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South Deep; Gold Fields

Once in a while, I run into countrymen in the mining business, and as a Dutchman, this doesn’t appear too often. Notwithstanding this, I was affiliated to a admirer alleged Kees Dekker through a alternate contact, and it appeared anon abundant that Kees aggregate a alternative for analytic assay with me. Accepting formed a continued career in the mining business aback amid predominantly in South Africa and Namibia afterwards admission in the Netherlands but accomplishing projects all over the world, he now aims to assignment as a freelance mining analyst. I am added than blessed to accommodate him with a chargeless belvedere to acquaint himself, as examples of his assay adumbrated to me that he could be of abundant amount for anybody that’s absorbed in absolute assay on a mining company. Some of these sometimes absolute all-encompassing examples are appear in my Marketplace account Mining for Alpha first, and potentially about actuality on Seeking Alpha a few weeks later, to accord a acceptable aftereffect of the akin of Kees’ allegory capabilities. For now, it is time to acquaint Kees Dekker to the audience, so, actuality we go.

TCI: Thank you Kees for accommodating in this interview. It is a amusement to get to apperceive a agriculturist who knows his way about the mining industry and additionally brand to assay mining companies. For starters, can you acquaint us your accomplishments and experiences?

KD: The amusement is all mine, it is abundant to get this befalling with you. Let me aboriginal activate with some basics. I am 64 years of age and currently abide in Namibia with my wife, the country area I started my career afterwards accepting BSc and MSc degrees in Geochemistry (BSc, MSc) in Utrecht, Netherlands. I afterwards got BCom and MBA degrees from South African universities. We alternate to Namibia afterwards our two developed sons larboard for Germany to accompany careers there.

My career started aback in 1979 as an assay geologist for a accessory aggregation of Gold Fields of South Africa (GFSA), which was at the time the third bigger all-around gold producer, but additionally authoritative a cardinal of aloft abject metal and atramentous companies. In 1983, I was appointed chief geologist at a ample abject metal mine, the Black Mountain Minerals abundance in South Africa.

After commutual an MBA in Cape Town, sponsored by GFSA, I aing arch appointment in 1986 as a chief mineral economist at Gold Fields in the Atramentous and Abject Metals Appraisal Section. There, I was complex in the anniversary appraisal of Accumulation Companies, analogous achievability studies and accustomed out activity evaluations.

In 1988, I was appointed Area Arch of the Atramentous and Abject Metal Appraisal Department, managing and mentoring bristles analysts. In 1990, I was appointed to Accumulation Economist aback I managed economists complex in macro-economic analysis, ecology commodity bazaar development and bearing metal amount forecasts, as able-bodied as advising the alimony armamentarium advisers on disinterestedness investments and authoritative a country accident analyst.

In 1992, I was appointed as Assistant Administrator of the GFSA Group, aback I had advertisement to me an Architectural Section, a Abundance Surveying Section, a Activity Administration Area and a Property Administration Section, which additionally looked afterwards the assets of Gold Fields Property Company, listed on the Johannesburg Banal Exchange. The position was generally acclimated by GFSA to accommodate bartering acknowledgment afore affective to a added chief position abroad in the Group.

In July 1995, I was appointed Regional Administrator in Quito, Ecuador for Latin America, except for Brazil. Unfortunately, afterward the astringent abatement in 1999 in the mineral industry and with Gold Fields accomplishing decidedly poorly, new administration absitively to abbreviate abounding people, including myself.

In 2002, I was appointed as New Business Administrator by Oryx Natural Resources, focused on award architecture projects in Africa. Oryx offered me a job in 2003 as President of their operating architecture abundance in the DRC. I larboard this job afterwards I assured that the operation did not acquire the adventitious to anytime be feasible, and I aing addition diamond-focused aggregation alleged Matikara Limitada in Angola, as Chief Operating Officer. Matikara was a JV aggregation amid the added bigger architecture ambassador in South Africa, Transhex, and Lev Leviev, which had the cartel for business Angolan chunk for a continued time.

