Canada’s junior resource stocks continued to march higher as investors’ appetite for speculative issues remains unfulfilled. The TSX Venture Exchange, Canada’s largest junior exploration bourse, added another 1.9% to its tally during the week, marking the sixth straight weekly gain in 2006.

The surge in junior stocks failed to help shares of Teck Cominco. The diversified miner may have posted a record $510 million profit for the fourth quarter but investors did not rejoice. I suspect, much of the good news was factored in before the results as shares in the company closed at C$72.75, down C$0.26 on the week.

The junior copper players had much better luck as the red metal continues to fetch near all-time highs. Equinox Minerals, which expects its Lumwana copper project in Zambia to begin producing at an initial rate of 188,000 tonnes per year over the first five years, added C$0.16 to close out the week at C$1.37. European Minerals, which is currently constructing a gold/copper mine at Varvarinskoye in Kazakhstan, added C$0.01 to C$1.25. Junior copper darling First Quantum Minerals gave back a very small portion of its recent gains, losing C$0.64 to C$40.24 and David Lowell’s Peru Copper gained C$0.45 to C$4.01.

Inca Pacific Resources sprang back to life after the company announced that it entered into an agreement to raise C$3.4 million. RAB Special Situations (Master) Fund Limited, which currently owns approximately 29% of Inca Pacific, would own some 49.9% of the company on completion of the offering. The funds will be used for a Feasibility Study on Inca Pacific’s Magistral Copper-Molybdenum Property in Peru. Inca ended the week at C$0.71, up C$0.26.

EuroZinc Mining hit new 52-week highs as investors expect that these record prices will translate into profits for EuroZinc’s wholly owned Neves-Corvo mine in Portugal. EuroZinc closed out the week at C$1.70, up C$0.20.

On the uranium side, shareholders of the world’s largest uranium producer, Cameco, took profits as the Saskatoon-based company announced yet another stock split and an upping of its dividend. Cameco is doing a two-for-one stock split this time following a three-for-one split in December 2004. On the downside, Cameco’s results will continue to be held back by the strong Canadian dollar and by long-term contracts signed in previous years when the price of uranium was much lower than it is now. Still, Cameco tallied fourth-quarter earnings of $81 million or 44 cents a share, up by 119 percent from a year-ago. Shares in the company ended the week down C$9.98 to C$80.41.

On the gold front, the area around Virignia Gold’s Eleonore gold discovery has started to heat-up with Everton Resources and Azimut Exploration reporting new gold targets on the Opinaca project. A glacial till survey 5 km north of Eleonore yielded values of up to 2.41 grams gold per tonne. Everton ended the week up C$0.21 to C$0.98 on heavy volume, while Azimut added C$0.12 to C$1.60.

Bema Gold reported that drilling has uncovered a new epithermal vein system at its 79 % owned Julietta Mine in the Far East of Russia. Drilling in the Engteri region of the Julietta Mine property returned up to 76.1 grams gold and 34.1 grams silver per tonne over 2.3 metres. Bema ended the week up C$0.25 to C$4.77.

Closer to home, Skygold Ventures moved to new highs as investors start to take notice of its Spanish Mountain property in central British Columbia. The Main zone has now been intersected over 440 metres in length with intercepts like 109.5 metres grading 1.12 grams gold per tonne and 72 metres averaging 1.22 grams gold per tonne. Skygold ended the week at C$1.31, up C$0.36.

Canada’s biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold, lost C$0.51 to close at C$33.88, while bride-to-be Placer Dome dropped back C$0.45 to C$27.65. Kinross Gold added C$0.06 to C$12.56 and Goldcorp closed out the week at C$30.26, up C$0.62.

Canadian junior exploration stocks are clearly the talk of the town with six-week gains that make professional money managers envious. Will a pull-back occur or will some of these high profile money managers be forced into an already heated market as a way to improve returns? Only time will tell…so stay tuned.