Take it on the chin and keep smiling
March 09, 2014
Northern miners record losses due mainly to weak metal prices, yet operational mines have largely kept running.
- Agnico-Eagle posts a $500M charge for impairments, mostly from 2 Nunavut mines: $269.2 million ($194.5 million after tax) at the Meadowbank mine, and $200.1 million at the Meliadine development project (where the impairment was all related to goodwill). Meadowbank is still operating and Meliadine still under development.
- Capstone’s Minto copper mine in central Yukon lost $22M in 2013, mainly due to weak copper prices.
- A $50M 3rd quarter loss posted by Alexco Resources Corp. stemming from its Bellekeno silver mine in Yukon. Bellekeno has been shut down since the Fall.
- A $13M loss at Cantung, a tungsten mine located on the NWT-Yukon border, north of Watson Lake, Yukon. Cantung is still operating.
The NWT diamond mines seem to be doing OK.
The Alaska gold mines, Pogo, Kensington and Ft.Knox are all operating in the black, as far as can be determined. Red Dog, Alaska’s major zinc mine, and Greens Creek, a large silver mine, are operating successfully.
Saskatchewan’s uranium mines are doing fine and uranium prices may trend upwards.
Weakening copper prices portend bad things for the Yukon economy, as the Minto mine could shut-down at prices under $3.00 /lb.
The gold producers have toughed it out and prices have recovered a bit lately.
- c)Chuck Tobin, "Capstone Mining and its Minto Mine lose money in 2013", Whitehorse Star, 26-Feb-2014, p.3.