By Tim Kiladze
Investors who bought into Pretium Resources' (PXZRF.PK) initial public offering must be grinning from ear to ear.
In just over a year, the stock has skyrocketed from $6 to just shy of $17, almost a three-fold gain. This return is especially surprising because so many large cap gold producers have seen their stocks lag behind the surging gold price, and some smaller development plays like Osisko (OSKFF.PK) have actually lost some steam.
Pretium, however, has held in. After an initial pop, the stock’s movement was relatively flat for most of 2011. It then bottomed out at $8.38 in late November, and has since soared. Obviously, a gold price back to just under $1,800 (U.S.) per ounce is helping.
To recall, Pretium was formed in October 2010 to buy two assets - the Snowfield and Brucejack gold projects -- from Silver Standard Resources for $450-million. From the get go, Pretium was praised because there just aren’t that many undeveloped gold projects to go around and almost immediately there was speculation that it could get taken out.
That holds true today. “Given the delays and cost escalations of several major development projects held by intermediate/senior gold producers, we believe Pretium remains an attractive acquisition target,” noted Salman analyst Ash Guglani. “It remains significantly undervalued given its high-grade, low capex, Brucejack project along with its long-term call option on Snowfield." He also notes that both projects are in a very safe mining jurisdiction.
In the past few months, investors had been waiting on the company’s updated preliminary economic assessment for Brucejack. That came out last night and revealed a base case pre-tax net present value of $2.3-billion (Canadian), assuming $1,100 per ounce gold. The stock is up about 2 per cent this morning.
Now investors will have to wait for a feasibility study for the high-grade portion of the Brucejack project, which the company says will be completed by year-end, as well as a Snowfield engineering study.