During the second week of August, Canada’s benchmark index touched a 13-month high, contributing to a 0.7% weekly gain to close at 14,747.45. The index has been one of the best performing stock indexes, up 13.4% year-to-date, with the latest boost coming from higher oil prices. The S&P/TSX Global Mining Index, however, fell 1% to 67.56. The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index slipped 0.2% to 670.38, while the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index rose 0.9% to 275.45, helped by higher gold prices. Spot gold gained a dollar to finish at US$1,335.70 per oz. gold. The September contract for crude oil advanced 6.3% to US$45.74 per barrel.
Excellon Resources topped the percentage winners, soaring 54% to $2.19 per share, on the back of strong quarterly results. Excellon’s CEO Brendan Cahill attributed the share appreciation to the company returning to profitability sooner than expected, as well as lower costs and the progress on the optimization plan at the underground Platosa silver-lead-zinc mine in Mexico. The plan involves installing a pumping system at Platosa to eliminate water from entering the mine. Adjusted profit for the second quarter came in at US$900,000, or US1¢ per share. The company last reported a net profit in the first quarter of 2014. Production increased 8% to 368,568 equivalent oz. silver, while all-in sustaining costs fell 21% to US$19.27 per oz. silver.
Silver Bear Resources shares rose 39% to 48¢, following a resource update for the Vertikalny deposits, within the Mangazeisky silver project in Russia. The update has converted high-grade inferred resources into the indicated category at the Vertikalny Central deposit, and has increased the weighted average grade of the indicated resource by 35%. The deposits now host 700,000 indicated tonnes at 1,227 grams silver per tonne for 27.7 million troy ounces (30.3 million oz.). It has another 550,000 inferred tonnes at 672 grams silver for 12 million troy ounces (13.2 million oz.). The company will include the updated resource into the revised mine plan shortly.
Marathon Gold shares popped 34% to 67¢ on the back of positive drill results at the Marathon deposit in the Valentine gold camp in Newfoundland and Labrador. New drill holes 11 and 107 have both returned wide intervals of gold mineralization for up to 80 metres down-dip of previous drilling on the deposit. Best intercepts included 2.11 grams gold cut over 68.3 metres, with 10.64 grams gold cut over 3.3 metres. The deposit remains open along strike and extends to more than 250 metres. Metallurgical work is ongoing, with promising preliminary results in the floatation and the column testing for heap-leach viability at both the Marathon and Leprechaun deposits. On Aug. 13, Marathon reported a second-quarter loss attributable to shareholders of $250,227, down from a $862,541 loss a year ago. It exited June with $3.7 million in cash and working capital.