Archive | Gold and Silver

The glitter appears to be coming off the rally in all things gold – by Tim Shufelt (Globe and Mail – September 7, 2019)

After a stellar three-month stretch for gold bullion and the stocks of companies that dig it out of the ground, the glitter appears to be coming off the rally in all things gold.

An easing of global recession fears and a nascent rebound in long-term bond yields have taken back some of the gains in gold and gold equities through an otherwise ascendant summer.

As of Wednesday, gold prices were higher than US$1,550 an ounce for the first time since 2013, while the group of gold stocks within the S&P/TSX Composite Index was up by more than 50 per cent on the year. In the last two trading days of the week, however, Canadian gold stocks declined by 8.1 per cent, while spot prices declined to US$1,507. Continue Reading →

Japan’s retail gold price clambers to highest since 1980 amid global economy jitters – by Yuka Obayashi (Reuters U.S. – September 5, 2019)

TOKYO (Reuters) – The retail price of physical gold in Japan climbed to its highest in nearly 40 years on Thursday, a surge accentuated by fluctuations in the value of the yen but mirroring a global hunt for the safe-haven precious metal amid worries that the U.S.-China trade row could further depress the global economy.

Japan’s biggest gold retailer Tanaka Kikinzoku said the retail price of refined gold, revised once a day in yen, stood at 5,325 yen ($49.99) per gramme on Thursday, not including consumption tax, up 0.7% from Wednesday.

That was the highest since Feb. 14, 1980 – a year when the U.S. President was Jimmy Carter and Honda Motor Co said it would build Japan’s first U.S. car assembly plant in Ohio. Continue Reading →

Rapidly rising gold price squelching M&A activity – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 3, 2019)

The big run in gold bullion means potentially higher profits for miners, but investors say the same dynamic is stifling mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, as both buyers and sellers struggle to come to grips with where the commodity price will eventually land.

“When the gold price is rising, it’s going to be hard to get deals done. But if you saw it settle at US$1,500 [an ounce] for five or six months, I think you’d start seeing deals again,” said Jonathan Goodman, chief executive of investment manager Dundee Corp., and chairman of gold-mining company Dundee Precious Metals Inc.

After trading sideways for the best part of three years, gold has risen by about 20 per cent in 2019, as investors buy the precious metal as a hedge against macroeconomic troubles, including a global economic slowdown, and geopolitical tremors, such as the continuing trade war between the United States and China. On Friday, gold futures traded at around US$1,520 an ounce. Continue Reading →

Security weighing on mining in Mexico’s Guerrero state ( – August 29, 2019)

Security concerns are continuing to weigh on mining investment in Mexico’s Guerrero state, despite decreasing violence.

Trouble surged in recent years as rival drug cartels fought for dominance in the state, which is a major supplier of heroin to the US, as well as Mexico’s third biggest gold producer.

While violence has subsided – the authorities registered 946 intentional homicides in the state in January-July, down from 1,343 in the same period last year – the lack of security continues to pose problems for the mining industry, contributing to a mine suspension and undermining exploration spending. Continue Reading →

Amazon Gold and Army Suspicion Fuel Bolsonaro’s Rainforest Rage – by Simone Preissler Iglesias and Bruce Douglas (Bloomberg News – August 28, 2019)

Among the tens of thousands of Brazilians who descended on the Amazonian goldmine of Serra Pelada in the 1980s was Percy Geraldo Bolsonaro, father of the current president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro senior was among the wildcat miners who endured brutal working conditions in the quest for riches. The rainforest suffered too, with widespread environmental degradation as miners ripped apart the Amazon in their desperate hunt for gold.

