“We’re Sitting on a Goldmine!” Stephen Leeb

OK, if you read today’s weekend update email, you know that this is a rarity — a new Stock Gumshoe sleuthification on a Saturday morning, hurray!

But I have to make some allowances for the weekend, so I’m telling you the solution, but not doing much thinking … read on for the tease and the solution, and then y’all can analyze this one and sort out the nooks and crannies on your own. Enjoy!

This is from Stephen Leeb, who, in addition to being an outspoken peak oil proponent, is apparently a big fan of gold. Well, who isn’t these days, of course, but I gather he’s been riding this horse for a while now. He’d like you to subscribe to his Real World Investing, which is actually edited by Greg Dorsey, it appears, and in exchange you’ll learn all about this favored junior gold miner.

Here are the important clues in the tease — I can give you the stock’s name and ticker, but you’ll have to do the learning on your own …

“Of course, the safest way to participate in the precious metals bonanza is to buy the metal itself or some of the blue chip miners. But if you really want to ramp up your profits, the real action will take place in junior miners. And one mining company in particular could return 10-20X your investment.

“If you think that sounds far fetched, consider that in the mid-1980s to early 1990s, shares in Barrick Gold rose 50X. And that was during a period when gold prices were falling!

“Barrick’s gains during that period resulted from its rapidly expanding resource base. The more gold it discovered, the greater its asset base, and the more value investors attached to it.

“Today, Barrick has become a blue chip behemoth. While the title of “fastest growing resource base” belongs to another gold company, a junior, whose shares you can still buy for virtually peanuts compared to its potential.”

OK, so they don’t quite go so far as to call this the “next Barrick,” but that does have a nice ring to it. Some more clues?

“This company currently owns 50% of one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits. Located right in North America, the deposit contains some 8.9 billion measured and indicated pounds of copper, plus another 3 billion pounds inferred. (Copper prices are likely to escalate sharply on any hint of an economic recovery.) More importantly, the deposit holds 7.3 million measured and indicated ounces of gold, plus 3.8 million ounces inferred.

“And that’s just one of the company’s properties. It’s second major property contains some 29.3 measured and inferred ounces of gold. At $950 per ounce, that works out to nearly $28 billion for this property alone. Yet, you could buy this entire company today for roughly $900 million.

“Of course, owning a deposit is one thing, producing the gold is another. But this company has attracted the attention of some pretty big players. A couple of years ago, when gold was selling for just $675, Barrick offered to buy this company for $15 a share.”

And the answer?

NovaGold Resources (NG)

The large copper deposit is Galore Creek in British Columbia, the second one, the gold property, is Donlin Creek in Alaska, which is partnered with Barrick Gold (they’ve got a few other projects, too) … and yes, Barrick made a hostile bid to buy out NovaGold in mid-2006 at $14.50 a share.

After that? I don’t know anything else about NovaGold … you’re on your own, teach us well, and have a great weekend!

Oh, and if you’ve ever subscribed to any of the Leeb newsletters, don’t forget to review them for us — thanks!

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