Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
The Best “Pick-and-Shovel” Play for the Online Grocery Boom - 18th July 19
Is the Stock Market Rally Floating on Thin Air? - 18th July 19
Biotech Stocks With Near Term Catalysts - 18th July 19
SPX Consolidating, GBP and CAD Could be in Focus - 18th July 19
UK House Building and Population Growth Analysis - 17th July 19
Financial Crisis Stocks Bear Market Is Scary Close - 17th July 19
Want to See What's Next for the US Economy? Try This. - 17th July 19
What to do if You Blow the Trading Account - 17th July 19
Bitcoin Is Far Too Risky for Most Investors - 17th July 19
Core Inflation Rises but Fed Is Going to Cut Rates. Will Gold Gain? - 17th July 19
Boost your Trading Results - FREE eBook - 17th July 19
This Needs To Happen Before Silver Really Takes Off - 17th July 19
NASDAQ Should Reach 8031 Before Topping - 17th July 19
US Housing Market Real Terms BUY / SELL Indicator - 16th July 19
Could Trump Really Win the 2020 US Presidential Election? - 16th July 19
Gold Stocks Forming Bullish Consolidation - 16th July 19
Will Fed Easing Turn Out Like 1995 or 2007? - 16th July 19
Red Rock Entertainment Investments: Around the world in a day with Supreme Jets - 16th July 19
Silver Has Already Gone from Weak to Strong Hands - 15th July 19
Top Equity Mutual Funds That Offer Best Returns - 15th July 19
Gold’s Breakout And The US Dollar - 15th July 19
Financial Markets, Iran, U.S. Global Hegemony - 15th July 19
U.S Bond Yields Point to a 40% Rise in SPX - 15th July 19
Corporate Earnings may Surprise the Stock Market – Watch Out! - 15th July 19
Stock Market Interest Rate Cut Prevails - 15th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State July 2019 Video - 15th July 19
Why Summer is the Best Time to be in the Entertainment Industry - 15th July 19
Mid-August Is A Critical Turning Point For US Stocks - 14th July 19
Fed’s Recessionary Indicators and Gold - 14th July 19
The Problem with Keynesian Economics - 14th July 19
Stocks Market Investors Worried About the Fed? Don't Be -- Here's Why - 13th July 19
Could Gold Launch Into A Parabolic Upside Rally? - 13th July 19
Stock Market SPX and Dow in BREAKOUT but this is the worrying part - 13th July 19
Key Stage 2 SATS Tests Results Grades and Scores GDS, EXS, WTS Explained - 13th July 19
INTEL Stock Investing in Qubits and AI Neural Network Processors - Video - 12th July 19
Gold Price Selloff Risk High - 12th July 19
State of the US Economy as Laffer Gets Laughable - 12th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State - 12th July 19
Stock Market Major Index Top In 3 to 5 Weeks? - 11th July 19
Platinum Price vs Gold Price - 11th July 19
What This Centi-Billionaire Fashion Magnate Can Teach You About Investing - 11th July 19
Stock Market Fundamentals are Weakening: 3000 on SPX Means Nothing - 11th July 19
This Tobacco Stock Is a Big Winner from E-Cigarette Bans - 11th July 19
Investing in Life Extending Pharma Stocks - 11th July 19
How to Pay for It All: An Option the Presidential Candidates Missed - 11th July 19
Mining Stocks Flash Powerful Signal for Gold and Silver Markets - 11th July 19
5 Surefire Ways to Get More Viewers for Your Video Series - 11th July 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

Underpriced Gold and Silver Due to Move in 2012

Commodities / Gold & Silver Stocks Jan 30, 2012 - 12:05 PM GMT

By: The_Gold_Report

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAfter a tough year in 2011, there is definitely a good selection of underpriced junior resource stocks available for astute investors to focus on before the rest of the herd finally wakes up and smells the gold. In this exclusive interview with The Gold Report, Matthew Zylstra, mining analyst at Northern Securities, reviews the gold, silver and PGM markets and tells us why he believes that better times are ahead for junior miners in 2012, and which ones he particularly likes at current price levels.


The Gold Report: When you last spoke with The Gold Report in early March of last year, gold was trading around $1,420/ounce (oz) and silver was around $36/oz. Silver peaked about $49/oz in late April and then gold hit around $1,900/oz in September. Now we're back up above $1,700/oz on gold and about $33/oz on silver. Where do you see these prices going this year, after it appears that they have likely bottomed out?

