Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gold & silver vs. copper & uranium

From MineWeb:

Listed gold and silver stocks may rank as top performing, relatively, in the global resources sector, and likely across all equity sectors, but strong contenders for the thrones can be seen in the form of, particularly, listed copper and uranium names. Listed gold stocks, with a global investible capitalisation of around USD 191bn, have bounced 112% from low prices seen four months ago, but remain 50% off price highs, measured on a globally weighted average.

Within gold, the strongest relative performances have come from the Tier II grouping, with names such as Centerra, High River, Eldorado and Iamgold really standing out. In silver, the global investible capitalisation for primary producers is a modest USD 10.6bn; the performance of Fresnillo has totally dominated, both as to size with its market value at USD 3.8bn, and its huge stock price performance over the past few months.

At this stage listed copper stocks have risen by 99% from lows, but remain 68% off highs, leaving the netted performance behind gold and silver stocks. Trends over the past few days show, however, that investors have made heavy switches out of gold and silver names, and into copper names, among other mining subsectors, with uranium favoured next. The global investible market value of "specialist" copper miners is in the order of USD 48.7bn.

The world's biggest copper miner, Chile's Codelco, is unlisted, whilst third to fifth places are filled by diversified miners in the form of BHP Billiton, Xstrata, and Rio Tinto. The No 2 copper miner, Freeport-McMoRan, also ranks as something of a diversified miner, with substantial molybdenum output, in line with a number of copper miners, and also gold, where output of more than one millions ounces a year from Grasberg would, by itself, rank the stock as a Tier I global gold digger. According to Freeport-McMoRan itself, Grasberg "contains the largest recoverable reserves of copper and the largest single gold reserve in the world"....MUCH MORE