High grade, low cost and near production: Winston Gold is ready to shine

Throw in an experienced management team and you’ve got what many would see as the complete package.

With its two assets and strong mining team, Winston Gold Mining, which raised C$545,000 when it listed on the CSE last March, appears to tick all of these boxes.

While it is still in the early stages of developing its Gold Ridge property in Arizona and its namesake Winston project in Montana, the company holds historic data (particularly on the latter) which suggests both projects have more than a fighting chance of success.

Winston is located near Helena, Montana – an area with a rich mining history dating back to the 19th century.

The district is reported to have produced 100,000 ounces of gold from only 150,000 tonnes of ore back in its heyday at an impressive average grade of 22.8 grams per tonne (g/t). A quick look at the records will tell you that the Custer mine – which lies within the Winston property – was a major contributor to that figure.

Similarly, the Gold Ridge project near Willcox in Arizona yielded some good grades in the past, too.

“It was acquired from some people we know very well. It’s also a historic mine, but not quite as prolific as the Winston claims,” explains the company’s chief executive Murray Nye.

The Gold Prince deposit on the project was mined sporadically between 1932 and 1996 and produced 22,000 ounces of the precious metal from multiple veins, averaging almost 12 g/t.

The low price of gold back in the eighties forced the previous owners to move out of the property, but Nye’s interest was piqued by what was left behind.

“What we liked about that was that it had a lot of development done already. They had set up two drill stations underground and we went down and checked it out and they were both in good shape,” he explains.

“Both the drill stations were ready to go and drill below the level they were mining, so we thought there was a pretty good opportunity to start some bulk sampling or test-mining there on a near-term basis.”

This is exactly what Nye and his team look for when assessing potential projects.

“We’re after properties that we believe can get to a development or bulk sampling stage as quickly as possible because the investors who we’ve aligned ourselves with are looking for that kind of opportunity and we think we’ve found a couple of assets that fit those criteria.”

Given that it only acquired Gold Ridge at the back end of last year, not much additional work has been carried out at the property. The company’s primary focus has been on its flagship Winston property.

“We think it has more opportunities in terms of tonnage,” says Nye.

The project had around 630 holes drilled down to around 100 metres or so as the previous owners tried to assess the potential for an open pit operation. They estimated it could be host to around 500,000 ounces of gold, potentially more.

“That’s not 43-101 compliant but it certainly gives us an indication that there are some pretty good gold values in the property and many of them were very high grade,” says Nye.

The CEO and his partner Mike Gunsinger think the real potential of the Winston project lies in the untested geology further below ground.

“Our thinking is – and three geologists have also told me this – that this project is better suited to underground mining. What we’re doing now is drilling underneath where the old workings are.”

Recent results would seem to back up this theory. In January Winston appeared to locate a “high-grade gold vein which could be amenable to underground test-mining.”

Drilling along the Edna-West vein, as it has now been called, yielded grades of 8 g/t up to 44 g/t.

The bonus of these high grades is that it would make the project relatively low-cost.

But it’s not just the grades that make Winston such an exciting project; the fact that the infrastructure is already in place is also a plus-point.

“There’s a major highway within a half-mile of the property and there’s a major power line running right through the middle of it,” says Nye.

“The elevation is also low by Montana standards so Winston would lend itself to year-round operations.”

The plan is to carry on drilling here for another few months and then go underground, with a view to getting into production within two years.

“If we were to start something [underground] eight months from now, you’d be doing the development which would probably take another eight months,” explains Nye.

“Depending on how long the vein is and what you’re mining it would at least take you another eight months to develop that into a shrinkage stope operation.

“So within a couple of years – maybe a year and a half – you’d be in a production scenario if everything went to plan.”

“Our goal is to develop underground access and gradually ramp up to a 300 tonne per day test-mining stage. If all goes according to plan we believe we could achieve this for about CDN $10 million.  Of course the ultimate number of ounces produced will depend on the average grade recovered.”

That’s not a lot in mining terms, but it is a tough ask for a fledgling business. But that there is where the experience and connections come in.

Winston is the second mining company Nye has headed over the past decade, and before that he was involved in financing projects, while Gunsinger has over 50 years of mining experience to draw upon.

So they know mining money people and are also pretty well up on the laws and regulations, especially in Montana.

“Operationally we’ve got a very experienced mining team and management is key in this. We’re very familiar with the state, the regulations there and we have very good relations with regulatory bodies,” says Nye.

The one thing Nye can’t control is the price of gold, although things are starting to look up here too.

“The gold market, in my opinion, is a place to have a serious look right now – it bottomed out but now seems to be back on an uptick,” the Winston CEO says.

Is this another box ticked for Winston Gold Mining? Very possibly.

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Feb 16, 2017 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Winston Gold Mining at http://winstongoldmining.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/mining/winston-gold-mining-corp.

Irving Resources unearths exceptional gold, silver exploration opportunities in Japan

When one thinks of Japan, sushi, Shinkansen bullet trains and onsen hot spring resorts come to mind more readily for 99.9% of the population than precious metals exploration. But those famous hot springs are plentiful because of geothermal activity, and this special geological phenomenon in Japan has given rise to some rich gold mines in years past.

The most impressive example in modern times is the Hishikari mine located on the southern island of Kyushu. Operated by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange:5713), Hishikari is very high-grade in nature, averaging some 40 grams per ton of gold in its ore.

Quinton Hennigh and Akiko Levinson knew about the potential for exploration in Japan as they were building up ounces at the Springpole deposit in Ontario while running Gold Canyon Resources. Springpole developed into a resource of over 5 million ounces of gold before the company was acquired by First Mining Finance in 2015.

As part of the deal, Gold Canyon spun out a new company with Levinson at the helm. She and Hennigh had for years agreed that if they ever started a new company, it would focus on Japan. The new vehicle was their chance and Irving Resources (CSE:IRV) had its direction laid out from the get go.

As 2017 kicks off, Irving has a project portfolio with all the hallmarks investors like to see – multiple projects with high-grade gold and silver showings, sound infrastructure, and a friendly jurisdiction to work in. Combine these attributes with good share structure and a healthy treasury and the Irving story has become an investor favourite, its stock price rising over 600% in the past 12 months to around $0.90.

In November 2016, Irving raised just short of $6 million, with famed precious metals investor Eric Sprott personally providing the lead order. That leaves the company with over $7 million in the treasury, or to put it another way, all the financial runway it needs for well over a year to begin showing the world how rewarding precious metals exploration in Japan can be.

