Saracen Minerals Holdings Ltd (ASX: SAR) is an Australian gold miner. Saracen has three main projects in Western Australia. These include the Carosue Dam Operation, the Thunderbox Operation and the joint venture operation of the KCGM super pit (50% interest). Saracen has a market capitalisation of A$2.52 billion.
Update on Coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported from the Wuhan province in China on 31 December 2019. The World Health Organisation data shows a total of confirmed cases of 462,684 and 20,834 deaths globally. As of today (26 March 2020), there have been over 2,985 confirmed cases and 8 have died of COVID-19 in Australia.
What has happened to Saracen share price?
Over the last month, Saracen share price has fallen 21% and is currently trading at A$3.58.
What is Saracen response to COVID-19?
Saracen announced today (27 March 2020) surrounding the company’s responses to COVID-19. Firstly, Saracen group production is between 150,000 and 155,000 ounces estimated for the March quarter 2020 and production in the six months to December 31 was 216,452 ounces. Secondly, a positive announcement is that COVID-19 has had minimal impact on the March quarter production, however, there is no certainty that COVID-19 will not impact June quarter production levels. Thirdly, Saracen is not withdrawing FY20 guidance of 500,000 ounces. Finally, Saracen has large ore stockpiles available for milling (more than 1.7Moz attributable) which will help insulate the business should mining be further restricted.
Ore stockpiles currently available at each of Saracen sites is as follows: Carosue Dam -Approximately 9 months processing, Thunderbox - approximately 13 months processing, KCGM low grade -approximately 25 months processing and KCGM sub-grade - approximately 92 months processing.
What is the outlook for Saracen?
The short-term and long-term outlook for Saracen is positive. Saracen is benefiting from a falling A$ and a rising gold price. This could increase revenue in the short-term for Saracen. Saracen has a strong balance sheet with cash and bullion of A$325 A$330 million is estimated for 31 March 2020. Drawn debt is A$360 million, after making voluntary debt repayments of A$40 million since initial drawdown of A$400 million in November 2019 to fund the Super Pit acquisition. This should allow Saracen to navigate this troubling economic environment.
The long-term outlook for Saracen is also positive. The recent acquisition of the KCGM Super Pit could allow Saracen to transition from a mid-tier to top-tier gold producer. The acquisition is estimated to more than double Saracen’s total gold production in the coming years. Saracen expects to produce over 500,000 ounces of gold in FY20 and over 600,000 gold in FY21
Investors that want exposer to the gold industry could consider following Saracen to observe the company’s performance during the COVID-19 crisis. Saracen is trading at a forward P/E ratio in the mid-teens.
This article has been prepared by the Australian Stock Report Pty Ltd (AFSL: 301 682. ABN: 94 106 863 978)
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