The cloud of uncertainty looming over Bre-X Minerals continued to rain on most junior mining stocks.
Led by the resource sector, the Vancouver Stock Exchange composite index lost 44.85 points, or 3.92%, over the report period ended April 8, to close at 1,099.03. The resource index fell 83.11 points, or 4.03%, to finish at 1,980.84. The combined value of the Alberta Stock Exchange was down 39.31 points at 2,651.53.
In March, the VSE welcomed five new resource listings, including Buffalo Mines, HMH Gold Mining, St. Elias Mines and Ticino Resources.
For the second consecutive report period, diamond explorer Winspear Resources was the VSE’s most active issue, with 2.6 million shares changing hands. The stock continued to lose ground, closing down 65 cents to $1.30. Winspear is in the midst of a spring drilling campaign at its 57.3%-owned Camsell Lake project in the Northwest Territories. The program, which is more than half complete, intersected several kimberlite dykes, including an interval with a true width of 4.3 metres. A diamond measuring 0.6 mm was observed in the core. Toronto-listed Aber Resources holds the remaining interest in Camsell Lake.
Arizona Star Resource managed to buck the downward trend. Shares closed up 65 cents, at $10.65, on the release of an independent resource estimate for the Cerro Casale gold-Copper porphyry deposit at the company’s 51%-owned Aldebaran property in northern Chile.
The preliminary estimate suggests Cerro Casale could contain an in situ resource of more than 24 million oz. gold and 6 billion lb. copper. The company’s partner, Toronto-listed Bema Gold, owns the remaining 49% interest.
Ignoring the chill in the air, Nova Scotia-based Etruscan Enterprises is proceeding with a $26-Million private placement of 4 million special warrants priced at $6.50 each. Proceeds will be used to fund continued exploration and acquisitions in Africa. Etruscan finished at $6.50, down 40 cents.
At the Veladero gold project in the Valle del Cura region of Argentina’s El Indio belt, partners Argentina Gold and Toronto-listed Barrick Gold have completed five holes of a 5,000-Metre reverse-Circulation drill program.
Preliminary results include 20 metres grading 2.9 grams gold per tonne in hole 40 and 94 metres of 0.91 gram (including 10 metres of 2.8 grams) in hole 39. Argentina Gold, which owns 40% of the project, closed down 45 cents to $1.55.
Alberta-listed Gitennes Exploration traded as high as $9 before falling back to $7.25 for a 15 cents gain. The company reported results from the final eight holes of an initial 13-hole program on a low-grade, bulk-Tonnage gold target at its Virgen property in Peru.
Even as Steppe Gold works towards completing a feasibility study on a proposed open-pit, heap-leach operation at the Mizek project in central Kazakstan, the junior has increased to eight the number of properties it holds in the former Soviet republic. The company now holds land covering 8.5 million ha. Steppe added 8 cents to close at 38 cents.
Consolidated Callinan Flin Flon Mines dropped 70 cents to $1.40 on the release of additional drill results from its Lynn Lake precious and base metal project in Manitoba.
Inukshuk Capital has obtained a court order temporarily blocking the proposed Monopros project. Mountain Province Mining holds a 50% interest in the AK-CJ diamond claims; Alberta-listed Glenmore Highlands holds 40%; and Camphor Ventures, the remainder. Mountain Province closed down 85 cents to $2.45; Camphor slipped 20 cents to $1.45; and Glenmore was off 30 cents to $4.70.