Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Denver Gold Forum - Get Ready For Lift-Off

We are in a totally irrational market. Investors are throwing money at the major exchanges so they can capture the very last 2% of the climb but totally ignoring the best run and most potential resource shares out there. This situation isn’t going to last for long. Investors will wake up, they will see great value in stocks and they are going to make gains they never dreamed of before.  -  Bob Moriarity,
The Denver Gold Forum is held every September and is considered to be one of the most prestigious gold and silver mining stock conferences in the world.  It attracts mining investment professionals from all over the world. The cost to attend is too high for me to justify attending the entire show, but I always try to set up off-site meetings with the management of the mining companies we own in the fund.

Yesterday I met with the top brass (CEO and the Co-Founder) at Exeter Resources (XRA) and the CEO of Alamaden Minerals (AAU).  Without going into the details specific to each company, let me just say that based on what is going on in terms of resource development at each, the stocks are very cheap at $1300 gold as "value" plays.  They are 5-10x home runs if gold does what we all know what it is going to do.  I'll leave it at that and you all can do your own due diligence.

I did happen to post an article on AAU last week on Seeking Alpha, which you can read here:  AAU Is An Early Christmas Gift.  I will update it eventually based on my conversation with CEO Duane Poliquin.  But after an in-depth discussion of the potential size and quality of their primary resource in Mexico, AAU is easily worth over $3/share in the context of today's price of gold.  As for XRA, it is sitting on one of the largest untapped gold reserves in the world (30 million ounces) down in Chile.  If the price of gold does what I think it can do in the 12-18 months, it is highly likely that a major producing gold company like Goldcorp will take out XRA at a hefty premium to yesterday's closing price (76 cents/sh).  In the meantime, XRA has nearly 50 cents per share of cash on the balance sheet and a slow burn rate.

Having said that, both companies independently commented to me that this year's gold forum was the most well-attended in the history of the conference.  I found this quite surprising, considering that the market sentiment toward gold, silver and the mining stocks is near all-time lows.  XRA specifically said that their one-on-one investor meeting schedule was fully booked this year, vs. last year when it was completely empty.  

Both XRA and AAU told me that the majority of the attendees - aside from the usual bankers, analysts and mining stock fund analysts - were "generalist" fund analysts, meaning analysts and portfolio managers who run the large macro-oriented diversified institutional stocks funds.  They said that this cohort of investors was there because they think the mining shares have become too cheap relative to their fundamental value (ya, no shit) and that these large macro funds are looking at taking their allocation to the sector up significantly.

One of the primary components of my investment thesis for this sector has always been that eventually the big institutional investment funds would significantly increase their allocation to the mining shares - as in from almost nil to at least 5%.  Let me put the size of this capital flow into perspective.  There's roughly $17 trillion in retirement assets.  5% of this is $850 billion.  The combined market cap of every publicly traded mining stock - in total - is less than the market of each of the individual top 10 companies by market cap in the S&P 500.  So, for instance, the market cap of Intel (INTC) is roughly $117 billion.  Imagine the affect it will have on the smaller cap mining shares when some part of that $850 billion starts to buy into these companies, at least up to the point at which they are no longer "value" plays.  I know that AAU, for instance, is fundamentally worth $3/sh at $1300 gold.  What is it worth at $2000 gold?

One last point, for those of you who are not aware of this fact:  since the Fed started QE in 2008, gold and silver have been the best performing asset class.  Also, since the FOMC announced last Wednesday that it was not going to taper, gold has outperformed the S&P 500.  In fact, gold is up 1.4% since then and the SPX is slightly negative.  I know both facts don't seem likely, but that just demonstrates how bad the sentiment is toward the precious metals.  Historically, when the sentiment is in the gutter for any asset class it, has been the best time buy into that asset class with both hands.


  1. Stunning Libor Fraud Admissions: "As For Kick Backs We Can Discuss That At Lunch" And Much More

    Fed Concerned About Suspicious Gold Trading After FOMC Meeting

    The Federal Reserve is “concerned about suspiciously heavy trading of gold futures” after its meeting last week, that may have been triggered by a premature release of market sensitive information according to Associated Press.

    In a statement, the central bank said that news organizations that receive embargoed information from the Fed agree to withhold information until the time set for its release. The Fed statement said, “We will be conducting follow-up conversations with news organizations to ensure our procedures are completely understood.”

    I mean the system is corrupt to its core ............what else do you need to know to own gold?

  2. Regulator Drops Probe of Silver Trading
    CFTC Files No Charges, Concludes No Basis for a Manipulation Case

    U.S. commodity regulators have closed a high-profile investigation into alleged manipulation of the silver market without charging any firms or individuals, concluding there is no "viable basis" for a case.

    The decision by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes five years after the case was opened and is likely to disappoint some silver traders, market observers and regulators. Some contend that silver prices have been artificially depressed by financial institutions seeking to profit by betting against the market.

    The end of the silver investigation marks the regulator's latest setback on the enforcement front. The CFTC has filed price-manipulation charges in markets such as interest rates, crude oil and platinum, after the 2010 Dodd-Frank law expanded its power to police the derivatives market. But in its 39-year history, the agency has successfully concluded one manipulation case—in the power market—from trial through appeal.

