Hitting the Sweet Spot
I'd guess by now more resource investors are sick and tired of hearing about gold stocks or any resource stocks for that matter. The overwhelming feeling I get from reading emails is that everyone has pretty much given up the ghost and never wants to hear about resource stocks again.
If you feel that way, you may be missing the boat. While it's true the juniors have been dragging along near all time lows for a couple of months, if you look at the HUI you will get a better feel for what is about to happen. The HUI bottomed in late October at 150.27 and hit 310 recently. That's what's coming shortly for the juniors. They are going to explode and most investors will miss the ride.
I have to read dozens of articles every day to pick out the timeliest and most pertinent for our readers. With the startling news coming out daily, even as cynical as I have gotten, I can't keep up.
The Federal Reserve destroyed the dollar last week along with the $3.7 trillion dollar money market fund industry and all savers. If a money market invests in the safest dollar instrument, 90-day t-bills, the return is zero. It still costs money for administration, how does a money market stay in business? If you get a zero-percent return on your savings, how much do you want to save, given that there is great risk in even the dollar?
It's over folks; the Fed has fired its last cannon. Even the D-Word is being mentioned on a regular basis. Interesting to me that the US government finally admitted a couple of weeks ago that we have been in a "Recession" since last December.
But we aren't in a "Recession," it's a "Depression" for sure. It's going to be worse than the last one, far worse. In 1932, we were the world's biggest creditor nation. Our currency was backed by gold. If you reached in your pocket for change, it was silver and copper, not slugs.
Now we are the world's biggest debtor nation and we are throwing money down black holes and telling taxpayers it's in their best interest. Really?
GM has lost $80 billion dollars over the last 4 years. Their sales went down 37% in November alone. Handing money to them is like handing money to a crackhead.
The Federal Funds rate, the rate for lending overnight between banks is now officially targeted between .25% and zero. It can go no lower. Now the only question is how low can the US dollar go. I'm not sure; I don't think it will go away. I think they will end up adding 3 zeros or 6 zeros or 9 zeros. If you want to forecast the future, look at Argentina or Mexico or Brazil as they destroyed their currency. Don't think for a moment it's not going to happen here.
Bernanke is doing his best to outspend Greenspan. Just as Greenspan is finally getting full credit due for his serial bubbles, Ben "Helo" Bernanke is giving the economy his best shot. If you suspect even for a moment that these guys have a clue, watch Paulson on the boob tube with the sound turned off. He's as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. He knows what he has done and can only pray the system holds together long enough for him to escape.
The prediction of a crisis coming at the time of the inauguration of Obama is probably based on facts known to the government. I suspect the decision has been made that an announcement of a bank holiday or something similar has already been decided upon. We have a crisis, indeed the entire world's financial system is coming unglued and everything the US government is doing is only going to make the problem worse.
When people have lost their jobs, their homes, their pensions and all hope of a future, they are going to be pissed. We are going to have civil unrest. The government will overact and people will be shot. The government would like to have a nice Fascist State but we are more likely to see a revolution than a police state.
You still have a chance to protect your future. The government is doing everything necessary to create hyperinflation. They have to, there is more debt than money so they see inflation as the only solution. You can still take positive action to protect yourself and your family.
You want to be in productive resource shares, gold and silver are the best. Energy is good. Near term production stories are going to be the cheapest. Stocks almost always get a boost just as they get into production.
I flew into Hermosillo Mexico for my visit to Timmins Gold (TMM) late in the afternoon. Most of the people on the tour were on the same flight from Los Angeles and soon we were in vans on our way to Magdalena Mexico, near the existing San Francisco mine of Timmins.
We spent the night at the appropriately named El Toro hotel and early the next morning we were headed out to the field to visit San Francisco.
San Francisco was a past producing open pit gold mine. Timmins now owns 100% of the mine with a minor NSR. After 116,000 meters of drilling, Timmins has just under a million ounces of gold at $700 gold. They have 611,000 ounces of gold in reserve at $650 gold.
Company President Bruce Bragagnolo estimates they can be in production by Q2 of 2009. As we visited, the crushers were being installed. The current capacity is 11,000 tons per day of ore at 1.08 g/t and a recover of just over 73%. In testing, Timmins realized that they needed a smaller crush size than the previous operator had been using for maximum recovery. They estimate production of 84,000 ounces of gold a year.
The numbers are compelling. Timmins management figures that at 80,000 ounces a year with a gold price of $850 they will have cash flow of $34 million a year which should give them a market cap of $170 million compared to a current market cap of $35 million. I agree.
There is the issue of raising the $15-$25 million necessary to finish the mine. Bruce believes that they have it in hand through a mixture of debt and equity. I see this as being one of the easiest projects to finance since they are so far along and have already put $25 million into the project. Now is not the best time to be trying to find money but this is the sort of project people are still willing to invest in.
The easiest way to make money investing in gold mines is to invest just as they go into production. Costs are well known and solved and a reasonable estimate can be made of profit potential. This project has an IRR of 87% and a NPV at a 5% discount of $104 million. Those are good numbers.
Management is solid and they have a number of follow up projects in the Sonora Desert area and further south in Mexico, their area of focus. I really like the project and the company. There are really excellent prospects for expansion and I expect San Francisco to be in production a lot longer than they plan for right now. It's an open pit heap leach operation with low costs and reasonable recovery. They have expansion capability built in to the crushing facilities so 84,000 ounces of gold should be a minimum, not a maximum.
We are biased, do your own due diligence. We don't own shares and at present Timmins are not an advertiser but this kind of company, at this stage, is the perfect refuge from the storm we know is here.
Dec 27, 2008
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