Miners Rise With Metals; B2Gold, Silver Stocks Top GainersBy Allen Sykora Of Kitco News
Friday March 18, 2016 11:14
(Kitco News) - Share prices of most producers that trade in North America rose along with the metals themselves this week, continuing the trend since the start of 2016, with B2Gold Corp. outperforming and silver companies faring well as the metal’s gains outpaced gold.
Around Thursday’s close, Comex April gold futures were at $1,258.60 an ounce, a gain of $7.50, or 0.6%, for the week so far. Comex May silver was up 42.5 cents, or 2.7%, for the first four days of the week at $15.935. May copper climbed 5.25 cents, or 2.3%, to $2.2885 a pound.
During that same time span, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs index (HUI) was up 5.3106 points, or 3%, to 180.6617. The Market Vectors Gold Miners exchange-traded fund (GDX), which consists of stocks of gold-mining companies, rose 45 cents, or 2.3%, to $20.42 per share.
B2Gold (TSX: BTO) was one of the biggest gainers of a week in which the company released two major pieces of news. Shares rose 33 cents, or 19%.
Company officials reported that they have made financing arrangements to fully fund construction of the Fekola mine in Mali. The 2016 construction and development budget for the Fekola project is approximately $233 million. As of now, Fekola remains on schedule to commence production in late 2017, B2Gold reported.
BMO Capital markets characterized this as a “positive” step for the company, as it removed some uncertainty. “As of late, the top-of-mind concern for B2Gold investors has been the Fekola financing gap and speculation on how the company will address it,” BMO added.
B2Gold this week also reported an adjusted profit in the fourth quarter as production rose and costs fell, although the company recorded a net loss largely due to an impairment charge.
Argonaut Gold Inc. (TSX: AR) shares also climbed sharply during the week in which the company released earnings, adding 27 cents, or 16%. This company listed an adjusted profit for the fourth quarter that was higher than a year ago despite lower metals prices.
Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMY) remained strong, as it has all year when South African producers got a double benefit from price action. Not only has gold risen in dollar terms, but a weak rand has further boosted revenues for South African miners. The company has tended to receive favorable analyst comments in recent weeks. Share prices added another 52 cents, or 15%.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) climbed $1.35, or 14%.
First Majestic Silver Corp. (NYSE: AG) and Great Panther Silver Ltd. (NYSE MKT: GPL) were strong during a week in which silver outperformed gold. First Majestic shares climbed 68 cents, while Great Panther added 10.21 cents. Both were up 12%.
First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM), which is often thought of as a copper producer but also mines nickel, gold and platinum group metals, added 84 cents, or 11%. The company has no doubt been helped by higher metals prices. Late last week, First Quantum also announced an agreement to sell its nickel-copper-platinum group metals Kevitsa mine for $712 million to Boliden AB. "This transaction is one of the initiatives within our plan, announced in October 2015, aimed at strengthening the company's balance sheet and improving its capital structure to better suit the development and start-up timetable of the Cobre Panama project,” said Philip Pascall, chairman and chief executive officer.
Primero Mining Corp. (NYSE: PPP) gained 19 cents, or 10%. The company this week released a report showing that mineral resources have increased. “Our investment in exploration continues to pay off,’’ stated Ernest Mast, president and chief executive officer.
While most mining shares were higher for the week, some were not able to take advantage of higher metals prices. Centerra Gold (TSX: CG) slid 94 cents, or 13%. Seabridge Gold (NYSE: SA) fell back $1.03, or 9%, correcting after a sharp rise earlier this month.
By Allen Sykora of Kitco News; email@example.com