Venezuela Leaves Crystallex Investors KRYing

So much potential, so little to show for it. Crystallex International Corp. (KRY) met all the requirements months ago for an environmental permit to develop the Las Cristinas gold deposit in Venezuela. But with no permit in sight from president Hugo Chavez's government, the stock has sunk below $3.00 a share despite a fantastic run for gold prices.

Crystallex investors got more bad news from the recent technical report, in which the company announced its capital cost for the project is now $356-million, 22% higher than its last estimate. Forecast operating costs have increased 28% to US$9.80 a tonne. The company is also dealing with water inflow and higher amounts of mined waste.

Wellington West Capital Markets analyst Catherine Gignac has cut her price target on the company's Toronto-traded on the stock in half, from $10.00 a share to $5.00. But, she is maintaining a "strong buy" rating because of the logical reasons: high gold prices, a lack of new development projects, and the industry's need for growth and acquisition.

She currently estimates net present value for Crystallex to be $4.71 a share, and applies a discount rate of 3%. She does not include any premium for growth or management, as she does not believe they are justified.

The only thing on anyone's mind right now is the permit.

"The Environmental Impact Statement was approved, a reclamation-related bond (Compliance Guarantee Bond) was posted and taxes were paid related to the permit. Five months later, no permit has been issued yet," she wrote in a note to clients.

So where is it?