Just when it seemed my favorite gold stock was finally off to the races, along comes another compelling buying opportunity for shares of Primero Mining
Joe Conway built the successful mid-tier marvel IAMGOLD
Diligent Fools have known from the start that the vast network of gold- and silver-bearing veins at San Dimas were both inadequately defined and grossly underexplored. Prior owner Goldcorp
Primero met its revised guidance for 2011 with output of just over 100,000 gold-equivalent ounces and set 2012 guidance at roughly the same range. Effectively snuffing out the benefit of an 8% increase in mill throughput over 2010, Primero suffered a 13% dip in average gold grades and a 7% drop in silver grades. It is precisely that sort of unanticipated variability in realized grades that Conway seeks to resolve through the exploration and resource-estimation initiative announced this week.
Primero is certainly not alone in encountering challenges with respect to pre-production modeling of precious-metal deposits. Great Panther Silver
As a long-term investor and committed Primero shareholder, I welcome Primero's decision to forestall the targeted expansion of San Dimas until the vein structures and their grades can be more reliably and comprehensively modeled through exploration. In the meantime, the mine continues to pump out more than 100,000 gold-equivalent ounces of gold per year, and I consider the shares an unmistakable bargain for production at that scale. For investors who may be concerned about the potential for a moderate adjustment to the average grade of the existing reserves, I would counter that fresh rounds of resource-expanding intercepts from brownfield exploration among the scores of prospective vein structures at San Dimas are extremely likely to yield a net increase in resource ounces during this year of careful study. Despite the pause in Primero's near-term production, I remain convinced of this stock's profound long-term potential. Primero remains my top recommendation among all gold stocks, and the corresponding bullish CAPScall within my Motley Fool CAPS portfolio is likely to remain in place for years to come.
- Add Primero Mining to My Watchlist.
- Add IAMGOLD to My Watchlist.
- Add Great Panther Silver to My Watchlist.
- Add Newmont Mining to My Watchlist.
- Add Goldcorp to My Watchlist.
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