- The Quiet Summer of 2011, and Honest Work
- Respectable Showing For the Diamond Sector at PDAC 2011
- PDAC 2011 – this March
- Promising Diamond Find by Metalex in Northern Ontario, Plus Grades from Chidliak and Movement at Renard
- Peregrine Finds 1.15 Carat Diamond at Chidliak
- Stornoway Diamond Corp. Works to Expand Resources at Renard Project
- 2010 Toronto Resource Investment Conference
- Newsworthy Week For Canadian Diamond Companies
- Different Types of Diamonds at Fort à la Corne
- Kimberlites and Diamonds of Western Canada
5034 AAD Aappaluttoq Aber Diamonds ABX ACS AEM Ag Agnico-Eagle Mines Agrium Alberta Alto Ventures Amarillo Amaruk AMEC Amerigo Archangel Diamond Archon Minerals Ltd. Arctic Arctic Star Diamond ARG Argentina Argyle Ashton Mining Canada Attawapiskat ATV ATW ATW Venture Corp. Au Australia AUY Avalon Rare Metals Avanti Mining Corp. Aviat AVL Baffin Island Barrick Bathurst Beluga BHP BHP Billiton Birch Mountains Bling Blue Note Mining Blue Pearl Cluster BN BRIC Buenaventura Buffalo Head Hills Bunder Burnstone Ventures Inc. BVE BVN Canada Candente Candle Lake Canterra carbonatite Caribou Castillian CCE Chariot Resources CHD Chidliak Chile Chris Jennings Chuck Fipke Churchill Churchill craton CL CLF Cliffs Co Codelco Coloured Gemstones Commerce Resources Contact Diamond Corporation copper CTM Cu Cullinan DDN DeBeers Diamond Diamondex Diamonds Diamonds North Dianor Diavik Diopside dividend DNT DO-27 DOR DSP Eastmain Resources Ekati El Teniente emerald EnCana Corp. ER EuroZinc Exotic Metals FALC FGE FGT First Nickel Inc. Fiskenaesset FNI FNV Forest Gate Fort a la Corne Foxtrot Franco-Nevada G Gahcho Gahcho Kue Gem Diamonds geologic terms glossary gold Goldcorp GPR Great Panther Resources Great Panther Silver Greenland Grib Grizzly Discoveries Inc. Gualcamayo Guanajuato Guaniamo GZD Harry Winston Hawthorne Gold Hearne HGC Hibou HUD Hudson Resources Hunter Exploration HW HWD IME In Indicator Minerals indium interview iron Jericho Jericho Diamond Mine Jigsaw K K-2 Kahuna Kennady Lake Killiq kimberlite Kinross KWG Kyle Lake Lac De Gras Las Aguilas lead Leadbetter Lesotho Letseng Li limestone lithium Lockerby LUC Lucara Lukoil LUN Lundin Mining Lynas Lynx Mapimi Marifil Mines Ltd. market hype MAT Matamec Exploration Inc. Metalex Ventures Mexico Mexivada MFM Mina El Carmen Mo molybdenum Monument Diamond Project Motapa Mothae Mountain Province Diamonds MPV MTC MTP MTX Muskox Kimberlite natural gas Nb NEM Neuqen Basin New Gold Newmont New Nadina Diamonds Ltd. NGD Ni NI 43-101 nickel niobium NMC NNA Noront NOT Notch Nunaminerals Nunavut oil Orion Otish Pascua Llama Pb PC Gold Pd PDAC Pedernal Peregrine Peregrine Diamonds Petra Diamonds PGD PGE PGM PKL placer platinum Pogo Mine potash Potash Corp. pre-feasibility PST003 Pt Punta Colorado Qavvik Qilaq QUA Quadra Mining QUC Quebec Quebect Quest Rare Metals Quest Uranium rare earth elements Rare Element Resources Raytech Metals Corp. Re REE Renard RES Restigouche rhenium Rio Colorado Rio Narcea Rio Tinto RSC RTP ruby San Antonio San Juan San Roque sapphire Saskatchewan SGF Shear Diamonds Shear Minerals Shore Gold silver SL Snap Lake Sola Resource Corp Soltoro SOQUEM Inc. SRM Star Stewart Blusson stockhouse.com Stornoway Stornoway Diamonds Strange Lake Strateco Resources SWY Ta TAH Tahera tantalum TCK.A TCK.B TCM Teck Cominco Terrane Metals Tesla TGX Thompson Creek Metals Thor Lake TIF Tiffany & Co. Topia Topia Mine Toronto Resource Investment Conference Triex True North Gems TRX Tsa Da Glisza Tuktu Tuktu-1 Tunerq tungsten Tuzo Type IIa U uranium VAA Vaaldiam Mining Inc. VALE-INCO Veladero Venezuela Victor WDO Wesdome Western Troy Capital Resources WRY WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd. Yamana Gold Inc. YRI zinc Zn
- July 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
Posted by David
The 2010 annual PDAC convention this week was resoundingly more vibrant and bustling than last year’s. The nice thing about commodity downturns is that they are often self-correcting given time. The excess of supply that leads to commodity price drops and mine closures also ceases mine development. With no new resources coming onto the pipeline, supply drops as existing deposits are tapped out. This drop in supply leads to an increase in the commodity price, beginning the cycle all over again.
