Comstock Mining Update – December 24, 2015

On December 4th Comstock Mining Inc issued a press release headlined: Comstock Mining Completes State Route Realignment Ahead of Schedule

New York Mine, Gold Hill Nevada

New York Mine, Gold Hill Nevada, December 2013

In previous years CMI loaded the head frame of the New York Mine with cheap Chinese Christmas lights and has had them up and blazing away even before Halloween. This year though, Christmas lights have been cut from the budget, along with all those jobs the company’s supporters were so eagerly predicting when CMI first came to town. There’s still enough juice to put the company logo up in lights though.

New York Mine, Gold Hill Nevada

New York Mine, Gold Hill Nevada, December 2015

Originally the highway was to reopen on November 12, then postponed to November 22, still in advance of Thanksgiving, and then postponed again into December. It was this third postponement that the company is crowing about being ahead of, adding “These improvements will enhance the quality of life on the Comstock and reduce costs to the state and local municipalities, and thus, taxpayers.”

Zacks Equity Research provides quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors decide what stocks to buy and sell for the long-term. This was published December 18 (excerpt; there were four other losers named as well):

5 Gold Mining Stocks to Avoid as Gold Take Tumble
As the Fed ended an era of extraordinary monetary policy easing by hiking interest rates for the first time since 2006, it knocked the wind out of gold, with prices plummeting to six-year lows to $1,050 an ounce. It is a well-known fact that higher rates tend to weigh on gold, as it provides no yield and thus struggles to compete with interest paying assets in the wake of rising borrowing costs.

Comstock Mining, Inc.(LODE)
Headquartered in Virginia, NV, Comstock Mining Inc. operates as a gold and silver mining company in Nevada. Its mining segment primarily focuses on acquiring and developing projects in the Lucerne Resource Area, the Dayton Resource Area, and the Spring Valley exploration target.The company’s share price has dropped 46.25% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has gone south over the past 60 days for fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2015 is currently at a loss per share of 15 cents and for fiscal 2016 is at a loss of 5 cents per share.

Bottom Line
Exiting certain underperformers at the right time helps maximize portfolio returns. Given the current low gold prices, we believe it will be a prudent move to get rid of these stocks at the moment.

The ‘improvements’ were carried out to benefit the mining company after it had shaved the east wall of the pit too steep, too deep and too close to the road. When SR 342 collapsed, Virginia City’s southern connection to the outside world was severed and traffic was rerouted via the serpentine SR 341, built in the 1930s for the slow moving trucks of the time. Silver City was bypassed and the sudden disappearance of the daily traffic during Hot August Nights caused the closing of the town’s only retail establishment. Doodads was a fun and friendly little store by the side of the road in Silver City, and the town is poorer without it.

Actually, almost everybody on the Comstock is poorer with CMI struggling in our midst, and that includes employees who’ve been laid off wholesale and the company’s investors. CMI stock has fluttered down from 50 cents to 38 cents, and is trembling at around 40 cents now.

Here’s an assessment from the Yahoo Message Board for LODE:
“cmi appears to be in a death spiral. Been following since 2007. In 8 years has burned thru tens of millions of dollars without a penny of profit to show for it. Been surviving solely thru borrowing and offerings. Shares have been diluted by a factor of 8 since the reverse split. Shareholders have taken a beating while officers have stuffed their pockets. No future here unless gold soars, which is unlikely. Time for an honest assessment folks.”

CMI stock via nasdaq New Year's Eve 2015Here’s another:
“I’m not expecting anything approaching profitability next year. In the October interview the CEO said; ‘2016 is really going to be jam-packed with catalysts in the sense of major achievements in mine development, reserve development and resource expansion. And quite frankly, we don’t want to be involved in anything other than that right now.’
“Development, some more development and expansion. All needful things but not money makers.
It’s become obvious that they really misjudged the assets available for open pit mining and that is a real confidence shaker. I was and still am really pleased that there are no more preferred shares but I took the recent offering like a kick in the teeth.”

And a third:
“I have been in this for a very long time and have lost 75%. I will hold out and see how this plays next year,
I am disappointed in the results and probably should have sold when it was over 2.75.
“But like I said I am in for the long haul. Bashing does not help the situation and I made the decision to hold. And I am an optimist by nature.”

They seem unanimous in thinking only an optimist (or a fool?) would invest in this hole in the ground, but two of them are hanging on anyhow, shining examples of how strong the grip of Gold Fever can be.

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