Toronto’s gold stocks ended 1.97 points lower at 21.08, while the diversified crowd slipped 0.66 of a point to 221.98. Still, the S&P-TSX Composite Index managed to end 7.47 points above water at 8,702.82, thanks in large to a 2% gain in the technology sector.
Ivanhoe Mines ended as the nation’s busiest miner with just shy of 7 million shares making their way 68, or 8%, higher to $9.28. On Monday, the company said it has hired financial advisors to help it "review strategic alternatives" at the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in Mongolia. The Robert Friedland-led company says it has received several offers of interest from major international mining companies.
Usual suspect Wheaton River Minerals, up 3 to $3.92, and Iamgold, up the same to $7.73, were next in line on a volume basis. Eldorado Gold was next, rising a penny to $3.86 with a handful fewer than 2 million shares traded.
On Monday, Eldorado said that it has acquired all private lands required for development of its Kisladag gold project in western Turkey. The company is working to secure lease agreements for access to State-held forestry land. Eldorado hopes to make a construction decision in the second quarter of 2004. Eldorado recently warned that construction and operating costs at Kisladag will climb as a result of changes in that country’s tax regime. An updated feasibility study is due in May.
Also making news was Aber Diamond, which appointed Thomas O’Neill as and its president. O’Neil was also tapped to take up the reigns as chief executive officer of jeweller-to-the-stars Harry Winston. Aber recently agreed to acquire a 51% in Harry Winston. Shares in Aber finished 27 higher at $41.50.
Crystallex International says it has begun a two-phase, 16-hole 5,800-metre drill program at the Las Cristinas bulk-tonnage gold deposit in the Kilometre 88 gold district of southeastern Venezuela. The drilling is aimed at converting inferred resources to the indicated category and evaluating inferred resources below the existing pit outline. Vancouver-listed Vannessa Ventures recently applied for an injunction to prevent Las Cristinas from being “further encumbered financially or contractually” while it continues various court actions to defend its contractual rights to the project. Crystallex has also begun a 24-hole 7,500-metre infill drill program on the La Victoria deposit in the El Callao gold district. Shares in Crystallex finished 4, or 1.1%, lower at $3.69.