The gold price has now been camped out above $1,400 an ounce for a month, and silver has finally come alive above $16 per ounce, but legendary mining financier Eric Sprott had already kicked off a major junior investment spree when the metals were significantly cheaper than they are today.
The Canadian billionaire investor – also a pioneer in the gold-backed ETF industry – has splashed more than C$139 million on 16 gold and silver explorers (and some nickel on the side) since May, according to junior mining finance authority Oreninc. $127m of the total found its way to Canada-domiciled companies.
Sprott uses a company called 2176423 Ontario to play the space and was able to flash the cash thanks in part to a divestment from Kirkland Lake Gold, (TSX:KL) (NYSE:KL) where he was chairman until recently.
Sprott, has sold some 3.3 million shares of Kirkland stock for C$168 million, reducing his position from 10% to 8% according to Oreninc data. Kirkland Lake has been on a roll, doubling its share price in under a year.
Kirkland Lake output could reach 1 million ounces for the first time this year, driven by record production at its flagship Fosterville mine in Australia. Fosterville is the lowest cost gold mine in the world, extracting the metal for a mere $313 an ounce all-in this year.