The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.46% to finish the week at 32,627.97 and the S&P 500 fell 0.77% to 3,913.10. Spot gold fell by US$17 per oz., or 0.98%, to US$1,744.90 per ounce.
Eldorado Gold rose US53¢ to US$12 per share. On March 17, lawmakers in Greece approved a revised contract with Eldorado, paving the way for restarting a major mining investment stalled over licensing and environmental concerns. The Vancouver-based miner has been embroiled for years in a standoff with Greece over environmental concerns around its Skouries, Olympias, and Stratoni projects in northern Greece. Last month, Greece signed an amended agreement with Eldorado, including a bigger investment plan of US$3.1 billion for the mines, the creation of additional jobs, and higher royalties. Eldorado said the revised deal would allow it to complete construction work, start production in Skouries, expand output in Olympias, and boost exploration investment in Stratoni. Under the revised deal, Eldorado will also submit a new proposal for building a gold processing plant in 12-24 months and will further evaluate financing options for Skouries.
Barrick Gold rose US64¢ to US$20.96. In a press release on March 19 announcing the publication of its 2020 annual report, the gold major said it “met all its key performance indicators in 2020 and at the same time made significant progress towards achieving its key objectives.” The company also said in the press release that since the announcement of the Randgold merger, Barrick’s share price had grown by 118% by the end of 2020 compared with the GDX’s 92% increase in that period. Barrick also noted that it had “trebled” its quarterly dividend and that the board has recommended that an additional $750 million of surplus cash be returned to shareholders as a return of capital distribution this year. “A company that was burdened by net debt of more than $13 billion as recently as 2013 now has zero net debt, no significant maturities for the next 10 years and a robust balance sheet, with strong liquidity consisting of $5.2 billion in cash and an undrawn $3 billion credit facility,” Mark Bristow, the company’s president and CEO, stated in the news release.
Shares of Teck Resources fell US$2.35 to US$20.28. The company announced the release of its 20th annual Sustainability Report. The company updated its sustainability strategy last year, which set out “new long-term objectives supported by shorter-term milestone goals.” Teck said it has “ambitious goals” including being carbon neutral across all of its operations by 2050, disposing zero industrial waste by 2040, and transitioning to seawater or low-quality water at all of its operations that are in water-scarce areas by 2040.