Don Mckinnon Sr., the man who found Hemlo, Canada's richest gold camp, CBC photo

Don Mckinnon Sr., the man who found Hemlo, Canada’s richest gold camp, CBC photo attended the 2015 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference today put on by Cambridge House, where 300+ junior mining companies and over 5000 investors assembled to hear from top experts and network amongst each other.

The mood was up-beat considering the bear market in mining shares is getting pretty long in the tooth, four full years to be exact. Probe Mines’ sale to Goldcorp this morning certainly helped lift spirits, as has the uptick in the price of gold in recent weeks. At press time, gold is bid at $1276.60 per ounce.

Presentations from Ross Beaty, Rick Rule, John Kaiser, Brent Cook, Eric Coffin and others were discussed in the CEO Chat live stream:

One of the highlights of the conference was meeting prospector Don Mckinnon Jr., an active mining entrepreneur from Timmins, Ontario whose father toiled for 15 years before finding the Hemlo gold camp in Ontario, Canada’s richest gold mining district, in 1981.

Mr. Mckinnon recalled waiting in his father’s truck while his dad staked claims in the snow that would later provide the Hemlo discovery (over 25 million ounces of gold produced, making it Canada’s largest gold camp). The younger Mckinnon had drained the vehicle’s batteries keeping the heat on, and when Sr. returned from staking the engine wouldn’t start.

“He was not too happy,” the younger Mckinnon recalled with a mischievous laughter.

Fortunately, a snowplow would soon drive past them and a tow-truck was arranged.

Mr. Mckinnon also made an interesting observation about making money in the aftermath of a mining discovery. When a mine is found, roads and buildings often need to be constructed. Smart prospectors will stake all the gravel and aggregate deposits in the permitter of the discovery because those operations could create steady long term businesses.

“They’re first to cash-flow and the last ones out,” Mr. Mckinnon said.

I re-watched this excellent one hour documentary of the Hemlo gold discovery, which features interviews with Mckinnon, promoter Murray Pezim, and Canaccord founder Peter Brown. CBC television tells the story of Canada’s greatest gold discovery magically.

Thank you to Cambridge House International for a great event!