Thanks to Scott Hunter of Haywood Securities for giving us the low-down on the markets this week. If you’re looking for a broker specializing in resource stocks, give Scott a call at 604-697-7100.

Gold closed down $8.251 this week after hitting a high of $481.40. The TSX Capped Gold Index was down 5.4%, reflecting the move in gold. The best opportunities in a bull market are often found in these pull backs.

The TSX Capped Energy Index closed down 1.8%, recovering about half of its earlier drop this week. The TSX Venture Composite finished the week down 1.8%.

The takeover drama between Brazilian iron ore miner CVRD and Canico Resources continued this week. CVRD announcing that it does not plan to change its buyout offer to Canico despite recommendations from Canico’s board that shareholders reject the move.

Alhambra Resources stirred interest by announcing the results of four additional diamond drill holes completed on its Uzboy gold project located in north central Kazakhstan. Highlights from the drill results include: 101 m grading 4.78 g/t Au (from 117 m) in hole 37-9; 86 m grading 2.62 g/t Au (from 182 m) in hole 37-10; and 40 m grading 1.72 g/t Au (from 138 m) in hole 33-9. Drill holes 37-9, 37-10 and 33-9 confirmed the down dip extension of the zone of gold mineralization in the Uzboy West deposit. Two diamond drills are currently drilling to test the down dip and interpreted strike extension of the gold mineralization intersected in DDH 37-10 and DDH 33-9. The mineralization appears to be open down dip and along strike.

Independent estimates have increased Ivanhoe Mines’ coal reserves at its Nariin Sukhait property in southern Mongolia. Further ‘refining’ of the geologic model has resulted, with 116 million tonnes of measured and indicated coal resources and an inferred resource of 42 million tonnes. The company had reported last month a measured and indicated coal resource of 72 million tonnes, with an additional inferred reserve of 26 million tonnes at three areas of the property. Ivanhoe intends to produce a pre-feasibility study within five months, with production expected in the second half of 2006.

Inco launched a “friendly” take-over offer to acquire Falconbridge Ltd and create the world’s largest nickel producer. Both Boards of Directors have approved the acquisition of all the outstanding common shares of Falconbridge by Inco by way of a friendly take-over bid. Inco will offer C$34.00 in cash or 0.6713 of an Inco common share plus Can$0.05 in cash for each Falconbridge common share.

Falconbridge’s common shareholders will have the right to elect to receive all cash or all Inco common shares (plus Can$0.05 per Falconbridge common share), subject to pro ration based upon the maximum amount of cash and Inco common shares offered. Under the terms of this offer, the maximum amount of cash to be paid by Inco will be approximately Can$2.87 billion, and the maximum number of Inco common shares to be issued will be approximately 201 million, taking into account the conversion of Falconbridge’s outstanding convertible debt securities and outstanding share options.

In the wake of the planned Inco-Falconbridge merger, analysts say there could be more consolidation in the base metals sector. And Teck Cominco might be a target. A ‘cash machine’, Teck would make an attractive partner to any oil company looking to develop an oilsands project, due to its vast experience in open-pit mining.

The special commission of Venezuela’s national assembly has decided Crystallex must begin “once and for all” mining activities at its Las Cristinas gold project . A probe undertaken in the town of Las Claritas in the southeastern state of Bol”var by an assembly commission determined the need to start works in the Las Cristinas zone. State holding company CVG’s and Crystallex’s contract for Las Cristinas development entails among other things housing construction, the creation of jobs for local residents, the expansion and maintenance of a hospital and highway extension.

By the end of the week, shares of both IMA exploration and Aquiline had started to heat up as the trial between the mining juniors began on Tuesday. The issue is over who will ultimately own the significant Navidad silver project in Argentina.

UEX and Cogema Resources announced the final results from the 2005 Spring/Summer drilling program at the Shea Creek Project located in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Drill hole SHE-114-11 intersected 13.7 m grading 5.83% U3O8 (from 678.2 m) including 3.5 m grading 17.05% U3O8 (from 687.3 m) and 37.7 m grading 5.40% U3O8 (from 827.2 m) including 4.0 m grading 25.46% U3O8 (from 835.2 m). Drill hole SHE-114-11 is the first hole at Shea Creek to intersect significant intervals of both high-grade elevated sandstone-hosted mineralization and high-grade, deep basement-hosted uranium mineralization.

Diamond explorer Stornoway continued its price erosion over the week as selling pressure has mounted in the face of a generally low interest in the diamond sector, despite numerous reports of robust prices of rough product and rumors of a shortage of good quality rough diamonds.

That’s the week that was! Stay tuned for more next Friday.