The U.S. trade deficit rose to an all-time high of $195.1 billion from January through March of this year, oil hit a 10-week high, gold surged to a seven-week high and copper remained firmly above $1.50 per pound. All-in-all a good formula for investors in junior resource issues. So it was little wonder, that the TSX Venture Exchange, home to the most junior exploration issues, gained nearly 4% over the past week.
Investors gobbled up shares in Mustang Minerals after the company reported that four newly completed holes into the M2 zone on the Maskwa/Mayville nickel-copper properties located in the Bird River Greenstone Belt in Manitoba intersected fine- to coarse-grained and net-textured, semi-massive and massive sulphides across a minimum true thickness of 42 metres. Drilling is focused on the 12 km long, east-west trending, layered mafic to ultramafic Mayville intrusion where grab samples returned up to 0.83% nickel, 5.56% copper, 1.71 grams platinum per tonne and 0.55 gram palladium per tonne. Investors are not waiting for the results as Mustang shares surged C$0.29 on the week to close at C$0.93.
Another stock on the move is Wealth Minerals. No new developments reported but the company’s stock price is a robust C$1.31, up C$0.33 on the week on good volume. A while back the company announced that it had acquired the early staged Mackenzie gold project in British Columbia. Hardly enough to justify its C$13.4 million market value – perhaps some news will be forthcoming to justify the jump.
Canadian gold miner Yamana Gold had a good week moving to a new 52-week high thanks to confirmation that copper production is on track for late 2006 at Chapada in Brazil. Construction is already underway on the $200 million project that will produce an average of 170,000 tonnes a year of copper concentrates with 28 percent copper content, as well as 15 grams of gold per tonne of copper concentrate, for a period of 20 years. Yamana ended the week up C$0.26, to C$4.70.
Tournigan Gold followed up last week’s granting of three uranium exploration licenses in eastern Slovakia by inking a uranium deal in the U.S. The junior can earn 100% in 19.7 sq km of ground in the Shirley Basin, Great Divide Basin, and Green River Basin Uranium Districts in Wyoming. The news failed to stem profit taking after last week’s stellar gain as Tournigan ended the week down C$0.07 at C$0.42.
With the drill rig turning and five uranium projects expected to be tested in the Yukon, Twenty-Seven Capital and joint venture partner Cash Minerals ended the week essentially flat at C$0.77 and C$0.27, respectively. The initial results, which could be out in July, would mark the first new uranium-related drill values in the Yukon in twenty years.
Other uranium players had a mixed week with Titan Uranium adding C$0.07 to C$0.77, Energy Metals tacking on C$0.23 to close at C$2.53, Standard Uranium posting a C$0.08 gain to close at C$1.25, International Uranium Corp adding C$0.09 to close at C$5.61, Uranium Power drifting down C$0.03 to C$0.48, while Strathmore Minerals lost C$0.06 to C$1.75.
North American Tungsten surged to yet another new 52-week high of C$1.87 before settling out at C$1.67, up C$0.21 on the week. The junior owns 15 percent of the world’s highest-grade tungsten reserves/resources through its 100 percent ownership of the CanTung mine and the MacTung deposits in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The junior is moving Cantung back into production but with the number of financings completed at well under C$1, one has to wonder if the company share value can maintain these lofty levels. We will see.
On the diamond front, Dentonia Resources, the holder of a one-third equity stake in DHK Diamonds, has been advised by Eric Friedland-led Peregrine Diamonds, the operator, that a mini-bulk sample from the central portion of the DO-27 kimberlite pipe located 23 km southeast of the Diavik diamond mine returned an average grade of 0.98 carat per tonne. Peregrine has 54.475 percent, Archon Minerals, 13.275 percent, Aber Diamond, 7.35 percent, DHK Diamonds, 20 percent, and SouthernEra Diamonds, 4.9 percent. Dentonia added C$0.06 on the news to close at C$0.19.
The rising price of bullion helped the larger gold producers end the week with strong gains. Leading the pack was Barrick Gold gaining C$1.21 to close at C$30.41. Canada’s largest gold miner announced that the new Lagunas Norte mine in Peru achieved start-up ahead of the original third-quarter schedule and within its $340 million budget. Lagunas Norte will produce approximately 545,000 – 550,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of about $110-$120 per ounce over the remainder of 2005. Placer Dome closed at C$18.75, up C$0.61, while Goldcorp tacked on C$0.58 to close at C$18.84.
There have been rumblings that the traditional slow summer season for junior resource stocks would not occur this year and based on the past week’s action the rumblings could well turn into roars… so stay tuned.
Looking for leverage to the rising gold price? Check out Canadian Gold Hunter Corp.