Worries over a potential rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve were alleviated somewhat during the trading week with lower than expected job numbers. Total non-farm payroll employment in the U.S. increased by 151,000 in August, lower than an upwardly revised 275,000 in July, but below market expectations of 180,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.53% to 18,491.96 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.50% to 2,179.98. Spot gold climbed 0.33% to US$1,324.80 per oz. and the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index rose 0.87% to 96.63. West Texas Intermediate Crude finished the week at US$44.20 per barrel.
Iamgold advanced US17¢ to US$4.07 per share. The company signed an agreement with the Government of Suriname to acquire an interest in the Saramacca property. The property — also known as Anomaly M — is about 30 km southwest of Iamgold’s Rosebel mill and immediately southeast of the Sarafina property optioned to the company. Saramacca has been explored since the 1990s, principally by Golden Star and later as a joint venture between Golden Star and Newmont Mining. Much of that work focused on the discovery and delineation of Anomaly M. Over 50 diamond drill holes and over 200 auger holes have been completed in the anomaly area, and evaluation of that work, Iamgold says, suggests an exploration target potential of between eight and 40 million tonnes grading between 1 gram gold per tonne and 1.8 grams per tonne for potentially 0.5 to 1.4 million ounces of contained gold. However, the property requires significant exploration to bring it to a resource stage. Iamgold will make an initial payment of US$200,000, which will give the company access to the property and data. If Iamgold is satisfied, it will then pay US$10 million and provide 3.125 million of its common shares to the Government of Suriname. The shares will be held in escrow and released to the government in three equal tranches in 12-month intervals.
Preliminary merger talks between Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan and Agrium lifted the shares of other fertilizer producers. Mosaic advanced 6.8% to US$29.49 per share and Intrepid Potash climbed 6.1% to US$1.40 per share. The U.S.-listed shares of Potash Corp. jumped 12.2% to US$17.99 while Agrium’s rose 10.3% to US$98.18 per share.