cost of mine grinding equipment

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7 gold etfs with low costs | kiplinger

7 gold etfs with low costs | kiplinger

Gold investors typically tout several virtues of the yellow metal: It hedges against inflation, they say, it's an uncorrelated asset that doesn't move with the stock market and it can grow in value when national or even global uncertainty is high. Those features help build the bull case, which you can leverage via gold ETFs.

Some people look to gold investing to diversify their portfolios, and aggressive investors can try to squeeze profits out of short-term swing trades. We recommend that if you do try your hand at this commodity, you first learn the ins and outs of investing in gold, make it a small portion (5%) of your portfolio and use ETFs, for several reasons, including liquidity, low expenses and ease of use.

Here's an introduction to seven low-cost gold ETFs that offer varying types of exposure to the precious commodity. This list includes the most ubiquitous gold ETFs on the market funds you typically can read about in just about any daily commodity wrap-up as well as a few that aren't as well-covered by the financial media but might be better investments than their high-asset brethren.

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD, $178.70) is the first U.S.-traded gold ETF, and as is the case with many "first funds," it also has more assets than any of its competitors by almost three times its closest rival.

SPDR Gold Shares is the prototypical gold fund: It represents fractional interest in physical gold bullion stored in vaults. That allows investors to participate in the upside of gold prices without having to deal with the hassles of physically storing, protecting and insuring bullion or coins. In the case of the GLD, the ETF's price represents 1/10th an ounce of gold.

The GLD's sheer size and popularity breeds several benefits for traders: The fund is extremely liquid and has tight bid-ask spreads, and its options market is more robust than any other traditional gold fund.

The iShares Gold Trust (IAU, $18.16) has long been the premier low-cost alternative to the GLD. That, as well as its relative longevity (inception was in 2005), have helped it amass nearly $30 million billion in assets under management.

IAU is similar to GLD in that its shares are meant to represent a fraction of an ounce of gold, though in IAU's case, it's 1/100th rather than the GLD's 1/10th. Otherwise, it acts very similarly to SPDR's gold ETF.

This iShares gold ETF isn't as liquid as the SPDR Gold Shares, and its bid-ask spreads aren't as tight, so it's not ideal for short-term traders. However, its significantly lower cost makes it a better buy for long-term buy-and-holders. Over the course of 30 years, assuming a $10,000 initial investment and, say, 5% annual growth, you would pay roughly $1,700 less in fees with IAU over the life of the investment.

The very short exploration: Gold miners extract gold ore from a mine and then process it into gold. And they try to do that at a cost thats less than the price they sell the gold for, generating a profit. The ideal situation: Holding gold miners that have low costs of production while gold prices are both increasing and higher than those companies' costs to produce the gold.

One popular way to play this industry is the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX, $41.83) a collection of roughly 50 companies in the gold mining industry. This fund is weighted by market capitalization, which means the bigger the stock, the greater the percentage of assets GDX invests in it. The ETF is heavily weighted, then, in bigger miners such as Newmont (NEM, 13.7% of assets), Barrick Gold (ABX, 13.2) and Franco-Nevada (FNV, 7.3%). In fact, nearlytwo-thirds of the fund's assets are concentrated in just the top 10 holdings a condition that can be referred to as "top-heavy."

One note: Gold miners tend to be more reactive to the price of gold than gold ETFs that actually hold the metal when GLD improves, GDX tends to improve more, and vice versa. That's great in boom times (GDX is up 49% this year, for instance), and good for shorter-term trades. But it also means less stability over the long term.

When you think of mining companies, you tend to think of the companies in GDX they operate mines, process the ore and sell the gold. But there's a lot that goes on first, and that's where junior gold miners come in. These firms employ engineers and geologists to help discover new gold deposits, determine how big their resources are and even help start mines up.

These are highly risky companies given the nature of their work. A seemingly promising project could turn south overnight, decimating the value of the stock. These small companies typically aren't flush with cash, either, so there's not much of a backstop should disaster strike. The flip side? Success can send these stocks flying quickly.

Holding one or two of these stocks can be extremely risky. If you want exposure to this type of gold play, the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ, $59.16) spreads the risk across nearly 80 such companies names such as Kinross Gold (KGC), Gold Fields (GFI) and Australia's Northern Star Resources.

However, even though the fund has more holdings and is less top-heavy than the GDX top-10 holdings account for 45% of the fund's assets the riskier nature of GDXJ's constituents results in slightly more volatile performance, for better or worse.

The GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR, $17.92) might not be familiar to many investors. But this gold-backed ETF built in the same vein as GLD and IAU has done something impressive by amassing $1.6 billion in assets in just less than three years of trading; inception was at the end of August 2017.

In an interview with Kiplinger, GraniteShares CEO Will Rhind told Kiplinger, "We're establishing a low-cost commodity ETF offering because no one has done that. That's an important differentiator; Vanguard doesn't do commodities."

BAR is built similarly to GLD, with shares representing 1/10th the price of gold. But at just 0.1749% in expenses, it undercuts both the GLD and lower-priced IAU. In fact, its low fees forced the hand of one of Wall Street's biggest ETF providers, which we'll discuss next.

SPDR has long had a stranglehold on the gold trading market, but the iShares Gold Trust slowly sapped away assets from the buy-and-hold crowd. It's likely that GraniteShares' offering in summer 2017 was the final straw, because the fund provider finally hit back.

The SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM, $18.98), launched in summer 2018, is one of the lowest-cost gold ETFs backed by physical metal at just 0.18% in expenses. It's similar to IAU in that each share represents 1/100th of an ounce of gold rather than 1/10th, but it charges 7 basis points less than the iShares fund.

This ETF now makes SPDR a total threat in the gold space, offering both a dirt-cheap product (GLDM) for buy-and-hold retail investors, as well as a high-volume trading product (GLD) for institutional and other accounts.

This is another tight portfolio, this time of fewer than 30 companies, that are engaged in the production of gold or other precious metals, whether that's actively (say, mining) or passively (owning royalties or production streams).

That's not a bad deal considering that gold isn't the only precious metal on the rise in 2020. Silver, for instance, is actually up a whopping 34% year-to-date to above $24 per ounce, with the sliding U.S. dollar again partly to thank.

Top holdings include the likes of Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM, 10.7%), which deals instreaming agreements tethered to gold, silver and other precious metals, and the aforementioned Franco-Nevada (9.3%), a similar royalty-and-streaming company.

rick mills: low-cost producers trump larger mines in costly market - trader's blog

rick mills: low-cost producers trump larger mines in costly market - trader's blog

Rick Mills: There are three key reasons to have exposure to gold bullion. The traditional reason is to protect against inflation. We're printing money. More quantitative easing has taken place and inflation looks to be coming down the pike. I buy groceries. I pay for gas. I can see inflation. I firmly believe it's going to get higher over the coming months and years. Buying gold as a protection against inflation is realistic.

The second reason investors have traditionally bought gold is as a safe-haven investment. There's a lot going on in the worldfrom secession talk in the U.S. to turmoil in Israel, Iran, Syria, the South China Sea region and Turkey.

One of the things that most investors don't know about gold is that adding a gold allocation to your portfolio, especially over the last decade or so, has provided substantial enhancements to the portfolio's return.

