Mississauga, ON -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/17/2013 -- AllPennyStocks.com Media, Inc. (http://www.AllPennyStocks.com/) announces its latest article titled “Bellekeno Mine Latest in String of Shutdowns with Falling Commodity Prices.”
Companies mentioned in this article include Glencore Xstrata Plc (OTCQX:GLNCY), Golden Minerals Company (TSX:AUM)(AMEX:AUMN) and Alexco Resource Corp. (TSX:AXR)(AMEX:AXU).
Falling commodity prices have been taking a serious toll on miners across the world in 2013 as part of a downward trend that began after gold peaked in the third quarter of 2011. When gold dipped under $1,200 per ounce a few weeks ago, it was off 2011 highs by about 40 percent. Spot silver, which made a top at $49.82 in April 2011, was hit even worse; losing 63 percent of its value at lows of $18.17 on June 28. Looking at other commodities doesn’t paint a better picture. Copper is off 2011 highs by 35 percent and iron ore is down a similar amount.
Unfortunately, production costs don’t move proportionately lower, eroding profit margins for miners and now triggering a series of announcements of shutdowns at mines. Even the mighty Glencore Xstrata Plc (OTCQX:GLNCY), the world’s biggest shipper of thermal coal, said this week that it is halting production at its magnetite iron ore operation in Australia because of high costs and low prices. Glencore slashed its staff by about 450 people in June.
Golden Minerals Company (TSX:AUM)(AMEX:AUMN) recently put its Velardena mine in Mexico on a care and maintenance program until metal prices support a re-start. The company had expected the mine to achieve a cash neutral position in the third quarter, but that was based upon $1,600 per ounce for gold and $30 per ounce for silver. At $1,500 per ounce for gold and $25 per ounce for silver, Golden Minerals projected a $5 million loss from operations. Gold and silver are substantially beneath those levels. About 470 jobs were eliminated with the shutdown.
The latest mine casualty story came Wednesday morning from Alexco Resource Corp. (TSX:AXR)(AMEX:AXU) in a good news/bad news announcement. The company reported that silver production increased to 576,155 ounces during the second quarter at its Bellekeno mine in the Keno Hill Silver District in Canada’s Yukon Territory. That was a 52-percent improvement from the first quarter. For the first half of the year, production totaled 955,772 ounces. That’s the good news.
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