"They're more heavily oversold than gold and have some very powerful upward moves when they're coming off the bottom," he said in a conference call Friday. "You have to be very nimble right now to take advantage of those moves because they seem to be very short, but I think what we're seeing here is the beginning, the starting of a recovery in this market."
When gold and silver producer McEwen Mining (TSX:MUX,NYSE:MUX) released its Q3 results, Founder and Chief Owner Rob McEwen was candid, describing performance at the company's El Gallo 1 mine as "nothing short of awful" and quipping, "[w]hat an incredibly ugly market and share price." That openness continued following the release, with the company acknowledging after its conference call on the results that given today's tough market, shareholders were due a broader conversation. With that in mind, McEwen scheduled a second conference call, billing it as an outlet for the discussion of "the current gold price, market conditions and the mining industry." Held on November 21, it definitely provided some food for thought, not only for McEwen shareholders, but for gold bugs in general. Though much of the call centered on what's going at the company's operations — most notably Mexico-based El Gallo and the Los Azules exploration property in Argentina — McEwen's comments on company strategy and the gold market in general were perhaps more interesting. For one thing, he shed some light on what will happen to his company if the gold price falls further. He said, "if [the gold price] got down to $700 an ounce, would we survive? We would, but we wouldn't be producing any metal ... at $700 gold, we and the rest of the industry would be probably closing 90 percent of the gold mines in the world. And silver mines." That said, he was quick to reassure listeners that he "can't conceive" of such a drastic price fall, also noting that given his "large investment in the company" — McEwen owns 25 percent of his company's outstanding shares — his "interest is to protect [his] investment and [shareholders'] investment and grow it, not just sit on it."