Wheaton Precious Metals is a publicly-traded company based in Canada. Their main service is in precious metals streaming. This means that they own and operate mining operations all over the world, bringing silver and gold into circulation. Founded in 2004, the company is based in Vancouver and has a long history with its shareholders.
We have done hundreds of hours of research on the best precious metals investment companies for anyone that wants to invest!
History of the Company
When Wheaton Precious Metals was first established, it operated under the name Silver Wheaton. At the time, the main focus was on silver rather than gold. From 2004 to 2006, the company was under the control of Goldcorp. But then Goldcorp sold 18 million shares of the company, which brought their stake down to 48%. They no longer owned the half of the shares required to make sweeping business decisions.
Two years later, in 2008, Goldcorp left Wheaton Precious Metals entirely. They sold all of their remaining shares for more than $1.5 billion dollars.
The name Silver Wheaton was changed to Wheaton Precious Metals in May of 2017.
In 2009, Wheaton Precious Metals acquired the company Silverstone Resources. This company had previously been traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada. Shares were trading at a Tier 1 level, meaning that they were the highest tier of stock possible. The acquisition of Silverstone Resources and its assets considerably increased the value of Wheaton Precious Metals overall.
Wheaton Precious Metals originally began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, like many companies based in Canada. They then expanded to sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Most recently, they began to sell shares overseas on the London Stock Exchange. The London Stock Exchange shares only began in October of 2020.
On all three stock exchanges, the ticker number for the company's shares is WPM.
Company Policies and Goals
Wheaton Precious Metals has a huge number of streaming agreements. They run their business on a simple model. In exchange for a lump sum given to develop a mining project, they will receive a certain percentage of the assets mined there. This means that they don't need to worry about the ongoing costs and risks of a mining operation.
As of writing, Wheaton has entered into agreements to stream metals from 21 mines in operation. There are also 13 mining projects that are currently in development.
The business model comes with less risk than a mining company, which is subject to issues during the operation itself. This makes it an attractive option for buyers looking for stable stock options. The company works for the shareholders by doing its best to deliver consistent returns on investment.
There is a huge number of streaming projects currently in operation all over the world. The company website has a map where you can look at the location of these mines. They are found on three continents: North America, South America, and Europe. From there, they are located in many different countries.
The Salobo mine project will last for the lifetime of the mine. Wheaton Precious Metals receives 75% of the mine's produced gold. This mine is situated on the largest deposit of copper ever found inside Brazil.
Copper gold mining began in 2012. Since then, the mine has been expanded and the copper production has doubled. There is a small amount of gold also found in this mine, which is what Wheaton Precious Metals is interested in.
The Peñasquito mine is located in Mexico. Wheaton Precious Metals is entitled to 25% of the mine's silver production for as long as it remains in operation.
This location is the largest gold mine in Mexico, as well as the second-largest silver mine.
The Antamina mine is found in Peru and has a slightly more complex contract. Wheaton Precious Metals is entitled to 33.75% of the total silver produced by Glencore, which may be reduced to 22.5% after they reach a certain threshold from the mine. This contract lasts for the life of the mine.
The Constancia mine is another Peruvian mine, with a much simpler contract. Wheaton Precious Metals receives 100% of the silver and 50% of the gold that is mined there, for the entire lifetime of the mine. The primary metal mined here is copper.
The Stillwater mine is located in the US. The company receives 100% of the gold mined there, as well as 4.5% of the palladium. The amount of palladium decreases to 2.25% and again to 1% once certain thresholds are met. This contract continues for the lifespan of the mine.
The San Dimas mine in Mexico has a lifetime streaming contract. The parameters include 25% of the gold production. In addition, they will receive gold that's equal in value to 25% of the silver production. There is a fixed gold-silver ratio used for this since the prices of gold and silver fluctuate on a minute-to-minute basis.
The Sudbury mine in Canada has a contract lasting for 20 years. During those 20 years, Wheaton Precious Metals receives 70% of the produced gold. The primary metal mined at this place is nickel.
The Zinkgruvan mine in Sweden has a lifetime contract for 100% of the silver produced there. The majority of the metal mined there is zinc. Currently, research indicates that the mine has more than ten years of life left, and that resource conservation has been a success.
Yauliyacu is another Peruvian mine located underground. It is rich in zinc, lead, and silver. For the lifetime of the mining operation, Wheaton Precious Metals will receive 100% of the silver produced until a certain threshold is reached. After reaching that threshold, Wheaton will receive 50% of the silver produced.
