The diversified miners index led the Toronto Stock Exchange’s subindices with a 2.32-point, or 1.5%, gain on Friday, ending the week at 153.48. Profit-takers sent the gold index down 0.35 of a point to 202.49, as the yellow metal gained US$5.40 to finish at US$375.30 per oz. in New York. Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index shed 6.63 points to head into the holiday weekend at 7,510.32 points.
Investor interest in Wheaton River Minerals remained hot as the issue gained another 8 to reach $2.33 with about 8.9 million shares changing hands. The company recently reported substantially improved second-quarter earnings.
South American Gold & Copper was the next busiest miner, rising a penny to 7 on a volume of 5.8 million shares. The company is working to resurrect the Pimenton gold-copper mine in central Chile.
Shares in Queenstake Resources continued to climb, adding another 9 to reach 91. Queenstake recently beefed up its management team in order to complete the acquisition of the Jerritt Canyon mine from Meridian Gold. The company expects to produce 300,000 oz. in 2003.
Southwestern Resources put in a third day of gains ending $1.35 higher at $13.30. On Thursday, the company closed a bought deal for gross proceeds of $15.3 million. The funds will go toward exploration of the Boka gold project in China. The company also recently re-acquired and cancelled 658,200 shares. SWG now has around 18.7 million issued and outstanding shares.
Placer Dome was the lone major gold producer to suffer a loss, falling 23, or 1.2%, to $18.92; Kinross Gold gained the same to $10.53. Barrick Gold rounded out the trio with an 11 gain to $28.26.
Despite the group’s rise, the base metal miners were a fairly quiet bunch; Alcan led the way with a 31 gain to $50.23 on fewer than a million shares. Reuters reported on Friday that Alcan’s takeover target Pechiney would delay its Sept. 2 board meeting, at which many expect the French aluminium maker to outline its plan to fight off Alcan’s advances.
On the diamond watch, Ashton Mining of Canada saw it shares tumble 40, or more than 21% of value, to $1.50 after processing of a 10.7-tonne mini-bulk sample from the Renard 65 kimberlite pipe failed to impress investors. Previously, drill core from the pipe on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec, surrendered a 4-carat diamond.