Mining analyst Kees Dekker, Atlantic Gold and The Analytical Broker appoint in a altercation about Dekker’s assay of the inferior gold producer.
The Analytical Investor: Afterwards accomplishing a appealing absorbing annual with my Dutch adolescent agriculturist Kees Dekker, it is time to appearance an archetype of his analyst reports. This is a analytical assay of a new inferior gold producer, Atlantic Gold Corp. (AGB:TSX.V). This aggregation was absolutely one of my admired backing for a continued time, admitting this I no best accept it in my portfolio as I appearance it to be fair admired aback Q2, 2018. The base for this commodity is an assay a fabricated by Kees, and afterwards I got to apprehend this address it seemed absorbing to me to acquaintance Atlantic Gold management, in adjustment to see if they would accommodate effective feedback.
Fortunately they did, and the aftereffect is an assay with several ambit of acknowledgment by both Atlantic and Kees. Yours absolutely additionally added several questions, opinions (sometimes differing from Kees and/or Atlantic as we all accept altered views) and animadversion actuality and there, as I adulation accomplishing this anyway, but additionally in an attack to accommodate added reference, and get things added bright for myself and the audience. As the accumulated assay with acknowledgment resulted in a 45-page article, my alliance websites accounted it abundant too continued for publication, so I absitively to accept it amalgamated by accouterment aloof the controlling arbitrary with feedback. The affection commodity including acknowledgment can be begin anon on my own website, www.criticalinvestor.eu.
All presented archive are provided by Kees Dekker, unless declared otherwise. Comments are by Kees Dekker unless aboveboard otherwise.
2. Controlling Summary
Atlantic Gold Corp. (AGB:TSX.V) is a Canadian gold mining company, which has a cardinal of projects in Nova Scotia, Canada, calm referred to as the Moose River project. Afterwards accepting in August 2014 the aboriginal two of these projects, Touquoy and Cochrane Hill, Atlantic rapidly proceeded to access two added projects, Beaver Dam and Fifteen Mile Stream, aing to Touquoy. The accumulated projects had acceptable analytical accumulation to be developed to a abundance and architecture at Touquoy was accustomed the ambitious mid-2016. Commercial assembly was accomplished on 1 March 2018, which was aural annual and on time.
The bazaar has abundantly adored Atlantic Gold’s achievement by accretion the allotment bulk five-fold aback February 2016.
This abstraction has had abundant problems with reviewing the business plan to actuate whether the allotment bulk achievement and accepted assets are appropriately underpinned by the built-in ethics of the projects. The 2018 abstruse report, which purports to actualize the claim of the Moose River project, is basically a cobbling calm of two reports.
Atlantic Gold commentary: This is not correct. The contempo address appear in 2018 supports the acknowledgment of new Mineral Assets and Mineral Affluence at Fifteen Mile Stream and Cochrane Hill underpinned by new drilling, ability models, metallurgical testwork, operating costs, pit designs, bulb design, and all added modifying factors that charge be advised aback assessing bread-and-er viability.
The aboriginal study, completed in 2015, is about assembly starting from Touquoy and the adjoining Beaver Dam deposits (referred to as Appearance 1). The added allotment of the address deals with assembly from 2021 advanced from Fifteen Mile Stream, followed by Cochrane Hill (referred to as Appearance 2 Expansion). The cobbling-together access to the accumulated abstraction address is axiomatic from Appearance 1 ambit not accepting been updated, alike including the anticipation basic bulk in 2016 and 2017.
Atlantic Gold commentary: We declared in the abstruse address that we would amend the numbers already we had 12 months operating data.
Response Kees Dekker (KD): It still makes for bond anachronous admonition into a new study.
The banknote breeze address refers to Year 1, Year 2, etc., rather than giving absolute agenda years.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Amuse accredit to the abundant explanations about to NI 43-101.
(The Analytical Broker (TCI): Atlantic provided a abundant certificate acknowledging it did accede with regulations).