Cozamin is a copper and silver mine found in Mexico. It was first commissioned in 2006 and has been expanded twice since then. Wheaton has a streaming term that lasts for the lifetime of the mine. They will receive 50% of the mined silver until the amount reaches 10 million ounces. Then they will receive 33% of the silver afterward.
The Neves-Corvo mine is a Portuguese operation that primarily mines copper. Wheaton Precious Metals has a stream contract to 100% of the silver mined there. Unlike many of the other contracts, this has a limit on the term of the stream. However, it's 50 years, meaning that Wheaton has a while to extract profit from the place.
The Pascua-Lama mine is located on the border between Chile and Argentina. Wheaton Precious Metals is entitled to 25% of the silver mined there for the entire life of the mine. The primary metal found here is gold.
The Copper World mine is located in the United States. Wheaton Precious Metals has a streaming contract for 100% of the gold and 100% of the silver found in the mine, for the entire lifespan of the mine. They paid $230 million upfront for this contract. As the name implies, this mine primarily extracts copper.
Voisey's Bay is a Canadian mine with a somewhat complex contract. The company will receive 42.4% of the cobalt found there until 31 pounds of cobalt have been mined. Then Wheaton will receive 21.2% of the cobalt mined there for the lifetime of the operation. This is unusual in that Wheaton typically looks for gold and silver contracts; cobalt is different for them.
Those are the biggest current operations. But there are many more mines with smaller operations or developing operations as well.
The Fenix mine in Chile is being developed, as it is one of the biggest potential sites of unmined gold in the Americas. There are more than 70 million ounces of gold to be mined there.
The Canadian Blackwater project is in the middle of British Columbia. This project will involve mining gold and silver, with an expected lifespan of 22 years. Another Canadian operation is the Marathon Project, which will develop a mine that can extract copper and nickel.
In Ecuador, the Curipamba and Cangrejos Projects are underway. These mining operations are expected to bring in copper and gold. In fact, the Cangrejos Project is understood to be the largest gold deposit that exists in Ecuador. It is being developed by another Canadian mining company, and Wheaton is pursuing a stake.
The Canadian Goose Project is being advanced in northern Canada, in the province of Nunavut. This project has been permitted and licensed already. It is in the pre-development stages and is forecast to have a lifespan of about 15 years, mainly producing gold.
The Aljustrel mine is a smaller project that produces copper, zinc, lead, and silver. Wheaton Precious Metals has a right to all of the silver that comes from the lead and zinc ore in the mine.
Is Wheaton Precious Metals Legitimate?
Wheaton Precious Metals is definitely a legitimate business. Since the corporation is traded publicly, all of its financials and records are also publicly available. This allows investors to get a transparent look into the business’s management and dealings before they make a purchase.
This is not a company that focuses on individual investor relations, though. If you’re looking to buy precious metals for your personal portfolio, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. Wheaton Precious Metals streams their metals and sells additional silver mined by other massive metals corporations.
As for the question of whether you should invest, that’s largely up to you. Wheaton Precious Metals is among the largest precious metals streamers in the world. It is consistently developing new projects and generates reasonable returns for its shareholders every quarter. But it has also already been established as a strong industry player, and so the price of shares is high.
The company recently announced that it had acquired $350 million in new mining operations, indicating that they’re continuing to grow and expand. So with that in mind, you might consider investing. But company stocks are a much more volatile investment than precious metals themselves, and you should be aware that you’re opening yourself up to risk.
Pros & Cons of Wheaton Precious Metals
Wheaton Precious Metals is a very successful company that has been around for nearly twenty years. They have mining operations all over the world and recently announced a $350 million acquisition. People often invest in them because of their reliable returns and ongoing development projects and acquisitions.
But investing in precious metals companies is risky. Though they make more money when the stock market crashes, they are also in competition with other metal streaming companies. In addition, they are beholden to their management, and their assets can fluctuate wildly based on market variables.
In addition, Wheaton Precious Metals is not a company from which you can purchase precious metals directly. They sell precious metals to a variety of dealers, but they don’t deal on an individual basis. If you’re looking for physical gold or silver to add to your portfolio, you should seek a different company instead.
Don't forget to checkout our highest recommended precious metals investment companies if you want to move forward with an investment!