US equities jump, March 16-20

U.S. stocks rose on a declining dollar and higher gold prices at a slower-than-expected pace, which pushed up the main indexes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a three-week losing streak, adding 2% to finish at 18,127.65 points; the S&P 500 Index closed at 2,108.10 in a 2.7% weekly gain; and the Nasdaq advanced 3.2% to 5,026.42. The spot gold price rose 2%, or US$23.80 per oz., to US$1,182.40.

Idaho-based explorer Timberline Resources jumped 22% to US60¢ per share, after it received a positive decision on the mine haul road to its jointly proposed underground gold mine at Butte Highlands in Montana. The U.S. Forest Service finished its environmental assessment and released a draft decision notice that could provide Timberline a road permit by April or at the latest, June. The junior owns a 50% carried-to-production interest in Butte Highlands with its operating partner, Highland Mining, holding the rest. Gold production at the project should begin this year. Timberline also signed an option to buy 100% of the over 1 million oz. gold Talapoosa project in western Nevada from Gunpoint Exploration.

Endeavour Silver shares climbed 22% to US$2.06 after the producer kicked off a major expansion at its El Cubo silver-gold mine in Mexico. Over the next four months, El Cubo’s output should expand from 1,550 tonnes per day to 2,200 tonnes per day. As a result, the firm has boosted its 2015 silver estimate by 11% to 6.3 million to 7 million oz., and gold estimate by 27% to 60,000 to 66,000 oz., while trimming its 2015 operating cost guidance by 10%. Consolidated cash costs, net of gold by-product credits, should now range between US$9 and US$10 per oz. silver. Endeavour’s capital budget for the year is US$36.5 million, up US$3.8 million from the previous estimate.

Molycorp sunk nearly 50% to US36¢ per share on the back of poor 2014 financials, largely due to impairment charges and write-offs following softer rare earth elements (REE) prices. The California-based REE producer reported a headline loss of US$608 million, or US$2.70 per share, compared to US$2.21 per share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the adjusted loss was US$1.31 per share, versus a US$1.09-per-share loss in 2013.


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