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March 5, 2020

7 @ 7:00

Visit the BMR comments section throughout the day for updates and helpful information!

1. Gold is firming up again, trading between $1,637 and $1,663 so far today…as of 7:00 am Pacific, bullion is up $22 an ounce at $1,668…Silver is 11 cents higher at $17.28…base metals are up slightly, despite global economic fears, with Copper, Nickel and Zinc at $2.57, $5.57 and 91 cents, respectively…Crude Oil is off 20 cents at $46.58OPEC has agreed to cut oil output by an extra 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the 2nd quarter of 2020 to support prices that have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, but made its action conditional on Russia and others joining in…the Oil demand outlook has been pummelled by governments’ steps to halt the spread of the virus, prompting OPEC to consider its deepest cut since the 2008 financial crisis…the U.S. Dollar Index has slipped one-third of a point to 96.96…fears about the coronavirus disrupting the global economy continue to drive volatility on Wall Street, and sensational mainstream media headlines, as countries around the world extend quarantines and travel restrictions…California has declared a “state of emergency” after a coronavirus-related death and 53 confirmed cases in the state out of a population of 40 million…the International Monetary Fund has announced a $50 billion aid package to help fight the coronavirus, targeted toward low-income and emerging market countries…it’ll be interesting to see how that gets spent…the Gold market achieved another record last month as the value of the metal held in ETFs rose to an all-time high, according to the latest investment data from the World Gold Council (WGC)…in a report today, the WGC said that market volatility and growing fears that the spreading coronavirus will drag the global economy down prompted investors to turn to Gold as a safe-haven asset…the latest data shows that global Gold-backed ETFs and similar products increased by 84.5 tons last month, with the inflows valued at $4.9 billion…North American Gold ETFs increased by 42 tons, valued at $2.3 billion…European funds saw inflows of 33 tons, valued at $2 billion…Asian funds, primarily in China, saw an increase of 8.7 tons, valued at $425 million

2Higher Gold prices and improving investor sentiment wasn’t enough to counter fears of the spreading coronavirus as attendance at the world’s biggest mining conference dropped from the previous year…yesterday, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) said attendance at its 2020 mining conference totaled 23,144, down 10% from the previous year and the lowest attendance since 2016…some of the booths were empty with companies staying away from the conference because of COVID-19…although attendance was down compared to previous years, PDAC President Felix Lee told Kitco News he was pleased with the sentiment at the conference…he added that the Canadian mining sector is robust enough to meet all challenges…“The Canadian mining sector faces some difficult challenges but I am completely confident that the sector can continue to grow,” he said…“We have a habit of being able to remake ourselves when times are tough”Justin Trudeau, who has done more damage to the resource sector in this country than any Prime Minister in Canadian history, including his father, due to his climate change fanaticism and economic illiteracy, showed up for the 2nd year in a row to announce a scheme that makes it more affordable for Canadian miners to invest in zero-emission vehicles and automative equipment…PDAC should have declined his presence…

3. Sign of the times in the cannabis sector:  Canopy Growth (WEED, TSX; CGC, NYSE) has closed large greenhouses in Delta and Aldergrove…the cannabis company says the closures have resulted in the elimination of approximately 500 positions…in addition to the closures in B.C., the company says it no longer plans to open a 3rd greenhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario…Canopy Growth CEO David Klein said in a statement that a review by the company found that the B.C. facilities are “no longer essential to its cultivation footprint.  Nearly 17 months after the creation of the legal adult-use market, the Canadian recreational market has developed slower than anticipated, creating working capital and profitability challenges across the industry,” Klein said…

