US markets post slight gain, March 2-6: Fortuna, Vale, Mosaic, Intrepid Potash

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.79% to 25,864.78 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.61% to 2,972.37. Spot gold surged US$87.60 per oz. or 5.53% to US$1,673.10 per oz.

Fortuna Silver Mines updated shareholders on the status of legal proceedings related to a disputed royalty on one of its mining concessions at the San Jose mine in Oaxaca, Mexico. On Mar. 2, the District Court in Mexico City granted a permanent stay of execution, which protects the company from the cancellation of the concession until a resolution by the court is reached on the legality of the cancellation. In early February, Fortuna initiated legal proceedings against the Direccion General de Minas to contest the procedure taken by the DGM to cancel the mining concession if the disputed royalty plus VAT is not paid before Mar. 15. Fortuna’s other primary assets are its Caylloma silver mine in southern Peru and the Lindero gold project, currently under construction in Argentina. Fortuna’s shares climbed 12.5% to US$3.32.

Vale fell US29¢ to US$9.53 per share. The company announced that it will begin disposing of tailings from the Feijao mine site in a work program that it expects to be completed by 2023. The company said it will “streamline the process to remove and dispose of the tailings from the breach of B1 dam,” and noted that “the disposal of tailings in the extraction site is essential to continue the searching operation defined by the Military Fire Brigade and to recover affected areas.” The catastrophic tailings dam breach at the Feijao iron ore mine in January 2019 killed more than 250 people.

Mosaic shares were down US$2.73 to US$14.30. The company announced that it intends to combine the company’s potash and phosphates operations in North America under one management team effective April 1. The company said the move is expected to create new opportunities to increase efficiencies by leveraging synergies. Mosaic is one of the world’s top producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients.

Intrepid Potash reported full-year 2019 net income of US$13.6 million or US10¢ per diluted share. Improvements in net income were primarily driven by improved domestic pricing for potash earlier in the year and strong water and by-product sales throughout the year. As of Dec. 31, Intrepid had US$20.6 million in cash and equivalents and US$54.2 million available to borrow under its credit facility. Shares of Intrepid Potash fell 13.6% to US$1.53.


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