The S&P/TSX Composite Index jumped 4.61% to 18,135.90 during the Feb. 1-5 trading week. The S&P/TSX Global Mining Index rose 3.29% to 104.10, and the S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index soared 7.25% to 147.81. Spot gold fell US$32.90 per oz., or 1.78%, to US$1,815.20 per oz., and the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index rose by 1.01% to 306.59.
Turquoise Hill Resources climbed $1.89 to $15.99 per share. The company scored a temporary win in its dispute with Rio Tinto over the funding of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold-silver mine in Mongolia. The interim relief, Turquoise Hill announced on Feb. 4, prevents Rio Tinto from restricting Turquoise Hill’s talks on funding and other matters with other Oyu Tolgoi stakeholders. Until further notice, Rio Tinto won’t be able to authorise re-profiling negotiations with lenders in a manner that would render Oyu Tolgoi LLC unable to execute an offering of bonds in 2021, according to Turquoise Hill. Turquoise Hill, which is majority-owned by Rio Tinto, had expected underground expansion of the mine to cost US$5.3 billion when it was approved in 2015. Last year, stability risks associated with the original project design could, Rio Tinto said, increase costs by an additional US$1.9 billion. Rio Tinto said any remaining funding for the underground mine should be met through a Turquoise Hill equity offering.
Shares of Barrick Gold fell by 5¢ to $28.51 per share. The company reported that exploration and the conversion of resources to reserves has extended the operating life of its Tongon mine in Cote d’Ivoire by three years to 2023. Last year the mine produced (on a 100% basis) a total of 284,863 oz. of gold, which came in at the top end of Barrick’s production guidance of 240,00-260,000 ounces. The mine was built and commissioned during the country’s civil war and has since operated in an unstable socio-political environment, Barrick said. It has also been impacted by a mill fire, technical issues, and an erratic power grid. “Despite all these challenges, Tongon has been consistently profitable and in 2020 again paid a US$150 million dividend to its shareholders,” Mark Bristow, Barrick’s president and CEO, stated in a Feb. 4 press release.
Newmont dropped 61¢ to $75.59 per share. On Feb. 1 Newmont set up the Newmont Global Center for Indigenous Community Relations in Vancouver. The center aims to serve as a resource for both Newmont and the greater mining industry to promote awareness, education, and engagement between industry and Indigenous Peoples, the company said. “Newmont recognizes the special connection between Indigenous Peoples and the land, and that mining can affect this connection in some challenging ways,” Tom Palmer, the company’s president and CEO, stated in a press release. The center has identified three focus areas: partnership and learning network; respect for customs and culture; and opportunities for Indigenous Peoples.