Eric Sprott, CEO of Sprott Asset Management and a major player in the precious metals markets, has made some huge bets on specific gold and silver miners, most of which have already paid off in a big way. In fact, assets under management at Sprott, Inc. were $9.7 billion at the end of Q1 2011 compared to $5.2 billion at the end of Q1 2010. Benzinga spoke with Sprott in May and he was as bullish as ever about the outlook for precious metals. So what names is he betting on right now?
A look at the Sprott Asset Management L.P. portfolio reveals that the fund’s largest mining position at the end of the first quarter was in First Majestic Silver Corp (AG). That stake amounted to 3,500,000 shares valued at nearly $75 million as of the fund’s most recent 13-F filing. First Majestic shares are up around 40% year-to-date.
Sprott’s second largest mining position is in Alexco Resource Corp. (AXU). The fund owned around 7.5 million AXU shares valued at $66.6 million as of its last filing. The shares are up a whopping 185% over the last 52-weeks.
Sprott’s next biggest bet as of the end of the first quarter was in Silver Wheaton (SLW). That position totaled 1.4 million shares valued at $61.72 million and accounted for almost 8% of the total value of the portfolio. Silver Wheaton (SLW) has surged a little more than 96% over the last year.
The fourth largest mining stake that Sprott Management had in its portfolio as of its last 13-F filing was Capital Gold Corp (CGC) which was valued at around $49 million. Other miners that the fund had substantial stakes in include Barrick Gold (ABX), Mag Silver (MVG), and Eldorado Gold Corp (EGO).
Given Eric Sprott’s tremendous success investing in precious metals, it is a safe bet that investors can unearth some good ideas by piggybacking on the fund manager’s expertise in this area. In particular, for investors interested in gaining exposure to gold and silver, there are few resources as valuable as Sprott’s interviews, commentary, and specific stock picks in this sector.