Friday, March 23, 2012

Eastmain Resources (EANRF) Has Been Around Awhile

Eastmain Resources (EANRF / ER.TO) is another low-priced gold miner, with the stock barely moving past a dollar for many years.  I started looking at this company to figure out why their stock is at such a low price.  I then began to wonder why they've been in the gold exploration business for so long.

You'd think that after two decades of existence they could have had some real success by now and broken out of the bush leagues.  They have plenty of unofficial and inferred resource data.  The Clearwater projects are the company's flagship missions.  Its other efforts are ancillary at best and may be of interest as spinoff properties.

Their Eastmain mine site is their other truly prominent property.  Its main value at the moment is as a leased base camp for a developer contracted by the Quebec government to build infrastructure for Plan Nord.  The smart thing for Eastmain to do would be to use this lease revenue to fund a final assessment of its most desirable projects.   Too many discovery-focused gold companies just use whatever cash they raise to finance more acquisitions of properties that have little ultimate hope of production.

Goldcorp owns over 7% of Eastmain and is their largest shareholder.  Both Clearwater and Eastmain have excellent mine-ready infrastructure, so there is no physical reason why the company can't explore a JV with Goldcorp or some other big producer to start serious work on developing those two areas as working mines.  The problem IMHO seems to be inertia.  The company has been a prospector for so long that it may not realize the time is right to shift to development.  All of the mining types in the management team have strong prospecting backgrounds, so changing the corporate orientation to JV development may require a push from outside.  Goldcorp, give these folks a call and tell them you're ready when they are.

Full disclosure:  No position in Eastmain (or Goldcorp) at this time.  

Addendum as of 05/18/12:  Eastmain Resources did in fact release a 43-101 compliant report on April 26, 2011.  I stand corrected.