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Raoul PalVisionary
CEO/Co-Founder Real Vision/ Global Macro Investor
Asked a question 9 months ago

What is your favorite gold miner and why?

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Being based in Australia I love the Australian gold miners. I am a mining engineer from Canada but primarily with experience in the gold industry in Western Australia.  Australian mining practices are best in the world in my experience, with highest levels of production and best implementation of new technologies. 

I think Northern Star is a fantastic company that I am buying into as the price dips at the moment.  They have great mines (resource and reserve metrics), are a relatively low cost producer, and have an excellent mangement and operational structure with a history of success. They have a proven track record, and as a dividend paying gold miner this is another attraction for me.  They have just merged with Saracen, and gained some great assets from them and inherited some great people from them.  They are also branching outside of Australia and bought their first overseas mine in Alaska.

Another company I like is Newcrest as they are a bulk, low cost producer, and I think will fair very well when we eventually see a decent uptick in gold price.  They have an opportunity for very very high profit margins if the gold price increases significantly due to their very low mining cost profile.

A more speculative pick would be Resolute mining with a key project in Mali that has been underperforming, that I think they will turn around, and I think their share price will rebound well.

On a side note, I am no chartist, but is the 10 year gold chart forming a nice cup and handle? Can you use this method for longer term analysis?

What is your favorite gold miner and why?

Hi Raoul,

I'm a big fan of RealVision and a mining engineer with his own consultancy firm that specializes in technical & financial feasibility work for mining industry projects. I'm also a fan of the principle that you should never buy a single mining stock if your intent is to gain commodity exposure (and the leverage that comes with investing in gold miners rather than the metal itself). Remember that "a gold miner is a liar standing next to a hole in the ground" (Mark Twain quote?) & never forget there are 101 ways to skew reserve/resource estimates in your favor when it comes to something for which the grade is non-uniform and the quality is measured as a couple of grams per 1000 kg of ore. 

Instead, I would create a portfolio based on your willingness to take on risk that comprises of about 30 gold mining companies. I created such a portfolio mid March 2020 (a little soon) and got out (a little early) at the start of June 2020. The portfolio I created in March also took into account valuations at the time, country risk (I focused on my favorite gold mining jurisdictions and those that might not shut down for COVID) and currency risk (to offset risk I believed my home currency, the Euro, may be subject to whilst diversifying risks in the currencies I invested in). The portfolio I created in March consisted of:

  • Gold mining majors (40%). For exposure to gold and to offset the risk of smaller companies and exploration juniors. In order of preference, I selected: Evolution Mining, Kirkland Lake Gold, Newmont Gold, Polyus Gold, Polymetal, Newcrest, Barrick, and Kinross. I sold Kinross and Newcrest early because I didn't like its exposure to Mauretania and Papua New Guinea, respectively, based on developments at the time.
  • Mid-tier miners with ability to grow autonomously or by M&A (15%). In order of preference, I selected: Northern Star Gold, Regis Resources, Saracen Mining (now merged with Northern Star), Highland Gold (now privatized)
  • Operational mining juniors with ability to grow autonomously or those that are takeover targets (15%): Victoria Gold, Gold Road Resources, Fiore Gold, TMAC Resources (now acquired by Agnico Eagle), and Hummingbird Resources. I sold Hummingbird Resources early because I didn't like its exposure to Mali based on developments at the time.
  • Juniors close to production (15%): These companies can experience a significant re-rating as they move from construction to operation (when the gold price remains stable). I selected in order of preference: Pure Gold, Bluestone Resources, Erdene Resource Development, Orezone
  • Junior developers (10%): "The Vault", or ounces in the ground that become much more valuable if the gold price rises significantly. I selected Sabina Gold & Silver, Skeena Resources, Wallbridge Mining, Balmoral Resources (now merged with Wallbridge), Troilus Gold, First Mining Gold, Novo Resources, International Tower Hill Mines, Bonterra Resources. I sold International Tower Hill Resources Early.
  • Junior explorers (5%): High risk high reward. Cabral Gold, Benchmark Metals, Japan Gold, Radius Gold

I still like these companies, even though you should note that I selected them in a hurry (about 100 hours) as the COVID crash was occurring. Also, please note that I am no investment advisor and this is not investment advice (I am just sharing what I did and which companies I like). 

As for me, after having been out of gold miner investments since the beginning of June, I am now carrying out a more comprehensive analysis of global gold mining companies. My intent is to finish before the next crash occurs or before inflation really picks up steam and gold miners adjust to reflect this (like many others I am still not certain which will occur next). This time I want to be better prepared. When I complete my analysis, I can send you the results if you are interested. Please send me a note if you would like me to do so with your email address included so that I can reach you directly. 

