The oil and gas sector stood out from the pack, gaining 115.77 points, or 1.4%, helping to soften the blow of wider losses on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. Overall, the TSE 300 composite index fell 20.75 points to close at 7,627.2 points. The golds dropped 45.24 points and the metals and minerals subgroup slid 50.75 points. By day’s end, just four of the TSE’s 14 subgroups were in the black.
Silver, which gained US2 to US$4.24 in New York, was the lone shiny to advance. Lead and zinc were the only base metals to make small gains on the London Metal Exchange.
Canadian gold miners Barrick Gold and Placer Dome made the TSE’s most active issue list with more than 1.3 million shares of each changing hands. Barrick fell 37 to $23.70 on more than 1.7 million shares, while Placer rose 12 to $16.81. Barrick and takeover target Homestake Mining recently significantly upped reserves at their jointly held Veladero gold project in northwestern Argentina.
Placer Dome recently agreed to sell its 70% interest in the dormant Las Cristinas gold-copper project to Vancouver-based Vannessa Ventures. The announcement came days before the company’s rights to the Venezuelan deposit were scheduled to expire. In another deal, Placer was awarded the right to negotiate an agreement to develop the Pueblo Viejo gold-silver project in the Dominican Republic.
Both companies are due to report second-quarter earnings later this week.
The rest of the gold issues were far less active.
Sherritt International, which fell 7 to $4.77 on just more than 605,000 shares, was the country’s most active base metal issue. The group suffered losses across the board. Inco fell 48 to $25.90, Falconbridge lost 30 to $16.90 and Noranda shed a nickel to $16.44.
Teck and Cominco lost 27 and 32 to end at $12.10 and $27.91, respectively. On Friday, the two announced that their proposed merger became effective July 20 upon the issue of a Certificate of Arrangement of Cominco under the Canada Business Corporations Act. Cominco common shares were slated for de-listing from the Toronto Stock Exchange and AMEX at the close of trading on Monday. The merged entity will seek shareholder approval to change its name to Teck Cominco Ltd.
Inmet Mining was unchanged at $2.50. The company posted second-quarter earnings roughly the same as in 2000. For the three months ended June 30, the copper and gold producer earned $1.6 million (2 per share) on revenues of $28.7 million.
Canada’s junior exchange started the trading week off mixed with gains in technology stocks offset by losses in resource-related issues. The Canadian Venture Exchange composite index lost 5.55 points, or 0.2%, and closed the day at 3,077.87. The Mining Index followed suit, dropping 6.01 points, or 0.1%, and closed at 7,293.27.
Seine River ended the day unchanged at 1 on nearly 1.7 million shares. The junior holds the Plumas and Trinity gold projects in California’s historic gold trend, as well as the Jasper gold property in Nevada.
Shares in Kenrich Mining managed to stay flat at 6 following Friday’s 5 plunge. The junior’s stock had run up on news that the company is evaluating a large Wyoming gas play. Already holding the Corey gold property, near the Eskay Creek mine in B.C., the company says it is evaluating several mining plays.
Poplar Resources ended the day at 20, down 2 on 193,000 shares. The junior’s 65%-owned subsidiary, North Star Diamonds, recently announced encouraging assay results from four boulder samples from the Bottenbacken polymetallic project in central Sweden.
Eurozinc Mining popped back onto investors’ radar screens, gaining 2 to 30 on 87,000 shares. The company recently closed a deal to acquire the Crypto zinc deposit in Utah and is attempting to re-start production at the old Aljustrel operation in Portugal.