Gold- and uranium-related companies took center stage during the first week of trading on the Canadian markets in 2006. Most notable was a good showing from the bullion producers explorers searching for gold in Nevada. The TSX Venture Exchange, Canada’s junior exploration bourse, ended the trading week with a 3.15% gain.

It was more of the same good results from Staccato Gold Resources’ wholly-owned South Eureka property on the southern extension of Nevada’s Cortez Trend. A drill hole returned 65 feet grading 11.8 grams gold per tonne from the Lookout portion of the property and this sent investors scurrying to buy the stock. Staccato gained C$0.07 on the news to close at C$0.59.

Investors rewarded Midway Gold after the junior reported an intersection of 30.5 metres (21.3 metres true width) grading 14.41 grams gold per tonne at its Dauntless discovery on the Midway project in Nye County, Nevada. The Alan Branham-led company is gearing up for an active 2006 on its Nevada ground and given that the latest hot hole was drilled 100 metres southeast of the original discovery hole, which tallied 53.3 metres grading 11.97 grams gold per tonne, Midway is off to a good start. The junior ended the week at a new 52-week high gaining C$0.55 to close at C$2.15.

Moving away from Nevada to Ontario’s Red Lake gold camp, Wolfden Resources tabled more good results from its Bonanza gold discovery. With results like 12.21 grams gold per tonne over 21 metres and 11.21 grams gold per tonne over 6 metres, it is little wonder that the stock continued to rally. Wolfden closed out the week at C$3.84 for a gain of C$0.14.

It was more good news for shareholders of Northern Peru Copper as the company reported that the first two holes from its Hilorico gold prospect located only one kilometre from the promising Galeno copper-gold-molybdenum project cut 201 metres averaging 1 gram gold and 5.6 grams silver per tonne in the first hole and 117.35 metres running 50.7 grams silver, 0.21 grams gold per tonne gold, 1.28% zinc and 0.61% lead in the second hole. The junior ended the week at C$3.03, up C$0.83.

Yamana Gold, which recently closed the acquisition of the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, surged to a new 52-week high ending the week at C$8.63, up C$0.93 as did Bema Gold, which is busy advancing the high-grade Kupol gold-silver exploration project in Russia. Bema gained C$0.59 to close out the week at C$3.96 on heavy volume.

The long-anticipated drill results from Cardero Resources’ Baja California Iron Oxide Copper Gold property left investors wondering what to do. The initial results for six holes collared in the San Fernando area and one hole from the Picale area clearly show that the mineralization is widespread but also clearly failed to tag the goods. The best results include 46.8 metres grading 0.74% copper and 0.06 gram gold per tonne and 4.24 metres averaging 5.54% copper and 0.56 grams gold per tonne. These are the first values of 19 holes that have been drilled but given that these initial holes were “preferentially sampled due to their geological significance,” the suggestion is that they were possibly the most visually mineralized holes. We will have to wait and see. In the meantime, future work will consist of geophysics, structural mapping and re-targeting prior to additional drill testing. Cardero shares closed down C$0.95 to end the week at C$4.30.

UrAsia Energy continued to be a favorite amongst traders. The company is one of the four Canadian-listed uranium producers with an estimated annual output of 1.4 million pounds of uranium coming from its 70% interest in the Akdala in-situ leach uranium mine in Kazakhstan. UrAsia ended the week at C$2.44, up C$0.27 with over 15 million shares changing hands.

Moving over to Canada’s biggest gold miners, Barrick Gold climbed C$2.59 to close at C$35 even, while its new best friend and soon to be acquired Placer Dome added C$1.93 to close at C$28.55. Goldcorp and Kinross Gold also proved to be winners gaining C$1.94 to C$28.73 and C$1.18 to C$11.92, respectively.

All in all, an excellent start to the 2006 trading year. Will it continue? Only time will tell, so stay tuned.