The TSX Composite Index was up 70 points to 12,835.61 for the March 4-8 period —offering a muted version of events south of the border where the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached record nominal highs.
Investors were feeling bullish thanks in part to a U.S. jobless claims reaching a six-week low and commitments from central bankers in Europe to keep up the economic stimulus. The European Central Bank kept interest rates and asset-buying programs unchanged and said it believes a gradual economic recovery should begin in the second part of this year.
Despite the broader market gains, gold miners continued to find the goings tough. The Global Gold Index was off 1 point to 251.77 as the price of gold fell US$2 to US$1,576.90 per oz.
The diversified miners, however, fared better. The Capped Metals & Mining Index was up 33 points to 931.25 points as the price for copper continued to be one of the most resilient of all metals. The red metal was off just a penny for the period as it finished up at US$3.51 per lb.
Lydian International was the period’s big gainer as its shares shot up 31% to $2.05 after releasing a resource estimate on its Amulsar gold project in Armenia. The near-surface, heap-leachable deposits at Amulsar now contains 81.1 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 0.95 grams gold per tonne for 2.48 million oz. gold, plus 70.1 million inferred tonnes averaging 0.82 gram gold for an additional 1.85 million oz. gold. The news comes on the back of a busy six months for the company, which recently finished a feasibility study, negotiated a new mining license, finalized a new geologic model, and planned a 40,000-metre drill campaign for 2013.
Vista Gold shares were also on the move in a positive direction as they climbed 20% to reach $2.24. The strong run came after the company released results from a preliminary economic assessment for its Guadalupe de los Reyes gold and silver project in Mexico. The study outlined the production of 327,681 oz. of gold and 4.39 million oz. of silver over an 11-year-mine life. Guadalupe, located in Sinaloa, is made up of five small open pits within the same system. The study considered a 1,500 tonne per day plant with an NPV of $57.3 million and an IRR of 21%.
Timmins Gold shares shot up 19% to $2.71 after the Street showed interest in the company. Analysts at TD Securities and PI Financial released positive reports on the company after a visit to its flagship San Francisco mine in Mexico. The open-pit heap leach mine produced 94,444 oz. of gold in 2012 and the company is expanding with the aim of reaching production of 125,000 to 130,000 oz. of gold per year.
And Wesdome Gold Mines shares fell 31% to 55¢ after the company said it was suspending activities at its Kiena underground mine in Val d’Or, Quebec. The company blamed the closure on rising costs and lower grades.
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