This one is about finding the mighty McCoy. Or at least, looking for it.
In November 2012, at Brien Lundin's New Orleans Investment Conference, I dropped in on Ivan Bebek and his team from Cayden Resources, a Mexico explorer.
I had met the chief geologist, a doctorate, Dan McCoy, a few years before that at Keegan's Esaase gold project in Ghana.
Dr. McCoy, now age 55, worked at Alaska's Fort Knox when Robert M. Friedland operated it many years ago.
I gave Dan McCoy and Keegan, now Ghana's Asanko Gold (AKG) , five or six write-ups in our original Ticker Trax, and at Stockhouse.com and in one or two other publishing venues. Dr. McCoy was legitimate, I thought at the time. He had hired a few formidable geologists with brains and Ghana know-how, most of them from Newmont Mining (NEM) , which is active in west Africa.
See: Keegan Resources, Sandspring, Guyana and Ghana ... - Stockhouse Sep 30, 2009
West Africa Dusted - Stockhouse Aug 3, 2010
Ivan Bebek's spiel in New Orleans about this new thing, Cayden, sounded familiar. This was because I saw Dan McCoy eight months prior at the 2012 PDAC, in Toronto. Dr. Dan was describing Cayden's Mexico properties at a makeshift table outside the main exhibit call, and I thought maybe Cayden deserved a better space than that.
I took the maps and a brochure from Daniel T. McCoy and brought them home. (Attached: Dan McCoy, center, with bankers, brokers and analysts from Sprott Global in June 2013; also -- Dan portrait photo)
I forgot to ask what Cayden meant. Boy's name? Gaelic sources put Cayden in league with Adam and its earthy undertones: as in dirt.
Dan is a studious figure: thick black glasses, a large man, neatly attired. He owns a Long Island, New York, accent -- even after earning a geology doctorate in Alaska.
In Ghana, he was all business. Friendly but busy. Same in a conference setting. The kind of person, you need to pull the words out of him.
Lately, the prospecting crowd has gone to calling Dr. McCoy and his team Ninjas. I call them scientists. One of my descriptions of that New Orleans encounter with Cayden's executive team, and later, of Ivan's performance, videotaped, at a Colorado conference in September 2013, can be seen here at 321gold.com: article.
In that piece, I said that what had moved me to purchase Cayden shares in November 2012 was how Ivan and his team kept their eye on the money ball. (I never bought Keegan shares, preferring another exploration project in Ghana's Kibi Gold Belt.)
What I understood from Ivan Bebek, as I stood at his table for an hour, along with Ivan' assistant, Russell Starr, and an observing geologist, Carl Pescio of Nevada, is that Cayden had a written flowchart of achievables it intended to notch during an 18-month span.
In my 321gold article:
CYD's Ivan Bebek likely boosted the share price with this web-cast presentation.
Mr. Bebek, and his former Keegan partners, among them Shawn Wallace, twisted my arm and I bought the shares 10 months ago in New Orleans at about $1.20 a share. The year-ago focus, and the reason I bought the stock, was El Morelos in the Guerrero Gold Belt and Cayden land that one day could be sold to Goldcorp for that surrounding company's gold-silver-copper mining. "We won't sell Las Calles (Cayden target at El Morelos) for less than $50 million," says Ivan B.
The new focus, and why the stock is progressing, is exploration success, trenching with 3-gram-plus gold per metric ton at surface, at El Barqueño in Jalisco state, Mexico.
I swear, I remember in New Orleans, turning to Carl from Nevada, one of the Allie Nevada original property owners, turning to Mr. Pescio, who is about my own age, and saying, "Man, I am going over to that computer right there and buying Cayden right now." And so I did.
When I look now at the positions I have in Cayden shares ($CYD:CA) (CDKNF) , I remember again why I invest in resources. You see, I never studied geology.
I made money in publishing, in technology, in services, in real estate -- even in energy recently. But from platinum on through gold, silver and all the rest, the older I get, the more I appreciate the simple elements: metals that shine.
Cayden shares are at their highest point since that March 2012 PDAC gathering as they flirt with $2.04 Canadian. Their performance for the past 12 months ranks among the highest percentile globally for a mid-stage exploration company. Market cap: less than $100 million all-in.
Mr. Bebek tells me today, as I consider holding those Cayden shares for another long spell, "We believe we are onto something with El Barqueno, and are starting to realize its upside potential in the 465-square-kilometer concessions which have several highly altered mineralized areas. We also have Las Calles as a wildcard in the background."
Dan is a partner at Cayden, as he was at Keegan, which Ivan Bebek and partner Shawn Wallace, age 44, administered from Vancouver, Canada. The Keegan dynamic turned heads back in 2008, '09 and 2010.
In 2008 or so, maybe earlier, Dr. Dan traced placer gold across the Esaase and essentially hit on first strike. High-grade step-out holes extended what became proven and probable reserves of 52 million metric tons grading 1.41 grams gold, or 2.4 million ounces.
Other compliant categories take the Ghana resource to more than 5 million ounces. Keegan shares went to the Africa moon. Keegan's market cap at one point was greater than $600 million, all in.
Perhaps even richer. Dan McCoy was president and CEO of Keegan for a time. More writing here: another article.
Ivan Bebek, age 37, tells me today that his team hopes to see an El Barqueno resource (Jalisco state) surpass what Esaase achieved.
"We own what we believe has a shot to become and open district - district being an area that would entail more than one open pit gold deposit ," he says. "Land is important." Cayden fortified its ownership around El Barqueno in 2013 to 46,000 hectares.
For geologists and rock hounds, EL Barqueno has outcropping exposure of hundreds of epithermal veins, "past production, past drilling." Brecciated rock around the veins , known as a halo of rock around the veins, has rich enough gold grades conceivably to make the area bulk mineable. Ivan Bebek adds the property has seen " limited past production via heap leach (indicating potentially the best form of gold recovery, and it has seen some previous drilling ."
I am sure there is a lot more to add than just that. For example, what could happen that is outside the Cayden flowchart? Politics? Banditos? Depressed gold price? Metallurgy? Wildcards?
Dr. McCoy tells me today that he is using Tom Shouldice, who was chief metallurgical engineer at Highland Copper ($HI:CA) before owning his own lab, subsequently bought by ASL Chemex.
El Barqueno at production will pay a 1.5% royalty to Grupo Mexico and a 2.5% net smelter royalty to Mexico.
Writer Bob Moriarty of Grand Cayman, Bahamas, updated his own take on Cayden this week. That recent piece is here:
So did Brien Lundin, who besides that November conference each year also writes Gold Newsletter out of New Orleans town. "The share price has been nothing short of extraordinary," Brien Lundin told me today Wednesday.
DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer