Billionaire mining entrepreneur Ross Beaty believes gold is going to ‘blow through’ previous highs set in 2011.
“The quicker we can build a big company, the more exposed we’re going to be to that run when it comes, and I think it will come quite soon,” Beaty told CEO.CA Nov. 7 in a wide-ranging conversation on the mining sector.
His Equinox Gold (TSE:EQX, NYSE:EQX market cap C$915 million) has lept from a developer to a mid-tier producer in under two years.
“I want to make it very clear that Equinox Gold is not building itself to be sold, it’s building itself to be big.”
“It’s a very strange time, relative to my last sort of 30 years I’ve been in this business, right now. You have a very strong gold price that actually makes great profits for most companies in the business, and yet, investors just simply are not buying gold companies.”
“What Equinox Gold has as one of its advantages, is a very strong shareholder base that has deep pockets and capacity to finance in almost any market. We have Mubadala at almost 20%. I own about 10% of Equinox… I’ve got a pretty good personal balance sheet…Lukas Lundin, Richard Warke. I mean, I could just go on… BlackRock. We’ve got a wonderful blue chip group of investors, and if I can bring them a value proposition, we’re going to be able to finance it. That’s something which is a strategic strength, I think, of Equinox, that doesn’t exist [elsewhere].”
Transcript of conversation with mining hall of famer Ross Beaty Nov 7, 2019:
Goldfinger: “Ross, the last time we spoke, I think it was August 2018- if I’m not mistaken, and you were really just getting started with Equinox Gold (TSX-V:EQX, NYSE:EQX), and Aurizona was not in production yet. So, a lot has happened in the last 15 months, and a lot of progress has been made. Last August, I think the share price was about C$5.00 per share (on a split adjusted basis), or thereabouts. It recently reached nearly C$9.00. So, there has been a very nice price appreciation in shares of EQX in the last fifteen months. EQX is definitely doing better than the gold price and most other stocks in the sector. So, that’s really impressive. Why don’t you get us up to speed with what Equinox is up to right now and how you would assess the progress since the last time we spoke?”
EQX.V (Daily – Two Year)
Ross Beaty: “Good morning. We had a big year. As your readers might remember, Equinox Gold started only at the beginning of 2018, so not even two years ago, by combining three companies: Anfield, (which was a cash shell), and then two development plays, one in Brazil called Aurizona, and one in California called Castle Mountain. We started with the goal of becoming a significant gold producer quickly, and I think we’ve delivered. Since speaking to you last August, we have really hit every one of our goals. Our mission was to build a mid-tier gold producer, and now our mission is to become a senior gold producer. I’m very bullish on gold. The larger the company, with the most leverage to gold both from a production standpoint and from a reserves and resources standpoint, the better.
Last year we had no mines in production. We aimed to acquire one during the year, and we executed that strategy in November by acquiring the Mesquite mine in California from New Gold. This is a mine producing around 125,000 to 135,000 ounces of gold a year. It is a large heap leach mine. So, last year we produced 25,000 ounces from that mine in the third quarter of the year. We also financed and began construction last year on our Aurizona mine in Brazil. That mine entered production in Q2 this year and hit commercial production at the end of June. It was about a $160 million construction project. We’ve had a very successful startup. The mine had an excellent first full quarter of production this year, and we’re on track for producing about 75,000 or 80,000 ounces this year from Aurizona. Next year we should hit our full run rate of about 140,000 ounces a year. More than the production though, I expect that deposit to be a very long life mine. We expect to demonstrate that through exploration discovery later next year. It also has a very large underground zone that we want to do a pre-feasibility study on. I want to prove my belief that it will become a multi-decade underground mine.
Then we have our third project, a development project called Castle Mountain in California, not very far from Mesquite. This is south of Las Vegas, on the eastern border of California with Arizona. We did a lot of technical work over the last year or so, and this culminated in our announcement in October of commencing construction of our third mine at Castle Mountain, which we expect to be in full production by the end of Q2 2020. With all three mines running, this time next year we should be running at an annual production rate of over 300,000 ounces, and that’s just what we’ve achieved in our first two years. We’ve been very successful, we’ve done a lot of work, and we’re very much on track with our expectations. We have also done some financial engineering, in that we had a poor capital structure and share price that was really non-attractive to certain institutional investors. So, we did a five for one rollback to take our share price to C$5.00. This attracted more capital pools, and it was also something we had to do to achieve another objective, to get a U.S. listing.
We completed that mission in Q3 this year, we listed on the New York Stock Exchange, so we are now a dual listed company. You’ve seen our trading liquidity improve. And with our rapid growth as a significant gold producer today, we expect to be included on certain of the indexes that are so important today to public company share price performance and liquidity. As soon as we get on those indexes, we expect there’ll be more demand for our shares. We’ve got a fabulous management team, and they’ve been doing all the work.
And at the beginning of 2019, we brought in a very large new shareholder and capital partner of ours, called Mubadala. This is a branch of the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. Hundreds of billions of dollars under management, and they came in by providing us a US$135 million convertible venture, which converts at approximately C$6.90 a share, I think. So it’s in the money now, and we treat them as equity partners. We expect they will convert in the next couple of years to become nearly a 20% shareholder of Equinox. They’ve also indicated great support in our growth strategy. So, those are all the achievements we’ve had in the last year-and-a-half. I’ve been very, very satisfied with the progress. We’ve really hit our stride right now.
Our current mission is to try to grow into a million ounce producer by 2023, and this will be achieved by developing our Castle Mountain mine to the 200,000 ounce a year annual producer that we demonstrated it has the capacity for in our pre-feasibility study last year. As well, adding to underground production at Aurizona, which will end up running around a quarter million ounces a year, I think, on an annual basis. And then, of course, continuing with our Mesquite mine. So we have in our sights 500,000 to 600,000 ounces of annual production once we complete all of those buildouts, and then we’ll need some new acquisitions to get to the million ounce range. There’s nothing magical about a million ounces, but it’s just a number that demonstrates scale, and scale is really important these days. Institutional investors tend not to go to the small cap stocks. They tend to focus on the large caps. It also works in the mining industry, which is a very risky business, because it adds diversification; not only in country, but also in asset. If you have several assets, several operations, you’re diversified against risk. So, with scale you have more leverage to the gold price, you have bigger capital pools you’re accessing, and you have better diversification against risk. It’s the right thing for us to be doing, and I’m very excited about continuing to build this story.”
Goldfinger: “Well, that’s a great way to start this conversation. Thank you for the rundown on Equinox. I’m going to continue where you left off there. So, diversification in terms of jurisdiction, but also in terms of assets, right? Now you have two assets in California, and one in South America, and you’re clear that you’re going to need to do some acquisitions in order to get to that million ounce mark. Where would you be looking in terms of acquiring new assets? Would you stay in the U.S. or South America, or would you try to add an asset maybe in Canada or in Africa to add a new jurisdiction to your asset profile?”
Ross Beaty: “Sure. Well, most of my career has been focused on the Americas, so that’s my natural inclination where we would seek to grow. We’re already in California, we’re already in Brazil, so obviously anything in the United States or Brazil would make sense. But, we’re not too choosy about jurisdiction, quite frankly. All jurisdictions these days are tough, and you have to just accept that. The management team of Equinox Gold has deep experience in West Africa. I’m not personally that keen about that region. But, if we saw the right value proposition, never say never. But, most likely it’ll be in the Americas somewhere.”
Goldfinger: “I think a lot of mining investors right now are really concerned about which country projects are in. Mexico is controversial now as far as mining jurisdictions go. Between the drug cartels and the new government, I’ve noticed that a lot of investors are becoming skittish. They just don’t want to go there anymore, even though there are some great projects there and there are some big companies that are already doing quite well there. Some investors simply don’t want to take a chance in Mexico, especially by buying into an explorer that doesn’t have permits yet. And, I could go down the list of various countries in Central or South America that are all experiencing very similar challenges from a mining investment standpoint. As a chairman or an executive in a mining company that’s thinking about making investments in these countries, how do you manage that risk?”
Ross Beaty: “Sure. This is something which I’ve thought about a lot. Having had many decades of experience in operations in Latin America, my bottom line is you just can’t be too choosy. You’ve got to go where the big deposits are and focus on the resource as much as the country, because countries can change very quickly. For example, Peru was a pariah in the 1980s. Then, all of a sudden in 1992, Peru got a new president who cleaned house and made it the friendliest mining jurisdiction in the world for the next 30 years, and it remains so today. Anybody not going to Peru in 1990 because it was terrible, which it was, would have made a big mistake. Bolivia has been a country that’s had tremendous instability, and yet Pan American’s been there for 21 years. It’s been extremely successful, we’ve taken a lot of dividends out of the country, created a lot of jobs, and it’s been a very smooth operation for us; even though there’s always political instability there. Chile has been the mining darling of Latin America for years, and suddenly Chile’s turning on its ear right now and having all kinds of instability.
So you just never know, and I think investors are making a mistake by looking at the short term noise, as opposed to the long-term success of a country. Mexico, for example, is a great place to work. I’ve been operating there for over 20 years with Pan American. We’ve operated extremely well in Mexico. But if investors don’t want to buy companies that are invested there, I’m not unhappy with that. That creates opportunities for us to acquire them at a lower price, but they’re making a mistake in my opinion. You just can’t be too choosy, because countries change quickly, and resources tend to outlive governments. And, of course, if you’re in operation in that kind of situation, you really prosper. That’s my take on political risk.”
Goldfinger: “I think that’s a great answer and you’re right, governments change all of the time but projects don’t. That leads me to where your company is right now, you’re a mid-tier, essentially, already, and there’s a lot of analysis that basically states that mid-tiers are the place to be invested right now in the gold sector because the valuations are relatively attractive. Relative to the seniors. And with just what we’re seeing with Newmont and Barrick, they’re not replacing the gold that they produce every year, and they’re also not finding a lot of new gold. I mean, the exploration that they’re doing is not very fruitful, quite frankly. So do you think that … well, there are two questions here: So, do you think that you are in the sweet spot and that basically you’re going to eventually have to be acquired by a senior down the road, because they need your ounces? And also, what’s the endgame in the gold mining sector now? I mean, I can recall when I started out in 2003 and 2004 in the sector. Newmont had a reserve profile of over 100 million ounces, and even with the Goldcorp acquisition they’re still well short of that now. Where do they get the gold that they need over the coming decades from? And, how does that shake out in the sector? Are we about to get a huge wave of M&A in the gold mining sector? Or, is there something else that we can’t quite see?”
Ross Beaty: “I don’t know. I can’t speak about Newmont, that’s Newmont’s story to tell. And, quite frankly, I don’t really care what’s going on in the bigger space with other companies. It’s not important to me. What is important is building Equinox Gold into a senior gold producer. We originally had our targets on mid-tier. We’re already mid-tier, and we became that in a year-and-a-half. We’re going to now set our targets on becoming a senior gold producer, because actually I don’t think you’re right in some of the things you said. I think the mid-tier space is all fine and well, but actually mid-tiers have underperformed relative to seniors. There’s only about nine senior producers in the whole world that investors can buy that have leverage to gold. There are some that are by-product producers like Freeport, but you don’t buy Freeport for gold. You buy Barrick, Newmont, Kinross, Yamana and those kinds of companies, and there’s really very few.
So, what we want to do in Equinox is join that league. Those are the companies that have the best premiums. They’re the companies that are the most liquid, the most attractive to major investors, and that’s the space we want to be in. They’ve had the best performance in the last year. Don’t forget that when the gold price goes up, large gold equities always outperform the gold price. There are exceptional situations, and maybe Newmont’s one of those this year, where they acquired Goldcorp, and they had a huge amount of transition issues. A lot of shareholders wanted to exit, and that’s why they’ve been held back. But look what’s happened to Barrick, they’ve outperformed everybody. Barrick’s had a wonderful run. So you can’t be too general when you speak about these companies. Every company is somewhat different.
Our aim is to be in the big player gold space. We have our heads down, and we’re going to get there. I can’t say exactly where or how, but we’re focused on it. We’ve got a great management team that’s going to help us get there. And, I’m personally committed to this as well. Now having said all of that, as you well know, it’s very easy to say those words and it’s very, very hard to do it. We hope to do it quickly, because I’m in a rush. Why am I in a rush? Because I think the gold price is set to have another wonderful run once this current noise is over, and I think it’s going to blow through the previous high of $1900, set back in 2011. The quicker we can build a big company, the more exposed we’re going to be to that run when it comes, and I think it will come quite soon. So that’s what we’re doing. As I said, I can’t tell you precisely how and when and even whether we’re going to be able to succeed in this, but my gut feeling says we will. I look forward to talking to your subscribers again, a year from now just to give them a report card to tell them how well we’ve done.”
Goldfinger: “That sounds good. So with Equinox, what would you say the biggest opportunities are right now? Let’s say for the next couple of years, for you in the gold space, or with the company in terms of the assets that you already have. And what are the biggest challenges that you face in terms of the transformation from a mid-tier to a senior?”
Ross Beaty: “Well, I’ll speak to the challenges first. There’s thousands of them. I could go on for hours. It’s a very tough business mining, whether you have one mine or 10 mines. It’s just a tough business for all sorts of reasons, and most of your subscribers know the reasons. There are calamities every day with one company or another, many for reasons beyond their control. And then of course you have the gold price, that’s a major risk. I happen to think it’s going to go up over time, but it may not. So, that’s a big risk. You must have investors who have their views on the gold price, because if you don’t think gold’s going to go up, you’re not going to be buying gold companies. It’s just that simple. So, those are the challenges. There’s a lot of them, and we must deal with them every day. It’s just part of what we do. Better companies handle them better than weaker companies, but everybody has challenges.
At this very moment, in the market, there are some very cheap companies out there. It’s a very strange time, relative to my last sort of 30 years I’ve been in this business, right now. You have a very strong gold price that makes great profits for most companies in the business, and yet, investors just simply are not buying gold companies. Especially the smaller ones, and especially the developers and the juniors. They’re just not not buying them, and the result is you’ve got some fantastic valuations. Now that’s not very good for shareholders of any specific company, but it’s great if you happen to want to do a roll up like we’re trying to do and acquire companies cheaply. What Equinox Gold has as one of its advantages, is a very strong shareholder base with deep pockets and capacity to finance in almost any market. We have Mubadala at almost 20%. I own about 10% of Equinox. I’ve got a pretty good personal balance sheet…Lukas Lundin, Richard Warke. I mean, I could just go on… BlackRock. We’ve got a wonderful blue chip group of investors, and if I can bring them a value proposition, we’re going to be able to finance it. That’s something which is a strategic strength, I think, of Equinox.
So I kind of like it right now. I hope it lasts for a while, even though, to some degree, we’re not benefiting from widespread shareholder embrace of the whole sector. But we’re doing okay, and our stock’s done well this year. I’m very happy that we’ve hit a lot of our objectives that we set a year ago, and I think we’re going to keep doing that.”
Goldfinger: “That’s actually very interesting. Because I just thought, the way you want to build this company to a senior over the next three to four years, if gold was rocketing above 1600 or 1700 and the juniors and the mid-tiers were flying, with all stocks being 10 baggers or more, it would make it very difficult for you to build that company, because you’d have to pay so much for new assets. I mean, you might be able to use your stock price to make those acquisitions, but I’m sure you would rather buy assets at attractive valuations, rather than excessively high valuations. So it’s the way this bull market, if we could call it that, is moving along so far, it’s actually perfect for what your objective is with Equinox. Would you say that’s a fair statement?”
Ross Beaty: “It’s always better to be a buyer in a buyer’s market.”
Goldfinger: “Right, exactly, and it still is a buyer’s market. Even though the seniors have done relatively well, it’s normal price action relative to the price of gold. As you pointed out, the juniors are … I mean, most of them, save a few that have had the big new discoveries, have really not done well in 2019, and my comment earlier about the mid-tiers was basically that the valuations of the average mid-tier is attractive relative to the average valuation of the average senior. That’s why if you were to buy a basket of mid-tiers now, and your bet was, well, not only is the gold price going to go higher over time, but also the seniors are going to need to make acquisitions, and hopefully buy some of these smaller companies, you should do relatively well over time.”
Ross Beaty: “I agree, but I also want to answer one of your earlier questions. You asked me, “What’s the endgame?” I want to make it very clear that Equinox Gold is not building itself to be sold, it’s building itself to be big. There’s lots of good reasons for that, I’ve already explained some of them. I would like Equinox Gold to live beyond my lifetime as a very large gold producer, the same way as I expect Pan American Silver will and be a household name in the gold business. That’s something that I’m working hard to try to create, along with all our fine management team.”
Goldfinger: “Very good. I’m not sure that you have an answer for this, but I’ll take a shot at it anyway. Why do you think the juniors and mid-tiers are not moving up as much as we might otherwise expect? In the previous bull market moves that I lived through, between 2003 and 2007 and then 2009 to 2011, the juniors soared when gold went up 200 or 300 dollars an ounce, and now they’re sort of stagnant.”
Ross Beaty: “Yeah. It’s the place we’re at in the cycle. It’ll come back, but right now investors are still skittish about gold juniors. They’ve been burned badly, they’re nervous about getting back in. And also, the easy money has been made. A lot of these companies have done okay, just not nearly as well as they did in prior cycles. A lot of investors, maybe, don’t believe in the gold price being stronger for longer. I do – everything going on in world financial markets makes me more bullish every day. That opinion is not shared by everybody, obviously. It’s not universal, but when it is there will be a kind of froth, a buying froth, when you have all the juniors running hard. Typically markets start with the seniors, they move down to the intermediates, then finally they get to the juniors, and we’re just simply not seeing that yet. It’ll come.”
Goldfinger: “Yeah. We’re not at the speculative part of the cycle yet.”
Ross Beaty: “No kidding.”
Goldfinger: “Yeah, and even in a bull market, most juniors have projects that are actually not going to turn into mines. So, their stocks might be 10 baggers or 20 baggers at some point at the peak of the cycle, but the fact is most of the projects aren’t going to work. It’s going to be one in one hundred that actually turns into a real asset that is long-lived.”
“Let me ask you about some of your investments in the junior mining sector. So, you own shares in a company called Osino (TSX-V:OSI) in Namibia. Do you have any comments about Osino and why do you think it’s an attractive investment?”
Ross Beaty: “Well, I have a few investments in other companies. I happen to have met the CEO of Osino, Heye Daun, several years ago. I was very impressed with him, and when he came to me to say he was starting up a new gold company in Namibia, I said: “Fine, that’s the kind of thing I like to invest in.” I look at the people first, and he’s a smart guy. So far he’s built value, but it’s a high risk exploration speculation, it might go to zero if he’s not successful. You just accept that risk. So far, so good.”
Goldfinger: “All right, so it’s a small part of your total net worth, but you’re enrolled in the quality of the management team and the project, and you’re willing to take a shot at it, essentially.”
Ross Beaty: “Correct.”
Goldfinger: “Okay. Are there any other management teams in the junior mining sector that stand out to you as, ‘I want to be involved with what these guys are up to’?”
