Barrick Gold's Thornton Betting On China to Revive Company; Large Decrease for Indian Silver

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John Thornton has big plans for Barrick Gold’s future and has high hopes that China will help revive the company’s fortunes.

“At a Dec. 4 board meeting, Thornton will be confirmed as Barrick’s next chairman, succeeding [Peter] Munk, 86, who plans to retire at the Toronto-based company’s next annual shareholders meeting after three decades, according to people familiar with the situation,” reports Bloomberg.

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“Thornton, 59, currently co-chairman, already helps to oversee long-term corporate strategy. As part of that remit, he’s trying to establish partnerships with Chinese companies that may include investment in Barrick and future mining projects, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. China Investment Corp., the country’s largest sovereign wealth fund, is among potential partners Barrick has met with, the people said.”

“The leadership change at Barrick comes at the end of a difficult year for the company. It has lost 41 percent of its market value in 2013 while debt levels have soared after a slump in gold prices, rising operating expenses and a cost blowout at an $8.5 billion mining project in the Andes.”

In other precious metals news…

The day’s biggest mover was Indian silver, dropping 4.7 percent to settle on Friday, November 29. Japanese silver fell 1.5 percent last Friday. Chinese silver ended the day, after the 0.2 percent drop last Friday. After dropping for two days, the price of US silver flattened.

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Indian gold bullion finished the day down 0.2 percent. The price of Chinese gold bullion rose 0.2 percent after a two-day drop. After a 0.1 percent increase, Japanese gold bullion finished the day. Following two days of downward movement, the price of US gold bullion held steady.

Japanese platinum bar closed 0.7 percent lower. The price of Chinese platinum bar steadied following two-days of dropping prices. The price of US platinum bar flattened after two days of downward movement.

Japanese palladium bar gained 0.3 percent to finish. US palladium bar held its value last Friday. The price of Chinese palladium bar remained steady.