Whilst many assume Norilsk Nickel (NN) are the overwhelming favourites to purchase Eurasia Mining, other valid options are open and in play.
NN are mentioned in recent EUA RNS, proximity to Monechtundra being an obvious advantage for them. They have all the processing facilities needed just a few km away from the licenced area.
Other firms in the vicinity include Polymetal and Nordgold, they understand the jurisdiction so have to be considered on this basis.
Anglo American have to be considered a strong possibility to make a bid, given the past relationship with Eurasia Mining. Previously they’ve ruled out acquisitions outside South Africa but the recent purchase of Sirius demonstrated a change in approach.
Other global firms such as Glencore who could easily afford a multi-billion offer can be thrown into the mix until such a time as final bidders are revealed.
Chinese influence cannot be ignored on any global asset sale, with the engagement letter with CITIC Merchant an example. Perhaps a state bid via SinoSteel or similar firm.
Many other PGM mining operations exist and would see Monchetundra (MT) and/or West Kytlim (WK) as attractive options to consider purchasing. We should consider South Africa as beset with fundamental issues of power stability, higher than average AISC due to deep underground mining and Covid19 an issue at present with this type of operation. The ratio of Platinum:Palladium at several SA operations is closer to 1, so they would be mining a lot of Platinum to extract a similar quantity of Palladium compared with MT, devaluing one commodity chasing gains on another.
This brings Sibanye Stillwater, Implats, Northam and Lesego to the table of possible bidders. The latter two probably more suited to buying WK as question marks over their ability to afford both MT and WK.
Open Pit mining with AISC around $325/oz makes MT one of the most profitable locations to build a PGM empire. This brings to the table our friends in North America, such as Barrick and Kinross if they wished to consider diversification.
So they would be my top 12 bidders for Eurasia Mining. I don’t expect all 12 to throw in an offer, but it does suggest a potential bidding war until the expert guidance of UBS, ensuring a great outcome for shareholders new and old.
Share price is 19.7p at time of writing, the author holds a fairly large position in the company and has added since suspension ended on 9th July.