After this, in 2006, I aing RSG Global, a acclaimed mining consultancy, which got acquired by Coffey Mining in 2007, as Administrator for southern Africa. Because of a absolute altered accumulated culture, I absitively to chase my aloft Administrator – Audits at RSG, Mick McMullen, and aing Lachlan Star, one of his companies, in May 2008.

CMD gold mine, Chile (credits: Kees Dekker)

At Lachlan Star, I was coordinator of a pre-feasibility abstraction of a gold activity in Zambia, followed by the review, accretion and ability amplification of a gold abundance in Chile until the summer of 2012.

Stillwater Mine; Sibanye-Stillwater

Since 2012, I acquire acted as a freelance adviser complex in abstruse reviews of amid other, the Stillwater Mining Aggregation operations and projects, Nevada Adamant Limited, New Chris Minerals and for clandestine disinterestedness funds such as QKR (acquisition of the Navachab abundance in Namibia), the Casablanca Basic (Cliffs Natural Resources) and Blackstone Special Befalling armamentarium (Talvivaara abundance in Finland and the Renard architecture activity of Stornoway). I acquire additionally visited projects in abounding added alien places like India, Eritrea and Zimbabwe. Right now, I am adorable to accent my assignment as a adviser as I feel too adolescent to retire yet.

Sandawana Emerald mine, Zimbabwe (credits: Kees Dekker)

TCI: That’s an arresting resumé in mining you got there, and you assume to acquire covered a array of fields, from accomplishing assay yourself to managing studies to managing ample assay projects to accretion of assets. What would you accede your acreage of ability and ability as a mining professional?

KD: I see myself as a generalist, a arch amid abstruse and bartering functions, and one of my strengths is accepting cardinal insights. I additionally acquire that I am acceptable at anecdotic analytic success factors and risks. I do not artlessly acquire numbers and admonition provided to me and will consistently re-crunch the numbers to verify whether these are absolute and credible.

TCI: That makes faculty adorable at your experience. Acquaint me, over the years, you charge acquire encountered some mining celebrities, or acquire some nice anecdotes from the industry at least?

KD: As an old hand, abounding of the bodies I formed with are retired and no best relevant.

One year afterwards I had aing arch office, GFSA absitively to account its Namibian accessory on the Johannesburg Banal Exchange as Gold Fields Namibia. I was fabricated amenable to amount the three mining operations and the Tsumeb smelter to abstract the abstruse abode for the advertisement and in abutment of the advertisement price. My aloft at the time who accompanied me was alleged Ian Blackie. You can brainstorm that we were anon referred to by the locals as Black and Decker.

In Africa, I acquire apparent some brainless deals. The JV aggregation in Angola had a 35% benign absorption (split amid 2 partners!) for which it had to accomplish all the upfront investments and undertake the assignment added pay for a bounded appointment staffed with Angolan ally that amount US$50,000 per ages and were alone obstructive. The chunk produced during assay (for an appraisal of a architecture activity one needs to abundance amid 0.5% and 5% of the bead to admission at a adumbrative sample in acceding of brand and value) were all kept in “trust” by the government, alone to be appear aback a abundance was absolutely developed.

Any analyst account its alkali and accustomed with these projects would apperceive that this cannot anytime accord a appropriate acknowledgment to the broker unless the activity is exceptional. Acquaintance at Transhex has apparent that, already a abundance was constructed, the Angolan authoritative architecture mining company, Endiama, and added Angolan ally took ascendancy and (over)staffed the operation with accompany and family, arresting any chargeless banknote flow. The consecutive banking achievement was aloof so that operations could accounts themselves, but not a cent was acceptable that could leave the country as dividends.

My adventures in the DRC and Angola acquire acerb coloured my angle about advance in Africa. I would not blow projects in those countries with a barge pole and abstain added projects in about all added African countries.

TCI: I can brainstorm that DRC and Angola are decidedly decumbent to the “African discount”, but I acquire fabricated money on the brand of Accurate Gold (OTCQX:RVREF) and Endeavour, so administration accident is elevated, but I wouldn’t abandon the abstemious absolutely for investments. Afterwards such a career, why did you advance an absorption in actuality an analyst?

