The Top 10 Gold and Silver Stocks for 2011

From familiar carols to those shining tree-top stars, gold and silver -- or "silver and gold" for you Rudolph fans -- are woven into the Western holiday tradition like tinsel through the boughs.

As precious metals continue to herald their historic return -- from the supposed junkyard of "barbarous relics," to the forefront of the currency world -- this particular holiday season affords an opportune moment to highlight top-quality investment vehicles within a persistently promising sector. We can help you keep tabs on your favorite stocks with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Get started with my Top 10 gold and silver stocks for the new year.

My Foolish Top 10
The equity universe of producers, developers, and explorers of gold and silver deposits comprises a vast and rugged terrain of vehicles for investors to choose from. As gold and silver have multiplied in price, so too have the majority of related mining stocks.

I still perceive substantial upside in store for both metals and in the spirit of the holidays I wish to offer my top ten list of stocks that I consider most likely to outperform their peers during the remaining stages of this gold and silver bull market.

10. Taseko Mines (AMEX: TGB  )
After losing its bid to gain regulatory approval for the Prosperity copper and gold project, Taseko is essentially a pure-play on copper at the moment (it could be worse!). I can't shake the feeling, however, that Taseko will be given a second chance at prosperity.

Add Taseko Mines to My Watchlist.

9. Rubicon Minerals (AMEX: RBY  )
This is the sole pre-production company to make my list, and with good reason. Rubicon lays claim to the most exciting discoveries of bonanza-grade gold deposits that this Fool has observed in the industry, and the project's prime location in Ontario near existing major gold mines makes this one stand out as a particularly low-risk play.

Add Rubicon Minerals to My Watchlist.

8. Great Panther Silver
If this stock traded on a major U.S. exchange, it would have placed substantially higher on this list. Because unsponsored pink-sheet offerings carry an unquantifiable element of risk, I have adjusted the standings accordingly. Targeting a 72% growth spurt from 2.2 million silver equivalent ounces (SEOs) in 2009, to 3.8 million ounces by 2012, Great Panther is among my very favorite growth stories in the silver space!

Add Great Panther Silver to My Watchlist.

7. Primero Mining
Primero's position on my list has likewise been affected by its absence on a U.S. stock exchange; though CEO Joe Conway informed me his company may reconsider a U.S. listing. Primero acquired the San Dimas mine for a song. After hitting a short-term operational snag, I believe the stock has been excessively discounted.

Add Primero Mining to My Watchlist.

6. Alexco Resource
After completing the coveted transition from developer to producer, silver miner Alexco Resource's stock has truly been on a tear lately. With ongoing exploration continuing to return bonanza-grade silver concentrations, including 54.8 ounces per ton recently assayed over a 1.12-meter interval from the Lucky Queen property at Keno Hill, Alexco is generating shareholder value at a consistent clip.

Add Alexco Resource to My Watchlist.

5. Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE  )
In a sector this scorching hot, I enjoy turning my focus to stocks that investors have loved to hate. Following a brush with outright failure that prompted a 1-for-10 reverse stock split last year, I believe Coeur d'Alene Mines offers one of the more pronounced turnaround opportunities in the space.

Add Coeur d'Alene Mines to My Watchlist.

4. Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY  )
I believe I have touted Yamana Gold's clear prowess as a deep-value favorite from every possible angle. With arguably the lowest downside risk of any stock in the sector, I join fellow value hounds in waiting patiently for the market to recognize the full value of these shares.

Add Yamana Gold to My Watchlist.

3. Brigus Gold (AMEX: BRD  )
Seeming to glide beneath the radar of the investment community, I encourage Fools not to overlook the growth potential of Brigus Gold. Paralyzing gold hedges have been exterminated, the Black Fox mine is yielding improved production, and the company expects to add a second producing gold mine by 2013. Precious metal hedge fund Sprott Asset Management added a new position in Brigus during the third quarter of 2010, and I consider the company an attractive acquisition target as well as a prospective growth engine in its own right.

Add Brigus Gold to My Watchlist.

2. Northgate Minerals (AMEX: NXG  )
I'm not the only Fool who perceives compelling value in the shares of this 90-year-old gold company. My colleague Andrew Sullivan made Northgate his inaugural selection within the Fool's Rising Star Portfolio Series. With anticipated production from Young-Davidson beginning in early 2012, and consistent exploration success at multiple properties, I consider this recently stagnant stock among the clearest rising stars in the gold patch.

Add Northgate Minerals to My Watchlist.

1. Gammon Gold (NYSE: GRS  )
It's always difficult to pare a long list of potential highfliers down to a single favorite stock, but when I asked myself which of my own gold and silver holdings I'd be buying more of at this juncture, Gammon Gold came out right on top. While an array of smaller-cap alternatives could well outperform these shares, I consider Gammon the ideal combination of existing market heft, incredible growth potential, and a decidedly undervalued share price. I recently identified three specific developments that could jump-start these shares over the coming months, and over the long term I expect Gammon shares to appreciate handsomely.

