During the Presidents Day holiday-shortened week, the S&P 500 Index gained 4.51 points to end at 1,365.74, a four-year closing high. The index has climbed 8% this year, after being unchanged in 2011.
On Feb. 21, the day U.S. markets reopened, eurozone finance ministers approved a US$172-billion bailout for Greece. The deal prevents a debt default by Athens, but also requires the struggling nation to take on more austerity measures.
During the abbreviated Feb. 21-24 period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 33.05 points to 12, 982.92. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index advanced 7.28 points to 200.10, as the spot price for gold added US$49.80 per oz. to close at US$1,773.60 in New York.
Cornerstone Capital Resources lifted 20% to finish at US12¢ after hitting a wide copper intercept on its 50% joint-venture Whalesback copper mine in Newfoundland. The company intersected 2.8% copper over 18.2 metres as part of an on-going initial diamond drill program on the past-producing mine.
On Feb. 22, a day before announcing the intercept, the company reported samplings from eight more trenches at its La Fortuna copper-silver project in central Chile. The results confirmed widespread potential for copper and silver mineralization on the property.
Following a US$50-million increase to its previously announced US$125-million private placement, Banro shares jumped 19.9% to US$5.65. Net proceeds from the US$175-million financing would be used to develop the miner’s second gold mine, Namoya, which lies in the southern end of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The project is expected to start producing before mid-2013. The funds will also be used to repay an existing credit facility. The offering is expected to close in early March.
Allied Nevada advanced US$3.20 per share to US$35.34 after upgrading reserves at the Hycroft gold mine in Nevada by 24%. The company added 2.5 million oz. gold and 93.3 million oz. silver to reserves, bringing the total to 12.7 million oz. gold and 481.9 million oz. silver. Measured and indicated grew to 8.2 million oz. gold and 236.9 million oz. silver, a 21% and 16% respective increase over the June 2011 estimate.
On Feb. 23 Newmont Mining posted record operating cash flow of $3.6 billion, $10.4 billion in revenue, and an adjusted net income of $2.2 billion or $4.39 per share for 2011. Income was $500,000 million from continuing operations, compared to $2.3 billion in 2010. The figure was impacted by a $1.6-billion write-down of the company’s Hope Bay gold project in Nunavut.
In a separate press release, Newmont said reserves in 2011 grew to 98.8 million oz. gold and 9.7 billion lbs. copper, an increase of 6% and 3%, respectively. The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 35¢ per share.