4. The Dow has retreated 769 points after the first 30 minutes of trading following yesterday’s huge gains…in Toronto, the TSX is 213 points lower with the Gold Index bucking the trend, up 4 points at 277the Venture has lost 5 points to 521Silvercrest Metals (SIL, TSX; SILV, NYSE) has released metallurgical test results with increased precious metal recoveries and enhanced process design changes for the continuing feasibility study at the Las Chispas property located in Sonora, Mexico…after 9 months of extensive further metallurgical test work involving all veins in the current resource and multiple metallurgical domains, the results show an increase of recoveries to 96.1% Gold and 93.9% Silver or 95.0% Silver equivalent…Canada Carbon (CCB, TSX-V) announced this morning that it has received an initial order from Analytical Reference Materials International (ARMI), a subsidiary of LGC Standards Company (LGC), a global leader in the life sciences sector…the initial order of 50,000 grams of the Miller thermally purified graphite is to be used in the development of a Certified Reference Material (“CRM”) for the analysis of ultra-high purity graphite samples…the CRM will be developed and marketed by LGC, with a retail selling price comparable to the lower purity BAM S009 (NBG 18) reference material…the order is renewable for 100,000 gram lots, on the same terms…Galway Mining (GWM, TSX-V), which slipped to key support at 30 cents in last week’s panic selling, is suddenly trading at new multi-year highs in the low 40’s…the company most recently reported 10.6 g/t Au over 47 m at its promising Clarence Stream Project in southwestern New Brunswick…

5. The theme of “going deep” in the Abitibi is working remarkably well for the likes of Amex Exploration (AMX, TSX-V), Wallbridge Mining (WM, TSX) and Canada Cobalt (CCW, TSX-V)…all 3 have big discoveries in the works with Wallbridge leading the way with a market cap of nearly $500 millionAmex got knocked down all the way to $1.25 last week and is trading this morning at $1.68, a rebound of 34% with more gains likely…yesterday, Amex reported results from hole PE-20144 on its 100%-owned Perron Gold Property near Rouyn-Noranda…it cut 59.5 g/t Au over 1.05 m within a broader interval of 9.9 m grading 9.73 g/t (833.5 m to 843.40 m)…Dr. Jacques Trottier, Executive Chairman of Amex, commented: “This was an aggressive exploration hole that extends the HGZ by another 210 m down to a vertical depth of approximately 775 m.  This is very significant as it confirms the depth potential of the Gold system and the high-grade nature of the mineralized body.  We are currently wedging off hole 144 with the objective of confirming grade continuity between these large 200+m step-out holes.  With only 4 holes drilled into the eastern extension of the HGZ, we have defined an additional 400 vertical meters of high-grade Gold mineralization”

6. Last weekend’s smelly deal that failed politicians struck with the “hereditary chiefs” in Smithers is already creating divisions, even before details are released to all Canadians (taxpayers are being kept in the dark so far)the elected chief of 1 of 6 bands within the Wet’suwet’en nation says she and other elected representatives should have been included in recent negotiations over rights and title with the provincial and federal governments…Maureen Luggi, chief of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, a band under the Indian Act, as opposed to the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation encompassing all Wet’suwet’en people, stated: “We did express that in a letter to the Office of Wet’suwet’en (hereditary chiefs), that all of the 6 Wet’suwet’en communities were excluded from the process.  We don’t know who was invited to participate,” she told CKNW yesterday…“We later learned that other Wet’suwet’en communities were excluded”…Luggi said she expects to soon see the tentative agreement through her membership of the Gitdumden clan, 1 of 5 Wet’suwet’en clans…but in the end, she said, reaching consensus on whether or not to accept the proposed deal will require the involvement of all the Wet’suwet’en…“That is what concerned us, that if anyone is going to move forward on behalf of the clan members in this community regarding Aboriginal rights and title, then our people need to be acknowledged and they need to communicate with us,” she said…

7. Growth in the euro zone is likely to be very sluggish over the next decade, experts have warned, and the forecasts were bleak even before the new coronavirus hit the region…“Even before the coronavirus outbreak, dark clouds had been gathering over the euro zone economy, with Italy in the eye of the storm,” economists at ING warned yesterday…“Over the next 10 years, the region’s potential growth rate will likely slow to a crawl while Italy faces a stagnation far worse than anything Japan has seen.  In the next 10 years, demographic and structural headwinds, and a limited appetite for reform, could push the bloc’s potential growth rate to less than 1%, down from the annual average pace of 1.4% of the previous decade”…in the 4th quarter of 2019, euro zone growth was just 0.1% quarter-on-quarter, marking the slowest growth rate since 2013, with its largest economy Germany seeing flat growth, and Italy and France seeing a 0.3% and 0.1% contraction, respectively…

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  1. Warren buffet pulls out of LNG project because of “Canadian political context”.way to go goofy Trudeau…sheesh already!!

