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James Cooper

James Cooper spent the 2000s commodities boom working up the exploration ranks from tiny players like Monax Mining, a little Adelaide-based rock-hunter that traded for around 6 cents at one point…to bigger iron outfits like Crosslands Resources.

Eventually, he was headhunted by the exploration manager of a copper miner called Equinox Minerals. That took him to Zambia, managing rigs, soil sampling, scouring tenement packages, analysing data, and organising field crews.

James was a team leader in what grew into a huge resource development (pre-mining) operation…with around 20 rigs and 18 geologists, as well as a huge number of support staff. Around 100,000 metres of drilling…with a heap of logistics to get the program through the wet season.

James was there when Barrick Gold came knocking with an enormous $7.5 billion bid to take over Equinox. That was at the peak of the last resources cycle in 2012.

Soon after, mining wound down, and even Barrick shut down exploration across the globe. Sold all its gold mines in Australia. And withered themselves down to a relatively small player in the industry.

But even post-boom, James remained in the thick of the action. James moved to the finance side for a few years, overseeing the ins and outs of company balance sheets.

Before too long, though, he was ready for another African adventure, this time in Sudan, a country that provided gold for Ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago.

In James’s words, this is one of the last frontiers for gold exploration, but a military coup meant he had to leave the country and get back to Australia.
Soon after arriving, he took a job with Northern Star. This is the company that had bought up Barrick’s Australian assets for a fire sale price.

Then James moved to a miner called Dacian as the senior exploration geologist. This is very interesting…as they were looking for nickel, copper, and rare earth elements (REEs) in the mineral-rich grounds surrounding the small Western Australian township of Leonora, around a four-hour drive north of Kalgoorlie.

With his background as a geologist and finance professional, he brings insight and experience to Fat Tail Investment Research’s dedicated resource-focused investing letter, Diggers and Drillers. Here he uses his hard-won knowledge to track down the most exciting opportunities for readers in what he believes will be the next major boom in commodities.

James also writes in our e-letter Fat Tail Daily each Thursday, you can subscribe for free here.


  • Fat Tail Daily

    Fat Tail Daily is your insightful and entertaining daily look at the chaos and opportunities created by a world gone mad.

  • Mining: Phase One

    Mining: Phase One is different from everything else we do here at Fat Tail Investment Research.

    It’s only designed for a very small group of aggressive — but prudent — individuals who are looking for trade ideas in the most speculative end of the resources sector…exploration companies in the first stage of the mining stock lifecycle ‘phase one’.

    These kinds of stocks are near impossible to value because they generally have no existing resources and no revenues. As such, traditional forms of analysis are usually obsolete in this area.

    To get an edge, you need to understand the rocks. As an experienced geologist, this is Editor James Cooper’s wheelhouse. His career spans 15 years working for some of the biggest and smallest resource companies in Australia and Africa.

    His aim is to help you trade the next cyclical bull market in commodities using his personally developed system for investing in highly speculative, phase one miners.

  • Diggers and Drillers

    A monthly newsletter that recommends small-to-mid-cap ASX-listed resource stocks primed to benefit from an anticipated resurgence in Aussie mining.