I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. It is been a “lively” year. It has been a peaceful year by most measures. No World Wars, no Korean, or Vietnam wars in this slice of history.  No world-wide epidemics. Terrorism is wanton and tragic but kills few.

The risk that Trump will do damage is as sure as the repair we did not see during Obama’s eight years. Politicians are big on talk and illusion. What we get is disillusion. In the case of Trump I think we can rest easy. What the events of 2016 have thought us is that we must educate as many as possible to think for themselves. We need all or at least the majority to have an inbuilt bullshit detector.

One thing for sure is that is that we cannot predict the trends or waves in the market. I may have been right about zinc but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Keep it simple. Invest long term. The masters of the universe should not get too fancy with the daily algorithms. For pity sake it takes ten years to mine from discovery if all goes well.

Some things we do know. Grades at mines are getting lower and will continue to drop without new discoveries. These new discoveries will be deeper. Discovery costs will be higher. Risk will be higher. The incentive price of metals needed to explore will keep just keep rising. The longer the market is out of step with this reality the greater the opportunity.

What is important is not visible. China drives the demand for base metals and who knows what is or will enfold during 2017. We may finally wake up to the reality that the Euro is in terminal decline. The Italian banks are bankrupt. Italian banks owe something like 365 billion to someone. Unlike Ireland the bondholders can smoulder in anger but will be burned in the end. There has been no growth in Italy over the last decade.

This last year was a time when the incumbent political system finally realised something. That going through the motions was no longer an option. Disillusioned voters had run out of hope. In 2017 there are elections in France Germany and the Netherlands to name a few. The UK will trigger article “unhitch”. The EU will want to show the UK that there are consequences. Ireland will be piggy-in-the-middle and will fret over its trade with the UK. Ireland will wonder about what border it will have with the North. But every cloud has a silver lining.

The West has failed Syria as it failed the Balkans. Trump promises an inflationary spending splurge on infrastructure. I remember Putin promising the same a few years ago. The dollar is not strong, just the best looking horse in the glue factory. If Trump does deliver gold will rise as even the over-valued dollar loses it’s a grip on value?  If Trump does build the wall then CRH stock might look attractive. 



John P. Barry
Managing Director of Irus Consulting Ltd. and Professional Geologist

A widely travelled and highly experienced economic geologist, John Barry is a confidential counsellor to the likely investor contemplating a considerable investment in the intricate business of mining metals. Don’t take a “flyer” and trust altogether in luck and invest your money in an exploration or mining project on the strength of a printed prospectus or the advice of an interested friend without the preliminary investigation and site visit of a reliable geologist with a basic grasp of commerical reality.  Irus Consulting provides  strategic and practical management advice and guidance  to its clients.  Time is a precious commodity for my clients, and indeed myself, as it relentlessly ebbs away and so I  try as best I can to avoid the mediocre - those projects and their champions which do not engender enthusiastic belief and passion.

Irus Services Include:
- High-level strategic advice
- Practical guidance and assistance on project sourcing, acquisition and implementation
- Rapid identification of key project value-drivers and potential fatal flaws.
- Capacity building and coordination of  external consultants.
- Design and targeting of effective marketing campaigns

John Barry was part of very small teams which discovered and sourced several multi-million ounce gold deposits in Africa. He has worked as an economic geologist since 1988 and as a consultant and then responding to the entrepreneurial spirit he was a founder and manager of three public resource companies which raised a total of US$70million. These resource companies are currently successfully exploring and developing gold and base metal projects in Europe, and sub-Sahara Africa. John has seen a lot of rocks working for consultancies such as CSA in both Ireland and Australia and as Senior Associate Geologist with Chlumsky Armbrust & Meyer LLC which is based in Denver.  He is a specialist in zin-lead exploration and in 1992 joined the exploration team which discovered the Lisheen zinc-lead deposit in Ireland as the resource was being expanded in the first couple of years after discovery and in 2008 led the first non Polish exploration company to successfully enter and acquire a major resource-project in the Upper Silesian Mississippi-Valley-Type (MVT) zinc-lead district  in southern Poland – the world’s largest minerlised district of its kind. John (P.Geo and EurGeol) holds a Master’s Degree in Geology from Pennsylvania State University and a MBA from the Edinburgh School of Business, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.

“I would like to think that I have shown the tenacity, patience and focus required to implement many of my better ideas over the years and that I have learned valuable lessons from some failures. I believe one of my strengths is in communicating quite complex technical ideas in a concrete way that can be easily understood. I am a team- builder and motivator by projecting my enthusiasm and vision for a project. I am committed to the development of young geologists through supportive delegation.” John is now moving more from managing public companies to freelance consultancy and a more advisory role so as to concentrate increasingly on assisting management in effective exploration and discovery. He is Managing Director of his own Exploration Management and Geological Consultancy: Irus Consulting Ltd. Please visit for more information and free newsletter registration. 

John is now moving more from managing public companies to freelance consultancy and a more advisory role so as to concentrate increasingly on assisting management in effective exploration and discovery. He is MD of his own Exploration Management and Geological Consultancy – Irus Consulting Ltd.

Click here to download John’s Statement of Qualifications as a PDF

Click here to download John’s CV as a PDF

Click here to read more 

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Name: John P. Barry (P.Geo.)
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