  3. 'AIG Can Crush You Like a Bug'

    By February 2011, AIG was cited for "material weakness" in its accounting. Yet none of AIG's officers were held accountable for Sarbanes-Oxley violations after making materially misleading public statements and signing off on false SEC filings.

    On August 13, 2007, also more than a year before the AIG bailout, I appeared with Eugene Ludwig of Promontory Capital, Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes, and CNBC's Carl Quantanilla to discuss AIG's failure to record accounting losses, hedge funds, and liquidity and insolvency issues. You may be able to view the video if you have access to CNBC Pro.

    Mary Shapiro, former head of the SEC, entered the revolving door and now works for Promontory.

    Eugene Ludwig stated the following in response to the ECB's assertion that credit markets were stabilizing after cash injections.

    "I think the Central Banks around the world have the tools to be able to contain this credit correction, and it's clear they're prepared to use them. And what we've seen right now is they've used those tools and it's calming the marketplace." Incredibly, Ludwig claimed banks were "less directly involved in the subprime correction" and were "well-regulated" and "disciplined."

    How did that work out for the banks, including Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase in September 2008?

    Not only was the above statement not true, banks were subject to their unwise interconnections with hedge funds and insurers as well as their own contributions to systemic risk.

    and still the public is clueless..................

  4. Thank you Dave, Very generous of you to share your research. I will do my own due diligence on the above mentioned. I have been looking at the sector and you have made some valid points concerning valuation with specific names. Thanks again.

  5. Dave, my favorite quote is the one Jesse sent to you. I have used it quite often. Thanks for the names. Ray

  6. Dave, I've followed your blog for awhile and was curious if you were still long EMX as I know you were in the past. I always appreciate your posts. Thanks.

  7. A Guaranteed WIN WIN For All Physical Gold and Silver Holders !

    Regulator Drops Probe of Silver Trading CFTC Files No Charges,
    Concludes No Basis for a Manipulation Case > > This latest action by the CFTC proves how desperate the Fed , and the U.S. Government have become by using JP Morgan.

    Envision two arrows , one pointing straight down and one pointing straight up. The one pointing down represents the intense volume of activity from those who are pounding the paper gold and silver prices by way of gross manipulation.
    This is accomplished through the comex , cme , fed ,, central banks,and wallstreet.....The accumulation of TOTAL PAPER - COMPUTER TRADING- DERIVATIVES - HEDGE FUNDS - +++ , in 2 words is make believe which = DOWN in price. CFTC or no CFTC.

    The arrow pointing up stands for the increasingly upward thrust of cost as a result of higher energy and fuel prices to mine the physical gold and silver plus the compounded pressure placed by LOW phony paper prices of make believe gold and silver, and the now evidence of mines closing due to too costly conditions to pull the ore out of the ground and process it .

    The facts are so obvious and out in the open for all to see. You'd have to be asleep to not grasp the reality of what will be one of mankind's biggest opportunities to take hold of for what costs very little right now.
    Thank You to all responsible for pounding the price of gold and silver through the floor !
    You have given the chance for the common man to take part in one of the biggest wealth transfers of a lifetime !

  8. FHA Expected to Tap Treasury for Bailout
    by Kate Berry
    SEP 25, 2013 5:04pm ET

    Battered by defaults on loans it insures, the Federal Housing Administration is expected to tap the Treasury Department for $1 billion to $1.5 billion to plug a budget shortfall, according to three people familiar with the agency's finances.

    The FHA is expected to ask for the funds at the end of the month, the sources said. If it does, it would be the first time in its 79-year history that the agency needed a bailout from the Treasury.

    The Obama Administration estimated in April that the FHA would need nearly $1 billion to close its funding gap this year.

    That gap is due almost entirely to losses in the FHA's reverse mortgage program. Many seniors who received the loans in a lump sum were later unable to pay taxes and insurance, resulting in a wave of defaults. The reverse mortgage program was projected to have a $5.2 billion deficit this year. By comparison, the FHA's mortgage program was projected to have a surplus of $4.3 billion.

    The FHA also has benefited from foreclosure delays and a slow process for reimbursing lenders on defaulted loans. Even though the FHA paid out $21.4 billion in claims in the past four quarters, it had $36.1 billion in cash reserves at the end of its fiscal second quarter, up from $32.3 billion a year earlier.

  9. Comments on the Denver Gold Forum

    I am bearish miners. They can't replace their reserves economically, so I see slow liquidation.

    Three months from now you will still hear talk of gold going into a blowoff phase yet gold languishes. The industry has underperformed gold since the bull market.


      "There are so many hugely interested parties in precious metals price movements -- from both financial and political ends -- that it would actually be remarkable if there was no manipulation or intervention in the gold and silver markets in particular. Indeed, many of the manipulators, or interventionists, would just not see it as such but as a normal part of their day-to-day business.

      "The world is at last becoming aware that everything is almost certainly manipulated in some way or another -- particularly by governments and the major financial institutions, which have the political and financial clout to carry this out, to meet their own agendas. But what is acceptable manipulation and what is not?"

      Be careful what you accept as the truth Mr. Chew , it may take you out like that of a tsunami .

  10. By the end of the 1960s, pension funds,
    insurance companies and individuals owned 67% of all the shares on the Share Market.
    But today they are just minnows next to the global hedge funds that really control Britain's companies.