Canada’s benchmark index gained 1.38% to 15,484.32. The S&P/TSX Global Mining Index rose 2.49% to 61.77 and the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index increased 0.80% to 191.79, while spot gold fell US$11.90 per oz., or 0.89%, to US$1,333.50 per oz. gold.
News that Labrador Iron Ore Royalty (LIORC) had adopted a shareholder rights plan drove the company’s shares up $1.50 to $22.72, in the week’s second-largest gain. The company said the rights plan “is not intended to prevent takeover bids,” and noted the measure was “not adopted in response to or in contemplation of any known takeover bid, or other similar transaction.” On the same day, the company announced that Iron Ore Co. Canada’s (IOC) latest offer to striking workers had been rejected, and reiterated that the strike could adversely affect LIORC’s income because it is “entirely dependent on the sale of iron ore products by IOC.” Most of the unionized employees at Iron Ore Co. Canada’s railway and port operations in Sept Îles, Que., are unhappy about monetary issues and what United Steelworkers calls “basic workers’ rights,” including seniority rights. Rio Tinto owns a 59% stake in IOC.
A second tranche of assay results from nine holes drilled over the winter on UEX’s West Bear cobalt-nickel prospect in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin lifted its shares 15.5% to 34¢. Assays featured: 1.78% cobalt and 1.06% nickel over 22.5 metres from 73.5 metres downhole, including 4.90% cobalt and 2.08% nickel over 8 metres; and 1.26% cobalt and 0.59% nickel over 9.5 metres from 57.5 metres downhole, including a subinterval of 3.78% cobalt and 1.47% nickel over 3 metres.
Shares of Brio Gold and Leagold Mining were down 7¢ and 12¢, finishing at $2.55 and $2.70 per share, respectively. On April 17, Brio Gold announced that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the previously announced plan of arrangement with Leagold, under which Leagold will acquire all of Brio Gold’s issued and outstanding shares. On closing, Brio Gold shareholders will receive 0.922 of a Leagold common share and 0.4 of a Leagold share-purchase warrant for each share they own of Brio Gold. Each full share-purchase warrant is exercisable to acquire one common share of Leagold at $3.70 per share for two years. The arrangement should close before July. Brio Gold expects to produce 205,000 to 235,000 oz. gold this year and 400,000 oz. gold (at full run-rate) in 2019.
Titan Mining was down 6¢ to $1.24 per share. The company has closed a US$15-million, senior-secured credit facility with the Bank of Nova Scotia. Under the agreement, US$5 million is available on closing, and the rest will become available based on certain production milestones. Titan says it is fully financed to commercial zinc production at Empire State Mine’s No. 4 mine in the state of New York. The mine is expected to produce by June.