This current resurgence is much to early to be mainly due to this process, lack of exploration typically takes years to manifest into resource shortages. Whatever the cause, the mood of exhibitors, investors, and geologists was significantly improved over 2009′s show. Though there are still many companies out there just hanging on, both those with quality and questionable properties.
Gold was still king of the commodities this year, unsurprising considering it has remained at ~$1100 for some time in spite of the predictions of certain pundits. Though keep in mind that price is in American dollars. Well-run gold producers such as Barrick, Goldcorp, and Wesdome, have been reporting steady and strong profits. The Wesdome booth at PDAC had some impressive display samples of quartz-vein ore containing visible gold mineralization from their Kiena mine. Although some producers are still struggling, e.g. Yamana.
The buzz about exotic metals such as yttrium, niobium, and the rare earth elements has died down a little since the excitement of last fall. Leading juniors in that field, such as Avalon and Matamec, were still well represented at the show. In terms of fundamentals, however, nothing has changed, our increased dependence on technologies is leading to a demand that will continue to ramp up with each passing year and the Chinese control virtually all production. Not a pretty picture from either an economic, strategic, or political view (for everyone but the Chinese that is).
Copper, nickel, and other base and ferrous metal prices have all climbed back up significantly. The earthquake in Chile barely caused a blip in copper prices (Chile produces about one third of the world’s copper), and metal producers like Amerigo and Lundin are starting to see their first real profits in over a year. Speaking with Amerigo reps at the PDAC, they predict a return of their one-vaunted dividend should copper prices hold close to their current levels.
The investment talks for the junior diamond sector saw increased attendance this year. The best was saved for the last for talks by Peregrine, Shear Minerals, Shore Gold, and Stornoway, discussing the most promising Canadian diamond projects and their various stages of development. Peregrine’s Chidliak project on Baffin Island continues to steal the spotlight with preliminary results from CH-6 that indicate the potential for the highest grade diamond find since A-154 South at Diavik in the 1990′s.
Chidliak is still many years from and possible mine. The Renard and Fort a la Corne deposits of Stornoway and Shore Gold, respectively, are each within five years of a potential mine. Last fall’s announcement by Stornoway regarding the expanded resource at Renard-2 is putting the company at odds with Shore Gold for the title of owner of Canada’s (and for that matter, the world) largest undeveloped diamond deposit (video interview with SWY founder Eira Thomas HERE). Shear Minerals, though somewhat stagnated by lack of funds, had returned a promising grade of 0.862 c/t from the Notch kimberlite in the Churchill property.
The repeated message from all diamond companies is that world diamond prices have recovered, and possibly then some. Unlike metals, getting firm numbers on world diamond demand and pricing is difficult, but some estimates put current diamond prices as high as 25% over those of pre-crash 2008. With the recovery as of yet incomplete, this could spell a significant jump in share prices for quality diamond stocks over the next 12 months.
Disclaimer: The author holds shares of SWY, YRI, SRM, ARG, and LUN. This article is based on the personal opinions and experience of the author. Please conduct due diligence when investing. ©KIM Report 2010 www.kimreport.com
Posted by David
Chile is probably the world’s #1 supplier of copper (~35%) through the state-owned entity Codelco and various foreign producers. The geology of the Andes lends itself to large-scale porphyry deposits rich in copper as well as gold, molybdenum, silver, rhenium and other metals. Such a huge drop in the prices of these commodities (with the possible exception of gold) has done serious damage to the Chilean economy. With copper exports representing such a huge portion of its GDP (US$37.6 billion, or 56% of total exports in 2007), Chile’s trade surplus for 2008 will appear puny indeed.
Gold vs. Copper
As with most base metals the price of copper has experienced a huge drop from about US$4.00/lb. in July to $1.29/lb. this Monday. This drop has caused any company that has copper as a significant component of its production to suffer serious revenue decreases. Good examples of these are VALE-INCO (NYSE-RIO) (although nickel and iron are to blame here as well) and Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX-YRI, NYSE-AUY, LSE-YAU). Yamana itself is an interesting case as although it is touted as a gold producer, a significant source of its revenue is from copper (e.g. Chapada, Brazil). This has caused Yamana to see a slower rise in share price than other more gold-oriented companies, such as Kinross (TSX-K).
Challenges for a Small-Cap Company
However, large companies have the obvious ability to weather these low metal prices and Yamana stock has still seen a rise from ~CA$5/share to just below $10/share in the past month, mainly due to interest in gold. It is the small-cap companies that have the most to worry about in the short term when metal prices slide. One such company in Chile that is feeling the pressure is Cu-Mo tailings processor Amerigo Resources. Things have changed for Amerigo since the last KIM Report article in April 2008, copper and molybdenum prices have tanked and most producers are happy if they are currently breaking even. At the time of that article, Amerigo was struggling with high energy costs due to a very dry season at the time as most electricity in Chile is hydroelectric in nature combined with high fuel costs. Now fuel costs are down, Chilean electricity is cheaper due to more precipitation, and electric generators running on cheap bunker oil have been installed at their facility near the Codelco-run El Teniente mine (from which they obtain the tailings for processing). Unfortunately, the timing of these energy-savings coincides with the drop in metal prices. Amerigo recently released news that it had incurred negative price settlements for sales of copper and molybdenum to smelter companies Enami and Molymet, respectively.
The good news is that Amerigo believes it can reduce its production costs before royalties (which are tied to copper price) to $1.20-1.25/lb. The company has recently managed to partially defer energy, royalty (paid to Codelco), and negative copper price settlements. It is in the process of negotiating deferral for the negative molybdenum payments as well. Enami, a state owned entity, has an established mandate to support small to medium copper producers through price protection. How this will affect Amerigo has not been determined. Amerigo has also extended its banking line to US$5.6 million and has opened a new line with a second bank for $5 million. Negotiations are also occurring to open new long-term credit facilities of $10-20 million. On the shareholder end, management has enacted a shareholder rights plan – in essence a poison pill to dissuade any opportunistic takeovers.
The real issue here is if Amerigo will maintain its CA$0.065 semi-annual dividend due this spring. Many shareholders considered a ~6% return to be excellent last spring when the price was around CA$2.25/share. Now with the share price at ~$0.35/share, this ~20% dividend is either an amazing opportunity, or indicative of extreme risk. Given the unclear forecast for metal prices, it appears to be anybody’s game. Amerigo’s future good financial health depends on its continuing good relations with its creditors and smelters.
Disclaimer: The author holds 500 shares of ARG and 200 shares of YRI. This article is based on the experience and opinions of the author. Please do your own due diligence when investing.
Posted by David
At the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention this March, I stopped by the booth of a company that I had visited last year and remembered to have stood out amongst the rest. Amerigo Resources (TSX-ARG) operates a facility in Chile near a huge copper (Cu) porphyry mine run by Codelco. Codelco is a nationalized Cu-mining company that owns 20% of the world’s Cu reserves and is run by the Chilean government. ARG has an agreement with Codelco to process the tailings from current and past mining operations at the El Teniente mine. These tailings are processed for mostly Cu, but with some molybdenum (Mo) credits as well. The royalties paid by ARG to Codelco vary with the Cu price and are capped at 13.5 % for a Cu price of (US) $1.20/lb or higher. The current Cu price is over $3.50/lb.
What really attracted me to investing in ARG was their steady business model. They do not have any mining or crushing costs. Nor do they have any exploration costs as the old tailings piles represent around thirty years of stockpile, and El Teniente is expected to be in production and providing fresh tailings for at least another sixty years. As a result of their steady production, they can pay out a $0.065 (CAD) semi-annual dividend, an annual return of almost 6% at recent prices.
ARG management has a good record of getting tasks done on schedule. Their plant to recover Mo from the tailings was built in 3 months, ahead of schedule and was paid back in only three months. Current projects are the expansion of their main plant, the installation of generators to offset energy costs, and negotiations with Codelco to process the higher grade (older tailings are 0.3 % Cu vs. newer tailings at 0.1 % Cu on average) tailings from historic production (Colihues tailings pond and others).
Company representatives at the PDAC commented that 2007 profit was cut into by increasing electricity costs that have plagued South America recently. They are awaiting delivery of two large generators from overseas to combat this problem. The generators will burn relatively cheap bunker oil to produce the electricity. They also commented that they expect the negotiations regarding their access to the old tailings piles to wrap up by the end of spring.
In spite of increasing energy costs, ARG managed to increase Cu output by 35% last year from 2006 numbers. The company also increased its annual cash flow to (CAD) $0.33/share from $0.29/share in 2006. Good investments in juniors such as Chariot Resources (TSX-CHD) amd Candente Resources Corporation (TSX-DNT) have contributed to this strong cash flow. ARG also has zero long term debt.
I got in at this share price as it is near historic lows and gives a strong return. I do not personally know of any other base metal producers paying out such a high dividend. On the downside, ARG is sensitive to Cu and Mo price fluctuations (i.e. the occasional hand-wringing and incompetence south of the border), along with increaing electricty costs. These problems are tempered somewhate by the factors described above, and the long-term demand from growing economies (e.g. the BRIC countries). Of course, most mining companies have found new 52 week lows during these past 52 weeks and dividends are not set in stone, so do your own due diligence when investing.
Disclaimer: The Author holds 500 shares of Amerigo Resources. This article is intended for entertainment purposes only and is based on the author’s personal opinion and experience. Investors are responsible for their own due diligence when investing.