The best profits in mining investment have been coming from some unlikely places lately.
Namely, the developed world.
This is an extremely unexpected trend. Happening in parts of the globe that had previously shunned mining as an outdated and dirty industry. But which are now shifting to embrace the business wholeheartedly.
The latest example is Arizona. Punctuated this week by a $428 million takeover bid for local copper developer Augusta Resource Corp--from mid-tier miner HudBay Minerals.
For years, Arizona has been seen as a no-go in terms of mining development. With local groups opposing any new projects. But quietly, Augusta has been able to move its Rosemont copper porphyry here close to final permitting. Attracting Hudbay's lucrative offer.
As the chart below shows, the turnaround in mining friendliness has crated big value for Augusta shareholders.
Welcome to the "new stone age". Where mining is suddenly coming back, in some of the most unexpected parts of the first world. Yielding unexpected profits.
This trend is going to continue to generate surprise opportunities globally. As I've written previously, numerous states in the U.S. are in the process of re-inviting miners to table when it comes to economic development.
And the new stone age isn't just an American thing. Last week the Treasury department of the Isle of Man officially called for prospecting proposals on 10,000 hectares of land.
The island territory off the U.K. is trying to spur exploration for silver lead, zinc and copper--the first three having been mined historically here.
At the same time, the British House of Lords last week threw its support behind new measures for deep sea mining in U.K. waters. The House heard an unopposed second reading of a bill that would create an "open door" to the granting of new licenses for seafloor polymetallic mining.
All of these pro-mining developments are unexpected steps, from surprising places. The next mining boom may thus not come from the frontiers of Africa or the Canadian Arctic. But rather from the doorsteps of advanced societies around the world--who are realizing that mining might be a good for growth after all.
Here's to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,
By Dave Forest