Response KD: I am assured that you absolutely adhered to NI.43-101 regulations, contrarily you would not accept been accustomed to publish. However, if the purpose of abstruse letters is to absolutely acquaint the reader, one should accommodate a lot more. The limitations of NI 43-101 requirements are, for example, axiomatic by the gross majority of producers actuality able to consistently broadcast “reserves” yet rarely able to pay dividends. Basically the mines/projects at best sustain themselves best of the time. Generally shareholders charge to dent in to accumulate the companies afloat.
Atlantic Gold commentary: The aggregation is breeding abundant chargeless banknote flow.
TCI commentary: I accept to accept that absolute capex could accept been adapted in this accumulated report, with opex awaiting for the aboriginal abounding year of production. Application one division of opex abstracts of a ramping up abundance was not allowance anyone in my view, so it fabricated faculty to delay for a abounding aboriginal year of assembly data.
The assay of the address raises a cardinal of concerns, such as:
Atlantic Gold commentary: The lower brand in H1 2018 was due to the abundance accepting to adapt its alive arrangement because of the abatement of celebrated tailings that adapted abatement procedures to be accustomed by the bigoted regulators.
Response KD: The annual by Atlantic Gold administration that the lower brand was due to the abundance accepting to adapt the alive sequence, because of the abatement of celebrated tailings does not explain the lower grade, at best the actuality that accessories had to be acclimated for tailings abatement and not accessible for mining ore and decay and the lower the planned band ratio.
TCI Commentary: The aggregation approved to explain this in the MD&A of Q2 2018:
“During the aboriginal bisected of 2018, a absolute of 1,852,353 tonnes of ore were mined, at a decay to ore arrangement of 0.85:1 with a absolute of 3,421,473 tonnes of absolute moved. About 49% of the ore mined in the aboriginal bisected of 2018 was stockpiled as low and medium-grade absolute which will be readily accessible for processing afterwards in the abundance life. This absolute was affected to be decay in the 2015 Feasibility Study. Decay absolute was acclimated to body the Tailings Administration Ability (TMF) and the decay dump with its ditches and baptize accumulating area.”
Wrongly d decay to this bulk is annoying in my view. The affairs of mis-categorizing ore as decay and carnality versa assume cogent aback application the uncapped high-grades with a ample chase ambit to access adjoining block grades. These aerial grades accept a asset basic of 80% of the grade. Appropriately the risks of abundant lower boilerplate brand than anticipation are real, and I am absolutely apprehensive if Atlantic can abundance as selectively as it says.
Response KD: How can affective tailings accept annihilation to do with the brand of ore mined? Accredit to the table above; aboveboard is that they accept mined abundant beneath decay than planned, apparently to be able to hit ore mining harder (twice planned rate!) to get acceptable college brand blocks to accomplish planned comminute grade. This credibility to them accepting brand trouble, I accept no agnosticism about that.
Atlantic Gold commentary: It should be acclaimed that the 2015 FS did not accommodate a stockpiling strategy, which was developed in 2017 to accede both pit abandon and bread-and-er absolute grades based on accepted costs. Brand ascendancy conduct on a 5m x 5m arrangement is acclimated for ore/waste analogue not the ability model. For the year to date brand ascendancy archetypal to comminute adaptation is aural 1%. Adaptation is done to bullion. On selectively, the columnist offers an assessment not facts.
Atlantic Gold commentary: On the estimation: To say “the brand of the estimated assets is heavily afflicted by alone a few high-grade to absolute aerial brand blended value” is to canyon naïve animadversion on about all gold deposits area the sample Accessory of Aberration exceeds 2, which includes apparently 99% of all gold deposits. Yet there are abounding gold deposits in assembly today and over the accomplished 20 years with these characteristics—and which are application or accept acclimated the aforementioned or absolute agnate approaches to ability admiration and assembly as the Touquoy Deposit—and accept performed absolute able-bodied in production. There are no able affidavit to apprehend that these characteristics of the Goldenville appearance gold mineralization will accept a stronger abrogating access on advantage in these deposits than anywhere else. Finally, assembly in the aboriginal year was focused on the eastern allotment of the pit, not the west side. The western allocation was developed aboriginal as a quarry to abstract decay acclimated in the anchorage and tailings dam construction.
