, Masters of Value, that’s worth a watch. I chuckled a bit at the title: all three geologists – Chris Taylor, Brandon Macdonald and Scott Berdahl – are on the low-key end of the junior mining CEO self-promotional continuum.

Their respective companies – Great Bear Resources, Fireweed Metals and Snowline Gold – have been hitting it out of the park. In the case of Taylor's Great Bear, it was a $1.8-billion exit ($2B including Great Bear Royalties) in the depths of a bear market (he is chairman of Kodiak Copper).

Each CEO gutted it out for years before the money spigots opened.

As Chris put it, “we’ve all been flat broke and chasing a dream.” In his case, it was going hundreds of thousands of dollars into personal debt to secure Great Bear's Dixie property and push it forward.

Brandon mentioned he remembers one year in which his take-home pay was so low that he didn’t have to pay income taxes. Fireweed recently landed a major investment from the Lundin family.

And Scott, who grew up prospecting with his father in the Yukon, was on the verge of walking away from the cash-starved exploration sector for other pursuits. Then Covid-19 hit – and Snowline started hitting long intercepts of high-grade gold at its Rogue project.

“Flat broke and chasing a dream.” It’s a decent metaphor for junior mining investors. Identifying high-quality people can help bring the dream into focus.

Disclosure: I own shares of Fireweed Metals, Snowline Gold and Kodiak Copper and covered Great Bear Resources in my newsletter, Resource Opportunities.