“We are one of very few exploration companies operating in Japan,” explains Hennigh. “We are building relationships in the country and it is a very pleasant place to work.”

Irving, though a local subsidiary, has thus far acquired three projects, all located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. Each of the projects holds great promise from an exploration standpoint, but Omui is the one that excites Hennigh most at this early stage, and with good reason.

Chip sampling off float boulders on the property returned assay numbers the company termed “exceptional”. The assays included samples of 480 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 9,660 g/t silver, 143.5 g/t gold and 2,090 g/t silver, and others of similar quality. Even the newcomer to investing in precious metals will recognize those grades as being virtually off the charts.

“Omui is a very high-grade epithermal vein system exposed at surface and there was limited mining there in the 1920s,” explains Hennigh. “We expanded our land position by filing for applications for additional tenements, and have also started to prospect beyond the historic Omui mining area.”

Importantly, the exploration team has also found Omui’s rock to contain silica, a common element accompanying veined precious metal deposits, and critical to ore processing in Japan. The early results indicate rock at Omui being very low in toxic elements such as arsenic and antimony as well, suggesting any deposit outlined at the project could yield ideal smelter feed for domestic refineries.

While Hennigh and Levinson will be spending quite a bit of time in Japan going forward, when not there they have teammates to rely on in the country who are second to none.

Hidetoshi Takaoka enjoyed a long career at Sumitomo Metal Mining, helping to explore the Hishikari deposit and sharing credit for finding and developing Alaska’s world class Pogo gold deposit. “I’d say Mr. Takaoka is Japan’s best known geologist,” says Hennigh.

Irving also considers itself fortunate to be working with Haruo Harada and Mitsui Mineral Development Engineering Co., Ltd. (MINDECO) for assistance with permitting applications and other work with specific engineering requirements.

Dr. Kuang Ine Lu, an Irving Resources director who earned a Ph. D in Economic Geology from the University of Tokyo, brings yet another experienced hand to evaluate projects and strategy based on years of local experience.

Longer term, the plan at Irving is to prove up deposits from which to sell smelter feed to domestic smelters.

Hennigh is quick to point out, though, that the company intends to move ahead in a methodical manner, so as to make the most of its financial resources and ensure the highest possible likelihood of ultimate success.

“We are looking to shore up our land positions in the next few months and then starting in May begin field work on the various projects,” says Hennigh. “Omui will be first, as it is our most advanced project and is giving us the best numbers. But we will explore Utanobori, Rubeshibe and possibly other projects we are considering with chip sampling, mapping, soil sampling and maybe some geophysics. This year will focus on refining targets and it will probably be 2018 when we are ready to get drills turning.”

Interestingly, Hennigh says that experienced drill teams are available in Japan not only owing to mineral exploration but also because resorts and energy projects drill to tap hot springs throughout the country. They use core drills primarily, which is exactly what Irving wants so that it can preserve layers of rock and assess veining at various depths in detail.

Shareholders will be happy to learn that the depths Irving envisions its targets at are not that daunting, with Hishikari’s deepest levels of 350m serving us a good indicator for a Japanese precious metals deposit.

And because of Japan’s size and advanced development, project accessibility is not an issue. “Most areas in Japan are accessible by road and we don’t have to walk more than half a kilometer to any of the sites,” says Hennigh.

The stars seem aligned to make 2017 an exciting year for Hennigh, Levinson and the rest of the Irving Resources team. With field work starting in a few months and early project showings nothing short of outstanding, the company is set to draw attention to a country whose potential for precious metals exploration has largely been overlooked.

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Feb 27, 2017 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Irving Resources Inc. at https://www.irvresources.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/mining/irving-resources-inc.

A Recipe for Success: Helping Investors & Entrepreneurs Prepare for PDAC 2017

As many seasoned mining professionals know, two of the key ingredients to survive the often-harsh world of mining and exploration are hope and enthusiasm. At this year’s PDAC conference in Toronto, however, there was something more in the air – a feeling that has been missing for some time –  excitement.

Despite political uncertainties at the start of the year, prices for commodities and precious metals have rebounded enough compared to last year to give the mining and investment communities many more reasons to smile and, most importantly, to make deals. And it appears that deals are happening. In the fourth quarter of 2016, for example, CSE-listed companies in the mining sector managed to raise over $30 million signaling that deal flow, while modest, is improved over the same point a year prior for junior and small cap companies.

With the PDAC typically drawing in well over 20,000 delegates (this year they pulled in 24,000), hundreds of exhibitors and dozens of sessions and networking opportunities, it’s not enough to walk the walk – to get the most out of this show, companies and investors must also talk the talk.

In recognition of how important (and daunting) the PDAC can be for small cap mining firms looking to raise capital or for investors trying to navigate opportunities, the CSE, along with several like-minded event partners and sponsors, sought to help by putting the right ingredients in place to enable entrepreneurs and investors to have a positive PDAC experience.

PreDAC: Building Connections Early

Whether it’s polishing a pitch or simply mastering the subtle art of balancing finger foods, a drink and a conversation with an industry colleague, networking with the right people at the right time makes all the difference to an entrepreneur. Of course, it helps to get a head start.

To that end, the CSE along with its event partners, aimed to help PDAC attendees – as well as those who might not be able to attend the convention itself – connect with one another at two pre-PDAC sessions, known as PreDAC, in Toronto and Vancouver.

In each case, not only was there a solid turnout, but attendees were genuinely excited to connect and discuss the industry and outlook for the near term ahead of the whirlwind that is the PDAC. Based on the level of interest and enthusiasm with attendees of these events, PreDAC sessions were on point in getting folks in top form for PDAC 2017.

In Toronto, PreDAC was held at the fun East Thirty-Six resto-bar. Co-hosted by OCI Group, the session included insightful presentations from Dr. Francis Manns, Consultant & Independent Geologist; Krystal Ramsden, Mining Analyst at Extract Capital; Peter Campbell, Investment Banker at OCI Inc; Lawrence Devon Smith, Consulting Engineer; and Katherine Fedorowicz, VP Marketing & Investor Relations at Red Cloud, Klondike Strike Inc. To view more images from PreDAC Toronto, check out the Facebook album here.

