3 Gold Shares Rising Strongly

Gold on the February contract has climbed steadily during the intermittent trading sessions since Dec. 24 and is currently up 0.95% on its Christmas Eve opening price, at $1,677.

Of course, the only practical way for most private investors to invest in gold is through exchange-traded funds. The largest gold ETF, the $63 billion SPDR Gold Trust  (NYSEMKT: GLD  ) , has risen by 1.3% to $162.59 since Dec. 24, while London-listed Gold Bullion Securities  (LSE: GBS  ) has risen 0.75% to $162.00 over the same period. Over the last 12 months, shareholders of Gold Bullion Securities have seen their holdings rise by 4%, while SPDR Gold Trust holders have gained 4.6%.

Gold's big movers
Many investors prefer to invest in gold-mining stocks, rather than gold itself, as gold miners are able to use their operational gearing to outperform the price of gold. Let's take a look at some gold stocks that have gained strongly recently.

Thompson Creek Metals Company  (NYSE: TC  ) has soared 46% to $4.32 over the last month. The company may be better known as a producer of molybdenum, which is used to strengthen steel, but it is in the final stages of bringing its Mount Milligan copper-gold mine into production -- an asset that boasts 6 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves alongside a hefty copper deposit. Production is expected to average 194,000 ounces of gold per year and 81 million pounds of copper per year over the anticipated 22-year life of the mine, providing transformative potential for this mid-cap miner.

Anglo Asian Mining  (LSE: AAZ  ) has climbed 45% to 46 pence over the last year, but currently trades on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 3.2. This small-cap miner, which has been profitable for the last two years, recently cemented its progress by signing a copper sales agreement with FTSE 100 (UKX) giant Glencore International. Anglo Asian's gold production is rising steadily and it has secured a substantial credit line from the government-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan to meet its capital expenditure requirements over the coming year.

Australian gold producer Medusa Mining Ltd  (LSE: MML  ) has climbed 11.5% over the last six months, as investors have been encouraged by the solid progress being made to bring its new, 200,000 ounce-per-year capacity gold mill in the Philippines into operation. Current gold production is less than 100,000 ounces per year but this well-funded company has development plans under way that could see annual gold production rise to 400,000 ounces over the next three years.

Shares vs. commodities
Shares in commodity companies have outperformed their underlying commodities many times over the last 10 years, thanks to their ability to magnify their gains through successful development of new resources. This free report from the Fool, "10 Steps to Making a Million From the Market," contains some excellent tips on identifying and investing in potential multibagger shares, including resource shares like gold miners. I strongly recommend that you click here and download it now, as it will only be available for a limited time.

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