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Copper silver play Azarga Metals Corp oversold, reckons Epstein

The stock has lost around 30% in three months and that was after it was "under-appreciated" to begin with.
Copper silver play Azarga Metals Corp oversold, reckons Epstein
Incentives are available for those Investing in the Russian Far East

Azarga Metals Corp (CVE:AZR), which is developing the Unkur copper-silver project in Russia, has been oversold even with recent metals price falls, reckons Peter Epstein of Epstein Research.

The stock has lost around 30% in three months, he notes, and that's after it  was "under-appreciated" to begin with.

Junior silver firms have suffered due to an around 13%  drop in the metal in the last three months, though it has stabilized now around US$16 an ounce mark.

Azarga’s flagship project is roughly 50/50 copper and silver and the copper price is up around 5% since mid-April.

There’s "no good reason" for Azarga to be trading off more than the average silver - focused junior, says Epstein.

The project, of which Azarga owns 60%, has a current inferred resource of 42mln tonnes at a grade of 0.9% copper equivalent, and Azarga is aiming to start drilling in August, its chief executive Dusty Nicol has said.

The aim is to at least double the size of the resource and increase grades.

Epstein notes there are four important features of the resource.

  • Most of it (79%) is near surface, including two higher grade pods of mineralization, which could be amenable to low-cost open pit mining and could be mined earlier in a prospective mine plan

  •  Mineralization is open in both directions along strike and down dip.

  • There is now thought to be more than one layer of ore, not just a single mineralized zone.

  • The mineral resource estimate only covers about half the known strike length.

If Azarga could double the size of the resource, it would be trading at just US$0.007 per pound net to Azarga of copper - equivalent in the ground, suggests Epstein.

He also suggests that Unkur's location has one advantage that few are talking about -  namely a package of incentives provided to promote investment in Russia’s far east.

But the most important thing, Epstein says,  is the Far East Development Fund (“FEDF”), a development bank specifically set up for the region.

"It offers debt & equity funding and loan guarantees on preferential terms for projects such as Unkur. Azarga has a strong presence in Russia, it has boots on the ground. The entire technical team at site and administrative team in the city of Chita is Russian, and a significant percentage of the company’s shareholder base is Russian."

Azarga shares are currently changing hands at 16 Canadian cents each.

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