Nick’s Note: As regular readers know, our game plan for safe wealth-building includes keeping an eye on volatility. And one of the best ways to hedge against jittery markets is owning some gold.
That’s why today, we’re turning to PBRG friend and commodities expert David Forest. Dave is a geologist who’s done everything in the mining business—from working in the field to running the show as a mining executive. And right now, he has his sights on the most important place on Earth for the gold industry…
By David Forest, editor, International Speculator
In February, I visited the most important place on Earth for the gold industry right now.
Conditions were less than ideal, as you can see in the photo below. I’m stopped because our SUV’s engine nearly overheated after an hour of plowing through new snow that was a foot deep…
Now, most people don’t think of Nevada—largely regarded as a desert state—when they think of 12 inches of snow.
But that’s where I was.
And today, I’ll show you why Nevada is critical for the gold business right now—and how to start profiting from this trend.
So let’s get started…
The Global Gold Industry Like You’ve Never Seen Before
Below is a world map showing the 25 largest mines controlled by the world’s top five public gold mining companies. That’s Barrick, Newmont, and Goldcorp, plus AngloGold Ashanti and Kinross Gold.
It looks pretty diverse. The “big five” gold miners have major mines on every populated continent except Europe.
But let’s take this a step further and show where the gold miners’ cash comes from.
Below is the same map of major gold mines—but showing revenues derived from each operation, too. The larger the circle, the more cash the mine generates.
Now that’s a telling picture. You can see how Nevada’s operations (the large orange circles) tower above the rest of the world.
A Cash Machine for Gold Majors
Nevada’s production costs are extremely low, allowing miners to max out their profits by having the lowest possible all-in sustaining cost (AISC).
[AISC is a comprehensive measure of mining expenses, including on- and off-site costs, plus the capital required to keep the mine in production.]
First, just being in the U.S. in general is advantageous. American highway infrastructure is among the best in the world—meaning that moving equipment to sites and moving product to processing and sales points is easier and cheaper than in, say, Africa or South America.
That infrastructure also means better access to crucial mining supplies such as fuel.
Power costs in Nevada are very reasonable, at 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Compare that to other big mining locales like Chile, where industrial power prices are double, at 13 cents per kWh.
Nevada also has major economies of scale when it comes to mining services. With several large mining complexes in the state, there are lots of companies offering drilling, engineering, and construction services in towns like Reno, Elko, and Winnemucca. That competition drives down costs.
And beyond just operating costs, Nevada also offers major advantages when putting a new mine into operation… The biggest one: There aren’t many people around.
All these Nevada advantages are acknowledged by the global mining industry. In fact, the influential Fraser Institute’s survey of global mining jurisdictions released recently voted Nevada as the best place on the planet in which to explore, develop, and mine.
For all these reasons, Nevada is the center of the mining universe—and the core for production and profitability for the world’s largest gold companies.
We’re going to see more of this focus on core jurisdictions like Nevada as gold companies continue to combine and rationalize. There just aren’t any mining jurisdictions anywhere else in the world that compare in terms of production and profits.
How This Translates to Profits
There’s an influx of money pouring into the mining sector… And it’s prompting some key merger and acquisition (M&A) deals—notably in the gold sector, with some huge deals in Nevada.
In just the first three months of 2019, we’ve seen over $76 billion flow into the mining sector—already well over a third of what we saw in 2018.
The current year in mining M&A got off to a big start when major gold miner Newmont announced a friendly $10 billion takeover of fellow major gold miner Goldcorp.
But that megadeal was eclipsed when the world’s largest public gold miner, Barrick, jumped into the takeover fray, unveiling a hostile bid for Newmont worth up to $18 billion.
That’s a huge bid—and between Barrick, Newmont, and Goldcorp, the world’s top gold executives tabled nearly $28 billion in deals within the span of only a few weeks.
This spells out money-making opportunities for us as speculators in these volatile times.
Money flows are rising in the mining sector, more companies are consolidating… and the gold price is on the rise as investors rush into the safe-haven of gold due to volatility.
But besides the fact that the big amounts of money involved here show that mining executives see something happening in the gold market (the Barrick-Newmont proposal coincided almost exactly with a sudden surge in the gold price—which took bullion to a year-high of $1,345 per ounce), our research proves that gold is the way to go during times of uncertainty.
According to our research, during the last four major financial crises, gold increased in value during a crash, gaining an average of 3%… And it also delivered gains before and after the crashes—rising an average of 4% in the year prior to a crash and 10% in the year after.
So consider gold and gold mining companies if you haven’t yet—especially those that are ripe for a takeover bid by having solid exposure to leading, in-demand jurisdictions like Nevada.
In addition to major gold producers active here, I also follow a slate of junior companies developing new deposits and exploring for major new gold discoveries. All of these will be in demand as consolidation in the gold sector continues.
Editor, International Speculator
P.S. I just released a brand-new video that details one of the best money-making opportunities I’ve come across in my career. You see, there’s a little-known mineral that’s vital for protecting America’s communities.
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On April 17 at 8 p.m. ET, one of the smartest minds in finance is going on-camera to share his biggest investment prediction in 20 years. He’s even revealing the name of what he calls the “No. 1 retirement stock in America” to everyone who tunes in.
Plus, just for signing up, you’ll receive access to a three-part video series on one of his favorite companies… behind-the-scenes Q&A videos… and two more of his strongest-conviction ideas. And you can find out how to attend this free event right here.