VANCOUVER — The S&P TSX Venture Composite Index fell 38.1 points, or 3%, during the Nov. 26-30 trading sessions before closing the week at 1,220.90 points. Global economic news continues to be mixed, with ongoing negotiations over the U.S. fiscal cliff and uncertainty surrounding a Euro zone recovery limiting market movement.
The Royal Bank of Canada provided some buoyancy when it beat expectations by recording annual profits totalling $7.5 billion, though Statistics Canada painted a less promising picture when it reported no growth in gross domestic product during September, which marked a second consecutive monthly slow down for the Canadian economy.
Commodities also remained mixed, with spot gold dropping US$36.70 per oz. to US$1,715.20, while March contracts for copper jumped 4¢ to US$3.65 per lbs. Crude oil rose, with January contracts up 84¢ to US$88.91 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Spanish-focused Astur Gold saw its shares jump 21¢ before closing out the week at 94¢ per share. On Nov. 29, the company announced that Spanish authorities had issued a positive Environmental Impact Statement on its 100%-owned Salave gold project. Astur plans on building an underground mine, which holds 17.95 million measured-and-indicated tonnes grading 2.92 grams gold per tonne for 1.68 million ounces of contained gold.
Located in a historic coal mining district, Salave sits roughly 1km east of the village of Tapia de Casariego. Astur intends on developing a 2.7-km decline, as well as an underground crushing plant, waste dumps, and surface stockpiles at the site.
Shares of Goldquest Mining took another tumble this week, following news from an ongoing drill program at the company’s Romero gold-copper target located on the Las Tres Palmas trend in the Dominican Republic. Goldquest led the value-lost category by dropping 33¢ before closing out the week at 49¢ per share.
Goldquest cut dual low-grade gold mineralized zones to the south of Romero in LTP-110, including 11.8 metres grading 0.55 gram gold per tonne from 98 metres depth and 24.4 metres averaging 0.43 gram gold from 186 metres depth.
Hole LTP-106 marked the company's deepest target to date, running over a total length of 705 metres and cutting 166 metres grading 0.67 gram gold. Goldquest’s results were highlighted by hole LTP-111, which intersected 52 metres grading 1.31 grams gold and 1.24% copper.
Vancouver-based Pacific Booker Minerals continues to fight back after the B.C. government denied the company environmental permits for its Morrison Lake copper-gold project in early October. Pacific Booker led the value-added category this week when it gained $2.08 en route to a $6.58 weekly close.
Pacific Booker plummeted from a 2012 high of $14.95 per share to a 52-week low of $2.90 per share following the government’s decision, and the company has spent the past eight weeks preparing responses to environmental concerns listed in the rejection letter.
On Nov. 28 Pacific Booker released additional information pursuant to the project's effect on Morrison Lake's water quality. The company noted its plant design was capable of treating the full range of water quality estimates in the proposed open pit mine. Pacific Booker also pointed out that, according to the Morrison Lake effects assessment report, any chance in predicted lake metal concentrations are "below BC Water Quality Guidelines and nominally above baseline."
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