PreDAC Vancouver took place at event co-host Clark Wilson LLP’s scenic downtown offices. Joe Mazumdar, Analyst and Co-Editor at Exploration Insights and Matt Zabloski, Founder and Lead Portfolio Manager of Delbrook Capital, provided attendees with their perspectives on what to look at when evaluating a mining company as well as the investment landscape for natural resources respectively.  To view more images from PreDAC Vancouver, check out the Facebook album here.

Following the presentations at both the Toronto and Vancouver events, attendees enjoyed networking opportunities, appies and drinks with industry peers, investment professionals and others during the networking session.

The CSE at PDAC 2017

PDAC is always a busy but this year was busier than most for the Canadian Securities Exchange. In addition to exhibiting at the Investor’s Exchange, the CSE hosted the increasingly popular PDAC Investor Luncheon, launched a special edition of the CSE Quarterly and co-sponsored an evening networking reception. All this in addition to the many meetings with investors, entrepreneurs and other industry professionals in and around the convention.

PDAC Investor Luncheon

The PDAC Investor Luncheon continued its growth in both attendance and popularity again in 2017, making it a must-attend event for those interested in the CSE as well as companies listed on the CSE.

In addition to a delicious buffet, attendees were treated to quick pitch-style presentations from several CSE-listed company executives, as well as a keynote special presentation on raising capital in the US by guest speakers Kenneth Sam from Dorsey Whitney LLP and Chris King from OTC Markets Group.

Exhibition Floor

On the exhibition floor, the infamous CSE booth and lectern made their return to the PDAC. With a larger crowd at this year’s show, there was a noticeable bump in traffic to the CSE booth. In addition to the exchange itself, the CSE was also well represented around the convention floor with nine CSE-listed companies exhibiting.

Spotted this year on the show floor were:

Networking Reception

It wasn’t all work at the PDAC. CSE team along with friends from MNP LLP and Aird & Berlis LLP got together at Taverna Mercatto to celebrate another successful PDAC. This event, like many others around the show, was also busy and offered up the chance to recount stories of the day and to make plans for future meetings.

Recipe for Success

PDAC 2017 was undeniably great for the CSE as well as for CSE-listed issuers and the growing number of investors who are interested in the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

As this world-class event continues to grow, so too does the importance of getting the most out of the time spent at the show.  Judging by the response from industry experts, investment community professionals and investors who attended the CSE’s events, the extra support these activities provided might just be the extra ingredient needed to stay a step ahead.

The Special PDAC Edition of the CSE Quarterly – Now Live!


The Special PDAC Edition of the CSE Quarterly is Now Live!

As the world’s leading mining conference, the PDAC is a great example of how truly global the mining industry is.

This special issue of the CSE Quarterly profiles several CSE-listed mining and exploration companies on their global journey to seeking out interesting projects from Montana to Mongolia and many points in between.

In addition to the profiles and update on the CSE provided by CEO, Richard Carleton, this edition of the CSE Quarterly contains some new features.

First, a “Company Snapshot” has been embedded at the end of each article providing a more well-rounded view of the company as an investment opportunity. Second, the Quarterly now more clearly identifies companies who also trade in the US on one of the OTC Markets tiers.

Featured in this special PDAC edition of the Quarterly are:

  • Irving Resources Inc. (CSE:IRV)
  • Winston Gold Mining Corp. (CSE:WGC)
  • West Red Lake Gold Mines Inc. (CSE:RLG)
  • Oriental Non-Ferrous Resources Development Inc. (CSE:URG)
  • Marpharm Ventures Inc. (CSE:MDM)
  • Versus Systems Inc. (CSE:VS)

Read the latest issue of the CSE Quarterly below.

 


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Transformation of CSE’s Trading Services – CSE Response to Dealer Challenges

Richard Carleton, CEO

The Canadian Securities Exchange (“CSE”) is transforming its trading services.  First, with the implementation of a new trading technology platform completed in December last year, the CSE has addressed previously noted latency and performance issues.  The new system has exceeded CSE’s expectations for the project and has been favourably received by clients.  Second, the CSE is introducing new trading features and functionality designed to address issues facing the dealer community in Canada.

Challenges faced by participant dealers

In our view, the biggest challenge facing participant dealers is cost effective execution of agency orders.

The advent of multiple market trading and the rise of the “maker/taker” pricing model have attracted numerous liquidity providers to the Canadian markets.  With liquidity incentives that were several times more generous (on a value traded basis) than US market centres, competing trading firms (often supported with sophisticated computer technology) reduced quoted spreads for actively traded instruments to the minimum increment.

Although the narrower spreads served to benefit clients trading in high turnover stocks, the cost to access the liquidity for their executing firms began to approach prohibitive levels.  These costs include, but are not limited to, exorbitant take fees, multiple ticket charges resulting from smaller average execution size, implementation and maintenance costs for order routers (for compliance and best execution purposes), access fees and market data charges for a burgeoning number of new venues, gaming strategies employed by the liquidity providers, a rising percentage of odd lot orders, and significantly increased compliance risk.  All of these factors have combined to increase dramatically the costs of execution for agency dealers.

CSE addressing the challenges

The CSE has introduced a series of measures designed to address the aforementioned challenges and is adding further functionality and features:

  • a market making programme for all stocks trading on the CSE (CSE, TSX and TSX-V-listed) was introduced in November, 2014. The key feature of the programme is that it provides automated execution for eligible agency orders up to the “guaranteed minimum fill” commitment from the market maker.  We currently have a number of firms providing odd lot and full market making services for both CSE and other market listed stocks.
  • The CSE filed for an enhancement to the GMF programme on February 17, 2017. The proposal, which may be published in the OSC Bulletin for public comment as early as March 2, is intended to increase the opportunity for GMF-eligible orders to be automatically executed at the prevailing national best bid or offer in a single trade ticket.
  • The CSE is also revising its fee schedule. The changes are intended to reduce overall execution costs for agency dealers.
  • The CSE received approval from the Ontario Securities Commission for the introduction of two new features on February 16, 2017. A copy of the OSC notice may be found at:  http://osc.gov.on.ca/en/Marketplaces_cnsx_20170216_market-maker.htm . The first component of the filing, the introduction of standard peg order types, did not attract any comments.  The second component of the filing, the introduction of market maker participation, was somewhat more controversial.  We will spend some time describing how we believe the feature should be eventually implemented, and how it is currently approved.

It is an unfortunate fact of the public comment process in Canada that the conversation with respect to securities regulation, at least from a practitioner viewpoint, is dominated by the institutional trading desks.

