US markets rise, April 13-17: Yamana, Iamgold, Hecla

Miners at the Casa Berardi gold operations in Quebec. Credit: Hecla Mining.Miners at the Casa Berardi gold operations in Quebec. Credit: Hecla Mining.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.21%, or 523.12 points, to 24,242.49 during the April 13-17 trading week, and the S&P 500 advanced 3.04%, or 84.74 points, to 2,874.56. Spot gold finished at US$1,686.50 per oz., a 0.05% increase, after touching a high of nearly US$1,740 per oz. on April 17.

Yamana Gold‘s shares climbed US54¢ to US$4.26. The company announced it would resume operations at the Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec on April 15, after the provincial government ruled that mining is an essential business activity. The mine was put on care and maintenance due to COVID-19 on March 24. Yamana owns 50% of Canadian Malartic and Agnico Eagle Mines owns the remaining 50%. In other news, Yamana closed the sale of 12 million common shares of Equinox Gold and 6 million warrants of Yamana to purchase common shares of Equinox for proceeds of C$120 million. Each warrant entitles the holder to acquire one additional common share of Equinox owned by Yamana at an exercise price of C$13.50 per share for a term of nine months. If all the warrants are exercised, an additional C$81 million will be paid to Yamana for total proceeds of C$201 million.

Iamgold climbed 10.7% to US$3.10 per share. The company announced it was restarting its Westwood gold mine in Quebec on April 15. The mine was placed on care and maintenance on March 25. The company said its 2020 guidance is under review and that its management team “continues to prudently manage its balance sheet,” which includes US$830 million in cash and equivalents, plus an undrawn US$500 million credit facility as of Dec. 31, 2019.

Shares of Hecla Mining gained US7¢ to US$2.15. The company announced that its Casa Berardi mine in Quebec was restarting on April 15. It noted that as an extra precaution, open-pit contract mining would not yet resume in order to minimize the number of workers on site. In the interim, stockpiled open pit ore would be fed to the mill until contract mining resumes. Hecla says it has a strong balance sheet, with cash and equivalents at the end of the first quarter of about US$215 million, with a revolving credit facility drawn at about US$210 million. Its revolver debt is not due until 2023 and senior notes in 2028.

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