Jeb Handwerger: A Surge in M&As Proves that Gold Is Back

The Mining Report: You’re fond of the saying, “As January goes, so goes the year.” Given how gold performed last month, up 8%, what does this tell you about the rest of 2015?

Jeb Handwerger: Going back over the last 100 years, the statistics are on the side of the sector that outperforms in January. And this January, precious metals and junior miners have taken off, breaking out against all major currencies. Gold bullion outperformed all other currencies, and it’s also beginning to break out against the U.S. dollar. The gold price broke above the 200-day moving average versus the greenback, which many observers see as an indicator of the medium- to long-term trend. Since then it has pulled back to the 50-day moving average, which should act as support as it is begins to slope higher.

Integra Gold Corp.’s Lamaque is one of the highest-quality assets in Quebec controlled by a junior miner.

We’re seeing a big increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&As). In November, Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. (OR:TSX) bought Virginia Mines Inc. (VGQ:TSX). In December, Coeur Mining Inc. (CDE:NYSE) bought Paramount Gold and Silver Corp. (PZG:TSX; PZG:NYSE.MKT). In January, Goldcorp Inc. (G:TSX; GG:NYSE) bought Probe Mines Ltd. (PRB:TSX.V) for $440 million ($440M). And in uranium, Uranerz Energy Corp. (URZ:TSX; URZ:NYSE.MKT) and Energy Fuels Inc. (EFR:TSX; UUUU:NYSE.MKT; EFRFF:OTCQX) merged. All this tells me there’s been a sentiment change. Probe and Paramount were mentioned in last year’s interview as takeout candidates.

TMR: Gold ended the month over $1,275 per ounce ($1,275/oz). Is this fact in itself significant?

JH: Yes. The price of gold seems to have stabilized, and now the miners are catching up. Keep in mind that the majors and midtiers have cut exploration budgets and now rely on the …read more

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