“If you’ve won you know how to win… Experience pays well. Look for people that have a track record, and look for people that want to take big swings.”
Ivan Bebek is one of the most dynamic and driven entrepreneurs in the mining sector today. He is the Executive Chairman of Auryn Resources and the Co-Chairman of Torq Resources. Previously he built and sold two companies: Cayden Resources and Keegan Resources.
In this conversation we discuss:
- Why a CEO needs to understand every aspect of their business.
- The experience that turned Ivan from stockbroker to company builder.
- The mentor that supercharged Ivan’s career.
- Why Ivan is focused on gold & copper.
- The lack of young talent in the mining industry Why exploration today is a totally different game, and why achieving success is much more challenging than ever.
- The importance of access to top notch technical teams.
- The role of marketing in the mining industry.
- Why success gets harder as you get older.
- The importance of being bold.
I walked out of this conversation excited about the sector, excited about discoveries and convinced that Ivan’s greatest success is still to come. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.Click Here For Transcription
Jamie Keech: My name’s Jamie Keech and you’re listening to the Resource Insider podcast, where we talk to CEOs, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs in the mining and metals industry.
Jamie Keech: Ladies and gentlemen welcome to another episode of the Resource Insider podcast. Now, you may be a long-term listener of the podcast, and you might not know we actually have a website, and it’s just resource–insider.com. And beyond the podcast, we also have a lot of free articles and other content that we send out to our readers and our listeners. And we also have a members-only deal flow service, where we look for the best opportunities in the sector. And we invite our members, who are all accredited investors, to invest alongside us. And we’re constantly on the lookout for great deals, great investment opportunities. We’re actually just wrapping up a great one now, where we had the opportunity to invest alongside a multi-billionaire, big hedge funds and corporates to a really, really cool West African gold deal. So, if you want to learn more about what we’re doing besides the podcast, go check us out at resource–insider.com.
Jamie Keech: Now, the reason I bring that up is because today’s guest is one of the best, most energetic, and most engaging dealmakers, entrepreneurs and young leaders in the mining sector today. It is none other than Ivan Bebek, the executive chairman, the co-founder of Auryn Resources. Ivan is only 42 years old. He’s already got a couple of very, very successful deals under his belt. He is one of the most dynamic leaders I have ever met in this space. He’s incredibly optimistic. He is clearly, clearly very driven, and he’s out there doing some really cool stuff. And what I like is he’s focused on making a discovery. You meet a lot of people in the sector these days, especially in this bad market that are focused on playing it safe, and being conservative, and getting by, and holding on until there’s a bull market. Ivan is not like that. Ivan is aggressive, Ivan is driven. Ivan is out there looking to make a massive discovery and it was really, really fun, and really entertaining, and really educational to talk to someone with that mindset who hasn’t been slowed down by poor market conditions. Ivan didn’t need to be slowed down because he’s built a core group of supporters around him. He’s made people money, and he’s consistently able to finance his deals. So, I learned a lot talking to Ivan. I think everyone’s going to get a lot out of this, and it’s super entertaining, super enjoyable. So please, without further ado, the great and powerful Ivan Bebek.
Jamie Keech: Ivan, how’s it going today?
Ivan Bebek: Very well, thank you.
Jamie Keech: So, we are back with the Resource Insider podcast. We are sitting in your beautiful office looking out in the harbor here in Vancouver. And it is the Spratt Show this week, and everyone’s busy running around like crazy. Including you, who was downtown just yesterday giving a presentation. And so I appreciate you taking a few minutes to fit us in now.
Ivan Bebek: Oh, it’s my absolute pleasure. It’s an exciting time for us in many ways, and also for the market.
Jamie Keech: So, we’re gonna talk about that, the market, about Auryn, your main focus these days and your background. But for those of you who have never, rather, for those out there who have never heard of Ivan Bebek, can you give us the 20,000-foot view of who you are and what you do day-to-day?
Ivan Bebek: Sure, 20,000-foot view. Entrepreneur. Started young in the business as a stockbroker. Decided, by accident, to be a contrarian, after reading one of Warren Buffett’s books. I found a lot of other or a few other contrarians. One that everyone knows really well, Rick Rule. And understood that buying mining stocks when nobody wanted them and everybody wanted dot com stocks, was a good way to invest into the mining market. Because I didn’t know much at the time. Soon after, met Dr. Roman Shklanka. Took me under his wing to teach me about finding mines. And Roman found six major mines around the world in his career. One of the legendary mine finders. And learned a wealth of knowledge from him. Met a gentleman by the name of Shawn Wallace in 2005. He was working with the Hunter-Dickinson Group. And, we both looked at each other and said, we one day want to be bosses and run our own companies versus work for these great mentors that were around. And, I developed a really strong ability to market and finance what we do. And Shawn, on the other hand, also good at that. But had an incredible experience of taking mines from exploration through production with Hunter-Dickinson. So, we took the best of those two both worlds. Created a company called Keegan, where we found 5 million ounces of gold, which was our goal.
Ivan Bebek: And to do that on our first company, we understood there was a large luck component to what we were doing. But, we also learned you can learn your luck – earn your luck, sorry. And then, we started Cayden Resources to go do the same thing. And this one we sold, as you know, to Agnico Eagle in 2014 after a hundred drill holes, which people told us was not possible. And it was crazy. It was in the middle of the bear market. We needed a resource.
Ivan Bebek: We read the market more than we read or put out a resource, and that’s what kind of delivered that success. But today I sit here with you running Auryn Resources with Shawn. And we’re looking at finding the world’s biggest mine. I think size got into our heads and we built out an incredible technical team. Portfolio of seven projects. We’ve raised and spent a hundred million dollars in the last five years. You asked me what my day job is. Everything.
Ivan Bebek: I very much – I don’t want to say control fanatic, in the right sense. But for these things to work well, for me to be able to finance, raise money, and have the confidence to sleep at night, I have to have my fingers in every part of the company. So I involve myself or insert myself in everything. From negotiating with our communities, to working with our technical team on a daily basis, strategizing through their programs, working with our CFO on a daily basis with budgets, negotiating acquisitions, dealing with corporate investors, potential corporate shareholders, and managing our broader market share price as well as investors. So, there’s nothing I don’t do. But being a hundred percent informed makes me much more powerful as a leader in my group. With my partner to run the business. And so that’s how involved I am on a daily basis.
Jamie Keech: Okay, so that’s a lot of stuff for us to have done back and to get into over the next few minutes, next hour. I think the best place to start is getting a bit more detail about what actually brought you into this industry. So you said that you initially started as a stockbroker.
Ivan Bebek: Yes.
Jamie Keech: When you were a stockbroker, were you focused on mining stocks at that time, or did you actually start looking at tech?
Ivan Bebek: Great question. I entered in December ’99. As you’re aware, that was right before the dot com peak, which crashed, sort of crashed in March 2000. And they were doing 2, $300 IPOs. As a 22-year-old stockbroker trying to understand a $200 share price that’s gonna possibly double. It was really hard to comprehend.
