Amidst the continuing euro zone jitters, the Toronto Stock Exchange managed to finish in the positive territory during the holiday-shortened trading week.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index moved up 296 points to end the May 22-25 session at 11,576.47, marking its first weekly gain for the month. The S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index followed suit, advancing 41 points to 870.95.
Similarly, the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index edged up 25 points to finish at 311.21. However, this didn’t help the price of gold to fully recover from its losses, closing down US$18.40 per oz. at US$1,573.70.
Aquila Resources was the period’s biggest percentage gainer, moving up 44% to 31¢. The junior announced plans to revise the resource estimate for its jointly held Back Forty project in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, by incorporating 78 holes drilled since the 2010 estimate. Aquila says the new estimate will update the resource inside and outside the limits of the pit envisioned in the recent scoping study.
Some highlights from Back Forty’s final round of drilling returned 25.3 metres grading 4.31 grams gold per tonne and .21% copper; 36.8 metres at 4.59 grams gold, 71.39 grams silver and 2.41% copper; and 7.5 metres at 7.63 grams gold and 42.75 grams silver. These results will be included in the upcoming resource.
Back Forty, which is 51% owned by HudBay Minerals, currently hosts 907,000 oz. gold, 11.31 million oz. silver, 963 million lbs. zinc and 75.8 million lbs. copper in measured and indicated.
Rio Verde Minerals gained 36.3% after reporting its selling 35.7 million shares at an 87% premium to raise $15 million to fund exploration and development of its Brazilian potash and phosphate projects.
The junior intends to use the proceeds to finance drilling and a scoping study at its Sergipe potash project and to put its Fosfatar phosphate project into production, while continuing to explore its other phosphate prospects.
Rio Verde is targeting first production at Fosfatar, which is located in Pará State, by early 2013. The junior anticipates completing its first resource estimate at Sergipe by year end, with a scoping study expected out in early 2013. The company’s key potash project sits in Brazil’s north-eastern region in the Sergipe basin.
On news that its board has approved the adoption of a shareholder rights plan, Extorre Gold Mines gained 32% to finish at $3.42. However, the plan still requires shareholder approval within six months to stay in place.
The week’s top value gainer, Royal Gold, advanced $7.22 to $71.15 a share after acquiring a 3% net smelter return royalty on the Ruby Hill gold mine from International Minerals for $38 million. Ruby Hills, which is operated by Barrick Gold, is located in eastern Nevada on the Battle Mountain/ Eureka trend.
Osisko Mining was one of the most actively traded stocks, with nearly 15 million shares traded. The junior said full operations resumed at the Canadian Malartic mill on May 19, three days after it partially restarted the mill following a May 9th fire that damaged the number 4 cyclone set. Osisko gained 12% to close at $7.12.