TGR: It felt like the end of the world in 2008. Gold has saved the portfolios of a lot of investors who were smart enough to start collecting it in 2001 and onward. However, there are investors who don't believe that gold has the multiples now.

RM: It's true. I believe gold producers have shot themselves in the foot because of their reporting methods. They use cash cost for reporting. In 2001 and 2002, miners were producing gold for below $180/ounce (oz). By 2005, cash costs had risen 45% to $250/oz. Data from research consultancy Thompson Reuters GFMS shows that world gold production costs for the first half of 2009 averaged $457/oz. In 2011, they were $657/oz. GFMS' Gold Survey 2012 says it's now $727/oz.

But if investors have been looking at that, they've been misled because that's not really the cost of producing gold. These average cash-cost figures include only the costs directly associated with the production of gold, such as wages, energy and raw materials. The problem is that gold cash costs are not the only costs associated with mines. Investment bank CIBC just produced a complete breakdown of costs. Yes, operating costs are $700/oz, but there is also sustaining capital, construction capital, discovery costs and overhead. CIBC pegs those at an average of $600/oz. Add in $200/oz for taxes on average, and you're looking at $1,500 to produce an ounce of gold.

RM: The gold price is $1,700/oz. Companies are not making a lot of money here. The funny thing is that the sustainable costs for goldthe sustainable number gold miners needaccording to CIBC, is $1,700/oz. You can see why investors are leery to jump into the space with numbers so tight.

TGR: But you're a gold bull. You believe that people should be investing in bullion. The bullion has to come from somewhere. What's an investor to do when he believes in the fundamental reasons for owning gold, but doesn't understand how the equities can perform?

RM: Historically, the precious metals equities have given investors the most leverage to a rise in gold and silver prices. We need to have a rise in gold and silver price. We need to get into that environment again, like it was from 2001 to 2006 when gold equities went up 900%.

Let's look at why companies aren't making a profit. One of the biggest reasons is capital expenditures (capex), which is the basic cost of building a mine and its supporting infrastructure. There are lower grades being mineddown 23% over the last five years and expected to drop another 4% this yearand more complex metallurgy. Companies are increasingly going into more remote areas that lack infrastructure. Environmental regulations are increasing. We are seeing more money-grabbing governments and resource nationalization. There's a serious shortage of skilled personnel and labor unrest is pretty much everywhere: strikes, protests and unions demanding higher wages. Everything you can imagine is working in a perfect storm to increase costs and risks on mining companies.

Costs are going through the roof, yet gold is stuck in a holding pattern at $1,700/oz. Then, when people want exposure to the sector, they buy an exchange-traded fund (ETF). In the past, a lot of that money would have gone into mining equities.

There's a huge increase in exploration spendingmore than $8 billion ($8B) in 2011but a serious lack of new discovery. There have been very few large, high-grade deposits discovered during the past few years. Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX:TSX; ABX:NYSE) said at the Precious Metals Conference 2012 that of the "super giant" discoveries, those that are more than 20 million ounces (Moz), 18 were discovered in the 1900s. Fast-forward to the 1980s when 14 were discovered. In the 1990s, 11 were discovered. In the 2000s, only five were uncovered.

The number of annual gold discoveries of more than 5 Moz since 2007 is six in 2007, one in 2008, one in 2009, three in 2010 and one in 2011. None is producing yet. A lot of people who think that they're going to produce are in for a disappointment because of resource nationalism, permitting problems, environmental problems, lack of water, labor unrest and protests.

RM: That's right. Inflation, world events, diversificationgold does offer leverage. So do equities, or at least they will again. I'm not looking at huge mines with billions and billions of dollars in capex. I'm much more comfortable with the smaller mines with lower capex and under-control operating expenditures. I like the lowest-cost producers. That's where the money is going to be made over the next two years.

RM: Absolutely. Look at the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt canceling a nearly 20-year-old license for a mining company. In Madagascar, a DJ gets elected president and the first thing he wants to do is cancel permits and do a review. That's not happening in Canada, the U.S. or politically stable places like Greenland. There is enough risk in this business as it is without intentionally inviting more.

According to a July 2012 research report by Natural Resource Holdings, there are only 164 undeveloped gold deposits globally, with more than 1 Moz of gold in all categories, that are owned by non-major mining companies. The average grade of all these deposits is 0.66 grams per ton (g/t). Since we're mining +80 Moz a year, that makes these non-major-owned deposits quite valuable.

The total current gold resource on Altair Gold Inc.'s (AVX:TSX.V) Kena property sits at 1.06 Moz. In the Kena Gold Zone, Measured and Indicated (MI) resources are 300,000 oz (300 Koz) at 0.64 g/t Au, and Inferred are 85 Koz at 0.70 g/t Au. In the Gold Mountain Zone, MI resources are 249 Koz at 0.71 g/t Au, and Inferred are 428 Koz at 0.60 g/t Au.

I like Altair Gold because the company has an amazing technical team and they are putting some serious money into their project. Altair put $1.75 million ($175M) into the Kena property in British Columbia this year. The company drilled 7,400 meters (m) and got some results back, but is going to put a comprehensive plan together based on the complete results. That will be exciting. Altair has proven it can raise money. It can run a technical drill program. It can get the word out to investors. With the right results, this management team can take this project all the way to being one of those low-cost producers. Altair could have something spectacular.

RM: Most of the companies in British Columbia that have had problems with the First Nations created their own problems by not getting the First Nations involved in the projects early. They show disrespect to the traditional ways. A company that engages the First Nations, is willing to work with them and is willing to provide jobs and help them, isn't likely to be road-blocked by them. The First Nations are not against resource development. They want jobs. Engage them early in a project and you won't have a problem.

RM: The next one we'll talk about is NioGold Mining Corp. (NOX:TSX.V; NOXGF:OTCPK). I like this project, which is a joint venture with Aurizon Mines Ltd. (ARZ:TSX; AZK:NYSE.MKT). There has been some uncertainty surrounding it. Aurizon was supposed to have made a decision to invest in the third phase, but it is going to wait and see the next NI 43-101.

The first NI 43-101 didn't have phase two results and was very conservative. The phase one report has delineated 2.1 Moz, most of that in the Marban deposit. The goal of the phase one drilling on the Marban deposit was to bring as many surface ounces as possible into a pit shell. The stripping ratio looks pretty high, but the grade is good and that should compensate for the high strip. Now, NioGold is going to look at the open pit, the high grade and strip ratio.

RM: Next March. Phase two included $5M of drilling, and that is being added to the NI 43-101 report now. The NI 43-101 shows 1.58 g/t and that compares with 1.07 g/t across the road at Osisko Mining Corp.'s Canadian Malartic mine. And the 43-101 report was quite conservative, using a punitive grade capping that discounts the contained metal by as much as 30%. The phase two report will be more detailed, using tighter intervals and high- and low-grade envelopes to more accurately detail the deposit, and this should capture more of the ounces.