Ivan Bebek: Having a certain appeal for the mining side and reading that contrarian book called Buffettology about Warren Buffett, drove me to look at what’s the sector that’s not being paid attention to. I looked at Kinross was 80 cents a share, subsequently went to over $20 a share. Eldorado was 30 cents, subsequently went to $20 a share as well. And a bunch of other juniors. And I thought to myself, well, these are pretty great opportunities. Will they ever come back? And I started pitching mining stocks to my clients. And a lot of brokers in Vancouver heard of me doing quite well, becoming a broker that had big ambitions. And everyone likes to put down the new guy on the block because it’s a competitive business. And they said to my clients that Ivan’s crazy. Mining will never be what it used to be. And they were right. Three years later, it was way better than it had ever been before. So that’s the foray into it.
Jamie Keech: And you were in your twenties at this time?
Ivan Bebek: 22 years old.
Ivan Bebek: I started financing a company called Kobex that was run by my dad and Roman Shklanka. My dad was a developer, but he dabbled in the markets. And my dad met Roman. And my dad’s advice to me was, ‘integrity is everything’. And if you can attach yourself to really brilliant people, then you can learn a lot. Just make sure you can hang your hat on whatever you’re financing, marketing, doing at the end of the day. So integrity was my advice from my dad. That’s how I met Roman. His track record was an easy sell for me. And his quality, his integrity as a person was really, really positive.
Ivan Bebek: He actually introduced me to Rob Sally. It was a cold call. I’ll tell you about it in a minute. Working with Roman, it opened a lot of doors. I recognized that his reputation would do so.
Ivan Bebek: Eventually, after being a broker, I decided to go work for Roman directly, for, not enough money to pay the rent. But, I didn’t care. I got to work with a legendary mine finder. And I remember vividly to this day, the cold call I did to Rob Sally, who at the time was one of the mining brokers of Vancouver. I was given a shortlist of six brokers. He was one of the big guys on there. I called him up and I said, hi, my name is Ivan Bebek and I’m working in the exploration business, and work with Roman Shklanka. Then he heard that name and he goes, “you have 45 seconds, go”.
Ivan Bebek: And so, I pitched him. And if you remember that movie from Wall Street with Gordon Gekko and Bud Fox. I felt like Bud Fox pitching Gordon Gekko in this call because I knew Rob’s reach was massive market-wide and I knew Roman was the key in but I had 45 seconds to sell this guy.
Ivan Bebek: And there was a stock called Barrett Techs. The symbol was IBX at the time, and it was trading around 20 cents a share. I pitched a block to Rob, to buy it around 30 cents a share.
Jamie Keech: So were you working for Barrett Techs at the time?
Ivan Bebek: I switched over after 10 years as a broker. And I decided that there was a lot more money in the running of the company side than there was in the brokerage. I also found myself as a broker, being quite critical to a lot of junior management teams that were doing things wrong. And instead of telling people how to run their business, I figured, let’s go how to run my own business one day. That was my mind of thinking at the time. But, I remember when I pitched Rob and I asked him and 45 seconds later, he said yes. Bought a block above the market. And I remember lying on the floor of my office like I just bagged the elephant kind of thing. And if you followed my career since, it truly was the elephant. I mean, Rob’s introduced me to so many people in the business and helped me design a lot of really intelligent ways to market – finance and market companies.
Jamie Keech: Okay, so, you mentioned at the start, how mining was really in the dumps at that point. You saw that as a growth opportunity compared to these $200 tech stocks. Do you see any parallels in that moment to what we’re seeing today in the monetary? Or maybe not today, maybe a few months ago would have been a better time to ask that question.
Ivan Bebek: I think I saw it at Bitcoin’s peak. At 19, I made a bet with another banker. That gold would outperform Bitcoin when Bitcoin was at $19,000 a coin. And to me, it was the exact frothiness that I didn’t like about the dot com market. And quickly after it corrected and I won the bet. The second part of that question is, what’s different this time around, and we just saw the cannabis market as well. There isn’t the same ability to find mines that there was before.
Ivan Bebek: We’re losing generations of people that find them. But the real estate that go find these mines is not what it used to be. All the easy mines have been found. I don’t know how many billion off the top of my head has been raised since 2000, the last 20 years. But anything that was outcropping, that was easy to find has been found already. And we’re now looking for major deposits undercover. Unless you get lucky drilling wildcat holes. It’s a tough go.
Ivan Bebek: So I think this time it’s way different. And I think the opportunity in the market is the same. But I think the opportunity for success is much harder. Which means that the few discoveries we have that are of significance are gonna do much better. And I’d kind of go back to the nineties or the market where you saw Furlong going to $22 a share off of modest discoveries and stuff like that. There’s more people. There’s more investors. They’re the influence of accessibility to more investors through the Internet, which never really existed before. And the mines being found, gold mines. The last mine in the world found of significance being Amaruq, 6 million ounces, six grams per ton is now being built. That was in 2013. I can’t think of another gold mine unless in a geopolitical place you wouldn’t want to be, that has been found of fine analysis, that kind of grade.
Jamie Keech: That’s a huge statement. And then people like to say, well, no one’s looking.
Ivan Bebek: We spent a hundred million in five years looking with Newmont’s former global exploration team, Ross Beaty and company. A handful of entrepreneurs in our business are looking. If you guys are getting lucky like Dave Strang. There’re some groups out there, but all the legendary mine finders who used to exist are no longer in the game. They’re retiring on their last decade of participating. The energy is not there, what it used to be.
Jamie Keech: Yeah, I mean, it’s an interesting point because how old are you now?
Ivan Bebek: 42
Jamie Keech: You’re 10 years older than me. There’s not many people doing what you’re doing in your generation and there’s even less in my generation that are doing that.
Ivan Bebek: So it’s a big generation gap. And the guys who did it all, who made all the money in the last 20 years, they’re in their sixties and going into their seventies, right? And I can tell you, as a 42-year-old, who’s done this for 19 years, almost 20 years, there’s a certain shelf life of this drive and energy and passion that you have. And I don’t see having it in my sixties anymore. Hopefully, the legacy is big enough that it’s a lot less lifting. But this is our third company. Every company we do, I find it’s even more work than the one before. Because you generally try to bite off a bigger piece of the pie, right?
Jamie Keech: Okay, so we have less people doing the work that needs to be done. It’s harder to find great assets now. The game of financing a company has changed drastically over the last 10 years. What does this mean? For a company to be successful in this new reality that we’re seeing? What do they need to be doing differently than they did when you started your career even.? And a follow-up to that is, how does this change the game for investors? What should they be looking that they may be previously didn’t have to worry about?
Ivan Bebek: That’s two great questions.
Jamie Keech: It’s a long question.
