Thursday, May 03, 2007

Goldcorp (G) AGM - May 2/07

Goldcorp AGM May 2/07

You know this AGM would be different when you sign in and get the once over by the no-neck-with-buds-in-ear brigade. Huge security presence. Maybe they’re expecting their arch enemy shoe-bomber-Osama-McEwen to show up. After all, this is the Hyatt, where a few years ago, protesters dumped a load of manure at a forest company’s AGM.

Chairman Ian Telfer presides but before he finishes his official spiel, a lady raises her hand to asked if he would tell the truth about Goldcorp’s (inherited from Glamis) poor social record in Guatemala and Honduras. Apparently, there are land issues and blockades at Marlin in Guatemala. The lady protester brought along two of the indigenous people to the AGM to talk about the conditions there. At San Martin in Honduras, there are contamination and health problems. They asked if the town will ever have clean water - will they make things right before Goldcorp leaves.

CEO Kevin McArthur responded, in his opinion, they have a great relationship with the community. He said they have talked with all the stakeholders but you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

McArthur talked about Goldcorp’s 5-year plan of having 50% or better production growth and cash cost of under $200. Currently, they are 100% unhedged for gold but they do hedge copper and silver. Matter of fact, they have sold 25% of their silver to Silver Wheaton, a company in which they hold 49%.

During the Q&A session, the impassioned plea by the protesters must have made an impression as most of the shareholders’ questions referred to the protesters plight. Looked like they won the hearts and minds of some of the shareholders (unless they were plants) and of course, the silent majority who just wants to make money sat there quietly, taking it all in.

Goldcorp’s powerpoint presentation was just about the numbers. Contrast this with the Pan American Silver (PAA) AGM two days earlier where Ross Beatty went out of his way to tell how much a safety record award meant to him. And at the safety award event, PAA gave each mining employee a special silver coin. They also did a lot for the community around the mine.

Listening to all that made me hungry. Lucky for me, there was a reception in the next room where sushi, brushetta, shish-kebab, dessert, beer and wine were served. Same time next year.

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