PRECIOUS-Gold falls over 1% as U.S. Fed tempers aggressive rate cut hopes – by Sethuraman N R (Reuters U.S. – June 26, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

June 26 (Reuters) – Gold prices fell more than 1% on Wednesday, retreating from a 6-year peak scaled in the previous session, on signs the U.S. Federal Reserve will not resort to aggressive interest rate cuts in July.

Spot gold was down 1.2% at $1,405.44 per ounce as of 1108 GMT, snapping a six-session winning streak that lifted it to $1,438.63 on Tuesday, the highest since May 14, 2013. U.S. gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,409.10.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stressed the central bank’s independence from U.S. President Donald Trump, who is pushing for rate cuts. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, considered one of the most dovish U.S. central bankers, surprised some investors by saying a 50-basis-point cut in rates “would be overdone”. Continue Reading →

Merger mania could return as gold hits all-time high in Canadian dollars – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 26, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

‘When things are going downhill, and you’re getting squeezed, everybody has a bunker mentality’

If the price of gold hits an all-time in the Canadian dollar, does anyone notice?

A little after midnight on Tuesday morning, intraday gold spot prices soared to $1,895.20 per ounce — higher than any previous closing price, according to Bloomberg data. Yet hours later, many Canadian gold companies, big and small, were trading down.

“People don’t look at gold in Canadian dollar terms,” said Bruce McLeod, chief executive of Vancouver-based Sabina Gold & Silver Corp., which is struggling to raise funds to build a mine in western Nunavut. “They don’t look at what’s actually happening.” Continue Reading →

Norway wealth fund allowed to invest again in Walmart, Rio Tinto, others – by Gwladys Fouche (Reuters U.S. – June 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund can invest again in miner Rio Tinto and retailer Walmart after their exclusions from the fund’s investments on ethical grounds were revoked, the board of the central bank said on Tuesday.

The fund can also resume investing in Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso, U.S. defense company General Dynamics and fertilizer-maker Nutrien, the board added in a statement.

Reinvestments will likely take place “within an appropriately long timeframe,” said the board, without specifying a timeline. The fund is managed by a unit of the central bank. Continue Reading →

PolyMet Mining closer than ever to getting Iron Range mine operational – by Mike Hughlett (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 25, 2019)

http://www.startribune.com/

Despite fears over mine’s environmental effect, company is confident

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – After years of planning and contention, the derelict taconite complex in Hoyt Lakes is closer than ever to hosting Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mining operation.

Backed by global-mining giant Glencore, PolyMet Mining Corp.’s executives are courting bankers for nearly $1 billion to finance the project, hoping to start construction next year. New concerns have blown up recently over one of PolyMet’s environmental permits, though the company said it doesn’t expect the mine’s progress to be impeded.

“It’s going to happen,” said Jon Cherry, PolyMet’s CEO. “It is so rare to get a fully permitted mine at this time in the United States.” Continue Reading →

Gold breaks through $1,400 with Fed statement the ‘last match the bonfire needed’ – by Victor Ferreira (Financial Post – June 25, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

It’s taken six years for gold investors to put their mallets down, as George Milling-Stanley puts it.

Each time the price of gold poked its head above a technical level of US$1,350 an ounce, speculators would immediately take profits and slam it back down, he said. The last three times prices hovered above that level in intraday trading, they couldn’t hold it until close.

“(Investors) have effectively been playing whack-a-mole with gold,” said Milling-Stanley, head of gold strategy at State Street Global Advisors. “They didn’t do that this time because they probably were very impressed by (Jerome) Powell’s statement.” Continue Reading →

Tiny Town Of Nucla Looks To A Future Without Mining And Sees Opportunity And Uncertainty – by Stina Sieg (Colorado Public Radio – June 24, 2019)

https://www.cpr.org/

Home to just a few hundred people, the town of Nucla, Colorado, isn’t just tiny. It’s far from just about everything. Tucked into the western edge of Montrose County, it’s 350 miles from Denver and 60 miles from the nearest stop light.