In the United States, there are a number of powerful and independent advocates for the interests of retail oriented investors: large mutual fund firms, independent discount brokers and regional brokers servicing a retail investor population.  All intervene on behalf of the interests of their clients.  These entities either do not exist in Canada (the independent discount brokers are all relatively small compared to their bank-owned competitors), or have elected for one reason or another not to take an active role in the policy formation processes.  Consequently, it has been a challenge for the CSE to rally broader public support for enhancements to its offerings for agency clients.

It is also a difficult process to appropriately balance, in a way that satisfies all of the stakeholders in the market, the privileges afforded a market maker with the obligations that they are providing to the marketplace. In our experience, any offering from a marketplace that increases the likelihood of execution of an agency order against the market maker’s book, is more likely than not to be opposed by parties looking to increase their ability to trade against these orders in the open market.

Under the CSE’s original proposal, market makers would have been entitled to participate against up to 40% of the volume of eligible marketable orders.  The current guaranteed fill requirements would remain in effect, such that if the booked volume at the bid or the offer was insufficient to satisfy an in-bound order, there is no elective participation. The market maker is obligated to fill the remaining volume. This restriction to trading with only eligible orders was the most problematic for commenters and the regulators.  Since the market maker was not “obligated” to participate with “all order flow”, the feature was characterized as a “benefit” to the market maker.  The fact that the feature would result in reduced costs and superior execution quality for agency clients and their executing dealer, was not, in our opinion, given sufficient consideration.  As a result, the CSE’s original proposal would not have been approved.

In order to avoid undue delays in delivering the other features that have already been approved, the CSE has determined to deliver a modified version of the participation programme. As set out in the OSC Notice, the CSE participation programme will now allow the market maker to interact with all orders less than the GMF and would limit market maker participation to a maximum of 40% of the GMF commitment.  These features are consistent with market maker participation available on other exchanges in Canada.

Although this is an imperfect result, we will be working to overcome the objections of a subset of the trading community as well as engaging with OSC Staff in the coming weeks.  Our objective is to provide Canadian dealers with a cost effective means of executing large volumes of client orders, while providing appropriate guarantees of both best price and best execution for their clients.  These goals are clearly in the best interest of the public and the market as a whole.

Respectfully,

Richard Carleton

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Securities Exchange Outperforms Peers Heading into 2017

Many junior and small cap companies have seen a resurgence in market caps as well as investor confidence. For public companies and their shareholders, however, one recurring question is – does where a security is listed make a difference to either the degree to which it will trade (i.e. liquidity) or to the amount of money that it can raise?

Based on data detailing financing and trading activity on Canada’s most popular small/junior cap exchanges, the TSX Venture and the Canadian Securities Exchange, the answer appears to be a resounding no.

Starting first with capital raised, the following table summarizes the amount of money raised as a proportion of the total market cap of the exchange on both the TSX Venture Exchange and the Canadian Securities Exchange in January and December of 2016. This metric provides a measure of effectiveness for a particular company at raising capital relative to its market value.

Table 1: Capital raised divided by market capitalization of CSE and TSX Venture listed securities
 Listing Venue December 2016 January 2016
CSE Listed 2.85% 0.7%
TSX Venture Listed 1.14% 0.4%

While January 2016 was a tough month for small cap entities raising capital, December 2016 was much better. For CSE listed companies, the dollars raised in December 2016 as a portion of the total market cap worked out to be 2.85% – more than double the 1.14% for TSX Venture listed companies.

Despite external market conditions, in both December and January of 2016, CSE listed companies were able to raise a greater percentage of their market capitalization from investors than TSX Venture listed companies were. This implies that investors were more interested in the deals taking place on the CSE rather those on the TSX Venture.

In terms of liquidity, data once again demonstrates that where securities are listed does not appear to determine whether or not investors wish to trade in those particular securities.

As shown in the following table, for both December 2016 and January 2017, the aggregate trading value divided by the total market cap was about two percentage points higher for CSE listed companies than those listed on the TSX Venture.

Table 2: Trading value divided by market capitalization of CSE and TSX Venture listed securities
 Listing Venue January 2017 December 2016
CSE Listed 5.8 % 6.7 %
TSX Venture Listed 3.8% 4.6%

Clearly, the perception that trading is more liquid or that companies are more readily financed if a company is listed on a larger exchange is not borne out by the data. Although a fraction of the size of the TSX Venture, the relative outperformance of the Canadian Securities Exchange shows that ultimately it is the companies and their respective investors that drive interest in deals and liquidity.

Nevertheless, as awareness of the choice available to publicly listed securities in Canada improves, factors such as total value to shareholders will become the more important benchmark for publicly-listed companies to consider when evaluating which venue to list on. As trading, financing and listing data have shown, however, an increasing number of companies and their shareholders are being rewarded for listing on the CSE.

MOBI724 at the vanguard of payments and coupon revolution

We all know that shopping isn’t what it used to be since the arrival of smartphones and e-commerce.

What you might not be aware of is that the payments, promotions and coupon landscape is also undergoing a seismic shift due to emerging technology.

At the vanguard of this revolution is rapidly growing fintech (financial technology) company MOBI724 Global Solutions Inc. (CSE:MOS), which provides consumer services that weren’t available as recently as two years ago and is participating in an expanding global market that this year has an estimated worth of $10 billion.

Specialising in card payments

The company specialises in card payments and its core business, explained Chief Executive Officer Marcel Vienneau, is its card-linked platform, which when combined with digital marketing represents a new ecosystem allowing banks, merchants and customers to transact more efficiently with each other.

Card-linked technology is transformative for credit card points programs, and in addition enables card users to receive a tailored stream of offers and promotions on their smart devices.

To give a sense of scale, the company’s website says there will be just over 1 billion mobile coupon users by 2019, up from just under 560 million this year.

MOBI724 also offers digital payments solutions.

“This type of technology simply didn’t exist two years ago,” said Vienneau. “We are selling our solutions primarily to card issuers or banks in different countries,” he adds, pointing out that the company has customers in Canada, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In the Canadian market alone it has 400 customers.

“Most banks, anywhere in the world, have points programs where they issue points when you spend with their cards. Most of these cards enable customers to redeem points and get a reward,” he said.

