The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced during the Feb.18-22 trading week, adding 15 points to end at 12,701.63, while the other indices didn’t fare too well.
The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index sank 54 points to 911.33. The Global Gold Index closed at 256.18, down 8 points as the spot price for gold dropped US$28.60 to US$1,581.50 per oz.
Semafo was one of the week's top percentage gainers, soaring 21% or 49¢ to $2.80 on 8.1 million shares traded. The boost came after the West Africa-focused miner published a maiden inferred resource for the Siou sector, located 15 km from its Mana processing plant in Burkina Faso.
Using a 1-gram cutoff grade, the project hosts 999,200 oz. gold from 6.7 million tonnes grading 4.62 grams gold per tonne. The bulk of the ounces are from the Siou and Nine zones.
Thrilled with the resource estimate, Semafo has started delineation drilling to convert much of the in-pit inferred resource to reserves in the third quarter. It intends to start mining the deposit in late 2014 or early 2015.
Champion Iron Mines added 13% after publishing the remaining 2012 drill results completed on the West deposit area of its consolidated Fire Lake North iron ore project, located in the prolific Labrador Trough, on the Quebec-Labrador border. The best hole returned 161.6 metres grading 34.3% total iron.
Champion says the results, released on Feb. 20, were not incorporated in the recently announced resource update and prefeasibility study. The latest assessment, published on Feb. 7, on the project’s West and East deposits envisions a potential mine producing 9.3 million tonnes grading 66% of total iron a year for roughly 20 years. Champion closed the week at 40¢.
Also on drill results, Yellowhead Mining jumped 12% to 65¢. The company reported another seven holes from its 11,000-metre 2012 program on its Harper Creek copper-gold-silver volcanogenic sulphide deposit in British Columbia. Once the drilling wraps up, the junior plans to update the project’s resource estimate.
Uranium miner Cameco was one of the biggest value gainers, lifting 70¢ to close at $22.44, on no major news. On the other hand, Agrium was the biggest loser in value, knocking off $4.41 to end at $103.14 a share, despite posting a record fourth-quarter profit of $354 million, bringing full-year profits to $1.5 billion.
A BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst says “the disproportionate sell-off” was caused by several factors, including the ongoing proxy battle the company is having with its largest shareholder, Jana Partners LLC, which owns more than 6% of the company.
Jana argues Agrium needs to rein in costs, better manage capital and consider splitting its retail segment. It wants to appoint five directors to the company’s board.
The analyst believes the two companies will reach a settlement before Agrium’s annual general meeting on April 9.
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