For generations, this area — known as the West End — was a hub for mining. Most famously, they dug for uranium here and the area saw a big boom thanks to the Cold War era. Later, coal arrived to support a local power plant.

“You think things are going to boom forever,” said Jane Thompson, a 62-year-old longtime local. “They’re always going to need uranium. They’re always going to need coal.” Continue Reading →

Acacia Mining says Barrick Gold offer doesn’t fairly value mining company – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 25, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Acacia Mining PLC says Barrick Gold Corp.’s takeover proposal undervalues the company, prompting Acacia to push its biggest shareholder to table a “fair” bid.

Last month, Toronto-based Barrick said it was willing to acquire the 36.1 per cent of London-based Acacia that it doesn’t already own for US$285-million in stock. At the time, the proposal was worth roughly 9 per cent less than Acacia’s market value.

Barrick chief executive Mark Bristow told The Globe and Mail that the discounted proposal was justified because of the inherent risk Acacia presents: It operates three gold mines in Tanzania and is currently subject to a gold concentrate export ban in the East African country. Continue Reading →

Glencore Cuts Out Agents and Dealmakers as Scrutiny Grows – by Jack Farchy and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – June 25, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Glencore Plc is cutting out many of its intermediaries — the agents and dealmakers once essential to cracking the toughest markets — amid growing scrutiny of its operations around the world.

Under pressure from its compliance division, Glencore is dismantling much of its global network of trading agents, according to people familiar with the situation. To continue operating, the company is setting up teams in some countries, said the people, asking not to be named as the matter is private. In other places, Glencore is still using agents who pass strict compliance tests and have a clear role.

Glencore has long relied on intermediaries, who work on commission. The agents network with well-connected business and government officials in developing nations with the goal of securing commodity-trading deals. In a prospectus in 2003, for example, Glencore listed 64 field offices around the world, saying that included nine agents in eight countries “which act primarily for us.” Continue Reading →

Why the global fossil-fuel phase-out is a fantasy akin to time travel – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – June 21, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

To produce the power needed to offset fossil fuels, Canada would have to build two and a half $13-billion hydro dams every year

Judging from the headlines, Canada and the world are on track to ratchet up renewable energy and begin the rapid scale-down and ultimate phase-out of fossil fuels. Most energy analysts consider the fossil-fuel phase-out to be a scientific, economic and political fantasy, akin to levitation and time travel, but the movement keeps making news.

Governments everywhere — from Canada to the United Kingdom to states in Australia — are declaring climate emergencies and committing to variations on zero emissions. The international organization promoting emergency declarations claims “a fast transition to zero emissions is possible.”

Canada’s Green Party, said to be gaining ground, has a new platform plan, headlined “Mission: Possible,” to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050. A proposed Green New Deal in America aims to eliminate fossil fuels from the U.S. power grid by 2030 and phase gasoline out of the transportation sector. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: VRIFY Partners With Kirkland Lake Gold to Launch the KL Gold Deal Room

VRIFY Deal Room from VRIFY Technology, Inc. on Vimeo.

TORONTO, June 24, 2019 /CNW/ – VRIFY Technology Inc. is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with Kirkland Lake Gold to launch the KL Gold Deal Room, a new online corporate development initiative that enhances the process of identifying and evaluating potential investment opportunities.

The initiative utilizes the VRIFY Deal Room platform, a cloud-based 3D presentation and collaboration technology that helps strategic investors and growth-oriented companies, like Kirkland Lake Gold, identify new opportunities to complement existing asset portfolios.

The launch of the KL Gold Deal Room supports Kirkland Lake Gold’s objective to deploy its capital and technical expertise to make new discoveries, develop new mines, secure future gold resources and continue to responsibly deliver value to its shareholders. Kirkland Lake Gold has outlined a simple set of criteria for assets which have the potential to complement its growth strategy and will consider possible strategic investments, joint ventures and M&A opportunities. Using the KL Gold Deal Room, companies with assets that require capital, and meet these criteria, are invited to make online submissions to the KL Gold Deal Room using one standardized format that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Continue Reading →

Mineweb: Anglo’s seen the future of mining, and it looks a lot like farming – by Ciaran Ryan (Money Web.com – June 24, 2019)

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/

The sector has to clean up its act while still making a profit – and it’s a race the group intends to win.

