Dust off your picks and axes, Fools … we're going prospecting for world-class gold mines.
This multi-year bull market for gold has generated plenty of interest in locating major new deposits to sustain global production amid this robust demand environment. The problem, as AngloGold Ashanti
In a market that needs to replace more than 100 million ounces per year to maintain a balanced supply (according to Barrick Gold
A changing of the guards
This shift in production scale is epitomized by the rise of China as the world's leading gold producer since 2007, just as South Africa entered a more mature stage of its productive cycle. Reaching extreme depths of two miles or more beneath the surface, mine safety incidents and related stoppages have plagued South African miners, with Gold Fields
Although singularly massive gold deposits are increasingly hard to find, they do still exist, and Fools seeking economies of scale in their gold exposure are encouraged to consider the world-class mines within their selection process. Now, let's take a look at a few of the most impressive deposits on the planet.
Even though they placed the word gold right in the company's name, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold
Peru is home to the next world-class gold mine of note, at Yanacocha. Operated by Newmont Mining
After recently consolidating ownership of the impressive Boddington mine in Australia, containing 11.1 million ounces of gold reserves, Newmont boasts a couple of monster mines in its gilded global portfolio. Although the world's leading producer, Barrick Gold, brings a pair of 17 million-ounce behemoths to the table -- with Pascua Lama in Argentina and its half of the Donlin Creek joint venture in Alaska -- both projects remain in pre-construction phases of development. With Yanacocha already cranking and Boddington set for commissioning this summer, this Fool considers Newmont far more attractive than Barrick.
We now arrive at the mine that I find most enticing from an investor's perspective. Goldcorp's
Penasquito comprises a core foundation for Goldcorp's anticipated 50% increase in production by 2013, and it is large enough in scale to meaningfully enhance cash flow for royalty holder Royal Gold and silver stream specialist Silver Wheaton
We have quickly sped around the world for a glimpse of noteworthy mines, but we've barely scratched the surface. Successful mining investors know that plenty of research is recommended, so it's important to enjoy the adventure.
Gold is a hot topic on the blogs at Motley Fool CAPS. Join the free service today and see just how many Fools are taking the long view when it comes to investing in gold. The "Gold" tag at CAPS lists 41 potential investments, and you'll find Christopher's comments on most of them.
Fool contributor Christopher Barker thinks you can guess which of the James Bond movies he prefers. He can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly in the CAPS community under the name TMFSinchiruna. He tweets. He owns shares of Freeport-McMoRan, Silver Wheaton, and Royal Gold. The Motley Fool has a gilded disclosure policy.