Mining Valuation For Beginners
First you want to start off with three basic but very informative metrics of the company.
Management - You obviously want to pick high quality mgmt, so doing you DD on them should be your starting off point i.e experience, did they add value or successfully create one or more mining companies in the past? etc...
The next is called the "Valuation Ratio" which I will go through step by step.
First find their 2P (proven and probable reserves) which could easily be found on their websites.
Use the prevailing gold or silver price in this measure and use current or the long term cash costs per ounce ( can also be easily found).
Determine the mine(s) values by doing the following
Multiple 2P reserves by ( spot silver/gold price - cash costs per ounce). I.e 2P reserves = 4m ounces, gold price = 1300, cash costs = 500. So 4,000,000*(1300-500) or 4,000,000*800= 3.2B.
Calculate The NAV by taking the 3.2B - any hedges - debt + cash
Find the market cap - shares outstanding * current price
Lastly Divide the Market Cap by NAV - I.e if the Market cap is 1.8B you get a ratio of .5625. Fair value is 1, so the lower the ratio the cheaper each proven ounce in the ground is.
This is a great metric for finding potential buyout targets in addition to providing one screen to filter stocks that are cheap.
If you want to take it more in depth find the M&;I ounces (Measured and Indicated) and multiply them by a low percentage 10-50% (depending on how efficient they were at converting these ounces to 2P reserves in the past and then add your output figure to your current 2P reserves. I.e (4m in M%I and they have historically converted 25-35% of these ounces, multiply 4m by .25 = 1m ounces, so now your adjusted 2P reserves jumps to 5m ounces. This has many implications, notably it will lower the valuation ratio making it cheaper than it previously was.
The next screen that helps identify undervalued miners is the "OCF" multiple. This is a bit easier and faster to calculate than the valuation ratio but definitely worth a look at nonetheless. Note: This doesn't work for exploration mining companies.
*The industry average is around 10.1x give or take for producing miners and 20 for royalty companies.
To determine this metric you only need a few things:
The estimated production numbers for the next 3 years - This is to account for high growth miners.
Cash costs for the next 3 years
GRM = Production for 2011*(spot gold or silver price - cash costs for 2011)
GRM = Production for 2012*(spot gold or silver price - cash costs for 2012)
GRM = Production for 2013*(spot gold or silver price - cash costs for 2013)
Example: Using Jaguar Mining:
Production: 2011-2013; 220k , 310k, 375k
Cash Costs 2011-2013; $650/oz, $575/oz, $550/oz
Gold Price : $1,330
220*(1,330-$650) = $149,600 - Gross Revenue
310*(1,330-$575) = $234,050 - Gross Revenue
375*(1,330-$550) = $292,500 - Gross Revenue
Market Cap: $543,000
OCF Multiple 2011: 543/149.6t; 3.63x
OCF Multiple 2011: 543/234t; 2.32x
OCF Multiple 2011: 543/292.5; 1.86x
This indicates Jaguar to be very cheap on a relative basis, again can be very useful for screening mining companies.
Before getting into the more advanced valuation techniques, there is one more metric that is similar to what we did in part 1 but gives one a different perspective. It tells you how much you are paying for each proven and probable ounce in the ground.
Industry average: $313
This formula, like the others is rather straightforward as all that is needed is:
Formulas: Market Cap/2P Reserves Using Jaguar Mining
Market Cap: 543,000
2P reserves: 4,300
Resultst; 543,000/4,300 = $126.29
Again, it is very cheap on a relative basis according to this metric
Like step 1 you can include a small % of M&I resources as it is likely a portion of it will be converted into 2P reserves at some point in the future. I.e 4m ounces of M&I * 25% = 1m ounces.
Adjusted 2P reserves = 4,700
Adjusted Result = $102.45
Then there are easier ones such as production per share, but this can often be distorted due to growth rates
One last metric possibly worth calculating, though not very accurate is running a 1-2 regression of the daily prices of a miner against the daily prices of gold or silver. There are much more advanced methods, but these provide for a preliminary screen.