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 20 November, 2023

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Australia are the Cricket World Cup Champions! 

Across markets

Australian shares are set to open higher after robust gains in US energy producers and a strong rebound in crude oil, amid surging bets that OPEC and its allies will extend output cuts.
ASX futures indicated shares are poised to rise 0.4 per cent, or 28 points, at the start of trade on Monday from Friday’s 7049 points close. The Australian dollar closed at US65.15¢, buoyed by the worst weekly decline for the greenback since mid-July.
Local energy stocks will be in focus after S&P 500 heavyweights tracked the higher oil price, with ExxonMobil up 2.4 per cent, Chevron 1.9 per cent and ConocoPhillips rallying 2.3 per cent.

US stocks closed modestly higher in New York, extending the fastest start to November.

Source: AFR

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Closer to Home

  • Perseus Mining is down 16% YTD despite rolling out its best ever production year of more than 530,000oz in FY23
  • Now a regular dividend payer, the company has a massive warchest of US$594 million in cash and bullion and US$300m in undrawn debt to pursue M&A
  • But Perseus MD Jeff Quartermaine tells us the focus is also on organic growth
  • But there are few lower cost gold operators on the ASX or the world.

    We caught up with Perseus Mining MD Jeff Quartermaine to talk costs, M&A and where the next growth leg could be for the African gold standout.

    Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) is one of the great turnaround stories on the ASX.

    The West African gold producer’s share price tumbled over two years from 2011 to 2013 after realising, shock horror, that its previously rampaging share price meant it would have to go through and develop the Edikan gold mine in Ghana.

    Since February 2013, a new management team led by former CFO Jeff Quartermaine set it on a path to grow into the ASX’s only 500,000ozpa African gold producer and one of the few ASX gold stocks paying reliable dividends.

    Now with over a decade of time as CEO under his belt, Quartermaine is faced with the challenge of growing the company further without blowing up the hard-fought gains of the past 10 years.

    Perseus shares fell to 22c in December 2013, shortly after a rejig of the life of mine plan at Edikan to deal with high costs in a falling gold price environment.

    From that point the miner added the Sissingue and Yaoure mines in Cote d’Ivoire, bringing them online to eventually crack the 500,000ozpa mark in FY23, selling 537,564oz at an all in site cost of US$959/oz. In spite of inflationary pressures felt across the globe, that is well below the cost of production Perseus absorbed in its early years.

    While its share price hit a 10-year high of $2.49 in April this year, it is counter-intuitively down almost 16% YTD despite near record gold prices.

    That has led to calls from analysts and management alike that the stock is mispriced compared to its Australian peers, especially with US$594m of cash and another US$300m in undrawn debt finance waiting to be deployed on acquisitions.

    An unfortunately timed foray into Sudan via the purchase last year of TSX-listed Orca Gold to acquire the Meyas Sand project, shortly before the eruption of a civil war in the African country, probably played a role.



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