Trading was relatively heavy for a New Year’s Eve, but the Toronto market finished only fractionally higher on the day. The TSX Composite index was up 7.14 points at 8,220.89, finishing the day with a 0.09% gain and the year with a 24% gain.
The golds finished a winning year on a losing note, with the TSX Gold index falling back 1.45 points to 227.86. That came despite a London morning gold fix of US$417.25, the highest since February 1990. Bullion prices did ease back later in the day, closing at US$415.20 on the Comex.
It was a day of taking profits in the small producers and developers, with Eldorado Gold down 17 at $4.05, a drop of 4% that was the worst percentage loss on the index. Golden Star Resources, down 26 at $9.06, was similarly hit, as were feasibility-stage juniors Nevsun Resources (off 13 at $6.72) and Gabriel Resources (off 4 at $4.90).
The TSX Metals and Mining index clawed up 0.14 point to 230.44, roughly in step with the broad market. It was a mixed day for the base metal stocks, with Inco up 13 at $51.65, Noranda up 2 at $20.55, Falconbridge up 16 at $31.36, and Cameco down 72 at $74.75.
Off the index, junior Constellation Copper was down half a cent at 10 on a volume of 5.3 million shares.
Canada’s junior exchange ended the year on an up tick with advancing stocks outpacing declining stocks 502 to 314. The S&P-TSX Venture Exchange composite index added 13.10 points, or 0.75%, to its value and closed at 1751.28 on a volume of 44.7 million shares.
Stroud Resources closed down a half a penny to 18.5 with 1.2 million shares traded. The company is exploring for gold and other precious metals in Ontario and Mexico. Among its assets are a 50% interest in the joint ventured Santo Domingo epithermal silver-gold project in central Mexico and 100% interests in the Hislop gold property, near Timmins and the Leckie gold property, near North Bay, Ontario. Stroud also generates cash flow from a 3.75% interest in two natural gas condensate wells in central Alberta.
Luzon Minerals closed at 49, up 12 on 768,250 shares. Last month the company inked a deal with Vista Gold to acquire a 100% interest in Vista’s Amayapampa gold project in Bolivia, South America. During the due diligence period which will last until June of 2004, Luzon has agreed to update a feasibility study, complete a technical report in compliance with National Instrument 43-101, and seek financing for the project. Luzon will issue Vista 50,000 common shares, and during the due diligence period, pay Vista US$10,000 per month for the first four months, and then US$15,000 per month for the fifth and sixth months. If the Company is satisfied at the end of the due diligence period, it will pay Vista US$930,000 and issue 2 million common shares. Luzon will grant Vista a 3% NSR where the price of gold is less than US$450 per ounce and a 4% NSR where the price of gold is greater than US$450 per ounce.
Pan Asia Mining closed the day at 25, up 3 with 536,740 shares traded. The company has changed its name to China Diamond as of January 2, 2004. The new trading symbol on the TSX-Venture Exchange is CDC. Pan Asia holds an interest in the Changma Diamond mine in China.