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Infographic: How to avoid common mistakes with mining stocks (Part 2: Business plan)

by Nicholas LePan | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | June 9, 2020

See Part 1: How to avoid common mistakes with mining stocks (the team)

See Part 3: How to avoid common mistakes with mining stocks (jurisdiction).


Lots of people talk about creating the next great mining business, but are they willing to put that talk into action?

There’s often real money and real management behind every company—but surprisingly, not every company has a concrete strategy to build a business and create value for shareholders.

Business plan, or lack thereof?

This infographic comes to us from Eclipse Gold Mining TSXV:EGLD and it shows you how to avoid common mistakes when evaluating and investing in mining exploration stocks.

Specifically, we look at five ways that potential investors can detect the presence and viability of a mining company’s business plan.


How to avoid common mistakes with mining stocks (Part 2 Business plan)


So what should investors be looking for when it comes to examining the business plan of a mining exploration company?

#1: Clear vision versus all hope and dreams

A company should articulate a clear vision rather than just simply following the trends and hoping for the best. A long-term vision for a business plan is critical as it will be guiding and reminding stakeholders of the company’s purpose through thick and thin.

Signs of a clear vision:

  • The company is actively reaching out to investors

  • Projects can be profitable at today’s commodity prices

  • Provide detailed timelines of work

  • Funds committed to work

A clear vision in business will give the company a direction to aim for, allowing everyone to work quickly towards objectives.

#2: Sense of urgency versus wait and see

Time is money, especially in mining. Companies need to build value fast to finance at higher share prices so that early shareholders do not get diluted. A company needs to make concrete decisions that drive towards value creation.

Signs of a sense of urgency:

  • “Time is now” mentality

  • Decisive actions

  • Sense of purpose

  • Solution-oriented thinking

It is expensive to maintain a company, especially one that does not yet produce income. Expenses add up quickly and that is why management needs to focus efforts and money on activities that generate value for shareholders.

#3: Laser focus versus spray and pray

The mineral exploration business is tough and each project requires the undivided attention of managers. Smart companies maintain incredible focus to de-risk their projects while others spread themselves thin with multiple projects.

Signs of a laser focus:

  • Properties with a focused vision towards production

  • Specialized management experience aligned with the project

  • Aligning management skill sets with each phase of a project

In order to assess whether a company has the right focus you have to see whether the company is aligning its human assets with its physical assets and a goal in mind.

This focus will help clarify the story for investors.

#4: Tell the story versus hiding behind the science

Communication and business acumen are the keys to taking a project to market. Mining requires massive amounts of geological knowledge, but that is not the investors’ job to handle. They do not want to know the subtleties of geochemistry—they just want to know whether they can make money from those rocks.

Companies that hide behind a wall of geological slides might not have a real story to tell, and they may be pulling investors into funding their own science projects. At the same time, investors need to make sure that the data being presented matches the story being told.

Signs of telling the story:

  • Aware of risks, and communicating those risks

  • Clear understanding of local geology

  • Data from drill results back up the story

  • Consistent message

If a company cannot communicate effectively, how will it deal with other, more complicated aspects of a mining business plan?

#5: Endgame in mind versus kicking the can down the road

A journey begins with a single step, but without a business plan and commitment there will never be an end in sight. Quality companies foresee how their project will come together to generate both liquidity and an exit plan for shareholders. There are several clues investors can use to tell if a company is moving towards its goals.

Signs of the endgame in mind:

  • List of accomplished goals

  • Clear vision of future goals and exit strategy

  • Plan for liquidity events for shareholder

The goal in investing is to make money. If shareholders are not making money, what is the point? If a company has no plan, it has no hope.

Making the right decisions

Understanding the characters who create value for mining companies is the first step, and the second step is assessing whether there is a viable business plan at hand.

While the risks are high, an effective plan is the first step towards reducing risks and providing shareholders with value.

See Part 1: How to avoid common mistakes with mining stocks (the team)

See Part 3: How to avoid common mistakes with mining stocks (jurisdiction).

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

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