A rebound in oil prices and news the U.S. Federal Reserve would take a patient approach to hiking interest rates helped Canada’s benchmark index achieve its best weekly gain in three years. The S&P/TSX Composite Index soared 736.21 points to 14,468.26. The S&P/TSX Global Gold Index lost 0.63 of a point to end at 145.69, while the S&P/TSX Capped Diversified Metals & Mining Index jumped 38.26 points to 660.80.
Eco Oro Minerals rocketed 105% to 39¢. Once the the government reveals in late December the limits of the Paramo of Santurban ecosystem — where mining is prohibited — the company will assess the impact on its Angostura gold-silver deposit in northeastern Colombia. Until then, “any views regarding impacts on Eco Oro or its properties are speculative,” it said in a release. Since Dec. 19, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada has suspended trading in the stock in anticipation that Eco Oro would release more news.
Sherritt International, Cuba’s largest foreign investor, got a boost after President Barack Obama said the U.S. should restore its diplomatic ties with Cuba, including lifting travel and some economic restrictions, although the trade embargo will stay.
“In our view, the policy changes are a modest benefit, as these changes would make it easier for Sherritt to do business in the country,” Desjardins analyst Jackie Przybylowski notes. “Lifting the trade embargo would represent greater benefits, including access to U.S. capital markets [such as high-yield debt markets], and raising its profile among U.S. investors,” she adds.
Sherritt, which has interests in nickel mining, oil and gas production, and electricity generation in Cuba, rose 43% to $3.23. Przybylowski reduced her rating to “hold” from “buy” after the recent share price appreciation, but has a $3 target on the stock.
San Gold fell 20% to 4¢ after reporting along with Kerr Mines to terminate a previously announced business combination. Under an agreement signed in August, Kerr shareholders would have received three San Gold shares for every share held.
In a separate release, San Gold said it received a US$1.7-million secured loan from a fund managed by B Assert Manager LP. The lender has also agreed to provide another US$900,000. San Gold will use the net proceeds to fund operations at its Rice Lake gold mine complex in Manitoba.
Romarco Minerals was the most heavily traded stock after closing its $32-million non-brokered private placement, having sold 64.7 million shares at 50¢ apiece. The company, which recently received all major permits for its Haile gold project in South Carolina, intends to use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes. Romarco dipped 5¢ to 46¢ on 44.5 million shares traded.