U.S. equities gained momentum on positive jobless data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 50.64 points to 17,763.24, and the S&P 500 Index added 5.94 points to finish at 2,066.96. Spot gold edged up US$3.60 per oz. to end at US$1,202 per oz., and the Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index stayed relatively flat at 67.96. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 4.28 points to 4,886.94. The U.S. Labor Department reported unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000 — the lowest level since January.
Midway Gold shares soared 25% to US41¢, after the firm’s second gold pour from its Pan mine in Nevada’s White Pine County on March 30. The open-pit heap-leach mine — budgeted at US$84 million — produced 500 oz. and total sales of US$600,000 in March. Midway has 2.6 million tons (2.4 million tonnes) under leach at its sole producing asset. It expects to add 5.9 million tons (5.4 million tonnes)to the leach pad throughout the year. While the junior will release a 2015 production and cost guidance shortly, a 2011 feasibility study estimated 81,000 oz. annual production at fully loaded costs of US$824 per oz. over an eight-year mine life. Midway is looking to secure more funds for working capital, and plans to expand the leach pad from 8 million tons (7.3 million tonnes) to 20 million tons (18.1 million tonnes) by the fourth quarter.
Entrée Gold shares got a welcome boost after the junior reported its 2014 highlights and financials. Entrée owns the Ann Mason copper project in Nevada and a carried joint-venture interest in two of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold deposits in Mongolia. For 2014, it posted a US$8.7-million net loss — down from a US$11.4-million loss in 2013 — as it lowered its operating expenditures. The company exited the year with a working capital of US$32.6 million, including US$33.5 million in cash. Shares finished up 14% at US22¢.
Alamos Gold slipped 9.9% to US$5.68 per share, after the producer reported reserves at its Mulatos gold mine in Mexico dropped by 15% at the end of 2014, compared to the year before, mainly due to mining depletion. Reserves at Mulatos, its sole producing asset, stand at 1.73 million oz. (from 46.6 million tonnes grading 1.16 grams gold per tonne), implying a reserve life of seven years.