A Monday Morning Musing from Mickey the Mercenary Geologist
March 1, 2021
At exactly 1:00 pm EST.
I was on stage at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention in downtown Toronto and in the middle of a 20 minute speech at the Letter Writer Presentations for Investors Program.
Meanwhile … a novel coronavirus carried from China by a hoard of infected travelers was being spread silently and surreptitiously throughout the industrialized world.
While this was intentionally occurring internationally, the virus’ place of origin, a city named Wuhan that few had ever heard of, was under Chinese Communist Party martial law and draconian domestic lockdown. Wuhan’s 11 million people were forcibly locked into their tiny cubicles that serve as housing units and quarantined from the rest of China’s huddled masses. In fact, no one was allowed into or out of Wuhan and Hubei Province for several months.
Media-stoked fear of the virus certainly affected attendance at PDAC 2020; it was down about 10% year over year despite an incipient commodities boom. That said, 23,144 exploration and mining professionals, investors, students, media, et al from 132 countries were in Toronto for the annual big event.
As per usual, the concourses, escalators, elevators, halls, and stairs of both the South and North Toronto Convention Center Buildings were packed to overflowing. Over four long days and nights, I chatted with hundreds of people, shook hands, hugged close friends, did a dozen face-to-face interviews, and socialized with untold compatriots and acquaintances. The bars, lobbies, restaurants, hospitality suites, off-site parties, and taxi lines were chock full of people networking, doing business, and enjoying the good times for 18 hours a day.
It was in every way, shape, and form just a normal PDAC Convention.
Over the three and a half official days of the convention whilst walking among crowds consisting of thousands of people, I witnessed exactly one person wearing a face covering over her nose and mouth.
Furthermore, I can recall only two people who refused to take my often-outstretched hand into theirs. I accepted these alternative overtures gladly: one media-type preferred a fist bump; an at-risk friend offered an elbow bump … no worries, mate.
Employing my trained powers of observation developed over a 40-year geology career of doing exactly that, it seemed that participants took no precautions other than the often and religious washing of hands.
I did not encounter face masks, bandanas, or neck gaiters pulled up Bazooka Joe-style. Scarves were common on the streets but they were used to protect one’s neck and face in the bitterly cold wind tunnel that sweeps off Lake Ontario into Downtown Toronto.
I observed no instances of “social distancing”, that contrived bit of pseudo-science wherein one expands his personal space to two meters to ward off the dastardly bug with its crown of thorns.
Despite all that occurred over the four days of business as usual, Toronto Public Health subsequently documented a total of three (3) people who apparently contracted the China virus at its annual confab.
Also recognize that this massive crowding of thousands of people into closely-confined indoor spaces occurred a mere seven (7) to ten (10) days before the entire world economy was shut down due to panda pandemic panic and paranoia.
Folks, I find these PDAC statistics remarkable. Something is amiss; it does not add up. So what the hell is/was going on?
I offer these thoughts:
I opine the entire debacle is a power play directed against the perceived opposition; i.e., those who of us who live in the rural, conservative, and libertarian-leaning American Heartland. We include retired or semi-retired baby boomers, the white/blue collar middle classes, and the working poor.
To this elitist cabal of pampered patricians who populate the urban-suburban Northeast and West Coast, we are simply the hoi polloi, the plebes, the puppets, or the proletariat. Pick your poison.
They say: “Rules are for thee but not for me.”
I say: “Do not tread on me and I will not tread on you”.
Ciao for now,
Acknowledgement: I kindly thank Peter Bojtos and Zoe Bell, organizers of the Letter Writer Presentations for Investors Program, for their ongoing support over my 13 consecutive years of speaking at PDAC. Views expressed herein are mine and mine alone.
The Mercenary Geologist Michael S. “Mickey” Fulp is a Certified Professional Geologist with a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences with honor from the University of Tulsa, and M.Sc. in Geology from the University of New Mexico. Mickey has 40 years of experience as an exploration geologist and analyst searching for economic deposits of base and precious metals, industrial minerals, uranium, coal, oil and gas, and water in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
Mickey worked for junior explorers, major mining companies, private companies, and investors as a consulting economic geologist for over 20 years, specializing in geological mapping, property evaluation, and business development. In addition to Mickey’s professional credentials and experience, he is high-altitude proficient, and is bilingual in English and Spanish. From 2003 to 2006, he made four outcrop ore discoveries in Peru, Nevada, Chile, and British Columbia.
Mickey is well-known and highly respected throughout the mining and exploration community due to his ongoing work as an analyst, writer, and speaker.
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