Gold continued to be the star performer in a rather volatile trading week for the resource-rich Canadian Markets. For the tale of the tape, the TSX Venture Exchange, Canada’s largest junior exploration bourse, ended the week with a 0.88% loss, while the TSX Gold Index added an impressive 10.72%.

Canada’s third-biggest zinc and copper producer, HudBay Minerals, is offering up 0.61 of its shares for each Skye Resources share. HudBay also bought 12.67 million shares of Skye at a price of C$7.51 per share in a private placement giving the company an initial 19.9% equity stake in Skye. After shareholder approval, HudBay would have 160.9 million outstanding, of which Skye shareholders would have 20.3 percent. Skye has agreed to pay a break fee of $14 million to HudBay if another takeover offer prevails. Of interest is Skye’s Fenix nickel project in Guatemala. Fenix is slated to go into production in the second half of 2009 at a developing cost of C$1.1 billion and would mark HudBay’s first foray into nickel. HudBay ended the week down C$0.99 at C$13.80, while Skye added C$0.68 to close at C$8.40.

Agnico-Eagle Mines sparked some interest by announcing that the gold miner is taking down 5,524,862 units of Gold Eagle Mines at C$9.05 per unit. As a result of this private placement Agnico-Eagle now owns 5.18% of Gold Eagle on an issued and outstanding basis and 7.16% on a fully diluted basis. Of interest to Agnico is Gold Eagle’s high grade Bruce Channel Discovery located at the western part of the prolific Red Lake Trend in northwestern Ontario. Agnico ended the week up C$8.53 at C$74.55, while Gold Eagle closed at C$9 even, for a C$1.64 gain.

A big winner this past week was Weststar Resources, which added C$0.57 to close at C$0.90. The junior inked a letter of intent to acquire 72 coal permit applications some 70 kilometres northwest of the recent coal discovery of Goldsource Mines, near Hudson Bay Saskatchewan.

Cloudbreak Resources was amongst the most actively traded. The junior applied for a number of metallic mineral permits on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, which include the rights to subsurface potash, totalling 774,282 acres. Cloudbreak ended the week down C$0.015 at C$0.19 on over 56 million shares traded.

Over to the drill bit, International Northair Mines added C$0.07 to close at C$0.19 after reporting a drill intercept of 176.4 grams silver per tonne over 19.8 metres at its El Reventon Project in Durango, Mexico.

It was also a good week for shareholders of Golden Tag Resources as the junior tagged 22.91 grams gold per tonne over 3.68 metres at its Aquilon Main property in Quebec. Golden Tag ended the week up C$0.22 at C$0.47.

Benton Resources reported that the first hole drilled at Area 41 in northern Ontario yielded 61.5 metres running 1.29 grams combined platinum-palladium-gold per tonne, plus 0.17% copper. Benton ended the week up C$0.01 at C$0.50.

Roxmark Mines and partner Premier Gold Mines cut 1.32 grams gold per tonne over 191.2 metres at the Kailey zone on the Geraldton project in Northwestern Ontario. Roxmark ended the week up C$0.05 at C$0.16, while Premier gained C$0.14 to close at C$2.62.

Not to be outdone, International Tower Hill Mines tabled a 202.69 metre intercept running 1.37 grams gold per tonne at its Livengood gold project in Alaska. International Tower Hill added C$0.22 to close at C$1.61.

Global inflationary pressures are starting to take center stage as evidenced by the rising price of bullion. The junior gold stocks, however, continue to struggle to garnish any investor favour at all. We will see what next week has in store.