US markets drop, March 30-April 3: Consol Energy, Cameco, Rio Tinto, Kirkland Lake, Wheaton Precious Metals, Fortuna

Artisan Vehicles’ Z40 electric 40-tonne haul truck. Four such trucks operate at Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa gold mine in Ontario. Credit: Sandvik.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.70%, or 584.25 points, to 21,052.53 and the S&P 500 dropped 2.08%, or 52.82 points, to 2,488.65. Spot gold fell finished the week at US$1,621 per oz., a 0.43% decrease.

Shares of Consol Energy rose US$1.90 to US$6.93 per share. The company reported on March 30 that two employees at its Bailey underground mine in Pennsylvania had recently tested positive for COVID-19, and the company decided to temporarily curtail production at the mine for two weeks. Consol Energy’s Enlow Fork mine, Harvey mine and central preparation plant continue to operate.

Cameco’s shares rose US$1.63 to US$8.55. The company announced on March 23 that it was temporarily suspending production at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan and placing the facility in care and maintenance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cameco said the mine will be on care and maintenance for four weeks and the company would then assess the situation and determine whether to restart the mine or extend the suspension.

Rio Tinto pledged a further US$25 million to support global grassroots community COVID-19 preparedness and recovery, bringing its total voluntary global community contributions to US$60 million so far this year, the company announced on March 30. The company’s share rose US$1.47 to US$45.04.

Kirkland Lake Gold rose US$1.01 to US$33.00 per share. The company announced additional business reduction measures to combat COVID-19. In a press release on March 30 the company said it had temporarily suspended operations at its Holt Complex in northern Ontario and has reduced operations at its Macassa mine in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The new measures are in effect until April 30, and follow the transition of the Detour Lake mine to reduced operations effective March 23. The company also said it was withdrawing its 2020 guidance until further notice.

First Majestic Silver’s shares fell US77¢ to US$6.05. The company reported on April 3 that it has temporarily suspended its San Dimas, Santa Elena and La Encantada mines in Mexico until the end of the month to comply with regulations imposed on non-essential businesses and has withdrawn its 2020 production and cost guidance.

Shares of Wheaton Precious Metals fell US32¢ to US$27.82. The precious metals streaming company updated shareholders on April 1, noting that its partners operations were running with the exception of Vale’s Voisey’s Bay, Hudbay’s Constancia, Glencore’s Yauliyacu and Newmont’s Penasquito. The company also said it was withdrawing its production guidance for 2020. It noted that as of Dec. 31, it had US$104 million in cash and equivalents with more than $1.1 billion of available capacity under a $2 billion revolving facility and “remains well positioned to fund all outstanding commitments and known contingencies, including dividends.”

Fortuna Silver Mines’ shares fell US38¢ to US$2.03. The company reported the temporary suspension of its San Jose mine in Mexico, and the cessation of construction activities at its Lindero project in Argentina. In Peru, its Caylloma mine continued to operate with a reduced task force drawing ore from a stockpile.


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