Archive | Gold and Silver

Freeport Looks Poised to Turn Corner After Five-Year Bumpy Road – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – January 22, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — It’s been a rough haul for Freeport-McMoRan Inc., but the future may be looking up.

In the past five years, the world’s largest publicly traded copper miner was forced to sell assets and shares to manage debt as it weathered fall-out from the collapse of the commodity super cycle. It emerged from multiyear talks over its Indonesian mine to secure long-term rights, and hung on as production at the flagship operation tumbled during the switch from open pit to underground mining.

And in the past year, it has been buffeted by global trade winds and hit by crossfire from demonstrations against a competitor in Peru. Continue Reading →

Doubts emerge over gold export agreement between Barrick, Tanzania – by Geoffrey York and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 23, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Three months after Barrick Gold Corp. agreed to settle a costly dispute with the Tanzanian government, the deal is still not finalized and could be subject to further negotiations, according to African media and industry analysts.

Barrick and the government have missed a Dec. 31 deadline for completing the deal, and “doubts” have emerged to cast a cloud over the agreement, according to The East African, a weekly newspaper in the region.

Under the agreement last October, the Toronto-based gold company promised to pay US$300-million to settle a longstanding tax dispute. The government agreed to lift a ban on gold concentrate exports, while Barrick promised to share the future economic benefits from its Tanzanian mines with the government on a 50-50 basis. Barrick acquired the mines by purchasing its African subsidiary, Acacia, for US$1.2-billion last year. Continue Reading →

[TMAX Resources] Arctic gold miner hopes metal rally can lift its fortunes as it looks for a buyer amid operational challenges – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – January 21, 2020)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Whatever happens to TMAC Resources could influence how investors view opportunities in the Canadian Arctic

Canadian gold producer TMAC Resources announced Monday it is looking for a buyer after hitting consistent operational challenges at its Nunavut mine that have hampered its ability to expand.

The Toronto-headquartered company said it is studying whether a sale, joint venture partnership or an alternative financing could buoy its share price, which has declined more than 57 per cent since July — even as gold prices increased during much of that time. The stock was down 5 per cent on Monday to $2.85 on the Toronto exchange.

Whatever happens to the company could influence how investors view opportunities in the Canadian Arctic. For years, mining industry leaders have said the vast undeveloped north will be the next frontier for exploration and development. But the operational challenges that TMAC faced, despite backing from industry veterans, highlight the risks associated with the Arctic. Continue Reading →

Kirkland Lake Gold won’t budge as large Detour shareholder pushes for better offer – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 18, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. has no intention of improving its $4.9-billion all-stock offer for Detour Gold Corp., despite calls from one of Detour’s biggest shareholders for a last-minute sweetener.

Toronto-based Kirkland offered 0.4343 of its own shares for each Detour share, a 24-per-cent premium to the Nov. 22 closing price. “We can’t, and don’t intend to, change the terms,” Tony Makuch, chief executive of Kirkland Lake, said in an interview on Friday. “It’s a full and fair offer.”

Even though no other bidder surfaced with a higher offer for Toronto-based Detour, the market had been been anticipating that Kirkland might improve its bid. Over the past few weeks, shares in Detour consistently traded above Kirkland’s offer, before finally dropping a few cents below it, on Friday. Continue Reading →

Founder of Blackwater mercenary group Erik Prince took secret Venezuela trip to talk mining with regime – by Stephanie Baker and Ben Bartenstein (National Post/Bloomberg – January 17, 2020)

https://nationalpost.com/

The trip was part of an intense behind-the-scenes scrimmage for Venezuela’s wealth and resources as it grapples with political gridlock

(Bloomberg) — When Erik Prince, a major Trump donor and private security mogul, traveled to Caracas in November for secret talks with Venezuela’s vice president, he was not, it turns out, the central figure orchestrating the meetings.

