Toronto’s gold and diversified metals & mining indices, and little else, rebounded on Thursday, with the golds grabbing 1.10 point to reach 211.59, and the base metal miners adding 1.6 point to hit 214.99. Overall, the S&P-TSX composite index shed another 81.54 points to settle at 8,503.88, to make it four straight days of losses.
McWatters Mining finished atop the mining issues volume-wise, ending unchanged with nearly 8 million shares traded. There was no immediate news out of the beleaguered junior. Nickel giant Inco was next in line adding 68 to make $44.38 with a little more than half as many shares traded.
On Thursday, Cameco said that the Boroo gold mine in Mongolia began commercial production at the beginning of March. Cameco has a 56% stake in Australian-based AGR, which in turn indirectly owns the mine’s owner-operator, Boroo Gold. Production for 2004 is pegged at 210,000 oz. at a cash cost of around US$170 apiece. Probable reserves at Boroo stand at 1.16 million oz. with an average grade of 3.5 grams gold per tonne, based on a gold price of US$325 per oz. The price tag for the mine is US$75 million. The operation is expected to run until at least 2009. Cameco’s shares rose 80 to $61 even.
Palladium miner North American Palladium grabbed 37 to make $14.04 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of $16.1 million (or 31 per share) on revenue of $59.8 million, compared with a net loss of $1.5 million (3 per share) on $43.9 million during the corresponding period of 2002. The company’s new primary crusher at its Lac des les mine near Thunder Bay, Ont., was fully operational for a second consecutive quarter.
Shares in Falconbridge grew by 80 to $33.40. Falconbridge has approved a US$368-million underground definition-drilling program for its Nickel Rim South deposit in Sudbury, Ont. The five-year program will begin immediately, with US$75 million to be spent in 2004.
Gulf International Minerals shares continued their recent volatility, rising 1.5, or 4%, to 38. The company says it will not make any post-termination payments to its recently ousted, former president and CEO, Alastair Ralston-Saul.