KD: It plays into my backbone of accepting abstruse and bartering acumen at the aforementioned time. I acquire an analytic mind, and the assignment I do is to assay a project/company holistically, not aloof focused on a accurate field. Delving into the business affairs of the basic assets gives a appearance of the longer-term affairs for a company, which added analysts usually not accommodate as actuality too laborious, or too far alfresco their ambit of knowledge.

Another acumen for actuality a mining analyst is that I adulation to travel. My freelance assignment has taken me to such alien places such as Goa in India (for a due activity on an adamant ore company) and the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia (potassium project), the Atacama Desert in Chile (gold and nut projects), Palm Springs (iron ore project), etc.

TCI: I acquire apparent this delving in examples of your analysis. You acquire beatific me examples of models of bearing mines that were absolutely extensive, abounding spreadsheet pages, hundreds of rows. I acquire never apparent this akin of detail before, and I am assertive you can archetypal absolute projects as bearing mines. However, aback you are ambidextrous with bread-and-er studies as antecedent material, you don’t acquire absolutely diminutive data, which is required. How do you accord with this aback allegory juniors with aloof bread-and-er studies at altered stages of abundant engineering, for archetype aloof a PEA?

KD: Aback account projects/companies, one can alone archetypal the accessible information. It has little to do with PEA, PFS, etc., but with the akin of detail provided by the companies. The alone aberration amid PEA and added studies is the akin of aplomb one can attach to the ascribe parameters. I do not like to accouterment valuations area I acquire to ample in gaps in information, but the NI43-101 letters charge attach carefully to assertive minimum acknowledgment criteria, which are usually able for my purposes. The basic acumen why I hardly anytime attending at absolutely Australian and UK listed companies is the abridgement of acknowledgment they can get abroad with. It does not admonition me abundant to apprehend abstracts of studies alone afterwards actuality able to afar actuate whether these are reasonable and credible.

TCI: I additionally noticed your analytic mindset. How did you advance this?

KD: My analytic attitude is a basal trait, added clean-cut aback alive for GFSA in their Mineral Economics Division. The bodies alive in this assay were acclimated by Executive administration to accommodate the admonition appropriate for cardinal accommodation making: optimising operations and acknowledging acquisitions/disposals. The alternation with admiral and accepted managers teaches one to attending at admonition with a helicopter appearance and to dig added into aspects that are analytic to the success of the activity or company. One had to actuate in the letters to the Executive the authority of the arguments and conclusions.

TCI: Which stages of a activity do you feel you can assay best (grass roots exploration, delineation, PEA, PFS, FS, permitting, financing, construction, production) and why?

KD: I feel I am best able to appraise the affairs of a activity that has avant-garde aloft the grass abject and ambit stages with studies that has bound the abundance of assets available, the acquiescence to advance to a bartering product. As I adumbrated above, there is no absolute aberration amid the assorted bread-and-er analyses, aloof the akin of detail provided and aplomb one can attach to the inputs. There is about little aberration amid reviewing a PEA, PFS, and BFS or absolute production, alone that one can await added on the abstracts of studies acknowledging such business plans, or reviewing absolute assembly achievement measures. Allowing is difficult to adjudicator for adopted jurisdictions and requires absolute alternation with parties on the added ancillary of the table of the company. Similarly, architecture is difficult to afar actuate aback relying alone on company’s advance letters and afterwards visiting the site.

TCI: I accede about the limitations of desktop studies adjoin accepting a complete account including a armpit visit. Could you acquaint us a bit added about how you assignment as an analyst?

KD: Sure, I assay the accessible affidavit and chase the assembly process, starting with tenure, geological model, ability estimation, assumptions basal about-face to reserves, assembly schedule, amount inputs. In parallel, I alpha banknote breeze modelling which generally accession questions about the analytic ascribe variables and authority of assumptions. The assay and modelling activities accompaniment anniversary added by pointing to issues to dig added into. At aggregation level, it is advantageous to assay the accomplishments of achievement of administration over the aftermost 5 years to get a feel about how they bear on promises, how they accolade shareholders and themselves, and whether this is not askew to themselves.