Reinventing the technology

Perhaps the most significant aspect of MOBI724’s technology is that it has reinvented a clumsy, 20-year-old cost and payment structure, and thereby helps banks to make more money from card transactions.

Vienneau offers some examples of how the system worked in the past and how MOBI724’s better approach makes a difference.

A credit card customer has been awarded 25,000 points for using his or her card and can therefore buy a product with a $250 gift card. The card-issuing bank bears the cost of producing a rewards catalogue and the shipping costs of any product bought.

Now, say that a customer goes to an actual store and wants to buy a gift for $400 and include the $250 gift card value as partial payment. The current system is disjointed and the balance can be made up from cash, or another credit card, which might not be linked to the points system. Obviously, the customer doesn’t get the benefit of gaining more points.

MOBI724 simplifies the process by bringing all the strands together. It links the credit card, which issued the points, with the gift card. A customer can make a payment with an app and it both acknowledges that the gift card has been used and applies the balance owing to the credit card that earns points.

Similarly, when someone is in a store MOBI724 can send a coupon based on location or the customer’s profile, then the coupon can be used moments later at the cash register. The system can also send offers directly to a smartphone at any time, regardless of whether the shopper happens to be at a store or not.

In the preceding case of the $400 purchase, the bank charges a percentage of the transaction value when the points are redeemed, and so does MOBI724. The bank also wins by avoiding the necessity of having to pay for catalogues and product shipping.

“This is a new way to transfer a cost structure into a revenue-driven model, and it is seamless for the user and the bank,” said Vienneau.

It also taps into the way people engage with their banks and financial institutions nowadays – namely, instead of going into branches and using ATMs, people are putting “plastic into phones” and want more personalised interaction.

“Banks are losing their branding abilities but this gives them more channel opportunities,” Vienneau explained.

MOBI724 has invested considerably in its “business intelligence” capabilities, which allow it to map out people’s past purchases, social media interests and other distinguishing characteristics so that it can target them with specific coupons and offers.

“We are not just throwing everything at them,” said Vienneau.

The digital marketing aspect of MOBI724’s technology should also be of interest to advertisers, he points out, as it reveals consumer spending habits and other tendencies.

To that end, the company has struck strategic alliances with several agencies to help further grow the business.

Sales projected to reach $2.75mln for 2016

And growing it certainly is. Two years ago,annual revenue at MOBI724 was just over $100,000, and last year came in at $450,000. For 2016, sales are projected to reach $2.75 million.

Vienneau, a tech entrepreneur who became Chief Executive Officer when the group listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange in February 2015, expects to double revenue in 2017, along with crossing the line into positive EBITDA territory around mid-year.

In the next 36 months, the aim is to have $50 million in annual revenue and an expanding sales pipeline.

Vienneau designed the card-linked technology himself, planning the concept on a single sheet of paper four years ago.

The digital coupon market is projected to be worth $50 billion in the next three years and he reckons MOBI724 is well positioned to win a meaningful piece of this.

The group already has a respected backer in the form of institutional investor Fidelity, which has been involved in four rounds of funding, the latest for a $1.5 million convertible debenture.

MOBI724 announced plans to raise $5 million in July, around half of which has already been obtained. The money will be used to drive growth, as the research and development phase is over and the various technology solutions are fully functional.

Significantly, MOBI724 owns all the intellectual property supporting its platform and has a patent pending.

Vienneau reckons that at a market cap of approximately $5 million, or around twice projected 2016 revenue, the share price offers good value to new investors. “The challenge for us is to go out there and tell our story,” he said. “In time, this should lead to the market understanding our huge potential.”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 24, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Mobi724 Global Solutions Inc. at http://www.mobi724.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/technology/mobi724-global-solutions-inc.

Climbing to New Heights: CSE has Best Year on Record in 2016

It is fitting that in an Olympic year, the motto of faster, stronger, higher could also characterize the year that was at the Canadian Securities Exchange.  After an exceptional performance in 2015, the CSE managed, yet again, to finish 2016 on a record-breaking note.

With trading volume, capital raised and listings on the CSE achieving their highest levels in the exchange’s 13-year history, the Exchange for Entrepreneurs continues to prove that small-cap companies, as well as those who invest in them, benefit from having real choice in the Canadian securities landscape.

And, while the numbers themselves are impressive, the numerous examples of continuous innovation this past year at the CSE demonstrate why they are committed to making 2017 even better.

Strength in Numbers

From a trading perspective, 2016 was the best year on record for the CSE. Order flow came through at 6.4B shares worth a total value of over $1.5B – the highest amount ever since launching in 2003 and a 159% increase over 2015. In addition to the secondary market, investors were also interested in directly funding CSE listed companies. CSE-listed companies participated in 364 deals raising over $400 million in 2016.

While these figures are a great endorsement of companies being able to raise capital on the CSE, the bigger win for companies as well as their investors is that more of that capital could be used for their own growth plans rather than go towards the ‘middlemen’.  As shown in the image below, unlike competitor exchanges, the CSE does not take a percentage of the funds raised which means more money in the hands of entrepreneurs as well as their shareholders. For additional information on why companies are choosing to list on the CSE, click here.

Comparison of fees collected by the Canadian Securities Exchange and TSX-Venture
Comparison of fees collected by the Canadian Securities Exchange and TSX-Venture

On the listings front, the CSE saw a record high number of listed securities in the summer of 2016, reaching 328.  In addition, the CSE’s commitment to innovation meant that, despite a relatively challenging IPO market, five companies elected to go public on the CSE and 38 listings joined the exchange in 2016. The CSE saw the composition of securities listed on the exchange shift to include firms participating in emerging industries like drone transportation, fintech as well as medical marijuana.

Finally, with regards to performance, the CSE Composite Index, a benchmark of performance of the CSE, finished 16.1% higher compared to 2015 and the 103 firms (as of December 19th) that constitute the index had a collective market cap of over $2.3B.

The Value of a Handshake

Part of what has contributed to this record-breaking year has been a consistent focus on the entrepreneurs, companies and investors that choose to work with the CSE. Despite the realities of operating in an increasingly digital world, the CSE made a concerted effort to reach out in person to entrepreneurs and investors across the globe.

From coast to coast across Canada, as well as throughout the US, Europe and even as far away as Mongolia, the CSE team members attended, sponsored or hosted over 40 events throughout the year. In those travels and conversations with many entrepreneurs, it was abundantly clear that modern capital markets are global in nature and that the CSE has an increasingly global reach. Many of the chronicles of the CSE team’s travels from 2016 can be found on the CSE Facebook page here.

