TSX Venture eases up, May 15-19

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index rose 13.26 points to a 806.9-point close, as spot gold prices gained US$27.5 to US$1,255.93 per oz., and Comex copper prices gained 6¢ to $2.58 per pound.

Shares of Integra Gold gained 34¢ to $1.14 after news that international miner Eldorado Gold intends to acquire the junior explorer for $590 million. Eldorado, which already owns 13% of Integra’s stock, plans to acquire the remaining issued and outstanding shares at a 46% premium to Integra’s 20-day, volume-weighted average price. Shareholders of Integra may choose to receive either 0.24250 of an Eldorado share or $1.21250 in cash, or 0.18188 of an Eldorado share plus $0.30313 in cash. Eldorado will issue up to 77 million shares and the maximum cash payout would be $129 million (equal to 25% of the total consideration). Integra’s main asset is the Lamaque gold project near Val-d’Or, Que. A preliminary economic assessment completed in February estimates it could produce 123,000 oz. gold annually over 10 years.

Eldorado will also inherit Integra’s 9.9% equity stake in explorer Eastmain Resources, and its 132 sq. km land package in northern Quebec’s James Bay gold camp. The deal comes after Eldorado shelved expansion plans in January for its flagship Kisladag gold mine in Turkey, and postponed a development decision on its Tocantinzinho gold project in Brazil, due to lower gold prices.

Leeta Gold rose 9¢ to 17¢ per share. On April 7, the junior explorer completed its option to gain to 70% interest in the Beardmore gold property from Empire Rock Minerals, after incurring $500,000 in exploration expenses and paying Empire $180,000. The property — formerly called Gwyn Lake and located within Ontario’s Beardmore-Geraldton gold belt — hosts a number of banded-iron formations (BIF) prospective for orogenic-style gold mineralization. Of the 192 channel samples collected from BIF in 2009, 32% assayed more than 1 gram gold per tonne, and 39% of the same series ranged from 0.1 to 0.99 gram gold.

Shares of East Asia Minerals rose 18¢ to 40¢ after closing a $3.3-million, non-brokered private placement, which saw 27.5 million units traded at 12¢ per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and one half-warrant, with each whole warrant exercisable within five years at 50¢ per share. Funds from the financing would help advance the company’s properties in Indonesia. In March, the company consolidated its shares on a 10-to-1 basis.

Drill results at Arizona Silver Exploration’s Ramsey silver mine in La Paz County, Ariz., drove shares of the junior explorer up 21¢ to 81¢. One of the reverse-circulation drill holes found 44 metres of massive silica from 108 metres deep, with assay results pending. The hole was designed to test a strong induced-polarization anomaly on the property. 


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