At 11:15am last Monday (25th of September) in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Quinton Hennigh, President and Chairman of Novo Resources Corp (TSX-V:NVO), was on stage at the Denver Gold Forum. There was no bland slide deck in sight. Instead, with his opening remarks to a room full of the biggest players in the gold industry, he quipped, “You get to witness, first hand, the discovery of a gold deposit today”.
What followed was surely one of the most brilliant, most Australian, and most effective corporate presentations in recent times. Hennigh decided to live stream from the Pilbara, where at 1:15am local time, Novo’s team of geologists spent just a few astounding minutes in the dirt during early stage exploration of their Purdy’s Reward project.
The stream was truly something else (click here to watch it). For me, the highlight was the extremely vocal metal detector as it was swung over the gold-laden ground by a bloke wearing a cowboy hat in the dead of the night. During the presentation, the key information was in the geology they were standing upon. The particular geology is not unique to this specific project. In fact, there’s a bunch of tiny ASX-listed explorers who are clear beneficiaries of the emphatic stunt.
The same day as the presentation, Novo shares jumped 27%, adding almost AU$200m to the value of the company. The positive reaction also spread to locally-listed firms when markets opened. Artemis Resources (ARV.ASX), Kairos Minerals (KAI.ASX), DGO Gold (DGO.ASX), Calidus Resources (CAI.ASX), Venturex Resources (VXR.ASX) and De Grey Mining (DEG.ASX) have all reaped the fruits of Novo’s labour, with three of these micro caps up over 100%. Artemis and Calidus are JV partners with Novo, which would explain some of their movement, but the others are reaping the benefits of Novo’s theatric brilliance drawing serious attention to the area, despite holding no interest in the project at hand.
Since the presentation, excluding Artemis (as Purdy’s Reward is a JV between Artemis and Novo), the other five companies mentioned have increased over 100% on aggregate at the time of writing. This is likely driven by speculation that these other nearby projects, which are generally in earlier stage exploration than Novo is with Purdy’s, will also yield significant mineralisation. For example, Kairos has a project south east of Purdy’s which borders another Novo site. The geology of this Kairos tenement is very similar to the gold-bearing stratigraphy at Purdy’s, and in less than two weeks of trading, Kairos’s share price has more than tripled.
Hennigh’s stunt was daring, risky and undeniably intriguing. It could easily have gone horribly wrong, and it nearly did, but whatever you think about that now infamous live stream, it looks like that gentleman in the cowboy hat has roused the beast that is speculative gold investment on the ASX.