BC Business Magazine

Paul Matysek

- —J.W.


As a child growing up in Toronto, Paul Matysek fashioned himself as a magician and fortune teller, charging a small fee for his services. It may have been a lark, but as an adult he began to demonstrat­e a flair for predicting commodity trends.

Matysek earned a master’s in geology at UBC and worked in the public sector before establishi­ng Bedrock Capital, a private investment and geological services company, in 1997. In the private realm, he quickly earned a reputation for spotting mining opportunit­ies—and for bringing in financing and building corporate teams.

“I like making shit happen,” the gregarious Matysek says with a laugh from his West Vancouver home office. “If you’re early to the game, you can actually find properties relatively easily.” The mining world “is big enough that I can play there for a few years,” he adds.

To date, Matysek has raised US$230 million to build five companies that have sold for a collective US$2.6 billion. Unlike many other B.C. mining players, Matysek has no problem pursuing a variety of commoditie­s rather than sticking to one. He’s successful­ly sought out and acquired deposits of uranium, potash, gold and lithium, nimbly navigating those minerals’ market cycles. “Whatever you do, time is always working against you,” Matysek says. “You’ve got to be on your toes.”

Take uranium, for example. In 2004, when the base metal was trading at about US$10 a pound, Matysek created Energy Metals Corp. (EMC) to seek U.S. deposits. Three years later, the price had shot to more than US$130, and Toronto-based Uranium One bought EMC for a sweet US$1.6 billion, Matysek’s biggest deal so far. “Now uranium’s down to $33,” he says. “I sold at the top.”

Matysek followed up that bit of wizardry with investment­s in and leadership positions at Goldrock Mines Corp., Lithium One, Lithium X Energy Corp. and Potash One, which he sold for a total of US$1 billion. Given his ability to read the market, it’s tempting to ask what else he has on his radar—but he isn’t telling. After all, a magician never reveals his secrets.

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