Wall Street closed mixed ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, as the Federal Reserve said it would likely raise interest rates this year, if the economy continued to improve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2% to 18,232.02, while the S&P 500 Index added 0.2% to 2,126.06. The Nasdaq edged up 0.8% to close at 5,089.36. The spot price for gold fell 1.4% to US$1,205.90 per oz., while the Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index lost 5% to 71.25.
Africa-focused gold miner Banro gained 20% to finish at US37¢ per share. The Toronto-based company declared dividends payable on its Series A preference shares and preferred shares of Banro Group (Barbados). It intends to pay both shareholders US67¢ per share for the December 2014 quarter and US68¢ per share for the March 2015 quarter. Banro also added mining engineer Mick Oliver — who previously held senior positions with CIBC World Markets — to its board of directors. The junior is operating its Twangiza gold mine, while it finishes building its nearby Namoya gold mine. Both are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Midway Gold closed up 9% at US10¢, after its shares dropped 69% the week before after a resource revision at its Pan gold mine in Nevada, and concerns that it would default on its US$53-million senior debt. The updated resource at Pan reduced measured and indicated gold ounces by 36% and lowered grade by 15%, owing to drill results that showed mineralization was less continuous than previously thought. On May 21, Midway reported that it could be in “technical default” of its senior debt, and would negotiate conditional waivers with its senior lender.
Almaden Minerals rose 9% to US92¢ on drill results. Almaden reported that it hit silver mineralization in its infill program on the Ixtaca silver-gold deposit in Mexico, including 31.5 metres of 0.39 gram gold and 117 grams silver per tonne. It also intersected high-grade silver below the defined pit, including 6.3 metres of 0.55 gram gold and 119.6 grams silver, plus 12 metres of 0.62 gram gold and 104.3 grams silver. With the infill drilling complete, Almaden is working on engineering and environmental studies for a prefeasibility study later this year.