Sprott CEO hunting for bargains among beaten-up gold companies

NEW YORK – Canada’s $8-billion precious metals-focused fund manager is bargain-hunting for stakes of mining firms that have seen valuations tumble.

“Look for the companies that are beaten up,” Sprott CEO Peter Grosskopf said, sharing his company’s investment strategy. If the bigger producers of the metal don’t end up buying their smaller rivals, “the juniors will consolidate among themselves to create bigger companies,” he said.

Gold miners may become attractive targets as the supply pipeline of their bigger rivals start running dry. Reserves still buried in mines owned by the largest producers have fallen by more than half from a 2011 peak, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence.

Detour Gold Corp. is an example of one those beaten-up companies and “somebody missed that one as an acquisition candidate,” Grosskopf said in an interview in New York Tuesday. In August, Sprott agreed to buy Tocqueville Asset Management’s gold strategy business. Tocqueville owns a 4.6% stake in Detour Gold.

Tocqueville had started investing in Detour Gold a few years ago when the miner was in bad shape, he said.

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