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Jaguar Ready to Pounce?

Christopher Barker
August 14, 2008

The traditional name for a jaguar in Brazil translates to painted ounce, and one miner operating there is busy painting those ounces yellow.

Junior gold producer Jaguar Mining (NYSE: JAG  ) reported record revenue and adjusted net earnings for the second quarter, giving investors a golden reason to take a second look at a company that's 30% cheaper today than it was at the end of July.

Revenue for the first half of 2008 rose to $40 million, for a 122% improvement over the comparable 2007 period. Pretax income reversed course from a $2.7 million loss a year earlier to a $7.2 million gain in the latest quarter.

Gold production increased 21% to more than 20,000 ounces at a cash cost of $455 per ounce. Cash costs rose substantially from $328 per ounce a year earlier, though more than half of the rise is attributable to the weakening of the U.S. dollar relative to the Brazilian real. The remaining cost pressure came from lower-grade ores encountered at the Sabara and Turmalina mines, but the cost basis remains comfortably in the ballpark of those that ┬ámajor producers, including Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM  ) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: