The Weekly Dig - March 10, 2017
by Mick Carew, PhD, email@example.com and The Haywood Mining Team
PDAC: Mood Remains Buoyant Despite Lower Metal Prices
The PDAC convention in Toronto struck an optimistic tone this year, with many regarding the mood in 2017 as the most positive in a number of years. Although no official statistics have been released yet, exhibitor space, short-courses, investor meetings the Mineral Outlook luncheon and Awards Gala were all reportedly sold out. In a further boost to the industry, the government also announced an extension to the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC), a 15% non-refundable tax credit on eligible exploration expenses (in addition to tax deductions associated with flow-through share investments). However, the positive vibe at the conference did not transfer to weekly metal price performance. In fact, nearly all major base and precious metals were down several percentage points this week (but rising slightly late Thursday), led by nickel, down a significant 11% to $4.46 per pound. Other base metals were also down, with copper down 3.3% and zinc down 3% with the exception of lead rising slightly by 0.5%. The precious metals were all lower, with gold (down 2.5%) falling briefly below the $1,200 per ounce level as jobs number from the U.S. surprised on the positive side and the possibility of more than one interest rate hike in 2017 gathered momentum. The price of gold finished at $1,204 per ounce, while silver (down 5.6%), platinum (down 6%) and palladium (down 3.8%) each finished at $17.02, $942 and $747 per ounce respectively. The news was no better for oil as additional supply from U.S. crude production and Iran and Iraq counter the cut in production imposed by OPEC in January. WTI crude fell 10% during the week to finish below $50 per barrel for the first time since December last year. The daily broker average price (BAP) of uranium was 4.4% this week, finishing at $24.31 per pound.
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