by Stockwatch Business Reporter
New York spot gold closed up $3 to $1,666.60 Tuesday, after the United States Conference Board reported that consumer confidence has fallen to a nine-month low. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says he is no longer going to speak at Jackson Hole this weekend because of his heavy workload. The ECB is holding its next big meeting next Thursday. Here at home, the TSX Venture Exchange lost four points to 1,241 and the TSX Gold Index slipped one point to 308.
Despite bullion's slight rise, Canadian-listed gold miners ended the day down. Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI) lost 22 cents to $18.12, Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI) lost 16 cents to $16.26, Kinross Gold Corp. (K) slipped nine cents to $8.68 and Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM) slipped one cent to $46.40.
One of Canada's worst performing gold miners this year has been Centerra Gold Inc. (CG), which lost another 10 cents today to $7.95 on 328,000 shares. The stock has fallen from $23 last December, on snowballing problems at the company's Kumtor gold mine in the Kyrgyz Republic. The drop began when a group of Kyrgyzstanis, demanding more community spending, blockaded entry to the mine for a week. In February the employees asked for more money, walking off the job for 10 days and allowing ice to build up in the high-elevation mine. The ice forced the company to cut its 2012 gold production guidance to 400,000 ounces from 600,000 ounces. Then in June, the locals protested again. Their fuss over environmental damage prompted the Kyrgyz government to conduct an ecological review, which resulted in a 300-page report that has fueled even more activist interest. For now, the Krygyz government is supporting the mine, which brought in over $145-million in taxes last year and contributed 12 per cent of the country's GDP. The government owns 77.4 million shares of Centerra; it is expected to ask for a Kumtor gold royalty shortly.