Last night, my sister (Sue Ellen) and I attended the Colorado Mining Association and Denver Gold Group St. Barbara’s Day awards ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in Denver. I have been working in Nevada for the last couple of years and have been unplugged from the Colorado mining scene. As usual, Stuart A. Sanderson, President of the CMA, provided another stellar presentation of the state of this industry in not only Colorado, but also where this state seems to be headed in comparison to the rest of the country. I always admire Stuart for his dogged representation of an otherwise soft-spoken community of mining people. I told Stuart that the rest of us are grateful for his personality and diligence in representing mining and the reality of this industry to the rest of the general public. His work with legislative bodies and analysis of important decisions that impact mining in Colorado is monumental.
The evening was a pleasant association of miners, engineers, legendary entrepreneurs (“Dutch” Hildebrandt, for example), geologists, and investors. I met people I previously knew from other places, such as Ray Dubois, General Manager at the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine and current Vice Chairman of Hard Rock mining at CMA, old friends such as Dan Witkowski, (Diligent Master of organizing the summer adult education series “All About Mining“– I was disappointed that Dave Cole was not there — he intends to be retiring as Secretary/Treasurer of the CMA Educational Foundation at the end of this year and is seeking a replacement. Hmmm….).
We also visited with Maureen Upton (Founder and Principal at Resource Initiatives – met her at a Denver Mining Club event where she was the speaker), Anne Hite (Director of Investor Relations for Rare Earth Elements), and met for the first time Chief Geochemist for AngloGold Ashanti’s greenfields program, Phillip J. Allen. The distinguished Betty Gibbs refreshed my knowledge of what she does for a living – I thought she owned a GIS company and had no idea she is the Executive Director of Mining and Metallurgical Society of America and consults as a Mine Engineer providing modeling of resources. (Boy, was I outdated! Betty has always been a role model for women in mining. Her accomplishments are encouraging.)
My sister and I were treated like old friends by new faces, including a lot of women I hadn’t met before. In particular, Jill Nelson, Recruitment Manager for Downing Teal, Inc. Her colleague, Senior Search Consultant Jose Antonio Pinedo, was charming and provided interesting perspectives on finding investors. On this topic, (finding creative places to meet potential investors), we listened to a delightful idea provided by Christopher J. Wyatt, V.P. of Behre Dolbear Minerals Industry Advisors. I had mentioned that some on my clients were looking for simple contributions of 25K rather than a few million and speculated that the type of people who have that bundle of cash to invest are probably not very well connected to the mining industry – that those people are looking to find the right company and there is no easy a way to find them.
Christopher suggested that we research where the local medical doctors are having their national conventions and go hang out in that hotel, perhaps at the pool or the bar or maybe even attend the conference, that those are the people who have a chunk of “disposable income” and they don’t have time to look for a mining company. Betty Gibbs liked that idea and noted that medical conventions are often on cruise ships or in Hawaii. We had good laughs over other attractive conventions and their settings.
What a great idea! Conversation digressed from there as to what occupations are probably the most lucrative in this economy with the baby boomers generation entering retirement and that buying gold at a premium high seems absurd unless you are a fatalist and believe the world is coming to an end…
Sue and I spoke with Jane V. Thomas, President of Wyoming Analytical Laboratories, Inc. about the transition in CMA from Judy Colgan (now Executive Director at Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute) to Jody Courtney as Marketing Director and how marvelous these two women are at organization and providing materials and information to our industry. Eventually, after chatting with Andrew Kremer and Jim Beers about Jacobs Mining and Minerals and various places in Colorado or Nevada to visit for beauty, dinner, recreation near mines, we finished the evening with a glass of wine standing in front of an enormous window to admire the magnificent view of downtown Denver from the 38th floor of the Grand Hyatt, listened to Stuart Sanderson acknowledge the lifetime contributions to the mining industry by award recipient, Joel Christman, (retired sales manager for Wagner Equipment and the longest-serving board member of the Colorado Mining Association), and then we headed home. All in all, this was another fine event to celebrate our local mining community and the holiday season.