RM: This is the best part of the story. Aurizon has already spent $11M and at this stage the company has not earned anything. If it doesn't continue with phase three, the entire deposit reverts to NioGold and it will have 100% ownership of a 2.1 Moz deposit. Assuming Aurizon continues with the earn-in, then another $9M is spent over 912 months. Then a final 43-101 is delivered to Aurizon and it has to make a resource payment to NioGold for half of the gold in the deposit at a rate of $40/oz for Measured and Indicated, and $30/oz for Inferred. This payment is already estimated at $39M, just including the gold outlined with phase one. The payment could easily grow to $5060M by the end of the program. And that is only for half of the deposit. NioGold gets to keep the other half. Aurizon would then be the operator and it can go to 60% by delivering a feasibility report, and up to 65% by arranging project financing. But that last 5% is at NioGold's option.

RM: Terraco Gold Corp. (TEN:TSX.V) has several irons in the fire. Nutmeg Mountain, the Almaden project, is putting out an updated NI 43-101. It has 887 holes that were inherited. They were rotary air blast (RAB) drilling and reverse circulation (RC), but those types of drilling wouldn't give you the best representation. The company has done 52 core holes and four 4-inch metallurgical holes that it is going to include in the new NI 43-101.

Institutional interest in large-scale gold and copper discoveries has dropped off mainly because every time it puts some money into them, its interest just gets totally destroyed. It gets delay after delay. It gets cost increase after cost increase. These smaller ones, which have low costs to put into production along with low-cost producers, are going to be the way that we're looking at things as retail investors.

Almaden seems to be a perfect example of a low-cost deposit. We're looking at a new NI 43-101 with better recovery in the cores, and the holes support that. The diamond-drill holes were 2040% better grade than the RAB and the RC. We're waiting on metallurgical results that should be out shortly. The biggest knock on this deposit is that it has only been able to recover 63% of the gold. It doesn't absolutely kill you economically, but it's not a huge incentive either. However, there are reasons for the lower recoveries, namely that the column tests weren't leached for a full 90 days. It never separated the sulfide, oxides and the mix into separate columns.

Terraco should have a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) early in 2013. It could come up with some superior numbers that show Almaden as a serious low-cost producer. It's heap leach. The company has $1.8M in the treasury. Terraco is going to do its PEA and see if it can produce out there.

TGR: Terraco has the benefit of its primary asset being in northern Idaho, where mining is well accepted, and in Nevada, which is a fantastic jurisdiction. What CEO Todd Hilditch has done with his career is impressive.

RM: I was lucky to get in on his company Salares Lithium Inc., which merged with Talison Lithium Ltd. (TLH:TSX). The buyout by Talison was 400% of what I originally bought it. Of course, now we have the bidding war for those who got Talison shares.

RM: Yes, it's on a project in Nevada, the Spring Valley joint venture (JV) project of Barrick and Midway Gold Corp. (MDW:TSX.V; MDW:NYSE.A). Midway's Spring Valley deposit is at 3.5 Moz. That's $40M net present value (NPV to Terraco. After $13M to exercise its option, that's a $27M NPV, which is $2M more than its current market cap.

RM: Yes. If it does expand that deposit to, say, 6 Moz, which is certainly not out of the realm of possibility, that's a NPV of $64M. After exercising its options, it's a NPV of $51M. That's double the market capjust on the royalty.

There is also a lot of blue-sky potential. The Barrick/Midway JV's best hole is on the north end of Spring Valley. They have in hand a permit to drill toward the north, which is the south end of Terraco's Moonlight project. If the JV hits Moonlight is in play.

In the last six weeks, Northern Vertex has drilled 200 percussion holes and raised $9.1M. Ken Berry just stepped aside as CEO to bring on Dick Whittington, a mining engineer. Whittington took Farallon Mining Ltd.'s (FAN:TSX) project in Mexico to production in four years. He's also put a voice behind mining interests in Mexico. He gathered together miners and explorers worth $50B in assets and they speak to the Mexican government as a single voice. Whittington is well respected and is very good at what he does. The mission is to fast-track Moss into production. When this happens, Northern Vertex is definitely going to be one of the lower-cost producers out there.

RM: Moss is a gold and silver project in northwestern Arizona with all the necessary infrastructure nearby. It has a gold-equivalent (eq) NI 43-101 resource of 950 Koz Measured and Indicated and 266 Koz Inferred gold eq, and it's growable. It's got a low strip ratio and is amenable to low-cost, heap-leach open pit mining. It's a major stockwork vein system that outcrops at the surface for 5,500 feet. It has a unique three-phase plan. The third phase will be paid for by production. It's a smart plan run by some very smart people. I have no doubt that this one is going to be successful.

RM: Exactly. Its management team is extremely popular with investors and institutions for several good reasons. When they say they're going to do something, they go out and they do it. They're a no-nonsense team.

Richard (Rick) Mills is the founder, owner and president of Northern Venture Group, which owns, as well as publisher, editor and host of the website. Focusing on the junior resource sector, Mills has had articles appearing in more than 400 different publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Safe Haven, the Market Oracle, USA Today, National Post, Stockhouse, LewRockwell, Pinnacle Digest, Uranium Miner, Beforeitsnews, Seeking Alpha, Montreal Gazette, Casey Research, 24hgold, Vancouver Sun, CBS News, Silver Bear Cafe, Infomine, Huffington Post, Mineweb, 321Gold, Kitco, Gold-Eagle, The Gold/Energy Reports, Calgary Herald, Resource Investor,, Forbes, FN Arena, UraniumSeek, Financial Sense, GoldSeek, Dallas News, VantageWire, Indiatimes, ninemsn, IBTimes, jsmineset, the Association of Mining Analysts and Resource Clips.

Want to read more Gold Report interviews like this? Sign up for our free e-newsletter, and you'll learn when new articles have been published. To see a list of recent interviews with industry analysts and commentators, visit our Streetwise Interviews page.

DISCLOSURE: 1) Sally Lowder of The Gold Report conducted this interview. She personally and/or her family own shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: None. 2) The following companies mentioned in the interview are sponsors of The Gold Report: Altair Gold Inc., Great Panther Silver Ltd., Aurizon Mines Ltd. and Terraco Gold Corp. Streetwise Reports does not accept stock in exchange for services. Interviews are edited for clarity. 3) Rick Mills: I personally and/or my family own shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: None. Great Panther Silver Ltd., Altair Gold Inc., NioGold Mining Corp., Terraco Gold Corp. and Northern Vertex Mining Corp. are paid sponsors of Mills' website, I was not paid by Streetwise Reports for participating in this interview.

The bear market in mining stock shares could very well portend a cyclical bear for metals prices, it's not like it hasn't happened before that the mining shares act as advance warnings that something is not right overall.

two low-cost gold producers to consider for 2014 | the motley fool

two low-cost gold producers to consider for 2014 | the motley fool

Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.

With gold prices having experienced large declines during 2013, many gold producers are intent on reducing costs. While most have been at least somewhat successful, many have only been able to reduce costs enough to allow them to survive or remain marginally profitable. There are, however, a few gold producers with low productions costs that investors may still find attractive.

The companiesNew Gold (NYSEMKT:NGD) is a low-cost, intermediate gold producer with four operating mines. In 2013, New Gold's all-in sustaining costs were $899 per ounce, and for 2014 all-in sustaining costs are estimated at $815-835 per ounce. New Gold is projecting production of 380,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold in 2014, roughly the same as 2013, and copper production of 92-100 million pounds, which represents an increase of 12% copper production over 2013. New Gold's low cost New Afton mine is expected to average throughput of 12,500 tonnes per day in 2014, and plans are in place to proceed with mill expansion to 14,000 tonnes per day, which will increase gold and copper production growth in 2015.

