SSR Mining (SSRM) is firing on all cylinders, on track to increase production next year — and if it can happen at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,006 per gold-equivalent ounce, that would be fabulous, asserts Benj Gallander, editor of Contra the Heard.

If the AISC goes up somewhat amidst the inflationary pressures that are hitting the mining patch, there would still be plenty of room for juicy profits, given that gold is above $1,800 an ounce.

SSRM’s many mines sprinkled around the globe are executing as well as or better than expected. The Amisk and and Seabee properties in Canada, and Marigold in Nevada, all reported positive exploration results.

In Turkey, Copper Hill had good exploration findings, Ardich drilling continues, and the flotation circuit at Çöpler received environmental impact assessment approval after the end of the third quarter.

And how about them production figures? Çöpler processed record tonnage in sulphide, Marigold’s material movement hit a new high and Seabee — and the Puna mill in Argentina — processed their largest amounts ever.

Head honcho Rod Antal calls the balance sheet “a key strength,” and it is easy to see why. Debt relative to revenue is reasonable, and there’s $863million in cash. Last quarter’s cash flow was $129 million.

Besides the quarterly dividend of a nickel, there has been $150 million in share repurchases since the plan was announced in April. Impressive. Hmm, might the payout be goosed in 2022?

The company garnered $100 million via a sale of royalty interests and deferred payments to EMX Royalty (EMX), with a combo of cash, EMX shares and deferred compensation based on milestones. Hopefully, those objectives will be realized.

SSR, which is taking over prospector Taiga Gold, is the only gold producer in Saskatchewan and is adding five new properties in the province. If Taiga’s exploration does lead to future mines, they will be able to leverage the Seabee mill and processing infrastructure, which could promote higher asset utilization and margins.

There is no guarantee that this will work out — this is an exploration-dependent play — but we trust that proper due diligence has been done.

Money has already been taken off the table thanks to this gold producer in both portfolios, and by the looks of things, more treasure may be in store.

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