Got this from another board on casey research's comments about the latest allegations. They echo my own thoughts on the situation, except to add that i dont know of any CEO who would invest over 3/4 of a million$ into the company if it was a scam about to be exposed. And Rui Feng already has a considerable holding in SVM.
With much respect to Casey Research.
(US$6.30, 175.06M SO, $1.10B MCap, www.silvercorp.ca)
Comments: Silvercorp was hit by another accusation of wrongdoing today (which you can view in the link above), and the stock plummeted 19.6%. Our first impression of this report is much the same as the other one – biased, long on innuendo, short on proof, and in some cases, flat out wrong. Let’s go through the accusations one-by-one so you can see why we are not panicking about our position…
The report states that their “investigator” picked up a couple rocks that fell off an ore truck and the assays showed much lower grade material than SVM reports. The report notes this sample is not scientific, and promises better data in the future, but that doesn’t stop them from publishing nonsense numbers now. They also counted the trucks entering the mill and say there are not enough to add up to the tonnage of ore SVM says it’s processing – but how many days did they count? How many days did they count when there was a power issue at the mine, or one of the mill circuits was down for maintenance? What does it really prove to have a guy skulking about the bushes taking pictures and picking up rocks?
One very important fact that seems to have escaped the authors of the report is that SVM direct-ships high-grade ore to a smelter. This is a very significant part of production that does not go to the mill, and that would affect the number of trucks entering the mill, as well as the grade of the ore going to the mill (or falling off a truck along the way).
The report also falsely claims that Silvercorp’s narrow veins cannot be mined without dilution, reducing the average grade. This is simply not true. There’s a technique called “resuing” by which you tunnel next to the ore, and then take only the ore to the mill. The ore needs to be just right, but SVM’s massive sulfide veins are just right for this. Plus, there are areas where the veins are meters wide, and still grading kilos per tonne, so they can be mined directly. Louis James has been there and seen this, and saw it in multiple places in multiple levels of the mine.
The report also makes a big fuss about how large SVM’s MCap is compared to its resources and reserves. They say SVM “should” have more resources. This is more nonsense. It’s very common for vein deposits to have only a year or two in reserves drilled off in advance. Yes, that’s a risk factor, but its normal – drilling off the whole deposit in advance is just too expensive. Nobody does it. Furthermore, SVM trades at lower multiples and metrics than many other silver producers, probably because of the “China discount.” It is simply not overvalued, compared to its peers. This accusation smacks of dishonesty.
Another fuss relates to SVM buying a project from a relative of Rui Feng’s – but that, too, was disclosed at the time. Whether or not the relative made a profit is not relevant; what matters is how much the property is worth to SVM. The report states, “SVM’s independent directors need to explain how this could possibly be a fair price.” But the appropriate place for such a challenge is directly to management, or at a shareholder’s meeting. Since these avenues were apparently not tried, one must question the motives of the company’s attackers.
The report makes another big fuss about SVM selling concentrate to a smelter in which it owns at 15% stake. This ignores the fact that this was fully disclosed when SVM made the investment, and that SVM made the investment to ensure better terms for its sales and security for its contracts. This is not a bad thing, but a very good thing. The authors say they were “shocked” to see this well known and fully disclosed fact, but that's a crock.