    Comment by Laddy — March 5, 2020 @ 3:02 pm

  2. Any update on Sona test schedule and new news releases

    Comment by carver — March 5, 2020 @ 3:40 pm

  3. The LNG project I follow is in Oregon and for the 2nd time FERC deferred a permit despite the facility having commitments for outtake + they are onside for development w locals I think. US ain’t much sweeter. That TC pipeline isn’t done yet either

    Comment by david — March 5, 2020 @ 4:49 pm

  4. News just out from SONA…


    Sona Nanotech Inc. has provided an update on its Covid-19 rapid screening test as well as announcing the addition of Fiona Marshall and Sandy Morrison as scientific advisers for the Covid-19 test development.

    Fiona Marshall will assist the Sona team with scientific considerations of test development, manufacturing set-up, quality control and regulatory approval. Ms. Marshall is the current CEO of AgPlus Diagnostics Limited and has extensive experience in the lateral flow industry having been responsible for establishing a US based R&D and production facility for the development and manufacture of various lateral flow tests, including tests for class 3 deadly pathogens that served US military contracts. She also oversaw the development of a rapid-response test development program during the 2013 Ebola outbreak as well as other tests for influenza, narcotics and explosives.

    Sandy Morrison is the President of Quality Systems Atlantic and has over 30 years of experience in the medical device industry, with leadership roles in manufacturing, quality systems and regulatory affairs. He was involved in obtaining regulatory approval of the first rapid assay for HIV approved by Health Canada and the US FDA. He will be assisting Sona in its ongoing submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the FDA.

    Darren Rowles, CEO of Sona Nanotech said, “We are very happy to welcome Fiona and Sandy and the invaluable input they will provide us in developing our Covid-19 rapid response test. We are also pleased to report that our initial laboratory work is progressing well and as a result of our collaboration with GE, we expect to accelerate an aggressive pace in the development of this critical test.”

    Fiona Marshall added, “I am quite familiar with, and happy to join the team Sona has built around the Covid-19 rapid response test. I look forward to working with industry-leading partners like The Native Antigen Company and General Electric Health Care Life Sciences, and in particular working with the highly-sensitive Sona nanoparticles to get this much-needed test to market as quickly as possible.”

    Sona expects to provide near-term updates on the development of its rapid-response Covid-19 test.

    About Sona Nanotech Inc.

    Sona Nanotech Inc. is a nanotechnology life sciences firm that has developed two proprietary methods for the manufacture of rod-shaped gold nanoparticles. The principal business carried out and intended to be continued by Sona is the development and application of its proprietary technology for use in multiplex diagnostic testing platforms that will improve performance over existing tests in the market. Sona’s gold nanorod particles are CTAB (cetyltrimethylammonium) free, eliminating the toxicity risks associated with the use of other gold nanorod technologies in medical applications. It is expected that Sona’s gold nanotechnologies may be adapted for use in applications, as a safe and effective delivery system for multiple medical treatments, pending the approval of various regulatory boards including Health Canada and the FDA.

    We seek Safe Harbor.

    Comment by Jon - BMR — March 6, 2020 @ 6:30 am

  5. Daniel, Jon has correctly focused, with Sona, on the desperate need for coronavirus testing, a key to stabilizing the spread of infection by identifying who should be isolated or quarantined. However,it appears we still need an effective treatment and a vaccine. The vaccine will have to be produced in extraordinary volumes in a short period at low cost, a formidable set of requirements.

    You introduced Dyadic International (DYAI) to us several years ago as a value stock whose research was squarely pointed at this area of medical need. It has since tripled and I retain my position. Any update thoughts on the chart and fundamentals would be appreciated.


    Comment by Boz67 — March 6, 2020 @ 6:47 am

  6. Spot oil down 8%…goodness gracious…

    Comment by Marcus — March 6, 2020 @ 9:20 am

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