Ivan Bebek: I don’t envy people coming into this market to try and do what we’re doing. Because the market’s been tough, we’re at the end of a bear cycle, right? And that’s usually one that’s the hardest. And I think we’re in the transition to turn up and you can see it. I’ve had some employees quit. Important employees. Some guys have been with me for nine years, seven years, these are long-term guys who have left to go pursue other things. And these guys, they’re gonna get on the indicator T-shirt soon. That’s where they end up because I wish them all well. But, you’re leaving because you’ve met the threshold. This business is getting too hard. So a new guy coming in. The one thing that I will say is that everyone’s scared to raise money. Everyone’s scared to be bold about their projects. Everyone’s got a lot of fear because the market’s been so bad. Everyone’s dealing with a jaded sense of fear. That’s what I find. If you can surpass that, and look at the positive side. Because it’s an optimistic business to go find gold or any kind of mining deposits. If you can remain to be optimistic. And if you can persevere with a lot of tenacity and go out there and be bold. Take that risk. You’re gonna go and win. You don’t win if you don’t take a big risk. You don’t win big if you don’t bet big, right? I’m not going to take a shot here at Millennials. But I’m gonna address them a little bit. Millennials are a lot less risk-averse I find, than generations before them.
Jamie Keech: Yeah, well, especially in mining, and so I’ll speak to my own experience of being a millennial. I graduated from university in 2008. I had a job in exploration. And later that year the crash came. And I was immediately fired along with everybody else on that job and went back to school. Then we had a couple of good years and I was working in the field as an engineer. And then in late 2012 things fell off a cliff again, I was 25 ish at that point, and I’ve never seen anything good since then. I consistently see good projects, do good work, raise money and then still trade down. I think I’m in a very fortunate position that I’ve been able to surround myself with some very successful people who have spent a lot of time mentoring me and explaining the nature of these cycles. And position yourself in times like this, and the opportunity of being in times like this. But most people in mining, in my generation, have never seen any real success beyond a paycheck if they’re lucky. So it’s hard for people to have that optimism because they haven’t ever experienced it, and they don’t have the visceral wins.
Ivan Bebek: I think you have to do research to find optimism for you, but I will say it. 32 is your age now. Being in the market now, you’ll be one of our pioneers tomorrow. And a decade from now, if you stay in it, not only will you have a massive portfolio. Not only will you start to see that. We’re in a cycle, your timing of entering the cycle was actually better than most because it’s better to see the bad first. Because you don’t know what to do when it’s good, right?
Jamie Keech: I feel like one of those kids that grew up in the Great Depression, and they’re saving their pennies every day. I feel like this scarring experience will sit with me for the rest of my life.
Ivan Bebek: But even stock picking in our business, it’s so easy when the market’s bad. To pick stocks that over time will do well is so hard when the market’s good. I don’t want to buy any stocks, but inside, my internal ambition is to buy every stock, right? So I experienced the dot com crash to start, which was not mining. And I went from a nonexistent mining market as a broker to a nonexistent everything market. I really think mining is gonna come around. I had to put on some big boy pants and just go believe. And then I wrote it up to the crash, like you said. And saw that. Then saw the 2012 crash. But I have a gear that I go into when we start a company, and it doesn’t shut off. It’s that one gear all the way through, regardless of conditions around.
Jamie Keech: So, you’ve surrounded yourself with real world-class technical people. You’ve been highly-ambitious in terms of financing. And then going out and spending that money, and taking big swings, and getting work done. The other side of that question was, for investors that are maybe experienced in this space, maybe new, want to still make money in mining. What should they be looking at in terms of the companies that they choose to put their capital behind in this changed environment?
Ivan Bebek: I think that’s a great question. And if there’s an easy answer, we’d all buy those companies. But what I do, if I look outside of my own companies and it will reflect how we run our companies. I look for size. It has to be big. If someone’s looking to find a small deposit, I’m not gonna make much money on their share price, right? Track record is incredibly important. And you don’t always find the perfect jockey because he’s gotta win his first race. So you got to speculate and listen to the person and establish your own opinion. But somebody who’s done it once, twice, three times before there’s an old adage in our business saying you’re as good as your last deal. And that, to me is critical because if you’ve won, you know how to win. You’ve been through it all. And in a position that we’re in or I’m in with my partners, we’ve won twice and selling Cayden to Agnico, I would have sat here with you and told you that is gonna go 180 degrees different than it did go. And that’s how skewed I was until I went through that process with them. So experience pays well. And look for people that have a track record and look for people that want to take big swings.
Jamie Keech: So I will start by saying, I totally agree with everything you just said there. But I’m also gonna play the Devil’s Advocate because to your earlier point, a lot of these guys are retiring. The Ross Beatys of the world. He’s in his sixties now. Lukas Lundin is in his sixties now. Robert Friedland is almost 70 now. There’s a couple of Ivan Bebeks out there who are still pretty young and have had a couple of successes. But there’s gonna have to be a whole new generation of that. So I’m gonna pose you a theoretical question. If you were to invest in an untested CEO, so someone who hopefully has a track record of working with great companies, either in a technical or a finance or a capital markets role. But they’re going out and they’re doing their own deal now. What are the characteristics that you would look for? And one of the reasons I ask that is because buying into a Ross Beaty deal early on, it’s not easy to get into those things in that early round. And even when you do, you pay the Ross Beaty premium because people know he’s got a way better shot of winning than whoever down the street. So I see the big opportunity, especially for someone in my generation, is to find the 30-year-olds that are going to be filling that role.
Ivan Bebek: If there was a person out there, I’d back him in a second. And I’m looking for that person daily. Work ethic, number one. I entered the business with little knowledge about how it worked. And I was asking for money, and I had a pool of people that believed in me. But how did I ensure their investments? I promised them and I promised myself, and I still, to this day, that I would work harder than everybody else until it was finally successful. So work ethic. And if you sat with me in my early twenties, was my number one reason of what I look for in a person.
Ivan Bebek: The second thing is they have to have an open-mindedness and be humble. I admit it. Far too many guys in their thirties, twenties, thirties, and forties, even. They get their first win and they ignore the fact that luck was involved. And they think it was all them. And those are the most dangerous guys to put your money with. You’ve got to be humble to admit when you’re lucky. You can claim of earning your luck. That’s work ethic. But I want a humble person that has an incredible hard work ethic.
Speaker 3: And then the last thing is somebody that will listen to people that have done this before. That look for mentorship. That don’t think they’re going to do it better. And, in your twenties and thirties, you think I’ve got my own formula. I’ve learned enough from everyone, I wanna do it my way and make it work.
Ivan Bebek: That can work for some. But listening to mentorship from Ross Beatys, Lucas Lundins and I’ve had the luxury of doing business with both of them. What you can learn from somebody that’s done what you’re doing for 40 years is the most priceless knowledge. And so if you listen, if you have hardcore work ethic, and if you’re humble, then you’ve got my check and I’ll back you. And you have to think big. That’s the other part is you’ve gotta think big. Big picture, but big assets. That’s the only way that we’ll make money together with somebody new.
Jamie Keech: So for those would-be mining entrepreneurs out there, and there are a few listening to this. You’ve done a great job of acquiring talented mentors. You’ve talked about Rob Sally. You’ve talked about Roman. How did you do that? How did you distinguish yourself as someone that they wanna invest their time into?
