Kingsrose Mining’s maiden dividend has provided a measure of comfort to investors suffering capital losses over the past six months and will likely put pressure on other mid-cap miners to also loosen the purse strings.
The gold miner’s peers have plenty to be envious about. Kingsrose is one of the country’s lowest-cost producers with a $43 million cash and bullion pile at the end of March that will quickly be replenished after the $11 million payment of a 4¢-a-share interim dividend in July.
Kingsrose’s fledgling 85 per cent-owned Way Linggo mine in Sumatra produced nearly 35,000 ounces of gold equivalent after silver credits in the first nine months of the 2012 financial year at a cash operating cost of just $US248 an ounce. Even allowing for gold’s fall in the past three months from near $US1800/oz, that cost base still leaves plenty of cream at current levels of $US1565/oz.
Another mine will be on stream nearby at Talang Santo at the end of this quarter, lifting annual production beyond 50,000oz and towards a targeted 65,000oz, and a $14 million exporation program is focused on finding another.
It’s an impressive transition from explorer to producer for the company, which poured its first gold and silver in August 2010.
However, like its peers, it has struggled to get full credit in current markets. Kingsrose shares hit a high of $1.785 last July but skirted with $1 just three weeks ago.
Meanwhile Beadell Resources may also be feeling unloved.
The company is just a couple of months away from commissioning its 150,000oz-a-year Tucano gold project in Brazil, is well-funded and has a promising gold discovery at Tropicana East, north east of Kalgoorlie.
Tucano doesn’t have Way Linggo’s cheap cash costs, though $US618/oz over a mine life of nearly eight years isn’t too shabby.
But even allowing for opposition in some quarters to the issue of options to non-executive directors, Beadell management insists it was blindsided by last week’s rejections which saw the company forced to pull option issues to directors under pressure from institutional shareholders.
A day later, shareholders delivered a first strike against its remuneration report under the Federal Government’s two-strikes legislation which provides for a board spill if a report is opposed by more than 25 per cent of shares voted at consecutive annual meetings.
Beadell managing director Peter Bowler puts it down to the growing power of proxy advisers in corporate Australia but says it won’t be distracting the company from the task at hand in Brazil.