Oil hits $60 per barrel, corporate America sees an economic slow down and the price of bullion moves across the $440 per ounce mark. All in all, an interesting week for investors as the junior resource bulls and bears battled to a near draw with the TSX Venture Exchange, home to the most junior exploration issues, ending the week down a modest 0.7% over the week.

Early in the week, Jilbey Gold Exploration and High River Gold Mines agreed to merge. Under the friendly proposal, High River will acquire all of the shares of Jilbey not already owned by High River on the basis of 0.75 High River shares for every 1 share of Jilbey. Based on the closing price of High River and Jilbey shares on the day prior to the announcement, C$1.36 and C$0.73, respectively, the exchange ratio places a value on each Jilbey share of $1.02, representing just under a 40% premium. The move allows High River to consolidate its Burkina Faso projects. The market responded by driving shares in High River down C$0.07 to C$1.30, while bidding Jilbey up C$0.14 to C$0.93.

Making a big percentage gain after trading resumed following the announcement of its acquisition of the Caylloma Silver Mine in Peru was Fortuna Ventures. Caylloma is a prolific silver producer with a 400-year history and over 250 million ounces of silver mined to date. The resource estimate for the property stands at 7 million ounces silver in proven and probable reserves, plus 14 million ounces silver in inferred resources. Shares in the Company, which plans on changing its name to Fortuna Silver Mines, added C$0.40 to close at C$0.75 on heavy volume.

Shareholders of Greystar Resources had a good week as the company reported that diamond drilling in the central Diamante area of its wholly-owned, multi-million ounce Angostura gold-silver deposit in northeastern Colombia returned 48 metres grading 1.72 grams gold per tonne, plus another 29 metres grading 4.42 grams gold per tonne. Nice numbers, but what appears to have caught the eye of investors was the 4.53 grams gold per tonne over 17.2 metres, including a 1.9 metre section running 37.1 grams gold per tonne in the Veto de Barro area of the property. Greystar hit an intraday high of C$5.90, before settling down at C$0.5.57, up C$0.87 on the week.

Mustang Minerals continued to attract traders after reporting that eight holes have been completed on the M2 zone on the Maskwa/Mayville nickel-copper properties located in the Bird River Greenstone Belt in Manitoba. 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. Sparking investor enthusiasm was news that all the holes intersected fine- to coarse-grained and net textured, semi-massive and massive sulphides across a minimum true thickness of 42 metres. The results should be out within the next two weeks. Mustang shares added another C$0.17 on top of last week’s C$0.29 gain to close at C$1.10.

The uranium players had a down week with Titan Uranium dropping C$0.05 to C$0.72, Tournigan Gold losing C$0.02 to close at C$0.47, Energy Metals losing C$0.06 to close at C$2.47, Standard Uranium ending the week unchanged at C$1.25, International Uranium Corp dropping C$0.33 to close at C$5.28, Uranium Power staying flat at C$0.48, Strathmore Minerals losing C$0.17 to C$1.58, Twenty Seven Capital losing C$0.07 to C$0.70 and Cash Minerals adding a penny to close at C$0.28.

Profit taking finally took hold of North American Tungsten. The junior, which has been reaching new highs week after week, closed at C$1.37, down C$0.30 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.

The rising price of bullion helped the larger gold producers end the week in the black with Barrick Gold gaining C$0.26 to close at C$30.67, Placer Dome closing at C$18.96, up C$0.21, while Goldcorp tacked on C$0.23 to close at C$19.07.

Looking ahead all eyes will be on the U.S. Federal Reserve, which may be close to the end of its recent interest rate hike binge. But only time will tell… so stay tuned.

—————————————————————–

Looking for leverage to the rising gold price? Check out Canadian Gold Hunter Corp and Nova Gold Resources.