Saturday, January 09, 2010

2009 the best year yet for gold companies

2009 turned out to be a great year for gold companies. Gold experienced a spectacular rise in price and financing activity was up more than 6 times that of 2008. 2008 was a dismal year in the industry.

According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Curran, during 2009 there were 151 separate deals that raised over $18.6-billion for North American gold companies, that he says was the most ever raised in a 12 month period.

Mr. Curran also broke down where the money went and what it would be used for. Not surprisingly, more than two-thirds of the cash went to larger-cap gold producers ( Barrick Gold Corp. alone raised more than $5-billion to terminate its hedge book).

But the small-cap companies had plenty to smile about as well, and Mr. Curran is most interested in their financing activities. He calculated that they raised $6.36-billion in 141 deals, proving that there was plenty of money available for exploration (54% of those transactions were earmarked specifically for exploration). There were many small deals, as 58% of the transactions involved amounts less than $25-million.

But while most of the small-cap transactions were related to exploration, construction rose to the top when it came to how proceeds are used. It accounted for about 43% of that total, while exploration was 20%.

Smaller amounts were earmarked for feasibility studies, investment and acquisitions. However, the largest deals in the small-cap space involved acquisitions.

Link to story at

2009 was also a great year for gold discoveries with many companies announcing news of new finds, increased resources and/or commencement of mining operations. 2009 also brought news of takeovers and acquisitions of smaller companies by the larger players.

Given the continual uneasiness in the worldwide economy and the potential for further complications, 2010 could turn out to be even better.

Happy Prospecting!


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Joan Stepsen
Computer geek

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