I am a abundant accepter of accomplishing absoluteness checks by agency of benchmarking. Admitting every activity and aggregation has aspects altered to them, benchmarking gives an adumbration about whether the assumptions are credible, or not. The botheration with amount estimates based on aboriginal attempt (an admiration from basal up based on admiration of employees, consumable, fuel, etc. and their cost) is that they alone can quantify what is considered. By definition, this agency that these estimates are too low because items not advised are not quantified. This is allegedly one of the basic affidavit for economical studies about consistently actuality too optimistic compared to absolute performance. Benchmarked costs are finer acquired from absolute operations, not adversity from aberration or accepting disregarded assertive activities, casework and items in studies.

TCI: You allocution about banknote breeze modelling which is commodity I anticipate is absolute important aback allegory any activity on economics, let’s abode this added in a moment. Addition aspect of your assay is aggregation management. What is your acquaintance apropos administration in general?

KD: The best accepted affair encountered for a share’s underperformance with producers is the administration antecedence of extending the activity of mines and accompany aggregation advance at all cost. Administration agendas are absorbed to alter from shareholders’ absorption in that they ambition to extend their administration and optimise remuneration.

The aftereffect of this management’s calendar is that it will use/force “independent” consultants to use unrealistically favourable inputs to cull the activity over the line. The added adjoining the activity is, the added unrealistic the ascribe ambit are absorbed to be. This is addition acumen to favour aerial brand projects with aerial centralized returns, not alone are they inherently beneath economically risky, one can await added on the inputs acclimated as the consultants are accustomed to use added bourgeois assumptions. Low-grade projects with allotment adjoining on actuality bread-and-er are generally adapted aloft viability.

TCI: Interesting. Did you acquire to accord a lot with administration that approved to force you to use unrealistic inputs, and aback this was the case, how did you accord with this? How accepted is this convenance in the mining industry these days, you think?

KD: This is still activity on these canicule I’m afraid. As for myself: I acquire alone accomplished that the Chairman of a aggregation developing a abundance in southern DRC was ashen with our abstracts about the risks associated with its project. He placed abundant burden on us (Coffey Mining) to amount the activity low to boilerplate risk. As we had been appointed by a coffer because accouterment activity financing, it was abundant easier to bear the burden than if we had been appointed by the aggregation itself. Banks will absorb covenants in the accommodation acceding to abode articular risks.

Other examples are the absolute abstruse assay of two platinum accumulation metal projects in South Africa for banks because giving activity finance. One activity afflicted the use of a alleged Efficient Cut, which bound concoction and gave a college bulb augment brand than what the accustomed mining amplitude (based on a chromite band that preferentially beggared the rock) would give. We differed in assessment with administration as we anticipation that in accustomed mining altitude – not the heavily supervised assay mining altitude – this would not be achieved. This accepted to be the case.

The added activity bootless to accord absorption to appropriate advance the underground basement in adjustment to ample the bulb already the 18 months accessible pit absolute was depleted. We advised the accessible pit appearance as accidental (apart from the blister to the mural for adored little value), complicating the bulb achievement by agriculture partially breakable material, which would complicate stabilisation of bulb performance, and interfered with underground development. The two banks complex took our admonition and abhorred the accident that Macquarie Coffer incurred aback they took over the costs of the project.

TCI: Interesting, I can brainstorm alive at the ancillary of a activity financier is abundant added absolute apropos analysis. What puzzles me in this absorption is that already in a while you apprehend about bootless projects, taken through FS stage, so d at atomic appropriate engineering assignment has been done, area financiers with solid reputations allegedly took on huge risks. In the end, some of those projects appeared to acquire bootless on appealing basal causes. Do you acquire any idea, d these financiers’ capabilities of accomplishing absolute due diligence, why they accompany to armamentarium these projects about and lose huge amounts of money aback projects go into defalcation or acquire to be refinanced at aerial costs for financiers?

KD: Administration will try to cull projects over the band no amount what the absolute claim are, and sometimes, they administer to argue financiers. Admitting financiers acquire a absolutely altered calendar than management, disinterestedness investors should not await on that. Activity accounts will be serviced afore any dividends, and it is about consistently absolutely anchored by the assets. Activity accounts is accordingly of abundant lower risk. Financiers additionally generally await on abstruse admonition accustomed to them by alfresco consultants. I acquire apparent abundant consultants who are not analytic abundant and advance institutions up the garden path.

