Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tyhee Gold Takes Risk on Sutter to Leverage Into Canada

Tyhee Gold (TDC.V) is a junior gold mining company with a property in Canada that they obviously really like.  Their stated strategy is to operate another property that will enable them to "leverage" their way to success with their favored Canadian property.  That's a pretty unique approach.  Most junior gold companies would try to sell their more attractive property to a major mining company and use the proceeds to move on with other exploration projects.

The Yellowknife gold project in Canada has a completed 43-101 prefeasibility study.  The property has 2P reserves at decent grades, although its remote location adds to the cost of transporting mined metal to market.  I think their base case IRR assumptions are too optimistic given the low discount rate they apply.  I would set the discount rate higher given the financing concerns I will discuss below.

The CEO is a professional mining engineer, and the rest of the team has deep experience in mining.  It is always encouraging to see a junior mining company get serious about operating a project by hiring people who have actually operated projects.  The company's news feed shows that they have settled on acquiring most of Sutter Mining after their attempted merger with Santa Fe Gold fell through.  The financing for Sutter exposes Tyhee to a significant amount of debt and a US$4M cash payment up front, along with another payment of almost CAD$1.2M to acquire much of Sutter's common stock.  The details don't include any immediate assumption of new debt, but Tyhee is committing to guarantee Sutter's existing debt payments and raise more financing to operate Sutter's mine.

Examining Tyhee's financial reports illustrates the risk in this transaction.  Tyhee had a net loss of almost CAD$1.5M in the second quarter ending May 31, 2014.  They had barely CAD$533K in cash on hand, so completing this transaction means they must raise a significant amount of capital.  That's tough to do with almost CAD$7.3M in current liabilities.  Any high-debt, money-losing company that raises money from equity investments will have to seriously dilute existing shareholders.  They may get some breathing room if they can recover the outstanding balance of the bridge loan they granted to Sante Fe Gold (folks, please read the notes in that second quarterly report for 2014).

I will not include Tyhee in my own portfolio.  Their high-risk financing of Sutter Mining's existing operations is more difficult than simply selling their Canadian property and moving on to greener pastures.

Full disclosure:  No position in Tyhee Gold, or any other company mentioned, at this time.