The ongoing confusion over Bre-X Minerals took its toll on almost all mining stocks on the Vancouver Stock Exchange during the report period ended April 1. The VSE’s composite index lost 121.82 points over the week to close at 1143.88.
The Alberta Stock Exchange was also hit hard, losing 198.8 points to end the week at 2,690.84.
A host of junior companies, especially those with Indonesian properties, saw their stocks take a tumble when news first struck that the Busang gold deposit may not be as massive as previously thought. Many of these issues later rebounded, but the controversy overshadowed most other market developments.
Hit especially hard were companies whose names suggest the island nation.
Consolidated Brenzac Development changed its name to Borneo Gold a year ago., but, after last week, the one-time high-flyer may be wishing it hadn’t been so hasty. The issue lost $2, or 39%, to close at $3.10, on a volume of 1.3 million shares. Indomin Resources (formerly Golden Marlin Resources) lost $2.26 to finish the report period at $3.84. And Bro-X, part of the Bre-X group of companies, plunged by 63%, or $1.19, to close at 71 cents. The VSE’s biggest percentage loser was Mango Resources, which slipped 44%, or 90 cents, to $1.15.
Other issues which suffered as a result of their having Indonesian prospects were Alberta-listed South Pacific Resources, which plunged $1.65 to $2.85, and Coleville Resources, down 46 cents to $1.90. Coleville recently announced a $2-million private placement to fund exploration at its Ojalali joint venture on the island of Sumatra.
On the VSE, Indo Metals (formerly European Garnet) was off 47 cents to $1.28, Weda Bay Minerals fell $1.10 to $2.60, and Insular Explorations took a 34 cents, or 40%, plunge to 51 cents.
Managing to buck the trend was Falcon Ventures International, which also has diamond properties in Canada and has just agreed to acquire a gold producer in China. The issue gained 6 cents to close at 54 cents after announcing a $500,000 private placement. Up to $175,000 of the proceeds will fund exploration at three properties in central Kalimantan.
In non-Indonesian developments, Hixon Gold Resources lost $3.25 over the week to close at $6.70, though it had managed to recover slightly by the end of the report period. The company reported trench results from its wholly owned Stenpad gold property in Ghana.
Diamond hunter Winspear Resources was the VSE’s leading trader over the week, with 3 million shares changing hands. Ten holes have been completed in the Snap Lake area of the Camsell Lake joint venture in the Northwest Territories (Winspear 57.3% and Aber Resources, 43.7%). Winspear was off 79 cents to close at $1.95.
Another diamond explorer, Canabrava Diamond, gained 30 cents to finish the report period at $4.80. Canabrava is 52%-held by Toronto-listed Southwestern Gold.
Gossan Resources was also among the VSE’s few gainers, having jumped 67%, or $1.05, to finish at $2.60. Milling and grinding tests are under way on a bulk sample from the company’s 50%-owned Pipestone Lake
titanium-vanadium-iron-ilmenite-magnetite deposit in Manitoba. Results are expected by July.
A bright spot in Alberta was Gitennes Exploration, which gained 25 cents with 2.4 million shares changing hands. Gitennes announced results from the first five holes of a 13-hole program at its Virgin property in Peru. Preliminary results were comparable to those returned by surface chip sampling.