Whenever anyone asks your friendly Gold Enthusiast what leads to a well-performing gold mining stock, the first answer is always the same: low costs. Preferably the cost to sustain their operation long-term. This used to be hard to judge, as most miners reported a simple operational cost that didn’t take into effect the current cost to find new reserves.
Starting in 2013, most miners began reporting a standard figure called ASIC – All-In Sustaining Cost, which includes an exploration allocation to replace the depleted reserve. Smart metals traders watch this number like a hawk, because low ASIC plus good management will usually reveal which stocks head up first in a bullish metals market.