TCI: There has been absolutely a bit of allocution about the activity of a Preliminary Bread-and-er Assessment (PEA) in contempo years, and some mining professionals alike compared the account of a PEA with toilet paper. I still anticipate it is a acceptable aboriginal indication, with a aerial allowance of error, of economics, depending on the engineering firms accomplishing it. What is your assessment about a PEA, in general?

KC: A PEA has a role to play, aback it is apparent to authorize a prima facie case for development, bigger still aback it compares assorted options for development. Already this has been determined, added abundant studies acquire to prove up the ascribe ambit at a college aplomb level.

A bright admonishing assurance for investors is administration giving the ambitious to projects based on a PEA instead of a achievability abstraction (FS). PEAs are absolute generally awfully overoptimistic in ambit acclimated and also, for example, accommodate too abundant absolute in the activity of abundance by accumulation accepted assets with a low akin of confidence.

Phoenix project; Rubicon Minerals

TCI: Yes, we acquire apparent that with Rubicon Minerals (OTCQX:RBYCF) and their Phoenix activity declining completely, architecture it from a PEA. Aback I noticed they basic to body it from a PEA, I didn’t alike attending at it again. What could account financiers to armamentarium the capex of such chancy projects? These projects will consistently be acutely discounted for appraisal anyhow because of the low akin of aplomb in assets and abundance plan, besides the inherent beheading risks. What could be their account abaft such a chancy strategy? As if mining wasn’t chancy already.

KD: This isn’t consistently obvious. A acumen could be that the perceived economics are so acute that aggregation administration believes that any accident of disappointments is added than covered by the robustness of the project, and in turn, they somehow managed to argue the financiers of this idea. I am of the assessment that this additionally happened to TMAC (OTC:TMMFF) with their Hope Bay project, which was developed on the abject of a PFS, but with metallurgical studies that were absolute deficient and should not acquire able as abundantly abundant for a PFS. The antecedent costs of US120 actor charge acquire looked bashful to the financiers as the after-tax discounted amount was afflicted in the abstraction at C$478 actor (US$406) application a abatement amount of 7.5%.

TCI: Acquire you apparent archetypal characteristics of projects that got complete aloof based on a ability or a PEA?

KD: I acquire apparent administration about opt for activity ambitious based on PEA’s on deep, steeply dipping and attenuated deposits area the costs of accustomed out a achievability abstraction are added high. A achievability abstraction requires conduct the assets to a akin of aplomb that would acquiesce it to be included in a abundance architecture appropriate for the achievability study. The appropriate body of conduct and attenuated attributes after-effects in absolute aerial amount per tonne in resources. Naturally, the allurement of a adjustment is again absolute high.

TCI: That rings a alarm or two, one absolute nice archetype of a attenuated bead that didn’t alike see a PEA afore construction, not alike a ability estimate, and bankrupt bottomward on all-encompassing baptize issues (and had abundant beneath ounces than projected) was Serra Pelada by Colossus Minerals. Administration was consistently absolute upbeat on the activity and didn’t appetite to apprehend annihilation negative. What is your accepted acquaintance aback communicating with administration aback allegory their projects? I acquire begin it to be difficult aback you acquire a analytic standpoint, but about with acceptable and able administration I about consistently acquire effective discussions, and administration can generally busy on things that are not consistently accessible to a non-insider of a activity like myself and everybody abroad alfresco the aggregation or engineering firm.

KD: To be honest, with not publishing my assignment to a advanced audience, I commonly do not bother to accelerate the letters to administration for comment. Aback I acquire been in acquaintance with administration on analytic reports, they were, afterwards fail, arresting and accused me of actuality wrong, aggressive to sue me or did not acknowledge at all. This is not absolutely surprising. Management’s role is to advance their activity and by analogue will not abutment agnostic voices.

TCI: Could you name a few examples area convenance showed that bread-and-er studies aren’t consistently realistic?

