Tumbling oil prices sent the energy-heavy S&P/TSX Composite Index below 13,000 for the first time since 2013, before finishing at 13,016.59, down 2.3%. Brent crude closed at US$39.73 per barrel on Dec. 10 — less than half of the US$110 per barrel it fetched in June 2014 — while West Texas Intermediate closed at U$36.75 a barrel, its lowest since February 2009. Oil prices dropped after news that the Organization of the Petroleum Export Countries wouldn’t set production quotas for its members. According to its latest monthly market report, OPEC’s group production rose by 230,000 barrels per day in November to 31.69 million barrels a day — the highest in more than three years. The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index fell 3.7% to 336.23, and the S&P/TSX Global Mining Index dropped 1% to 43.90. Spot gold rose 0.9% to finish at US$1,071.50 per oz., lifting the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index 2.9% to 132.36.
Shares of Premier Gold Mines gained 21¢ to $2.58, on positive news from two of its projects in Ontario. The company reported drill intercepts of up to 46 metres across 11 metres at its Rahill–Bonanza joint venture with Red Lake Gold Mines, an affiliate of Goldcorp. The junior also reported that drilling at its wholly owned Hasaga project had extended near-surface mineralization west of the Hasaga porphyry target, with results including assays of up to 1.68 grams gold per tonne across 49 metres.
Aureus Mining’s shares advanced 13% to 13¢. The company received a request for arbitration from International Construction & Engineering (Seychelles), with respect to its contract to carry out civil and earthworks at Aureus’ New Liberty gold mine in Liberia. The contract ended in August 2014, when the work was 60–70% complete. The company calls the arbitration request “frivolous, without merit and opportunistic.”
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan’s shares fell $1.12 to $24.47. Media reported that the Saskatchewan provincial court fined the company $280,000 for workplace violations in the death of a worker at the company’s Cory mine near Saskatoon. The man died in February 2014 after being struck in the head by falling earth.
News that Hudbay Minerals’ CEO David Garofalo is resigning to take the top job at Goldcorp sent the miner’s shares down 70¢ to $5.38. Garofalo is replacing Goldcorp’s CEO Chuck Jeannes, who will step down in April 2016. Garofalo will be replaced by Alan Hair, Hudbay’s chief operating officer since 2012.
Teck Resources announced it would pilot liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel in six haul trucks at its Fording River steel-making coal operation in southeastern B.C., marking the first use of LNG as a haul-truck fuel at a mine site, according to the company. Its shares fell 22¢ to $5.15.