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Mining's best and worst performers of 2019

Kitco News

Editor's Note: 2020 is expected to be another year of significant uncertainty and turmoil. But the question is what asset will emerge the victor when the dust settles from the global trade war, Brexit, recession threats, negative bond yields. It's a showdown of global proportions, so don't miss all our exclusive coverage on how these factors could impact your 2020 investment decisions.

Gold, gold, gold and which miners capitalized was the big story of 2019.

The yellow metal was up 18.6% in 2019 as spot prices rose from USD$1,282 an ounce on January 1 to USD$1,520.00 an ounce on December 31. The move had an out-sized impact on some miners and their financials.

While conditions were right for gold miners, the opposite held for many base metal miners. China-U.S. trade worries and the consequent fall in manufacturing dampened base metal prices. That said, many gold miners still managed to under-perform. Production snafus and regulatory disputes were the usual culprits.

Here are the top gainers and decliners. We looked at miners listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and with a market capitalization over C$1 billion as of Oct. 31, 2019. Time range is from the first week of November 2018 to November 2019.

Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments.

TOP GAINERS

Alacer Gold - 202%

Turkish miner Alacer Gold (TSX:ASR) and its Çöpler Gold Mine shone in 2019. In October's Q3 the company had production of 290,127 ounces at consolidated an all-in-sustaining-cost of $714 an ounce. The company was able to increase guidance and add ounces to its reserve.

Wesdome Gold Mines - 121%

Much like Alacer, Wesdome Gold Mines (TSX:WDO) did the same. It's exploration program announced some good holes, and the company was then able to increase guidance in November's Q3. The mid-tier gold miner has operations in Ontario and Quebec.

Kirkland Lake Gold - 136%

In the last Q3 Kirkland Lake (TSE:KL) had production of 248,400 ounces, a 38% increase from 180,155 ounces in Q3 2018, and its AISC per ounce sold averaged $562. Kirkland could very well have been the top performer if not for the attempted $3 billion takeover of Detour Gold. Investors worried about the hefty premium and the company's switch from high-grade underground operations to low-grade open pit. Shareholders vote on the acquisition in January.

TOP DECLINERS

OceanaGold - 23%

In October OceanaGold (TSX:OGC) warned of lower output at its Philippine's mine, Didipio, due to a disagreement with the local government. The company also struggled with water issues at its Haile Gold Mine earlier in the spring.

Nexa Resources - 25%

Zinc is just a tough metal to be mining right now. The Latin American miner (TSX:NEXA) said production was up in Q3, but the zinc average price decreased 15% compared to Q2 2019.

Turquioise Hill - 76%

Political squabbles with the Mongolian government, cost over-runs and lackluster copper price in 2019 all led to a slumping share price. The Rio Tinto-controlled company (TSX:TRQ) operates the massive Oyu Tolgoi Mine.

Chart is forked from Mike Bostock's multi-line chart on Observable

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.