By David Forest, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
I’m writing to you from the southern shores of Ireland.
It’s a tranquil spot: lots of pubs and a killer view of the Atlantic waves.
And there’s one purpose to my visit.
It may sound strange to hunt tech metals in Ireland. But the country is ranked one of the top spots in the world for new mining projects.
Ireland already has big mines for hard tech like zinc and silver.
But I believe there could be much more…
A Giant in the Copper Industry
Copper was discovered in southern Ireland in the late 1500s. Up to the 1900s, it was a big producer. Miners flocked from mineral-rich Cornwall in the U.K. to dig copper and silver ores.
I love these out-of-the-way places for exploration. Despite mining-friendly laws, Ireland still isn’t getting a lot of attention for metals like copper.
That means less competition. So it’s a great chance to look at large swaths of exploration ground, then pick the best ones.
The biggest reason I’m here is a friend. He’s one of the top copper geologists in the world.
Several years ago, he moved to Ireland. He now runs one of the country’s top geologic research groups. They consult some of the biggest mining companies in the world.
I first met him in Colombia. Back then, I was chasing copper in the Colombian eastern mountains.
At the time, it was a crazy idea.
I had only known my friend by reputation, then. He was a giant in the industry.
So I called him. He replied he’d be happy to come down to Colombia and take a look at my project. We spent a week together, kicking rocks and sharing ideas. It changed my whole outlook on copper exploration.
We stayed in touch. Later, he came to Myanmar to look at another of my projects. We kept sharing notes. He’s been one of the guiding lights of my career.
In Dublin last week, we got together for dinner.
What he told me changed my thinking on hard tech. Once again.
How My Friend Linked Mining and Tech Together
My friend has always been an outside-the-box thinker. And this time, he told me something new.
The mining world and the tech world are crashing into each other.
He said he’d made a critical decision a few years earlier. One that triggered a whole chain of events bringing mining and tech together.
He felt that the funding model for junior mining is wrong. Companies struggle to raise small amounts of equity.
That allows them to do small exploration programs. But it’s almost always hand-to-mouth. Invariably, exploration companies are forced to go back to the markets for more cash.
It’s distracting and inefficient. In fact, my friend felt it’s one of the biggest problems facing the minerals industry.
He came up with a novel solution: link mining and tech together.
The idea was to allow mining companies access to the big funding that’s available in the tech world. Instead of raising millions of dollars for exploration, raise hundreds of millions.
To do this, he paired mining with some of the top new technology. Things like big data and artificial intelligence.
Both of these tech arenas can help mineral exploration. Looking for new deposits of nickel, copper, or gold often means crunching a lot of data. There’s geology, geochemistry, and geophysical information.
Applying cutting-edge tech helps. With new techniques, we can parse through huge geologic datasets and pinpoint key targets. The kind the human eye might miss.
My friend put this into action. He got together with a team of tech entrepreneurs. They recruited a top group of geo-scientists.
Suddenly, they had a combined tech-mining company. It was a breakthrough.
Mining Investors Should Watch Out for This Development
This company was so revolutionary, it attracted funding from some of the biggest names in the tech world. VC funder Breakthrough Ventures was an early investor. That’s a firm backed by the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Jack Ma.
Recently, my friend’s firm completed another huge financing. All told, they brought in nearly $200 million in financing.
That’s huge for an exploration company. With that money in hand, they’re now exploring around the world from Northern Canada to Africa.
This is a huge development for mining investors to watch. Attracting tech funding might make this new generation of exploration companies some of the biggest on the planet.
For now, my friend’s firm is private. But there may come ways to invest in such companies – pre- or post-IPO.
I’ll be looking closely into this. I think it’s one of the most exciting recent developments we’ve seen in the mining space.
I’m back to my desk the next few days. Stay tuned for more on this breaking trend.
Keep walking the path,
Editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
P.S. These are the types of cutting-edge, hard tech companies I recommend in my Super Spike Advisory letter. Check it out right here.