The Business Year

Guillaume Légaré

COLOMBIA - Energy & Mining

Guillaume Légaré

Head South America, Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)

Bio

Guillaume Légaré is Head of South America at the Toronto Stock Exchange & TSX Venture Exchange, TMX Group. He joined TMX Group in 2019. He worked in the banking industry for 14 years, with nine of those as director, South America and chief representative for the National Bank of Canada in Brazil. Prior to this, he spent over six years in international technical sales and business development strategies for technology companies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, and an executive MBA in finance from IBMEC in Rio de Janeiro.

TSX and TSXV are keen to identify and assist Colombian companies to list on the exchanges to meet their full growth potential.

Are Latin America, and Colombia specifically, posed to increase their presence in capital markets, and what does this development hinge on?

There are currently 410 mining companies in Latin America listed on TSX and the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), with 1,061 mining properties. Of those 410, 29 are in Colombia, with 57 mining properties. Latin America is the most important mining market for TMX. Latin American countries have one of the greatest untapped potential for new discoveries and production. There are opportunities and challenges in Latin America, and TSX/TSXV want to play an active role in helping to develop their mineral wealth, and Colombia is a priority for us. Since 2020, we have perceived a momentum on our markets and a clear dominance of the mining sector on TSX and TSXV. Some positive signals coming from Latam in 2020 include companies with mining projects in Latam raising USD9 billion in equity capital in 2020 on TSX/TSXV; 10 new listings from Latam in 2020, a 12.5% increase YoY; and 345 mining financings in Latam, a 105% increase YoY. We have witnessed significant activity in Colombia in 2020, with USD191 million in equity capital raised on TSX/TSXV by companies with mining projects in Colombia and four financings over USD10 million.

What has been the market’s experience with traded companies with operations in Colombia, and what characterizes the investment projects located in the country?

There are 29 companies on TSX and TSXV with mining assets in Colombia. The growth potential in Colombia is considerable, and this will depend on our capacity to help identify good mining projects and qualified management teams and connect these opportunities with potential deal makers. With constraints on capital, investors are looking for the best possible management teams developing projects efficiently. There are many other factors to consider, including the size, the mineral, the connectivity, and the infrastructure, but investors are much more likely to back projects that have credible management teams with a successful track record.

What are Colombia’s differentiating factors as a mining investment destination, which investor profiles stand to benefit from Colombian options?

Colombia is relatively well known to our international mining issuers and investors, with an important number of TSX and TSXV issuers (29) with mining properties in Colombia (57). However, we should see more activity from Colombia in our markets. TSX and TSXV are home to more mining companies than any other market in the world, and our unique two-tiered ecosystem supports companies at all stages of development. A company can list on our junior market TSXV and then graduate to the main board TSX when the timing is right to meet growing capital needs. This is extremely relevant for Colombian junior mining companies looking to raise capital. Colombia can further position itself as an important mining investment destination. There is an incredible opportunity around the clean energy transition, that will be significantly mineral intensive. Colombia’s mineral potential is impressive, it is rich in base and precious metals and has some of the largest reserves of critical metals necessary for the clean energy revolution. In this context, it is imperative that we see more local management teams positioning their companies for future growth. Colombia has the opportunity to develop its entrepreneurial capacity to move up the value chain.

How do you assess Colombia’s willingness to attract foreign capital?

Access to capital is still fairly challenging globally. Markets are increasingly competing for capital, and investors are looking at the investment conditions, political stability, and pro-business environment. In the past few months, we have seen how mining jurisdictions adopted measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and how they are tackling some of the ongoing challenges, like environmental permitting processes and social license to operate.
Global investors and our issuers also depend on us to maintain integrity of our markets. These important market strengths will have a positive impact on Colombia’s medium-to-long term growth and ability to raise capital in the mining sector.

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