Another important outcome of talking to entrepreneurs in person was the discovery that many of them were curious to understand the requirements and realities of taking a company public.  As a result, this past year marked the launch of the first ‘Going Public’ boot camps in 2016.

James Black, VP Listings Development, introducing the first edition of the CSE Go Public Boot Camp in Vancouver
James Black, VP Listings Development, introducing the first edition of the CSE Go Public Boot Camp in Vancouver

These one day workshops were held in Vancouver and Toronto and brought together capital markets professionals and entrepreneurs for an intensive and informative session on what it takes to succeed as a growing company.

Both sessions were met with an overwhelmingly positive response, indicating that, regardless of what stage they may be at with their respective businesses, entrepreneurs value learning about the path to going public. For those who missed it, recordings from the Vancouver session are available on the CSE YouTube channel here.

Committed to Innovating

Capital markets are rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly reliant on technology to power all parts of the capital formation ecosystem. In 2016, the CSE implemented a number of enhancements to the overall technology infrastructure that helped pave the way for expansion and improved service delivery.

In April of 2016, the CSE rolled out its newly designed responsive website. Rebuilt from the ground up, this new website streamlined the user experience to enable visitors from screen size to access data on the CSE as well as the companies listed on it. In addition to the design and layout changes, the addition of integration with social media, such as Twitter, enabled website users to stay updated on the latest developments and activities at the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

Another important development to the CSE’s digital evolution in 2016 was the increased focus on digital communication, specifically across social media.

We are excited for the launch of the National Angel Capital Organization’s new publication! Here is James Black of the #CSE with Yuri Navarro, CEO of NACO.

A photo posted by Canadian Securities Exchange (@canadiansecuritiesexchange) on

The CSE added another digital channel, Instagram, into its stable of digital social media channels. Over the past year, followers of the CSE as well as listed issuers and investors were able to get an increasingly detailed view of the work of the CSE as well as exclusive access to what goes on behind the scenes at the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

Finally, one of the big technology projects of 2016 was the rollout of a new trading engine that improved performance, decreased latency as well as enhanced stability all the while consuming less resources than the previous system.

Looking Forward to 2017

With such a strong performance in 2016, the bar has been set high for 2017. While it is difficult to predict exactly what the year ahead will bring, the CSE will continue to stick to its winning formula of putting entrepreneurs first, committing to innovation and providing real value to public markets.

Mining for Movies: Virtual Reality booms for Imagination Park and its low-risk approach to Hollywood

In a world where corporations with big budgets toil night and day to eke out what often are mere single-digit profit margins, the idea of a company making modest, low-risk investments and generating swift returns of 1,000% or more seems fanciful. Such a company would have to operate in an innovative industry facing serious capacity constraints, and be one of the few groups holding the keys that unlock the potential to address them.

Well, meet Imagination Park (CSE:IP), a young company that actually is on such a path, working in a realm that over time is likely to touch each and every one of our lives…virtual reality (VR).

Imagination Park is home to a multi-talented team whose members have sold feature films, concepts, scripts and intellectual property to some of the largest entertainment studios in the world. It is a company that seems to have the business side of the industry figured out, pursuing a model that provides multiple chances to make exceptional returns while limiting financial risk to a minimum.

How do they do it? They follow the money.

“I am a film producer by trade and learned early on that the best money in film is not made in production or finance, but in intellectual property,” says Gabriel Napora, Imagination Park’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our mission is to create, option or purchase the most compelling intellectual property in the fields of film and VR.”

More on virtual reality in a moment, but to illustrate the power of ideas in the entertainment industry, consider a story Napora tells about one of his many successful projects. “Early in my career, I produced a project called Tetravaal with a young director on a budget of about $4,000. Tetravaal won the attention of the right people and ended up being the precursor to Chappie, which had a budget of around $70 million. But it all grew from an idea that originally cost only a few thousand dollars to produce.”

Imagination Park brings substantial heft to its projects thanks to a team whose members include two highly successful producers — Napora, plus Imagination Park President Tim Marlowe who was the Executive Producer for The Lady in Number 6, which won an Academy Award. Colin Wiebe, a creative entrepreneur, digital marketing expert and musician who toured with the likes of rock legend Randy Bachman chairs the board of directors, which also includes producer and ace talent scout Yas Taalat. The top execs oversee a technical group on the special effects and virtual reality fronts that is second to none. This is a company ready to leverage technical and cost advantages to compete in a large and rapidly growing market for the products and services in which it specializes with an emphasis on 360 degree, 3D virtual reality content.

“Netflix had a budget of around $6 billion last year, you can expect Amazon to match that or be higher, and HBO will have to do the same,” explains Wiebe. “With more and more people binge-watching on Netflix content gets consumed very quickly, so studios have to both be shooting around the clock plus looking outside their walls. But the fact is that there are only so many quality content producers around and only so many production facilities.”

Imagination Park takes advantage of this growing supply/demand imbalance not only by producing films and other content, but also with virtual reality services and more conventional production support.

It does this in a clever way from a financial perspective, structuring agreements so they pay on both the front and back ends. “In film, and to some degree virtual reality, the riskiest thing is financing. No matter how smart you are, nobody can guarantee that a film is going to make money,” says Napora.

“When we create, option or license intellectual property to present to major studios there is always an upfront fee paid by the studio before we go into production. In most cases, we also earn producer fees to move things forward. By the time the film goes into the world we have already made an exponential return, and if the film is successful we’ll make even more. So, our model is significantly less risky than one involved in actually financing films.”

In the next few months the world will get to see a series of Imagination Park projects, including a full-length feature film starring Danny Trejo, several virtual reality pieces, and a full-length documentary. “We are close to having around 18 projects either created, optioned or acquired on our basic slate for 2017,” says Wiebe.

A proof of concept is like a mini-trailer, but the intended audience is a studio or other entity who would purchase or financially support the idea. Imagination Park creates proof of concept packages for third-party filmmakers as well as for itself to market its own concepts developed internally. Napora’s Tetravaal production was a proof of concept.

“Looking back, I have been able to sell about 50% of the projects I have been involved in to major studios,” says Napora. “I am not saying we will sell half of everything we are involved in going forward, but even if we were to sell three or four we would be a very well-to-do company. If we are right on two or three projects and they turn into hits, we become a major Hollywood player.”

