Canada’s US$8-billion precious metals-focused fund manager is bargain-hunting for stakes of mining firms that have seen valuations tumble.
“Look for the companies that are beaten up,” Sprott Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Grosskopf said, sharing his company’s investment strategy. If the bigger producers of the metal don’t end up buying their smaller rivals, “the juniors will consolidate among themselves to create bigger companies,” he said.
Gold miners may become attractive targets as the supply pipeline of their bigger rivals start running dry. Reserves still buried in mines owned by the largest producers have fallen by more than half from a 2011 peak, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence.
Detour Gold Corp. is an example of one those beaten-up companies and “somebody missed that one as an acquisition candidate,” Grosskopf said in an interview in New York Tuesday. In August, Sprott agreed to buy Tocqueville Asset Management’s gold strategy business. Tocqueville owns a 4.6 per cent stake in Detour Gold.
Tocqueville had started investing in Detour Gold a few years ago when the miner was in bad shape, he said.
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Detour Gold shares have climbed 70 per cent this year after Paulson & Co. convinced shareholders of the mining company to overhaul its board of directors, including its interim CEO, ending a nasty six-month proxy battle.
Torex Gold Resources Inc. is another attractive asset that could be a potential target, according to Sprott.