Paul Maty­sek

BC Business Magazine - - Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 - —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.

Fin­ish this sen­tence for us: “En­trepreneurs need a lot more….” Time to change the world

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