Hard-core investors found real resource projects

On the supply side of the balance sheet, Holmes warned that reserves for some commodities—particularly copper, gold and zinc where not enough had been invested over the last 15 years—are starting to shrink. "Any disruption in supply or pickup in demand will lead to a higher price. That could happen as soon as this year," he said.

On the demand side, in addition to the traditional seasonal jewelry demand, he cautioned investors to watch the actions of the Federal Reserve as interest rate hikes could cause a rush of fear trade to the safe harbor of gold.

John Kaiser, author of Kaiser Research Online, celebrated the practical spirit of the hard-core companies and investors still attending conferences and moving projects along during a bear market. He was also looking at the implications of a possible Federal Reserve interest rate hike in his presentation at the Cambridge House conference titled "Fast and Slow Trains out of the Bear Market Trough."

"It could cause a financial meltdown in the bond market that ripples into general equity markets with knock-on effects similar to 2008, except this time the Fed, which has no tools left, would be helpless to do anything about the resulting malaise. The anxiety among traditional resource investors about this possible outcome that has long-term negative implications for the resource sector has paralyzed them with fear while the rest of the market simply ignores the resource sector as the dud market of recent memory."

Kaiser believes that "the transition to higher real interest rates is critical to put the American economy back onto an organic growth track, but I think the anxiety about an accompanying earthquake that topples the economy into a depression is misguided.

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About the Author

The Gold Report, by Streetwise Reports, features the leading investment coverage of gold, silver, platinum, and other precious & base metals.