Midas Gold CEO Stephen Quin will be out trying to raise a lot of money for the planned US$1 billion Stibnite gold-antimony project in central Idaho in two years, all going to plan with the company’s permitting, so he’s naturally more concerned with what the metal’s price trajectory will look like then. Except that the gold price and related market sentiment is undoubtedly one of the factors affecting Midas’ share price now.

Like all single-project companies in a pre-development window, Midas is not getting much love from the market.

Its major market re-rating most certainly comes with the long-awaited permitting of Stibnite.

The process started in September 2016 and is, according to Quin, roughly at the halfway mark - based on the most recent scheduling of the release of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for public review by February next year. This would mean, potentially, a final EIS by October next year and a final record of decision from federal agencies in March 2020.

But the company sitting on one of North America's next significant gold mines has a current market value below C$200 million (US$155 million) at a time when so-called contrarian investors are out in force looking for assets and opportunities.

Sage gold investor and company builder Rob McEwen was among the contrarians at the Beaver Creek Precious Metals Summit talking up the appeal of portfolio-building now, when the gold sector (in North America at least) was at sixes and sevens, and the availability and price of assets was positive. McEwen is not alone.

Several company CEOs have already commented at the event in Colorado on the increased number of parties (and intermediaries) trying to advance M&A and joint venture deals.

One described Idaho as "the new Nevada".

As well as a hive of juniors who've come in mainly to revive old mines and try to find new ones, Idaho has seen significant recent investments by the likes of Agnico Eagle and Barrick Gold, which spent US$38 million on Midas Gold shares in May. Midas shares hit a 12-month high that month but have traded back down to around US65c/C85c.

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