From Staking Land For Tuition To Being One Of Few Royalty Companies Traded For 20+ Years A Brief History Of Altius Minerals

From Staking Land For Tuition To Being One Of Few Royalty Companies Traded For 20+ Years A Brief History Of Altius Minerals

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By Faith Ashmore, Benzinga

In the realm of royalty companies traded on North American exchanges, Altius Minerals (OTCQX: ATUSF) (TSX: ALS) seems to stand out as a reliable leader with a unique story. With over 20 years of experience, Altius has demonstrated its prowess and resilience in the industry. Founded in 1997, Altius Minerals has a rich history and a track record of success in the mining sector.

The Birth Of Altius Minerals

Altius Minerals began as a project generation business, with a group of geology classmates at Memorial University of Newfoundland staking land to raise funds for their university tuition. Over time, the company transitioned its focus to buying and holding royalties, creating a diversified portfolio of royalty assets that relate to long-life, high-margin operations.

Today, Altius Minerals stands as a premier diversified mining royalty company that held to its core project generation business, holding a varied portfolio of royalties on projects ranging from development to exploration stages. The company's royalty interests are mainly in potash, copper, nickel, iron ore, cobalt and lithium all commodities that belong in a portfolio built around sustainability.

A Bold Leap

In 1997, the founder of Altius Minerals launched its initial public offering (IPO). The company's IPO showcased its confidence and belief in the potential of its business model, which was purely exploration at the time. The company began as a project generation business, focusing on staking lands and generating value from exploration and development activity. The timing of the IPO could have been a major headwind, as the Canadian mining scandal Bre-X followed in 1997, but Altius continued its project generation activity and received support in the market.

When the market started to get better in 2001 and 2002, we had a bit of a head start on everyone because wed stayed busy right through the downturn. The market got behind us and we were first able to buy a royalty on Voiseys Bay in 2003. It was a really big bet for us costing $10 million dollars, which was essentially our full market cap, but we felt comfortable with it. Fast-forward to about 2011 and the end of the big bull run in the market, and we found ourselves with a lot of cash, over $200 million. I can remember we started the cycle with less than a $1 million market cap. The most important thing to remember is that these were profits, not money we raised in the market selling our stock, shared CEO Brian Dalton about the history of the company.

A Different Path

Among the myriad of royalty companies, very few have sustained their existence for over 25 years, and Altius knows of only three who continue today under the same CEO since their inception. Altius Minerals is proudly a member of this group, a testament to the vision and leadership of Brian Dalton, who has steered the company to success since its establishment. Similarly, while many royalty companies have chosen to establish their head offices in major business hubs such as Toronto, Vancouver or Denver like Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD), Altius Minerals has kept its headquarters in St. John's, Newfoundland. This decision has allowed Altius to maintain strong ties to its founding roots and leverage the unique advantages offered by its location.

Bringing Us To 2023

Following the purchase of that first royalty on Voiseys Bay, Altius has since acquired an additional 10 royalties in potash, copper and other battery metals and last year recorded royalty revenue of more than CA$ 100 million. With a remarkable journey that began with resourceful geology students staking lands to raise funds, Altius has evolved into a pioneering royalty company with a long-term vision and a good track record of buying royalties at times of low commodity prices and being rewarded as cycles turn. With an unusual history compared to other corporate offices, Altius Minerals continues to set new standards in the world of royalty companies.

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