3 Gold Shares Rising Strongly

LONDON -- The price of gold continued its downward slide on Monday last week, before gradually moving higher during the following few days. Gold for June delivery ended the week down by 5% at $1,406 per ounce.

Of course, the only practical way for most private investors to invest in gold is through exchange-traded funds. The largest gold ETF, the $51 billion SPDR Gold Trust  (NYSEMKT: GLD  ) , ended the week 0.7% lower at $135.47, while London-listed Gold Bullion Securities  (LSE: GBS  )  fell 3.5% to $134.93 last week.

So far this year, shareholders of Gold Bullion Securities have seen the value of their holdings fall by 12%, while the value of SPDR Gold Trust shares has fallen by 17%.

Gold's big movers
After the gold price showed signs of stabilising last week, several U.K.-listed gold miners made gains during the final two trading days of the week:

Randgold Resources  (LSE: RRS  )  gained 5.7% to 4,664p during trading on Thursday and Friday.

The FTSE 100-listed miner reported a total cash cost per ounce of gold produced of $735 during 2012, and ended the year with net cash of $369 million. According to an update published last week, Randgold remains on target to produce the first bar of gold from its Kibali gold mine within the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of this year. Randgold is targeting production of 600,000 ounces per annum at Kibali, which would make it the company's largest gold mine.

Elsewhere, African Barrick Gold  (LSE: ABG  )  recovered 3.5% to 179p at the end of last week. Its first-quarter results, which were published on Thursday, showed firm had sold 148,232 ounces of gold during January, February and March, generating operating cash flow of $57.3 million at a cash cost of $931 per ounce sold.

The group's cash balance remained unchanged at $402 million and debt remained at zero, highlighting the firm's financial strength in the face of falling gold prices.

Meanwhile, Amara Mining  (LSE: AMA  )  gained 2% to 31 pence during the final two days of last week.

The small-cap African gold miner has net cash of $12.2 million and the security of a long-term contract with Samsung C&T Corporation, which will provide partial funding for the miner's Baomahun project.

However, Amara still needs a further $100 million to complete funding for Baomahun and reports last week that it was in negotiations with several potential partners may lie behind the share-price rise. Both the company's chairman and chief executive have doubled their shareholdings recently, suggesting they have confidence in the group's prospects.

Shares vs. commodities
Shares in commodity companies have outperformed their underlying commodities many times over the last ten years, thanks to their ability to magnify their gains through successful development of new resources.

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