La Mancha Resources ranks as one of the best-performing gold stocks, and stocks, in the world, with a price increase of more than 1,000%, providing it with a current market value of $55m. The company, which operates mines in Australia, Côte d'Ivoire, and Sudan, was spun off just under three years ago from Areva, which ranks at the world's No 3 uranium miner, after Cameco, and Rio Tinto. Two weeks ago, La Mancha announced the go ahead for its White Foil mine in Australia; La Mancha now anticipates group production of between 85,000 and 100,000 ounces of gold in 2009, an increase of up to 40% over 2008, at an average cash cost of $497/oz. Central Sun Mining, which focuses on Nicaragua, has seen an increase of more than 800% in its stock price. Here, however, there is some corporate activity. Central Sun is busy undergoing a business combination with B2Gold, which is offering 1.28 of its shares for each share in Central Sun, valuing Central Sun at about $40m in the current environment, about $3m more than its market value. The stock price for B2Gold, which holds several exploration projects in Colombia, and the far north east of Russia, has come off strongly in recent weeks, as the excitement of the combination fades.Azteca Gold also ranks as one of the world's top performing stocks, with a rise from lows of more than 600%. The company markets itself as an aggressive gold and silver exploration company, with a focus on making new discoveries in past producing districts located in miner-friendly locations: Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, and Mexico.Two other gold stocks have risen by more than 500% from recent lows, in the form of Novagold (market value: $525m), and Coral Gold (market value: $14m). Novagold and Barrick, the world's biggest gold miner, each own 50% in Alaska's Donlin Creek, one of the world's biggest gold fields, with a resource base of nearly 30m ounces of gold. Coral Gold is focused on the Cortez trend in Nevada.SELECTED TOP PERFORMING GOLD STOCKS
La Mancha Resources
Central Sun Mining
US Gold Corp.
Tier I averages/total
Source: market data; table compiled by Barry Sergeant