Ross Beaty: “I’ve sort of cycled back and forth from being a developer with my own stuff, to now and then being an investor with other people’s deals, over the years. Ever since I got Equinox Gold going, I’ve really come back to the developer side. I’m putting a lot of money and effort into Equinox, because it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart, and it’s a lot more fun to take ownership of stuff you’re doing through being involved in the management decisions. I buy the occasional financing of other companies, but not really many today. I’m having lots of fun in Equinox, lots of fun in Pan American Silver, of course, it’s doing really, really well. I also have an active role in a green energy company called Innergex, on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It’s a large renewable energy company that merged into one that I’d built at Vancouver called Alterra Power. I enjoy that company a lot, and I’m on the board and a very large shareholder.
And then I have a couple of juniors … junior gold developers in Ecuador called Lumina Gold, and Luminex. These are doing well. Although Ecuador is not an investor’s favorite country these days because it’s had some turmoil, the actual projects are fabulous, the company valuations are low, and the management team is very strong. So, I’m very active in those two companies as well.
I’ve got my hands pretty full, and I’m not really looking to invest in other companies right now while I’ve got so much active on the go right now.”
Goldfinger: “All right. And, talking a little bit about yourself and your outlook on the mining sector, and maybe life in general, what would you say to a young person who has just gotten out of college, in their 20s, and they’re interested in getting into the mining industry in some way- either on the engineering side, or maybe on the investment side? What would you say to them, and why do you think the mining sector is, or is not, a good place for a young person to be in?”
Ross Beaty: “Well, I think it’s a great sector, actually. It’s a great sector for a career in many, many areas, from finance, to engineering, to geology. It’s very much going to be a sector that needs talent in the future. The world always needs metals. It’s a part of our industrial society, so there will always be mines. And right now there are a lot fewer people going into the field, for this reason and that. The result is that people who do go in are offered excellent jobs, great pay, and opportunity to travel worldwide, and, if they are entrepreneurs like I’ve been, it’s a great way to make a ton of money and have a lot of fun. So, I’d recommend it for sure. As to investors, it’s also a sector that I think, because there’s not that much interest in it, for those investors who are interested in it, there are great opportunities to have excellent financial returns over the medium term, as long as they get their timing right. It’s a cyclical business. If you invest at the top of the market, you’re going to lose money for sure. If you invest at the bottom of the market, almost anything you invest in is going to do well and you’re going to have outsized returns.
Get your timing right, that’s my main recommendation. Of course, nobody really knows when the bottom happens, and when the top happens, so you have to be closer to being right than wrong. That’s all you need. Right now, I think you must look at what’s going on in the world and say, ‘do you think gold’s going to go up or go down?’ And if you think gold’s going to go up, you can buy almost anything, and the equities will always outperform the gold price in a rising market. They’ll always underperform the gold price in a down market, and you have to take a view.”
Goldfinger: “How do we improve the mining sector? Most generalist investors that I know in the US are afraid of mining and don’t see it as a viable sector to invest. Many investors have been burned in the last decade. What will it take to get the generalist money back into mining and how do improve the credibility and optics of the sector?”
Ross Beaty: “The best way for the sector to improve is for companies to make new discoveries and make people money. This is happening with a number of players but will take a sea change in sentiment for it to really get going. If the gold price goes up further it will come. But sadly the market is different today with little interest in the junior sector and all the robot investors and ETFs limiting the interest in financings. Plus it’s a lot more expensive working in the sector today with all the focus on ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) and CSR (corporate social responsibility). It’s the world we live in.”
Goldfinger: “Why is it so difficult for investors, and human beings in general, to buy low and sell high, despite the fact that we know that’s what we should be doing, and knowing that buying when everybody else is afraid works over the long run? Why is it so difficult to do that for most people?”
Ross Beaty: “I can’t answer that, but I certainly know it’s true.”
Goldfinger: “But you’re able to do that, fairly regularly, right?”
Ross Beaty: “Yeah, I mean it’s something that I very much believe in, and it’s when everybody hates the sector that’s the best time to get in. And, when everybody’s making tons of money and everybody is frothy and buying crazy stuff at crazy prices, that’s the time to get out. It’s a cyclical world, and you have to play the cycles. It’s really, really important in this business.”
