History of AMA
The Association of Mining Analysts (AMA) was officially formed in the early 70s with the aim of improving the quality of mining investment research. It sprang from earlier informal get-togethers at the old Mining Club on London Wall where mining industry professionals met regularly. The need for an association of mining analysts was as a direct result of the upsurge in interest in investing in mining shares caused by the Australian mining boom of the late 60s and the gold boom that followed in the 70s.
In its early days membership of the AMA was confined to those with at least two years association with the minerals industry or mining analysis, and no press were allowed to be members. Although membership was restricted by this, the Association flourished for a number of years due to the seriousness with which the UK covered the global mining industry which meant that there were a large number of qualifying personnel working in the City both in broking and fund management. In due course membership was extended to cover any person with a working connection to the industry. This led to the extension of membership to the academic community, media and public relations, and interested active private investors amongst others.
Right from its official inception the AMA organised meetings which were addressed by leading mining industry figures. At that time the concept of analyst briefings was relatively undeveloped, and for a number of years the AMA meetings constituted one of the only forums for mining companies to communicate what they were doing to the market. The AMA’s focus then was primarily on inviting the major groups like RTZ and Consolidated Gold Fields to address the membership. In the 1980s companies increased the tempo of their own public relations efforts and the bigger mining groups began to expand their investor relations departments. At the same time ‘big bang’ in London started a process of tightening regulations relating to corporate information disclosure.
In recent years the AMA has continued to host presentations by the mining industry’s leaders but has also sought to encourage smaller mining companies to present, often providing the membership with early stage insights into ‘rising stars’. The AMA has also begun to organise half day seminars on subjects such as gold, African mining, Serbia, Canada and Australia. Despite mining remaining a relatively small sector in the eyes of many investors, there are, around the world, quite a number of mining/metal conferences each year. The AMA does not try and compete with these often lavish and expensive events. It, however, believes that its own events are always interesting and provide excellent value for money, with many of the company presentations being free to members and the seminars subject only to a modest attendance fee.