The Precious Metals Summit at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Colorado starts Wednesday.

The Precious Metals Summit at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Colorado starts Wednesday.

Ten years after the great California gold rush, prospectors raced to Colorado after the 1858 discovery of gold in creeks near the present-day Denver suburb of Englewood. The gold rush led to the founding of Colorado Territory in 1861; statehood followed in 1876.

Gold industry participants are Colorado-bound once again for two of the top precious metals investment conferences in North America: the 2015 Precious Metals Summit from Sept. 16-18 and the Denver Gold Forum from Sept. 20-23.

The keynote at the junior-focused Precious Metals Summit is a Wednesday conversation between Goldcorp founder Rob McEwen and Franco-Nevada's David Harquail, sponsored by Dundee Capital Markets.

McEwen was an early adopter of crowd-sourcing: in 2000, he threw open Goldcorp's Red Lake geological database in an open-source (and successful) bid to identify the next 6 million ounces of gold on the property, and now runs McEwen Mining and Lexam VG Gold.

Harquail is president and CEO of royalty giant Franco-Nevada and was also a longtime senior executive with the original Franco-Nevada, and later Newmont Mining.

Presenting companies range from small producers such as Lake Shore Gold and development-stage plays Sabina Gold & Silver, to junior exploration companies including Skeena Resources and Cordoba Minerals (the latter three are CEO.CA Summit sponsors).

The Denver Gold Forum features the big boys of the space - including Barrick, Goldcorp, Anglo-Gold Ashanti and Silver Wheaton - as well as smaller producers and exploration plays.

Silver Wheaton is bound to be a topic of conversation - the stock is down about 3.4% today, trading near 52-week lows, after BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares from Outperform to Market Perform in a research note.

Keynote talks at the Gold Forum will focus on the state of the gold market, the paper gold market, social licence and bear market lessons learned.

Conference attendees will most likely be gold and mining specialized investors. Any CEO.CA readers in Colorado this week, let us know if you see many generalist funds there. Investors with fresh ammunition may be a sign of a bull market on the horizon.

For more info, visit Precious Metals Summit  the Denver Gold Forum online.