Matthew Zylstra: We're long-term bulls on both metals. Gold has been correcting since September and it looks like it bottomed out around $1,500/oz. We believe the recent decline is a normal pullback in a longer-term uptrend where nothing has really changed to the outlook. We see a perfect environment for the metal—concerns over our currency debasement, negative real interest rates, geopolitical friction, etc. I expect gold will reclaim the 2011 highs and could reach $2,000/oz.

For silver, the picture is less clear. Silver is, in part, an industrial metal accounting for around 50% of demand and less of a currency. Silver peaked at almost $50/oz in April 2011 and the price has been very volatile. We think the move is a correction, again, in a longer uptrend going back to 2003. I expect silver will trade around the mid-$30/oz range this year.

We actually feel platinum has a lot of potential. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Russia account for about 90% of platinum production and there's a scarcity of good platinum metals group (PMG) projects outside those countries. We expect increased investment demand and believe that supply disruptions, as well as resource nationalization concerns, will drive the price higher. We note that Sprott Asset Management has formed a physical platinum and palladium trust, which could boost investment demand.

TGR: So, what really happened to the platinum market? Historically, platinum traded at a 30–40% premium over gold. Does it have to do with industrial demand or what happened to cause it to trade below gold?

MZ: The main industrial use for platinum/palladium is automotive catalysts. With fears of a global slowdown, their prices came off. But our view is that supply is not going to be able to meet the demand going forward. And, as you mentioned, platinum has historically traded at a significant premium to gold but the value is now only about 95% of the price of gold.

TGR: Getting to the actual equities, the gold and silver stocks certainly didn't track the metals prices very well the last year. What's been the problem?

MZ: Gold stocks have performed poorly compared to the metals. We believe this has to do with investors being leery about another period similar to what occurred in 2008 when credit markets froze. Exploration and development companies, in particular, are sensitive to what's going on in the capital markets since they require capital to continue exploration. Take, for example, Trade Winds Ventures Inc., which was acquired last year by Detour Gold Corp. (DGC:TSX). Shares of Trade Winds traded down to $0.03 in the 2008 crisis. Trade Wind shares were later bought for cash and stock, which at the time amounted to about $0.45 a share. My point is that people are nervous but that creates opportunity especially with what I believe will be a catch-up in equity prices.

TGR: I hope with metals prices staying up, the credit markets will be a little more optimistic and will loosen up a bit.

MZ: We certainly don't expect another period like 2008. I think that was an aberration.

TGR: So, I hope the stocks start picking up here and not continue acting like gold is $800/oz and silver is $15/oz.

MZ: That is what we expect and the precious metals stocks could really get a boost on QE3 or other stimulus programs.

TGR: So, what do you think is going to be some sort of catalyst to get people more excited faster? Or is this just going to have to be a gradual progression and we are going to have to wait for $2,000/oz gold and $50/oz silver for people to really get into this market?

MZ: The disconnect between gold/silver prices and mining company equities has grown considerably. The sector is cheap by historical standards when you consider the price of gold miners' shares relative to the price of gold. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index (XAU), which is an index of 16 precious metals and mining companies, is close to the lowest level it has been since the 2008 crisis relative to gold. We expect this ratio to gradually work its way back to the average. If we see gold mining stocks move up to even the low end of their historical range versus gold, it will mean a significant gain for many of these companies.

Increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the sector will get people interested in a lot of these companies. As the price of gold and silver continues to rise, the economics become very compelling, especially for large- and mid-cap companies to acquire smaller players.

More interest in precious metals will help too. With what I see as a developing currency war—a race to devalue—I think more investors are going to turn to precious metals and related equities.

TGR: It certainly seems like there are a lot of smaller companies out there with some interesting looking projects that may be sitting ducks for being taken over. If they have to keep going back to the market to raise more money and create more dilution, that could be a problem. What's your thinking on that?

MZ: Small exploration companies are going to continue to need funds to advance their projects, and costs have been increasing. That's a major problem. The need to raise capital isn't going to change but we are seeing alternative ways of financing such as gold and silver streams, alternative debt arrangements and joint ventures, which mean less dilution.

TGR: A lot of companies that were able to load up with plenty of cash at reasonable prices are obviously happy in this market. Do you think they're going to get pushed to go out and do acquisitions?