It’s an aspect of Brazil’s national psyche that resonates deeply with the president. “Gold mining is a vice; it’s in the blood,” he told miners from the region in a video posted to YouTube in July 2018. “We owe all we have to people with spirits like yours.” Continue Reading →

Exclusive: Fake-branded bars slip dirty gold into world markets – by Peter Hobson (Reuters Canada – August 28, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – A forgery crisis is quietly roiling the world’s gold industry. Gold bars fraudulently stamped with the logos of major refineries are being inserted into the global market to launder smuggled or illegal gold, refining and banking executives tell Reuters. The fakes are hard to detect, making them an ideal fund-runner for narcotics dealers or warlords.

In the last three years, bars worth at least $50 million stamped with Swiss refinery logos, but not actually produced by those facilities, have been identified by all four of Switzerland’s leading gold refiners and found in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the major banks at the heart of the market in bullion, said senior executives at gold refineries, banks and other industry sources.

Four of the executives said at least 1,000 of the bars, of a standard size known as a kilobar for their weight, have been found. That is a small share of output from the gold industry, which produces roughly 2 million to 2.5 million such bars each year. Continue Reading →

North: Whale Tail mine expansion undergoes public hearings this week in Baker Lake – by Sara Frizzell (CBC News North – August 27, 2019)

Open pit mine began commercial production this summer

Plans to expand the newly opened Whale Tail gold mine, near Baker Lake, Nunavut, are the subject of public hearings this week in the community.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board is running the consultations Monday through Thursday. It’s reviewing plans to increase the size of the Whale Tail open pit, to start another open pit near a site called IVR and to start underground mining.

Community representatives from Baker Lake and other Kivalliq-region communities will have their say at the hearings along with the territorial and federal governments. Agnico Eagle began mining operations at Whale Tail this summer with approval to run for three or four years and mine 8.3 million tonnes of ore. Continue Reading →

$1,600 gold ‘totally within reason’ as almost perfect storm boosts bullion to highs not seen in years – by Victor Ferreira (Financial Post – August 26, 2019)

Gold, now trading above US$1,500 for the first time in six years, is in the midst of a near-perfect storm that no longer makes it dependent on interest rate cuts to continue its stunning rally, analysts say.

Since reaching its year-to-date low of US$1,270 in May, the price of bullion has rallied by more than 20 per cent. In June, gold broke through a technical level of US$1,400 and managed to sustain this level after failing to do so multiple times in the past. On the back of increasing trade tensions between the U.S. and China and what many are predicting will be two successive interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve, gold has now shattered the US$1,500 level as well. As of 4:30 p.m. Monday gold was trading at US$1,528 an ounce.

The US$1,600 is now “totally within reason,” said BMO precious metals analyst Andrew Kaip. “If you think about it, we’re almost in a perfect storm for gold right now,” he said. Continue Reading →

Joining forces: What does the Newmont-Barrick Gold mega merger mean for Nevada’s mining future? – by Rob Sabo (Northern Nevada Business View – August 26, 2019)

Northern Nevada Business View

ELKO, Nev. — After years of discussion, Nevada’s two largest mining companies struck a deal this summer to join forces and combine operations in the world’s largest gold-producing complex.

The joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Goldcorp Corporation ushers in a new era in Nevada hard rock mining. Barrick owns and operates 61.5 percent of the newly formed Nevada Gold Mines, while Newmont owns 38.5 percent of the company. By sharing assets and access to each other’s facilities, Nevada Gold Mines expects to save close to a half-billion a year.

NGM Executive Managing Director Greg Walker, who started with Barrick in 2002, has seen his share of failed merger discussions over the years. Just this year, Barrick tendered an $18 billion stock offer to acquire Newmont outright. Continue Reading →

In a Turkish forest, resistance grows to a Canadian company’s gold-mining project – by Nick Ashdown and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 27, 2019)

In the heavily forested Ida Mountains of northwestern Turkey, a bus carrying protesters snakes along the winding roads to its next stop in the fight against the planned construction of a gold mine by a Canadian company.