Add Gammon Gold to My Watchlist.

Now that you know my top ten favorite gold and silver stocks, it's time for you to cast your vote. From among my top four picks above, please select your personal favorite. If your favorite pick didn't make my list, please make your case for the stock in the comments section below (and within your CAPS portfolio).

Fool contributor Christopher Barker can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Alexco Resource, Brigus Gold, Coeur d'Alene Mines, Gammon Gold, Great Panther Silver, Northgate Minerals, Primero Mining, Rubicon Minerals, Taseko Mines, and Yamana Gold.

The Fool owns shares of Northgate Minerals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (26) | Recommend This Article (99)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2010, at 7:29 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    Hey Christopher,

    I am a bit intrigued by the Great Panther Silver. I haven't been able to find much information on it, can you point me in the right direction?

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2010, at 10:34 PM, XMFSinchiruna wrote:

    NOTvuffet,

    With pleasure. I would be remiss if I did not reference the enormous move the stock has made recently (from less than $0.70 to nearly $3 in short order before pulling back beneath $2.40). That personally doesn't deter me, since I see fair value in the $6 range even at current silver prices, but the price action is worth noting.

    In Guanajuato and Topia, GPRLF enjoys expanding low-cost production volume at two world-class primary silver mines with substantial gold, lead, and zinc credits. Early in its development, Great Panther focused primarily upon exploration drilling as a means of directing mining activities from extensions of historical mine workings in a district that yielded more than 1 billion ounces of silver over the course of 400 years (from Guanajuato). Growing profitability has permitted greater strategic exploration in addition to that conducted to guide mining operations, and results have been stellar thus far in support of targeted reserve expansion. Volume expansion has also proceeded smoothly over time, lending confidence to the targeted production growth.

    These are among the very highest-grade silver veins in the world. Management is excellent, proven, and explicitly admired by their peers (see below). It is an attractive takeover candidate in the silver space, though the company is more than capable of growing itself into the empty vacuum that is the middle tier of primary silver miners.

    Here's my CAPS pitch:

    http://caps.fool.com/Pitch/GPRLF.PK/5154326/ive-been-long-gr...

    http://www.fool.com/investing/small-cap/2010/08/13/endeavour...

    "Barker: Which companies do you consider your toughest competitors out there?

    Cooke: I admire the work that Jorge Ganoza has done at Fortuna Silver. I admire the work that Bob Archer has done at Great Panther."

    My blog from September 2010:

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/do-you-know-what-electrum-is/4438...

    My blog from July 2010:

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/great-panther-strikes-again-/4188...

    My blog from December 2009:

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/great-panther-returns-yet-more/30...

    My blog from May 2009:

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/great-panther-moves-to/193851

    My blog from November 2008:

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/dont-forget-about-the-junior/1138...

    Discussion Board post May 2008:

    http://boards.fool.com/great-panther-releases-drill-results-...

    My blog from April 2008:

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/great-panther-gprlf-strikes/49816?

    See the company's corporate presentation here:

    http://www.greatpanther.com/ppt/slide1.htm

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2010, at 11:08 PM, XMFSinchiruna wrote:

    I should mention that Taseko also produces significant volumes of molybdenum at Gibraltar, so it's not exclusively a pure-play on copper.

  • Report this Comment On December 26, 2010, at 5:21 PM, EllenBrandtPhD wrote:

    Africa will eclipse even Latin America as the place Gold sector bidding wars break out in 2011.

    As everyone knows, my top pick is Banro, the spitting image of either GG or AEM ten years ago - except in a currently unpopular country.

    Like GG, BAA owns a massive and very potentially rich region. Their first mine will be up and running in two quarters or so, with three more right behind it.

    But note that those four initial mines represent only what's been drilled so far - less than 8 percent of the region BAA owns.

    And like AEM, BAA is connected via its principals to a whole slew of smaller mining companies operating outside its main mining region.

    Just as AEM slowly but surely reeled in its "babies," Banro may well do the same. One of its connected companies was bought into by NEM just last week. Another is partnering with Rio Tinto.

    As for the DRC itself, the US caving in to Hollywood divas and giving it a wide berth is not only inconsequential, it's positive.

    Canada and South Africa are already entrenched. And the Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Kazakhs, and Israelis are moving in fast.