New Gold has several interesting projects that investors should be aware of. El Morro is a joint venture gold-copper project in north-central Chile. New Gold owns 30%, with Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) owning the remaining 70%. This is a great project for New Gold, as Goldcorp has agreed to fund 100% of the development capital for the project, which will be repaid by receiving an 80% share of cash flow once the project is in production until the development capital is repaid. New Gold also has the Rainy River and Blackwater projects in Canada, which have the potential to nearly triple annual gold production at low all-in sustaining costs. However, these projects have very large development capital costs, with the Blackwater project estimating development capital costs of nearly $1.9 billion inclusive of a $190 million contingency. Investors will want to keep a close eye on these projects, because if they move forward, New Gold will have to find a way to raise the large amount of capital required which likely would require either taking on significant debt or issuing equity.

Another low cost producer investors may want to consider is Alamos Gold (NYSE:AGI). Alamos Gold owns and operates the low-cost Mulatos mine in Mexico. For 2013, Alamos produced 190,000 ounces of gold at an estimated all-in sustaining cost of $800 per ounce. Investors should be aware that Alamos is projecting lower production in 2014 of between 150,000 to 170,000 ounces due to a decrease in grade and is projecting an all-in sustaining cost of $960-1,000 per ounce for 2014. Moving beyond 2014, Alamos anticipates mining higher grade ore and being able to reduce all-in sustaining costs. They are projecting achieving 200,000 ounces per year at Mulatos by 2016.

One of the most attractive things about Alamos Gold is its strong balance sheet with over $400 million in cash and no debt. With the current instability in gold prices, having a healthy balance sheet is very attractive for investors.

Final thoughtsWith gold prices having decreased substantially from their all-time highs in 2011, many gold miners have had a difficult time trying to decrease production costs. Investors focusing on low-cost ounces rather than total ounces may want to consider companies like New Gold and Alamos Gold who have low all-in sustaining costs and have kept their spending under control so far. New Gold investors will want to watch the company closely to see how it manages its cash regarding its development projects. The key for Alamos Gold will be successfully mining higher grade ore that should allow it to reduce its all-in sustaining costs. If both these companies are successful in these key areas, they should be attractive low-cost producers with golden futures.

investing in gold? it's 'relatively cheap' and could surge: strategist

investing in gold? it's 'relatively cheap' and could surge: strategist

TD Securities head of global strategy Richard Kelly told CNBC's "Street Signs Europe" that "gold had a phenomenal run-up over the course of last year, and when that reversed, I think it scared a few investors off."

Gold was under pressure in the first few months of 2021. This came amid a sharp jump in U.S. Treasury yields as traders started to bet that inflation would cause the Federal Reserve to hike interests rates and taper its accommodative monetary policy. Gold is traditionally seen as a hedge against inflation but any attempts by central banks to rein in inflation is usually bad for bullion.

Kelly added that even if gold were to reach $1,900, "or even above, that's still an area that does have scope given what we're seeing with policy rates, given what we're seeing with inflation dynamics and just overall under-positioning in that side of things, that's certainly a catch-up trade that can have more legs."

In a note to clients this week, JPMorgan said institutional investors were ditching bitcoin in favor of gold. The cryptocurrency had started to gain a reputation as a kind of "digital gold," offering protection from inflation.

top 6 low cost gold etfs

top 6 low cost gold etfs

Shobhit Seth is a freelance writer and an expert on commodities, stocks, alternative investments, cryptocurrency, as well as market and company news. In addition to being a derivatives trader and consultant, Shobhit has over 17 years of experience as a product manager and is the owner of Hereceived his master's degree in financial management from the Netherlands and hisBachelor of Technology degree from India.

Gold remains among investors'favorites owing toseveral of its virtues it offers a hedge against inflation, has little correlation with the stock market, and offers growth potential even during uncertain economic conditions. Beyond equities, bonds, real estate and currency,gold-linked investments act as an alternative asset to diversify aninvestment portfolio. (See also, Top 5 Gold ETFs for 2018.)

Gold-based exchange traded funds (ETFs), exchange traded notes (ETNs) and trust fund shares offer a convenient medium to take short term trading positions or make long term investments in the precious yellow metal commodity. They all work on a similar principle hold physical gold or gold-linked financial instruments and issue shares to common investors whose value changes depending on the valuation of the holdings. Owing to their high liquidity, low expenses and ease of trading, such gold-based products have gained popularity with many leading fund houses and asset management companies (AMC) launching different versions of the products.

However, each distinct gold product comes with its own cost which varies from 0.18% to 1.35%. Careful consideration should be given to theexpense ratio, as it impacts the net return that an investor can realize. The expense ratio is the annual fee that all funds or ETFs charge their shareholders, and includes management fees, administrative fees, operating costs, and all other asset-based costs incurred by the fund. (See also, Fee War Makes Its Way to Gold ETFs.)

Issued by State Street SPDR, the GLDM gold ETF offers investors one of the lowest available expense ratios for a U.S.-listed physically gold-backed ETF. It is categorized as a Long-Short ETF, which means that the fund at times may take both long and short positions in the underlying asset (gold).Started recently in June 2018, the ETF comes with a low expense ratio of 0.18%. As of writing, it has assets under management (AUM) of around $135 million, and holds around 3.5 tonnes of gold in its trust.

Launched by the New York City-based GraniteShares ETF company, BAR was launched in August 2017, and has an expense ratio of 0.20%. The ETF is backed by physical gold which is securely held at the Londond-based vault operated by custodian ICBC Standard Bank PLC. BAR represents fractional interest in physical gold bullion that is stored in the vaults. It has around $283 million AUM and holds around 7.36 tonnes of physical gold.

One of the oldest gold-based trust that started in 2005, the IAU shares represent a fraction (1/100th) of an ounce of gold. With an expense ratio of 0.25%, the IAU Gold Trust commands a significant market share among the gold-backed funds and ETFs. It has net assets topping $10.25 billion as of September 2018, and holds more than 266 tonnes of physical gold in its trust.

Another offering from iShares, the relatively new ETF launched in June 2018 has a net expense ratio of 0.25%. It has AUM of a little over $4.6 million, and seeks to provide exposure, on a total return basis, to the price performance of gold. It attempts to do so by investing in a combination of (i) exchange-traded gold futures contracts and other exchange-traded or over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives like forward contracts, futures, options and swaps that correlate to the investment returns of physical gold, and (ii) exchange-traded products (ETPs) backed by or linked to physical gold, which may include the iShares Gold Trust (IAU)

Issued by UBS, the UBG ETN was launched in April 2008 and charges an expense ratio of 0.30%. It is designed to track the performance of the UBS Bloomberg CMCI Gold Total Return Index, which measures the collateralized returns from a basket of goldfutures contracts up tofive constant maturities that range from three months up to three years. It has around $3.3 million AUM.

