In December 2023, gold prices soared to an all-time high of $2,135.39/oz, propelled by a weakening U.S. dollar and anticipation of Federal Reserve rate cuts. As we continue into 2024, the focus shifts to the Fed’s interest rate decisions, which are expected to be pivotal factors influencing gold prices. Forecasts indicate a short-term dip in gold prices, followed by a resurgence and an anticipated peak at $2,300/oz in 2025, according to JP & Morgan, setting the stage for a potentially lucrative year for gold.
For investors eyeing gold’s promising trajectory, gold mining stocks offer a unique entry point. These stocks provide a pathway to tap into the gold market’s potential. Now, let’s delve into four notable mining stocks that could benefit from rallying gold prices
Collective Mining Ltd. (OTCQX: CNLMF) (TSX: CNL) is making significant progress in the exploration sector, with an emphasis on gold, silver, copper, and tungsten projects in Caldas, Colombia. Collective Mining, founded by the team that successfully sold Continental Gold Inc. to Zijin Mining for approximately $2 billion, is notable for its projects in a proven mining camp with ten fully permitted and operational mines nearby.
The Guayabales flagship project revolves around the Apollo target, a substantial gold-silver-copper-tungsten porphyry system that comes directly to surface. As of 2023, Collective Mining had completed 92 drill holes, covering approximately 40,000 meters, with pending assay results. Highlight holes include 519 meters at 2.76 g/t gold equivalent and 503 meters at 2.02 g/t gold equivalent, both of which began from surface. The company has ambitious plans for 2024, aiming to deploy up to six rigs throughout the year and drill more than 40,000 metres.
In 2024, Collective Mining’s primary objectives include expanding the Apollo System, known for its robust gold-silver-copper-tungsten porphyry system. The company will also focus on exploring early-stage targets along the 4.5-kilometer porphyry corridor at Guayabales. Notable targets include Olympus, Trap, Plutus, Target X, and Tower Target.
Last week, Collective announced a new major discovery at the Trap target, located northeast of the Apollo porphyry system. A sizable and consistent zone of precious metal mineralization was found in two diamond drill holes. It is thought to be the upper part of a porphyry system with even better potential below. Drill hole TRC-2 intercepted 646.0 meters at 0.81 g/t gold equivalent, including 301.5 meters at 1.01 g/t gold equivalent, while TRC-3 revealed multiple intervals of continuous mineralization. This is a remarkable start to a grass-roots discovery.
Collective Mining’s Executive Chairman, Ari Sussman, expressed enthusiasm about the discoveries at Guayabales, highlighting the company’s aggressive exploration approach. With its 2024 drill program set to be the most ambitious yet, Collective Mining positions itself as a compelling player in the dynamic world of mineral exploration.
As the company resumes drilling at Trap, investors await further assay results, anticipating a deeper understanding of this significant discovery. The ongoing success at Guayabales solidifies Collective Mining’s position as a noteworthy player in the exploration sector.
Aris Mining Corporation (TSX: ARIS) (NYSE-A: ARMN) stands tall in the gold mining landscape, strategically positioned in the Americas. Operating in Colombia and Guyana, Aris Mining achieved noteworthy success in 2023, producing 226,151 ounces of gold within the projected range of 220,000 to 240,000 ounces.
CEO Neil Woodyer highlighted the company’s accomplishments, emphasizing the fulfillment of production guidance at Segovia Operations and the ongoing operations of Marmato Upper Mine during the construction of the new Marmato Lower Mine. Anticipating a total gold production between 220,000 and 240,000 ounces in 2024, Aris Mining is steadfast in its growth trajectory.
Aris Mining’s expansion initiatives include enhancing the Segovia processing facility by 50% to 3,000 metric tons per day by early 2025. Simultaneously, the construction of the Marmato Lower Mine is underway, with the first gold pour expected in late 2025. With aspirations to produce around 500,000 ounces of gold in Colombia in 2026, Aris Mining solidifies its long-term vision.
Key highlights from 2023 include consistent quarter-over-quarter increases in gold production, Segovia Operations achieving an AISC/oz of $1,139 for the nine months ending September 30, 2023, and substantial increases in mineral resource and reserve estimates. Aris Mining’s exploration plans for 2024 involve a strategic investment of $21 million to capitalize on prior successes at Segovia Operations, aiming for further resource expansion.
With a conscientious focus on responsible and formalized artisanal and small-scale mining, Aris Mining not only excels in production but also distinguishes itself through ethical and sustainable practices. The company’s exploratory endeavors, strategic initiatives, and growth-oriented commitment position it as a pivotal force in the dynamic landscape of gold mining in the Americas.
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) stands as a prominent figure in the gold and copper industry, recently disclosing preliminary production figures for both the full year and the fourth quarter of 2023. Despite facing challenges, such as equipment issues in the Dominican Republic mine and reduced output in the Nevada Gold Fields project, Barrick’s full-year gold production reached 4.05 million ounces. Notably, the company experienced a sequential increase in the fourth quarter, with gold production hitting 1.05 million ounces. Copper production for the year stood at 420 million pounds, maintaining consistent performance across all three production sites.
This performance, however, did not meet earlier forecasts, resulting in a 2.17% decline in annual gold production. In response to these challenges, Barrick showed tenacity by reporting increases in Q4 gold production, which were driven by strong performances at key sites.
Looking ahead, the company anticipates an 8% to 10% increase in all-in sustaining costs (AISC) per ounce of gold. In contrast, copper’s AISC is projected to be 2% to 4% lower than the previous quarter.
Leadership remains a key focus, with President and CEO Mark Bristow set to lead the upcoming presentation on February 14, 2024. Barrick’s overarching purpose is to build the world’s most valued gold and copper company, emphasizing high-margin, long-life assets managed by the best people.
As investors navigate the dynamic landscape of mining stocks in 2024, Barrick Gold Corporation offers a compelling narrative, showcasing resilience in the face of challenges and providing a strategic outlook for the future. The upcoming quarterly report presentation promises a deeper understanding of Barrick’s financial health and growth prospects.
Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM), with a rich history spanning over a century, holds the distinction of being the largest gold-mining stock based on market capitalization and stands as the sole gold producer included in the S&P 500.
The company’s appeal has significantly increased following the completion of its acquisition of Newcrest in November. This strategic move is anticipated to bring immediate value, with Newmont projecting $500 million in pre-tax synergies over the two years following the deal’s closure. Additionally, the company aims for a minimum of $2 billion in cash improvements through portfolio optimization during the same period.
Examining Newmont’s cash flow potential, the company reported operating cash flow of $1 billion for Q3 2023. With the combined impact of a higher gold price and the benefits derived from the acquisition, Newmont is poised for an operating cash flow exceeding $5 billion in 2024.
Recently, the company disclosed its plan to release full-year and fourth-quarter 2023 operations and financial results, along with 2024 guidance, on Thursday, February 22, 2024.
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