MZ: I think what we're seeing now are mining companies with the ability to acquire languishing juniors taking advantage of the environment. The seniors and intermediates, which have filled up their treasuries with robust gold and silver prices, certainly have the ability to do the same. At the end of the year we saw companies like Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM:TSX; AEM:NYSE) acquiring Grayd Resource Corp, AuRico Gold Inc. (AUQ:TSX; AUQ:NYSE) acquiring Northgate Minerals, and New Gold Inc. (NGD:TSX; NGD:NYSE.A) acquiring Richfield Ventures Corp. and Silver Quest Resources Ltd. We see this trend intensifying, especially if mining company valuations don't keep pace with rising metals prices.

TGR: That brings us to a little follow-up on some of the companies that you talked about last time. A couple of the junior producers you talked about were Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (BGM:TSX.V) and Orvana Minerals Corp. (ORV:TSX). Can you tell us what's going on with them?

MZ: The market has been disappointed with production from both companies. Barkerville recently got a boost after receiving a permit for its Bonanza Ledge property, which is a high-grade open-pittable gold resource. The delay in getting that permit meant that production was not what we had originally expected. Updated resource calculations for the company's Bonanza Ledge, Cariboo Quartz and B.C. vein zone in the first half of 2012 could be a positive there.

Orvana has two properties that were both put into production in 2011. In Spain, the company's El Valle-Boinás/Carlés is an operating gold mine, which is not seeing the head grade we had expected. Grades are slowly increasing from around 2 grams per tonne (g/t) to an expected 3.5 g/t. Its other project in Bolivia, the Don Mario mine, has a different problem. It's an open-pit, copper-gold mine where recoveries have been less than expected—around 50% versus 70–80% for copper. We look for recoveries to improve and think a lot of the bad news has been priced into the shares. We're also encouraged by the fact that Bill Williams has now taken the helm of the company. Bill has exceptional operational technical expertise.

TGR: So you feel both of those are reasonable values at this point?

MZ: On Barkerville we're taking a wait-and-see approach and have the stock rated as a hold. On Orvana we believe the negative news has been priced into the shares and valuation looks compelling.

TGR: So, how about some of the near-term producers that you follow, such as Canadian Zinc Corporation (CZN:TSX; CZICF:OTCBB)?

MZ: Canadian Zinc is a situation where the valuation has not kept up with the project. The company recently passed the major hurdle for environmental approval of its Prairie Creek mine. It's a really interesting story—an old Hunt Brothers mine that could be in production in 2014 or maybe even as early as 2013. For readers who don't know the history of the Prairie Creek mine, it is in the Northwest Territories and was just a few months away from going into production when silver prices collapsed in the early 1980s and the Hunt Brothers went bankrupt. It's a high-grade silver-lead-zinc mine with much of the infrastructure in place that we think has a lot of potential. We actually believe this is an ideal time to own shares of the company since fundamentals have improved and the share price has drifted lower with the sector.

TGR: So that's another one to watch closely and this may be a good time to be picking some up. What about some of the other junior explorers that you like and have talked about in the past?

MZ: For very near-term production I have followed but do not cover Armistice Resources Corp. (AZ:TSX). The company expects to produce 25,000 oz gold in 2012. At around $0.22/share, which is about 50% less than last year, valuation looks interesting. Two that I cover, which are exploration stories, are NioGold Mining Corp. (NOX:TSX.V; NOXGF:OTCPK) and Prophecy Platinum Corp. (NKL:TSX.V; PNIKD:OTCPK; P94P:FSE). NioGold continues to drill at its Marban project in Val-d'Or, Québec. This is a joint venture with Aurizon Mines Ltd. (ARZ:TSX; AZK:NYSE.A) where Aurizon is funding $20 million for exploration. We think the resource could grow fairly significantly from the current 960,000 oz to 1.4–1.5 million ounces (Moz). We actually think Marban could give Aurizon's other project, Joanna, some competition. I think the valuation looks fairly attractive here, trading at about 60% lower than our calculated net asset value.

We're also excited about the potential of Prophecy Platinum. Prophecy has the Wellgreen deposit in the Yukon, which contains 12 Moz of combined PGMs and gold plus 2.4 billion pounds (Blb) of nickel and 2.2 Blb of copper. The in-situ value is around $50 billion and we think a preliminary economic assessment due out in Q112 will show some strong economics for an optimized open-pit. The company is carrying out other work to derisk the project, including metallurgical studies and additional infill drilling for which we'll start seeing results early this year.

