MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA (Markets and Money): MarketWatch reported a fall in gold futures yesterday, following gains of almost USD$5 in the previous two sessions. However, prices recovered much of the day’s losses by the session’s close.
The recovery relates to reports from gold advocacy group the World Gold Council that demand for gold hit record highs in 2006 of USD$65 billion, despite a fall in tonnage and reduced supply. Industrial demand reached its highest ever level of 458 tonnes, jewellery sales were at an all time record in US dollar terms at USD$44bn, investment demand was 7% higher than 2005 in tonnage terms and 45% higher in dollar terms. The council also noted that supply fell 13% in tonnage terms including a sharp reduction in net selling by central banks.
The Herald Sun has reported that the price of gold in Sydney was USD$2.10 higher at USD$668.95 per fine ounce yesterday, but that gold miners had mixed results, with Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) adding 5c to AUD$22.35 and Lihir Gold (ASX: LHG) shedding 1c to AUD$3.34.
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE: CDE) is set to report its fourth quarter and year-end 2006 results on Thursday, February 22. The company has a strong presence in gold, and has mining interests in Alaska, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Chile, and Nevada.
Canada-based Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) has struck a deal to acquire Cumberland Resources (AMEX: CLG), which owns 100% of the Meadowbank gold project, located in Nunavut, Canada. The project is currently under construction, with proven and probable reserves of 21.3 million tonnes, and initial gold production is anticipated to occur in early 2010.
According to Canada’s Financial Post, analysts are now more upbeat about Agnico-Eagle’s prospects, with Wellington West analyst Catherine Gignac placing a C$55 price target and a “buy” rating on the stock, and noting the deal is a good fit given Agnico’s growth strategy.
Aurora Gold (OTCBB: ARXG), a mineral exploration company focusing on exploration and development in the Tapajos Gold Province, Brazil, has announced an initial resource estimate for the Molly occurrence on the its Sao Domingos property of 180,000 ounces of gold. The company is awaiting results from a further seven drill holes, which it expects will extend the strike and significantly increase the resource.
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