Ivan Bebek: So Rob was a cold call, as I mentioned earlier. And how I got to him was, I called up Roman’s broker, Doug Smith at Raymond James. And I said Doug, who’re the top five mining brokers in Vancouver? And Rob Sally was on that list. So I called him up, and you know that 45 seconds of moment that I’ll never forget was that.
Ivan Bebek: And I followed up. I grew up as a European family. And did a lot of hunting and fishing for meat. We’re not killing animals for sport. So I hunted a moose later that year, and I showed up to Rob Sally’s office with a bag of moose and frozen moose. Nicely-butchered and stuff and steaks. And, you have to find a way in, to smart people to show them that you’re gonna respect and listen. So when I came to his office and I brought the moose meat. He sat me down for 45 minutes. And a really generous guy with his time for me.
Ivan Bebek: Basically, he learned what I was going to do, what I wasn’t going to do. And I started listening to Rob. Then he started making introductions, and I just promised him that I was gonna work my ass off basically, really hard. Because I wanted him to look good. I wanted him to make money. And if he introduced me to people, I wanted that to happen. And pretty soon word got around. I think Rick Rule gave me a nice compliment to Rob one year or one day, and he said that I was one of the hardest working guys in the business. And I was like, great. It’s not about making money in the first part. It’s about giving that effort in so people can respect that you’re gonna work hard. If you get it right, it’s going to do really well for shareholders, right?
Ivan Bebek: So that was the intro. That’s how I got through Rob. Rob made some introductions. And then for me, I never stopped looking for Rob Sallys. And I admired Robert Friedland a ton because when he first moved to Vancouver, my dad was friends with Robert Friedland. And I grew up listening to Friedland’s stories. The first stock I bought was in 1995 called African Minerals. Anyone else who’s bought this in 1995 realizes it was 17 years to go public. It’s now Ivanhoe Mines. And so I got into a car accident, unfortunately, but I was okay. The insurance company gave me some money, and I bought that stock. My dad said these are all my Friedland stories. Friedland’s done a handful of deals to 10 or $20 a share. So what I like about Friedland is the showmanship was awesome. And it’s not that he’s this incredible salesman. It’s that he’s not afraid to sell the opportunity that’s really in front of you. And I find a lot of people are conservative because they want to be safe and they want to look good for being right. I found, if you follow him from his early years, Robert Friedland, if the opportunity was to find a 10 million ounce gold mine. You heard about it and you felt it in the room. What’s the point to go in and be conservative and say, well, it could be, maybe, what? No, you want to hear and feel what could be there. And I think he was a master of doing that.
Jamie Keech: So he’s really selling the dream of what he’s after. He’s going out to find the 10 million ounce mine. What do you find most people do in that situation?
Ivan Bebek: I find most people will come into those meetings and say, we’re looking for maybe we’ll find a million ounce at first. Yeah, I could go to 10 but maybe we’ll get on the first million. And oh, there’s this other blue sky, but we don’t know yet. And I find there’s a lot of safety and people don’t like to put their necks out. I heard stories of Robert Friedland walking around boardrooms, with his dancing with the African stuff that he experienced or smashing his shoe on the table and is selling Voisey’s Bay. And, these are the kind of energy that gets investors paid, that gets you financed, that gets your share price the appreciation it deserves. People would line up to invest in Robert’s steals, and they do to this day. And he’s exciting. But he’s also winning with what he’s finding. He’s a smart guy, brilliant guy, and the assets he’s found are spectacular. Not everybody’s perfect. An entrepreneur and everybody has multiple sides, but the side that works for him. Great. I mean, go listen to him talk at a show, and I guarantee you’re writing a check before you leave the conference to buy shares in his company.
Jamie Keech: So he’s talking today at this conference. And I have heard this being rumored. I don’t know if this is true, but that several funds have rules in place that their fund managers or the portfolio managers are not allowed to buy a Friedland share of one of his companies for at least 24 hours after hearing him speak. Because they get mesmerized by the idea.
Ivan Bebek: He’s a true visionary, right? He lays it out so well, so organized. And I think it’s his confidence that comes out. He’s doing it with some of the best assets in the world as well. So I think whether you buy it right after, or you don’t, you’re still gonna win.
Jamie Keech: So this is a good transition to something I’ve wanted to talk about with you personally for a while. There are a lot of mining – let me take a step back.
Jamie Keech: Promotion often has a bad name in the mining industry, and often rightfully so. And I think there’s been an issue in mining stocks, particularly, that people confuse promotion with marketing. And marketing is important. And every industry markets. Whether you’re selling books or condos or whatever, you need marketing. So marketing is important in mining, Auryn, and your past companies have done a phenomenal job of marketing. You’re not afraid to engage the right people to get your story out there. A lot of companies are vehemently against this. So what are your views on marrying strong, aggressive, honest marketing with good science, good work and good assets?
Ivan Bebek: So in my speech yesterday on our management slide, the title ‘Experienced Balanced Management Team’. Experience to show you that we’ve done it before. But the balance is the keyword to address your point. Balance part is. I would argue that our marketability, or promotion ability, I’m not offended by the word. But we don’t sell stock to investors. We buy stock as insiders. We could coach that in a moment. But our marketability strengths are measured by an equal or stronger technical strengths, right? And when you merge those two together, you get a really good level of balance so that you’re not just blowing smoke or marketing a dream that’s so far away from happening, right? All of our marketing decisions are budgets, and everything is made with the underlining or underpinning of really strong technical confidence, right? What most geologists are afraid to do is to promote their ideas. And what we’ve done a great job to do is we promote the ideas that geologist wouldn’t normally promote. Because they are founded by some incredible world experts. I believe if you don’t market your story properly, you have no chance of avoiding dilution, raising money, or performing with your share price.
Ivan Bebek: So the people that are against that, vehemently against it, there’s a fine line. Are you pumping your stock up so you can sell a bunch of shares and go do this five more times? Or are you marketing something you really believe in as a vision? Buying three and a half million dollars of shares, as I did personally in Auryn and then mark it up to 3 75 per share. Alongside that, because you believe in your vision, there’s two different types of marketing that happens in our business. Some is self-serving by people. They don’t sit as insiders on their companies, they try to put these companies together and pump up the share price to sell them and make money. Other guys actually have something to say and they’re trying to create world awareness. So they hit the big discovery as I think they will. Then they get their 10 20 $30 share price and then all the investors win even more. I think one of my rules of investing into another company, outside of the technical abilities, is the marketability.
Ivan Bebek: If you have the best technical team and the best technical project, I’m gonna buy your company with my company. I’m not gonna invest into your company as an investor because I’ll never make any money, right? But if you have a good chance to market yourself or somebody in part of your team that can do that, then I’m happy to help out and become an investor and market your company as well. So it’s an essential ingredient. I say It’s a 50-50 split between technical team and marketability. Because if you can’t finance it, you won’t be able to go find it technically. And if you don’t have it technically, you’re not gonna be able to market and finance it. So I draw the line in the middle there.
Jamie Keech: So you come in strongly on that marketing side. You come from a capital markets background. What is it you look for when, either when you were investing in a technical team or when you’re choosing technical partners? You spoke briefly about your partnership with Shawn Wallace. And obviously he’s a key part of the team here, and he’s been a key part of your career for the last many years. What is it you’re looking for and what draws you to these people? To put your name and your money and your time behind them?
