The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index jumped 3.2%, or 21.87 points, to a 715.59-point close, as gold prices climb towards four-week highs. Spot gold gained 2.4%, or US$30.04, to a US$1,274.24 per oz. close, as uncertainty mounts over whether Britain will exit the European Union and if the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June. Comex copper dropped 3.9% to US$2.03 per lb. copper despite positive Chinese trade data, which noted copper imports are up 22% this year, compared to the first five months last year.
Avino Silver & Gold Mines led the value-added category, gaining 73¢ to a $2.66-per-share close after declaring commercial production at its second mine on its Avino silver-gold-copper property near Durango, Mexico. Avino began mining the Avino open-pit and underground silver mine in 1974, but shut the operation in 2001 due to low silver prices and the closure of a key smelter. The production decision to resume the operation came after a 19-month advancement and test period, in which the company produced 944,165 oz. silver, 3,444 oz. gold and 6,094,603 lb. copper.
The company also operates the San Gonzalo underground silver mine, 2 km from the Avino mine, which produced 177,183 oz. silver in the first quarter of 2016.
Goldrock Mines gained 47¢ to a $1.10-per-share close on news that Fortuna Silver Mines intends to acquire all of Goldrock’s issued and outstanding shares for $1.08 per share, totalling $129 million. The deal represents an 85% premium based on Goldrock’s 20-day, volume-weighted trading price as of June 6. Goldrock’s principal asset is the Lindero open-pit, heap-leach gold project in Argentina’s Salta province. The company recently completed a feasibility study and has received the environmental permit for production. Fortuna expects to produce 7 million oz. silver and 428,000 oz. gold this year from its two underground mines: the San Jose silver-gold mine in Mexico and the Caylloma silver-gold mine in Peru.
Lithium explorer Spearmint Resources saw 39 million shares traded before closing up 1¢ to 5¢ per share, after announcing it would undertake a private placement of flow-through and non-flow-through units. The company intends to issue 6 million flow-through units and 10 million non-flow-through units at 5¢ per unit, for combined proceeds up to $800,000. The proceeds of the offering would be used for general working capital and advancing work programs at the company’s recently acquired Preissac and Whabouchi Lake lithium properties in Quebec.