Franco-Nevada lends money to cash-strapped borrowers so they can develop their mines. In return, Franco-Nevada gets a percentage of the mine's future revenues or the opportunity to buy whatever metals are produced for a low fixed cost -- often just $5 an ounce for silver and $400 per ounce for gold. (Compare that to current prices of about $35 and $1,700, respectively.)
The company hauls in cash from the royalty and streaming proceeds tied to 45 productive mines. And that cash is used to invest in the next promising mine. Franco-Nevada has an ownership stake in 138 early-stage development projects and is poised to cash in on 26 advanced mining projects that are nearing the finish line to commercial production.
This unique business model allows for full participation in new exploration projects without any of the heavy costs (or risks) associated with traditional mining. Franco-Nevada's gold, silver and platinum assets stretch from Montana to Indonesia to South Africa. But instead of having to explore for new sources (and then paying billions to develop them), the company lets its partners do the legwork. In effect, Franco-Nevada's only real job is to sit back and deposit checks.