Independence Group NL surges on gold production update: Is it a buy?

Credit: Szaaman

It has been a great start to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), but an even better one for gold miners. This is especially the case for shareholders of Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO), which so far today is up around 9%.

As well as getting a boost from a rise in the gold price to US$1,372 per ounce overnight, its shares are responding positively to the company’s fourth quarter update released this morning. This update revealed that a solid performance in the fourth quarter means full year provisional gold production at its Tropicana mine has landed in the middle of its guidance range.

At its Jaguar mine it was a similar story for zinc production which met guidance, but rather pleasingly copper production at Jaguar came in well ahead of guidance. The only disappointment was its Long mine, which saw nickel production fall just short of full year guidance. But if you take into account production delays at the Long mine in April related to paste fill issues, this was actually a solid result.

Although Independence Group does mine various metals, its gold mine is its main source of income. I believe this could make it an attractive investment for those looking for exposure to the rising gold price.

Much like its fellow gold miners Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM), and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG), its shares have been on fire this year. Since the turn of the year Independence Group shareholders have seen the value of their holdings rise by over 61%, compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s 0.4% rise.

I have little doubt that for as long as the gold price stays at its lofty levels, miners such as Independence Group and Newcrest Mining will continue to deliver strong results, which drive potential share price gains for investors.

But in my opinion predicting where the gold price goes next is a fruitless task. For this reason I  would advise readers to limit their portfolio’s exposure to gold in the event of a fall in its price. I feel there are plenty of growth shares on the ASX which aren’t reliant on the price of a particular commodity that could prove to be even better long-term investments.

Three examples of blue chip growth shares which I believe would potentially be better investments are linked above. Each provides a solid fully franked dividend and I feel could climb higher in the coming months.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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