US markets slide, Oct. 3-7

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.37% to 18,240.49 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.67% to 2,153.75. Gold fell below US$1,300 per oz., hitting a post-Brexit-vote low of US$1,255.20 per oz. on Oct. 6, before finishing the week at US$1,257.60. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index lost 13.49% to 81.32, and gold equities felt the chill. A worse-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday eased fears somewhat of a pending rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Non-farm payroll data showed that 156,000 jobs were created in September, less than the 175,000 economists had anticipated. West Texas Intermediate crude rallied after reports of potential supply cuts from OPEC countries, touching US$50 per barrel, before falling back to US$49 at the end of the week.

Shares of Barrick Gold were the third most actively traded and fell US$1.99 to US$15.73 apiece, despite news on Oct. 4 that operations at the company’s Veladero mine in Argentina had resumed after being suspended on Sept. 15 by authorities in San Juan province. The suspension came a week after falling ice damaged a pipe carrying process solution in the leach pad area, causing some material to leave the leach pad. Barrick continues to expect company-wide gold production for 2016 in the range of 5.0-5.5 million ounces at all-in sustaining costs of US$750-$790 per oz.

Newmont Mining reported Oct. 3 that it finished building its Merian gold mine in Suriname, on time and nearly 20% below its initial development capital budget. Gary Goldberg, Newmont’s president and CEO, stated in a news release that the company “took an optimized approach to project development and benefitted from being one of the only gold producers investing in growth during the lower price cycle.” First gold was poured on Oct. 1. Merian contains gold reserves of 5.1 million oz. Production is expected to average between 400,000 and 500,000 oz. gold per year over 13 years. All-in sustaining costs during the first five years are expected to average between US$650 and US$750 per oz.

Kinross Gold inked a three-year collective labour agreement at its Tasiast  gold mine in Mauritania, after reaching another deal earlier in the year with the government to increase the number of local workers at the mine, a requirement under Maritanian law. Kinross shares were down US69¢ to US$3.52.


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