TSX retreats, April 13-17

Canada’s benchmark index fell on renewed concern over Greece’s debt and China’s new trading regulations. The S&P/TSX Composite Index slipped 28 points, or 0.2%, to 15,360.55, while the S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index dipped 2.3% to 705.29. The S&P/TSX Global Gold Index rose 0.58% to 164.90, despite the gold price dropping US$4 to finish at US$1,203.30 per oz.

Mawson West soared 38% to 6¢ per share after reporting that the Toronto Stock Exchange found that the company meets its continued listing requirements. The TSX started its delisting review on Dec. 12, 2014, and granted the company 120 days to regain compliance. Mawson’s two main projects include the Kapulo copper project and the suspended Dikulushi copper-silver mine. Both are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Shares in Eco Oro Minerals jumped 26% to 83¢ on the  company’s update of its efforts at its Angostura gold-silver project in Colombia. The junior spent the first quarter of 2015 assessing the potential impact of the previously declared boundaries of the Santurban paramo and regional park on the project’s resource base and development options. It intends to update the resource estimate by June and is conducting an internal review of the mine’s key assumptions, including mine capacity, processing abilities and possibly relocating infrastructure. The junior is evaluating whether to use the internal review as a base to update the preliminary economic assessment, or advance engineering further to finish a prefeasibility study.

The week’s biggest loser was North American Palladium, sinking 79% to 6¢ on 39.7 million shares traded. On April 15, it signed a recapitalization agreement with Brookfield Capital Partners to reduce its debt. The firm has struggled with its liquidity since finalizing a financing package with Brookfield to expand its Lac des Îles palladium mine, near Thunder Bay, Ont. If the firm can’t line up a buyer for the company by the end of June, it will repay the loan it owes Brookfield and the holders of its convertible debentures with equity, representing 98% of the company’s shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis. Once completed, the junior’s shareholders will own 2% of N.A. Palladium.

Alamos Gold was one of the week’s top value gainers on the back of a proposed US$1.5-billion merger with AuRico Gold. Under the agreement, shareholders of Alamos and AuRico would each own half of a new company that would hold three producing mines: Mulatos and El Chanate in Mexico and Young-Davidson in Ontario. They would also own shares in spin-off company AuRico Metals, which will hold, among other assets, AuRico’s Kemess project in B.C. and US$20 million in cash. Alamos added 71¢ to finish at $8.12, with 6.6 million shares traded. AuRico climbed 51¢ to $4.29 on 12.9 million shares traded.


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