The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index fell 2.5%, or 12.85 points, to close at 504.28 points, weakened by collapsing oil prices and a sinking loonie.
Spot gold prices fell 1.4%, or US$14.86, before closing at US$1,071.58 per oz. gold in anticipation of a tighter U.S. monetary policy and stronger U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil slumped US$3.27, or 7.6%, to US$39.73 per barrel, driving down the CAD/US exchange rate to multi-year lows of 74¢ to the dollar.
Copper fell slightly to US$4,636 per tonne, but is gaining strength after news that leading producers Freeport-McMoRan and Glencore would lower their 2016 copper output guidance by 350 million lb. and 705 million lb.
Shares of Roxgold gained 20%, or 13¢, to 79¢, after the company announced a second drawdown of US$21 million from its US$75-million, six-year senior secured finance facility for developing the Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso.
The company says that mine development has “advanced considerably” at 60% construction, and on budget, with US$55 million of the US$110.8-million capital estimate spent to date.
The mine is on schedule to produce gold sometime between April and June.
A resource upgrade at Rockhaven Resources’ Klaza gold-silver-lead-zinc property in the Yukon drove shares up 4¢ to 16¢ per share.
Compared to the previous estimate this January, gold resources grew 503,000 oz. using a 1.5-gram-gold-per-tonne cut-off. Total inferred resources stand at 9.4 million tonnes grading 4.48 grams gold, 89.02 grams silver, 0.8% lead and 0.95% zinc for a total of 1.36 million oz. gold, 26.96 million oz. silver, 155.42 million lb. lead and 197.89 million lb. zinc.
Rockhaven president and CEO Matthew Turner said in a press release there is a “high probability” of expanding the resource along strike and to depth, and an opportunity to investigate multiple, parallel mineralization zones elsewhere on the property.
Mundoro Capital shares fell 29% to 4¢, after the company released exploration results from its Southern Timok properties in northeastern Serbia, which has been under an option agreement with First Quantum Minerals.
According to a company press release, the 5,400-metre drill program identified large areas of zoned hydrothermal alteration and intersected new mineralized zones that returned best intercepts of 36 metres of 0.2% copper and 0.21 gram gold, and 25 metres of 0.54 gram gold.
First Quantum, which solely funded the program, needs to give written notice to Mundoro if it wants a joint venture for the Southern Timok properties.