The Bank of Canada announced that it would keep its interest rate steady, arguing that while economic data “suggests that global economic conditions have strengthened,[uncertainty] — which has been undermining business confidence and dampening investment in Canada’s major trading partners — remains undiminished.” On the markets, the S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 1.7% to 15,312.20, while the S&P/TSX Global Mining Index fell 0.3% to 64.97. The gold price fell US$17.50 per oz., or 1.5%, to finish at US$1,159.60 per oz., and the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index dropped 4% to 186.43. After rising 10%, West Texas Intermediate crude prices fell back to US$51 per barrel.
Shares of Copper Mountain Mining surged 41.8% to $1.12 after the company updated production for its Copper Mountain mine in southern British Columbia. The company reported that copper production this year totals 76 million lb. copper and is slightly ahead of guidance. During October and November, the mine produced 14.4 million lb. copper and the mill operated above design capacity rates, averaging 42,079 tonnes per day. The company also reported that gold and silver produced a strong by-product credit, accounting for more than 20% of the mine revenue.
Uranium companies got a shot in the arm from a Bloomberg story stating that advisors to U.S. president-elect Donald J. Trump “are looking at ways in which the U.S. government could help nuclear power generators” that are being squeezed by natural gas and renewable resources. In a document obtained by the news agency, Trump’s transition team “asked the Energy Department how it can help keep nuclear reactors ‘operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure,’ and what it could do to prevent the shutdown of plants.” The article said that “the list of questions to the Energy Department offers one of the clearest indications yet of Trump’s potential plans for aiding America’s battered nuclear power generators.” Shares of Cameco jumped $1.43 to $13.94, Energy Fuels advanced 27% to $2.40, Paladin Energy was up 23% to 8¢ and Fission Uranium rose 21.4% to 68¢, all on no company-related news.
Shares of Azarga Uranium also jumped 33% to 26¢. The company reported that it received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the first amendment to the NRC Source and Byproduct Materials Licence for Azarga’s Dewey Burdock uranium project in South Dakota. The amendment completes certain NRC licence conditions for the project, including finalizing the financial assurance amount required for building and completing other initial preoperational NRC licence conditions. The amendment leads to resuming the South Dakota state permitting process. Azarga expects a decision from the NRC Commission in the near-term for two outstanding contentions to identify and protect historic and cultural resources.