Ivan Bebek: So that’s a tough question. It’s like trying to find the best doctor and not being a doctor and picking one for you, right? And so you go by referral. You go by reputation or whatnot. And actually, how it all started was Rob McLeod introduced Shawn and I, to Dan McCoy. When we were starting Keegan, we needed a President/CEO/Geologist for our company. And he spoke highly of Dan by referral. A brilliant technical guy and you guys should work with him. Dan came in for work, but the guy was extremely studious. The guy didn’t stop learning and studying. He has a Ph.D., incredible geologist, and he actually chose our current technical team.
Ivan Bebek: So we relied on somebody that found us two incredible deposits or successes to choose and recruit our current technical team. And I think the message there is don’t try and choose an expert in a field you don’t know much about. Work through referral to find somebody that can pick the best person in the industry. The gentleman we’re working with, Michael Henrichsen, our chief geologist, and Dave Smithson. And then they brought in all that the former global experts from Newmont. These two guys, what Shawn I both liked about them was their quality of work and their reputation of quality of work. [A] big part of adding a lot of ounces to a half-full in Ghana. But my favorite thing about both of these guys is if they don’t know something technically that well, they know about everything. But if they don’t know about geophysics, they find somebody that’s a world expert about geophysics. And that humbleness amongst them, not saying I know everything, is what makes them good, really good technical people.
Jamie Keech: I think you make an extremely good point. I have noticed over the last couple of years there are a lot of very vocal, very opinionated, armchair speculators in the mining industry, who have such strong conviction in their opinions. Even on technical issues. And I know they have no technical background. And I do not understand how they’re able to have that sort of conviction. I mean, I’m a mining engineer. I do have a technical background. And truthfully, on some deposits, I feel like I have no idea what’s going on because I’m not an expert in epithermal gold deposits in Mexico or maybe porphyry copper deposits in Chile. And I always find the person that is and spend a lot of time talking to them. And sort of leeching off of their knowledge to try to make a decision. And I don’t really know where I’m going to this point, but I do think there’s a lot of people out there. And I would say, do not overestimate your technical ability just cause you can understand a technical report. It’s very, very hard to differentiate, and the devil is really in the details there.
Ivan Bebek: On that point exactly. You take a geologist, a typical junior. There’s usually one or two geologists in the team, usually one. It’s the geologist, that geologist that says, you know what? I know a little bit about geophysics, but that guy’s the best guy you can get access to in the business. I want him to tell me the way you just described what you would do. That’s the geologist I want to finance and want to work with. And there’s been some legendary geologists that have found some incredible deposits. I find that the reason why some of them don’t continuously win is because you have to, again, remember that sometimes you’re lucky. It’s not always [the] right time and place. You and I could have drilled certain holes that somebody got to the hall of fame on some deposits. But no, it’s not as transparent as it looks.
Jamie Keech: I just went on a site visit about two months ago to a company called Osino Resources. Run by a gentleman named Heye Daun. I didn’t invest in it yet. I’m kind of regretting that at the moment because they’re doing very well. But I was really impressed by the site visit, by the team. But particularly something Heye does is he’s got a really crack geologist named David Underwood. Years of Anglo, tons of experience. I spent many days with him, great guy. But what Heye does is once or twice a year, he brings in outside geologist, equally reputable. And they act as the red team that tries to poke holes in all the theory. And he made the point himself. He’s not a geologist, he’s an engineer. He’s not up-to-date enough to really understand the difference of – to be able to effectively argue against the theory or an idea. And bringing in those sort of countering points, I think is genius. Because I personally have a hard time distinguishing between a very confident geologist and a very competent geologist.
Ivan Bebek: That’s fair. And we rely on our board. Antonio Arribas is on our board. And if you don’t know him by reputation, he was formerly the chief geologist for Newmont, and he was the VP of geosciences for BHP. Extremely well-regarded globally and followed by everybody in the technical. They know who he is. Being a board member and independent director, the separation between him and our technical team is massive. And if you sit through some of our board meetings, you will hear him do exactly what was said. If he finds a topic that he doesn’t like or doesn’t understand, he’s extremely vocal. And we rely on him for that matter. Dan McCoy, who was our main geologist, is now an independent consultant to us, to a degree. And Dan reviews what we’re doing all the time, just the same. So we have that mechanism in place.
Ivan Bebek: The team that we work with is seven people. And they work by committee. They don’t work independent, no independent decision gets to decide unless everyone agrees to it, right? But having somebody like Antonio on our board has been an incredible, smart move on our part to make sure that exactly that’s happening. I know Dave Underwood and I know Osino as well. And I remember when that was coming together. He knows our technical team extremely well, and a lot of respect there. And it’s brilliant what that guy’s doing. I think more companies need to be held accountable for that.
Ivan Bebek: There’s something else on the other side of the business. Shawn and I talked about yesterday with respect to bonuses that we might – we’re thinking of employing into our corporate culture. And companies now are talking about only bonusing their executives if the share price performs amongst their peers, not in the general market, but amongst their peers. And so he brought it up yesterday. He heard of it, and one of our directors actually mentioned it. And I think it’s a brilliant idea. If you’re going to get rewarded, it should be based off of everyone getting rewarded. Not just putting a lot of work in.
Ivan Bebek: Yeah, objective performance. So, on that note, we should start talking about Auryn a little bit now. What I want to start with, and I want to get into the details of what you guys are doing and the projects and all that. But what are you guys doing to be innovative right now?
Jamie Keech: Using artificial intelligence up in Committee Bay. That’s one. That’s big. The biggest thing we’ve done outside the box, which I’ll call it, as innovative as what we did in Peru with our Sombrero project. We went somewhere that everybody dismissed because there was volcanic cover over the rocks. And there was a perception the age of the rocks were too young that we were exploring. And this is down by Las Palmas and these major mines that exist in the Andes.
Ivan Bebek: And all these huge mines, Las Bambas, Tintaya, and Toquepala. There’s a handful of them that occur in this belt. And if you look at them, geologically, they’re all outcropping, as we’ve talked earlier. The easy ones to find. On the west side of the belt, there is a debate and was largely dismissed, that the rocks were too young and the small little windows of high-grade were just leakage. We decided to ignore the popular opinion by all the geologist out there. These major mining companies that have been all over our project well before we were. And we decided to say, look, we’re gonna look at the grade a bit closer, do the elaborate work. And we started finding widths and grades of the mines next door all over our project. We got the age dating back on the rocks. It’s actually all the same age, so we have the other half of the same belt.
Ivan Bebek: And that was our innovation. I think, to a degree, was coming outside the box and going against the typical assumption on age dating from a government study that everybody else believed in. And now we might be hosting one of the world’s biggest copper-gold districts in one big land position, So that was the biggest thing I think that we did outside of the AI being used at Committee Bay.
Jamie Keech: So, what should people know about Auryn. If I’m an investor at home right now, and I’m looking to get exposure to gold exploration. What do I need to know?
