By Allen Alper Jr.
What Thom Calandra (Thom Calandra's TCR Network ) Learned At PDAC 2017
Allen Alper Jr: This is Al Alper, Jr. with Metal News and I'm here at PDAC 2017 talking with Thom Calandra of the Calandra Report and the TCR Network. Thom, why don't you tell me what's exciting happening at PDAC 2017 this year?
Thom Calandra: Hey Allen. How are you doing? It's always good to talk to you and Metals News. We're not sure yet what the attendance is here this year, but as you know, a couple of years ago, they had a record of like 26,000 people, attendees and also they had a tremendous number of exhibitors and I think, on the exhibitor side, we're seeing a really robust range. Not just the companies, gold, silver, platinum, zinc, plating, copper, but also on the trade show side, special services, equipment.
It's quite exciting. Some of my favorites, as you know, platinum, still love Ivanhoe Mines. I think that platinum offers some good to very good opportunities at low risk because of the profile of the metal as a catalytic converter in electric vehicles and I think it's fairly priced. It's actually underneath the price of gold.
Allen Alper Jr: Do you have any exciting things that you've found out about at the show?
Thom Calandra: Yeah, I've learned a little bit about some of the diamond companies. There's a diamond ... Apparently, there's talk of a big diamond find in Manitoba and we're trying to track that down, but the actual minister of mines here in Canada talked about that to the media yesterday, but didn't mention which company. I'm told it could be in or around, just south of the Hudson Bay Basin in the Superior province and it could involve ... In Manitoba, and it could involve stakes by Yamana Gold or Alamos Gold, but no confirmation on that.
Diamonds always gets the market excited. I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear the minister of mines tell that to a packed room of media and yet not see it on the news wires the next day. That was fun.
I've been meeting a lot of companies. I mean, I just met with Alexandria Minerals in Quebec. They have visible gold. I met with a tiny company called Benton Resources in Ontario. They have visible gold not far from Thunder Bay. I met with a zinc company from Turkey, Pasinex. They're producing so much high grade zinc that the ore is being shipped directly onto trucks.
I could probably go on and on. I like to stick to the small companies, but I think some of the larger ones are doing well too. I loved the Alamos Gold presentation by John McCluskey. I own a lot of that one and I also think that they're ... They looked poised. They have at least four producing gold mines with enough in development to cover reserves going into the future.
The other thing I think that's important is we're starting to see very early signs that the majors want to replace some of their reserves, some of their gold reserves, so that they can continue satisfying their investor base.
Allen Alper Jr: Who is at Pasinex? Is that Steve Williams?
Thom Calandra: Yes, it is. Very good and a Eurasian owns about 2 million shares of Pasinex and Steve is a straight shooter from Ontario and a geological engineer and geologist and he's been quite fortunate. I actually knew another of the executives there from four or five years ago. One of the Europeans, Sven Olson, and Sven is from Germany and Austria and was explaining to me how important to have cash flow for companies that want to appeal to European investors.
I've been over to Europe plenty of times and we've lived there and I'm very excited about Pasinex. I've been buying it left and right because I think there's an outside shot ... This is my view by the way, not theirs. There's an outside shot that maybe one day they'll actually issue a dividend, something that Germans and other Europeans love.
Allen Alper Jr: Tell me a little bit more about what you are interested in and excited about for the future.
Thom Calandra: Well, I think some of the uranium stocks have had quite a move. I'm looking at some of the legal issues surrounding Virginia Mines. Virginia Mines is a small uranium property that the Coal family owns and has been tied up with disputes with the governor of Virginia and various state house and state senate tumbles in terms of getting the thing produced.
I think there's a 50/50 chance that this latest appeal could wind up in the Supreme Court before June. We have to see if the Supreme Court accepts it, of course.
In the meantime, Virginia is a great lottery ticket on uranium. Anything positive about that mid-sized uranium deposit that they have in Virginia could, oh I don't know, send that stock up a thousand percent. It's only an 8 million dollar, 9 million dollar company. That's a good one.
I mean, there's so many of them.
Allen Alper Jr: What's your outlook on uranium right now? Uranium's had a bad rep for a while. Do you think it's gaining some footing?
Thom Calandra: I think right now I would ... I own three or four uranium companies. I own Virginia Energy, I own Canalaska Uranium, and I have a stake in Fission 3.0. I want to be involved in anything that has good traction in the Athabasca Basin, of course.
I think I missed ... I had a chance and missed my opportunity with NextGen. They're the leader there at Arrow in the Athabasca, but I think that there are other ways to own NextGen. You can buy Mega Uranium. Mega Uranium owns about 19 million share of NextGen. NextGen's become more or less the leader, the worldwide leader, in terms of the equity market for uranium. They've just had more high grade, extreme high grade uranium, added to its asset there at Arrow today.
I think you have to be a little weary right now on uranium because the spot price has moved up 30 percent in the past 15 weeks, 20 weeks. Of course, it's still at a multi, multi, multi-year low, but anytime you see that kind of activity, you don't want to get too crazy. Let it cool. A lot of these uranium equities are cooling off. Try to find the cheap ones.
I like Canalaska because it doesn't just have uranium, it has exploration in the Athabasca Basin and in Manitoba for other things too, diamonds, zinc, lead, and so on and they do a lot of partnerships. There are a few companies like that that are a good ... I only own Canalaska in that regard, but Sky Harbor's a good example. Denison's probably fairly cheap here as well.
Allen Alper Jr: Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Thom Calandra: Well, everyone here who follows the Calandra Report and the TCR Network knows that I'm always very excited about things that are way off the radar and I'm still a big investor in our ongoing love affair with Cambodia and Ancor Gold, which has probably more land staked in Cambodia than any other company, Australian or Canadian or American, and just has some very good cut channels samples coming from one of its prospects, it's got a great copper joint venture with JOGMEC, the Japanese group at a property, and I think that at this price, I even bought shares today, added shares.
I had been a little concerned. I'm looking for more liquidity in the stock, but now I'm buying, I'm adding again to Ancor stake after a long time. I mean, I actually cut my stake and a little frustrated because, Al, when you see all these different things moving, you get a little antsy.
I tend to hold for extremely long periods of time, 10, 12 years. I've owned Ivanhoe, the present Ivanhoe in Africa, as a private company, since 2003. That's a long time to be holding stuff. Most of the stuff that I hold, Eurasian Resources, Riverside Resources, Ancor Gold, Extra Gold, a tiny unknown thing in Ghana. I've held for six to 12 years and that's the way you've got to do it.
Trading is not ... Well, it's income. The true wealth is holding equity until there is an event. Anyway, I always thank you and your dad, Al, for having me on Metals News here.
Allen Alper Jr: Good. Well, thank you very much for your time.
Thom Calandra: I don't want to take too much if you have to run.