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Griffin Mining: AIM’s breakout star delivers record production, profit


Griffin Mining LON:GFM, is one of the AIM stocks The Armchair Trader has on its ‘one to watch’ list following a strong 2023. Following on from our story on Yü Group LON:YU. yesterday we continue to look at the top-performers on the AIM market.

Griffin’s shares opened the week at 155p, up 77% year-to-date and up 88% over one-year.  Over the last six-months it is AIM’s top performing stock. The company, which operates the Caijiaying Mine in China’s Hebei Province – a zinc, gold, silver, and lead project with attached processing plant, camp and supporting facilities – has continued its momentum from 2023 into this year.

The AIM-listed miner published its results to end of 2023 in May. Griffin reported a significant 60% year-on-year rise in profit-before-tax to USD23.8m with earnings up from USD35.2m in 2022 to USD51.9m in 2023.

Record production

The positive numbers were built on working the mine hard, leading to record volumes of ore being mined, hauled and processed.  Caijiaying hit its 1.5 million tonnes a year nameplate, a 76.6% increase y-o-y with processing up 82.1% to over 1.5 million tonnes.  This saw Griffin achieve record zinc production volumes.

Zinc led the way for Griffin with concentrate production up 79% y-o-y, to 21,146 tonnes, and although zinc commodity prices fell in 2023 Griffin also managed to cut its treatment, smelting and transportation costs for the metal. The London-headquartered miner also benefitted from the fact that it is a multi-commodity producer, and earnings were bolstered by rising gold and silver prices.

The company increased gold production by 68.2% to 6,195 ounces (oz) and upped silver production by 40% to 90,080oz. The company also produces lead, which saw its price rise as well in 2023. Griffin did admit that its costs had increased y-o-y in 2023, but with improved production volumes and pricing stayed ahead on balance.

Transformational year

The company had a transformational 2023. The market was quite negative to Griffin Mining post-Coronavirus, especially as China took time to recover from the pandemic. But last year Griffin proved that China could develop a world class, modern mining operation that Griffin says is environmentally friendly – the mining operation is 100% powered through renewable energy via two wind turbines, providing 12.6MW of energy – that was cash-generative, and unlike many mining companies not reliant on regular top-ups from shareholders.

Griffin has been using its spare cash to reward the patience of its shareholders through an on-market share buy-back programme, acquiring 10 million shares and cancelling them in February, to reduce the shares outstanding and improve EPS. The rational was that management believed that its share price was undervalued. The buyback programme will run until September, with management possibly extending this after closure. The programme is being managed by Panmure Gordon independent of Griffin’s management.

There is probably more value to be had from Griffin’s shares.  The company has a significant mining operation, relatively low debt, diversification of assets and is worth continuing to track.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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