Ivan Bebek: Well, I’d say, a copper-gold exploration. Just to be clear. But, size matters to us. And if I haven’t made that clear in the podcast, that’s exactly what we’re after. Because that’s where we’ll make a lot of money with our shareholders.
Ivan Bebek: I’m giving a speech today down at the conference, and it’s titled ‘Once in a Lifetime Opportunity’. And the first thing people will assume that’s quite presumptuous, I’m sure it is. But, the Sombrero project for us in Peru is something that we’ll never see again in our careers. And it’s the only time we’ll ever get a chance to be part of something that could be this big. It’s analogous to Las Bambas and a handful of other mines next door. Las Bambas is the 10th largest mine in the world. Copper producer sold for seven billion dollars in 2014.
Ivan Bebek: All the same rocks, the same age, widths of the same grade. And major mining companies have come to look at this project independent of our opinion. And we like to think that the Kool-Aid is usually spiked with Vodka. When you make it yourself, you can’t taste the Vodka. But if somebody else comes and tastes it, they can taste it. So the reaction from the major mining companies has been extremely positive, and actually arguably a lot more ambitious than we were thinking it is, believe it or not.
Ivan Bebek: And so everyone thinks, and it’s been written in the Peruvian journals, that this could be the other half of the district. And we’re in 5% of our land position. We’re comparing the first 5% to potentially another Las Bambas. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. Plus. There’s a lot more to go with it. So for you as an investor, for everybody listening to this podcast, to find an entire district in one company means multiple mines in one property. That’s unheard of. It’s usually done by majors. It’s why majors buy projects and they usually buy hundred thousand, 200,000 hectares afterward, because they want to control and have these big land positions.
Ivan Bebek: We caught everybody sleeping technically with that wrong age of rocks in the volcanic cover. And now we’re seeing that we’re more than right. And we’re seeing it on surface, and in some historical drill holes. So I think it’s a once in a lifetime thing we’re gonna get a chance to deliver. I think the copper market, as well as the gold market, are gonna do extremely well. You can look at supply, or demand outpacing supply in 2022. I believe it starts to happen and you can look at just general demand for copper. Anything new – construction, electrification of transport, anything with a power switch in it of any sort is copper. And it’s getting hard to find these big ones.
Jamie Keech: It is hard to imagine a world in the future that doesn’t need more copper. If you believe in climate change. If you believe that they’re gonna renovate those 40, 50-year-old houses or rebuild houses in your neighborhood. If you believe they’re gonna build new high-rises. And we see the cranes across the globe and I learned a lot of this on my own. But, just listening to Friedland’s speech about it. But electrification of cars and of society. Renewable energy. All of that involves copper.
Jamie Keech: And not just the batteries in these new cars. I mean, they’ve been speaking in Vancouver about, I can’t remember the date, maybe 2025 or something like that, only having electric cars in the city. And the upgrades to the grid that would be required for that is astronomical. I mean, the grid in the city can’t possibly support a million cars on the street. And were charging every night.
Ivan Bebek: If you remember Bitcoin, they were talking about Bitcoin saturating enough power demand that there’d be no power left in three years when Bitcoin was $19,000 a coin, right? And that’s just to create those Bitcoins. Well, think about electric cars, and this is a good stat that I got from a fund manager in Boston.
Ivan Bebek: If you put 3% of the world into electric cars, there’s no more copper left on the planet. Right now, based on current supply. That’s pretty, pretty aggressive. 3% of the world driving. 7 billion people. I’m not sure how many exactly are driving. But you put 3% of the world into electric cars. Because the saturation is quite small. But that being said back to it, I mean, Sombrero is not our only project. There’s more to come there.
Ivan Bebek: But I can’t not talk about is the focal point. Because the probability of success is just – it’s a matter of how rich is it, and how big is it. Not, is it there anymore because of surface results in a copper-gold system and some past drilling. And we can see plenty of real estate to go and add this big deposit. The guy who brought us Sombrero was the guy who, Miguel Cardozo, who converted to a gold discovery from a silver discovery. That’s a 60 million ounce epithermal discovery. This was his next big idea in Peru. He ran out of money in the bear market, to be able to support it and do the elaborate work himself. But no, it’s truly a once in a lifetime. I think my and our team’s careers are gonna be defined by it. Top five mining companies in the world. We’ve heard from all of them. They’re all there. And now it’s just a matter of going and drilling it and putting up a discovery that hasn’t happened for 20 years or 10 years, you know?
Jamie Keech: So, what can current shareholders and potential shareholders expect to see in 12, 18 months?
Ivan Bebek: I think you’ll see us get our permit to drill down in Peru. We have something we’ve been after for four years in Peru that we should be able to acquire. It’s an early stage of Sombrero on a bigger belt in Peru. So you’ll see an acquisition. We have some gold projects in BC. We have the Committee Bay Gold project in Northern Canada. Committee Bay, we’re drilling as I sit here with you right now. We’re going for Canada’s next major high-grade gold discovery. We’re going for an Amaruq, which we talked about earlier, being the last major gold deposit.
Ivan Bebek: Drills all to be out in October in Q4. And so we may or may not have made that discovery. You can’t see it in the corps until you get them back. But you’ll get a lot of results from the gold side of the portfolio as we wait for permits to get onto this big copper-gold system in Peru. And then, once drilling starts, either the end of this year or Q1 or early Q1 next year. Look forward to one of the world’s bigger discoveries in the last decade or two. That starts getting made and enjoy the ride as a shareholder.
Ivan Bebek: I mean, we’re sitting here today, five years after spending a hundred million dollars. We have not drilled the hole yet that would define a big discovery. And we sit here with a 200 million dollar market cap. What is that saying, ‘share price never lies’. And when it goes down, I would argue, does it lie, because it should be up? No, I would say this part. The share price cannot sustain – the company cannot sustain that valuation if you don’t have the goods. Not in this market. Maybe in a bull market. But we’re not quite in the bull market yet. So I’m trying to give you an idea of how much third-party validation is really onto the system.
Ivan Bebek: Once the drill holes start, it’s the kind of thing I dream about as an investor, to be part of a big system. That’s why I bought so much in the open market and I keep buying as an insider is because I think this will be one of the biggest things I find in my career. And the technical team, they said it in a news release, Michael Henrichsen, our chief geologist, said this is the best project he’s seen pre-drilling in his career. And he’s formerly the global structural geologist in Newmont. He’s seen more projects in his career than I’ll see in my entire career so far.
Ivan Bebek: I take that at heart – face value. I take the third-party validation at face value. And then I look at the science and what they’re presenting, and logic has a very simple role. And we’ve got a good shot. So look for a massive discovery. Look for potentially more on the gold side. But this thing in Peru is gonna really take shape here pretty quick.
Jamie Keech: So, you put together this strong team, but not everyone can do everything. So where do you guys see your role in the industry? Is it discover, define, sell? Is it bring something to production? What’s the vision for what Auryn becomes?