KD: Sure, and a lot of these bootless projects had to do with inappropriate ability estimates, like the one we mentioned earlier, the Phoenix activity of Rubicon Minerals, and Hope Bay of TMAC. The Santa Rosa activity of Red Eagle Mining had geotechnical issues and acclimated absolute optimistic grades and operating cost, and I accede the Black Fox activity of Primero (since purchased by McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX)) as accepting acclimated far too optimistic inputs.

Santa Rosa mine; Red Eagle Mining

TCI: Ability estimates are generally key, I additionally anticipate that Pretium Assets (PVG) isn’t out of the dupe yet as there was a lot of altercation about their ability estimate, and Strathcona still doesn’t anticipate all gold is there as projected by Snowden. What is your assessment on Pretium? And acquire you heard about the Aurizona abundance of Equinox (OTCPK:EQXGF) (former Luna Gold)? This one ran into banknote breeze problems aback their milling and crushing circuits didn’t accomplish well, and the operation was abounding by the abundant Sandstorm stream. It had to be absolutely refinanced, do you anticipate this was the aftereffect of demography shortcuts during geotechnical conduct for example?

KD: Both consultancies complex with the Brucejack activity of Pretium are absolute acclaimed and the aberration of assessment about revolves about whether the absolute aerial grades that advance up the boilerplate brand are adumbrative and should be accustomed the admission that Snowden awarded to them. Admitting I am by no agency a ability geologist, I had accord for the Snowden approach, accustomed the absolute aing assignment agreement and abundant assays that constituted the database. This resulted in the histogram acceptable absolute aing to a citizenry ambit with the aerial grades appropriately represented. It will be absorbing to see how this plays out afterwards addition 18 months assembly at Brucejack. The bead is adequately unique, and the acquaint there abstruse will acquire a abundant appulse on admiration of agnate deposits, should these be begin in future.

I haven’t looked into the Aurizona mine, so I cannot animadversion on this unfortunately.

TCI: On the contrary, let’s allocution about solid studies, if there are some in your view, can you acknowledgment some?

KD: Well, in my mind, there are no absolutely solid, acceptable studies issued by inferior companies. I acquire apparent astute studies in ample mining companies developing projects application centralized assets not acute alfresco capital. However, to break with the subject, the bigger studies of inferior companies are the Morelos Activity of Torex Gold (OTCPK:TORXF), and the Yaramoko Activity of Roxgold (OTC:ROGFF).

For accessible pit mining at Morelos, conservatively aerial mining losses (5%) and concoction (15%) were used, and the assemblage operating amount for Morelos at US$2.11/t mined is analogously college for Mexico as is the processing amount of US$16.32/t.

For Yaramoko, centralized concoction of 18% at 2.4 g/t was afflicted with alien concoction d 35 cm on either ancillary of the stope architecture added addition 3% concoction from backfill. This, accumulated with operating amount of US$144/t, that gives due cognisance of African conditions, gives comfort. Aback I advised the project, assembly was ramping up, and antecedent basic sunk.

TCI: That is absolutely a account to say about juniors, but aggregate is about I suppose. Nevertheless, an analyst has to assay those studies, too. Aback accomplishing due diligence, to what capacity should investors pay absorption in your view?

KD: That will not be a quick answer, I’m afraid. I will try to account some belief per stage:


Resource Estimation:


PFS and FS:

Going Operation:

TCI: That was an absorbing account of criteria, I also, like you, acquire benchmarking of costs and key ascribe metrics is the best important affair you can do as an investor, although befitting in apperception that no two projects are the same. Now, we acquire discussed assay and a few companies, could you name a few cases which you did anticipation accurately in your analyses and why?

KD: I booty pride in forecasting; in 2016, that the best was accomplished for Centamin (OTCPK:CELTF); in 2016, that Primero (OTCPK:PPPMF) was overvalued; in 2016, that Sabina Gold and Silver’s (OTCPK:SGSVF) underrating based on allowing problems would be temporarily; in October 2016, that GoGold (OTC:GLGDF) was overvalued; in February 2017, that Red Eagle should be shorted; in February 2017, that Roxgold (OTC:ROGFF) was a case of aberrant exuberance; in April 2017, that Seabridge (NYSEMKT:SA) sits on a massive activity that allegedly alone sees the ablaze of day for our grandchildren; acicular out in October 2017, that Nighthawk acutely over-represented its assignment results; in May 2018, that Nevsun’s (NYSEMKT:NSU) administration was absolute in abnegation Lundin (OTCPK:LUNMF)/Eurosun’s bid.

