They call it "gold fever" -- that frantic obsession with the world's primary monetary metal that onlookers often carelessly ascribe to each and every investor with exposure to gold.
If mid-tier gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines
It seems a portion of volcanic rock in the mine's hanging wall (the rock that overlays a mineral deposit) has failed, and that resulting intrusion of groundwater into the mine has led to "further weakening and movement of the rock mass." The bottom line is this: The mine has become unsafe for underground personnel, and not even the deposit's remaining 1.6 million ounces of gold reserves (soon to be reclassified as resources) is worth placing lives at risk. Even as a shareholder who just watched his holding decline dramatically, I applaud the decision.
I remember when South African miner Gold Fields
By shutting down its Goldex mine on the recommendation of a rock-mechanics consulting firm, Agnico-Eagle reminds investors that some things are far more valuable than gold. On the basis of the Goldex mine's contribution of 17.5% of consolidated gold production during the second quarter of 2011, the latest slashing of Agnico's market capitalization appears quite appropriate. However, it's worth pointing out that the company's gold reserves will suffer only a 7.5% reduction from 21.3 million to 19.7 million ounces, and that Agnico-Eagle's shares currently value those adjusted reserves at about $400 per ounce!
Despite this significant setback, my long-term investment thesis for Agnico-Eagle remains well intact, and I intend to hold my shares for years to come. From the company's exciting 9.2% stake in developer Rubicon Minerals
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 Agnico-Eagle Mines, Goldcorp, Rubicon Minerals, and Yamana Gold. We Fools don't 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.