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Tagged with: NGF

Sep 2008 - DnD - SLR, NGF, IGO

Silver Lake (SLR), Norton Goldfields (NGF) & Independence (IGO)

  • Post Diggers last year we wrote “This Comment started out based on the visits we (ERA) took during the Diggers n Dealers Aug 2007 Conference. However, it has been extended following the recent decimation in share prices due to trading on money that did not exist, and requests for our nickel & gold favourites”. That comment applies just as easily for 2008 too, except that this time around the “money that did not exist” has mainly been in different forms of sophisticated shorting.
  • It is often commented that the market likes a story and hates reality, that’s why the old model of the share price rising when a company starts production has gone out of the window. Now companies rise before production and fall when they go into production as reality hits, unless they are still in “story” mode. Our current Australian based and operated favourites are all appear to be debt free, generating cash with cash in the bank, and significant upside potential being for nickel : Panoramic (PAN @ $1.45); in gold : Silver Lake (SLR @ $0.16) and in other (iron ore) : Territory (TTY @ $0.52). – And all of them have PERs in the 2 to 4 x area. (PAN : 194m x $1.45 = $281m, less $130m cash = $151m/$73m = 2.1 x; SLR : 153m x $0.16 = $24m less ~$3m = $21m/$12m = 1.8 x; TTY : 265m x $0.52 = $138m less $1m (check financials when reported) = $137m/$45m = 3.0 x) Our (ERA) current favourites are :
  • Panoramic : Recent August 2008 report, and stacks of upside both at Lanfranchi (due to Deacon) and at Kimberley Nickel due to Savannah. PAN recently reported some more of those thick high grade (double current grade) intersections, indicating further upside potential. Our report had a life of 10 to 15 years at ~15,000tpa - 20,000tpaNi (whereas it could be 15 to 20 years at up to 25,000tpa [which more resembles a portfolio stock]). The NPAT is about $70m per year at prices of A$9.47/lb Ni (US$9/lb and an 0.95US$ exchange rate, currently the nickel price at US$8.3/lb and a 0.81US$ exchange rate equates to 10.25A$/lbNi)
  • Silver Lake : We accept that the share price has fallen to as low as 15c, but how many gold mines are debt-free, treat at ~14g/t (July 2008), encounter 10m @ 6kg/t (6,000g/t in a development drive), have a development face averaging 57g/t, have the capability to double their mill size and could exceed our forecasts of 70,000ozpa by possibly up to 50% more in their first year, potentially generating profits of $1m to $2m per month.
  • Territory : Yes we accept that it lost heaps ~$50m or more last year investing in Monarch etc etc. But at Diggers it was selling its lump at ~A$110/t, fines at A$90/t, say A$100/t on a 50/50 basis. Costs are A$70/t falling to A$60/t (and targeted to go lower), say a margin of A$35/t, which at 2mtpa = $70m less tax = ~$50m NPAT less exploration etc = $40m (and revenues may be US$/t and not A$/t, so the figures could be higher).
  • At Diggers, we also visited Norton Goldfields (NGF) and Independence (IGOs) operations, viz :
  • Norton Goldfields : Being overlooked because of the Paddington history by Pancon. We were surprised by the upside potential seen on the visit (ahead of Diggers) with the old Padd I & II pits to be used as tailings storage (20 years at ~3.5mtpa).
  • Independence Group : Remains a favourite, despite its share price collapse to under A$3/share. Long-Victor and Tropicana could continue as low cost operations until the “cows come home”.

Aug 2009 - DnD - NGF, SLR

Spec Buy NGF ; Buy SLR

  • There were a number of available mine site visits before, during and after this years’ Diggers (which was apparently the highest attended so far). Many people remarked that they were surprised by the number of local & large international fund managers at this years’ Diggers, possibly because the performance by the major gold stocks (apart from Anglogold) has been so poor. The mood was certainly more upbeat, possibly due to the higher share and commodity prices compared to last years’ approaching cliff edge.
  • We were part of groups that visited Norton Goldfields’ Paddington before the conference, Silver Lake’s Daisy Milano during the conference (during most of Tuesday – the 2nd day) and Catalpa’s Edna May afterwards. Catalpa is our next report and is hence not included in this review. You do wonder though whether the group members on the visits do realise what they are seeing on a visit, especially in the case of Silver Lake’s further new additional mineralisation underground at Daisy Milano.
  • We did not attend all the sessions, and there were many rumours and comments, and some of the perceptions have already affected share prices as in the case of Magma Metals (MMB) and Troy (TRY). The following is based on general comments that we encountered and perceptions that we made :
  • Who appears to be doing well : Silver Lake (SLR) stands out, followed by Avoca (AVO). Most of the nickel plays seemed upbeat as in Panoramic (PAN), Mincor (MCR) restarting Miitel and Western Areas (WSA), with Independence (IGO)’s lower guidance of 8kt to 8,4ktNi for 09/10 possibly recovering back towards 9ktNi as Moran was currently expected to be developed from JQ2010, and of course IGO has its 30% of Tropicana.
  • Pan Aust (PNA) referred to a possible new drill-ready discovery called Ban Phonxai about 20km from Phu Kham (PK’s grades were expected to increase due to the infill drilling) and the 33% expansion of PK was to be made at the end of 2010 for commissioning in JH2012, with the feasibility study on its ~A$130m >100kozpaAu/>700kozpaAg Ban Houayxai gold project due in MQ2010, ideally producing in DH2011. Terry at OZ Minerals (OZL) thought that a deficiency gap was approaching in copper and most projects needed US$2.50/lb to justify approval. Terry rated OZL’s current strategy as probably 1 copper, 2 gold, were recommencing underground studies at Prominent Hill, were keen on junior JVs and was undertaking a 100-day strategic review, with more details to come.

Aug 2009 - DnD - NGF

Spec Buy Norton Goldfields (NGF)

  • There were a number of available mine site visits before, during and after this years’ Diggers (which was apparently the highest attended so far). Many people remarked that they were surprised by the number of local and large international fund managers at this years’ Diggers. The mood was certainly more upbeat, possibly due to the higher share and commodity prices compared to last years’ approaching cliff edge to fall from.
  • We were part of a group that visited Norton Goldfields’ operations at Paddington on the Sunday afternoon (2 August 2009) before the conference. This review is based on that visit and NGF’s presentation at Diggers.
  • Norton Goldfields (NGF) - Spec Buy at A$0.19
  • NGF appears to currently be a high cost operation producing ~35,000oz per qtr at a total cash cost of A$955/oz in JQ09, that is only expected to materially improve in early 2010 as the new Homestead underground comes into production. We notice that the individual mining companies are beginning to diverge again when it comes to including what costs in the total cash costs, especially as regards the woolly areas of royalties and capex. NGF’s operating cash cost method is possibly on the conservative side as they were A$720/oz including royalties in JQ09.
  • NGF were applying a number of measures aimed at reducing their cash costs such as the 3 methods of reducing overburden removal costs shown in Figure 1a. Norton estimate that the use of these techniques has reduced their usual costs of up to $9/bcm down to $2.50/bcm to $6/bcm, and have a target of reducing their costs to $5/bcm (divide the bcm by the SG to get tonnes).