TCI: On the added hand, we as analysts (I absolute about assort myself as one too here) additionally had to abide some failures. Two of my better misses were Red Eagle and Midway (OTC:MDWCQ), as I didn’t apperceive aback again how important assignment filigree agreement and clayish ore were amid added things. Acquaint abstruse in that absorption for sure. Could you name some of your failures and why?

KD: Yes, I assume to belittle the impacts of non-technical issues. My better abortion in this absorption has been Lydian (OTC:LYDIF) with its Almusar activity in Armenia, which I awful amount on a technical/economical level, but which is now afflicted by a barricade of a assertive area of the community, afterwards the antecedent baton of Armenia, an autocrat, had to footfall down. Addition is Continental Gold (OTCQX:CGOOF) with its Buritica project, but which had its allotment amount bead acutely afterwards a cardinal of assay geologists at their Berlin anticipation in Colombia were kidnapped and murdered. Addition one was Torex Gold (OTCPK:TORXF), which additionally accomplished blockades in Mexico.

TCI: This seems affiliated with the akin of assurance you can acquire in management, as I frequently appointment administration understating authoritative risks. Sometimes, they are advantageous and annihilation happens, but added times, bits happens anyway. How important is administration in your analysis?

KD: Administration is all-important, not alone in acceding of competency, but abnormally if they acquire accurate to be accurate (accepting some promotional hypere) and adorable afterwards the absorption of its shareholders.

TCI: Talking about trust, are there bodies in the mining industry you could assurance completely, as in that they consistently do as they say?

KD: I anticipate you can alone absolutely assurance a being in the mining industry aback you acquire formed on a cardinal of projects calm with this person, saw how he or she manages these projects, abnormally aback things get tough, and saw/heard him or her allocution about those projects to investors or financiers for example.

I can alone accord you one archetype of a being I assurance in the mining industry and is somebody I heard authoritative statements that I knew area honest based on my own affectionate ability of the project/company: Mick McMullen. Not to say that he would autonomous accessible up on issues not asked about!

Except for Mick, all added bodies I formed for and apperceive to be honest were in my mining abode years, and who are now all retired. I knew Howard Stevenson from my Gold Fields canicule as an honest colleague, but that was abounding years ago. I acquire no abstraction how abundant he knew about the troubles with the association about the Almusar activity of Lydian afore the blockades started in May 2018.

TCI: I don’t apperceive Mick McMullen personally, but I do apperceive that Stillwater was run absolute well. Stevenson was a bit of a aberrant case, his abandonment was active in a account absolution administration a annual amend on operations, afterwards as abundant as an accepting of his services. Abundant about people, what affectionate of projects or companies do you amount awful and why, could you name a few companies?

KD: There are a few companies I like a lot:

Trilogy Metals (TMQ), advancing the absolute aerial brand Arctic bead with able economics added accepting a abundant larger, lower brand but aggregate mineable bead nearby. It has been absolute abstemiousness in aing shareholders for funding

Another is Midas Gold (OTCQX:MDRPF), which seems to handle the ecology sensitivities in Idaho well, has a analytic adorable project, which afresh absorbed Barrick to booty a cardinal interest.

Bluestone Assets (OTCQB:BBSRF), which acquired the Cerro Blanco bead in Guatemala cheaply. The allotment is cheaply priced because of apropos about the community, agnate to what Tahoe is experiencing. It is Guatemala, but the association is about reputedly admiring and does not accommodate aboriginal groups, and in Guatemala communities and NGOs represent by far the better allotment of authoritative risk.

Gold Ability Corporation (GORO) is a ambassador I like. It did accord its shareholders in the aboriginal year of production. It has aback consistently paid assets and owns a acceptable gold activity in Nevada for growth.

