This will not sound nice, but it isn’t meant to: It really sucks to be a gold miner right now.
Gold prices have lost the wind at their back, gold production prices are higher and demand for the shiny yellow metal is not being juiced up by industries and consumers. Labor issues in many parts of the developing world have also turned what had been a risk into an actual higher cost event. We recently gave an update with a muted outlook after taking World Gold Council data into consideration.
To show just how bad thing shave been: the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: GDX) hit a new 52-week low of $36.47 on Monday against a prior 52-week range of $37.02 to $55.25. But wait, it gets worse. The ETF tracks the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index. This index appears to be at a three-year low.
Here is what we are seeing in other gold majors:
Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is down 1.6% at $38.95, under the prior low of the past year as the 52-week range is $39.56 to $59.03, and it is now under $20 billion in market cap. This is the lowest price back to August of 2009, if you do not pay attention to dividends.
AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (NYSE: AU) is at $23.77, versus a prior 52-week range of $23.88 to $41.20. This is the lowest going back to February of 2009.
Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) is at a new 52-week low of $28.89, versus a prior 52-week range of $29.33 to $47.24. This $29 billion value compares to a low back in December of 2008 if you do not count dividend payments.
Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) is still worth $26 billion, and at $32.05 after a 1.5% drop, it still has 2% to go before hitting a new 52-week low.
What is interesting is that gold itself is at $1,574 per ounce. That is still more than $30 above the 52-week low from May of 2012. The World Gold Council noted that gold was up about 8% in dollar terms in 2012, and that was the 12th consecutive annual gain.