Corvus Gold ($KOR.TO | $CORVF) latest bought deal financing, while poorly timed on my part when I tweeted back in August (https://twitter.com/economicalpha/status/1164989458254614533?s=21), is turning out to be a blessing in disguise. The deal was below market at $2CAD (at the time announced it was $2.29) and that definitely stung a bunch of folks, including myself. The offering however did not include any warrants, which is vital as it eliminates any potential price overhang in the future and kept the capital structure pretty straight forward and tight for a company at this stage in the mining development lifecycle. Another element of the offering is that it was done solely by BMO, and with that, comes value added marketing and an opening to further institutional support. But the most important piece for me, is that the bigger picture just became a bit more crystalized, making the short term hit more palpable to absorb.
The $23M CAD raised should be enough of a runway to give Corvus plenty of time to execute on its strategic objectives. The latest financing included AngloGold and Tocqueville taking their respective pro-rata share, keeping them at 19.9% and 19.5% of ownership outstanding respectively. It also took in some new investors, including Franklin Templeton as well as some European institutions, just to name a few.
Anglo’s commitment to Corvus has been pretty consistent and notable. Not only has Anglo invested significant amount of capital but there is also a very high concentration of ex-Anglo personnel running the show at the company, including the CEO of Corvus as well as the Chairman.
The connections don’t stop short there. Anglo also owns, or has the option to earn in, 100% of the neighboring Silicon project. The CEO of Anglo has been very quiet about the prospects of Silicon publicly, including not providing much information about the current drilling program. However, he did provide some interesting tidbits during this Bloomberg video clip back during the BMO conference this year:
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Discusses M&A Possibilities (3 minute mark)
The option to earn in 100% ownership in Silicon comes up in June of 2020, a very interesting time table (more on that below). Anglo would have to pay $2.4M of the remaining $3M to do so and they have every intention on moving forward in my opinion given what their actions have been. This article characterizes the option earn-in details as well as some specifics on drilling program done by Anglo:
Just this past Friday, Renaissance Gold, reported an update on the progress of drilling, which included an update on Silicon. Details from the Press Release is as follows:
“The Silicon Project, Nye County Nevada is subject to an option to purchase agreement with AngloGold Ashanti (AngloGold). AngloGold conducted drilling through May, 2019 and to date have completed 28 reverse circulation holes totaling 11,156 meters (36,591 feet) and 19 core holes totaling 7,863 meters (25,791 feet). AngloGold has paid RenGold US$600,000 of the total purchase price of US$3,000,000, with the final payment of US$2,400,000 due in June, 2020. AngloGold is currently working to obtain a Plan of Operations permit to allow further drilling.”
AngloGold looks very motivated, and that makes sense given what they’ve done to date. The need to get a better understanding of what they may be sitting on between now and the end of the 3-year option earn-in agreement with Renaissance Gold in June of 2020 is all the more reason.
Meanwhile, as AngloGold moves full speed ahead drilling Silicon, Corvus, in its own right, is ramping up its drilling efforts at a much faster clip than would have been otherwise thanks largely in part to the recent financing. One of the newest drilling targets at Mother Lode is the deep core target, which is at depths of 500-600m in Paleozoic rocks. Early modeling is outlining a porphyry shaped body with a very conductive upper shell. Results from this drilling should come out sometime in early 2020. While I note that this is very speculative at this time, stay tuned on this front.
Corvus is being proactive, which is something you would expect, and they are moving things in motion not waiting for something to happen. An example of this is the recently announced multi-phase approach to develop their two assets, North Bullfrog and Mother Lode, as opposed to what was previously depicted in the combined PEA issued late last year.
This new optimization plan targets a lower capex/opex with near term production optionality by breaking down the assets into two staged phases, a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 development approach. The new strategy would allow for a quicker startup of operations as phase 1 capex at North Bullfrog is a more realistic $80M US, as opposed to the PEA capex number that was north of $400M running them combined.
This is important as it not only gives Corvus the optionality to either build and operate on their own but it also makes Corvus more appealing and valuable to others that may not have otherwise been able to move forward with those initial capex constraints. The culmination of this is that it largely de-risks the investment proposition as the high capex hurdle is softened and the potential for Corvus to build is now included in the equation. http://www.corvusgold.com/news/releases/index.php?content_id=322
Adding this all up, including the key Anglo angle, the optionality of a much more favorable development approach, a fully funded treasury, a rising Gold price environment, a tightly held corporate structures, as well as the not too often spoken about strategic water rights, and we have ourselves a very interesting proposition heading into 2020.
Disclaimer and Disclosures:
I own the stock. Therefore, I have an inherent bias.
I am not a certified investment professional. Assume everything I say herein is wrong. In fact, I am wrong more often than right. Do your own due diligence and consult with your own investment advisor. Do not buy or sell on anything contained herein.
I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. I did not receive any compensation from the company mentioned. I did do a site visit as part of my due diligence.
The content contained herein is strictly my opinion only. I do not warrant to the accuracy of the content or whether this is a suitable investment and disclaim any responsibility.