Toronto stocks edged down during the holiday shortened March 25–29 trading week.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index slipped 7 points to 12,749.90. Both gold and base metals miners tumbled, with the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index dropping 3 points to 254.873 and the S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals and Mining Index giving back 17 points to close at 874.50. The spot price of gold ended March 29 at US$1,597.60, down US$11.80 per oz.
Gold explorer MDN was one of the week’s top percentage gainers, jumping 30% to 7¢ after reporting its 2012 financial results. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, the Montreal-based junior reported a net lost of $12.8 million, compared to a year ago profit of $1.6 million. MDN attributes the difference largely to the write-off of exploration assets and a decline in royalties from its 30%-held Tulawaka gold mine in Tanzania. African Barrick Gold holds the rest of the mine.
For 2013, the debt-free junior plans to advance its exploration properties in Quebec and Tanzania.
Days after releasing a positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its Duncan Lake iron ore property near Matagami, Que., Century Iron Mines published a PEA on its Joyce Lake direct-shipping ore project near Schefferville, Que., on March 25. The PEA indicates it would cost $97 million to build a 2-million-tonne per year operation at Joyce Lake, with a mine life of 4 years. Joyce Lake, which is part of the larger Attikamagen project, has a net present value of $95 million and a 35% internal rate of return at an 8% discount rate. Payback is estimated in less than 3 years. Century ended the week up 26% at 41¢.
Carlisle Goldfields climbed 21% to 12¢ after reporting the final four holes from its 25-hole 2012 drill program at its Farley Lake gold project in northern Manitoba. Standout hole, no. 25, showed several high-grade gold intersections including 35 metres grading 6.83 grams gold. The company intends to release a resource estimate on Farley Lake in the second quarter.
On the negative side of ledger, Nautilus Minerals was down 35% to 26¢. The troubled company filed a preliminary short form prospectus on March 28 to raise gross proceeds of $40 million by offering 200 million shares at 20¢ apiece. The proceeds will be used to fund the construction of the seafloor production system to advance its Solwara 1 deepwater copper-gold project, once it resolves the funding dispute with the Papua New Guinea government.
Last November, Nautilus stopped building its seafloor production system to preserve cash, noting earlier that year the government failed to meet its contractual obligation to pay 30% of the development cost. It claims the State owes it up to US$75 million for development costs it incurred from January 2011 to September 2012.