Gold finally topped US$400 per oz. in trading on Monday, with the London afternoon fix at US$400.25 and the closing price on New York’s Comex a healthy US$402.70. That put the golds in the top-performing spot on the Toronto Stock Exchange once more, and they pulled the TSX Composite index to a 65.18-point gain and a close of 7,924.57.
The TSX Gold index itself was up 6.76 points, closing at 243.92, followed closely by the TSX Metals and Mining index, up 5.42 at 203.15, but the resource companies weren’t alone, as only the Consumer Staples sector fell back (and it, only a fraction of a point).
Gabriel Resources was one of only a few of the gold stocks to fall, sliding 20 to $4.61 even though it announced a higher resource figure for its Rosia Montana gold deposit in Romania. Rosia Montana now has an estimated 352 million tonnes, measured and indicated, at grades of 1.3 grams gold and 6 grams silver per tonne. That figure is up from a February estimate of 306 million tonnes at similar grades.
The new darling of the gold index, Golden Star Resources, clocked the largest advance, jumping 82 to $10.40 for a gain of 8.5%. Another of the index’s smaller issues, Wheaton River Minerals, was the volume leader — not just among the index golds, but on the whole Toronto board — tacking on 27 to close at $3.97 as 21.5 million shares changed hands.
In fact the three most heavily traded stocks on the TSX Monday were all golds: Wheaton, Queenstake Resources, which was up a penny to 92 on a volume of 16.6 million, and South American Gold, which was up 3 at 14 with 14.1 shares riding the tape.
It wasn’t difficult to find small gold producers and junior gold explorers that had caught the market’s fancy on Monday. Along with South American, two other big percentage gainers were Minco Mining and Metals, which was up 37 at $1.89, and Zaruma Resources, which added 6 to close at 33. Zaruma reported favourable results from surface sampling at its San Antonio property in Sonora state, Mexico, last week.
Minco released a statement that it was confident an earlier resource estimate from its recently acquired Anba gold project in Gansu province, China, would be substantiated by an independent technical review now under way. It had released the estimate in early November but was required to caution investors last week that the calculation was not in compliance with securities regulations.
Northgate Exploration was 7 higher at $2.71 on a volume of 4.6 million shares, and among gold-focused juniors, Caledonia Mining was up 6 at 45.5, Northern Orion Resources rose 13 to $3.28, and St. Andrew Goldfields tacked on tuppence ha’penny to close at 32.
Among the base metal producers, Aur Resources issued some optimistic production and earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and the year, and jumped 33 to $5.65. Inco rose $2.06 to 46.16, warmed by strike talk at rival Falconbridge — which was itself up a buck at $27.50.
It would apper the takeover hopefuls sold out of Ivanhoe Mines after its chairman, Robert Friedland, told an analysts’ conference that the company intended to develop its Oyu Tolgoi copper deposit in Mongolia on its own.
Canada’s junior exchange managed to start the trading week off on an up tick with advancing stocks beating declining issues by a 505-to-423 margin. The S&P-TSX Venture Exchange composite index added 19.48 points, or 1.15%, and closed at 1,709.93.
Akrokeri-Ashanti Gold Mines added 3.5 to close at 11 on nearly 3.6 million shares traded. The alluvial miner holds an 85% stake in the Bonte gold mine and a 90% interest in the Goldenrae Mining properties, both in Ghana, West Africa.
Making a nice percentage move, JNR Resources added 11.5 to close at 29.5 on 3.4 million shares traded. The junior recently dealt an option on its Moore Lake and Lazy Edward Bay uranium properties to International Uranium. The prospective project lie in the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan.
Oasis Diamond Exploration continued to inch forward, adding 1.5 to close at 11.5 on 2.4 million shares traded. The company is awaiting the sample results from the Wawa diamond project in Ontario. Some 2,000 kg of kimberlitic core samples from the Sigma property and surface samples from the Enigma site were sent to C.F. Mineral Research in Kelowna, B.C. Six large samples of heterolytic volcanic breccias from the Magpie project have also been sent to Lakefield Research lab for diamond analysis.