TGR: So, that one is well priced at this point and a buy as far as you're concerned.

MZ: Absolutely. The price drifted down after the excitement over the updated resource estimate, but it's come down to a level where we think it offers very good value. We have a $6.40 target price.

TGR: So then, let's look at some silver juniors. One that you follow is Cream Minerals Ltd. (CMA:TSX.V; CRMXF:OTCBB; DFL:FSE). What's going on with that one?

MZ: Cream is a company I cover and which I visited late last year. It's an exploration company with a 41 Moz silver deposit called Nuevo Milenio. It also has about 300,000 oz gold. We believe the company has the potential to really expand the current resource. Cream completed about 20,000 meters (m) of drilling in 2011 and we expect an updated resource out late Q112. This should actually upgrade a fair amount of the Inferred resource to Indicated and could add about 30% to that resource. We also see it doing another round of drilling of 20,000–30,000m in 2012, which we think has the potential to more than double the current resource.

TGR: That sounds promising.

MZ: Another one I don't cover but I think is very interesting is Oremex Silver Inc. (OAG:TSX.V; OARGF:OTCBB; OSI:FSE). This is a small-cap silver exploration company with assets in Mexico. The company recently moved up on good initial results on its Chalchihuites project. The project is in the same area as First Majestic Silver Corp.'s (FR:TSX; AG:NYSE; FMV:FSE) Del Toro project, and we understand First Majestic is aggressively acquiring property in the area. The company's flagship property, Tejamen, has a defined 51 Moz silver deposit. We think the president and CEO is also a real asset for a company with a market cap of around $20M. He's been manager of exploration and development for Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX:TSX; ABX:NYSE) in South America.

TGR: So, are you expecting that 2012 is going to be the year that mining stock investors finally wake up and smell the gold and realize it's time to get into this market?

MZ: I think this is the year! Investors have been cautious and focusing just on the downside, holding their money in cash. I think investors should be opportunistic and look for well-run companies with strong management and great assets.

TGR: Well, we're certainly hoping for that also. We appreciate your joining us today and look forward to talking with you again.

MZ: Thank you and I appreciate the opportunity.

Analyst Matthew Zylstra joined Northern Securities in 2010 after having worked at Sprott Resource Corp. and investment counsel firm Foyston, Gordon and Payne Inc., a unit of Affiliated Managers Group Inc. He is focused primarily on junior precious metals producers and also follows some base metals miners. Zylstra has worked in the finance sector since 1999.

Want to read more exclusive Gold Report interviews like this? Sign up for our free e-newsletter, and you'll learn when new articles have been published. To see a list of recent interviews with industry analysts and commentators, visit our Exclusive Interviews page.

DISCLOSURE:
1) Zig Lambo of The Gold Report conducted this interview. He personally and/or his family own shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: None.
2) The following companies mentioned in the interview are sponsors of The Gold Report: Detour Gold Corp., Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., Orvana Minerals Corp., Aurizon Mines Ltd., Cream Minerals Ltd. Streetwise Reports does not accept stock in exchange for services.
3) Matthew Zylstra: I personally and/or my family own shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: Orvana Minerals Corp., Oremex Silver Inc. I personally and/or my family am paid by the following companies mentioned in this interview: None. I was not paid by Streetwise for participating in this story.

Streetwise - The Gold Report is Copyright © 2011 by Streetwise Reports LLC. All rights are reserved. Streetwise Reports LLC hereby grants an unrestricted license to use or disseminate this copyrighted material (i) only in whole (and always including this disclaimer), but (ii) never in part.

The Gold Report does not render general or specific investment advice and does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any industry or company mentioned in this report.

From time to time, Streetwise Reports LLC and its  directors, officers, employees or members of their families, as well as persons interviewed for articles on the site, may have a long or short position in securities mentioned and may make purchases and/or sales of those securities in the open market or otherwise.

Streetwise Reports LLC does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported.

Streetwise Reports LLC receives a fee from companies that are listed on the home page in the In This Issue section. Their sponsor pages may be considered advertising for the purposes of 18 U.S.C. 1734.

Participating companies provide the logos used in The Gold Report. These logos are trademarks and are the property of the individual companies.

101 Second St., Suite 110
Petaluma, CA 94952

Tel.: (707) 981-8999
Fax: (707) 981-8998

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules