Gold News Highlights: Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX)’s Peter Munk, Newmont Mining Corp (NEM) Rating Upgraded & Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)

Editor’s Note: Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX), Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (USA) (NYSE:AEM)

Insight – Barrick Gold’s Peter Munk seeks to regain his Midas touch (euronews)
Peter Munk has long driven the agenda for Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), the company he formed in 1983 and built into the world’s largest gold producer, but recent missteps have raised questions about the leadership of a man once seen as a visionary in the industry. Munk, who owns a stake of less than a quarter of a percent in the company, still steers Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX)’s strategy from his position as chairman, and he is now attempting to shore up the miner’s position. But some investors, seizing on what they view as misguided decisions and problems at several mines, are questioning both the company’s direction, and Munk’s role.

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX)

Newmont Mining Corp. Upgraded to Neutral at Zacks (NEM) (Daily Political)
Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) was upgraded by Zacks from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, AR Network reports. The firm currently has a $34.00 price target on the stock. Zacks‘ target price would suggest a potential upside of 3.63% from the company’s current price. Shares of Newmont Mining Corp traded down 1.22% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $32.41. 2,926,954 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) has a 1-year low of $26.43 and a 1-year high of $57.93.

The Market Vectors Gold Miner ETF Is A Lousy Way To Bet On Gold (Seeking Alpha)
The thesis of this article is that the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX) is a lousy way to bet on an appreciation in the gold price. There are two primary reasons for this. First, any given gold miner will not necessarily offer leverage to the gold price. This is true of several of the major holdings of GDX. Second, many of the components of GDX are silver miners, and many of the primary gold miners produce silver and copper. In all, I doubt that even 80% of the combined revenues of Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX) components come from gold.

Three strikes and African Barrick’s Hawkins is out (Financial Times)
It should come as no surprise that majority shareholder Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) has ousted Greg Hawkins as chief executive of African Barrick Gold. The company missed production targets in three consecutive years. Moreover, gold miners have been replacing expansionist bosses with penny pinchers, just like the big base metal diggers. Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM), Kinross and Barrick Gold of Canada – which owns a controlling stake in London-listed African Barrick – are all under new management. “We are moving from an industry that was about growth – almost at any cost – to one where the focus is on cost management,” says Jonathan Guy at RBC Capital Markets.

Agnico Eagle Slashes Nunavut Expenses (Seeking Alpha)
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (USA) (NYSE:AEM) produced 224,089 ounces in Q2 compared to 265,350 ounces in the same period last year. This lower production rate was caused by the longer than expected shutdown of its Kittila mine for maintenance as the mine only operated for 14 days in the quarter. The cash cost per ounce increased to $785, which is up considerably from last year’s $660/oz, because the LaRonde and Pinos Altos mines generated lower by-product revenue which obviously has a direct impact on the cash costs net of by-products.