Ivan Bebek: It’s discover, monetize and de-risk, and then sell. There’s no company that’s usually built to do both: find and build. And the investment curve that we like the most, and I’ll quote Keegan’s performance, 49 cents to $9 per share. That’s a return of finding something. And generally, when you start to build things, I know you’re an engineer, they get smaller. And the blue sky gets taken away. And it’s not what gets me out of bed. So our team is driven by being mine finders. They’re not always going to be early-stage projects we look at. I mean, well, look at more advanced scenarios. But the last thing I want to do is build another mine in my career.
Ivan Bebek: I was moving on from there as that started, and you could talk to Marcel. I know you know well, and some of the directors of how much of a headache that was. It’s not easy building a mine and the reward for a shareholder is not worth it. And I don’t work for a salary. I work for share price return. That’s what I’m in this business for. And I think the biggest return is gonna be discovery.
Jamie Keech: Is there something that you do today, that you did very differently in the early days of your career? When you were starting out as a 23-year-old stockbroker, then as investor relations and working with companies? Is there anything you learned along the way that has drastically changed the way you do business or the way you approach a problem?
Ivan Bebek: That’s a really good question, and I have to think about that one for a moment.
Jamie Keech: It’s not an easy one.
Ivan Bebek: Because you build a foundation back then and you add to it. I never rebuilt my foundation. I think the biggest thing that I do differently and it’s because of means more than anything, else is I buy into my deals publicly to show people my confidence, and I put my money where my mouth is more than just buying an initial position. It’s something I can do now. I couldn’t do back then. But I’m not sure I would have added the extra risk money there, even though it was the right thing to do. And I think that’s a big part, is just putting more money where your mouth is and committing more. But, outside of that, I can’t think of much that’s drastically changed from then till now. I think our knowledge and experience is way further than it was. The model has improved dramatically, but the biggest thing is we’re swinging a lot bigger than we did. That’s for me. That’s my big thing and I have the means to do it or our group has the means to do it. Our team is what makes that possible.
Jamie Keech: When you look around the space today, there is this, as you mentioned, older generation that’s passing the torch, to a degree, to a younger generation, even though it’s dwindled a little bit. Is there advice that you see people given or that you strongly disagree with? Like common maxims, or common ideas in the space that you think are actually quite wrong?
Ivan Bebek: I actually think, a huge thing, there’s a saying that if you find it, they will come. If you go find it, if you drill it, everyone’s gonna come. I think you have to be – the advice I would counter that with: You have to be really competitive, to show everybody what you’re finding. Because if nobody knows what you’re finding, no one’s gonna pay you for it, right? You drill a big enough hole, then we’re all gonna notice it globally, right? But if you start to find a big gold discovery or a big copper discovery and you’re not telling anybody about it, you’re not marketing it. I think that the advice that should be given is if you believe in it, make sure you market it. Make sure the whole world knows about it if it’s gonna be world-class, right? And I think too many guys are told, oh, no, no, just wait till you find it, and then they’ll all come.
Jamie Keech: Yeah, yeah I think it’s such a-
Ivan Bebek: It’s a fine balance. But, if you drill a hole, and it means something to you, it should mean something to others as well. And if you don’t tell people what it might mean, that it’s going to mean something, I think then you’re gonna get a miss on a reaction. And I’ve seen a lot of technically-driven companies sit there with 10 or 15 cents share prices that should be trading at 2 or $3. That have better projects than well-promoted companies. That have mines that will actually be built.
Ivan Bebek: And so my thing is, it’s a tricky business because in our group, we like to say we’re technically lead. And that’s the way we choose our stuff that we’re gonna finance and market. But we are paralleling the strong technical team with a strong market finance team to give us the ability to raise a hundred million in the last five years in the markets were in. And spend it. And that’s what this business is about. And I think there should be more people canvassing more generalists. And guys with great ideas and bringing more attention to the great ideas. And I think a lot of guys are afraid to go out and do that until they have the goods.
Jamie Keech: This reminds me a lot of something Rick Rule said to me when I first met him. The first conversation I had with him. He said the key to success in this business, no matter what you’re doing, is to build a very strong constituency of supporters around you. Whether you’re a technical person that needs the backing of your bosses or you’re a promoter that needs financiers and investors or a broker that needs clients. You have to build that tight support network and reward those people for supporting you. And it seems to me that you guys have done a very good job of that. And a very good job of prioritizing that, where a lot of people have not. Something I’ve noticed about your private placements because I spent a lot of time looking at private placements, is they’re not easy to get into.
Ivan Bebek: And there’s no warrants, for the most part.
Jamie Keech: And that is not what I have found, in general, in the space over the last couple years. That most companies will take money from anyone on almost any terms, at this point.
Ivan Bebek: So that’s a big thing that people do. And I know money is hard to come by. Not everybody’s had the track record we’ve had or the luck we’ve had, and I’ll be humble about it. It’s not easy to raise money or hasn’t been. It’s gonna get better now. But whoever you finance with today will determine your share price in six months. And a lot of people ignore that, and they take money for when they need it and they take it now. The other thing we’ve done, is taking only what we need. We rarely over finance. Well, we modestly over finance to insure us, unless we have a very good share price that we feel is way, way higher-valued. But a lot of guys, and I remember this in the Keegan days, we were doing a – financing at 240 per share. The financing being offered to us was around 40 million dollars. We started to raise 15, and we took 17 million dollars. After a big internal fight about wanting to take more, I said, no, we’re only gonna take 17 because this thing is gonna get – It was about a million ounces on its way to five. We had the confidence. Technically, the market call was correct. And although being great to have 40 million dollars in that financing, we had nowhere to officially spend that extra money for the time being. So each time we did financings, we took what we needed with a little bit of cushion. And that was because we believed in our project in the market, and that’s how we got to $9 per share.
Ivan Bebek: Had we taken all the money we were offered, I don’t think we would have got past 3 or $4, maybe $5 per share. So it’s a fine game again. This is something that I’ve built my career off of, is being really strategic and intelligent on financings. And how to do them, when’s too much, when’s not enough. And making sure you’re in good shape. And having that constituency that’s really strong makes it a lot easier to do.
Jamie Keech: That’s a very interesting story, actually, because I have most often heard the other side of that in terms of people were offered a lot. They turned it down and then they blew up. And a few months later, they couldn’t raise a dollar. And there are so many people that have tried that and failed. So it comes down to a really deep technical understanding of the project and really knowing what you have.
Ivan Bebek: And the market. What’s going to come and go. But now we’re gonna walk up to the 7.50 financing we did in Keegan for 200 million dollars. And up until then, Shawn let me have my way. We’re partners with doing this. Take what we need a little bit more. Not over funding it. But once we got to 7.50 I don’t even think we were gonna raise like 80 million, and the book grew to 200 million. And so, running that company with Shawn. Mines that had to go from taking 80 million and always taking what you need and a bit of a cushion to taking 200. And I didn’t argue it one day, and Shawn’s like, we’re taking 200 and I was like, okay, this is your call now. And that saved Keegan because shortly after was the 2012 sell-off. And now we had 80% of the money to go build the mine. And at 7.50 per share, the dilution price was what I said earlier. If it’s the right price, you take it.
