Yamana Gold Sells Chapada Mine, Boosts Dividend And Announces Buyback Plans

Yamana Gold (AUY) has simply introduced main information: the corporate is promoting its Chapada mine to Lundin (OTCPK:LUNMF) for a complete consideration of over $1 billion. The information could be very materials, so let’s instantly get to the main points of the transaction.

The compensation that Yamana will obtain in alternate for its Chapada is the next:

$800 million in money. More money funds of as much as $125 million based mostly on the worth of gold over the five-year interval from the date of closing. $100 million fee contingent on the event of a pyrite roaster at Chapada by Lundin. 2% web smelter return royalty on gold manufacturing from the Suruca deposit.

The gold price-linked fee would require increased gold costs: $10 million per yr for every year over the following 5 years for common costs over $1350/oz, $10 million per yr for every year for common costs over $1,400/oz, and $5 million per yr for every year over $5 million for common costs of $1450/oz. I might notice that these targets are lifelike, however they indicate gold beginning a brand new materials uptrend following years of range-bound buying and selling:

Then again, any longer-term funding in gold equities with a timeframe of, say, 5 years hardly is sensible if the investor doesn’t see gold costs over $1,400/ozon a five-year horizon.

Because of the transaction, the corporate goes to extend the annual dividend by 100% to $zero.04 per share and buy as much as 5% of the excellent widespread shares on Toronto Inventory Alternate and New York Inventory Alternate. At ~$2.50 per share, Yamana Gold should spend roughly $120 million. The corporate completed the fourth quarter with about $100 million of money, so traders ought to count on gradual purchases relatively than a concentrated shopping for effort.

In addition to the dividend, the corporate plans to extend exploration efforts to ship natural development and to prioritize stability sheet enhancements. With $1.76 billion of debt on the finish of the yr 2018, Yamana Gold has relatively materials leverage, and will definitely really feel extra comfy when debt decreases.

Supply: Yamana Gold press launch

Following the deal, Yamana Gold expects a flat manufacturing profile for the next years. The emphasis is clearly being placed on free money circulate technology, dividends, inventory buyback and deleveraging. Apparently, the corporate issued a presentation through which it admitted that Chapada wanted substantial capital simply to keep up gold manufacturing, a significant drawback for the business the place a good portion of the so-called “development” capital is de-facto “sustaining” capital:

Supply: Yamana Gold presentation

Yamana’s transfer follows the final pattern this yr – miners attempt to reassure traders that they won’t bury tens of millions of underground and can prioritize shareholder returns. Beforehand, IAMGOLD (IAG) introduced the choice to not proceed with the development of Cote Gold venture whereas Eldorado Gold (EGO) determined in opposition to constructing Kisladag mill.

The unique market response to the information is detrimental. Nevertheless, I view Yamana’s transfer as a step in the proper route. It’s apparent that the business can not depend on die-hard gold bugs to bid gold miners’ shares up. The gold value has been buying and selling in a spread for too lengthy, and plenty of traders are clearly turning to different sectors seeking development alternatives. This case has been exacerbated by gold miners themselves, which, as an business, have usually been poor stewards of shareholders’ capital as evidenced by the inventory value charts of many miners.

On this scenario, the business must give attention to shareholder returns, and such a spotlight implies dividends and inventory buybacks. On this gentle, Yamana Gold’s resolution is a conceptually appropriate transfer. Ought to the present weak spot persist, shares will turn out to be more and more attention-grabbing for a speculative rebound play.

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Disclosure: I/we now have no positions in any shares talked about, however might provoke an extended place in AUY over the following 72 hours. I wrote this text myself, and it expresses my very own opinions. I’m not receiving compensation for it (aside from from Looking for Alpha). I’ve no enterprise relationship with any firm whose inventory is talked about on this article.

Extra disclosure: I could commerce any of the above-mentioned shares.

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