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Beware of the peddler trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. But if you come across a guy looking to sell another type of bridge -- namely Seabridge Gold (AMEX: SA ) -- you might want to pay attention.
The fellow's name is Rudi, but he's not the former Big Apple mayor who was caught on film in drag. This Rudi, Rudi Fronk, is the founder and CEO of Seabridge, and this week he announced to the mining industry that he is looking to sell his company to one of the majors.
With a whopping 27.8 million ounces of measured and indicated gold resources, and a share price that has dropped by more than 70% in 2008, my bet is that those major miners will be eager to get their hands on this company. Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW ) shares valued at $1 per ounce of silver was surprising enough, but what about gold at $10 per ounce?
That's right: A deal for the company could bring Seabridge shareholders across a gilded bridge from the present market value -- as Fronk himself points out -- of just $10 per ounce of gold.
Seabridge just released the preliminary economic assessment for the flagship Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) project in British Columbia. According to the report, KSM is capable of delivering 648,000 ounces of gold per year for 30 years, and those gold ounces would come at a negative operating cost after by-product credits. With encouraging economic assessments now in hand for both the KSM and Courageous Lake projects, the moment is ripe for Fronk to execute his exit strategy and sell the company to usher these projects into the development phase.
Company insiders hold 35% of Seabridge shares, so shareholders know their interests are under consideration. In an apparent move to launch a bidding contest, Fronk publicly proclaimed his short list of preferred suitors: Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX ) , Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM ) , and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG ) . Pointing to the relative political risk of their mine locations, Fronk also named his list of unwelcome suitors, including Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC ) South Africa's Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI ) .
The big three miners are a logical source for the $3.4 billion needed to develop the KSM mine, and as long as an eventual deal is conducted through shares only, as Fronk prefers, then Seabridge shareholders can follow these assets through to production. Fronk expects the company to sell at a healthy premium above market value.