STOCK MARKETS — Juniors take beating as resource markets struggle

Disappointing results deflated the resurgence of Labrador explorers, helping drag down the broader resource market over the report period ended May 21. The Vancouver Stock Exchange resource index lost more than 45 points to close at 2,390.40. The composite index, however, edged up more than seven points to finish at 1,368.05.

Alberta-listed Cartaway Resources grabbed the spotlight, hitting a high of $26 following visual reports of massive sulphides in drill core from the company’s Cirque property in Labrador’s Okak Bay area.

Investors were stunned when assays from the first three holes returned grades of nickel, copper and cobalt that were less than one-tenth of the expected values.

The rush to bail out of Cartaway was so great that the increased activity threatened to cripple the Alberta Stock Exchange, forcing the market to halt trading of the issue all day May 17.

Trading was reinstated following the May 20 holiday, and a frenzied 6 million shares changed hands at between $2 and $4.25 before the issue finally settled at $2.78, down $10.47 on the week.

A host of other exploration companies with ground in the area benefited from Cartaway’s climb — and suffered from its descent.

Alberta-listed Absolut Resources, traded as high as $2.80 during the week before closing down 20 cents at $2.05.

Layfield Resources touched a high of $1.06 before slipping back to 45 cents for a loss of 10 cents.

NDT Ventures, one of the largest landholders in Labrador, hit $5.75 before sliding back to $4.25 for a loss of 10 cents.

Eastfield Resources, which is involved in joint ventures in the Okak Bay area, ran up to $2.50 before reversing course to finish the week off 17 cents at $1.26.

Other companies active in the area include: Columbia Yukon Resources, which slid 80 cents to $2; Silverstone Resources, which closed down 25 cents at 60 cents; Aranlee Resources, which dipped 15 cents to $1.25; and Birchwood Resources, which slipped 5 cents to 85 cents after trading as high as $1.17.

Castlerock Resources was down 15 cents at $1.55; First Western Minerals was off 4 cents at 87 cents after hitting a high of $1.10; and International Can Alaska was down 11 cents at $1.70.

Proving that investors still have faith in visual assessments, Consolidated Callinan Flin Flon traded as high as $4.25 after reporting the intersection of a 6.3-metre-wide zone containing chalcopyrite, sphalerite, pyrite and pyrrhotite at its War Baby property in Manitoba. The mineralization is described as disseminated and semi-to-near-massive and is in the same horizon that hosts the nearby Callinan mine.

Consolidated Callinan plans to wedge holes off the 1,880-metre-long hole to test four anomalies identified by geophysics.

In the meantime, investors decided to take some profits, backtracking the issue to $3.30. It closed up 26 cents, however, over the report period.

The Alberta Stock Exchange is in no rush to reinstate the trading of Timbuktu Gold. The issue touched a high of $30 in mid-April (up from the $8 level) and was halted at $24.90 after questions arose surrounding drill results from the company’s exploration property in Mali.

Preliminary results from an ongoing review of the property have not fully supported previously released results, which included multi-ounce gold values over wide widths. The audit, which may entail additional drilling, is continuing and is not expected to be completed for at least three weeks.

Timbuktu does not plan to request a reinstatement of trading until after the review is completed.

Meanwhile, Kalahari Resources is on a roll, having hit a high of $2 before slipping to $1.68 for a gain of 45 cents. The company has interests in 53 gold prospects in Ontario and Quebec, and expects to select five properties for initial drill programs.


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