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Western Copper and Gold Corporation
Jun 28, 2021, 08:07 ET
VANCOUVER, BC, June 28, 2021 /CNW/ - Western Copper and Gold Corporation ("Western" or the "Company") (TSX: WRN) (NYSE American: WRN) announces that Dale Corman, Founder of Western Copper and Gold and Executive Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors, has informed the Board that he will retire as of June 30, 2021.
The Board has appointed Ken Williamson to act as Interim Chairman, and the Board has begun the process of finding a permanent replacement for Mr. Corman. Mr. Williamson has been a director of Western since 2019. He has over 40 years of experience in natural resources and investment banking, where his focus has been on capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Williamson is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario.
Francis Dale Corman, who grew up in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, received a B.S. in geology in 1961 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and obtained Professional Engineer status in Ontario in 1972. Mr. Corman worked as a mining analyst and investment banker in the early 1960s, until 1968 when he joined the Harbinson Mining Group as a senior officer. Mr. Corman was involved in the discovery and development of the Durham antimony mine in New Brunswick and the NBU copper-zinc deposit in Northwest Ontario. In 1977, Mr. Corman moved to San Francisco where he participated in the exploration and development of the Roosevelt Geothermal Field in Southwest Utah.
In 1995, Mr. Corman merged his exploration company with Western Copper Holdings, a subsidiary of Teck Corporation, where he became President. In 1998, Western Copper Holdings and Teck discovered the San Nicholas massive sulfide deposit in Central Mexico. In the early 2000s, Western Copper Holdings acquired all of Kennecott's exploration properties in Mexico, including an early stage exploration project named Peñasquito which soon became the main focus of the company. In 2006, Western Copper Holdings (renamed Western Silver) was acquired by Glamis Gold for $1.3 billion and, later that year, Glamis Gold and Goldcorp (now Newmont Corporation) merged. Peñasquito was brought into production in 2010 and today is one of Newmont Corporation's flagship assets. Concurrently with the acquisition by Glamis Gold, Western Copper Corporation was spun out, being renamed Western Copper and Gold Corporation in 2011. Today, Western owns the Casino Project in the Yukon, which is one of the world's largest copper-gold deposits and is slated to become Canada's premier copper-gold mine. The Company recently announced Rio Tinto Canada as a strategic investor.
In honour of Mr. Corman's great contributions to mining over the past several decades, the Company's Board of Directors is pleased to share that it will be contributing an initial $150,000 to an annual scholarship in Mr. Corman's name to help students in the Yukon acquire degrees in Engineering and Science.
"Over the last 50 years, I have met and worked with a group of extraordinary people who have dedicated their lives to the mining industry," said Mr. Corman. "The decision to retire was not an easy one for me to make. I am now looking forward to a less stressful life on the sunny coast of British Columbia. I am extremely honoured that the Board of Directors have chosen to initially fund in my name a scholarship to help students in the Yukon to acquire degrees in Engineering and Science. It is my hope that this fund will grow along with the development of the Casino Project and become a major contributor to the education of students in the Yukon."
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Jul. 06, 2021 4:36 PM ETWestern Copper and Gold Corporation (WRN)By: Shweta Agarwal, SA News Editor
Western Copper and Gold (NYSE:WRN) has entered into a private placement agreement with RBC Capital Markets and Cormark Securities to sell up to C$8M in flow-through shares offering.
The offering comprises of 2.67M shares priced at C$3 per flow-through share. It further includes agents' cash fee of 6% of the gross proceeds.
The company intends to use the net proceeds for expenses relating to its casino project in Yukon Territory.
Offering is expected to close on July 26, 2021.
Western Copper And Gold: More Attractive After The Recent Sell-Off
Sep. 12, 2021 7:00 AM ETWestern Copper and Gold Corporation (WRN)17 Comments16 Likes
Western Copper and Gold's share price declined by more than 40% since its late May peak, making the company more attractive.
The updated Casino project PEA envisions a 25-year mining operation with an after-tax NPV(5%) of $3.12 billion.
The AISC is projected at -$1/lb, which means that Western Copper and Gold should become the lowest cost copper producer.
The problem is the initial CAPEX that is estimated at $2.6 billion.
There are no major catalysts expected in the near term, therefore, the share price should be driven mainly by the copper and gold prices.
Western Copper and Gold (WRN) experienced quite a turbulent summer. It announced the results of the Casino project PEA, followed by the commencement of a drill campaign, the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Directors, and an $8 million equity financing. For the whole time, its share price has been in a downtrend. Right now, it is 42% below the May 28 peak at $2.83.
The PEA released on June 22, presented several changes in comparison to the 2013 feasibility study. First of all, the initial CAPEX estimate grew from $2.34 billion to $2.6 billion. The mine life increased from 22 to 25 years. The expected average annual copper production increased from 171 million lb to 178 million lb. Also the molybdenum production grew, from 15.5 million lb to 16.6 million lb. However, the projected gold production declined from 266,000 toz to 231,000 toz. In the case of silver, the production was lowered from 1.43 million toz to 1.36 million toz. Due to the high by-product credits, the cash cost should be -$1.13/lb copper. Given that the sustaining CAPEX is projected at $575 million, the AISC should be around -$1/lb copper, which is a great number as well. As can be seen in the chart below, this level of AISC should position Western Copper and Gold at the very bottom of the copper industry cost curve.
The base-case metals prices experienced significant changes. The gold price was increased from $1,400/toz to $1,600/toz, and the copper price from $3/lb to $3.35/lb. The molybdenum and silver price experienced a slight decline. Also the CAD/USD exchange rate has changed, from 0.95 to 0.8. All of these changes resulted in a slightly improved after-tax NPV(5%) that increased from $2.84 billion to $3.12 billion. However, the after-tax IRR declined from 20.1% to 19.5%, which is disappointing.
Over the first 25 years of operations, 1.3 billion tonnes of ore should be processed. However, Western Copper studied also the option to expand the mine life by further 22 years, by processing 1 billion tonnes of additional material. This would have only negligible impact on the after-tax NPV, however, it is caused by the nature of the NPV calculation, when later cash flows have smaller impact on the overall result. And in this case, we are talking about very distant future of 26-47 years. What is positive, the after-tax free cash flow of the project would increase from $7.28 billion to $9.6 billion (the table below shows different figures, as they are in Canadian Dollars). It demonstrates that the project has the potential to be expanded sometime in the future, under the right circumstances.
In general, it is possible to say that the PEA, despite having some positives, was slightly disappointing. The initial CAPEX increased, the after-tax NPV increased too, but only due to the higher gold and copper prices used in the study, and the after-tax IRR decreased despite the higher metals prices.
On June 22, when the PEA was released, Western Copper's shares traded around $2, well below the peak value of $2.83 reached on May 28. The PEA wasn't a disaster; however, it was unable to provide any support to the share price and the decline continued. Until that moment, the share price decline was attributable to the steep decline in copper and gold prices. However, around June 20, the copper prices started to stabilize around $4.2/lb and gold price above $1,750/toz. The subsequent share price declines are attributable mainly to Western Copper's corporate events.
On June 28, Dale Corman, the founder of the company and the Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors announced retirement. And on July 6, a C$8 million ($6.3 million) private placement was announced. The company issued 2.67 million flow-through shares at a price of C$3 ($2.36) per share. The proceeds should be used to fund qualified exploration expenses. Although financing via flow-through shares has some advantages, its timing was strange, as the company held cash of approximately C$50 million ($40 million). Therefore, making an equity financing shortly after a nearly 30% share price decline looks strange. And although the share dilution was only negligible, it had some negative effect on the sentiment of the investors.
The exploration and drilling program, for which the proceeds should be used, was commenced on June 24. Western Copper plans to drill 5,000 meters in 12 holes, focusing on peripheral areas of the Casino Deposit and on several prospective exploration targets on the Canadian Creek property. Canadian Creek is adjacent to the Casino project. Western Copper acquired it back in 2019 from Cariboo Rose Resources (OTC:CROOF). There will be also 1,500 meters of resource confirmation drilling in the eastern and southern part of the Casino deposit. Moreover, the company plans also 1,000 meters of metallurgical and 1,500 meters of geotechnical drilling.
As mentioned above, Western Copper and Gold's share price peaked on May 28 at $2.83. Its current share price of $1.66 is more than 40% lower. But the chart indicates that the end of the bear market may be near. The 10-day moving average is below the 50-day one, but both of them started moving towards each other. And what is more important, the share price encountered the long-term support line and bounced back up. It also looks like a new higher low is about to be created. A new bullish trend should be confirmed if the share price grows above $1.85. However, its length and strength will be highly dependent on copper and gold prices, as there are no major catalysts expected in the near term.
After the recent sell-off, Western Copper and Gold became more attractive. Its current market capitalization is slightly less than $240 million, which compares very favorably to the after-tax NPV(5%) of $3.12 billion. However, there is still a long way to go. Western Copper needs to prepare a new feasibility study, complete the permitting process, and, obviously, find a JV partner, as the initial CAPEX of $2.6 billion is simply too high. The good news is that the long-term fundamentals remain good, and the technical analysis indicates that some gains could be recorded also in the near-term.
This article was written by
Peter Arendas6.3K Followers, I am an associate professor at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Department of Banking and Interna...
Als zo'n reus een 8% deelname koopt tegen wat toen een premie was, dan kan dat enkel positief gezien worden.
De schrijver's stelling dat er dan ook geen "major catalysts" zijn voor dit bedrijf is je reinste onzin. Vanaf de Rio Tinto-man die mee op Casino zit, merkt dat het project het beloofde potentieel heeft, is de kans behoorlijk dat Rio Tinto ofwel zijn participatie in WRN verder verhoogt, ofwel een bod doet op het volledige project.
Maar ook de kleine ophaling tegen 3 C$ wordt verkeerd voorgesteld: die was dicht bij de recordkoers van de laatste maanden, niet na een 30% daling.
Alle Slovaakse professoren nog aan toe, we hebben al A: een quasi deficit op de kopermarkt, B: een project met immense bewezen koperreserves in mijnvriendelijk gebied en C: een grote mijngroep die al meer doet dan snuffelen.
Niemand kan garanderen of en wanneer D zal volgen, maar qua beloning/geduld ratio is het toch een erg aantrekkelijk scenario