Analysts’ Ideas Of The Week


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  1. Shares of a copper junior under coverage were up 19% last week.
  2. What drove nickel prices higher last week?
  3. Sources indicate that Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is looking to acquire a lithium junior.
  4. Hong Kong is planning to lift its ban on retail crypto trading.
  5. In 2022, Canadian retail cannabis sales were up 18% YoY, to $4.5B.

FRC Top Picks

The following table shows last week’s top five performers among our Top Picks, including four junior resource companies, and one alternative lender/mortgage investment corporation. The top performer World Copper Ltd. (TSXV: WCU), was up 18.8%. WCU has advanced stage copper assets in Chile and the U.S. Our prior reports can be viewed here.

Top 5 Weekly PerformersWoW Returns
World Copper Ltd. (WCU.V)18.8%
FPX Nickel Corp. (FPX.V)11.6%
Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation (AI.TO)6.4%
Contango Ore Inc. (CTGO)6.1%
Kootenay Silver Inc. (KTN.V)4.2%
* Past performance is not indicative of future performance (as of February 21, 2023)

Companies on our Top Picks list were up 56% on average since we initiated coverage vs -29% for the benchmark (TSXV).

AIW Top Picks (1)
Total Return1 Week1 mo3 mo6 mo1 yr3 yrSince launch
Special Situations (MIC)-4.5%-0.6%4.1%-16.6%-36.0%37.8%-17.6%
Private CompaniesN/AN/AN/AN/A4.7%25.3%16.4%
Portfolio (Total)-4.5%-8.4%2.2%-16.3%-32.2%21.1%55.8%
Benchmark (Total)0.9%0.3%9.5%-3.8%-27.7%7.4%-29.4%
Portfolio (Annualized)-----32.2%6.6%4.9%
Benchmark (Annualized) -----27.7%2.4%-3.7%
1. Since the earliest initiating date of companies in the list of Top Picks (as of February 21, 2023)

1. Since the earliest initiating date of companies in the list of Top Picks (as of February 21, 2023)
2. Green (blue) indicates FRC’s picks outperformed (underperformed) the benchmark.
3. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Our complete list of top picks (updated weekly) can be viewed here.

Weekly Mining Commentary

Last week, global equity markets were down 0.4% on average (up 0.4% in the prior week). The S&P 500 was down 3% on higher than expected U.S. producer price inflation data, and hawkish comments from Fed officials.

Current vs Pre Covid-19 (As of Feb 21, 2023)

AIW Top Picks (9)

Source: FRC/Various

Gold prices were down amid a stronger US$. Lower inventories drove nickel prices higher.

week over week graph
year over year graph
shfe graph
shfe graph

Valuations of gold producers were down 7% last week (down 2% in the prior week); base metal producers were up 7% (down 3% in the prior week).

gold producers chart
base metal
 Gold ProducersEV / R   (forward)EV / EBITDA (forward)EV / R (forward)EV / EBITDA (forward)
3Polyus 3.06n/a3.02n/a
4Agnico Eagle4.149.113.507.14
5AngloGold 2.015.521.875.12
6Kinross Gold
7Gold Fields2.524.722.454.60
13Eldorado Gold2.125.582.055.42
 Average (excl outliers)2.716.402.565.87
 Base Metal ProducersEV / R   (forward)EV / EBITDA (forward)EV / R (forward)EV / EBITDA (forward)
1BHP Group 3.155.523.195.83
2Rio Tinto2.344.672.414.87
5Anglo American1.634.021.593.94
6Teck Resources1.923.781.945.12
7First Quantum2.876.482.877.04
 Average (excl outliers)1.984.562.015.11

We are maintaining our metal price forecasts.  

