Coronavirus Concerns Weigh on PDAC 2020 Convention

Attendance seemed to be down on Day 1 of PDAC 2020 as people remain Coronavirus cautious

SmallCapPower | March 2, 2020: Many junior resource veterans believe the PDAC ‘curse’ is a real thing. For those not familiar with this ‘curse’, it’s a phenomenon in which many junior resource stocks tend to rise during the first two months of the year, and then sell off following the annual PDAC convention at the beginning of March.

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This year at PDAC 2020, a different type of ‘curse’ is being discussed – Coronavirus and its effect on capital markets. While Day 1 (Sunday) is usually the slower of the four-day event, this year’s opening day attendance seemed smaller than in recent years past.

Take a trip to the convention floor and you will soon be reminded that Coronavirus is very much on people’s minds. There are signs posted by Convention organizers reminding attendees to sanitize and disinfect. Many people have decided to replace the traditional handshake greeting with an elbow bump or a fist pump. Some international delegates, especially those from countries with travel restrictions, were not able to attend. Other resource companies decided not to make to trip to Toronto.

In an interview with SmallCapPower at PDAC 2020 on Sunday, Mercenary Geologist Mickey Fulp said he believes the Coronavirus fears are overblown. He did note, however, that more than one newsletter writer failed to show up to present on Sunday, likely due to Coronavirus concerns.

Watch: Coronavirus Fears Are Overblown, Says Mickey Fulp at PDAC 2020

This past week, the potential for a Coronavirus pandemic rocked capital markets globally. The S&P 500 lost more than 10% over five days. Most speculative resource stocks got hammered even harder. Even the gold price, which surged to nearly US$1700 in the early days of the equities selloff, had dropped below US$1600 by Friday’s close.

Mickey Fulp believes the recent gold slide was merely a short-term liquidity event, as people wanted to raise capital by selling one of the most liquid assets available – gold. He remains long-term bullish on the precious metal’s prospects.

Copper is one commodity that has held up well during the recent market turmoil. Perhaps a China slowdown is already baked into its price.

At Sunday’s Letter Writer Presentations For Investors, most newsletters writers remained optimistic. Resource Maven Gwen Preston said the recent selloff should eventually turn into attractive buying opportunities, but that would-be investors/speculators shouldn’t go all in just yet. She suggested raising capital to buy the highest-quality names that have been beaten down with rest. Gwen Preston mentioned she was taking a look at companies such as Great Bear Resources Ltd. (TSXV:GBR).

But perhaps Exploration Insights Senior Advisor and Founder Brent Cook said it best when he dryly quipped that some of the biggest ‘doomers and gloomers’ decided not to make an appearance at this year’s event.