US markets fall, Aug. 31-Sept. 4

A mining truck at the Oyu Tolgoi project, 550 km due south of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Credit: Turquoise Hill Resources.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.82% to 28,133.21 and the S&P 500 dropped 2.31% to 3,426.96 during the Aug. 31-Sept. 4 trading week. Spot gold lost 1.50%, or US$29.50 per oz., and finished the week at US$1,934.80 per ounce.

Sibanye-Stillwater climbed US78¢ to US$13.19. The company reported that higher precious metal prices during the first half of 2020 underpinned its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of US$990 million during the six months ended June 30, 718% higher than in the same period in 2019. The company reported normalized earnings of US$531 million and free cash flow of US$655 million.

Freeport McMoRan’s shares rose US37¢ to US$16.02. The company announced that its president, chief executive and vice chairman of the board, Richard C. Adkerson, had been elected chair to the International Council on Mining and Metals. “This is an especially important time as the industry responds to the unprecedented Covid-19 health crisis and the growing focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance by stakeholders in the global metals and mining industry,” Adkerson said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with ICMM members to advance important initiatives reflective of our collective commitment to high-performance standards, stakeholder engagement and continuous improvement.”

Turquoise Hill Resources rose US14¢ to US$1.14. The company increased its gold production outlook for 2021 to a range of 500,000-550,000 oz., up from its earlier forecast of 450,000-500,000 ounces. The improved outlook was the result of initiatives implemented at its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, Turquoise Hill said, which have brought higher-grade gold-bearing ore from the South West pit forward into 2020 and 2021.

Shares of Vale gained US8¢ to US$11.38 and were the most heavily traded of the week. The Brazilian miner reported that it had completed its first sale of iron ore (176,000 tons) using blockchain technology with Nanjing Iron & Steel. The company described the blockhain sale as “an important milestone towards the digitalization of the sales and trade process, bringing innovation to the traditional paper-intensive trade transactions and offering a better service to the clients as well as predictability in the steel value chain.”

Wheaton Precious Metals announced that president and chief executive Randy Smallwood had been appointed as the new chair of the World Gold Council. In August, the company reported record revenue and sales in the first half of the year, despite temporary shutdowns due to Covid-19. Sales volumes remained strong, with a record 322,000 oz. gold-equivalent sold in the first six months of the year. The company’s assets generated over US$500 million in revenue and nearly US$330 million in operating cash flow. Wheaton’s shares fell US$1.40 to US$51.64.


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