The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index was on the rise, as it jumped nearly 4%, or 22.51 points, en route to a 603.92-point weekly close. The rally was driven by rising gold and oil prices, while the Canadian economy pitched in strong employment data.
June contracts for gold bullion finished up 1.7%, or US$20.30, at US$1,242.50 per oz. Meanwhile, May contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained nearly 8%, or US$2.93, before closing at US$39.72 per barrel. Copper was a loser, however, as May contracts for the red metal dropped 3.4% before closing at US$2.09 per lb.
Nemaska Lithium updated a feasibility study at its Whabouchi project, 300 km northwest of Chibougamau, Que. The company gained 33¢ on nearly 14 million shares traded before closing at 99¢ per share.
The updated economics are headlined by a 30.3% after-tax internal rate of return and a $1.2-billion net present value at an 8% discount rate. The $549-million project would include an open-pit mine and a hydrometallurgical plant in Shawinigan, Que.
The operation would crank out 714,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide over a 26-year mine life based on open-pit reserves of 20 million tonnes grading 1.5% Li2O. The company has all the permits for its operation and recently locked down a $13-million private placement with the Quebec government. Nemaska hopes to produce by late 2018.
Brazil Resources also had a strong trading period after releasing the results of a time-domain electromagnetic ground survey on its Rea uranium property, 185 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alta. Shares gained 29¢ on 2.7 million traded before closing at $1.02 per share.
Brazil owns the project alongside France’s Areva, which holds a 25% stake and is exploring the nearby Maybelle River uranium discovery. The junior says the geophysical survey “suggests a graphite-related body, which could correspond to a wide zone of highly strained and mylonitized rocks — a potentially favourable scenario for unconformity-hosted uranium deposits.”
Integra Gold ended a brewing proxy fight by making a $6-million strategic equity investment in Eastmain Resources. The company saw nearly 10 million shares change hands, as it gained 3¢ to close at 54¢. Columbus Gold tried to get five directors elected to the Eastmain board after it picked up 2.7 million shares in the explorer, which controls the Eau Claire gold deposit at the Clearwater project in the James Bay Lowlands.
Integra can appoint two members to Eastmain’s new “technical committee,” and increase its ownership up to 15% in future equity offerings. Eastmain’s new board of directors will feature several members from Integra’s management and executive group.