Launched by Aberdeen Standard Investments in September 2009, SGOL attempts to reflect the performance of the price of gold bullion. With AUM of more than $781 million, its shares are physically backed with allocated metal at the Zurich, Switzerland-based vault. The product shares are priced off the London Bullion Market Associations specifications for Good Delivery, which is an internationally recognized and transparent benchmark for pricing physical gold. It has a net expense ratio of 0.39%.

how gold-mining operations benefit from heap leaching extraction

how gold-mining operations benefit from heap leaching extraction

Building and permitting a mill to process mined resources can take at least a decade, not to mention a large outlay of capital. Heap leaching is a hydrometallurgical technique with lower operational costs than more conventional processing technologies. The technique offers gold producers a user-friendly extractive solution with the ability to significantly improve recovery rates and fast-track a property into production. This well-proven and cost-effective approach to precious metals extraction has been used by majors including Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) and Newmont (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM), and is increasingly being considered both in the design of new mines and the expansion of existing operations.

The heap leaching process for precious metals typically begins with low-grade surface ore that has been separated through crushing. To maximize recoveries, this crushed ore is then agglomerated prior to leaching. This involves mixing the ore with lime or portland cement to produce larger masses of material that are more uniform and easier to leach than fine particulate matter which can clog and slow down the flow of solution as it percolates through the heap. Once the agglomeration stage is complete, the material is then spread over high-density polyethylene membrane-lined leaching pads specially designed to prevent contaminants from entering the soil and groundwater. Next, a leaching solvent such as sulfuric acid or cyanide is sprayed over the ore, dissolving the gold and silver as it passes through the heap. This creates a solution pregnant with valuable minerals that can be recovered via carbon absorption or the Merrill-Crowe process.

Gold projects that host near-surface mineralization associated with low-grade oxides that are also capable of supporting a large-scale mining project are more amenable to the heap leach process. The process can also be used to recover economical amounts of valuable metals from tailings and waste stockpiles. High grade, sulphide gold often requires more sophisticated processing techniques with more expensive equipment. In deposits that contain both oxides and sulfides , heap leaching the oxide resources can move a project to cash flow at a quicker pace and generate the capital required to finance the more expensive processing facilities required to tackle a sulphide orebody.

Exploration companies like CANEX Metals (TSXV:CANX) have the potential to leverage on heap leaching extraction systems as a low cost mining technology. CANEX is currently developing a new gold discovery at its flagship Gold Range project in Arizona. Were right on the edge of the discovery curve. We have sampled widespread gold mineralization over a 5 by 3 kilometre area. We have mapped key controlling structures with geophysics and identified several targets across our Gold Range property. Our current focus is on the Eldorado oxide gold target which has a potential size of 200m x up to 3km. While it is early days, RC drilling to date is giving us some good bulk tonnage grades with good continuity. The preliminary metallurgical (cyanide soluble gold results from Eldorado) confirm the potential as a bulk tonnage heap leach target and further de-risk the exploration concept. The average cyanide soluble gold value of 79.5% compares very well to current heap leach producers and development projects in western North America. Were really excited to see this opportunity develop as the market is in need of high value, heap leach, low-cost mining targets, said CANEX Metal CEO Dr. Shane Ebert.

The World Gold Council has reported that new gold discoveries have declined over the past three decades and the average grade of new discoveries is also in decline. In a world where new gold discoveries are harder to find and gold grades are declining, heap leaching technology offers miners the ability to recover more gold from lower grade material at a lower cost. Heaping leaching can improve the economic viability of new projects, breathe new life into old mines and extend the life of existing mines.

Northern Vertex Mining (TSXV:NEE) owns and operates the nearby Moss gold mine, currently the largest precious metals mine in Arizona with open pit mine and heap leach processing. Argonaut Gold (TSX:AR) has successfully developed and operated several open pit heap leach mines. The companys latest project is the Nevada-based oxide gold heap leach project Florida Canyon.

Heap leaching has proven successful for large-scale use in gold projects for decades. Heap leaching technology was a major breakthrough because it significantly reduced gold recovery costs for low-grade but high-tonnage Carlin deposits such as those found in Nevada, according to Kitco contributor Jack Graham. The heap leaching technique was first used for precious metals recovery in 1969 at the Cortez gold mine where it proved highly-efficient at improving recoveries from near-surface oxidized ore, notes Graham. Today, Barrick Golds Cortez property includes the Pipeline complex open-pit operation and the recently discovered Cortez Hills deposit, which is Nevadas longest-running gold mine.

This INNSpired article is sponsored by CANEX Metals (TSXV:CANX). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by CANEX Metals in order to help investors learn more about the company. CANEX Metalsis a client of INN. The companys campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNSpired article.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with CANEX Metalsand seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

Please remember that by requesting an investor kit, you are giving permission for those companies to contact you using whatever contact information you provide. If you want more than 20 investor kits, you need to make multiple requests. Select 20, complete the request and then select again.

low-cost gold miners are better protected during corrections | casey research

low-cost gold miners are better protected during corrections | casey research

More specifically, in times like these, it pays to add extra protection to your portfolio. And make sure that when it comes to gold, youre not only exposed to the upside but also have downside protection.

However, if the price of gold rises only 6% to $1,900, the companys profits per ounce increase by 100% ($1,900 $1,700 = $200 profit per ounce). That could push the companys stock higher by 40%, 50%, or more all because of a small move in gold itself.

That metric is the all-in sustaining cost, often shortened to AISC. It helps us gauge a mining companys total costs, and its ability to weather fluctuations in the price of what it is mining in this case, gold.

The miner with the highest AISC, Dundees $725 per ounce, is 61% below the current gold price. That means even if gold went below $1,000 which I dont think is likely the company still wouldnt lose any money mining the gold.

However, if you would prefer a one-click way to invest in a diversified portfolio of gold miners, take a look at the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX). It holds three of the lowest-AISC companies in the table above, and more.

best gold stocks for 2021 | the motley fool

best gold stocks for 2021 | the motley fool

Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.

There are many benefits to buying gold stocks instead of the physical metal. Gold companies can likely generate higher total returns than simply an investment in physical gold because, when the price of gold rises, these companies can expand their operations and their profits. This growth should enable their stocks to outperform the price of gold.

By focusing on operating large mines with significant remaining resources, Barrick is likely able to produce gold at a relatively steady pace for years. The company expects the average annual gold output of its mines through 2030 will be about five million ounces. Barrick also forecasts that its all-in sustaining costs will decline in the coming years from roughly $1,000 per ounce in 2020 to around $800 per ounce by 2025. Barrick's profits should continue to rise even if gold prices decline modestly.

Barrick complements its top-tier gold mining portfolio with a strong balance sheet. By focusing on paying down debt over the past several years, the company has reduced its interest costs. Its increasing financial flexibility and strength is enabling Barrick to pay a growing dividend.

Franco-Nevada is a Canada-based streaming and royalty company with agreements to receive gold, silver, the platinum group metals (PGMs), iron ore, and oil and gas. In 2020, 70% of its revenue came from gold.

A major benefit of Franco-Nevada's focus on royalties and streaming is that it is not vulnerable to the capital and operating cost overruns that have historically plagued mining companies. At the same time, as the company's mining partners complete exploration and expansion projects, Franco-Nevada is positioned to profit similarly to the mining operations.

