It’s been a good turnout after all for Team GB and the Olympic host city, London. There hasn’t (to date, that is) been any major cock-up, well, aside from our mayor dangling on a zipwire somewhere above Victoria Park, but the tube system held up, and no words of horror from Heathrow’s immigration lanes. Oh, and there’s been some fantastic Olympic achievements by Team GB gold medal winners like Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Mo Farrah, just to name a few. Or Jess Ennis… And that success doesn’t even take in the crowds, the massively supportive sets of spectators in the stadia, the parks and along the roads, who all deserve gold as well…Londoners are once again proud to be Londoners….
But wait. It’s not all that shiny golden tickety-boo in London at the moment, is it? Exactly where were the masses of tourists that were expected to suffer at Heathrow, and that were meant to bring London Underground to a halt? Last Saturday, the West End suffered a 11.7% year on year footfall slump. Retailers have now started an emergency campaign to lure people back to the shops, and as it seems, at least the very high end stores have had some success with it. It does have to be said though that the West End retailers’ problems were at no point matched by the West End night clubs, as they’ve surely had their share of the Olympic gold, even if it’s the medallists’ golden American Express for the aptly named £2,012 cocktail. Oh well, enough of my sarcasm – let’s face it, London is great, the Olympics are great, and there will always be some shortcomings here and there.
However, there is something else quite glittery-golden about London that you might not initially think of, an even bigger gold medal hidden somewhere here in London that gets easily overlooked. What is that you might ask – let me tell you – it has not the form of an Olympic gold medal, more of an overall value and a contribution to the bigger picture – even more so than the Olympics (and the £2.012 cocktails at Chinawhite).
The answer is simple and to be honest quite stunning: there are 76 junior miners listed on London’s junior market, AIM, who focus on the precious metal (some focus not solely on gold). Mining companies on AIM range from early-stage explorers, through brownfield developers, to emerging and established producers. Yes, they’ve also had a hard time recently, but which sector didn’t – Ernst & Young still sees the outlook for junior miners set to improve significantly in the near-term, naturally with the usual health warnings though. But just look at Kryso Resources, which had a strong start to the year, with a further 32% share price increase over Q2. It is developing the Pakrut gold project in Tajikistan and in May announced an updated JORC-complaint mineral resource of 5,020,000 ounces of gold. Yes, junior gold miners can be a real hidden “gem”, a golden egg in the nest, pardon the pun, especially this week, after Gold has risen and maintained its premium over platinum at above $200 per ounce on expectations for more US stimulus.
We easily overlook what London has to offer, and myself included, we do too often bicker about this and that. Oh think how horrified were we all before the Olympics, will we get to work, will London degrade to being Europe’s laughing stock and so on. The reality is probably truly British: one muddles through. And London’s done it well with the 2012 Olympics, very well indeed. Now we just need to learn to also value the hidden gems of London. Go for gold, but not the Olympic way.
Stop the press: As of this morning, the games have now officially boosted London’s economy also, as reported in the FT, even if expectations are still not met. So maybe still go for the hidden gems?
One last thought on gold before I close: All the gold mined in the world in history would fit in a cube 60 feet on each side, that is to say, it would fit in the space underneath the Eiffel Tower. Doesn’t seem much, does it?