Melbourne/Singapore/Toronto — There’s a better potential haven than gold for investors spooked by the risk of a recession this year — mid-sized producers who’ve outperformed both bullion and the rest of the mining industry. Companies that include Canada’s Kirkland Lake Gold and Australia’s Northern Star Resources have scope to extend gains and should be in focus for investors looking for a safe harbor, according to Joe Foster, New York-based portfolio manager for the $600m Van Eck International Investors Gold Fund. Kirkland Lake, Northern Star and two rivals have the best returns in the Bloomberg World Mining Index over the past 12 months — a period during which both the gold price and the equity benchmark have declined. “Gold responds to global financial risk and so, if you believe that, the best way to play gold is with these gold stocks,” Van Eck’s Foster said in an interview. “They carry leverage to gold and in a good gold market, they will outperform.” Spot bullion began rallyi...

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