The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.18% to finish the week at 34,200.67 and the S&P 500 fell 0.77% to 3,913.10. Spot gold rose US$32.30 per oz., or 1.85%, to US$1,776.50 per ounce.
Rio Tinto jumped US$5.39 to US$84.79 per share. The company has increased its 2021 exploration budget for the Citadel copper-gold project in Western Australia, a joint venture with junior Antipa Minerals. Rio Tinto has earmarked A$24.5 million (US$23.8 million) for this year, up from A$13.8 million in 2020. To date, the company has invested more than A$25 million in the project, increasing its stake in the joint venture from 51% to 65% on April 12. Antipa now has until the end of April to decide whether to contribute its 35% share of exploration expenditures. If it chooses not to, Rio Tinto can earn a further 10% by spending another A$35 million within three years.
Shares of Alcoa rose US$4.27 to US$35.63. The company reported first-quarter revenue of US$2.9 billion, up from US$2.4 billion during the first quarter of 2020, in what the company described as its best quarterly result since a record-setting year in 2018. “We excelled from the top line to the bottom line, controlling production costs and capturing the benefits of improved demand and stronger prices for alumina and aluminium,” Roy Harvey, Alcoa president and CEO, stated in a press release. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization excluding special items increased to US$521 million in the first quarter, up 44% from the previous quarter.
Hecla Mining climbed US32¢ to US$6.38 per share. The company reported preliminary first-quarter production of 3.5 million oz. of silver, a 7% increase year-on-year. The increase was mainly due to higher production at its Lucky Friday mine in northern Idaho, where it produced 863,901 oz. of silver, an 802% year-on-year increase. Hecla said it expects Lucky Friday to produce over 3 million oz. of silver in 2021, compared with 2 million oz. in 2020. The company also reported preliminary production of 14,612 tonnes of zinc and 9,710 tonnes of lead from Lucky Friday, a year-on-year increase of 25% and 82%, respectively. Silver production from its Greens Creek mine in Alaska fell to 2.9 million oz., a 7% drop year-on-year, primarily due to lower grades. Gold production at Greens Creek increased 8% year-on-year to 13,266 ounces, mainly due to higher grades. Gold output from its Berardi mine in Quebec increased to 36,190 oz., up 35% from the first quarter of 2020.