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Editor’s Picks: Gold Hits New All-time High, First Quantum Pursues Arbitration

Gold began the final month of the year auspiciously, hitting a fresh all-time high.

February gold futures ended Friday (December 1) at US$2,091.70 per ounce, but as Lobo Tiggre of pointed out, the yellow metal closed at its highest level ever regardless of the contract.

The move has generated excitement among market participants, but whether gold keeps rising remains to be seen.

I heard recently from David Morgan of the Morgan Report, who said it’s tough to say whether it’s finally gold’s time to break out or just another ‘fake out’ from the precious metal. Here’s how he explained it:

‘We set a line, and gold has to achieve above that price, and it has to maintain it for three days in a row. And it also needs to be on above-average volumes. And if that occurs then we are about 80 percent assured that it is a breakout and not a fake out. We’ll see — I lean toward unfortunately I think it’s going to come down again, but I could be wrong’ — David Morgan, the Morgan Report

I’d also love to know if there’s anyone else you’d like to hear from before the end of 2023.

First Quantum pursues arbitration in Cobre Panama dispute

Major miner First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM,OTC Pink:FQVLF) was in the headlines this week after Panama’s Supreme Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday (November 28) that Law 406 is unconstitutional. The move has created uncertainty for the company’s Cobre Panama copper mine, which was approved under that legislation.

Cobre Panama’s mining contract was okayed on October 20, but since then locals have turned out en masse to protest the mine — they’re concerned about Cobre Panama’s environmental impact, and believe First Quantum’s deal to operate the asset doesn’t provide adequate compensation for Panama. The unrest has even attracted attention on a global scale, with actor Leonardo Dicaprio sharing his support for the protestors in an Instagram post.

Laurentino Cortizo, president of Panama, said on social media platform X that Cobre Panama will be shut down once the ruling on Law 406 has been formally communicated, but First Quantum looks set to put up a fight. The company said in a Friday press release that it has started arbitration proceedings in two different jurisdictions, and pointed out that the court’s decision ‘does not take into account a planned and managed closure scenario.’

A key question for investors is how this news could affect copper supply. However, at the moment it’s not clear — as Macquarie’s Alice Fox told Reuters, the impact really depends on how long Cobre Panama is out of production.

We’ll keep you posted on how the situation plays out, so stay tuned.

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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