I am skiing this week - so just a quick update, and rundown of companies presenting at our conference last week:
PMI´s around the world still looking strong, while Trump starts to behave like a president...or at least close to it!
Trump´s relatively sanguine words last night reduce the immediate appeal of gold, as investors start to concentrate on a likely rate-hike in in March - but equity-and base metal markets are somewaht relieved - both are pretty strong today.
We have had our yearly conference in Zurich last Friday. A few last-minute cancellation had investor numbers a little bit down on last year, but I thionk it´s fair to say, that the mood has been much improved from last years event, when things were very bleak indeed!
We have had some very good companies presenting...and I think it´s very hard to say, which one was the most promising...A quick rundown:
Perseus - Jeff made clear, that he is strongly believing, that the bad times are behind PRU now. The company has had a good start to teh year, and while he stated, that the company is now in best shape for a long time, he is aware of the markets reluctance to give them credit. One-two good Quarters can do wonders here, I think, and we will increasingly see more information on the new asset, Yaoure, as well. Once the market gets more confident on the new mine plan for Edikan, we could have some fun here. Financing for Sissingue should be fixed shortly, alleviating market concerns, that PRU would beed more equity.
Panoramic - PAN have had major success on the exploration side during the last 12 month, and Peter strongly believes, that the resource will become substantially larger over time. The company is working on ideas to increase payability of their significant cobal production, which is today trading at 22.76 US$/lb vs PAN´s feasibility study-estimate of 14.40 US$. Copepr and cobalt as significant by-products will decrease costs for the nickel production, and teh company is probably pretty cllose to push the button. PAN are working with potential off-takers to finance the new start-up of their existing plant at Savannah, which would only need a few month after decision has been made, to produce first nickel in concentrate. Analyst estimates range from 100.000 to 250.000 t of additional nickel needed in 10 years time, by batteries for electrical cars. For this type of used, the Chinese-produced NPI is unsuitable, and it relies on "traditional" nickel like the nickel produced by PAN, or the smalter resp.
Prairie Mining - I think investors were pretty impressed, until one investor asked about timing of first production, the answer to which was 2022. Silence in the room! But this is not a gold mine...development of coal mines always take a lot longer, and the combined NPV of both the companies projects is most probably above 2 bill US$ ( Scoping study for the hard coaking coal mine Debiensko out very soon ), vs a current market cap of just 52 Mill US$. That´s massive upside, and part of this upside should be delivered progressively over the next few years. Trigegrs will be teh scoping study, and the "chinese" feasibility study for their sem-soft coking coal/thermal coal mine this summer.
Genex Power - also a very good presentation! The companies proejcts continue to be de-risked. The current capital raising is sending a few last tremours through the market - shares have been allotted now, creating what could be the last cheap buying opportunity for this stock. The final feasibility study for the solar project Stage 2 ( 270 MW vs the current 50 MW ) should be out any day now, but without any doubt, the pump-hydro power project is the real trophy here. Again, the time table is a bit of a stretch - we are probably talking 4 years to production - but again, I believe, that a lot of value will be created much earlier - final feasibility, government guarantees/subsidies/potential JV-partner etc. This proejct is at the top of the political agenda in Australia!
Breaker Resources - a very technical, yet still interesting presentation! I think most investors understood well, that this little comapny has definitely turned it´s fortunes around, and is sitting on a gold mine - just the size remains to be seen. many believe, that 1 mill oz will just be the beginning here, as every round of drilling so far has found mineralisation - the same again today. The company will not need any cash for the next 12 month at least, and I am sure, that a few mid-sized gold producers are carefully watching here!!
Finders - great presentation from an MD, who travels to Europe from Australia economy, despite generating a lot of cash now! Barry is clearly very hands-on and is keeping a very clsoe eye on costs! It ahs not been an easy task to bring a copper-cathode producer on an island close to the end of the world into production - Barry has done so in line with budget or just below! The mine is producing wonderfully now, and he left no doubt, that he will increase production past the name plate capacity over the next few Quarters, as well as finding more reserves close to the mine....Especially at a time, when copper is back en vongue, this is certainly a stock to own!!
Evolution - the only problem with Evolution is, that Jake has made us become very used to excelelnt presentations, excellent delivery of promises, and continuing expansion at falling costs! We will see further incremental expansion of production,e specially at Cowal, and we will probably see further asset-improvements via exploration, or sale . The company would now look past Australia to invest in top-assets. They are only interested to buy something which they can operate themselves, which makes sense - hence I would not expect EVN to look at Barrick´s 50% stake in the Golden Mile. For me, this is Australia´s No.1 gold producer... a core holding for any gold investor.
Energia - zinc in Italy - sounds very odd, but there has been a lot of historical production in the country. The MD Alex Burns has delivered a succesfull development before, and I think we will have to wait for the feasibility study, out over the enxt month or so, to really asses this project!
Peak Resources - the market is very slowly waking up to special metals/minerals, which have been in teh doldrums for a long time! MD Darren Townsend, whom many have met last year, is in the very final bits of his bankable feasibility study to produce rare earth, namely Neodynium and Praesodynium, to be delivered in a few weeks time. So is Chairman, Peter Harold, had to do the presentation. I think it became clear, that PEK has got one of the very few ( well, I do not know another one! ) projects nearly ready for construction, as soon as priecs for rare earth will recover somewhat. We have seen with cobalt, how quick and explosive such a move can be, and hence we are seeing a few early investors taking positions now. I think this will continue!
Crusader - Rob Smakman has presented a few times before, and I think it´s fair to say, that the company has not really delivered so far! But I came back with teh distinct feeling, that this should change...Juruena is well capable of being brought into production for very little money, and relatively short time - I am expecting first production in 12 month time! The great potential for this asset to produce from several mines and a substantial,. total reserve is undisputed, and the initial production could give them the cash flow for systematic exploration and more. Definitely one worth to watch - once tehy bring out teh study fopr Juruena, tehy could move quickly.
Sorry to be short - enjoy the week!