Do junior mining CEOs deserve First Class treatment?

Some say Ron Paul is the only US Congressman to fly economy class… The man has integrity.

In my mind, his junior mining comparable is Nolan Watson, CEO of  the Sandstorm Companies, and a personal friend of mine.

As of this morning, Sandstorm Gold had a market cap of $567 million, and is cash-flowing several million dollars per month. While Nolan routinely circles the planet marketing his companies, he’s always seated in the back of the plane, because he respects a dollar and he respects his shareholders.

Nolan once told me he can’t count how many times he’s walked past the CEO of some tiny exploration company sitting in business class as he heads to the back of the plane.

Most of these exploration companies are venture operations, with no revenues, and, frankly, little prospects of ever achieving any. Exploration companies are the stem cells of the mining world – it all starts with them – but many of these stem cells should and will die in the dish.

A friend of mine who was coming home from the PDAC in Toronto last week tipped me about a certain CEO riding in business class. I won’t name the guy, but he’s involved in a proxy contest with a dissident shareholder over misuse of corporate funds, no less.

My friend overheard someone ask the CEO whether it was his shareholders, or his personal account, paying for the ticket. (A business class ticket from Vancouver to Toronto is about $4,000 compared to about $800 for economy).

“The shareholders paid for this; I deserve to fly business class,” the CEO said, apparently.

I like flying first class too. But, in my opinion, the only CEO’s who have a right to First Class seats are those who are producing for shareholders AND if it’s a long-haul flight.

If none of these factors are at play, it should be back of the bus, buddy.

What do you think?