|Shares Out. (in M):||4||P/E||0||0|
|Market Cap (in $M):||86||P/FCF||0||0|
|Net Debt (in $M):||0||EBIT||0||0|
This is a writeup on a gold mining company authored by someone who is dubious as to whether gold is a store of value let alone whether it's something that has intrinsic value. We were drawn to this very funky security after pulling some interesting threads. Below is a rough chronological account of our underwriting process and for those who are minerals and mining experts, I'll attach the most recent drill results:
Description from latest 10K
The Company is a Houston-based company, whose primary business is the participation in a joint venture to explore in the State of Alaska for gold ore and associated minerals. On January 8, 2015, the Company and Royal Gold, Inc. (“Royal Gold”), through their wholly-owned subsidiaries, consummated the transactions (the “Transactions”) contemplated under the Master Agreement, dated as of September 29, 2014 (the “Master Agreement”), including the formation of a joint venture, Peak Gold, LLC (the “Joint Venture Company”), to advance exploration of the Company's Tetlin Property, which is prospective for gold and associated minerals. As of June 30, 2016, the Joint Venture Company had leased or had control over an estimated 775,000 acres for the exploration of gold ore and associated minerals.
Contango ORE Announces Joint Venture to Fund Exploration of Its Tetlin Properties
HOUSTON -- September 30, 2014
Contango ORE, Inc. (OTCBB:CTGO.PK) (the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a Master Agreement with Royal Gold, Inc. (“Royal Gold”) for the formation of a joint venture to advance exploration and development of its Tetlin properties, subject to the approval of the Company’s stockholders to be held later this year and the satisfaction of other conditions. The Master Agreement provides for the contribution by the Company to the joint venture of its Tetlin lease and State of Alaska mining claims near Tok, Alaska prospective for gold and associated minerals, together with other personal property, which are collectively valued at $45.7 million by the joint venture.Upon closing of the Master Agreement, the parties will form a limited liability company to hold the joint venture assets, and the joint venture will be managed according to a Joint Venture Agreement. Royal Gold will invest $5million initially to fund exploration activity, and will have the option to earn up to a 40% economic interest in the joint venture by investing up to $30 million (inclusive of the initial $5 million investment) prior to October 2018. The proceeds of Royal Gold’s investment will be used by the joint venture for additional exploration and development of the Tetlin properties.
The Company anticipates seeking approval of its stockholders at its annual meeting of stockholders to be held later this year. No record date or meeting date has yet been set for the annual meeting. In connection with the execution of the Master Agreement, Company stockholders holding beneficial ownership of approximately 39% of the Company’s stock have agreed to vote in favor of the Royal Gold joint venture transaction.
The stock was roughly $8.50 at the time of the release versus the $10+ valuation ascribed by the Royal Gold transaction and, due to the bear market in gold, traded down over the remainder of 2014 and 2015--getting as low as $2.50.
Now Onto The Drilling
|Au_gpt||Au_gpt x Interval|
I believe that Royal Gold is encouraged enough by the drilling results that they should commit their final 15mm of capital to prove out the resource base and connect the dots between some of the above holes. After that the company will undertake a feasibility study to address the mining economics, and results dependent, look to sell the company in late '17/'18. Royal Gold has drag along rights, whereby they can force a sale of the company on their terms despite CTGO's majority ownership position. We have made enough calls to feel reasonably confident that there would be bidders for the resource when the time comes and, in fact, that they received interest in the whole company before they announced the JV with Royal Gold. It's important to remember that the company controls an enormous acreage position of which they are focusing on about 200 acres. Brad has discussed the possibility of spinning off the additional acreage should he be able to sell the existing resource base. I won't endeavor to speculate on where a deal would be priced (ignorance is bliss) but one only needs to look at publicly traded comps to realize the upside possibility. For instance, Kaminak was acquired earlier this year by Goldcorp for roughly 400mm in USD. Kaminak's main asset was something called the Coffee Gold project. Per the deal press release: Coffee currently has total indicated gold mineral resources1 of 3.0 million ounces (63.7Mt at 1.45g/t) inclusive of total probable gold mineral reserves1 of 2.2 million ounces (46.4Mt at 1.45g/t), and total inferred gold mineral resources1of 2.2 million ounces (52.4Mt at 1.31g/t). We believe that, in time, the CTGO property could end up looking quite similar.