I have a close friend on Twitter who often jokes that trying to control my FOMO is "like trying to eat soup with a fork". He had his work cut out for him today, because this week I found two junior exploration companies that had me eager to jump in pretty quickly. Word to the wise, and I should heed my own advice here: FOMO'ing in without proper DD almost never ends well - but I believe we are all guilty of these moments of weakness.
When I wrote my November post below, "Live and learn, as we all should", FOMO was one of the top Twitter responses regarding the mistakes we feel we've made.
I mentioned to my friend that I sold my $YPF
and $ADZN.V in Ecuador in order to add to my FOMO companies, and he commented that I no longer had "much stability in that degen PF". I was feeling rather saucy today, perhaps because my alarm didn't go off and I overslept, so I replied "What fun is stability?! I married for stability and that didn't turn out too well" (now amicably divorced). My friend kindly informed me that now I "trade like a swinger in a club"....ouch, truth hurts!
Indeed, I like my high-risk/high-reward plays and I've found that holding large caps becomes a tad boring at times. It's important that we all understand what level is appropriate for our risk tolerance and invest accordingly, and I can't understate the importance of proper due diligence when putting your hard earned money into something.
However, we all know how wonderful it can be to "get in early", so in that vein I am presenting you with some Friday FOMO and sharing these two tickers in a 'sneak preview' and invite you to join me as I proceed with my proper due diligence.
It's a long weekend for the TSX, so there's a bonus day of research to discover any red flags or build conviction before one decides to buy or sell on Tuesday. One pick had ~20x it's average volume trade today, so clearly I was not alone in my FOMO feelings. Please tread carefully, as junior exploration companies are among the highest risk investments one can make - and if you don't already have one, find yourself a good friend who will take the fork away and hand you a spoon when you need it, or at least a spork!
(Love you, Olaf 😉)
The first company, Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. $BAY.V, announced that along with American West Metals, they had made a "major copper discovery" at the Storm Copper Project in Nunavut.
The press release stated "discovery drill holes show similarities to many of the world’s major sediment-hosted copper systems, including the deposits of the Kalahari Copper Belt and Central African Copper Belt".
It takes more than a single press release to get me to "FOMO in" though, and admittedly seeing this gentleman as a technical advisor on the project certainly helped:
Dr. Broughton is an acknowledged expert in sediment-hosted copper deposits with over 30 years’ experience in mineral exploration. He was Geology Manager for Cyprus Amax’s Kansanshi pre-feasibility project, now Africa’s largest copper mine, and part of AMIRA P544’s research team focused on the Zambian Copperbelt. From 2008 to 2016 he was Executive Vice President Exploration for Ivanplats, now Ivanhoe Mines. During his tenure, the world-class Kamoa Cu (Central African Copperbelt) and Flatreef PGE-Ni-Cu-Au (Bushveld Complex) deposits were discovered. He was co-awarded PDAC’s 2015 Thayer Lindsley Award for International Mineral Discovery (Kamoa), and AME BC’s 2016 Colin Spence Award for Excellence in Global Mineral Exploration (Flatreef discovery). Dr. Broughton is currently a Senior Advisor for Ivanhoe Mines. Dr. Broughton is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada. He received a BSc. (Hons) and an MSc. in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo and a Ph.D. in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines.
Seeing a strong history of insider buys by CEO Thomas Ullrich (with a rather impressive bio himself, below) also helped build the case.
Mr. Ullrich has over 30 years of experience in mineral exploration and geoscience. Before joining Aston Bay in 2016, Mr. Ullrich was Chief Geologist North America for Antofagasta Minerals plc, investigating the region’s copper potential through extensive property evaluations and management of drill programs in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Prior to that, he was Senior Geologist for Almaden Minerals, where he managed the drill program for the team’s discovery of the Ixtaca Ag-Au deposit in Mexico. Mr. Ullrich also established the Ar-Ar geochronology lab at the University of British Columbia and studied the Candelaria Cu-Au mine, Chile, while at Queen’s University. Mr. Ullrich is an independent director for Aurania Resource Ltd. and is also on the Technical Advisory Board for American West Metals Limited.
Aside from the impressive team on board, BAY also offers exposure to other metals and jurisdictions.
Though the share count is somewhat high, a financing is underway with plans to consolidate shares on a 1 for 4 basis (see link below).
Often I will come across a company such as BAY that sparks my interest and it will lead me to see what other members of the team are up to, or what other projects they may be involved with - and it was through BAY that I discovered Aurania Resources Ltd. BAY's CEO Thomas Ullrich is an independent director for $ARU.V.
Initially I noticed a recent press release that was fascinating to me, as I had never read one quite like it:
Aurania’s team became aware of the sample last year and approached the museum staff as to its origins and provenance. We were told the samples were purchased by the Banque de France and were on loan to the Museum and that they supposedly came from an old collection. Museum staff supplied us with an article from the Journal du Morbihan, a newspaper dated August 13, 1875 and entitled “Le quartz aurifere dans le Morbihan”, and an extract from a book published by L’Abbe Henry Breuil, described in Wikipedia as a “French Catholic priest, archaeologist, anthropologist, ethnologist and geologist” and one of the principal early investigators of the cave paintings at Lascaux. Breuil examined a sample weighing 1,400 grams “with a little adhering quartz” that was found in 1875 and acquired by a jeweller. The son of the jeweller said his father had also purchased a nugget of 800 grams at the same time. The newspaper article said that two pieces of auriferous quartz were discovered by road builders 400 metres apart and that one was broken into a piece weighing 117 grams and a piece weighing about 900 grams. A third piece of 1,470 grams was found separately and purchased by the jeweller. The description continued, “These ores are gold-bearing quartz, very rich in gold, even excessively so. This gold is not compact, it is crystalline.”
Aurania’s President and CEO, Dr. Keith Barron met with a collector who wishes to remain anonymous, at the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines mineral show in Alsace in June 2023, who allowed him to examine a one-kilogram specimen of quartz vein material with abundant gold that he claims comes from the same locality in France. The sample (see Figure 5) closely resembles the museum sample and given the estimated grade of 46% gold (460,000 g/t, or 13,416 oz/ton Au) it is almost certainly from the same locality.
A visit to the locality in December 2022 showed abundant quartz vein material on surface and evidence of past mining activity. Part of the site contains deep water filled pits and trenches that were presumably dug in the 19th century. Growth of moss on the quartz rocks is considered “luxuriant” and there is no evidence of modern prospecting or mining activity in the area. There has been no glaciation at the site and so the quartz vein material at surface is more or less “in situ”.
Mining in France is not something I have explored before, so though the story was interesting, it wasn't what compelled me to have a closer look at the company - rather it was Aurania's CEO - Dr. Keith Barron, who made the colossal Fruta Del Norte gold discovery in 2006. Dr. Barron also holds a whopping 43% of the company's shares.
With a reasonable share structure and enormous land package in a highly prospective area, Aurania became increasingly appealing to me.
Then I watched this interview with Rick Rule, and FOMO took full hold:
Please DYODD - I found these companies very interesting and have taken 'starter positions' in both, intending to build my position with positive developments. However, given the hasty manner in which I acquired shares, there is an excellent chance I missed a red flag or two. If you find one then I would love to hear your thoughts.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, and reminding you to do your proper due diligence and not be a "DeGenny"!