Goldfinger: ”So where are we at in this cycle? For commodities in general, and then for gold or for copper, where do you see us in the longer-term cycles?”
Ross Beaty: “Every single commodity is different. Gold is different from silver, oil is different from natural gas, zinc is different from copper, and so on. Speaking about gold, I would say we’re in the 4th inning of a bull market with lots of room yet to go. Silver, same thing. Copper has been beat up. It’s a great metal, copper’s really good value today. I would buy copper companies almost across the board. Many other metals I wouldn’t go near. Zinc is very tough, lead is tough, iron ore and coal, metallurgical coal, very tough. Thermal coal is dead. Oil companies are going to be challenged because of climate change, and a lot of people want to switch away from oil. Thank goodness for that, because our climate is in danger, and our oceans are in danger. You’ve got to believe that if you’re a thinking person and listen to science. If you believe in science, you’ve got to believe in climate change. It’s just that simple. So any fossil fuel, oil, coal, natural gas, I wouldn’t go near. Uranium’s tough, because although uranium is a clean fuel, and I kind of like uranium, it’s got one big use, which is making electricity. The trouble is, uranium reactors are very expensive, and I don’t think they compete against renewables today. So, I’m not a uranium bull. There’s lots of opposite views, but that’s my personal view.
So, like I said, you just have to pick your commodity and look at the fundamentals for that commodity and then make your call.”
Goldfinger: “So two more questions. What was the best thing, the best choice that you ever made in your life?”
Ross Beaty: “Apart from marrying my wife?”
Goldfinger: (laughs) “Yes, apart from marrying your wife.”
Ross Beaty: “Oh, I don’t know. I’ve had a great career, lots of fun. There’s nothing that really stands out. I’ve made lots of good choices and lots of dumb ones. There here have been more right choices than wrong over my career, but I wouldn’t single one or two out, there’s just been all kinds along the way. Working with great people. Being lucky too, luck has contributed too. A lot of my success has been good luck as much as good measure. So it’s hard to define what I chose to do and what fell into my lap.”
Goldfinger: “In chess there’s a saying that ‘strong players make their own good luck.’ It sounds like this could apply to you in terms of investing, and it also sounds to me like you value people, the management teams, over anything else. Is that fair?”
Ross Beaty: “Well, you need both. You need a really strong team, and you also need good assets. And then, you also must have the right timing. So I’d say those are the three big things. But management is critical, for sure. A good team to work with is just solid, just joy. People who are on the same page as you are, who work really hard, who truly make a team where everybody’s kind of pulling the wagon themselves in their own way. By the same token, a bad team is just awful. I’ve had the misfortune of seeing that a couple of times in my career. So people are super important, but you also need good assets. And like I said, you’ve got to get your timing right.”
Goldfinger: Excellent. Final question, if we speak a year from now, let’s say the end of 2020, what would you have liked to say that you’ve accomplished with Equinox over that year span?”
Ross Beaty: “Well I just want to be able to say we hit our objectives, and I can certainly say that this year. I’m very proud that we’ve done well. Also, the gold price has gone up and that’s helped us a lot. So, really, a year from now I’m hoping we’re going to just be a bigger, stronger company that is more leveraged to gold, and hopefully the gold price is going to behave accordingly.”
Goldfinger: “Do you think the outcome of the 2020 election in the U.S. affects you at all with your assets in California?”
Ross Beaty: “It might. I don’t really know. I’m somewhat politically agnostic. I’m not a political animal and I’m just going to see what happens in the markets, and in the political world, without wanting to get too active or too involved in it. I’ll just play it as it comes.”
Goldfinger: “Ross, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to update us on Equinox Gold as well as to provide many other insights and words of wisdom. Until next time.”
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Nothing in this interview is to be considered investment advice. All future oriented expectations of Mr. Beaty and Goldfinger may not materialize. Always do your own due diligence prior to making investment decisions. Goldfinger owns shares in Osino Resources at the time of publishing and may choose to buy or sell at any time without notice.