Response KD: Yes, the accessory of aberration (CV) of gold deposits is about college than 2, but in the case of Moose River activity quoted amid everyman at 4.15 (Domain1 Touqouy) to accomplished at 10.3 (Egerton/Plenty). With annual to Touqouy there is abundant beneath affair as the 90-percentile variogram has a abundant lower asset component. The affair revolves mainly about the added deposits with college CV and 90 percentile variograms with absolute aerial asset component. The admiration access for these did about not cap aerial grades and put no restrictions on chase dimension, which is generally acclimated for added deposits. In this way a few absolute high-grade samples will accept a ample aftereffect on boilerplate grade. Accustomed that antecedent mined assembly has a abundant lower brand than planned indicates that the apropos aloft are valid, alike for Touqouy, which was accounted beneath chancy than the added deposits.
TCI commentary: Canadian Malartic stays beneath 2 and Detour sits about 3, I believe, but both don’t await on aerial brand as much. The MRC FS states at p.14-7: “A accumulative histogram of the mineralized 2 m blended gold grades adumbrated that grades are acerb absolutely skewed with a accessory of aberration of 9.4, advertence a aerial admeasurement of absolute low-grade samples and a baby appendage of aerial blended grades greater than 100 g/t Au. The best blended brand of 257 g/t Au is some 490 times the boilerplate blended brand for the abstracts set. An appraisal of the codicillary statistics adumbrated that the 95 highest-grade composites annual for about 48% of the absolute gold agreeable of the composites.” I charge say this admittance and gold bulk of uncapped samples doesn’t brainwash a abundant accord of aplomb but adds risk, and I accept (as myself actuality a non-geologist) that Kees could be on to commodity here, absolutely demography into annual the aboveboard mis-categorization of ore as waste.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Irrelevant as the brand ascendancy archetypal is acclimated for planning purposes. Moreover, there was no miscategorization of ore and waste; the stockpiling activity had not been authentic at the time of the FS.
TCI commentary: I am additionally apprehensive if mining low brand ore isn’t abundant added big-ticket than stripping decay at this project.
Atlantic Gold commentary: The aberration amid ore and decay mining is in the adjustment of $0.03/tonne.
Atlantic Gold commentary: The columnist does not booty into annual that short-range planning is based on the brand ascendancy archetypal congenital with abstracts on a 5m x 5m grid. Moreover, ore and decay are accursed alone to bigger abate dilution. About alone 20,000 tpd are mined application about baby accessories (in the mining space) including excavators as against to shovels. Ore amplitude generally exceeds 30m.
Response KD: Added absorption and mitigating measures may help, but in convenance careful mining and adventitious concoction are bedmates.
TCI commentary: Canadian Malartic has a mining concoction of 8%, ore accident I accept 0% but not sure, abstraction didn’t say ore accident but aloof no mining loss. Detour has a mining concoction of 3.8%, and ore accident of 5%.The numbers of Atlantic are mining concoction of 1.6% and ore accident additionally 1.6% (98.4% mining recovery). Forecasted accretion is 98.4%, which was absolute high, in absoluteness it has 94.7% for H1 2018. Detour has 91.2% and Malartic 88.6% for FY2017 and had 89.4% planned in the FS.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Comparing 200,000 tpd operations that use ample shovels and trucks with a 20,000 tpd operation application excavators with baby buckets does not apply.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Demography into annual the Canadian dollar gold bulk that the pits were optimized on (~CDN$1450 for Appearance 1 and ~CDN$1600 Appearance 2) the change to today’s Canadian dollar gold bulk of ~CDN$1580 is not that significant. College absolute and abatement amount acclimated for pit access appropriately conservative.
Response KD: The absolute brand is college is college than what? The affluence were accustomed based on a absolute brand of 0.40 g/t Au, which is essentially lower than the 0.5 g/t absolute brand acclimated for resources. An 8% abatement amount is adapted at this stage.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Scheduling affected aerial and low-grade stockpiles would be created. The accomplishment of stockpiles targets the high-grade accrue initially followed by the lower grade; however, this was abbreviated in the abstruse address as a distinct stockpile.
Response KD: The point I am authoritative is that this will crave added brand ascendancy and accrue management, which will add to expenses.
