Gold shed another US$3.60 to hit US$387.70 in New York on Thursday, sending the Toronto Stock Exchange’s gold index reeling to the tune of 3.98 points, or 2%, to end at 196.76. Just two of the TSX’s subindices managed to end in the black, the diversified metals & mining index was not one of them finishing 2.46 points lighter at 216.94. Overall, the S&P-TSX Composite Index joined the rest of North America’s major markets by dropping 45.71 points to make 8,329.12.
Wheaton River Minerals topped the most traded miners list with more than 13.2 million shares finding their way 11 higher to $3.98. On Thursday, Idaho-based Coeur d’Alene Mines increased its bid for Wheaton by $285 million, or 50 per share in senior subordinated notes or common stock. Coeur, the world’s biggest silver producer, said the new offer represents a 16% premium over Wheaton’s closing stock price on Wednesday. Wheaton said it would review the new proposal before commenting, but would not speculate as to any future course of action it might take. The company rejected Coeur’s initial advances.
Meanwhile, the other side of Wheaton’s merger plans, Iamgold, fell 21, or 2.75%, to $7.43; its suitor Golden Star Resources grabbed 2 to reach $6.24. Wheaton and Iamgold plan to put there wedding plans to shareholder votes on June 8. Golden Star said on Wednesday it plans to launch a formal takeover bid for Iamgold conditional on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling that such a move would not breach a 2003 confidentiality agreement signed with Iamgold.
Guyana Goldfields was busier than usual jumping 6, or about 9%, to 72 on more than 220,000 shares. Diamond drilling on the Aurora mine property in Guyana has encountered a new gold zone about 1 km east of another new zone reported in late April. The latest discovery hole cut 46.5 metres grading 5.9 grams gold per tonne, including 33 metres (from surface) of oxidized material running 7 grams gold. The remainder of the hole cut bedrock or primary mineralization.
Shares in Metallica Resources compounded Wednesday’s heavy losses with another 8, or 6.3%, slide to $1.20. The company’s latest hiccup saw Mexican courts recently deny the company an explosives operating permit for its Cerro San Pedro project. The company says 150 employees and contractors face layoff if the permit was not granted in about two weeks time.
Also heading south was Manhattan Minerals, which shed 3, or nearly 16%, to 16. On Wednesday, the company said it was late filing its Annual Information Form with the Ontario Securities Commission due to personnel changes. The company recently installed veteran mining and engineering executive Peter Guest as its new president and chief executive. The company also approved a non-brokered private placement of 666,666 shares at 15 per share to a company insider.
Others on the slide were General Minerals, off 23, or 17.8%, at $1.06; Birim Goldfields 11, or 18%, lower at 51; Solitario Resources down 20, or about 12%, at $1.50; Thistle Mining, which shed 2 pennies, or 12%, to 15; and X-Cal Resources, minus 7, or 12%, to 53.