The value of gold is problematic to forecast, as it contingent on many economic variables as well as on decisions made by the federal reserve. Nevertheless, gold investments are frequently regarded as safe haven in a time of economic and political turmoil. Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, indicated once again his concerns and uncertainty in regards to economic recovery. “The levels of output and employment remain far below their pre-pandemic levels, and significant uncertainty remains about the timing and strength of the recovery. Much of that economic uncertainty comes from uncertainty about the path of the disease and the effects of measures to contain it. Until the public is confident that the disease is contained, a full recovery is unlikely,” Powell said on Tuesday as he appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. As a result, gold and silver prices traded with gains on Tuesday and Wednesday; August gold futures were up about USD 9.50 an ounce and priced at about USD 1,737 as of Wednesday. Norsemont Mining Inc. (OTC: NRRSF) (CSE: NOM), Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX: ABX), Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) (TSX: AEM), Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE: KGC) (TSX: K), Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) (TSX: YRI)
Earlier on Monday, it seemed gold prices were on their way to a sharp decline. They had then, however, turned and rallied back to almost unchanged, as both gold and silver prices held key support positions. According to Kitco News, the investment research firm CFRA is currently optimistic on gold, saying the current macroeconomic setting for the metal to rally is strong as a result of global pandemic and steps taken to flatten the curve of the spread. “In our view, gold is the best hedge against economic uncertainty in general and, more specifically, against fiscal deficit, negative-yielding bonds, fiat currency debasement and potential inflation,” the report said. “Although equity markets are attempting a strong bounce-back from the steep declines in the first quarter, there is a disconnect between the current recovery and the economic reality and the recent strength in equities could be underestimating the risk of a subsequent outbreak.”
Norsemont Mining Inc. (OTC: NRRSF) (CSE: NOM) announced breaking news today regarding, “the launch of its newly established strategic committee of trusted advisors (the “Advisory Board”). The Advisory Board will provide technical and strategic counsel to Norsemont’s board and management team and will include distinguished mining industry leaders whose focus will be to provide advice to help shape and guide the strategy of the exploration and mining priorities of Norsemont.
The new Advisory Board will be chaired by David Laing, a mining engineer with 40 years of experience in the industry. Of particular relevance, Mr. Laing was Mine and Plant Superintendent with SCM Vilacollo, which was one of the joint venture partners along with Shell that put the Choquelimpie gold-silver project into production and made it the 3rd largest gold producer in Chile at that time. His direct experience with the Choquelimpie project, along with his broad expertise, will be a real competitive advantage to Norsemont as it tackles this exciting project.
Mr. Laing is an independent mining executive. David was formerly the COO of Equinox Gold, with gold projects in Brazil and California, COO of True Gold Mining which developed a gold heap leaching operation in Burkina Faso, and COO and EVP of Quintana Resources Capital, a base metals streaming company. He was also one of the original executives of Endeavour Mining, a gold producer in West Africa. He is currently a director of Fortuna Silver Mines. He has advised over $25 billion worth of M&A and investments in resource projects over his career.
Prior to these recent roles, David held senior positions in mining investment banking and debt advisory at Endeavour Financial, Standard Bank in New York, technical consulting at MRDI in California, the Refugio Project at Bema Gold Corp., and various roles at Billiton with operations in Peru, South Africa, and northern Chile.
Allan Larmour, CEO stated, ‘We are extremely honored to welcome someone of David Laing’s caliber to our advisory board. His engineering and corporate finance experience will be invaluable. His previous experience of putting the Choquelimpie gold-silver project in Chile into production will be a great asset to the team. Choquelimpie was the one of largest gold producers in Chile during that time.’
Additional members will be appointed to the Advisory Board in short order.”
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX: ABX) announced earlier this year it has settled the majority of the North Mara legacy land claims and has paid the first tranche of the $300 million settlement it agreed with the Tanzanian government to resolve the disputes it inherited from Acacia Mining. President and chief executive Mark Bristow said these were landmark events that demonstrated the strength of the partnership the company forged earlier this year through the formation of the jointly owned Twiga Minerals Corporation, which oversees the management of Barrick’s operations in the country. In terms of its framework agreement with the government, the shipping of some 1,600 containers of concentrate stockpiled from Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi resumed in April and the first $100 million received from the sale has gone to the government. Barrick said all material issues had been dealt with or were being finalized. This initial payment will be followed by five annual payments of $40 million each.
Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) (TSX: AEM) announced earlier in April, following the announcement by the Government of Quebec on April 13, 2020 to add mining operations to the list of priority activities and services that are permitted to operate while the Province responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to the Government of Quebec’s announcement, mining activities will be permitted to resume in a gradual and supervised manner beginning on April 15, 2020. Accordingly, the Company is taking steps to resume its operations in the Abitibi region of Quebec (the LaRonde Complex, the Goldex mine and the Canadian Malartic mine (50%)) in an orderly fashion while ensuring the safety of employees. At each of these operations, the Company will implement health, hygiene and physical distancing measures that meet or exceed the requirements of the Government of Quebec, including the Quebec department of Public Health and the Province’s Committee on Standards, Equity, and Occupational Safety (CNESST).
Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE: KGC) (TSX: K) announced late last year that it has agreed to sell its remaining 20,656,250 shares in Lundin Gold Inc. (“Lundin Gold“) to a syndicate of buyers for expected gross proceeds of approximately CAD$150 million. The syndicate of buyers includes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited and the Lundin Family Trust. The shares for sale represent approximately 9.2% of the issued and outstanding shares of Lundin Gold and are based on Lundin Gold’s latest publicly released information regarding the number of shares currently outstanding. Closing of the sale is expected to occur on or about December 9, 2019. Kinross is selling its Lundin Gold shares as part of its portfolio management strategy and to further strengthen its balance sheet.
Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) (TSX: YRI) reported back in May an update on exploration results for the Jacobina and El Peñón mines. Results at both operations continued to show growth in mineral reserves and mineral resource through year-end 2019 with additional promising new exploration results in the first quarter of 2020. The exploration results, at minimum, support the extended mine plan scenario (“Extended Case”) highlighted in the Company’s recent announcement on the Phase 2 expansion of Jacobina (see press release dated May 6, 2020, available on the Company’s website at www.yamana.com). The Extended Case, which considers the addition of 9.5 million tonnes of plant feed, based on conversion of current mineral resources, with an average grade of 2.40 grams of gold per tonne (“g/t”), is the Company’s new base case. Mine life under this scenario is forecast at 14.5 years, however, Jacobina has a long track record of increasing mine life and the latest exploration results underscore the likelihood that mine life will increase further under the Extended Case scenario at the contemplated throughput of 8,500 tonnes per day (“tpd”). In addition, these results highlight the potential to bring higher grade areas into production earlier in the operation’s mine life.