Probe Metals has potential to attract ‘acquisition interest’, BMO says

Victory camp site. Image by Probe Metals. 

BMO Capital Markets has initiated coverage of Probe Metals (TSXV: PRB) with an outperform rating and a C$2.00 target price—double its current share price of C$0.98.

By Tuesday afternoon, the Canadian miner’s stock was up 7.37% on the TSX, trading at C$1.02. The company has a C$112.8 million market capitalization.

The junior explorer’s 100%-owned Val d’Or East project “is one of the higher quality Canadian gold exploration properties with good prospectivity for resource growth and the potential to transition towards a development stage project,” BMO mining analyst Andre Mikitchook noted in an April 23 research report.

“Val d’Or East has the prospectivity, jurisdiction and management team to potentially attract acquisition interest as it is advanced,” he continued. “The geological success and property consolidation is reminiscent of other successful names, including Osisko, Integra, Marathon, Atlantic Gold and Gold Standard Ventures.”

According to its February 2018 estimate, Val d’Or East contains indicated resources for open-pit and underground of 9.04 million tonnes grading 2.35 grams gold per tonne 

Probe released assays at the end of March from its 24,000-metre winter drill program at Val d’Or East property, where its geologists have focused on an area around the former Beliveau, Bussiere, and Monique gold mines.

The work program discovered a new parallel gold trend on the Courvan property, a largely unexplored area about 1.5 km west of the New Beliveau deposit. Results from the Courvan area drill program included drill hole CO-73 that intersected 3.9 grams gold per tonne over 30 metres starting 144 metres downhole in the Southwest Zone. Drill hole CO-78 in Courvan’s Creek Zone returned a 4 metre intercept grading 16.7 grams gold from 113 metres downhole, including 57.8 grams over metre.

Probe expects to fold the results of its winter drill program into an updated resource scheduled for release in the early fall of 2019.

According to its February 2018 estimate, Val d’Or East contains indicated resources for open-pit and underground of 9.04 million tonnes grading 2.35 grams gold per tonne for 682,400 ounces of gold and inferred of 9.30 million tonnes averaging 2.41 grams gold for 722,100 ounces of gold.

“The current resource stands at 1.4 million ounces and the resource update in H2/19 will expand the resource and reflect the discovery of a second mineralized trend,” Mikitchook writes in his report. “For our valuation, we assume a further 0.75 million ounces is defined to show visibility on 2-3+ million ounces with development potential.”

Mikitchook also points to Probe’s other advantages: a proven management team and a strong treasury.

“Probe has a track record of shareholder value creation, having attracted a takeover of Probe Mines in 2015,” he comments. “This management track record is reflected in their ability to attract financing with our estimate of the treasury at C$25 million, which is sufficient for two years of exploration.”

The Courvan property is largely unexplored, the company says. The land package includes the historic Bussiere mine, which produced 42,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 5.8 grams gold up until 1942, when it was destroyed by forest fires.

(This article first appeared in The Northern Miner)

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