The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 0.64% to 19,351.32 during the April 12-16 trading week. The S&P/TSX Global Mining Index jumped 4.81% to 111.25, and the S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index climbed 6.49% to 172.36. Spot gold rose US$32.30 per oz., or 1.85%, to US$1,776.50 per oz., and the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index increased by 3.49% to 312.62.
Barrick Gold gained $1.24 to finish the week at $27.81 per share. The company reported preliminary first quarter production of 1.10 million oz. of gold and 93 million lb. of copper and said it remains on track to meet its full-year guidance for 2021 of 4.4-4.7 million oz. of gold and 410-460 million lb. of copper. The gold major said both gold and copper production in the first quarter were lower than in the fourth quarter of 2020, with gold output decreasing by 9.1% and copper by 22%, but said it expects gold and copper production in the second half of the year will be higher than in the first half. Lower first quarter gold production was mainly due to sequencing at its Carlin and Cortez mines in Nevada and lower grades at its Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.
Shares of Cameco fell $1.06 to $20.52 per share. The company said it plans to restart production this month at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan. Production was temporarily suspended in December due to increasing risks posed by Covid-19. Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said the timing of the restart and the production rate would be dependent on how quickly the company can remobilize the workforce. “Cameco will not be in a position to provide updates to our outlook for 2021 until production has resumed and we understand the rate at which we will be able to sustainably operate the mine,” he said. The company owns just over 50% of Cigar Lake, which has produced a total of 93 million lb. of U3O8 since it started commercial production in 2015.
First Majestic Silver dropped 94¢ to $20.73 per share. The company reported first quarter production of 4.5 million oz. of silver equivalent (2.9 million oz. of silver and 23,873 oz. of gold), down 16% and 9% respectively from the fourth quarter of last year. The company has three producing mines in Mexico: the San Dimas silver-gold mine, Santa Elena silver-gold mine, and the La Encantada silver mine. The decrease in silver production was “primarily due to lower average silver grades and an extreme cold weather event in the month of February, which reduced milling rates at La Encantada,” Keith Neumeyer, the company’s president and CEO, stated in a press release. This year the company expects to produce between 12.5 and 13.9 million oz. of silver or 20.6 to 22.9 million silver-equivalent ounces.