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As this long-term secular bull market for gold and silver continues to march onward and upward, major moves like this week's sudden surge in shares of Rubicon Minerals (AMEX: RBY ) are simply bound to characterize the trend.
Rubicon's stock skyrocketed 36% Monday after the company released a long-anticipated resource estimate for the company's ultra-high-grade F2 gold deposit in Red Lake, Ontario. Compiling the results of a massive exploration drilling effort -- which began with the exciting discovery of bonanza gold grades back in mid-2008 -- Rubicon has unveiled an initial inferred resource of 4 million ounces of gold.
Significantly, that gold occurs in uncommonly high concentration within the ore body, grading at a glistening 20.1 grams per ton (0.59 ounces per ton). This renders the project's economics a no-brainer with respect to profitability across a conservative range of gold price scenarios, and in this Fool's view cements the outlook for fast-tracked mine development and construction.
A few weeks ago, I singled out Rubicon Minerals as the one stock among the holdings of the new Global X Gold Explorers ETF (NYSE: GLDX ) that looked poised for "outsized gains that have yet to materialize." When investing in exploration companies, Fools are advised to keep track of all drilling assay results as they cross the wires, and to watch for clear instances where the market fails to adequately adjust for steady expansions of a deposit's scale. There was no magic involved in forecasting that the market would be "pleased with the scale of the deposit once revealed" ... just a whole lot of homework.
Of course, not all of my predictions regarding Rubicon have proved correct. When I scanned the mining world last year for a handful of the companies most likely to be targeted for a buyout, Rubicon topped my list. Because Rubicon's Phoenix Gold project (which includes the F2 deposit) is adjacent to Goldcorp's (NYSE: GG ) Red Lake mining camp, I speculated that Goldcorp could not resist the opportunity to expand the scale and longevity of its mining operation there.
As it turns out, Goldcorp's acquisitive focus has instead turned to Central and South America, as with the company's brilliant moves to block rivals Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX ) and Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM ) in a pair of dramatic deals. I still cannot shake the feeling, however, that Goldcorp remains keenly aware of the opportunity staring at it from across the Red Lake camp.
One thing is clear: Despite an incredible multiyear growth spurt, Rubicon's story remains closer to its beginning than its end. The company that prepared the resource estimate for Rubicon extrapolated the data to envision a total resource potential of more than 13 million ounces of high-grade gold within the F2 system. Significant underground development has already been achieved during the exploration process, and the company is well-funded for further advancement. I encourage Fools to keep Rubicon Minerals within their sights, which can be easily accomplished by clicking here.