...waddle in and out of a flimsy shed that Tack calls Duckingham Palace. A corrugated barn doubles as a home-brewery. Short of making his own soap, Tack does everything himself, whilst his wife brings up two kids.
     Try and email Anglo Pacific's former finance director now and it pings back an auto-response: “Due to the seasonal nature of our farming business, life is currently pretty hectic. I will respond to your offer of drinks/half a cow/untold Nigerian riches as soon as I can.”
     Tack says his new life, up a track in Tasmania, feels less isolated than schlepping into an office everyday in London. “We moved down here looking for one thing, just more outdoor life, and what we found is a community. If something goes wrong you can pick up the phone and call any number of people who would be there in a second. We've got more friends here, outside a town of eleven-hundred people, than we had living in London.”
     Does Tack ever watch deals sail through and miss the world of finance? “Actually, I do,” he says, “because you see it and think, awww, that's a terrible deal! Or that's a great deal! And you never get the full story of course because they never give all the stuff I'm really interested in.”
     The royalty market has gone “kind of bananas” since he left, with several new players doing ever-larger deals. “Every time you think there can't possibly be another royalty out there, one of these companies does another big royalty deal. Sometimes you go, wow, that's a lot! But then you look at the equity multiples and you kind of understand it.”
     It's a big change in a short time; when Tack was co-running Anglo Pacific, investors continually asked how a royalty group was

different to an investment trust. “I love the fact that the royalty market's getting more widely known,” he says. “And I love the idea of a geo finding something, keeping a royalty, and that keeps his kids wealthy. That's just great. That'd be the dream of every rock-kicker I imagine. It's kind of like owning the copyright to The Beatles.”
     “This was always the opportunity for the royalty sector. I think it's got a lot of potential to give investors returns when commodity prices have another run. The argument is the operators have greater leverage, but you don't often see much coming back from the operators when it comes to returns. They're always ploughing it back into capital works.”
     That is how most farms tend to be run. “Each year you take all your money, you put it into seed, you spend all your time looking after it, and then you hope that the weather's good. And you never know.” But Tack's finance background helps. “Everything has to pay its way,” he says. “It has to have a role. It can't be just a hobby farm. We try things out and they have to make money.”
     He is currently experimenting by growing organic grain as feed for his pigs. “They're all small gambles... I'm in an environment where I've got so much to learn and I'm learning every day. It's incredibly challenging because of that, but that's the enjoyable part.”
     “As with all of these things, it takes a long time. You've got to plan for that next season. If I graft an apple tree this spring, I won't get a commercial quality of fruit off it for three years, so you've got to really think in advance. But it's kind of cool. We're building here for the next twenty years.”
     Whilst Tack has had a huge life-change, he looks back on the mining industry and sees all

Grading apples by hand

Grading apples by hand

the same “movers and shakers, moving up or whatnot. It all comes back. That's probably why mining sticks with you. The only thing that changes is the commodity price.” Tack's former boss at Anglo Pacific once warned him that “mining, once it gets in your blood, you can't ever remove it. And he was right, he was 100 per cent right.”
     “I used to move money around,” Tack adds, his mind drifting back to his cider press. “Now at the end of each day I can point to something and say, I did this today, I grew those apples, I picked those apples and that's a product I'm proud to sell. As you go along you can see the progress, and you're always refining what you're working towards.”
    “Sure, there are a lot of easier ways to make money than farming, but we knew we wanted to do this and it's pretty rewarding when it works. I knew nothing about apples. In three years we've done a lot.”