Ivan Bebek: You’ve got to be really intelligent about when you take it. But the last point I’ll make about financings, it’s who gives you the money. And we can go get money right now. There’s 20 million dollars out there easily for us. But, a lot of the guys may not understand the difference between oxide and sulfide. This is no offense to them. They’re very general investors, which we’d appreciate them as shareholders. And a bigger financing to give away 5 or 10% of your company to go get a check. You should be aligning yourself if you can with technically-driven investment funds that have longer-term outlooks.
Ivan Bebek: Because you go drill 100, 200 meters of 1% copper, half a gram gold and a massive system. Or maybe 300 meters of that. You and I will know that’s a world-class hole that this thing could be amongst. All the major mining companies will know that. The investor may only be aware that hey, it’s up 40%. I’m gonna take that. That’s a good return. Not realizing what it could be.
Ivan Bebek: A good story for you about Aurelian. I was an investor at a dollar 80. They drilled their first few holes and it went from 20 cents yesterday to a dollar 80 on its way to wherever it ended up going to $4 a share. It crossed $3 within a week. I was up a few 100 grand. And at the time was in my twenties. That was a lot of money for me. That was a really good pass. I asked a few industry experts, I won’t say who they are out of respect to them, and that went on. I said, is this real? Is this going to go all the way and I got a response of, Ivan, more often than not, these things don’t continue like this, and this is the best hole. And so I really don’t know. And from that industry expert that had me sell it. I took my $3.20 from my dollar 80 purchase and forget about 200,000 shares at the time.
Ivan Bebek: And then I blinked twice over the next six months, and it’s at 44, $45 a share. And I was like, wow, did I ever miss it. But it comes back to not knowing enough about what I was invested into, and I sold. So my mindset. And when I bring, when we bring investors into our company or our mindsets, we want people to know. Because if you want to get to those price returns, the more people that understand what they own, the better your shareholder basis.
Ivan Bebek: We trade extremely well, and we thank our shareholders all the time. But we’ve educated them quite well. We do a lot of marketing to do that because we want everybody understanding not only our business model, our business plan, but the opportunity and what it could be worth. If everyone is looking for a double and you think it could go 10 times that, you need to convince them all that. Otherwise, it’s gonna have a hard time getting it.
Jamie Keech: Yeah, that’s a good point. Now, if you were to invest today if you were to look at something today outside of Auryn and the ecosystem of companies you’re involved in, where would you be putting your money?
Ivan Bebek: Well, the decision has to be based off of people. And because that’s what I’ve I told you from the beginning of this interview. And, I’m not a person that will chase something cheap. I’m a person who would chase something run by good people. Because then I don’t have to worry about the company. I’ve tried both. And I’ve always lost when I’ve gone and bought something because it was well-priced more often than not.
Ivan Bebek: Which company would I follow as an investor? I would buy, I’ll give you two. I’d buy Equinox because of Ross. He wrote a huge check into that company. Ross is somebody I got to know really well right before we sold Cayden. Lucas Lundin, I’d buy his companies. And I would buy Ross Beaty’s. That would be the first two that I’d go buy if you said who what would you buy? And I may own some already as is. And the big reason why is because I believe in the people, I believe in how they run their business. I wouldn’t spend too much time because they don’t have it. Taking apart each project and worrying about that part of it. I wouldn’t write a blank check either, but it would be on the confidence that they’ve made big investments. And they’ve done this before more times than I may get a chance to do it in my career.
Jamie Keech: And you can defer to their expertise. That they’ve done the work to make good decisions and put their money behind the right people, and the right projects, and the right teams? Yeah. And I would echo that a lot of people at home, that’s how they should be making their decisions, too. If you don’t have a technical background, if you don’t – you’re not really dialed into this space day in, day out. Then, it’s best to bet on winners.
Ivan Bebek: Well, if you’re a pure generalist, and you’re hearing this, and you’re thinking about investing for the first time, call the CEO or the Chairman or whoever’s running the company up, and ask him what his last company did and how it performed. And make your decisions off of what he’s done before. Nobody does this and everybody should do it. You’re gonna get an answer, that’s gonna give you an obvious yes. Or maybe I should ask more questions and learn more about it.
Ivan Bebek: If you can’t get comfort of knowledge from that company or that CEO that you’re talking to, call another industry expert. Whoever you call, whoever you decide to choose, and ask them about that first CEO and see what they have to say. Do a little bit of due diligence. If you’re gonna invest a million dollars or half a million dollars into a mining stock, you should be calling the CEO. I don’t care what kind of business you’re in or what you got your money from. If you’re gonna make that kind of investment into something non-mining, into a business, are you gonna meet the CEO that’s starting a shop, that needs half a million dollars for you? Or is some third-party going to say, hey, this guy’s opening a shop down the street in these half-million dollars? You’re gonna wanna look the guy in the whites of the eyes and determine for yourself. Now accessibility and reach in time is not something all CEOs or executives offer. But if you’re serious, they should be serious, too and make the time for you. And just represent yourself properly, you know? And I say, so call the companies, and give them a hard time, ask them the hard questions.
Jamie Keech: And you’ll find out quickly who’s the better ones in the business? And who’re the ones that are pure crapshoots and risks, right?
Ivan Bebek: Yeah, if you’re looking at the gold market as a whole and the point of the cycle we’re in, I’m sure if you asked Ross Beaty, Lucas Lundin, myself, Robert Friedland, Marcel, all the guys we respect in this business, there’s going to be a certain degree of bias that we’re all gonna have because we want to see the market come back sooner than later.
Jamie Keech: But there’s also going to be a very – hindsight comment that could be made. And I think we could all say that we had hoped or planned or made investments, assuming this would be six months earlier happening, what’s happening today. But it’s happening regardless, and we’re finally going. Usually, industry experts are just early. They’re right, but they’re early. Because they know too much about the business. But I don’t think there’s an expert that would not be onside with this being either the start of a bull or the heads up that the bull market is coming.
Jamie Keech: Alright, well, we’ve been going about an hour, and I think I need to let you get back to your day now. But is there anything you’d like to leave listeners with? Any last comments or requests from the audience?
Ivan Bebek: I just think, pick your companies wisely and be bold and make sure you get a hold of management. But, we’ve been in a down cycle since 2012 and the next couple years we think it’s gonna change to the upcycle. Don’t be too patient with picking companiew now, mid-tiers, majors and whatnot. I think that our industry, when it starts to go to a proper bull market, it’s a really tiny market, and there’s gonna be a ton of money that’s gonna come into a very small space. And if you buy today into this market with ideas that you like, you’re gonna get rewarded over the longer period, no matter. I think full stop because we’re going towards the bull. But just don’t be patient. I think it’s time, I think take advantage of all these things that are happening. We’re at the end of our down cycle going to a positive one in all commodities. This is my statement, I’m aware that I’m on record and in two years from now I plan to be very right from that.
Jamie Keech: Well, Ivan, thanks for taking the time today.
Ivan Bebek: Thank you so much for having me. Appreciate it.
Co-Founder, Resource Insider
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