Franco-Nevada's streaming and royalty contracts provide it with the ability to generate lots of cash by selling the physical commodities it receives. That cash flow enables it to both invest in new deals and pay a dividend, which the company has increased each year since its initial public offering (IPO) in 2008. The company also boasts a debt-free balance sheet as of the beginning of 2021 -- a rarity in the mining industry.

Because Franco-Nevada significantly profits from gold mining without being exposed to the sector's risks, the company's stock has historically outperformed both gold itself and the mining sector. All of these factors make it ideal as a gold mining stock.

These five stocks account for more than 46% of the assets of this gold ETF, with Newmont Goldcorp comprising more than 15%. These gold stocks have market capitalizations ranging from Newmont Goldcorps $56.9 billion to Newcrest Minings $17.7 billion.

With the exception of Wheaton Precious Metals and Franco-Nevada, these top holdings are the world's largest gold mining companies. Franco-Nevada and Wheaton Precious Metals are the leading gold streaming and royalty companies.

This gold ETF enables investors to easily own a diverse, high-quality group of large-scale gold companies. The ETF also has a reasonable expense ratio of 0.51%, making this investment option a relatively cost-effective way to invest in many gold stocks.

The best gold mining companies have low cost structures, manageable debt levels, and limited exposure to risky mining projects. Gold streaming companies generally offer the highest return potential among gold-focused investment options because they are well-positioned to benefit from higher gold prices without assuming the risks associated with mining physical gold.

Investors who dont want to be tasked with identifying the best individual gold mining stocks can instead buy shares in gold exchange-traded funds, which are more convenient and cost-effective options for investing in gold stocks. A gold ETF offers broad exposure to the sector by owning either shares of gold companies or physical gold. Because of the wide availability of gold stocks and ETFs, you don't have to be a stock-picking guru to participate in the gold industry's upside.

buy 1 oz american gold eagles i lowest price guarantee i sd bullion

buy 1 oz american gold eagles i lowest price guarantee i sd bullion

In 1985, Congress passed the Gold Bullion Coin Act, which allowed theUnited States Mintto create a series of official gold coins. In 1986, the first 1 ozAmerican Golden Eagleswere introduced, and since then, investors and collectors have consistently made the 1 ounce gold eagles some of the most popular gold bullion coins in the world.

The 2016 1 ounce American Gold Eagle, for sale here on SD Bullion at the lowest 1 ounce Gold Eagles price online, shows the Augustus Saint Gaudens depiction of Lady Liberty, originally designed for the 1907 Double Eagle coin. On the reverse, the eponymous eagle flies to its mate and young in a nest. The reverse also has the United States motto, as well as the 50-dollar currency amount beneath the scene.

These coins are made of 1 troy ounce of pure gold, and are eligible for gold IRA accounts. This means that they can be used as a long-term retirement investment, as well as a collectors prized display piece. Multiples of 20 are sold in the original US Mint 1 oz Gold American Eagle coin tubes. In addition to being a legal currency in the United States, worth 50 dollars, an investor can buy 1 oz Gold American Eagles for their portfolio, investing in the bright future of the gold market.

There are many reasons why the 1 oz American Gold Eagles are so popular. Collectors and investors alike flock to them daily, making them easy to sell should you ever need to liquidate. It is simple to invest a large amount of wealth into an easily transportable item with 1 ounce Gold Eagles, and they are wildly popular as a retirement account item. The 20-coin one ounce Gold American Eagle coin tubes are made nearly indestructible, and are easy to stack and store. Additionally, the American Gold Eagle coin does not require any federal forms when you buy or sell.

For these reasons and many more, investors and collectors should both consider one ounce Gold Eagle coins a fantastic addition to their bullion collection. While these coins do represent a serious investment, they should still be considered by first-time investors as well. Federally-backed gold currency is an excellent market for stable investments, because gold is recognized world-wide as having intrinsic value. For investors interested in preparation and survival investments, gold is a wise choice to build your own store of fail-proof currency.

The 1 oz Gold Eagles price here on SD Bullion is the lowest online when evaluating the premium price over the gold price, and the coin has seen plenty of variation over the years to make it perfect for collecting. While Roman numerals were used through 1991, all coins from 1992 to the present rely on Arabic numerals, for example. In addition to the 2017 1 ounce American Gold Eagle, we also sell 1 oz American gold eagles in a variety of dates (our choice), which could help the budding collector begin building their investment portfolio while they amass a variety of beautiful, historic 1 oz Gold American Eagle coins.

4 top gold stocks im buying now for 2021

4 top gold stocks im buying now for 2021

As a note, gold stocks can be a volatile group, and difficult to invest in. I generally think its a good idea for passive hands-off investors to have a small amount of gold exposure in a portfolio, but a gold stocks themselves are best left to hands-on investors that dont mind volatility.

The price of gold and gold stocks jumped sharply in the aftermath of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis, with the peak being in 2011. The following chart shows the gold miners ETF (blue line) vs the S&P 500 (red line) during that time:

Since then, the United States has had a long period of economic growth and Europe has been relatively stable, so there hasnt been much interest in buying gold or gold stocks as a hedge in recent years.

Gold stocks are levered against the price of gold, meaning they are more volatile. When the price of gold goes up, gold stocks go up even more. And when the price of gold goes down, gold stocks sink even lower.

A gold company might be able to mine gold at a cost of $1,000 per ounce. Gold companies generally measure this by their all-in sustaining cost (AISC) per ounce. So in over-simplified terms for the purpose of example, they make $200 per ounce in profit at current prices.

If gold drops to $1,000, their profit disappears. If gold goes up to $1,400, their profit doubles to $400, even though gold prices only increased by 17% from $1,200 to $1,400. If gold goes to $2,000 per ounce, thats $1,000 per ounce in profit, or 5x what they made at $1,200 per ounce.

Riskier gold stocks with high debt and/or high AISC have more to gain when gold prices go up a lot. This is because they are on the verge of insolvency when gold prices are low or moderate, and can be saved by high prices.

The real interest rate is the difference between a safe investment like a Treasury bond, and inflation. During times of very low interest rates, the interest yields of premium saving accounts and Treasuries may be lower than inflation, meaning that people who are saving diligently are still losing purchasing power. In contrast, during periods of higher rates savers in those instruments may get a real return over inflation.

If savers have the option of holding gold that keeps up with inflation and maintains global purchasing power over the long term even in the event of a catastrophe, or holding fiat currency that is currently paying negative real interest rates (rates that dont keep up with inflation, thereby losing purchasing power), then suddenly gold becomes quite appealing to store wealth in. Higher demand for gold can lead to higher gold prices.

On the other hand, if savers can get a decent real interest rate above inflation on their savings accounts and safe bonds, then the desirability of holding gold diminishes. Lower demand for gold can lead to lower gold prices.

Gold, however, is also impacted by volatility in the markets. When investors get scared, they often turn to gold and drive the price up. Therefore, while interest rates play a major role in gold valuation, they are far from the only variable involved.

Look at examples of financially troubled areas of the world like Argentina in 2018. Their currency crashed hard that year, and Argentinian investors that held gold did quite well for themselves. Being diversified into assets outside of your home countrys currency, including gold, can help quite a bit during times like that.

Gold stocks are more aggressive. The power to them is that a small position, like 3% of a portfolio, could potentially go up 2x-3x or more in value during an economic crisis, thereby helping to partially offset losses from a much larger portion of the portfolio invested in normal equities.

