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Q&A With Glen McKay, Entrepreneur, Founder Of Newfoundland Hard-Rok Inc.

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With 40 years of business experience, Glen McKay, an entrepreneur and business leader who began as a deckhand working on fishing boats in Newfoundland, believes in the simple premise that if you value your staff, they in turn will increase the value of your business.

Today, Glen McKay serves as chair of the board of directors at Newfoundland Hard-Rok Inc., a successful explosives manufacturer he founded in 1985. Since its founding, Newfoundland Hard-Rok has grown aggressively, notably forming a wholly owned subsidiary, Dyno Nobel Labrador Inc. in 2004, a company that signed a deal with then mining giant INCO to design, build and operate a bulk emulsion manufacturing plant for its open pit mine and recently signed a deal with the current owner, mining giant VALE, to expand the plant and provide all equipment to service the explosives needs for the underground mining at Voisey’s Bay.

Outside of his work at Newfoundland Hard-Rok Inc., Glen McKay is also the founder and president of private equity firm Sealan Capital and co-founded Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc., a mineral exploration company known for its Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador.

Malik Akande

Q: You are involved with several companies operating in different industries. How do you juggle the concerns of a public mining company as opposed to a private equity firm?

A: Overall, I believe in surrounding myself with good people. I look for bright, hard-workers, who are self-motivated and can offset any weaknesses I might have. If you truly value your workers, they will naturally increase the value of your business. It’s also important to foster a team spirit and that’s true in any business. These kinds of principles are important and hold true in any business enterprise, regardless if you are running a public or private company.

Q: You’ve been in business for more than 40 years mostly as an entrepreneur. Do you have any advice for future business leaders?

A: Most entrepreneurs are motivated and very determined. Those are important qualities for any entrepreneur. It’s not easy to start your own business; you need to have that steel that comes from inside, not from external influences. Successful entrepreneurs also have an innate desire to learn and the ability to cultivate insight.

Q: Having founded and continuing to be involved, now as a significant shareholder, in Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc., a gold and copper mineral exploration company, any thoughts on trends in the copper or gold markets over the next several years?

A: Well, I’m no expert but gold is currently trading marginally below the $1,200 per ounce level and may be around that same range for the second half of the year. Since 2013, gold has traded in a range between $1,050 and $1,400 and I think a push above $1,400 would be significant. I think a substantial gain would make traders and the mainstream financial press sit up and pay attention. I sold all my gold and silver bullion investments during the highs a few months back but am going to reinvest again soon when the prices are right, and the Canadian dollar improves. I’ve not sold my mining stocks however.

Still, precious metals investors who have sat patiently on the sidelines waiting for a breakthrough to the upside could be rewarded. As an industrial metal, copper will always be in demand, particularly for its use in smartphones and other electronic equipment. However, its price has also been in decline for much of 2018. Gold and copper tend to fluctuate in the short-term, but I believe precious metals remain a solid long-term investment.

Taking a longer term view the best cure for low metal prices, as renowned mineral resource investor Rick Rule says, is low prices. When prices go down, exploration and development go down and this eventually results in lower production. When the markets pick up, then demand exceeds supply and prices go up. This is an inherent driver of the cycles in the metals market.

However, I view the current weakening and fluctuations of metal prices as a temporary lull in a metals bull market. Geo political factors however can and does impact what really happens to prices and therefore investors need to take these into consideration and be proactive and reactive as necessary.

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