Today’s Research – April 24, 2012Baja Mining Corp. (BAJ-T, $0.57)SECTOR OUTPERFORM; Revised Target: (-$0.90) $0.85; Risk: SPECULATIVEStefan Ioannou, PhD, sioannou (at) haywood.comEvan Young, MS, DIC, eyoung (at) haywood.com‘Surprise’ – US$246M Capital-Cost Increase at El Boleo— Baja recently announced a US$246M initial capital-cost increase at its flagship 70% owned El Boleo copper-cobalt-zinc project located in Mexico. The estimated increase is in addition to the project’s US$100M cost overrun facilities and 12% (US$92M) contingency. Furthermore, four Directors have resigned from the Company’s Board within the past week, adding uncertainty to the Baja story.— We had anticipated modest capital-cost escalation as per Company guidance on a recent analyst tour of El Boleo. However, the magnitude of the increase, unfortunately not acknowledged/recognized by Baja’s management during the site visit, is unexpected. The Company has initiated discussions with its lending syndicate to develop an acceptable solution within the next 2 months to allow continued drawdown of El Boleo’s debt funding. We note our model remains based on H2/13 copper production start-up at the project, versus Baja’s H1/13 target—a timeline that we will continue to monitor closely, especially now in light of the Company’s potentially limited access to funds.— The resignations of four Directors within a week do not instill market confidence in Baja, especially on the back of a recently completed proxy battle unsuccessfully headed by Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, the Company’s largest single shareholder (19.8%), which raised a number of questions pertaining to, among other things, Baja’s corporate governance practices. We view this recent Board activity as an additional element of risk and uncertainty.
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1) Company head John Greenslade is now (or nowabouts) on a plane heading to South Korea. He'll come back in a few days. He'll then "be resigned" next week.
2) Here's a paste out of Haywood's call on the stock, this morning.
IKN back with a disclosure: No position in BAJ.to and that won't change