The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 0.5% or 61 points during the Jan. 7–11 week to close at 12,602.18.
The week’s biggest percentage gainer was Victory Nickel, soaring 80% to 5¢ per share. The Toronto-based nickel producer announced on Jan. 9 that it completed buying the Seven Persons sand recycling facility, located in Alberta. The plant will be used by the company’s subsidiary, Victory Silica, to produce high-quality frac sand from the company’s Minago nickel project in Manitoba.
The proposed open pit mine at Minago is covered by about 15 million tonnes of sandstone that needs to be extracted before nickel mining can begin. The company estimates it could produce up to 1.14 million tonnes per year of frac sand from the sandstone resources that overlies the deposit.
This acquisition may have also helped lift shares of CaNickel Mining. The nickel junior, which owns the Bucko Lake nickel mine in Manitoba, rose 63% to 38¢ on no news of its own.
Gold miner Centamin was another percentage winner, surging 48% to 90¢ after publishing preliminary results for the fourth quarter. Centamin produced 85,543 oz. gold from the Sukari mine in Egypt in the quarter, bringing its full-year output to 262,958. That’s 5% above its 2012 guidance of 250,000 oz.
Capstone Mining also had a good finish to 2012, reaching its annual copper guidance of 80 million lbs. For the quarter and year ended December 2012, the base-metal miner produced 18 million and 83 million lbs. of copper concentrate, respectively, along with zinc, silver, gold and lead byproducts. Capstone added 20¢ during the week to close at $2.74 on 21.3 million shares traded, making it the second most actively traded stock.
Trailing behind Capstone was B2Gold, which saw 17.9 million shares changing hands after releasing a feasibility study on its Otjikoto gold project in Namibia. The open-pit operation is estimated to produce an average of 112,000 oz. gold a year at cash costs of US$689 per oz. over its initial 12-year life. The mine will cost US$244 million to build and is currently under construction. First production is anticipated in late 2014.
To help fund the mine development, the company has secured a US$150-million revolving corporate credit facility. The four-year loan has an interest rate of LIBOR plus a margin of 3.5%. B2Gold finished up 25¢ at $3.89 per share.
During the week, the spot price for gold added US$5.90 per oz. to end at US$1,662.70. But this did little to boost the gold miners as the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index lost nearly half a point to 294.99. The diversified miner didn’t fare well either, with the S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals and Mining Index dropping early 3 points to 1,042.79.
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