TSX Venture edges down, Oct. 10-14

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index saw its third straight week of declines, falling 7.78 points to a 773.02-point close, as the market prepares for an interest rate hike in December. Spot gold prices shed US$6.05 to four-month lows at US$1,251.03 per oz., while Comex copper prices lost US5¢ to US$2.11 per lb. on soft trade data out of China.

NewCastle Gold rose 19¢ to $1.02 per share after announcing plans to increase a bought-deal financing to 22.5 million shares at 82¢, for gross proceeds of $18.5 million. The capital would advance the company’s Castle Mountain gold property in San Bernardino County, California. The property hosts the former Castle Mountain heap-leach gold mine, which saw over 1 million oz. gold produced from 1992 to 2004. Remaining resources amount to 17.4 million measured tonnes of 0.86 gram gold per tonne, 202.5 million indicated tonnes of 0.57 gram gold and 40.8 million inferred tonnes of 0.58 gram gold. Mineralization occurs as structurally controlled, epithermal breccia zones developed within a collapsed caldera environment.

Shares of lithium explorer Alix Resources saw 12.3 million shares traded before closing up 3¢ to 8¢, after finding a 1 km long lithium-rich clay zone at its recently acquired Agua Fria property in Sonora, Mexico. Samples from either end of the mineralized trend returned 800 and 1,000 ppm lithium. The property borders the company’s Electra project, which is under joint-venture with Lithium Australia, a junior explorer based out of Perth. The partners are preparing for an upcoming drill program at Electra, which will focus on two areas underlain by sediments that are prospective for lithium mineralization. The company says the targets could have similar mineralization to the adjoining Buenavista concession — owned by Bacanora Minerals and Rare Earth Minerals — which hosts 259 million indicated tonnes of 3,200 ppm lithium and 160 million inferred tonnes of 3,200 ppm lithium, assuming a 1,000 ppm lithium cut-off.

Shares of Nova Scotia-based ScoZinc Mining gained 37¢ before closing at $1.15, on the back of improving zinc prices. The company hopes to restart open-pit operations at its wholly owned Scotia zinc-lead mine, 50 km east of Halifax, which has been on care and maintenance since early 2009. After acquiring the mine in 2011, ScoZinc has invested more than $10 million into refurbishing the mill, exploration, technical and economic studies, as well as permitting. In a 2013 preliminary economic assessment, a 2,500-tonne-per-day mining scenario could have a pre-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $52.4 million, and a 49% pre-tax internal rate of return.


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