Gold is traditionally a hedge against inflation, so with the possibility of the inflation ticking up and the stock market taking a breather it could be time to look a adding gold to a portfolio as an inflation hedge and part of an overall asset allocation to reduce volatility. Direct investment in gold bullion has drawbacks in terms of storage costs and the fact that it doesn't offer any income, only (potential) capital gains. Gold stocks are therefore more usually selected where some gold exposure if desired within a portfolio. I have some gold stocks in my Australian stock portfolio (NCM), and I've just read about a US-based gold mining stock General Metals Corporation(GNLM). As a small mining company reliant on the redevlopment of one old gold mine the prospects of this company would be greatly affected by fluctuations in the price of gold. Their recent press release outlines the details of their gold mining interests:
Gold Expected to Dominate the Investment Horizon, Experts Advise Early Stock Purchases (Reno, NV – March 5, 2007) Traditionally, gold has had an inverse relationship with the stock market. When stocks go up, the price of gold usually falls; when stocks flounder, the price of gold usually skyrockets. Some experts believe it could mean a lot for investors in 2007, because gold is once again catching the eye of the investor. For General Metals Corporation, the news couldn’t come at a better time. “With our plans to begin drilling at Independence Mine, we’re more than thrilled to hear gold is making a comeback,” states company CEO Stephen Parent. “We’re even more excited with our location; it’s a proven producer.” General Metals acquired the Independence Mine in northern Nevada and became a public company last year, trading under the symbol GNLM. Predominantly a silver mine from 1938 to 1987, the Independence Mine is estimated to contain over two million ounces of gold, as well as over two million ounces of additional un-mined silver. As the Independence Mine is essentially an island within Newmont Mining’s Phoenix Mine, the area is already a proven producer. According to Parent, they plan to remove the precious metals in two phases. “Phase one includes our ‘shallow’ targets,” says Parent. “The shallow targets contain less gold, but they’re easily and quickly accessible, which will encourage early cash flow. Phase two is where the majority of our gold will come from. It’s deep mining, but we expect it to produce 1.4 to 2 million ounces of gold.” They expect to produce 20,000 ounces of gold in the first year, 60,000 ounces in the second year and 70,000 ounces in the third year -- approximately $101 million from early estimates. The company also anticipates an additional $1.36 billion to be gained from phase two production. In an effort to increase their mining production, General Metals has recently acquired the Nyinahin Mining Concession in Ghana. Located in one of the most active exploratory areas in the world, this concession shares borders with several major mining companies, including Newmont Mining, Napoli Gold and Dunkwa Continental Goldfields. “Financial experts are predicting gold to play a key role in investor’s profiles during 2007,” adds Parent. “But due to the timely nature, potential investors will need to act quickly in order to maximize their gains.”
One thing to check out in researching small mining companies is the cost of production - you wouldn't want to invest in a company that is only profitable at the current gold price.