That person was a controversial British deal-maker by the name of Ian Hannam, according to people familiar with the situation. Hannam, a former JPMorgan banker, arranged the trip as part of his yearlong scouting effort for possible gold investments in the crisis-battered nation, the people said. Prince’s meeting with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez has been reported; Hannam’s role hasn’t.

The discussion of mining ventures with Rodriguez raises fresh questions about whether Prince, a Michigan native and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, violated U.S. law against doing business with sanctioned officials. Hannam is British and not subject to the same restrictions. Continue Reading →

Race to refine: the bid to clean up Africa’s gold rush – by David Lewis and Peter Hobson (Reuters U.S. – January 15, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

ENTEBBE (Reuters) – In a refinery just outside Uganda’s main airport, workers slip bars of freshly refined gold into clear plastic bags sealed with a sticker of the national flag – black, yellow and red – and the label “Ugandan’s Treasure.”

Uganda produces little gold of its own. Alain Goetz, who set up the refinery, says that by branding gold from abroad as Ugandan, the operation is merely imitating others – for example, the Swiss don’t mine the gold they refine in Switzerland.

A pink building guarded by dogs at Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria, the refinery, African Gold Refinery (AGR), is part of a trend across Africa. Small-scale mining is booming, and new gold refineries are opening by the dozen, to process metal produced by informal diggers in Africa and beyond. Continue Reading →

Gold’s Rally Helps Miners Delay the Inevitable – by Clara Ferreira Marques (Bloomberg News – January 16, 2020)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The specter of peak supply has receded as higher prices encourage producers to spend more on exploration and innovation.

Peak gold production is looking a little more distant. Global supply of the yellow metal has been inexorably approaching its high-water mark, as ore is extracted faster than new discoveries are made.

Mines have been aging fast. A sustained price rally can change that picture, as investors rekindle their enthusiasm for large-scale exploration and technological innovation. Bullion miners’ margins will benefit.

Gold is coming out of a long period in the investor wilderness. Last year marked the biggest annual gain in prices since 2010. It broke through $1,570 last week — the highest in almost seven years. Continue Reading →

Get ready for round two of gold’s cash-spinning rally – by Aoyon Ashraf (BNN/Bloomberg News – January 15, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

Gold’s blistering rally isn’t over, according to fund managers who see another leg up for the precious metal.

Lower-for-longer interest rates, a weaker U.S. dollar and the U.S. presidential election will provide multiple catalysts for gains, even as tentative trade peace breaks out between China and the U.S. Gold has surged by about a third since August 2018 and is up more than two per cent this year, hovering near the highest in almost seven years.

The price increase, combined with capital discipline among the larger miners, is generating a bonanza of free cash flow while mergers could spark share gains among smaller players, according to five precious metals fund managers interviewed by Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold forges ahead on Papua New Guinea mine in face of local backlash – by Jeff Lewis and Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – Janaury 15, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp is set to elevate its troubled Papua New Guinea mine to its top-tier assets, despite landowner and government demands to cede a larger stake and deteriorating security at the joint venture with China’s Zijin Mining.

With a 20-year lease renewal application in the balance, Barrick has faced backlash from Papua New Guinea (PNG) landowners and residents. Critics say the Porgera mine has polluted the water supply and created other environmental and social problems, with minimal economic returns for locals.

Seven people have died at the Porgera mine since September, including three so-called illegal miners last month in clashes that prompted Barrick’s local entity to appeal for government intervention. Continue Reading →

What is artisanal gold and why is it booming? (Reuters U.S. – January 15, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – A rapid rise in the price of gold since 2000 has driven millions of people to deposits in Africa, South America and elsewhere where they dig for gold using basic technology.

Such informal digging – known as artisanal or small-scale mining (ASM) – has been around for centuries, and gold offers cash to communities that may lack alternatives. There are now around 15-20 million artisanal miners, and millions more depend on them, Delve, a global platform for ASM data, estimates.

