Toronto’s main index rose during the Dec. 31–Jan. 4 trading week amid strong jobs data.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 224 points to 12,540.81 as Statistics Canada reported that nearly 40,000 job were added in December. Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 7.1% from 7.2%, the lowest point in four years.
South of the border, the U.S. economy created 155,000 jobs, but the jobless rate remained at 7.8%.
During the week the diversified miners did well, with the S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals and Mining Index gaining 58 points to 1,045.36.
However, the gold miners stayed relatively flat with the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index closing down half a point to 294.55 as the spot price of gold edged down US50¢ per oz. to US$1,656.80.
The week’s biggest percentage gainer was Rockex Mining, soaring 108% to 25¢ on no major news. The most recent announcement Rockex made was on Dec. 21, where it closed a non-brokered private placement, raising $475,000 in gross proceeds to fund exploration activities. Rockex is currently focused on developing its Lake St. Joseph iron ore deposit in northwestern Ontario, some 80 km from Pickle Lake.
Shares of nickel producer Liberty Mines got a boost after its primary shareholder Jien International Investment Limited agreed to extend the maturity date for two loan and restructuring agreements to March 14, 2014, from Dec. 31, 2012.
The loan agreement included a fully-drawn $28.9 million advance and a fully-drawn $20 million revolving facility, while the restructuring contract was for a $5 million credit facility, of which Liberty has drawn $1 million to date. The Timmins-based miner gained 57% to close at 6¢ per share.
Word that Candente Copper restarted drilling on its flagship Canariaco copper-silver-gold project in northern Peru sent it climbing 47% to 55¢. On Jan. 3, the junior said it currently has two drills turning on the property and intends to complete 11,000 metres of feasibility drilling on the Canariaco Norte deposit, and 2,500 metres of exploration drilling on the Canariaco Sur deposit.
The large-scale Canariaco Norte deposit is estimated to contain 752.4 million tonnes grading 0.49% copper equivalent in measured and indicated, plus another 157.7 million tonnes of 0.44% copper equivalent in inferred.
The drilling news likely lifted the shares of spin-out company Candente Gold, which rose 39% to 16¢ on no news of its own. Candente Gold’s primary project is the El Oro gold project in Mexico.
Several larger gold miners made the list for the week’s most actively traded stocks on no news. Goldcorp, while overall in third place, was the most heavily traded of the gold firms, with 9.3 million shares changing hands to end at $35.31, down 14¢.
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