TSX:FNV 99.05 -0.49 -0.49%
Volume 606,413
May 23, 2019
NYSE:FNV 73.50 -0.65 -0.88%
Volume 535,410
May 23, 2019
Gold 1,284.91 +0.41 +0.03%
Volume
May 23, 2019
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Franco-Nevada

Stillwater (PGM)

Stillwater

LOCATION: Montana, United States
OPERATOR: Sibanye-Stillwater
ROYALTY: NSR: 5%

The Stillwater complex is comprised of the Stillwater mine and East Boulder mine in Montana and is operated by Sibanye-Stillwater, following the acquisition of Stillwater Mining Company by Sibanye Gold Limited. Production began in 1986 at the Stillwater mine and in 2002 at the East Boulder mine. Both are PGM mines with the majority of production being palladium.

Franco-Nevada has a 5% NSR royalty on all commercially recoverable metals produced from 813 of the 995 claims that cover the Stillwater complex. The amount of the royalty is reduced by permissible “onward processing” deductions, which have averaged 10-12% of revenue over the last several years.

Based on Franco-Nevada’s estimates, the NSR royalty currently covers over 90% of the Stillwater Mineral Reserves and 100% of the East Boulder Mineral Reserves. In recent years, the percentage of Stillwater complex production subject to Franco-Nevada’s royalty has increased above 90% as mining moves away from the shaft area.

PGM production for 2018 yielded 592,608 ounces which included production from the Blitz project (discussed below) as well as record yearly production from the East Boulder mine. As Sibanye-Stillwater only gained control of the operation on May 4, 2017, year over year comparison is not available. Production for 2019 is expected to range between 645,000-675,000 ounces.

The Blitz project, located east of the Stillwater mine and covered by the NSR, commenced production in October 2017. Sibanye-Stillwater expects Blitz to add ~300,000 ounces by late 2021 when the project reaches its full run rate. The addition of Blitz is expected to increase total PGM production from Stillwater by more than 50% to approximately 850,000 PGM ounces per year.

Sibanye-Stillwater estimates that both the Stillwater mine and the East Boulder mines have mines lives in excess of 25 years based on existing Mineral Reserves. As of December 31, 2018, the total M&I Mineral Resource was nearly four times larger than the existing Mineral Reserve which could extend the current mine life even further.

ASSET HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Steady PGM producer in Montana
  • Blitz expected to increase PGM production by 50% by late 2021
  • Current Mineral Reserves supports a long mine life
  • Significant Mineral Resource potential to increase mine life even further

2018 2017 2016
Revenue to FNV ($ million) $ 21.3 $ 20.6 $ 14.6

StillwaterComplex