McEwen 2017 output fails to impress, but gold prices boost shares

Shares in Canadian precious metals producer McEwen Mining (TSX, NYSE:MUX) were up Monday as gold prices touched the highest level since early September during the European trading session, and the company reported 2017 and Q4 results.

The Toronto-based company said it produced 109,947 gold ounces and 3,178,742 silver ounces, last year, roughly in line with full-year guidance of 109,500 ounces of gold and 3,337,000 silver ounces.

The firm’s El Gallo mine in Mexico achieved production of 19,893 gold equivalent ounces in Q4, successfully recuperating lost production due to equipment failure in July.

McEwen Mining aims to make it to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which groups the 500 largest companies that list either in the NYSE or NASDAQ.

Canada’s Black Fox had a good three months following the transition to MUX ownership. The newly acquired properties near Timmins, Ontario, produced 14,279 gold equivalent ounces.

McEwen’s San José Mine, in Argentina, had one of the best performances last year compared to the company’s other operations. It produced was 49,233 gold ounces or 6% more than in 2016, though it yielded 3,159,352 silver ounces, down 4% from the previous year.

Rob McEwen, who built Goldcorp into a top gold producer before stepping down as CEO of the Vancouver company in 2005, told MINING.com in 2017 his goal was to take McEwen Mining to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which groups the 500 largest companies that list either in the NYSE or NASDAQ.

He noted he was giving himself two-to-three years to make that happen through a combination of organic growth in production as well as mergers and acquisitions.

The company has been moving in the right direction. In April, it acquired junior exploration company Lexam VG, which gave McEwen access to mineral properties in advanced exploration stage in the heart of Timmins Gold Camp, northern Ontario. And in October, it completed the acquisition of Black Fox.

Shares in the miner were up 1.68% to Cdn$ 3.03 at 9:32AM ET in Toronto, while they had jumped by 2.38% in New York, trading at $2.38 by 9:50AM ET.