The world has very high debt levels now; higher than in 2007 before the global financial crisis. Most countries cant sustain high real interest rates without running into a financial crisis. Thats a rather bullish scenario for gold over the long run, when fiat currency bank accounts have perpetually low real interest yields.

In addition, many countries are trying to distance themselves from the U.S. dollar, which has been the worlds leading reserve currency in the post-WW2 era. Russia, for example, is buying massive amounts of gold year after year, including buying straight through their 2015/2016 recession. Theyve increased their gold reserves by 5x over the past decade, from 400 tons to 2,000 tons.

Having a small allocation to gold, and perhaps some gold stocks if youre a bit more hands-on, makes a lot of sense in my opinion. Who knows what will happen to the price of gold during the next major recession if there is more quantitative easing, even lower interest rates, and political instability.

The result of all this is herd behavior. When gold prices go high, gold miners invest a lot of money in new mines and acquisitions. But when gold prices fall, it makes those investments turn out very bad. Its like they never account for the possibility that high gold prices might be brief, and usually are.

I keep about 4-5% of my portfolio in gold stocks, with a major focus on gold royalty and streaming companies. That being said, there are are also a small number of gold mining stocks I own due to their long records of good management, which is a rarity in this industry.

Franco Nevada is one of the best-performing gold stocks in history. They gave investors approximately 400% returns since their IPO a decade ago, and dramatically outperformed the price of gold. This doesnt even include their dividends:

Gold streaming/royalty companies pay money up front to help develop mines, and in return they get either a percentage of the profits from that mine, or they get to buy a certain amount of gold from that mine at a very low cost, like $400 per ounce.

The business model of streaming/royalty companies is a lot safer than miners, because their break-even prices on gold are so low, at hundreds of dollars below mining AISC values. In addition, they dont have the problem of overpaying for mines and acquisitions when the price of gold is high.

There are two main downsides of streaming/royalty companies compared to miners. First, because they are safer, they are also less explosive when gold prices go up a lot. Second, because the business model is so good, there is a risk that too many players will crowd out the space and reduce forward returns.

Franco Nevada is led by David Harquail, who has been the CEO since the companys IPO, has overseen all this past outperformance, and has been a senior executive for many years when the business was private before that.

In other words, the three big ones are already getting a lot of cash from streaming/royalty deals they made years ago. Although they are still making new investments, theyre in the harvest stage, enjoying results from investments long ago and hoping to continue that trend. Sandstorm, on the other hand, is earlier in the process, in the planting stage, so it has a lot more growth potential.

In addition, Sandstorm holds a stake in the Hot Maden gold development project in Turkey. This is expected to be one of the most profitable mines in the world when it is in production, but Sandstorm is quite concentrated in it. If this mine turns out great, or gets derailed for some reason or another, it would have an outsized impact (positive or negative) on Sandstorm.

Sandstorm was co-founded about a decade ago by two senior executives from Wheaton Precious Metals, and is still run by them. Thats what I like to see in a gold stock- leaders with long tenures and track records of success.

On one hand, Barrick is now the largest gold producer in the world, with five out of the top ten mines in the world. Barrick enjoys assets with very low AISC, meaning it can survive periods of low gold prices that many other producers cannot.

However, Barrick and Randgold Resources merged at the start of 2019. Unlike Barrick, Randgold was historically exceptionally well-managed by its longtime CEO Mark Bristow for over two decades, and outperformed most other gold miners. Hes a guy that knows how to manage a gold stock.

Bristow is the new CEO of the combined company. In other words, the new Barrick is more like a continuation of Randgold than Barrick. Bristow has been a critic of Barricks management in the past, so now its his chance to revitalize the company how he wants.

As a profitable company with a great portfolio, its a desirable takeover target in an industry that needs some consolidation. Most of the major gold producers havent been expanding their reserves in recent years because gold prices have been in a bear market, meaning that in order to grow some of them may increasingly turn to acquisitions.

Readers that join myfree investment newslettercan see my full portfolio, including all of the gold stocks I currently own. The newsletter comes out approximately every 6 weeks and includes updates of macroeconomic conditions and specific companies, regions, sectors, or asset classes that appear to be undervalued.

winston gold corp. | high grade, low cost, near-term gold production

winston gold corp. | high grade, low cost, near-term gold production

Winston Gold Closes $1,222,500 Private Placement WINNIPEG, MB / July 5, 2021 /Winston Gold Corp.(Winston Gold or the Corporation)(CSE:WGC)(OTCQB:WGMCF) is pleased to announce the closing of a non-brokered private placement (the Private Placement) consisting of 16,300,000 units (the Units) at a purchase price of $0.075 per Unit to raise gross proceeds of $1,222,500. Each Unit Read More

gold stocks, gold price bounce fades after jobs data; what's next for gld?

gold stocks, gold price bounce fades after jobs data; what's next for gld?

The spot gold price continued to bounce early Friday, but gave back some of its gains after the jobs report. The jobs data didn't alter the challenging backdrop in place since the Federal Reserve revealed a faster rate-hike timetable on June 16. Still, both GLD, which tracks the gold price, and GDX, a gold-miner ETF, rose early Friday, after falling near 3-month lows earlier in the week.

The gold price traded near $1,783 early Friday, up from around $1,755 on Wednesday, but still well off levels above $1,900 at the start of June. Despite a firmer dollar, gold has gotten some relief as the 10-year Treasury yield has fallen near 4-month lows.

Gold stocks suffered serious technical damage amid less-dovish signals from the Federal Reserve on June 16. Establishing a floor could take time. But there are two wild cards in the outlook. The Delta Covid strain, which has led to a spike in cases in the U.K., is one. Gold could benefit in the near term, if the fast-spreading Delta variant restrains global growth and slows the path to Fed tightening.

Fiscal policy is the other. The infrastructure deal endorsed by President Biden last month may unlock the bulk of the White House agenda. The outlook for bigger deficits may weigh on the dollar. Still, we're in part of the Federal Reserve tightening cycle that doesn't tend be great for gold.

While Fed chief Jerome Powell is still pretty clearly a dove, 11 of 18 Fed committee members indicated support for two Fed rate hikes in 2023. Previously, rate hikes had been off the table before 2024. If inflation stays hotter than they expect, Fed policymakers may keep growing more hawkish.

Wall Street expects that the jobs recovery will advance quickly enough for the Fed to start tapering asset purchases by early 2022. As the Fed gradually takes away monetary accommodation, negative real interest rates will go away, keeping the gold price in check.

Consider that after former Fed chief Ben Bernanke's taper-tantrum speech in May 2013, the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) that tracks the gold price would fall an additional 25%. GLD eventually bottomed in December 2015, just as the Fed hiked its benchmark rate for the first time of the cycle.

Inflation data could take a turn for the better as supply-chain snags are worked out and emergency jobless benefits end, easing an apparent labor shortage. That might actually be better for gold stocks and the gold price at this point than higher inflation readings.

To really thrive, though, gold might need a policy mistake. That might take what Powell calls "fiscal dominance," with deficits and debt running so high that the Fed feels compelled to keep interest rates lower than economic conditions call for. Huge fiscal packages from Democrats would hardly assure such an outcome, but they might keep it in play.

