While Vancouver is suddenly awash with Olympians preparing to compete for those coveted gold and silver medals, countless metal producers are headquartered right there in the city.
As if on cue for the opening ceremonies, Vancouver's Silver Wheaton
Targeting completion by 2012, Rosemont is poised to account for some 10% of total U.S. copper production at a very attractive production cost of just $0.62 per pound. With enough copper and molybdenum production to yield strong project economics in their own right, parlaying the life-of-mine silver and gold byproduct into some 25% of the construction cost makes a lot of sense for a development-stage junior miner eager to build its way into production.
Fools will recall that another Vancouver favorite -- Taseko Mines
For Silver Wheaton, Rosemont's estimated annual production of 2.4 million ounces of silver and 15,000 ounces of gold (over a 20-year mine life) further sweetens the profitability prospects that spawned this Fool's nomination of the best stock for 2010. Although the company now dabbles in gold, I find it convenient to convert gold to silver equivalent ounces (SEOs) to retain focus on the company's primary product.
On that basis, Rosemont is expected to produce 63 million SEOs overall, representing an acquisition cost of $3.65 per life-of-mine SEO. I estimate Silver Wheaton's production cost at $5.19 per SEO, which yields an all-in cost of $8.84 per SEO. Although this is substantially higher than the company's overall, all-inclusive cost structure of about $5.82 per economically viable SEO, the deal leaves ample margin for profit even at February's silver price range above $15.
Although Silvercorp Metals
While gold producers like Goldcorp
Fool contributor Christopher Barker carries a silver coin that reads: "Honest value never fails." He can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly in the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. His silverminer CAPS portfolio has achieved 94% accuracy. He Tweets. He owns shares of Pan American Silver, Silvercorp Metals, Silver Wheaton, and Taseko Mines. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is 0.999 pure.