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5 of the best ASX gold stocks in Q1 2023

Gold is one of the world's most venerable and popular investment assets. This list of the five best ASX gold stocks provides options to investors for gaining exposure to gold via equities.

Source: Bloomberg

As one of the world's oldest forms of money, gold has been a highly popular means for people to amass and safeguard their wealth for thousands of years.

Unlike other metals, gold does not rust or corrode, making it an ideal substance to serve as a long-term storehouse of wealth. It is also prized for its beauty and malleability, lending itself to the creation of jewelry and ornamental items in many places around the world since antiquity.

In the modern era, gold has also found a range of industrial applications, mainly in the manufacture of electronics. Gold is resistant to corrosion and a highly efficient conductor, making it an excellent substance for the fine wiring in electronic devices that can range from smartphones to desktop computers.

In the realm of finance and money, gold continues to retain a strong appeal in the modern era. Until the 1970s, it served as the basis for the statutory currencies issued by the world's advanced economies. While many monetary policy experts continue to call for a return to the gold standard in the present day.

Advocates of gold investment favour the precious metal because of its finite supply on the earth. They claim that the scarcity of gold makes it a safe-haven investment during inflationary episodes that can erode the wealth of other types of assets.

Gold is also an appealing asset because of its nature as a tangible substance that people can physically handle and store, providing many investors with a great sense of reassurance. This advantage also creates challenges, however, as ownership of large amounts of gold also requires the use of physical storage locations with strict security measures to prevent theft.

For this reason, equities are an effective means for gold-inclined investors to gain exposure to the precious metal. Instead of buying and holding physical gold themselves, investors can acquire stakes in gold-producing companies to reap the potential benefits of any appreciation in the precious metal's value.

Given the tremendous wealth of its mineral deposits and the scale and sophistication of its mining sector, Australia is host to a variety of listed companies in the gold sector for investors to consider.

Here is a list of five of the top ASX-listed gold stocks, to help those investors keen on stepping up their exposure to bullion.

1. Newcrest Mining Limited

2. Capricorn Metals

3. Northern Star Resources

4. Perseus Mining

5. AngloGold Ashanti

1. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM)

Newcrest is the biggest ASX-listed gold producer and one of the largest gold producers in the world. Headquartered in Melbourne, Newcrest has its origins in the Newmont Mining Corporation, which was founded in 1966 as a subsidiary of a New York-based company bearing the same name.

Newcrest operates mines in Australia, Canada and Papua New Guinea. One of its key assets is the Brucejack gold mine which is situated 950 kilometres from the Canadian city of Vancouver. According to Newcrest, Brucejack is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines in the world.

Another key asset is the Cadia gold and copper mine which is located 25 kilometres away from Orange in New South Wales. Newcrest claims that Cadia is one of Australia's biggest gold mining operations.

Newcrest recently saw its share price rose on word of an acquisition offer from US gold giant Newmont, as well as a strong H1 FY23 performance.

Newcrest saw a 25% rise in gold production to 1.04 million ounces for H1 FY23, alongside a 32% rise in copper production to 67,023 tonnes, and a 24% rise in revenue to $2.12 billion.

2. Capricorn Metals (ASX: CMM)

The share price for Capricorn Metals saw a 35.3% leap in 2022, on the back of the strong promise of its key gold mining projects in Western Australia.

These projects include the Mount Gibson Gold Project and the Karlawinda Gold Project, both of which saw an increase in estimated reserve levels last year.

According to an announcement made by Capricorn in late October, advised ore reserves had risen 12% to 1.34 million ounces at the Karlawinda project. The announcement drove a near 5% rise in Capricorn's share price on the day of the announcement.

Shortly afterwards, Capricorn announced on 7 November that the Mineral Resource Estimate at the Mount Gibson Project had increased 32%, driving a 10% rise in the company's share price that day.

3. Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST)

Perth-headquartered gold miner Northern Star Resources has operations across both Australia and the state of Alaska in the United States. The company has seen strong growth in its portfolio of assets since the acquisition of Western Australia's Paulsens mine in July 2010.

According to Northern Star, its three key assets are the world-class gold production centres of Kalgoorlie and Yandal in Australia and Pogo in Alaska, all of which are categorised as highly prospective geological settings in jurisdictions with low sovereign risk.

Kalgoorlie has been an active gold mining area since the late 19th century, following the discovery of one of the richest gold deposits in the world at the Golden Mile in 1893.

Northern Star's share price recently faltered, however, following the release of its H1 FY23 report revealing that EBITDA had fallen 12% from the prior corresponding period to $633 million.

4. Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU)

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Perth, Perseus Mining focuses on gold mining operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company's key assets are situated in the adjacent countries of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana on the western coast of Africa.

Perseus Mining's flagship projects include the Edikan Gold Mine in Ghana and the Sissingué Gold Mine and Yaouré Gold Mine in Côte d'Ivoire.

The share price for Perseus leapt 30.2% in 2022, driven by rising gold prices in the final quarter of the year.

In October, Perseus announced a maiden ore reserve of 2.2 Mt 3.58 grams per tonnes for 259 koz at the Yaouré Gold Mine in Côte d'Ivoire.

CEO Jeff Quartermaine said the reserve could help Perseus to potentially raise production levels in future.

'Having attained the goal of producing gold at a rate of 500,000oz per year across our three gold mines, we are now working to maintain, and where possible, exceed that level of production over the next decade and beyond,' Quartermaine said in a statement.

5. AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG)

AngloGold Ashanti is a highly diversified gold, silver and copper miner with projects spread across Australia, Africa and Latin America, in countries including Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and Guinea.

On 4 November, AngloGold announced the acquisition of the Nevada assets of Coeur Mining for $150 million, as part of plans to create a new centre for gold production with the incorporation of the Beatty district.

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This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Australia Pty Ltd. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

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