On the virtual reality side, Imagination Park has created content soon to be for sale in virtual reality stores. It will also work with advertising agencies, and with film studios that have a new title ready to go but need virtual reality content online to help excite potential moviegoers.

“Sales of virtual reality equipment have exceeded $1 billion and this is not even the beginning of the curve,” says Wiebe. “We are currently in discussions with some major corporations focused strictly on advertising. We have detailed proposals going out to major companies and see this as being the very start of something that will spark a huge wave of virtual reality service work for us.”

The modest investment philosophy extends to all corners of the company, with the chairman saying it is important to stay lean and mean. “Nobody is getting big salaries. Everything is performance-based and we have specific budgets for travel and projects.”

Virtual reality, proofs of concept, feature films and production work are enough to keep the Imagination Park team busy on its North American home turf, but China beckons as well. The Asian country is a huge and rapidly expanding market for feature films, and Napora happens to have both experience and connections there, plus an understanding of the types of concepts that sell to its unique audience.

“There are opportunities now that never existed in the past and they are there for the taking if you know the right people, have the right product, and have a team that can execute,” says Wiebe. “It is like mining for movies. But ours is a mining project where you know in advance that the value is there. All you have to do is go and get it. The skyrocketing virtual reality trend has been an added surprise discovery that luckily we’ve been way ahead of. ”

This story was originally published at www.proactiveinvestors.com on Nov 24, 2016 and featured in The CSE Quarterly.

Learn more about Imagination Park Entertainment Inc. at http://imaginationpark.com/ and on the CSE website at http://thecse.com/en/listings/diversified-industries/imagination-park-entertainment-inc.

Record Growth in an Evolving Marketplace: An Interview with Richard Carleton

2016 will officially go down as one of the best years in the Canadian Securities Exchange’s history.

At the outset of the new year, CEO of the CSE, Richard Carleton, sat down with Peter Murray of Kiyoi Communications to discuss and reflect on the achievements of the CSE in 2016 as well as to provide insight on the capital markets ecosystem and what’s around the corner for the CSE in 2017.

Below is the full text from both parts of their interview (for ease of navigation, links to each part and topic have been provided).

Part 1: A look back on 2016 & look ahead to 2017

The first portion of the interview focused on the performance of the Canadian Securities Exchange in 2016, including the record trading and capital raising efforts from companies listed on the exchange. In addition, Richard Carleton highlighted a number of important operational and technical investments that were made to facilitate future growth and enhance investor experiences at the CSE.

Peter Murray (PM): The year 2016 was a particularly good one for the CSE and the financial community is interested to learn what the exchange’s plans are as we enter 2017.  I’ll begin by asking you to walk us through some of the milestones and accomplishments at the CSE during the year just finished.

Richard Carleton (RC): The headline event would be the performance of our overall market, where we enjoyed record trading volume, trading value and number of trades for our CSE listed companies.  We saw very strong momentum begin to build about halfway through the year and it grew to a crescendo in the month of November.  For all members of the team, and perhaps particularly those of us who have been working with the organization from near inception, it was tremendously gratifying to see the investing public accept our issuers to the extent they did.  From an external perspective, I think that is the headline story.

At the same time, I would say some of the things we did behind the scenes were equally important.  We invested very heavily in our infrastructure in 2016.  The first tangible evidence of this effort was the new website launched early in the year.  Though we received plenty of positive feedback on the improved look and usability of the website, we worked to further refine it on a continuous basis over the balance of the year.  I think the website presents a clean, professional and complete view of the Canadian Securities Exchange to all visitors.

We also invested in our trading infrastructure.  In mid-December, we completed the final stage in launching a new trading system that is approximately 11 times faster than our former system but requires considerably less hardware to operate.  For us, that means we are offering a higher level of service at a lower operating cost.

In addition, we bundled the new trading system with order routing solutions, compliance and risk management services.  For example, we provide features such as “fat-finger” protection, credit limits, risk limits, and risk tolerance limits to assist dealers trading on our exchange with meeting their risk management obligations to clients.  Basically, it gives dealers new tools that enable them to provide a higher level of service to their clients.
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PM: You mentioned new volume and value records.  Statistics released by the CSE during the year showed year-on-year volume growth of over 100% in some months.  What drove these increases?

RC: There clearly was a lot of investor interest in the legal cannabis sector, both in Canada and the United States.  With propositions on the ballot during the US election in eight states to either permit medical marijuana or legalize it outright, the belief was that companies active in the US market could have a tremendous increase in business opportunities available to them.  In the run-up to the election we saw a big increase in trading and price performance for names in the sector.

Canada-focused cannabis companies were also caught up in the investor interest given the posture of the federal government toward liberalizing laws in this country.

But I’d hasten to point out that cannabis-related companies weren’t the only ones fueling the growth.  A number of natural resource issuers and technology companies also traded heavily in the latter half of the year.  The result was a string of monthly records for share turnover, value traded and number of trades as we went from September through November.
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PM: On the oversight front, there is an ongoing effort to update the rules companies must abide by while on the exchange, as well as during the listing process.  Where do things stand currently?

RC: Most of the work has been taken up in two specific areas: original listing requirements and continued listing requirements.  The new requirements for original listings have been implemented.  We increased a number of the thresholds, which essentially had not been adjusted since the exchange began business in 2003.  In the intervening 13 years, some of the numbers came to need a reassessment.  Still, I would say that all of the companies approved for listing prior to the adoption of the new requirements would have made it under the new rules as well.

If you consider this together with the work we did in 2015 on plans of arrangement, we are trying to communicate to the investment community that we need to see companies with a business plan and sufficient capitalization to meet financial requirements for that plan over a 12 to 16 month period prior to listing.

To assist companies in meeting their disclosure obligations, both as they list and subsequent to listing, we retained two very important individuals in 2016.  Dr. Francis Manns is now our consulting geologist working with prospective issuers to provide expert-level peer review of 43-101 reports, or in the case of oil and gas issuers 51-101 reports.  Francis is universally respected in the mining and financial communities and is a real asset for resource companies to work with as they list with us.

Another strong addition is John Hughes, who joined our compliance team in a management capacity.  John is a consulting accountant who advises firms on the impact of IFRS and other contemporary accounting issues.  John reviews financial statements and other disclosure documents from prospective and current issuers with a view to helping companies meet the highest standards when it comes to financial reporting and disclosure.