    Simon Village, Banro's chairman and a former WGC head for Africa, has said repeatedly that the DRC is going to be at least as big as Tanzania. Possibly bigger.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2010, at 10:02 AM, speedybure wrote:

    Chris, this is speedybure/hyperinflation and just wanted to say i'm planning to write the top ten gold stocks for 2011 and just wanted to say they are eerily similar to what you have with minor changes and different ranking. I have

    1) Atna Resources

    2) Brigus Gold

    3) Sandstorm Resources

    4) Gammon

    5) Northgate

    6) Minefinders

    7) Yamana

    8) Detour

    9) Great Basin Gold

    10) Wesdome

    and another with the top 10 silver mining stocks

    1) Aurcana

    2) Bear Creek

    3) Alexco

    4) Great Panther

    5) Coeur d"Alene

    6) Fortuna

    7) Impact Silver

    8) First Majestic

    9) Silver Standard

    10) Scorpio

    Just thought it was quite funny

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2010, at 12:14 PM, NevSilverJunkie wrote:

    Speedybure,

    I like your top 10 lists and I'll add a couple to both of those lists.

    Gold #11 - Northern Dynasty

    Gold #12 - Timmins Gold

    Silver #11 - US Silver

    Silver #12 - Endeavour Silver

    Aurcana is my number 1 silver play as well. I added to my position yesterday and it's already paid off. AUNFF at .77 as of 12pm ET.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2010, at 12:32 PM, speedybure wrote:

    Timmins is also a favorite of mine and could easily replace what I have at number 8,9 or 10 on my silver mining stocks. They will move up the ranks as soon as the complete an acquisition just to establish a long term growth profile. Some other I would have included if they traded in the US would have been richmont, claude resources and a few others.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2010, at 3:44 PM, silverminer wrote:

    speedy, that is too funny! I look forward to seeing the articles. Even crazier is how many of your favorite silver stocks I own in real life. :P

    Happy new year

    TMFSinchiruna

  • Report this Comment On December 29, 2010, at 12:48 PM, barnettech wrote:

    What is the target price for BRD? What is the fair value for the stock now and where is it going? Any great articles on this one?

  • Report this Comment On December 30, 2010, at 12:59 PM, XMFSinchiruna wrote:

    barnettech,

    CAPS member speedybure has a nice write-up on BRD, in which he suggests a fair value of $3.62 per share. I consider his valuation methodology compelling.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/239281-brigus-gold-a-turnaro...

  • Report this Comment On December 30, 2010, at 2:00 PM, barnettech wrote:

    Thanks! I started following you guys, I think these gold stocks will do well given the macro environment. Thanks for the articles, and thank god for stop losses since I'm now very overweight gold and silver! What do you guys think of AUU.V? I'm up over 100% on it, but what's your take on it folks? I've followed EV38 for a while now and it was one he spoke about numerous times. I've called the company, read some, it looks good still?

  • Report this Comment On December 30, 2010, at 2:34 PM, silverminer wrote:

    As long as the risks are well understood (risks common to all exploration plays without compliant resources in place), Aura looks like a sweet play. That said, the recent run-up has been substantial. For a value comparison, I know of an exploration company with 900k oz of gold resources (M&I+Inferred) that trades for 1/2 of Aura's market cap. If Aura's speculations about contiguous mineralization extending from Fortuna's development property turn out to be well founded, then present market cap looks very cheap. Likewise, if exploration at Greyhound corroborates the kinds of concentrations seen in grab samples, the stock could skyrocket. As is often the case with explorers, you're getting into a position for the possibility of a golden payoff, but it comes with exposure to risk from disappointing results.

    I consider the ideal explorers to be those with some resources identified (provides a solid valuation base beneath speculative zeal), and where both resources and potential have been grossly overlooked. Those cases are rarer now than they once were, but they're still out there.

    Good luck in 2011 and beyond!

  • Report this Comment On December 30, 2010, at 4:22 PM, barnettech wrote:

    awesome, thanks silverminer. What do you guys think of NG? I doubled on it so far, Soros and Paulson haven't sold. Is it really going to get bought out at $1000 an ounce meaning the stock will go to 10 to 12 times the current price? Why did it not make this top ten list! ack.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2010, at 1:10 PM, silverminer wrote:

    NG is a terrific long-term hold, which I also own. But when selecting a favorite stock for a 12-month period as we're doing here, one has to be cognizant of near-term drivers and catalysts. If Barrick makes a positive construction decision for Donlin during 2011, which I see as quite likely, that could certainly propel the stock higher, but I think some portion of that expectation is already baked into the cake. It would take a major development on Galore Creek, in my opinion, to drive NG shares to a double or triple from here within a 12-month period.

    If a major has had their eye on NG for an acquisition, it's hard to fathom why they would not have moved on the stock when it traded for a fraction of present mcap. I'm not saying it won't receive a bid at some point, but rather that anticipation of such does not form the basis for my investment thesis on the stock.

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2010, at 3:29 PM, barnettech wrote:

    Thanks. That being said will NG eventually trade at 10x12 times the current price as they say, which would be valuing their gold reserves at 1000 an ounce?

