Better than expected economic news out of the U.S. and a late week bump in the price of bullion put resource investors in the buying mood but trading activity was light heading into the Memorial Day long weekend. The TSX Ventures Exchange, home to the most junior exploration issues, bucked its recent downward spiral by adding nearly 2.5% this past week.
Surging to a new 52-week high on heavy volume was St. Elias Mines. The junior reported that their latest hole drilled on the Jales-Gralheira gold property in Portugal intercepted a vein 529 metres down. In fact, in total three subparallel vein structures were cut but no results yet. St. Elias has an option to acquire a 51-per-cent interest in the property from fellow junior Kernow Resources and Developments. St. Elias climbed as high at C$0.37 before closing out the week at C$0.31, up C$0.17, while Kernow added C$0.06 to close at C$0.13.
North American Tungsten also hit a new 52-week high as investors finally seem to realize that the price of tungsten is soaring. The junior owns 15 per cent of the world’s known high-grade tungsten reserves/resources through its 100 per cent ownership of the CanTung mine and the MacTung deposits in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The company added C$0.31 on the week to close at C$1.39 on strong volume.
Shares in Western GeoPower jumped C$0.25 to C$0.75 on Friday before being halted at the request of the company pending news. Western GeoPower is trying to prove up the South Meager geothermal field 170 km north of Vancouver. With 97,500 shares traded before the halt, one has to wonder what sparked this normally thinly traded stock into action. A little news leakage perhaps. I guess we will find out next week if those driving the stock price up made the right trade.
Wealth Minerals popped up after Michael Schaefer recommended the stock on the back of its newly acquired Mackenzie gold project in British Columbia. In 2004, Rosie Moore joined the team as president and focused on Peru, Colombia and Mexico but late in March Rosie resigned and Wealth cleaned house by relinquishing all interest in those potential projects. The move seems to have paid off as Wealth added C$0.08 on the week to close at C$0.86.
After last week’s C$0.41 plunge shares in Scott Broughton’s Stikine Gold appears to have found a bottom after ending the week at C$0.08, up C$0.01. The drill results or more aptly put the lack of favourable ones, from its Sullivan Deeps massive sulphide project in southeastern British Columbia had investors running for the exits.
Augusta Resource remained halted for the second straight week pending news. Shares in the junior surged over the previous two weeks closing at C$3.30. The company recently closed two non-brokered private placements pocketing just over $5 million with the proceeds are earmarked for the Mount Hamilton moly, tungsten, gold project and the Shell molybdenum, gold deposit in Nevada and the Lone Mountains copper-zinc project in New Mexico.
The spot price of uranium stayed at a multi-decade high of $29 per pound for the second straight week and the much anticipated drill season has finally arrived for the highly touted Canadian uranium stories. In fact, for the first time in nearly 30 years a uranium drill program is underway in Canada’s Yukon. Leading the charge is Cash Minerals and Twenty-Seven Capital. Cash is funding a 2,800 metre drill program on four of Twenty-Seven’s projects namely Bond – where a 1977 drill hole returned 0.08 per cent uranium oxide over 9.4 metres, Igor – where drilling in early 1980’s cut up to 0.09 per cent uranium oxide plus 4.7 per cent copper over 19.8 metres, Pterd- where grab samples returned up to 7.7 per cent uranium oxide and Steel – where surface samples returned up to 0.24 per cent. Cash ended the week up C$0.02 to C$0.26, while Twenty Seven added C$0.03 to close at C$0.85.
The other region in Canada to see renewed uranium vigor on the exploration front is Labrador on Canada’s eastern coast. Here, Altius Minerals, Fronteer Development, Waseco and Crosshair Exploration and Mining, among others are active. Crosshair is currently evaluating historic drill core on its Moran Lake project where Shell Canada worked in the 1970s. The latest results include 30 assays ranging between 0.05% and 0.28% uranium oxide over widths ranging from 0.25-0.7 metres. The junior ended the week up C$0.05 to C$0.40.
The big board gold miners had a stellar week with Placer Dome closing at C$17.18, up C$1.27, while Barrick Gold added C$1.40 to close at C$28.70 and Goldcorp added C$0.76 to C$17 even.
Next week should get off to a slow start with the U.S. markets closed for Memorial Day but with the drill rigs continuing to turn the potential for a new find is always there… …. so stay tuned.