I found out about David Coffin's untimely passing via an email from his brother Eric over the weekend.
I first met David in 2004 after my first presentation at a resource investment conference. It was at a speaker dinner in Osteria de Medici in Calgary. I told him "I watched your presentation, I really liked what you had to say." He smiled and said "Oh really, what did I say?". David was deep. I was a bit scared of him.
I got to know David a bit better during a property trip to Mexico in 2006. When David would speak, the other conversations of the group would cease and everyone would strain to hear his opinion. Management also listened intently. My experience of being around David meant learning about all the things that I didn’t know. That evening in Mazatlan we had a long dinner with tequila tasting. Our walk back to the hotel had us briefly thinking we were lost. Fortunately we turned a corner were actually only a block from our hotel. Our late night conversation included girlfriends, unethical operators and the newsletter business.
David had a very strong understanding of the history of all the places he had visited, and there were many places. He kept up a very busy travel schedule visiting properties and mines but whenever I asked him how he managed, he would simply shrug as if to say, “Its what I do.” David was humble.
Over the years, I would end up crossing paths with David 5 or 6 times a year at conferences and I always enjoyed our discussions. I bumped into David at the Sheraton Centre during the Toronto Resource Investment Conference last September. Our conversation turned to the excessive bearishness in the markets at that time. We both started leaning on the railing that overlooked the convention space below looking for a brief respite from the hustle and bustle. In “conference time” it was a long conversation, maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Neither of us had time for more and we went on our collective journeys. I am deeply saddened by his sudden passing.