TSX inches higher, March 30-April 3: Agnico, Aura Minerals, Newmont, NovaGold

By Northern Miner Staff / April 04, 2020 / www.northernminer.com / Article Link

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 1.98%, or 250.56 points, to finish the trading week at 12,938.30. The S&P/TSX Global Mining Index rose 3.61% to 66.80, while the S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index rose 0.78% to 63.72. Spot gold finished at US$1,621.00 per oz., for a weekly drop of US$7.00 per oz. drop, or 0.43%, and the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index climbed 4.80% to 253.90.

Shares of Agnico Eagle Mines were up $9.05 to $63.11. The gold producer announced on April 2 that it is ramping down its operations in Mexico to comply with the government's decree that all non-essential businesses must suspend operations until April 30, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it has put its Pinos Altos, Creston, Mascota and La India operations on care and maintenance, and the Toronto-based company will also suspend all exploration activities in the country. Agnico said its employees in Mexico will continue to receive their base remuneration during this period. Elsewhere, Agnico said its Abitibi mines remain on care and maintenance until April 13 as ordered by the Quebec government, and at its mines in Nunavut, staffing levels have been moderated to allow operations to continue at reduced levels. In Europe, Agnico's Kittila mine in Finland is expected to continue to operate at normal levels.

Aura Minerals climbed $5.21 to $59.78 per share. The company completed the acquisition of the Gold Road project in Arizona from Para Resources and announced that operations at its San Andres gold mine in Honduras have been "partially interrupted" due to government-mandated restrictions in response to COVID-19. The company said it is conducting minimal care and maintenance and leaching activities at San Andres during the suspension. Earlier in March, Aura announced that it had postponed a planned initial public offering in Brazil due to COVID-19.

Shares of Newmont climbed $2.15 to $66.58. Newmont said on April 1 that it was complying with government regulations in Mexico to suspend all non-essential activities until April 30, and is ramping down operations at its Penasquito mine in Zacatecas. In other news, Newmont reported on March 31 that it had completed the sale of its Red Lake complex in Ontario to Evolution Mining and received US$375 million in cash with future contingent payments of up to an additional US$100 million tied to new resource discoveries.

NovaGold Resources rose $1.44 to $12.27 per share. The company has paused a planned 22,000-metre drill program at the Donlin gold project in Alaska, which it co-owns with Barrick Gold, due to COVID-19. NovaGold also reported that on Feb. 29 it had US$140.7 million in cash and term deposits, which it says are sufficient to advance Donlin and meet its other financial obligations. The company anticipates spending US$31 million in 2020, US$20 million of which will be spent to fund its share of expenditures at Donlin. The majority of the funds have been earmarked for the drill program, with the balance for permitting and community engagement, and US$11 million for general and administrative costs.