US markets rise, Jan. 7-11: Hecla, Pretium, Teck

Gold prices rose 0.2% to close the trading week at US$1,286.80, while the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index fell 0.2% to close at 71.71. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.4% to 23,995.95 and the S&P 500 Index rose 2.5% to 2,596.26.

Shares of Hecla Mining rose 5% to US$2.71. The company announced its 2018 production results, tallying 10.4 million oz. silver and 263,103 oz. gold. While Hecla’s silver production decreased 17% compared to 2017, its gold production increased 13%. The company also produced 20,091 tonnes lead in 2018 — a 12% decrease over 2017 — and 56,023 tonnes zinc, in a 2% increase over 2017.

Most of the company’s lost silver production can be attributed to its Lucky Friday and San Sebastian mines. Lucky Friday produced 169,040 oz. silver for an 80% decrease over 2017, while San Sebastian produced 2.03 million oz. silver — a 37% decrease over 2017. The company attributed Lucky Friday’s lower production to an ongoing strike at the mine.

Shares of Pretium Resources fell 19.8% to US$7. The company hit 97% of its 2018 production guidance by producing 376,012 oz. gold at its underground Brucejack gold mine. It recorded 11.9 gram gold mill feed and 97.3% gold recovery, milling 2,755 tonnes per day. In late 2018, the company closed a US$480-million debt facility and bought back for US$237 million the 8% gold and silver stream it sold on Brucejack to finance the mine’s development. It finished 2018 with US$45 million in cash.

The company expects to ramp up Brucejack to a 3,800-tonne-per-day production rate in 2019. It will provide more details on the ramp up, along with an updated resource and reserve estimate for Brucejack, later in 2019’s first quarter.

Shares of Teck Resources rose 8.4% to US$22.77. The company is in talks to share infrastructure with Glencore and Anglo American’s Collahuasi copper mine in Chile, Reuters reported earlier in January 2019. Collahuasi’s chief executive Jorge Gomez said the two companies could share pipe and power lines and maritime facilities, as well as desalinated water. The mine says it may build an aqueduct that pipes leftover desalinated water from Teck’s nearby Quebrada Blanca copper mine to itself as a backup supply.


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