The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index gained 19.65 points, or 2.8%, to a 730.44-point close, on the back of rising commodity prices.
Doubts on whether the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates drove spot gold up 1.95%, or US$25.6, to US$1,341.35 per oz., whereas comex copper gained 4.72%, or US10¢, to US$2.22 per lb. copper.
Bear Creek Mining was a front-runner in the value-added category, rising 46¢ to a $2.91-per-share close on a lift in gold and silver prices. Shares of the company have risen 393% since Jan. 27, following an update of activities at its Santa Ana silver and Corani silver-lead-zinc projects in Peru. The company is pursuing arbitration against the Peruvian government regarding its Santa Ana project, claiming that it was expropriated without compensation after legislation in 2011 that cancelled the company’s right to own the mineral concessions. Bear Creek is also acquiring permits for a construction decision at its Corani project. A feasibility study released last year envisaged the project with an 18-year mine life, a $660-million after-tax net present value at 5% discount rate and a 20.9% internal rate of return. Total capital required for the operation stands at $664 million.
Metanor Resources saw 19.1 million shares trade hands before closing unchanged at 8¢ per share. The junior gold producer reported intercepts of 8.8 metres of 10.4 grams gold per tonne and 5.7 metres of 5.5 grams gold from underground exploration drilling at its Bachelor Lake gold mine in Quebec’s Val-d’Or region. The company has also drilled a quarter of a planned 60,000-metre exploration campaign at its Moroy gold prospect, located 1 km from the Bachelor Lake mill. Intercepts include 2.4 metres of 4.7 grams gold and 5.1 metres of 3.1 grams gold.
Copper One led the greatest percentage change category, jumping 24¢, or 767%, to a 25¢-per-share close after suspension of its Rivière Doré copper-nickel claims — covering 600 sq. km in Quebec’s Val-d’Or region — was lifted by the Quebec Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The ministry suspended the claims in July 2011, pending discussions with stakeholders in the area. According to the company’s press release, the ministry said there are “no longer any public safety issues that may justify suspension of these claims.” The company plans to reactivate exploration on the project, targeting nickel-copper mineralization within an unexplored, 80 km mafic-layered intrusive complex.
Shares of Brazil Resources gained 30¢ to $2.35. The company is advancing its Whistler project in Alaska, which hosts the Whistler, Raintree West and Island Mountain porphyry copper-gold-silver deposits.