NEW YORK -- Bullish option traders are discovering Barrick Gold (ABX) , which has been snoozing at 23-year lows. 

OptionMonster's Heat Seeker program detected the purchase of 16,000 March 10 calls Thursday, most of which priced for $1.27. The volume was 50 times the strike's previous open interest, which indicates that new money was put to work. 

Long calls set the price where investors can buy stock in the Toronto-based miner, which lets them profit from a rally while risking only a limited amount of capital. Thursday's contracts were especially noteworthy because they were in the money with a high delta. They'll closely track movements in the underlying stock as a result. 

Barrick was up about 3% when the options hit but worked higher and ended the session with a 9.22% gain to $11.37. The March 10 calls appreciated to $1.74. It was part of an ongoing stream of bullish activity in the industry, which Thursday also included Gold Fields and Eldorado Gold

Overall option volume in Barrick was six times greater than average Thursday, with calls accounting for a bullish 79% of the total. 

-- Written by David Russell of  OptionMonster  

Russell has no positions in ABX.

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