The GLD gold-price tracker flashed a technically ominous sign known as a death cross back in late January. That happens when the 50-day average falls below the 200-day line.The gold price slide continued into early March.

After retracing 60% of its slide from August's record around $2,070 an ounce to March's low near $1,680, GLD ran out of steam at around $1,915. As the Fed met on June 16, GLD had been finding support back at its 200-day average. But hawkish signals from the Fed sent GLD sliding far south of the key technical indicator.

After diving to a two-month low on June 18, GLD staged a modest rally, but that floor gave way on June 29. A moderate bounce off the new floor seems possible, if concerns over the Delta variant continue to grow and suppress long-term interest rates.

Franco-Nevada (FNV), ranked No. 1 among gold stocks by IBD, has been impressively resilient. But FNV stock has slipped back below its 50-day moving average. FNV stock is 4% below a 154.26 cup-with-handle buy point, according to MarketSmith.

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), which tracks a basket of gold stocks, dived through its 200-day line on June 17, as GDX tumbled nearly 11% during the week of the Fed meeting. Since then, GDX has moved down then up, but failed to make any progress.

Here are some key things to consider for deciding when, whether and how to invest in gold, either via gold stocks such as Newmont, Kirkland Lake Gold (KL) and Barrick Gold (GOLD)stocks or gold ETFs.

The gold price charged back to $1,950 in early January. The surge came amid rising odds that Democrats would take control of the Senate in Georgia's runoff elections. and unleash a new flood of fiscal support.

Yet Democratic victories in Georgia, rather than fueling new highs for gold and gold stocks, sparked a sell-off. The problem: The additional trillions in anticipated federal spending boosted growth expectations and Treasury yields.

Gold stocks aren't a play on a booming economy, but are driven by interest rates and inflation. Industrial metals such as copper have surged since last summer as gold has wavered. Silver, which offers both precious metal and industrial metal characteristics and has a key role in 5G, also has outperformed gold.

Gold and gold stocks powered higher in the weeks after the coronavirus lockdown as the Federal Reserve and Congress uncorked a gush of liquidity and fiscal support. The yellow metal took off again as hopes for a V-shape recovery were splashed by a summer coronavirus wave. Wall Street began to imagine an extended era of ultralow interest rates, multi-trillion-dollar deficits, a weak dollar. And eventually a rekindling of inflation pressures.

In April 2020, Bank of America put a $3,000-per-ounce 18-month price target on gold. However, Bank of America reassessed in November, predicting an average price of $2,063 for 2021. The firm turned neutral on gold amid belief that super-effective vaccines and stimulus would produce a strong cyclical recovery and push up long-term interest rates. Those conditions favor industrial metals over precious metals, the bank said.

The gold price hit bottom at the end of 2015, just as the Fed hiked its benchmark interest rate for the first time since the financial crisis. But the gold price and gold stocks didn't really begin to shine until the fall of 2018, when the Fed's plan to keep hiking interest rates triggered a sharp stock market sell-off.

Gold's persistent strength starting in late 2018 was driven by a fundamental change in the Fed's thinking about inflation. Even as unemployment fell to a 50-year low, inflation pressures were a no-show. After slashing its benchmark overnight lending rate close to zero, the Fed has said it won't hike interest rates until inflation is firmly above its symmetrical 2% target.

The common thread linking gold price highs and lows is real interest rates. As in 2020, real interest rates were negative during prior gold-price highs in 1980 and 2011, with two-year Treasury yields well below the rate of inflation. That's still the case.

Why do real interest rates matter so much for the price of gold? Gold is a store of value, but holding it comes with an opportunity cost. That money could instead be invested safely in Treasuries, for example. If real interest rates are attractive, holding gold is much less attractive. When real interest rates turn negative, holding gold usually pays off.

But real interest rates aren't the only determinant of the price of gold. The supply-demand balance is among other important factors. For example, central bank sales of gold exacerbated the 1999 gold price slump.

Gold stocks and gold ETFs are the simplest way for individual investors to bet on a rising gold price. Investing in gold stocks can be riskier, but it's also potentially a more rewarding way of investing in the precious metal.

Investors have three major options, aside from buying gold coins or jewelry. They can buy gold stocks individually. They can buy an ETF that tracks gold stocks, such as the GDX gold miners ETF. Finally, they can get direct exposure to the precious metal itself via an ETF, such as the GLD ETF that tracks the price of gold.

Well-known gold mining stocks include Barrick Gold, Newmont and Kirkland Lake Gold stock. Another segment of the gold market is gold royalty companies. These provide financing to gold miners, typically in exchange for below-market-cost purchase rights of gold they produce. Examples of gold royalty companies include Royal Goldand Franco-Nevadastock.

Investing in gold stocks or a gold-mining ETF is, to a large extent, a leveraged bet that the price of gold will keep rising. That's because a higher gold price can have a dramatic impact on the profitability of gold miners. For example, Newmont has projected its all-in sustaining cost of production will be $970 per ounce of gold in 2021. That means increases in the price of gold above that level should go straight to the bottom line.

Investing in gold-mining stocks, especially a specific stock, brings in more complications than investing in the precious metal itself. The companies can suffer accidents or production snafus, deplete their reserves or pile up debt. Recently, Barrick Gold is mired in a dispute with Papua New Guinea over renewing the lease on its Porgera gold mine. On the upside, companies can increase mine output, find new reserves, or generate cost savings via mergers or mining productivity gains.

In general, if you think gold has room to run, history would say you're better off owning gold stocks than the yellow metal itself. However, if you think gold could be nearing a top, you're probably better off holding gold than gold stocks, based on past performance.

Consider, from the gold price bottom in late 2015 through the August 2020 peak, GLD, the SPDR Gold Shares ETF tracking the commodity's price rose 94%. Meanwhile, the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF rose 244% over the same span. That reflects the dramatic corporate earnings improvement thanks to the higher price of gold. Improved earnings, in turn, allow mining companies to increase dividends as the price of gold rises.

Sometimes corporate dynamics and changing perceptions of them can take precedence. Even as the price of gold came down a bit, Franco-Nevada stock broke out to a record high in late December 2019. Newmont stock hit a multiyear high in that time frame.

Still, gold stock investors can never let down their guard. The descent for gold mining stocks from the 2011 price peak was much rougher than for the metal. To the trough in late 2015, GLD, which tracks the price of gold, tumbled 46%. Meanwhile, GDX, the ETF tracking gold miners, cratered close to 80%.

No matter your view of whether the price of gold is a good bet, it makes sense to subject investment decisions in gold stocks or an ETF tracking gold or gold stocks to the same rigorous process as regular stock buys. That means waiting for a proper buy point and a buy signal.

The charts of gold stocks like NEM and GDX no longer look constructive. While FNV, IBD's top-rated gold stock, looks more solid, all gold stocks are pretty closely tied to the fortunes of GLD, which has fallen well below its 200-day moving average. Prospects look somewhat brighter for the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) that tracks the silver price. SLV has bounced above its 200-day line and is about 6% below its recent buy point. Silver has both precious metal and industrial metal characteristics.

Notice: Information contained herein is not and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell securities. The information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however no guarantee is made or implied with respect to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness. Authors may own the stocks they discuss. The information and content are subject to change without notice.

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