Metals & Mining Fourth Quarter 2023 Review and Outlook

Natural Resources
0 min read

Monday, January 2, 2024

Mark Reichman, Senior Research Analyst, Natural Resources, Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Refer to the bottom of the report for important disclosures

Relative performance. During the fourth quarter, mining companies (as measured by the XME) appreciated 14.0% compared to a gain of 11.2% for the S&P 500 index. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) and Junior Gold Miners (GDXJ) ETFs were up 15.2% and 17.6%, respectively. Gold, silver, and copper futures prices gained 11.0%, 7.0%, and 4.1%, respectively, while nickel and lead declined 11.2% and 5.5%. Zinc prices were flat. For the full year 2023, all indices were in positive territory, led by the XME which appreciated 20.1%, but underperformed the S&P 500 which gained 24.2%.

Precious metals outlook. Our outlook for precious metals and precious metals mining equities remains favorable. Factors supporting our view include: 1) the Federal Reserve appears to have reached the end of its tightening cycle, 2) heightened geopolitical uncertainty, 3) growth in U.S. deficit spending and national debt, and 4) increasing investments in gold by central banks. Based on these factors, along with the potential for lower interest rates and a weaker dollar, we think portfolio allocations to precious metals could increase. The futures price of gold rose 13.4% in 2023 and closed the year at $2,071.80 per ounce.

Outlook for industrial and battery metals. While slower economic growth could provide a headwind for industrial metals demand and prices, longer-term secular trends such as electrification remain supportive of supply and demand fundamentals for metals such as copper. Although the longer-term outlooks for battery metals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt are constructive, the near-term outlook remains challenging due to unfavorable supply and demand fundamentals. In 2023, futures prices for battery grade lithium, nickel and cobalt fell 81.4%, 43.6%, and 44.2%, respectively. Lower near-term prices may slow new development making existing projects attractive and better positioned to take advantage of stronger pricing when demand inevitably accelerates.

Putting it all together. We think the precious metals mining sub-sector is poised for outperformance in 2024. While well-diversified portfolios should have exposure to precious metals, mining equities may offer a stronger current alternative to bullion. In our opinion, junior companies remain attractive based on valuation, and we expect industry consolidation to accelerate as senior producers seek to replenish reserves and resources.


All statements or opinions contained herein that include the words “we”, “us”, or “our” are solely the responsibility of Noble Capital Markets, Inc.(“Noble”) and do not necessarily reflect statements or opinions expressed by any person or party affiliated with the company mentioned in this report. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. All information provided herein is based on public and non-public information believed to be accurate and reliable, but is not necessarily complete and cannot be guaranteed. No judgment is hereby expressed or should be implied as to the suitability of any security described herein for any specific investor or any specific investment portfolio. The decision to undertake any investment regarding the security mentioned herein should be made by each reader of this publication based on its own appraisal of the implications and risks of such decision.

This publication is intended for information purposes only and shall not constitute an offer to buy/sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy/sell any security mentioned in this report, nor shall there be any sale of the security herein in any state or domicile in which said offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or domicile. This publication and all information, comments, statements or opinions contained or expressed herein are applicable only as of the date of this publication and subject to change without prior notice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Noble accepts no liability for loss arising from the use of the material in this report, except that this exclusion of liability does not apply to the extent that such liability arises under specific statutes or regulations applicable to Noble. This report is not to be relied upon as a substitute for the exercising of independent judgement. Noble may have published, and may in the future publish, other research reports that are inconsistent with, and reach different conclusions from, the information provided in this report. Noble is under no obligation to bring to the attention of any recipient of this report, any past or future reports. Investors should only consider this report as single factor in making an investment decision.


This publication is confidential for the information of the addressee only and may not be reproduced in whole or in part, copies circulated, or discussed to another party, without the written consent of Noble Capital Markets, Inc. (“Noble”). Noble seeks to update its research as appropriate, but may be unable to do so based upon various regulatory constraints. Research reports are not published at regular intervals; publication times and dates are based upon the analyst’s judgement. Noble professionals including traders, salespeople and investment bankers may provide written or oral market commentary, or discuss trading strategies to Noble clients and the Noble proprietary trading desk that reflect opinions that are contrary to the opinions expressed in this research report.
The majority of companies that Noble follows are emerging growth companies. Securities in these companies involve a higher degree of risk and more volatility than the securities of more established companies. The securities discussed in Noble research reports may not be suitable for some investors and as such, investors must take extra care and make their own determination of the appropriateness of an investment based upon risk tolerance, investment objectives and financial status.

Company Specific Disclosures

The following disclosures relate to relationships between Noble and the company (the “Company”) covered by the Noble Research Division and referred to in this research report.
Noble is not a market maker in any of the companies mentioned in this report. Noble intends to seek compensation for investment banking services and non-investment banking services (securities and non-securities related) with any or all of the companies mentioned in this report within the next 3 months


Senior Equity Analyst focusing on Basic Materials & Mining. 20 years of experience in equity research. BA in Business Administration from Westminster College. MBA with a Finance concentration from the University of Missouri. MA in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis.
Named WSJ ‘Best on the Street’ Analyst and Forbes/StarMine’s “Best Brokerage Analyst.”
FINRA licenses 7, 24, 63, 87


This report is intended to provide general securities advice, and does not purport to make any recommendation that any securities transaction is appropriate for any recipient particular investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Prior to making any investment decision, recipients should assess, or seek advice from their advisors, on whether any relevant part of this report is appropriate to their individual circumstances. If a recipient was referred to Noble Capital Markets, Inc. by an investment advisor, that advisor may receive a benefit in respect of
transactions effected on the recipients behalf, details of which will be available on request in regard to a transaction that involves a personalized securities recommendation. Additional risks associated with the security mentioned in this report that might impede achievement of the target can be found in its initial report issued by Noble Capital Markets, Inc.. This report may not be reproduced, distributed or published for any purpose unless authorized by Noble Capital Markets, Inc..


Independence Of View
All views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject securities or issuers.

Receipt of Compensation
No part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to any specific recommendations or views expressed in the public
appearance and/or research report.

Ownership and Material Conflicts of Interest
Neither I nor anybody in my household has a financial interest


Inbox Intel from Channelchek.

Informed investors make more money. And it’s all about timing. Get it when it happens.

By clicking submit you are agreeing to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2018-2024 Noble Financial Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Channelchek is provided at no cost to be used for information purposes only and not as investment advisement.