US markets fall, Feb. 5-9

Gold closed at US$1,315.7 per oz., down 1.2% over the previous week. U.S. markets suffered as the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index fell 6.6% to 78.35, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index both fell 5.2% to 24,190.9 and 2,619.55.

Shares of Lithium Americas rose US53¢ to US$6.84. The company began trading on the NYSE on Jan. 25, 2018. It recently announced the pond layout and design for its 50% owned Cauchari-Olaroz project, with construction scheduled in the coming weeks.

The Cauchari-Olaroz project is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Lithium Americas and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM). Lithium Americas expects that the 700 sq. km project in northwest Argentina’s Jujuy province will produce in 2020.

The project is being developed by Minera Exar S.A., a subsidiary of Lithium Americas that is partly owned by SQM. Minera says that engineering at Cauchari-Olaroz will end in March, with plant design before June.

Shares of Goldcorp fell 9.9% to US$12.34. On Feb.7, 2018, the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board rejected Goldcorp’s plan for its proposed Coffee gold mine, 130 km south of Dawson City. This is the second proposal that the board has rejected.

The board says it initially rejected Goldcorp’s proposal because the company did not adequately outline how it consulted with First Nations groups. The board says it needs more information on the project’s environmental impact.   

Shares of Harmony Gold Mining rose US4¢ to US$1.71. Net profits fell nearly 50% to US$75 million for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2017, over the same period a year earlier. Gold production, however, increased 1.7% to 617,929 oz. over the previous year, and the company says it is on track to achieve its group production guidance of 1.1 million oz. gold for the full year, with a boost in production expected from its Hidden Valley project in Papua New Guinea.

The company also reported that an employee at its Tshepong gold mine near Welkom, South Africa died in a mining-equipment related incident. In August 2017, five men died after a rock fall at Harmony’s Kusasalethu gold mine near Carletonville, South Africa.


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