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Gold Medal Victory for Primero Mining

By Christopher Barker - Updated Apr 7, 2017 at 12:32PM

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The momentum leader of gold stocks scores yet another catalyst.

Move over, Michael Phelps!

Under the reliably capable leadership of founding CEO Joe Conway, Primero Mining (NYSE: PPP) is rapidly constructing a legacy of golden achievements likely to be recalled as one of the truly great performances of its time.

Scoring a watershed victory in its bid to reconfigure the way that Mexico's tax authority treats the portion of Primero's silver production delivered to stream holder Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW), Primero is now free to celebrate further increases in the price of silver alongside this continuing and powerful secular bull market in gold.

Also likely to be celebrating this latest victory for Primero -- aside from 32% stakeholder Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) -- are those of my fellow Fools who may have latched onto this story when I called Primero "The Greatest Gold Stock in the World" just over a year ago when the stock traded for $2.39 per share. Rocketing higher by more than 40% Friday morning after news broke of this game-changing positive tax ruling, the shares have already delivered an unforgettable three-bagger run over the period. As the following chart makes clear, Primero's outperformance of relevant benchmarks like the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) or the gold bullion proxy SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) has been truly spectacular.

PPP Chart

PPP data by YCharts

The updated outlook for Primero Mining
Following a move of this magnitude, an updated and refreshed outlook for the stock going forward is required. My recent decision to lock in a portion of my gains in Primero shares prior to this latest megasurge is now looking a touch premature, but I value the underlying discipline of locking in gains more than I do any notion of doing so with flawless timing. I think it's safe to say that my selection of Primero as my No. 1 gold pick for 2012 has already enjoyed a favorable run, and yet the stock remains a core long-term holding of mine even after booking gains.

I continue to perceive substantial room for further value creation as the company approaches a likely expansion of the San Dimas mine, and continues all the while to build its mineral inventory through the systematic exploration of this legendary gold and silver vein system. Additionally, Primero's newfound market heft -- combined with a healthy cash position of $126 million at last tally -- works in support of Conway's long-standing intention to grow this company through strategic acquisitions while concurrently maximizing value from the flagship mine.

While intentionally sidestepping any effort to predict the near-term trajectory following a move of this scale and duration, my long-term outlook remains solidly bullish from here. Accordingly, I will maintain my bullish CAPScall on the stock as a top pick, and I encourage readers to track my coverage by bookmarking my article list or following me on Twitter. I suspect that some of my other core gold holdings may double faster from this juncture, but ultimately I expect to hold my remaining stake in Primero Mining for a long-term target of at least $14 per share.

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Stocks Mentioned

Primero Mining Corp. Stock Quote
Primero Mining Corp.
PPP
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. Stock Quote
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.
WPM
$42.49 (1.48%) $0.62
Goldcorp Inc. Stock Quote
Goldcorp Inc.
GG

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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