They were among some 5,000 people protesting earlier this month against Alamos Gold’s nearby mining site and now, a couple of days later, they are heading toward a small campsite where a few dozen activists have stayed behind to keep a vigil. A lively 61-year-old from the nearby city of Canakkale is too riled up to take a seat being offered by the younger passengers.

“We went out to protest because we are against gold mines using cyanide. We went to protect our forest, water and animals living in these mountains. We want to live, we don’t want to get cancer,” the retiree said. Continue Reading →

China’s Zhaojin Mining eyes doubling of gold output via overseas M&A – executive – by Tom Daly and Shivani Singh (Reuters U.S. – August 26, 2019)

BEIJING (Reuters) – Zhaojin Mining, one of China’s biggest gold miners, aims to double production of the precious metal as early as 2024 on the back of overseas acquisitions and may look for deals below $500 million, the head of its international arm said.

Shandong-based Zhaojin currently produces around 650,000 ounces (18.43 tonnes) a year of gold, Leo Zhao, managing director of Zhaojin International Mining Co, said at a Global Mining Association of China seminar in Beijing on Thursday.

“Our target in the next five to eight years is … 1.3 million ounces per annum from China and global projects,” Zhao said, noting that half of that output would be from overseas, versus almost zero at present. “It’s challenging but it’s an exciting strategy,” he added. Continue Reading →

Australian gold output hits all-time high – by Alex Gluyas (Australian Mining – August 26, 2019)

Australian Mining

Australian gold production has reached an all-time record of 321 tonnes (10.3 million ounces) in the past financial year, according to gold mining consultants, Surbiton Associates.

With the gold price sitting around record territory in Australian dollar terms, the country-wide output is worth close to $23 billion to local gold miners. Australia’s 2018-2019 financial year gold production compares with the 310 tonnes produced in the previous fiscal period and 317 tonnes in the 2018 calendar year.

The achievement was driven by a bumper June 2019 quarter where gold production totalled almost 82 tonnes, making it the highest quarterly production for more than 20 years. Continue Reading →

Barrick to invest $34 million to extend Veladero’s mine life – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – August 24, 2019)

Barrick Gold’s (TSX:ABX)(NYSE:GOLD) CEO, Mark Bristow, announced this weekend that the company is planning to invest $34 million in its Veladero operation in western Argentina with the idea of extending the mine’s life until 2028.

Veladero produced 278,000 ounces of gold in 2018 and, at present, its inferred gold resources add up to 555,000 ounces. In 2019, the mine is expected to produce between 230,000 and 250,000 ounces of the yellow metal.

According to Bristow, Barrick is in the process of reviewing Veladero’s geological model and assessing the possibility of expanding its footprint. Continue Reading →

Despite gold’s rally, miners face chilly market for raising equity capital – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 26, 2019)

Canadian gold miners are facing a cool market for equity financing, despite bullion’s big move this year.

Earlier this month, a syndicate of underwriters got stuck with about one-third of New Gold’s Inc’s $150-million equity issue after failing to find enough interest from investors early on.

The transaction was a “bought deal,” in which brokers buy stock from the company and attempt to flip the shares to investors, preferably in a matter of hours. A source familiar with the deal said that after a more than two-week effort, the syndicate led by BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. finally cleared all the remaining unsold shares in New Gold on Friday.

The Globe and Mail has kept the source’s name confidential because the person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Continue Reading →

No pot of gold for locals as China mines Sierra Leone – by Nellie Peyton and Richmond Tholley (Reuters U.S. – August 22, 2019)

MASUMBIRI, Sierra Leone (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When the Chinese gold miners came to Masumbiri town in northern Sierra Leone, everyone lined up for jobs.

Teenagers lied about their age. Women and girls went to cook and clean at the miners’ camp, a gated compound on a nearby mountainside overlooking rice fields.

Dayu, a private company that started working in Sierra Leone last year, was just the latest in a line of Chinese firms drawn to the mineral-rich ground of the West African state’s Tonkolili district in search of gold. Continue Reading →