Cheers, 

Will

My favourite gold miner is a little different.  Soon to be listed on the ASX will be E3S (E3sixty). Essentially they take e-waste as whole items (phones, laptops, tower computers, PCB's etc) requiring no deconstruction - batteries and all - and process them in a way that produces cleaned emissions and a synthetic ore containing between 150 and 550 gpt gold (depending on feedstock).  Aluminium and steel frames and chassis are recycled and significantly cover operating costs.  Importantly the synthetic ore is not amalgamated so all elements can be recovered including gold, silver, copper, palladium, platinum, rare earths, lithium and cobalt.

This co solves a staggering ecological problem (ewaste is brutally toxic), securely destroys data, and recovers that which has already been mined in an exothermic way allowing heat/electricity capture.  Metrics on profitability cannot be shared at this time due to the proximity to listing suffice to say that I know of no other zero cost primary gold miner.

https://youtu.be/obsv5BOXg-w

Get in touch for more information.

Kinross, just reported fantastic Q4 earnings, more than doubled FCF to over $1b from the previous quarter & the stock barely budged. 

The gold miners making the most money will be lifted by paying out higher dividends, money will chase the dividend yields, and the stock prices will respond, which will push gold higher.

To be honest, I stick with GDX as I'm not deep in the weeds with regards to miners. When I started at Real Vision, I knew little about gold. But since I started, I've learned a TON about "Midas," as we've had on some extremely heavy-hitters in this space, ranging from Pierre Lassonde of Franco-Nevada (https://www.realvision.com/shows/the-kiril-sokoloff-interviews/videos/the-most-powerful-business-model-ever-created23) to Thomas Kaplan of NOVAGOLD (https://www.realvision.com/shows/the-interview/videos/the-kaplan-doctrine-conservation-preservation-and-value37).

I look forward to continuing my education during the week of August 17th, where Real Vision will be interviewing some of the *best* minds in the gold and silver space. And I'm excited for Real Vision members to join us on this journey of discovery and learning!

Dundee ($DPM) for two reasons. 1) Because I heard about them on a great interview on this amazing website called Real Vision, and 2) because they are traded on the TSX which lets me be a little diversified in terms of the base currency of my trades.

I also like Barrick ($GOLD) because (ahem, well to be honest) I don't always have time to do my own due diligence, but a certain personality I follow and trust thinks they are top-notch.

Gran Colombia Gold($360M Market Cap):

  • They have $138.2M in cash. Own roughly 72M shares of Aris Gold which is worth roughly $190M, 0.950M shares of Gold X worth about $26M, and 30M shares of Western Altas worth about $2.71M.
  • They produce roughly 220,000 ozs of Gold a year, in a high grade underground mining operation. There all-in sustaining costs are about $1,100/oz and cash costs around $600/oz. 
  • At today's gold prices, it looks like they would be producing $172M in after tax earnings a year. With a P/E ratio of 2.1
  • They pay a monthly dividend of 1.5 cents, which is about a 3.1% yield. 
  • They are buying back their stock(and warrants) around $5.25 to $5:75 and cancelling the shares.
  • They have 27 historical producing mine sites, only 3 of which they are using for current production. This gives lots of space for expansion. They also partner with artisan miners, who are doing exploration for them, while making their own living.
  • They are located in Colombia, which has political risk, but they can't print money and pay people to stay home. To me, this is very pro business. They pay a 33% tax(which is the main deterrent as an investor) so I'm sure the government wants to see their continued checks. And the people want to work.
  • They had a big mark to market loss for Q4 2019. This seemed to be a mine that the company wasn't using, that was occupied by illegal miners. It sounds like they barricaded themselves in the area, and wouldn't allow company staff to enter the area. It lead to a $130M market down. This was a non-cash expense.
  • Eric Sprott is a massive owner of the stock. From what I can tell, he owns about $40M in the company.(Which is how I heard about them this past weekend)

To me, it seems like a fantastic deal. I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with it. I welcome any criticism in my analysis. 

It does seem like there is an incredibly bearish sentiment on the gold market/miners at the moment. So it seems possible for the sector to continue to drift lower. But I think the Gold miners will be minting money with low oil prices, low local currencies costs, & persistently high gold prices. Barrick effectively is doubling their 2020 dividend, Newmont raised theirs by 38%, etc. 

I also like Northern Dynasty Minerals. They have roughly $1 trillion of metal in the ground, and sell for $600M. I got in at the end of December with them, and basically have take a Katusa free ride on my gains.

Solgold (SOLG), which controls a major Ecuadorian mine (gold & copper). A recent pull-back in share price is a buy opportunity, in my opinion. The reason was due to some potential challenges that need exploring further, identified in their recent pre-feasibility study.  However, strategically a possible acquisition target of a major miner and the gold/copper combination provides good exposure to the upside potential of both commodities. A significant exposure to Ecuador, so an assessment on country risk is needed. 

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