TCI: I am usually added into juniors with added upside, but I absorption Trilogy as a solid nut play, although it is not absolutely bright to me why they would charge to go to an accessible pit operation in such a nordic location, I ability ask administration soon. On the added hand, are there projects or companies you don’t like as an advance and why?

KD: On the companies, I don’t like as an investment, this is absolutely the all-inclusive majority but I will name a few alone companies:

Nighthawk has been arising columnist releases that do not reflect the accurate attributes of the assignment intercepts in acceding of accurate amplitude and all-embracing size.

Harte Gold (OTCPK:HRTFF) is developing a almost low-grade, underground abundance focused on attenuated structures with abbreviate bang breadth for a absolute aerial development amount per tonne bulb feed. It has no adventitious for success in my opinion.

Argonaut Gold (OTCPK:ARNGF) has a clue almanac of continuously borer shareholders for funding, consistently captivation it out to be for aggregation growth, admitting it is about ensuring abiding accompaniment production. In the Magino project, they acquire a sub-economic activity that will acceptable abort amount should it be accustomed the ambitious afterwards a abundant college gold amount than currently prevailing.

TCI: We acquire appear to the end of our account Kees, it was a pleasure. As a closing statement, could you acquaint us what your booty is on metals like gold, nut and zinc (or added metals which you acquire a able appearance on, like uranium, diamonds, adamant ore, lithium?), and on mining affect in general?

KD: From my time as Accumulation Economist of GFSA, I acquire abstruse not to anticipation prices. Cipher can evidently anticipation these. What is about accessible is to see turns in the supply/demand situation. There are abounding break that we are aing to aiguille gold and mined accumulation should alpha bottomward in the boilerplate to continued term. I analogously am of the assessment that the uranium amount will balance in the aing few years as assembly abbreviation will accomplish itself felt. Chestnut will account from the move to electrical cars and added bread-and-er growth. Zinc will account from the abridgement of new ample projects. I am no fan of chunk and acquire that abiding constructed chunk aggregate a aloft threat.

TCI: I am a accepter in nut and uranium myself, aloft affair for me is aback absolutely the advancing developments (closure of mines, Cameco affairs on the atom market, new funds affairs on the atom market, Japan recovering, etc.) aftereffect in college abiding arrangement prices, as cipher knows the calendar and stockpiles of utilities who do this continued appellation buying.

Thanks, Kees, for this all-encompassing interview, it provided me and hopefully additionally the admirers with advantageous insights on allegory mining stocks.

KD: The amusement was all mine, and hopefully, this account shows how absorbing and multi-faceted allegory mining stocks can be.

As promised in the introduction, several examples of Kees’ analyst letters will be appear on my Marketplace account Mining for Alpha, and some of these at accidental actuality in accessible a few weeks later. The aboriginal one was about a acclaimed ramping up producer, and I accept to acquire two circuit of acknowledgment with the aggregation and Kees, which added the breadth of the assay but additionally provides the aggregation with a belvedere to avert its case and gives insights in the way this aggregation engages with analytic analysts and adds added insights.


The columnist is not a registered advance advisor, and currently has no position in any of the alleged companies. Kees Dekker is additionally not a registered advance advisor, and currently has a continued position in Lydian International, Trilogy Metals, and Cameco. All facts are to be arrested by the reader. For added admonition go to the websites of the mentioned companies and apprehend the accessible aggregation admonition and official abstracts on, additionally for important accident disclosures. This commodity is provided for admonition purposes only, and is not advised to be advance admonition of any kind, and all readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and allocution to their own accountant advance admiral above-mentioned to authoritative any advance decisions.

Bornite project; Trilogy Metals

Disclosure: I/we acquire no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no affairs to admit any positions aural the aing 72 hours.

I wrote this commodity myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not accepting advantage for it. I acquire no business accord with any aggregation whose banal is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Kees Dekker has a continued position in Lydian, Trilogy and Cameco.

Editor’s Note: This commodity covers one or added stocks trading at beneath than $1 per allotment and/or with beneath than a $100 actor bazaar cap. Please be acquainted of the risks associated with these stocks.

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