Saturday, February 23, 2008

Marifil Mines and body language

Ok, I’ve been distracted this past fortnight and have not posted, occasionally even us market watchers need to feed their addictions to a mindless game in order forget the turmoil in the markets. Usually it’s best to do this when everything is in the dumps so you don’t fixate on bad times but some weeks you just want a shelter from too much reality.

I do have several recently promised posts on mining companies nearly finished but decided after seeing a piece of news today from a little known miner called Marifil Mines, (MFM on the TSX-v)
I thought I would write about them.

The article states that Marifil and its Partner Castillian Resources have received a number of cores with what they call “Important amounts of Platinum”

I would not normally hype a company like this over a single piece of news, but with this months run in Platinum to over $2100 I figure that any cores with good platinum numbers deserve to receive some notice. This story obviously did get noticed giving a 12 cent/ 26% bump to Marifil Mines and their partner Castillain (CT TSX-V). Now this is not a resource estimate or a feasibility study, it’s just a series of cores, but with today’s demand for platinum and the added nickel, cobalt, copper, and palladium found on these claims, this could develop into a significant story.

I first heard of Marifil at the Cambridge House resource show last fall. At this show I saw literature and presentations from many companies and while I did not see all of them, I did find quite a few that interested me after I had discarded the overabundant and inexperienced Uranium companies and a handful of diamond plays. (Diamonds only have value on the end of drill in my books, they have limited utility and the fakes are now better)

Of all the companies that interested me at that time I only bought two Acadian Mining and Marifil Mines. Acadian I intend to will deal with in another (almost complete) post next week but for now let me tell you my Marifil story.

The format for company presentations was simply a table with four representatives from four different companies who were each given a few minutes for a promo talk and slide show. Now I had already seen maybe 16 companies at this point and it was all sounding very similar and even with notes I was quickly getting confused as to who said what and I was getting tired and slightly bored with the whole thing.

That said Marifil was different in that it was the only Argentina play I saw, it had a huge number of projects (34) and 425,000 hectares spread around 11 provinces of Argentina consisting of interests in base metals (zinc, copper, nickel,lead) and precious metals (gold, silver and some plat group metals), Indium, uranium, cement quality limestone, natural gas and oil, this company has some of everything.

Now I did not know much about indium but when the spokesman was talking about the results on a zinc, silver, gold property and mentioned $325/t of indium as a by product every head at the table looked up. While I realize he was extrapolating on best intersections he had, the numbers he was tossing around seemed good, their business model invites partnerships and moves exploration and eventual development along at a faster rate than some models and they had a wide assortment of properties, several of which were already showing at least some positive progress. The number of properties could almost be a concern in that they will not be able to focus on any one project but their model of partnering allows them to maintain a reasonable stake while pushing the exploration costs off on someone else lessening dilution.

I liked the variety and size of properties and since Argentina is relatively stable and under explored compared to her neighbors it was enough to add Marifil to my short list, however as irrational as it sounds I finally made the purchase of 5000 shares (I know, I’m not rich) purely on the body language of the other 3 corporate types in response to the presentation. During most of the discussions the other execs looked bored and listless, in this presentation everyone paid attention without there being any extra performance quality involved, these guys seemed impressed. Hell at $325/t of indium as by product, that's about the same as finding 10g/t gold and when it's added to the other metals in the resource it should impress anyone.

It may sound irrational, but not more so than letting someone else do YOUR due diligence and then letting THEM tell you which stock to buy. Read up and take a look. I’m convinced and Friday’s news puts me up 20% , no big deal but at least it's going up, that's a start.