FRC Forecasts
Current Price2023E Long-Term (2025+)
Gold (US$/oz)$1,833$1,825$1,400
Silver (US$/oz)$21.83$22.00$18.00
Copper (US$/lb)$4.16$3.50$3.00
Zinc (US$/lb)$1.41$1.25$1.10
Nickel (US$/lb)$11.89$10.00$8.00
Source: FRC

Source: FRC

Key sector developments are listed below (positive):

  1. Sources indicate that Tesla is looking to acquire Sigma Lithium (NASDAQ:SGML/MCAP: US$3.5B). Sigma is advancing a lithium project in Brazil to production. We view this as a positive development for EV-metals focused juniors.
  2. As a result of lower lithium prices, CATL (SZSE: 300750), the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) battery maker, has started offering discounts to EV manufacturers. In Q4-2022, we had predicted a correction in lithium prices. We expect prices to be under pressure this year, due to slower global GDP growth, and rising supply.
  3. Tesla has entered into an offtake agreement with Magnis Energy Technologies Limited (ASX:MNS). Magnis is planning to build an anode (graphite) production facility in the U.S.

Updates from Resource Companies Under Coverage

Lithium Chile Inc./TSXV: LITH

PR Title

Welcomes significant new shareholder following the government ordered divesture of Chengze’s ownership

FRC Opinion

Positive – Chengze Lithium (SZSE:002240) has divested its ownership in LITH. Last year, the Canadian government had ordered Chengze and two other Chinese firms to divest of their investments in Canadian lithium juniors. Chengze has sold its 19.3% interest in LITH to Gator Capital Ltd. (an investment manager based out of Toronto) for $35M, or $0.91 per share. This deal reflected a 17% premium to LITH’s last closing price. We believe this premium reflects Gator’s conviction in LITH’s projects and its management team.   

Steppe Gold Ltd./TSX: STGO

PR Title

Announces an updated life-of-mine plan for its ATO gold mine

FRC Opinion

Positive –  Increased reserves by 10%, and extended mine-life by 1.5 years, to 14 years. STGO is aiming to complete phase two expansion (to potentially increase production to 100+ Koz per year) by Q1-2025.

Cartier Resources Inc./TSXV: ECR

PR Title

Drilling expands dimensions of gold zones of East Chimo

FRC Opinion

Positive – An ongoing drill program has expanded two previously identified gold zones by 320 m (total length of 1,150 m) and 110 m (total length of 350 m), implying resource expansion potential.

Silver X Mining Corp./TSXV: AGX

PR Title

Announces preliminary economic assessment for the Tangana mining unit expansion

FRC Opinion

Positive – A PEA returned an AT-NPV10% of US$175M, and a high AT-IRR of 39%, using US$22.6/oz silver and US$1,746/oz gold. AGX is trading at just 20% of the project’s AT-NPV10%. We will publish an update shortly.

StrategX Elements Corp./CSE: STGX

PR Title

Advances energy transition metals discovery at depth, extending over 2 km, at Nagvaak; Appoints VP of Exploration

FRC Opinion

Positive – Assays of two historic holes drilled by BHP (ASX: BHP) returned promising nickel, and polymetallic values over long intercepts. STGX is planning a  2,000 m drill program in Q2-2023, contingent on a $2M financing. STGX has also expanded and strengthened its management team, reflecting their plans to ramp up exploration activities.

Sokoman Minerals Corp./TSXV: SIC

PR Title

Reports Kraken lithium discovery best drill intercepts to date

FRC Opinion

Positive –  Eight of 11 holes returned significant lithium grades. A phase 4 drill program (5,000 m) is planned in spring.

New Age Metals Inc./TSXV: NAM

PR Title

Acquires a pegmatite property (lithium) in northern Manitoba, Canada

FRC Opinion

Neutral – This property is in early stages, and has never been drill tested. It is located close to the historic mining town of Leaf Rapids. Several targets have been identified. We expect NAM to disclose their exploration plans shortly.  

Loncor Gold Inc./TSX: LN

PR Title

Provides corporate update

FRC Opinion

Positive – LN has attracted a mining/services company to mine alluvial gold resources from LN’s Adumbi project in the DRC. In return, LN was paid US$1.25M (upfront), and will receive 25% of revenue from future production. We note that alluvial accounts for a very small portion of Adumbi’s resource potential. LN is focused on advancing its primary gold deposit on the project to production. A  2021 Preliminary Economic Assessment on this deposit had returned an AT-NPV5% of $600M, using $1,600/oz gold. LN is trading at <10% of AT-NPV. Adumbi has potential to produce over 300 Koz ever year.

Sirios Resources Inc./ TSXV: SOI

PR Title

Signs an agreement with Cygnus Gold (ASX: CY5) for the sale of the Pontax property

FRC Opinion

Positive – Sold a non-core asset for $1.2M in cash, $0.25M in shares, and future milestone payments. Funds will be used to fund exploration of its core assets.

Additional Updates on Coverage:

  1. We are terminating coverage on Monarch Mining and Graphano Energy as we have completed their coverage periods.
  2. We are also suspending coverage on Pure Extracts Technologies  as management has not responded to our questions for an update report.

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The opinions expressed in this report are the true opinions of the analyst(s) about any companies and industries mentioned. Any “forward looking statements” are our best estimates and opinions based upon information that is publicly available and that we believe to be correct, but we have not independently verified with respect to truth or correctness. There is no guarantee that our forecasts will materialize. Actual results will likely vary. Certain companies mentioned are covered by FRC under an issuer paid model. FRC or companies with related management, and Analysts, may hold shares/securities in some companies mentioned in this report, including STGX. Distribution procedure: our reports are distributed first to our web-based subscribers on the date shown on this report then made available to delayed access users through various other channels for a limited time. To subscribe for real-time access to research, visit for subscription options. This report contains “forward looking” statements. Forward-looking statements regarding the Company, industry, and/or stock’s performance inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from such forward-looking statements. Factors that would cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, continued acceptance of the Company’s products/services in the marketplace; acceptance in the marketplace of the Company’s new product lines/services; competitive factors; new product/service introductions by others; technological changes; dependence on suppliers; systematic market risks and other risks discussed in the Company’s periodic report filings, including interim reports, annual reports, and annual information forms filed with the various securities regulators. By making these forward-looking statements, Fundamental Research Corp. and the analyst/author of this report undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this report. Fundamental Research Corp DOES NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM USING THIS INFORMATION AND MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE. ANYONE USING THIS REPORT ASSUMES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHATEVER RESULTS THEY OBTAIN FROM WHATEVER USE THE INFORMATION WAS PUT TO. ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR BEFORE YOU INVEST. WHETHER A STOCK SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A PORTFOLIO DEPENDS ON ONE’S RISK TOLERANCE, OBJECTIVES, SITUATION, RETURN ON OTHER ASSETS, ETC. ONLY YOUR INVESTMENT ADVISOR WHO KNOWS YOUR UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES CAN MAKE A PROPER RECOMMENDATION AS TO THE MERIT OF ANY PARTICULAR SECURITY FOR INCLUSION IN YOUR PORTFOLIO. This REPORT is solely for informative purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security. It is not intended as being a complete description of the company, industry, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any forecasts contained in this report were independently prepared unless otherwise stated, and HAVE NOT BEEN endorsed by the Management of the company which is the subject of this report. Additional information is available upon request. THIS REPORT IS COPYRIGHT. YOU MAY NOT REDISTRIBUTE THIS REPORT WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION. Please give proper credit, including citing Fundamental Research Corp and/or the analyst, when quoting information from this report. The information contained in this report is intended to be viewed only in jurisdictions where it may be legally viewed and is not intended for use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction where such use would be contrary to local regulations or which would require any registration requirement within such jurisdiction.

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Companies Mentioned:

World Copper Ltd. (WCU.V), FPX Nickel Corp. (FPX.V), Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation (AI.TO), Contango Ore Inc. (CTGO), Kootenay Silver Inc. (KTN.V), Lithium Chile Inc./TSXV: LITH, Steppe Gold Ltd./TSX: STGO, Cartier Resources Inc./TSXV: ECR, Silver X Mining Corp./TSXV: AGX, StrategX Elements Corp./CSE: STGX, Sokoman Minerals Corp./TSXV: SIC, New Age Metals Inc./TSXV: NAM, Loncor Gold Inc./TSX: LN, Sirios Resources Inc./ TSXV: SOI, Siyata Mobile Inc./ NASDAQ: SYTA .