For companies listing with us, having Francis, John and the other experts on our team to turn to is a real benefit.

We are still working on the continued listing requirements and the idea there is to establish minimum criteria a company must meet to remain listed on the exchange.  The objective of the exercise is to ensure companies on the exchange are actively pursuing the business they have set out in their disclosure materials and listing statement.  If a company decides that it needs to raise additional capital or find another business, it has a period of time in which to do that, but we are not going to allow inactive companies to reside on the exchange indefinitely.
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PM: Quite clearly, 2016 was a year of progress on multiple fronts.  What is the CSE team preparing to focus on as we enter 2017?

RC: Now that we’ve got the new trading system running we are really going to shift our attention to improving market making and overall market quality for our issuers.  We have been working with several dealers on ways for market makers to deepen liquidity and reduce the choppiness in prices by contributing buy and sell orders to the CSE book.  Ensuring that companies have a continuous two-sided market is quite important for issuers and their investors.

We are also going to be continuing our efforts to bring companies listed on the exchange to the attention of investor audiences in Canada, the United States and beyond.  We are planning quite a few events over the course of 2017 designed to introduce more potential investors to our issuers.  And, of course, that has the side benefit of demonstrating to entrepreneurs deciding where to list that they should choose the CSE ahead of some of the alternatives, as we quite actively support the efforts of our issuer community in markets around the world.  This is going to be another important focus of our energies over the course of 2017.
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PM: The CSE approach to issuers and markets has some unique aspects to it.  Do you think the CSE has helped change the environment for securities listings in Canada?

RC: Well, we sure hope so.  Our Senior Vice President of Market Development, Rob Cook, said the other day that when the organization launched in 2003, while we may not have been re-inventing the wheel, we certainly set out to apply a healthy degree of lubrication to the process.  And in many respects we have successfully done that.  We are continuing our mission to facilitate the lowest cost of public capital for small-cap companies in Canada.  The principal means by which we do that is improving the listing process and the secondary trading environment, and we work with as many parties as we can to accomplish our objectives.  This is our core strength and we will retain that commitment to a higher level of service for our issuers.
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Part 2: Industry Insights

In the second portion of the interview Richard Carleton provided his insights on a spectrum of issues facing Canadian capital markets. In particular, Carleton provided his take on the evolving landscape for IPOs, performance of commodities markets, algorithmic trading and opportunities for Canadian listings in the US.

Peter Murray (PM): Data shows that 2016 was a slow year overall for Initial Public Offerings in Canada.  What is your viewpoint on what has happened to the IPO and what is going to be its role for future public financings and listings?

Richard Carleton (RC): I don’t think there is any doubt that the decline in the number of IPOs is more than a cyclical phenomenon.  We have witnessed a sea change in how early stage corporate finance is conducted in Canada.  Participants are voting with their feet and avoiding the IPO process.  They are doing so because of concerns about cost, concerns about delay in having their prospectus approved, and also that there are now very few dealers who have the capacity, willingness or business model to support a small-cap IPO and distribute the securities to their clients and to the clients of other members of an underwriting syndicate.

The so-called “exempt market” has really stepped into the gap.  Here, I am talking about dealers (specifically “exempt market dealers”) who are able to distribute securities on the basis of one or more prospectus exemptions in the different securities acts.  The most common means, the “accredited investor” exemption, where securities may be distributed to high net worth individuals and institutions without a prospectus, accounts for the lion’s share of the funds raised by early stage companies in Canada today.   I prefer to think of this development as less as of an IPO crisis than as the emergence of a new dynamic, the funding of new businesses via the exempt market.  Typically, a new company will conduct a reverse takeover of an existing listed company, or existing listed company management may decide to undergo a fundamental business change.  In both cases, the exempt market is where 90% to 95% of the funds are being raised for new CSE companies.  This development means we are working not just with the traditional IIROC dealers on their underwriting activities, but also with exempt market dealers who are the lead actors in this new access to private capital for public companies.
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PM: A year or two ago when junior markets were having a particularly tough time, some observers criticized predatory trading practices for contributing to the weakness.  Are such things as high-frequency trading and black boxes issues for companies on the CSE?

RC: We saw the first consistent participation by high-frequency trading firms on the CSE this year.  These firms were pursuing a market-making strategy, which means they are significant contributors to the available liquidity in a particular stock.  The firms are very competitive; they tend to narrow spreads and provide for deeper order books.  I believe it has contributed in a positive way to liquidity on the CSE.  There were complaints voiced about “HFTs” a few years back when there was a lot of selling pressure, but we didn’t hear so much in the way of concern when the early stage markets began to recover.
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PM: Given the differences in the two markets, there seems to be an opportunity to harmonize Canada’s public venture market with capacity in the United States for deal flow and retail investing.  How do you see this developing and what role can the CSE play?

RC: There is no doubt Canada is an extremely advantageous jurisdiction in which to launch a smaller public company.  The economics don’t really support it in the US, UK or EU.  Arguably, Australia is the only other place in the world where small companies without revenues – typically mineral exploration companies – have an opportunity to raise public capital.

We know from experience that there is a lot of interest in our companies from investors in the United States.  We have a close working relationship with the OTC Markets Group in the US and in many cases we encourage issuers to obtain a quotation on one of the OTC’s regulated boards and to make sure their securities are properly registered with the clearing and settlement agency in the United States.  With these measures, US-resident retail investors will be able to trade these stocks via their discount brokerage accounts.

Issuers end up enjoying the best of both worlds.  They have a relatively low-cost jurisdiction in which to list their company, but at the same time can tap the US capital markets for both investment capital out of the gate and further rounds once they are trading in the secondary market.  That is something several of our companies have taken advantage of.  Generally, companies that obtain a US quotation have seen an immediate improvement in liquidity and it gives them additional fundraising opportunities in the US.  The fact is that Canadian public companies travel very well internationally.
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PM: Do you have any closing thoughts for issuers and investors, perhaps on issues we have not addressed so far?

RC: I would more so just take the opportunity to state again that the two things we will focus on in 2017 are working more with market-making and other groups to improve liquidity, and secondly that issuers should expect opportunities to work with us to promote both the exchange and their companies on an international basis.  We are going to be very active in the US, in Europe and potentially in Asia as well.

Really, what this is all about is proving the value of a listing on the CSE, and in so doing make the challenge facing our issuer companies of raising funds significantly easier.
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