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(Kitco News) - It may not be business as usual, but a new normal is creeping back into the mining sector as Mines and Money wrapped up its Online Connect virtual mining conference.

For the past two weeks, the conference highlighted important influences in the mining sector from around the world. According to conference organizers, more than 1,400 people from 69 countries tuned in online for the North American installment this past week.

The conference showed growing evidence of optimism and interest increasing within the mining sector. For the last three months, the global economy has been crippled by the spreading COCID-19 pandemic. Still, according to many analysts and mining CEOs, companies are reemerging stronger than before as capital starts to flow back.

"I'd like to think it's 10 times easier to raise money today than it was six months ago. And I think every mining executive would agree with me," said Ivan Bebek, executive chairman of Auryn Resources.

"If you're not long this business right now, and you should make a point of learning quickly and starting to get some positions, we are in the very early innings of one of the biggest bull markets that we'll see in the last 30 or 40 years," he added.

Helping the mining sector is the massive margins as gold prices push to their highest level since 2011. During the conference, investors saw gold prices push above $1,800 an ounce. According to many analysts, this is still the early start of a new bull market with unprecedented upside.

"The Fed, as you know, has been on a massive purchasing spree because of the virus situation, and so therefore the equilibrium price of gold is going up commensurately, and so the numbers now to balance that balance sheet are enormously high," said Dan Oliver, founder of Myrmikan Capital. "My [forecast for gold prices] has changed. I'm at $10,000 now."

That is it for this week; to all our American neighbors and friends, I wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July long weekend.

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