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Top 5 gold stocks to watch in Q4 2023

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

Source: Bloomberg

As one of the world's earliest 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 jewellry 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.

Leading analysts have become bullish about gold prices, as signs emerge that the Federal Reserve is about to reach the end of its hiking cycle. JP Morgan expects gold prices to hit a record high of around $2,175 per counce in the final quarter of 2024.

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. AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG)

2. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM)

3. WildCat Resources (ASX: WC8)

4. Besra Gold (ASX: BEZ)

5. Rox Resources (ASX: RXL)

1. AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG)

AGG 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, AGG 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.

According to a disclosure recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, banking giant Citigroup increased its stake in AngloGold Ashanti's New York-listed stocks by 32.4% in the first quarter of the current year.

2. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM)

NCM is the biggest ASX-listed gold producer and one of the largest gold producers in the world. Headquartered in Melbourne, NCM 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.

NCM 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.

NCM 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.

NCM's share price is currently up over 22% year-to-date.

3. WildCat Resources (ASX: WC8)

WC8's gold properties include the Mt Adrah Gold Project in Lachlan Fold Belt, NSW and the Bolt Cutter Gold Project in Western Australia's mineral-rich Pilbara region. In addition to its gold projects, Wildcat also lays claim to lithium deposits at Bolt Cutter and the Tabba Tabba lithium-tantalum project, which is also situated in the Pilbara.

WC8's share price has surged since the start of 2023, leaping 2050.00% year-to-date. The company posted a sizeable rise in mid-May following the acquisition of the Tabba Tabba project, and has since risen even further on the feasiblity of future growth plans.

4. Besra Gold (ASX: BEZ)

BEZ's main operations are located in South-east Asia, with the mining company holding a 97.8% interest in the Bau Gold Project situated in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Bau is BEZ's flagship project and has a mining history that extends back to the 19th century.

In March, BEZ published drill results indicating that the Bekajang deposit at Bau confirms 'consistent, extensive gold mineralisation.' BEZs other main deposit at Bau is Jugan, where it plans to build a pilot plant processing facility and mine pit. BEZ will fund the project with a US$300 million gold purchase agreement that it executed in May with shareholder Quantum Metal Recovery.

BEZs share price is up around 264% year-to-date.

5. Rox Resources (ASX: RXL)

RXL's gold mining operations are focused on the mineral-rich state of Western Australia. It holds full ownership of the Mt Fisher/ Mt Eureka Gold Project and 70% ownership of the Youanmi Gold Project located approximately 480 kilometres to the northeast of Perth. Youanmi has a total resource of 3.2 million ounces of contained gold.

RXLs share price shot up in the first quarter following the discovery of 'bonanza' gold at Youanmi South via reverse circulation and diamond drilling programs.The company's share price is up over 13% year-to-date.

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