NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of gold mining concerns fell broadly Friday as the price of the precious metal deteriorated on a strengthening U.S. dollar and as U.S. equities in general slid sharply.
A slew of corporate news also beset the bullion sector this week, with several large miners reporting quarterly production numbers and one chief executive, Robert Friedland of
, fending off rumors that he was
in the junior miner he founded.
, one of Canada's big three gold extractors, led the decliners Friday, retreating more than 5% in afternoon trading to $19.19.
After Thursday's closing bell, Kinross reported its preliminary 2009 production results and gave an outlook for 2010. It expects to put out 2.2 million gold equivalent ounces this year (and not 2.3 million ounces, as this article originally misreported), down slightly from last year's 2.23 million ounces.
The latter figure is less than the 2.5 million ounces Kinross originally expected to produce in 2009; the company was forced to trim that output figure because of a malfunctioning mill at a mine in Brazil.
The expense of extracting and refining gold and silver will likely rise in 2010, Kinross said. The company sees cash costs reaching $460 to $490 an ounce, higher than the $435 to $450 an ounce it spent in 2009.
Also reporting disappointing output figures this week was
. In 2009, the company said it produced 1.02 million gold equivalent ounces. Yamana had, throughout the year, scaled back its production guidance; in the first quarter, it told investors to expect 1.5 million ounces and in the third period 1.05 million. The company blamed the shortfall on a shift to internal mining at its El Penon property in Chile.
Looking ahead, Yamana forecast gold output of 1.1 million ounces for both 2010 and 2011; not till 2012 does the Toronto-based miner see growth. It expects 1.3 million ounces that year and 1.5 million in 2013 as it expands several projects.
Friday afternoon, Yamana shares were trading at $11.42, down 44 cents, or 3.8%.
Elsewhere, Ivanhoe found itself ensnared in a minor controversy when
Dow Jones Newswires
published a report Thursday saying that Robert Friedland, the company's CEO and founder, was looking to put his 23% stake in Ivanhoe up for sale.
Friedland immediately put out a vociferous denial. Though Ivanhoe recently hired bankers at Citigroup and Hatch Corporate Finance -- a mining-industry advisory boutique, to help it review its "strategic options," which often means a company is looking to put itself up for sale -- Friedland said that "no specific transaction is being considered at this time."
Friedland's ultimate goal is, of course, to cash out of Ivanhoe, which he founded in order to exploit one of the world's largest undeveloped copper-and-gold seams, in Mongolia. But some observers believe that Friedland would leave money on the table by selling out now.
In a second written statement released Thursday, Friedland said, "I have never offered my Ivanhoe Mines shares for sale to anybody, in any context -- and nobody has been authorized to make such an offer on my behalf. I am not considering unsolicited offers for my Ivanhoe shares."
Peak annual production estimates for the company's Oyu Togoi mine, which sits on the border with China, have called for 1 billion ounces of copper and 500,000 ounces of gold, though Friedland has suggested the mine could eventually churn out even more.
Ivanhoe shares were trading Friday afternoon at $16.58, down 18 cents, or 1.1%.
Among other names in the precious metals world,
were all declining by 2.4%.
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.