You can almost count the number of junior mining companies that have been able to make a success of mining in Russia on one hand.
There’s Amur Minerals, which has admittedly taken a very long road. There’s Azarga Metals (CVE:AZR), which is working up a silver project in Russia’s Far East. And there’s Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA), which has established a successful alluvial platinum mining operation at West Kytlim in the Urals.
At one time or another all of these companies have grabbed headlines as they negotiate the sometimes complex Russian licensing system and do their level best to assuage the nerves of investors chary about political risk.
It’s arguable, though, that Eurasia has been the most successful, given that it’s track record of platinum group metals production at West Kytlim can now be measured in years rather than months and, more to the point, that it’s actually making money.
True, it’s still a relatively small company, with a market capitalisation just shy of £46mln. But, as the jump in its share price over the past two days shows, investors are now beginning to wake up to its potential.
First off was Friday’s surge, which took the shares back over the 1p mark to a three year high of 1.065p. It was prompted in part by the decisions of holders of £85,000 worth of warrants to pony up and take the shares the warrants offered.
In turn, the company was also prompted into making additional statements about its cash situation.
Put simply, it’s got enough.
That may not sound like a big deal to investors not well versed in the mining scene.
But anyone who’s been through the hardships of the prolonged bear market that we’ve been in for years now knows well enough that for a junior company, especially one that’s still only beginning to edge away from its “explorer” tag, such a statement is like gold.
But, because the announcement on Friday came quite late in the day, the market didn’t have time fully to digest the news.
So, come Monday, the shares soared by another 68% to 1.79p, putting Eurasia’s shares well above their previous five-year best, up by more than four times in the space of two days.
The Eurasia statement talked about ongoing cashflow and a recent boost to margins at West Kytlim being enough to fund the company’s ongoing expansion plans.
But the key phrase was related to dilution.
“Eurasia is not planning any new share placings in the foreseeable future,” the company said in its statement on Friday.
That information ensures that investors know that when they buy a share it will represent a full share, at least for a good while yet, and not just the ability to participate in a not-yet-fully funded vehicle, whose capital structure is liable to change.
Dilution is the bugbear of investors at the junior end of the mining market, although there’s also no getting away from it either, as equity finance is the principle way of funding exploration, bar none.
But although it still has development assets elsewhere, Eurasia is no longer simply an explorer.
Friday’s statement and the exercising of the warrants confirmed that, and proved once again that given the right story there’s life in this old market yet.