Artemis Gold's Blackwater mine site
Credit: Artemis Gold

Artemis Golds Blackwater mine site

The junior gold producer aims to start construction on a new mine in the Cariboo next year

The stock: Fresh off selling Atlantic Gold Corp. to St. Barbara in 2019 for a 1,129-percent return over its 4.5-year tenure, the management team led by chair and CEO Steven Dean formed Artemis Gold (TSXV:ARTG). Its main asset is the Blackwater project southwest of Vanderhoof, which is about a year away from starting construction.

The drivers: The price of gold hit a new all-time high of US$2,010 an ounce last summer. It’s since settled back, but not much, at around US$1,730. That easily makes Blackwater a viable mine, and last week Vancouver-based Artemis revealed that it had secured a $360-million credit facility from Macquarie Bank and National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA) to bring it into production. The announcement pushed the company’s stock to a six-month high, not far off its peak of $7.21 last September.

Given that the project is located in Canada, Blackwater carries relatively little political risk. Still, there’s a reason new mine openings are rare in B.C. (The last was Pretium Resources’ Brucejack mine in 2017.) Artemis seems to be making the right moves, striking partnerships with area First Nations, for example. It also has environmental assessments from both the federal and B.C. governments in hand.

Word on the street: “The project loan facility offers attractive terms for Artemis Gold, with a reasonable cost of capital and a flexible repayment schedule,” Haywood Securities analyst Pierre Vaillancourt noted this week. “The company continues to execute on schedule and on budget.” 

Coming and going: Shareholders of Leamington, Ont.-headquartered Aphria (TSX:APHA) vote today on the cannabis producer’s all-stock merger with Nanaimo-based Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY). Assuming the vote is carried, and Tilray shareholders likewise approve the deal on Friday, Tilray will issue 0.8381 new shares for every Aphria share tendered, representing 62 percent of the combined company, which will be known as Tilray. The transaction is expected to close next week.