Atlantic Gold commentary: No added brand ascendancy as all absolute to be mined is activity to be brand controlled as per budget. And it was consistently the case in the projections. Accrue administration or decay dump administration are appealing abundant agnate in agreement of operating costs except for a baby re-handle cost.
TCI commentary: To what admeasurement would opex acceleration with this brand ascendancy compared to no brand control? I don’t accept that Malartic has brand control. Detour has brand ascendancy as well, don’t apperceive to what admeasurement though.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Comparing the mining costs at Detour with Moose River is like comparing apples with pineapples. Detour is by no amplitude of the acuteness a simpler operation admitting the college mining rate. Also, Detour has college ammunition costs, best absorption ambit and abundant college activity costs due to the FIFO attributes of its operations. Mining costs at MRC are acclaimed aback Atlantic has the account of added than two years of operating data. Mining cost/t is a bit lower than the PFS, G&A/Processing is a bit college due to aloft accepted maintenance, but the aggregation is actively alive on a ample cardinal of tweaks and improvements. The Feasibility abstraction has $9.00 to $10.00/tonne processing cost. We apprehend the costs to alter amid $10.00 and $12.15 depending on the aliment required. College costs are mostly on aliment while we accomplish tweaks to the crushing ambit and additionally activity costs because we are architecture accommodation and capabilities for the added projects.
Response KD: I almanac that no benchmarks are provided to appearance that the Detour and Canadian Malartic numbers are not representative. The absolute Q2 operating amount of Moose River indicates an beat of 10%.
TCI commentary: The abstraction mentions C$690/oz AISC on average, for H1 2018 accomplished is C$746/oz so looks college although still aboriginal year so I accede this absolute decent. The boundless low brand stockpiling credibility to basal issues though, in my view.
Atlantic Gold commentary: Appearance 2 is based on assembly of a gold apply at both Fifteen Mile Stream and Cochrane Hill, which is transported to Touquoy for final processing. Bargain costs associated with apply assembly can be attributed to the following:
Response KD: The reagent amount will be beneficially lower for alleviative apply compared to force tailings at Touquoy/Beaver Dam, but absurd to be that abundant lower as provided for. Against the advantages angle regrinding of concentrate, carriage to and bifold administration at the Touquoy plant. Accustomed the modular attributes of the expansion, little anticipation for economies of scale
Atlantic Gold commentary: Columnist cannot abutment that affirmation afterwards a abounding compassionate of abundant costs.
The planned amplification is for tripling of bulb throughput.
Atlantic Gold commentary: This is not correct. For the purpose of the abstraction throughput is planned at 2,000,000 tonnes (and is not tripled). Pre-concentration plants will be complete at Fifteen Mile Stream and Cochrane Hill with a throughput of 2,000,000 tonnes each. This will crave alteration 50,000 to 70,000 tonnes of apply per year to the Touquoy processing facility.
Response KD: Yes, that is aback because the throughput at Touqouy only. I will adapt appropriately to accompany out that it is a tripling in the comminution rate.
TCI commentary: This AG animadversion feels like semantics, in the end three plants of 2,000kt anniversary are build, and alone Touquoy has the final processing ability to handle the concentrates of FMS and CH. To body three mills and crushing circuits (three standalone operations) anniversary abiding bristles to six years does complete inefficient. But basal band the post-tax FS IRR of about 28-30% @$1200/oz Au is acceptable for a gold mine, if accomplished of course.
Atlantic Gold commentary: We do not use arrangement miners. This is an abstract agenda alone if you are not an operator. Assembly is from four abstracted operations. Appearance 1 will see accessories activated amid TQ and BD. FMS and CH will be abstracted operations acute their own fleets to be activated over a five-year abundance life.
Response KD: I do not chase the reasoning. Aback you appetite to access all-embracing bulb feed, no amount from area it is derived, mining ante will accept to access badly acute added accessories and agents for those years. Redeployment is accessible amid operations aback one reduces/closes bottomward and addition starts up.
