First and Last Word on Metals and Mining

Kimber Resources Inc. (NYSE AMEX:KBX, TSX:KBR) is pleased to announce that it has received the results of an updated independent Preliminary Assessment…on its 100% owned Monterde project, located in Mexico’s Sierra Madre mining district.  This National Instrument 43-101 compliant PA is based on the updated mineral resource estimate for the Carmen deposit and the existing mineral resource estimate for the Veta Minitas deposit at Monterde prepared by Micon. The PA is based on combined open pit and underground mining and a focus on the high grade gold-silver mineralization and demonstrates significantly improved financial outcomes compared to the initial PA, a summary of which was discussed in a news release issued by Kimber on June 2, 2010.

…”In the updated PA, the open pit strip ratio has been reduced by more than 50%, the open pit is smaller, and in-pit measured mineral resources now comprise 30% of open pit tonnage, with measured and indicated (“M&I) mineral resources making up 80% of open pit tonnage, and having significantly higher gold and silver grades than the inferred mineral resources.  These improvements have reduced both the open pit cash costs per tonne and project capital expenditures, leading to a faster payback and higher internal rate of return (“IRR”), even when using the 2010 PA gold and silver price estimates.  The higher metals prices used in the updated PA (being US$1100/oz gold and US$19/oz silver) demonstrate the degree of leverage that Monterde has to rising gold and silver prices.  Moreover, the revised PA does not incorporate any results from our 2011 drilling program, which have the potential to further increase gold and silver mineral resources and enhance project economics.”

Highlights of the Updated Preliminary Assessment for Monterde

Before tax (at prices of US$1100 per ounce of gold and US$19 per ounce of silver):

  • IRR of 47.9% with undiscounted net cash flows of US$585 million;
  • Project net present value (“NPV”) (at an 8% discount rate) of US$295 million.

After tax (at prices of US$1100 per ounce of gold and US$19 per ounce of silver):

  • IRR of 40.6% with undiscounted net cash flows of US$430 million;
  • Project NPV (at an 8% discount rate) of US$211.9 million;
  • Payback of pre-production capital and operating costs within 2 years.

After tax (at near spot prices of US$1500 per ounce of gold and US$35 per ounce of silver):

  • IRR of 71.9% with undiscounted net cash flows of US$876.9 million;
  • Project NPV (at an 8% discount rate) of US$471.8 million;
  • Payback of pre-production capital and operating costs after 1 year

Pre-production capital of US$100.1 million, with total life-of-mine capital cost of US$119.3 million, including a total contingency amount of US$28.3 million.

Total mine life of 15.5 years, with combination of open pit and underground production for 9.3 years at an average mill throughput of approximately 2,800 tonnes per day, followed by underground only for 6.2 years, with average mill throughput of approximately 1,000 tonnes per day.

Average annual production of 58,400 ounces of gold and 1.9 million ounces of silver for the first 9 years of production.

Life-of-mine cash costs of US$151 per ounce of gold, with silver as a by-product credit, and total costs of production, including capital costs, of US$311 per ounce of gold, with silver as a by-product credit.

Total production of 744,000 gold ounces and 20.2 million ounces of silver over the total mine life of 15.5 years

Life-of-mine cash costs of US$450 per gold equivalent ounce and total costs of production for life-of-mine, including capital costs, of US$538 per gold equivalent ounce.

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Get low, do the CAPEX limbo! But come on bro, those old charts need to go!

January 16, 2012 at 2:22 am
Zurbo Zurbo

A production profile of roughly 50,000 ounces gold and 1.3 million ounces silver might not sound like much for a company trading a smidgen over $90 million and not yet having secured any fuding, but that’s the beauty of it…in the case of Kimber there isn’t much to fund. Monterde’s capital cost is estimated at just $100 million.

That said, it’s a little curious why Kimber hasn’t been more aggressive about laying out a timeline to production (unless we missed it?). The latest presentation tells investors to expect more drilling in 2012 along with a resource update, but beyond that it’s a mystery. Instead we’re just left with some unclear valuation charts such as the following pair:

Okay, so the top chart compares the number of gold-equivalent ounces. That’s fine and understandable. But then we’re given a chart with a red $145 median line. What exactly is being compared here? Probably the familiar EV/oz, but how could you have known… and frankly who $!@#$ cares. This isn’t a Kimber problem, this is an industry problem. For the most part these types of measures are meaningless unless subject to careful selection and probably at least some level of qualitative interpretation. Just look at the range of the measure for those 8 companies. Can you really point to any one and gain some predictive power about value? I don’t think so, especially when you’re mixing developers with producers! Obviously comparing developers with producers isn’t a fair comparison because (1) producers have already raised all the capital thereby significantly changing the numerator in the equation, (2) producers will tend to have a higher quality resource base, (3) by definition producers are further along thereby reducing the impact of a discount rate in valuing future cash flows, etc. Kimber does seem to have plenty of value, upwards of 200% at current metal prices according to our model, but these charts aren’t doing them any favors.

2 years ago

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