The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index broke a nine-month high over the trading period, gaining 22.34 points, or 3.5%, to a 656.18-point close, lifted by optimism over demand for industrial metals from China.
Spot gold peaked at US$1,250.19 per oz. gold before falling to US$1,233 per oz. gold, down US99¢, compared to the previous trading period.
Three-month London Metal Exchange copper contracts rose US$219 per tonne, or 4.6%, to a US$5,005-per-tonne close, as economic data out of China showed signs of recovery in the country’s housing and manufacturing sectors.
Chesapeake Gold led the value-added category, gaining 97¢ to a $3.58-per-share close on no news. The company announced a grant of incentive stock options on March 21, whereby its directors, officers, employees and consultants can buy up to 2.23 million shares at a $2.15-per-share exercise price over five years.
The company is focused on its wholly owned Metates gold-silver project in Durango State, Mexico. An updated prefeasibility study, released on March 7, envisages a 30,000-tonne-per-day operation that scales up to 90,000 tonnes per day in year five, over a 27-year mine life. The operation could produce 700,000 oz. gold and 14 million oz. silver annually for its first 10 years. The project’s after-tax net present value, at a 5% discount rate, stands at US$737 million, whereas the internal rate of return is 7.7%, assuming US$1,250 per oz. gold and US$20 per oz. silver.
Oil and gas explorer Gold Ridge Exploration was a front runner in the greatest percentage change, up 200%, to a 8¢-per-share close, after closing a non-brokered private placement for proceeds of $84,000. The company previously disclosed it would undertake a one-for-five consolidation within 90 days of closing.
Ashburton Ventures saw 35.6 million shares traded before closing up 1¢ to 5¢ per share, upon agreement to acquire the Whabouchi South property that borders Nemaska Lithium’s Whabouchi project in Quebec.
The deal calls for Ashburton to issue vendors 8.5 million shares in the company over four years, along with cash payments totalling $325,000, plus a 2% net smelter return royalty.
The property is 1.2 km south and along strike of Nemaska’s planned mine site, which is the world’s second-largest and richest reserve of lithium, the company says.
Explorer Brixton Metals rose 22¢ to a 42¢-per-share close over the trading period after closing a $1.2-million private placement. The company plans to use part of the proceeds for exploration at its Langis silver project, 500 km north of Toronto, and at its Thorn gold-silver project in northwest British Columbia.