Gold Miners On The Sale Rack

It’s been a rough year for the major market averages, with the major indexes down roughly 20% in their worst year since 2008.

This poor performance is not surprising after a decade-long bull market that pushed valuations to historic extremes combined with an ultra-hawkish Federal Reserve that has aggressively hiked rates into a recessionary environment.

At the same time that higher rates have dented earnings and resulted in layoffs due to increased interest expense, the outlook for forward earnings is less clear, with consumer spending pulling back and reduced sales leverage for most corporations.

However, one sector stands out and has been trending higher over the past two months: the gold mining sector. In fact, the Gold Miners Index (GDX) has clawed back from a 30% year-to-date loss to just a 13% year-to-date loss, and many gold miners are trading in positive territory year-to-date.

Given that they’ve suffered through a much larger bear market than the Nasdaq (COMPQ) with a ~55% decline, these names are not only undervalued, but they’re long-term oversold, and the sector could have meaningful upside as we head into a strong seasonal period for the GDX.

In this update, we’ll look at two of the more undervalued names in the sector:

Osisko Gold Royalties (OR)

Osisko Gold Royalties (OR) is a $2.23 billion company in the precious metals royalty/streaming space.

This means that It finances developers, producers, and explorers in the commodity sector with a gold/silver focus, providing them capital upfront to build or expand their assets.

In exchange, Osisko Gold Royalties receives either a royalty or stream on the asset over its mine life, with the latter giving it a right to buy a percentage of metal produced at a fixed cost that is well below spot prices.

The result is that royalty/streaming companies have their tentacles in several projects, have their revenue streams spread across several countries, and are inflation-resistant. Hence, they are superior businesses from a margin and risk standpoint vs. most gold producers.

So, what’s so special about Osisko? Continue reading "Gold Miners On The Sale Rack"

2 Gold Miners With Large Safety Margins

It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a year for the Gold Miners Index (GDX), with the ETF starting the year up more than 15% and massively outperforming the major market averages, only to suffer a 48% decline over the next five months.

Since then, the GDX has returned to outperforming, and some of the best names, like i-80 Gold (IAUX), are now up more than 50% from their lows.

This extreme volatility is why it can be difficult to trade the Gold Miners Index successfully. The reason is that one must be ultra-patient when establishing new positions to avoid large drawdowns during the down cycle, but being too complacent at the lows can be costly as the index can turn on a dime when it does bottom.

Fortunately, while several of the best names are already off to the races and out of low-risk buy zones, a couple of stocks are still in the proverbial stable and trading at attractive valuations. In this update, we’ll look at two names that offer large safety margins.

Sandstorm Gold (SAND)

Sandstorm Gold (SAND) is a $ 1.6 billion precious metals royalty/streaming company.

It finances developers and producers in the gold and silver space, giving them capital upfront to build or expand their assets. In exchange, Sandstorm receives either a royalty on the asset over its mine life or a stream on the asset, meaning that Sandstorm has a right to buy a percentage of metal produced at a fixed cost well below the current spot price of gold/silver.

Since royalty/streaming companies typically have royalties/streams on over 20 assets, they are much more diversified than producers with 5-10 mines.

They also have much higher margins, given that they do not have to pay for labor, chemicals, fuel, explosives, and transportation but simply sit back and collect their metal deliveries from these assets.

Finally, the major benefit to owning royalty/streaming companies is that they are not required to spend annually on sustaining capital to maintain an operation, including mine development, drilling, and tailings expansions. In fact, any added resources are very beneficial, given that the royalty/stream is bought and paid for already. Hence, this is a proverbial cherry on top.

Unfortunately, while Sandstorm benefits from this superior model that carries very low risk, the company has had a tough year in 2022. This is because it went out and completed two major acquisitions ($1.1BB value), a smart move, and these deals transformed its portfolio from an average royalty/streamer to one with a phenomenal portfolio. Continue reading "2 Gold Miners With Large Safety Margins"

Which Is The Better Gold Mining Stock?

While the general market (SPY) has suffered two violent legs down in its cyclical bear market, the Gold Miners Index (GDX) has suffered three legs down and has seen a much more violent bear market.

This has made the sector fertile ground for new investment ideas relative to other sectors. Still, with mining being a complex business and the gold price being quite volatile, the key to outperformance when dabbling in the sector is to own the highest-quality names.

In this update, we’ll look at two of the largest gold miners globally and determine which is the most attractive name from an investment standpoint - Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) or Newmont Corporation (NEM).

Scale & Business Model

Newmont and Agnico Eagle Mines (“Agnico Eagle”) share very similar business models, given that they are two of the world’s largest gold producers that receive over 90% of their revenue from gold with limited contributions from other metals.

In Newmont’s case, it is the world’s largest gold producer, with 15 operating mines in Africa, North America, South America, and Australia, and annual production of 6.0 million ounces of gold (+ 1.3 million additional gold-equivalent ounces).

Meanwhile, Agnico Eagle has 13 mines across Canada, Finland, Australia, and Mexico and expects to produce 3.4 million ounces of gold this year.

Based on Newmont having slightly more mines (15 vs. 13), double the production profile, and having a massive development pipeline with over ten projects, it certainly wins from a scale standpoint. This slightly edges out Agnico Eagle’s smaller production profile and less robust development pipeline, though Agnico Eagle still has one of the best development pipelines among its peers.

It is also worth noting that while Agnico Eagle has a smaller production profile and slightly less diversification, its jurisdictional profile is superior, with 95% of future production coming from top-rated mining jurisdictions.

That said, Newmont wins by a hair in this category for investors looking for a global producer with diversity. Continue reading "Which Is The Better Gold Mining Stock?"