Thursday, January 03, 2013

St. Elias Mines Under A Dime

It's easy to say that St. Elias Mines (SLI.V) is in mining but that's hard to prove since they're not running any producing mines.  The backgrounds of their management team make little obvious sense for mining.  The CEO has no obvious education or work experience in geology or mining, although she does have some video tips on career success that also shed no light whatsoever on mining.  There's also a paralegal and a couple of perennial board members on the team who have no apparent background in mining.  Hey, how's that working out for you folks?

They have a dozen projects but not much progress of note at any of them.  I see a lot of noted comments on the project pages like "drilling suspended" and "available for option" indicating either lack of economically significant discoveries or lack of funding to initiate exploration.  Junior miners that pursue discovery models create value by optioning off development rights to larger miners; they can use the cash to keep exploring or spin off an optioned project into a stand-alone producer.  Lack of progress is common with many projects in such a model but success is required at some point to justify further investor interest.

St. Elias has pretty much been a penny stock since its debut in 1998, except for a stretch from March 2010 to January 2012 when it was up over a buck, then over two bucks, then back down to about a buck.  Now the share price is under a dime.  I look for junior miners that have the ability to create lasting fundamental value, and I'm not going to look at St. Elias Mines again.

Full disclosure:  No position in St Elias Mines at this time.