Last Week’s Top Gold Movers: Kirkland Lake Gold Inc., Hochschild Mining Plc and African Barrick Gold PLC

Gold traded in a range between $1,234 and $1,255 per ounce last week, but ended the week almost unchanged, up by 0.2% at $1,254 per ounce.

Of course, the only practical way for most private investors to invest in gold is through exchange-traded funds. The largest gold ETF, the $32bn SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD.US), ended last week up 0.46% at $120.93, while London-listed Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS) ended the week up 0.28% at $120.48. Over the last twelve months, shareholders of Gold Bullion Securities have seen the value of their holdings fall by 28.8%, while the value of SPDR Gold Trust shares has fallen by 26.1%.

Despite gold’s flat performance last week, a number of gold mining shares outperformed the yellow metal by a large margin, making strong gains:

Kirkland Lake Gold (LSE: KGI) climbed 14% to 160p last week, after the firm approved a shareholder rights plan aimed at preventing opportunistic attempts to gain control of the company while the board’s strategic review — which may recommend a sale — is still underway. Kirkland’s share price remained flat in early trading this morning, despite the firm announcing that the Toronto Stock Exchange has deferred its approval of the plan, pending confirmation that it is acceptable to the Ontario Securities Commission.

African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) rose by 6.1% to 198p last week. The firm’s share price spiked on Wednesday after the company published an exploration update reporting positive drilling results from its Bulyanhulu and West Kenya Aircore drilling programmes. Key intersections from the Bulyanhulu drilling programme included 1.64m at 11.7g/t from Reef 1 and 1.28m at 76.7g/t in the Reef 2 resource area.

Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) added 6.3% to 144p last week after the gold and silver miner announced that it had successfully raised $350m of new debt through an issue of 7.875% senior notes. The majority of the money will be used to repay the bridging loan used by Hochschild’s subsidiary Compañía Minera Ares S.A.C. in its acquisition of International Minerals Corporation in December.

Hochschild Mining and African Barrick Gold both offered generous dividend yields until the falling price of gold forced them to cut their payouts. The cuts caught some investors by surprise, but if you'd used the 'five golden rules' in "How To Create Dividends For Life", the Motley Fool's latest special report, you could have seen the cuts coming and avoided further losses. For instant access to your copy of this free report, click here now.

> Roland does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.