The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is one of the premier international events for the mining industry. PDAC is held annually in Toronto in early March.
PDAC is the world’s largest mining and exploration convention, with more than 24,000 attendees this year from across the globe. Participants from the Americas, Africa, Europe and elsewhere brave the inclement weather to travel to Toronto in March for deal making and to promote doing business in their respective countries. This year RCF had a 20-person strong contingent from our Denver, Toronto, and Santiago offices in attendance.
A happy coincidence is that our Toronto office is a mere five minute walk from the convention centre. This enables us to have companies come to our office, rather than scrambling to find a place to meet (which can be a challenge during the convention). We can efficiently meet with management teams, investment bankers and commodities consultants on our “home turf”, increasing the number of people we can connect with over the course of the convention.
For the second straight year, RCF hosted a booth on the trade show floor, the only investment fund to do so. Tucked in between big and small mining companies alike, we were a magnet for companies that were in search of capital for advancing their projects. We also find the booth attracts numerous individuals who are curious about a career in private equity. We are more than happy to spend some time with them, as it is an ideal opportunity for recruiting and to highlight some of the university programs we support through scholarships and internships. We also held our seventh annual dinner in which 60 guests had an opportunity to catch up and discuss our sector. Given the dinner’s informal setting and the close knit nature of the business, most invitees make time in their busy PDAC schedules to attend our event every year.
The mood at PDAC this year was the polar opposite of a year ago. Last year the sector was four years into a prolonged industry slump. The mood was subdued, with many smaller exploration companies scrambling to find “keep the lights on” funding. This year’s sentiment was considerably more buoyant, with many companies focused on renewed exploration spending and a desire to replace and grow their resource bases. Some capital is slowly becoming available to the sector after a long hiatus and a new sense of optimism for the future is palpable.
Private equity will continue to invest in the mining industry
RCF has been investing in mining for nearly 20 years, through good times and through tough times. This is what we do. We are a group of mining professionals who are in this for the long run. The opportunity set is broad and deep and there are always great projects to invest in, regardless of where we are in the investment cycle.
We have found that the private equity style of investment is well suited to investing in the mining space. We are a source of patient capital and are comfortable operating in this cyclical industry.
RCF is very active in Canada
RCF has carried out a tremendous amount of investment activity in Canada both in the past and more recently. Several of our larger deals in RCF VI, the current fund, are in Canada — TMAC Resources and Riversdale Resources.
RCF recognizes Toronto as a global financial hub for the mining industry and understands the importance of having a physical presence here, especially given the number of mining companies in Toronto. RCF is here for the long haul, and we will keep working with companies that have great assets and strong management teams to maximise the value of those assets for all stakeholders.