Let’s take a closer look at the North American gold miners. Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX) is the world’s largest gold producer. It produces and sells gold and also produces significant amounts of copper. Barrick has the largest quantity of gold reserves, a total of 104.1 million ounces as of December 2013. It also has 14 billion pounds of copper reserves.
Barrick is one of the most efficient gold producers. It produced 7.2 million ounces of gold in 2013 at all-in sustaining costs (or AISC) of $865 per ounce. Barrick is among the lowest three gold producers for gold production costs.
Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM) is the world’s second largest gold producer. It’s the only gold company included in the S&P 500 index and the Fortune 500. Newmont is engaged in the exploration and acquisition of gold and copper properties with operations in the United States, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, New Zealand, and Mexico.
Goldcorp (GG) is one of the senior gold producers. This Canadian-based company has four mines in Canada and the United States and three mines in Mexico. Goldcorp also has three mines in Central and South America.
Canada and the United States account for 45% of Goldcorp’s production. Mexico accounts for 31%, and Central and South America account for 24%.
Goldcorp mainly sells gold in the London spot market. It also produces silver, copper, lead, and zinc. It produces the metals mainly from concentrate. The concentrate is produced at its Peñasquito mine and Alumbrera mine and sold to third-party refiners.
Investors can gain access to the gold industry through gold-backed ETFs such as the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX). GDX invests in these three stocks, which combined make up 25.7% of its holdings.