After falling nearly 90 points in the first week of February, the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index has levelled off, rising 0.2% to finish at 813.39.
Shares of Gold Reserve rose 14¢ to $3.09. The company is still working towards a preliminary economic assessment at its 45%-owned Brisas gold-copper project in Southeastern Venezuela. The project is a joint venture with the Venezuelan government. Gold Reserve developed the project from 1992 to 2008, when the Bolivian government revoked an infrastructure construction permit. The company applied to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes for arbitration and was granted a settlement, which was amended in 2016 to total more than US$1 billion across five payments.
Shortly after, the company partnered with the Venezuelan government to continue developing the project. After the U.S. and Canada imposed economic sanctions against Venezuela in August 2017, international intermediary banks declined — or limited their involvement in — some transfers between Venezuela and the company. To date, Gold Reserve has received US$187.5 million from Venezuela, but only half has been transferred to its U.S. bank account.
Shares of Novo Resources fell 51¢ to $3.04. The company announced in January that it had received all the permits to explore its Comet Well gold property. Comet Well forms half of the company’s Karratha gold project in western Australia along with Purdy’s Reward, a joint-venture gold project with Artemis Resources.
In February, the company entered an agreement with SGS Minerals located in Perth, Australia, to access a test plant to process 5-tonne bulk samples from Karratha. Samples have been in the 300-kilogram range.
Shares of Bacanora Minerals rose 13¢ to $1.98. The company filed a feasibility study on its wholly owned Sonora lithium project, 190 km northeast of Hermosillo, Mexico. The project consists of seven exploration and mining concessions. Bacanora owns 70% of another three concessions that surround the project. The other concessions are jointly owned by Cadence Minerals.
According to the feasibility study, the project has 243.8 million proven and probable tonnes grading 3,480 ppm lithium and 1.45% potassium for 4.5 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent. It also has a resource of 291 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 3,250 ppm lithium, 1.4% potassium and 5 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent.
Bacanora has a 50% interest in the Zinnwald lithium project, 35 km southeast of Dresden, as well as a 100% interest in the Magdalena borates project in northern Mexico.