More and more people are trying to bring this fast-growing trade into the formal economy. But it has generated toxic waste and fed labor abuses, organized crime and prostitution, according to groups including the United Nations and the OECD. Continue Reading →

Race to refine: the bid to clean up Africa’s gold rush – by David Lewis and Peter Hobson (Reuters Canada – Janaury 15, 2020)

https://ca.reuters.com/

ENTEBBE (Reuters) – In a refinery just outside Uganda’s main airport, workers slip bars of freshly refined gold into clear plastic bags sealed with a sticker of the national flag – black, yellow and red – and the label “Ugandan’s Treasure.”

Uganda produces little gold of its own. Alain Goetz, who set up the refinery, says that by branding gold from abroad as Ugandan, the operation is merely imitating others – for example, the Swiss don’t mine the gold they refine in Switzerland.

A pink building guarded by dogs at Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria, the refinery, African Gold Refinery (AGR), is part of a trend across Africa. Small-scale mining is booming, and new gold refineries are opening by the dozen, to process metal produced by informal diggers in Africa and beyond. Continue Reading →

Inventus trades heavily on Sudbury update (Resource World – Janary 13, 2020)

https://resourceworld.com/

Inventus Mining Corp. [IVS-TSXV] shares advanced in heavy trading Monday January 13 after the company said it has updated the terms of a previously announced non-brokered private placement that aims fund projects in the Sudbury, Ontario region.

It said the updated private placement will be for up to 12.4 million units at 10.5 cents per unit, raising gross proceeds of $1.3 million.

Each unit will consist of one common share and one common share purchase warrant, each of which will entitle the holder to acquire one common share for 17 cents for a period of two years after the closing date of the offering. Continue Reading →

Endeavour Mining ends pursuit of Centamin after takeover talks fall through – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 14, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canada-listed Endeavour Mining Corp. has dropped its pursuit of Centamin PLC after the two miners failed to reach agreement on terms of a takeover deal.

In December, London-based Endeavour tabled an informal all-stock proposal worth $2.5-billion that would have seen it pay a 13 per cent premium for Centamin. Endeavour, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, operates four mines in West Africa. Jersey-based Centamin operates a single gold mine in Egypt.

Endeavour had argued that Centamin would benefit from being part of a larger, and better diversified miner, and that the combined company would be more appealing to investors. Continue Reading →

Freeport-McMoRan Isn’t Looking for Strategic Deals in Coming Years, CEO Says – by Alistair MacDonald (Wall Street Journal – January 13, 2020)

https://www.wsj.com/

U.S. mining company Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX 4.90% has no interest in major strategic deals over the next three years, its chief executive said Monday, potentially stymieing informal overtures from Barrick Gold Corp. GOLD -2.24% to merge.

Barrick Gold Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow has told reporters that there is logic in merging with Freeport. That has stoked expectations among some investors and bankers that the two sides could get together. Alongside copper, Freeport’s massive Indonesian mine, Grasberg, is also one of the world’s largest gold producers.

But Freeport is too focused on the engineering challenge of turning Grasberg from open pit mining into an underground operation to think about mergers and acquisition deals, said the company’s veteran CEO, Richard Adkerson. Continue Reading →

Venezuela’s Guaido seeks EU ‘blood gold’ designation for informal mining – by Brian Ellsworth and Vivian Sequera (Reuters Canada – January 9, 2020)

https://ca.reuters.com/

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Thursday urged the European Union to officially label as “blood gold” the precious metal informally mined in the country’s southern jungles as he seeks to increase pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro’s government since 2016 has supported artesanal mining in the Venezuelan Amazon to bring in revenue amid an economic crisis, an effort that expanded as Washington increased sanctions meant to force the ruling Socialist Party from power.

The initiative has been criticized by environmental activists and rights groups for contaminating watersheds with mercury and fueling massacres as gangs battle for territory. Continue Reading →