The Financial Post reports in its Wednesday, Nov. 27, edition that Kirkland Lake Gold chief executive officer Tony Makuch faces an uphill battle convincing investors and analysts that he made the right decision in buying higher-cost producer Detour Gold.
A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post reports that Mr. Makuch travelled to New York Tuesday to meet with investors as shares plummeted, wiping about $2-billion (U.S.) off his company's market value so far this week. The cost to operate and sustain the Detour Lake mine was more than double that of Kirkland's projects in the third quarter.
Kirkland was the third-best performer on the Bloomberg Americas Mining Index this year through Friday, with shares climbing more than 80 per cent, as the company cut costs and improved margins. That advantage, which sent shares to a record in September, withered away as the deal with Detour Gold fuelled a sell-off while analysts downgraded the stock. CIBC analyst Cosmos Chiu says, "The acquisition adds to the near-term risk profile of the company." Detour "is only about half way through the optimization of its operations (including cost savings), and we see risk of a potential slowdown in progress at the mine."
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