VANCOUVER — The S&P TSX Venture Composite Index closed out the Jan. 28 - Feb. 1 trading period up slightly at 1,228.66 points, which equated to a 0.12% or 1.42 point gain for the week. Markets rallied on stronger-than-expect U.S. job numbers and signs of improvement in the European Union.
Reports from the U.S. Labour Department indicated the American economy generated 157,000 jobs in January, though the unemployment rate rose to 7.9%. Meanwhile, inflation in the European Union fell to 2%, marking the first time in nearly two years the rate sits near the European Central Bank's mid-term target. The Eurozone also saw a bit of stability in its unemployment numbers, with the rate remaining unchanged at 11.7% in December.
Market gains were underpinned by rising commodity prices, with April gold up US$8.60 to US$1,669.50 per oz., while March copper contracts rose 3¢ en route to a $3.76 per lbs. weekly close. On the energy side, March contracts for crude oil jumped US25¢ to US$97.74 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange following a strong showing from the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Vancouver-based explorer Balmoral Resources saw its shares fall this week following a release of additional intercepts from its Martiniere project on the Detour gold trent in Quebec. Balmoral dropped 19¢ en route to an 88¢ close on Feb. 1.
The company was drill testing shallow zones along the the Bug Lake fault system, as well as attempting to expand mineralization at its Hanging Wall and Footwall zones.
According to a company release on Jan. 28, Balmoral believes that results from the final 11 holes of its 2012 drill initiative support the presence of a fault repeat of the Footwall zone, as well as a fourth, near-surface gold zone located between the Bug Lake and Hanging wall zones.
Highlights from the final stage of Balmoral's 2012 program include: 2.19 metres grading 8.63 grams gold from 41 metres depth in hole MDE-12-73 collared at the Hanging Wall zone; 10.4 metres averaging 2.27 grams gold from 44 metres in hole MDE-12-80 at the Bug Lake zone; and 9.61 metres of 1.1 grams gold from 46 metres depth in hole MDE-12-76 at the Footwall zone.
Diversified explorer Reservoir Minerals enjoyed a surge as its shares jumped 17¢ en route to a $2.47 weekly close. The company has recently made headlines due to promising intercepts at its Timok copper-gold joint venture with major Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold in Serbia, but on Jan. 30 Reservoir announced it was expanding its exploration holdings in the Central African nation of Gabon.
Reservoir was granted two exploration permits following geological reviews by company representatives during a European Union funded geochemical program in the late 2000s.
The Mitzic property covers 516 sq.km in northern Gabon, where geologists identified contiguous gold-in-soil anomalies during field work. The anomalous clusters run for roughly 11 kilometers along strike and are underlain by Archean granites three km north of the Nkol fault zone.
The Boumango permits encompass 323 sq.km in southeast Gabon, and host an additional three gold-in-soil anomalies in an area that runs nine by six km. Reservoir plans on runing an auger drill program to test the bedrock beneath the soil anomalies, as well as start-up conventional trenching and pitting during early 2013.
Vancouver-based base metal outfit Global Hunter dropped 43% or 15¢ during the week before closing out at 20¢ per share. On Jan. 28 the company released results from a trenching program at its Corona de Cobre copper project in Chile that identified 14 perspective zones it labelled "high-priority drill targets."
Global Hunter completed 31 trenches in total over four shear zones, with a focus on the Ponderosa, Vino Fino, La Varilla, and Golondrina-Cerro Borracho zones. Highlights from the program include: 11 metres at 0.4% copper at Ponderosa in trench LP4; 21 metres grading 0.425% copper at Vino Fino in trench VF13A; and 18 metres of 0.47% copper at La Varilla in trench LV1.
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