Investors will get back into mining sector when gold prices get back to $2,000 - Outback Goldfields CEO
Although conditions have improved, the mining sector remains undervalued and struggles to attract capital from generalist investors.
However, Chris Donaldson, CEO of Outback Goldfields, said that he is optimistic that attention will return to the mining sector. He added that investors won't be able to ignore the industry when gold prices push back above $2,000 an ounce.
"We're just waiting for this action to occur, and I think it's coming here real soon. In the back half of this year, we'll finally see some movement," he said.
Donaldson's bullish outlook on gold comes after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell breathed new life into the precious metal after he said the U.S. economy has not reached "substantial further progress" to warrant a slowdown of its bond purchasing program.
Gold prices pushed to a six-week high following Powell's comments before seeing some technical selling pressure into the weekend.
Before becoming the CEO of Outback GoldFields, Donaldson was the director of corporate development with Western Copper and Gold, which is developing its Casino copper and gold project in Canada's Yukon Territory.
Donaldson said that the most significant difference between the Yukon and Australia is the climate. He noted that the weather in the Yukon provides unique challenges for junior explorers.
"In the Yukon, you busted your butt for three or four months trying to get all your drilling and then you wait six, nine months for results. So, there are these big gaps," he said. "Whereas in Australia, I'm happy to have year-round drilling. We have easy access to the property. We don't have to fly in and out; our guys, go home for lunch."
As for attracting capital in the mining sector, Donaldson said that whether it's in the Yukon or Australia, many of the criteria are the same. Quoting the mantra of Outback's chairman Craig Perry, Donaldson said that it comes down to "the size of the prize and what is the cost of the test."
Donaldson said that he was attracted to Outback because of its location in Australia's historic Victorian Goldfields. The project is located near Kirkland Lake Gold's Fosterville Mine.
"Eighty million ounces that have been produced there, and geologists believe that with new techniques, there's probably another 80 million yet to be discovered," he said. "I'm a big believer in the Yukon too, so don't get me wrong, but, uh, we're in a more established area, and I think the chance for discovery is higher."