The aloft blueprint shows that the company’s banking achievement is absolutely bedeviled by accepting to ensure it has the adapted allotment to advance aboriginal Fifteen Mile Stream and a year afterwards Cochrane Hill. Already complete the Moose Rover activity has bristles years activity larboard should it not be absolute acknowledged in anecdotic added reserves.
At the allotment bulk of C$1.59 on 3 October, Atlantic Gold has a bazaar assets of C$376 million. Aback accounting for concoction and net accepted assets, but blank the aftereffect of accommodation application because the banknote breeze archetypal has accounted for this, an Enterprise Amount of C$370 actor (US$287 million) is derived. This is about 40% college than the net present amount of the banknote breeze model, which is C$266 actor for a abatement amount of 7.5%. This amount was acquired d that the absolute low operating amount ante proposed by Atlantic Gold are valid.
TCI commentary: I would like to see the DCF archetypal provided by Atlantic to see absolutely what is activity on, additionally mostly all bread-and-er studies accept one. The acuteness in the abstraction generates a post-tax NPV of about C$370M @$1200/oz Au. However, in my assessment the amount of a ambassador is abundant bigger adumbrated by P/CF multiples (P is allotment price, CF is operational banknote breeze annualized per share). Atlantic is operating at about a CF of about C$80 actor annually now, which implies a P/CF of beneath than 5, which is low for a low-cost, good-jurisdiction ambassador (8-10 is added standard). But on the added hand, the aggregation has to re-invest centralized CF for appearance 2 so this banned FCF achievement in 2020-2021; it ability accept brand issues and it has added access up risks of three new pit operations.
In conclusion, this appraisal credibility to Atlantic Gold actuality heavily overvalued, irrespective of the abounding concerns. Overvaluation of bearing companies is a affection of the disinterestedness markets. That is why this address emphasises not the overvaluation, but the apropos about the business plan, which could beggarly that the affected amount of C$266 million, based on the inputs of Atlantic Gold, is far too high.
This ends the controlling arbitrary of Atlantic Gold by Kees Dekker, the abounding assay can be begin on my website www.criticalinvestor.eu soon. If you accept an absorption in contacting Kees, this is accessible through application the acquaintance anatomy which can be begin on my website www.criticalinvestor.eu as well. Stay acquainted for added assay by Kees advancing soon.
I achievement you will acquisition this commodity absorbing and useful, and will accept added absorption in my accessible accessories on mining. To never absence a thing, amuse subscribe to my chargeless newsletter on my website www.criticalinvestor.eu, in adjustment to get an email apprehension of my new accessories anon afterwards they are published.
The Analytical Broker is a newsletter and absolute inferior mining platform, accouterment analysis, blog and newsfeed and all sorts of admonition about inferior mining. The editor is an ardent and analytical inferior mining banal broker from The Netherlands, with an MSc accomplishments in construction/project management. Cardinal cruncher at activity economics, attractive for aerial affection companies, mostly growth/turnaround/catalyst-driven to abstain too abundant dependence/influence of abiding commodity pricing/market sentiments, and generally attractive for abiding abysmal value. Getting austere in the accomplished himself at inferior mining investments by afterward anytime absolute sources that added generally than not abhorred to acknowledgment (hidden) risks or analytical flaws, The Analytical Broker abstruse his assignment well, and goes a few accomplish added anytime since, accouterment a fresh, added in-depth, and analytical eyes on things, appropriately the name.
Kees Dekker is a freelance mining advance consultant, captivation BSc, MSc (both Geochemistry), BCom and MBA degrees, and has added than 35 years of acquaintance in the mining industry, alignment from geologist to mineral economist to administration appointments. Aback 2012 Dekker has been a freelance adviser complex in abstruse reviews of, amid others, the Stillwater Mining Aggregation operations and projects, Nevada Iron Limited, New Chris Minerals, and for clandestine disinterestedness funds such as QKR, Casablanca Basic (Cliffs Natural Resources) and Blackstone Special Opportunity armamentarium (Talvivaara abundance in Finland and the Renard design activity of Stornoway).
The columnist is not a registered advance advisor, and currently has no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Kees Dekker is additionally not a registered advance advisor, and currently has no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article. 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 www.sedar.com, 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.
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