Addressing analysts in London recently, Anglo technical director Tony O’Neill outlined a vision of the future where mines will be similar to farms.

Virtually all mining activity, including the extraction of minerals, leaching and processing will take place below ground. Rock cutting will be done without vibration and only material of value will be brought to the surface. No more convoys of trucks or surface conveyor belts delivering material to the processing plant, no more mechanical shovels scarring the countryside.

On the surface, you may see green fields, cows, and perhaps a wind turbine or two and some solar panels. Surplus power generated by the mines will be supplied to local communities. Exploration will be done by satellite and minimal use made of water. Perhaps even no water at all. Continue Reading →

Mineweb: Anglo American through the ages – by Ciaran Ryan (Money Web.com – June 13, 2019)

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/

It launched South Africa’s industrial age to support its mining activities, but since 2012 has halved the number of its assets. Where to now?

When the EFF’s Julius Malema talks of white minority capital, he is referring of course to Johann Rupert and the Oppenheimers for the most part. These are the families that helped build South Africa and, for better or worse, guided its political discourse in a direction favourable to their business interests.

Anglo American founder Ernest Oppenheimer would be hard put to recognise the group he founded in 1917. By the 1980s it accounted for a staggering 25% of SA’s GDP and owned an estimated 60% of the JSE – the result of an international embargo that forced SA companies to reinvest profits locally, turning the JSE into an incestuous and distended bubble.

The group that built its castle on diamonds and gold in southern Africa is now a very different animal. Since 2012, it has halved its number of assets, but now delivers 30% more product from each retained asset. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Boom-and-bust lithium market needs a pricing rethink – by Andy Home (Reuters U.S. – June 24, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – Albemarle Corp., the world’s largest lithium producer, is not impressed by the London Metal Exchange’s (LME) plans to launch a lithium contract.

“An exchange contract tends to support a commodity market, and that’s not what we believe this (lithium market) is,” David Ryan, the company’s head of corporate strategy and investor relations, told an industry conference in Chile earlier this month.

The conference was hosted by Fastmarkets, which has been chosen by the LME to provide the reference price for the new contract, but Albemarle won’t be contributing, for now at least. It and other established producers believe that lithium is a specialty chemicals market and should be priced on a contract-by-contract basis. Continue Reading →

Soaring iron ore and gold prices boost WA’s economic outlook – by Frances Bell (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – June 24, 2019)

https://www.abc.net.au/

A predicted “mini gold rush” in Western Australia, combined with skyrocketing iron ore prices, is renewing optimism about the state’s long-subdued economy.

The price of gold in Australian dollars has reached a record high, hitting $2,000 an ounce for the first time last week. The precious metal also broke through $US1,400 ($2,014) an ounce for the first time in almost six years.

“Psychologically it’s a very important level to have broken through,” Katana Asset Management portfolio manager Romano Sala Tenna said. He said the price increase was fuelled by demand from central banks, which were buying gold as a store of value, as countries such as the US and China diluted their currencies. Continue Reading →

Plummeting cobalt price takes toll on Democratic Republic of Congo – by Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – June 23, 2019)

https://www.ft.com/

Lubumbashi: The price of cobalt — a key metal in electric cars — has plummeted 65 per cent over the past year, putting a strain on the economy of the world’s largest producer, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Economic growth in the DRC, one of the world’s poorest countries, is likely to fall to 4.3 per cent this year from 5.8 per cent in 2018 — in part due to lower cobalt prices, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The DRC produces more than 60 per cent of the world’s supply of cobalt, a metal that is used in lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. Last year the country’s former president Joseph Kabila declared the metal “strategic” and launched new regulations that require miners to pay 10 per cent of their revenues on sales of the metal to the state. Continue Reading →