ASX Midday hot stocks: Gold miners crunched

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has dropped 1.4%, wiping out almost all of the gains for 2013, and has fallen more than 4% since Thursday last week. Again, resources and gold stocks are taking a hammering, with gold investors rushing for the exits.

Here’s why these three stocks are hot right now.

Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML) has fallen 15.7% to $1.337. Medusa is focused on low-cost production in the Philippines, with a 5-year plan to increase production to 400,000 ounces of gold a year. It recently hit a snag in its expansion plans with the company managing the expansion of its Co-O Mill expansion sliding into receivership. There must now be doubts about Medusa’s ambitious plan, given it expects to produce between 70,000 to 80,000 ounces of gold in this financial year.

Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) has dropped 12.9% to 67.5 cents. Perseus refers to itself as one of Africa’s most aggressive gold explorers, but may have to temper that statement as gold hovers below US$1,300 an ounce. Perseus holds a 90% interest in the producing Edikan gold mine in Ghana as well as two other fairly advanced gold projects, also in Africa. With production costs of around US$1,132 an ounce, Perseus is operating at very thin margins, with the March quarter sliding into a loss.

Cudeco Limited (ASX:CDU) fell 8.9% to 2.41. The copper explorer is in the process of developing its Rocklands Group copper project in Queensland, with processing infrastructure currently being built. However, the company is under pressure with copper prices falling to just over US$3/lb, from $3.70/lb back in March 2013.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.

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