  • Report this Comment On December 31, 2010, at 4:04 PM, ffbj wrote:

    Metals have had a geat run but does no-one think that 'all that glisters is not gold.' I think in the next few months metals will top out, except for uranium, and the rare earths, and a bit more in silver, which have strategic uses. Anyway looking for a top in metals soon.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2011, at 3:24 PM, silverminer wrote:

    barnettech,

    Since I don't know who "they" are, nor the context of the statement you are referencing, I can't provide comment.

    ffbj,

    Not all metals can be considered in tandem. We are in a bull market for broader metals market, but each metal has a story all its own.

    Gold will only "top out" when governments and global financials get their fiscal houses in order, deficits begin shrinking rather than expanding at accelerating rates, derivatives unwind from their villainous leverage, old-guard economies restore their heritage of producing goods of tangible value, and bond yields move high enough to offset the ravages of impoverishment by inflation. We are long way from satisfying those criteria.

    I consider gold likely to strike, conservatively, $1,650 this year (while the possibility also exists for an incredibly abrupt ride to $2,000).

    Copper is looking at a massive supply shortfall for 2011, so you'll have to offer a pretty impressive counteracting catalyst in order to argue for a top.

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2011, at 12:01 PM, h2ound08 wrote:

    i bought into tgb about a year and a half ago (primarily because of sinch's excellent research and commentary), and it has done extremely well for me over the last year and a half, growing so much that it now comprises almost a quarter of my portfolio. i still believe in the stock and think that it can do more, but should that 25% of my active portfolio scare me? should i take some profits? any advice would be appreciated.

  • Report this Comment On January 08, 2011, at 12:39 PM, ffbj wrote:

    Well it all depends on wether you think metals will continue to rise, which is the prevailing belief.

    Tgb, even with the correction we are currently seeing in metals, is still going up.

    Personally I would take some profit since it has become such a large part of your portfolio.

    Of course others might say let it ride.

    I think this is more than a correction but that is certainly going against the prevailing sentiment.

  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2011, at 1:55 PM, speedybure wrote:

    Sinch,

    I posted my top silver and gold stock for the upcoming year. They are unheard of for the most part but I think you may find them compelling. let me know what you think

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2011, at 5:38 PM, aknahow wrote:

    Brigus Gold is not apt to live up to expectations.

    Compare their approach to informing shareholders with Hawthorne gold.

    Hawthorne explains what magnetic highs and lows indicate for its exploration program. While Brigus hides the drilling map or at least makes investors jump through hoops to find it.

    I own Brigus and no Hawthorne. Just pointing out what can be done and what Brigus always fails to do.

    Unless Brigus creates interest in its' exploration program it will just languish, if the pog does not rise.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2011, at 3:33 PM, buyuranium wrote:

    Hey I think that SOUTH AMERICAN SILVER -SOHAF.PK will make your very next list they will more than likely be listed on the AMEX just like Great Panther did earlier this year.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2011, at 1:56 PM, INVESTWISE2010 wrote:

    Comments:Hi Christopher I have been following your recommendations for over almost 2 years now with good success. You identified Brigus Gold (BRD) as the second potentially most valuable precious metal stock amongst the 10 identified by you for 2011. The price of BRD has plumetted from US$2.12 in December, 2010 at the time of the recommendation to US$1.55 as on February 25. What are the reasons for this. Could you please update us on your views on this stock.

  • Report this Comment On March 07, 2011, at 6:01 PM, ffbj wrote:

    Bad news for mines in general due to the ruling in South Africa. Though I will leave it up to the analysts to figure that one out, just one more reason to steer clear.

  • Report this Comment On August 26, 2011, at 11:15 PM, victim2 wrote:

    Your list is nice, but there is quite the issue brewing with Alexeco. I do think it a tad risky to invest in a company that may be eventually shut down for human rights violations, not of employees, but the "residents" of keno hill.

    Apparently they are stomping all over the canadians up there as if it were the third world. That can only last for so long... you know those canucks!!! watch out!

    This is the top of that canadian iceberg mess...

    http://www.whitehorsestar.com/archive/story/keno-residents-w...

    http://www.whitehorsestar.com/archive/story/sides-differ-on-...

    http://www.whitehorsestar.com/archive/story/out-of-touch-gov...

    http://www.whitehorsestar.com/archive/story/we-may-be-small-...

    http://www.whitehorsestar.com/archive/story/keno-hill-yukons...

    http://www.whitehorsestar.com/archive/story/this-is-simply-a...

  • Report this Comment On September 17, 2011, at 2:21 PM, ShelleyB12 wrote:

    Victim2 can you give us the gist of the problem with Alexeco? I tried to view the articles you have linked, but they are for subscribers only. Thank you

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