Royal Gold Inc. is a highly diversified, multinational mineral resource company with operations in over 20 countries and 4 continents. Like silver wheaton royal gold doesn't directly operate most of the mines associated with it, instead it purchases a fraction (majority (75%) of at least one mine (Andacolo run by Goldcorp) of the precious metal produced by the mine over either its lifetime (Mount Milligan) or a specified length of time; the claim it has is called a royalty similar to what some governments demand when authorizing mining projects (like in the case with Ivanhoe Mines and Mongolia). Although most claims are only very small (1-5% for the majority) altogether they combine to form a significant cash flow especially considering there's no accountability for costs (and so little risk exposure) associated with mining facilities. It acquires the royalties through either direct purchases or aggreements with mining companies to fund projects periodically in exchange for more of the production when it begins. During 2010 the company officially went from being more depandant on revenue from the USA (79% in 2008-2009, 98% from the USA and Canada) to more dependant on business on abroad (74% by the first quarter of fiscal 2011(September 2010), in that quarter Royalty sales from Chile showed the most growth when compared to the same quarter in 2010 (19% versus 1%). In 2009 Forbes recognized the company as America's tenth fastest growing publicly traded small business (2005-2008 annualized rate return to investors 13.3%, the company ranked 89 the year before and didn't make the list in 2007).
Royal Gold also has interests in potash (Saskatchewan and British Colombia, Canada) and molybdenum. Also of interest is that it is one of only a few companies that owns interest in both the Abitibi Gold Belt (prolific gold producing region in the Canadian Malartic by way of Osisko Mining) and the El Indio Gold Belt a region at the border of Chile and Argentina that has recently attracted a number of startup companies, much of its 40 million ounces of gold have yet to be exploited. It went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2009 with an IPO of $235 million. The money raised was used to purchase 50% of gold production from Chile's Andacollo mine (owned by Tech Resources (cost the company 4.5 million of its shares and $100 million). The Andacollo mine has 1.6 million ounces of 2P gold reserves and a mine life of 20 years. Royal Gold also owns a 2% NSR royalty on Seabridge Gold's KSM gold-copper poryphry mega project in British Columbia. KSM has 38.5 million ounces of 2P gold reserves (July 2011) as well as 214 million ounces of 2P silver reserves.(Read more at Wikinvest )