Yesterday, Echelon Partners initiated coverage on Freeman Gold Corp (CSE: FMAN) with a C$1.10 12-month price target, which is currently an approximate 130% upside to the current trading price of the equity, and a speculative buy rating. This is the first analyst to cover Freeman.
Gabriel Gonzalez, Echelon’s analyst headlines the note with, “Proving Up The Historical Idaho-based Lemhi Project And Raising its Resource Growth And Development Potential.”
He cites the ability to advance their multiphase program at its 100% owned Lemhi project as the main reason for the initiation. He writes, “We believe the project is attractive given the potential to rapidly outline a 1.5-2.0Moz resource of predominantly heap-leachable oxide gold and advance the project towards permitting.” He believes that the company could, “generate attractive cash flow assuming that reasonable mining and processing costs are also eventually demonstrated.”
Gonzalez adds that the project being located in Idaho also favors the project moving quickly through development as the permits are obtainable with relative ease, “making it an excellent jurisdiction in which to advance mining projects.” Idaho is ranked 8th out of 76 jurisdictions for Investment Attractiveness by the Fraser Institute’s 2019 Annual Survey of Mining Companies.
Currently, Freeman is in their phase 1 program. They have completed over 6,850 metres of confirmation and infill drilling for a maiden NI 43-101 compliant resource. Echelon estimates “1.1-1.2Moz grading 1.0-1.1g/t, by Q121-end.” And expects the Phase 2 program to target a 1.5 – 2.0 million ounce resource. Gonzalez forecasts that they will update their resource estimate in the second half of 2021 while the “PEA examining the project’s mining and heap-leach processing potential may also follow in H221.”
Below you can see the historical resource estimates.
Gonzalez believes there are multiple catalysts ahead that could give a short-term share appreciation. These include:
- Resource estimate and metallurgical work that clarifies the risks and uncertainties stemming from historical non-compliant development work.
- Quickly advancing the project to Freeman’s 1.5 – 2.0 million ounce target.
- Demonstrating heap-leach project economics, which with a >1.0g/t grade and assuming reasonable processing costs, could show significant cash flow potential.
- Possibly leveraging existing environmental baseline data to support rapidly moving the project to the permitting stage.
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