Continued precious and base metal market weakness furthered the bloodletting on the junior board over the holiday-shortened May 16-19 trading session, with the TSX Venture Composite Index falling 8.5%, or 258.76 points, to close at 2,770.73. Strong selling led to average daily trading volumes of just over 100 million shares.
The sell-off was noticeable in the significant drop in companies hitting share-price highs. A greatly diminished 33 juniors managed to rise to new 52-week highs compared with the 17 explorers that slipped to new annual lows.
Top-trader honours for the week again went to Yukon Zinc. With over 57 million shares of volume, the stock continued to plummet, down 21.5, or 43%, to close at 28. Corrections to the company’s recently released feasibility study for the Wolverine zinc-copper-lead deposit, in the eastern Yukon, boosted projected mining costs by over 40% to $35.18 per tonne. The economics of the proposed mine, including a hefty 10% royalty on silver, spooked investors and triggered the exodus.
Coalcorp Mining also maintained its second-place position amongst most actives, trading 14.3 million shares and shedding 9 to close at 89. The coal developer is advancing its three projects and port facility in northern Colombia.
Grabbing third spot among volume leaders, upstart uranium producer UrAsia Energy traded 10.7 million shares, but slid 60 or 18% to close at $2.68. Production from the company’s Akdala mine in Kazakhstan is expected to reach 2.6 million lbs. U3O8 this year. The company recently secured a couple of supply contracts since acquiring its Kazak uranium projects in late 2005.
ECU Silver Mining closed up 6 at $2.95 per share, posting volume of over 6.8 million on the session. Stockwork zone-hosted silver and gold mineralization was encountered in an underground crosscut driven between two vein sets at its Santa Juana mine in Mexico’s Durango state.
Shares of Plexmar Resources dropped 15%, closing off 6 at 34 on volume of almost 6.3 million. Trenching continues at its Bolsa del Diablo project in Peru, where recent results delivered significant high-grade gold values.
Strateco Resources saw its shares slip further, dropping 9 to close at $1.02 on volume of 5.6 million. Recent drilling at its Matoush uranium project, in Quebec’s Otish Mountains region, intersected up to 5.2 metres of 2% U3O8.
Bravo Venture Group traded down 33% on volume of almost 1.5 million, to close the week at 49. Barrick Gold recently notified the junior that it is dropping its option on the South Lone Mountain project in Nevada’s Battle Mountain-Eureka trend.
Aurelian Resources saw its shares gain 60 apiece to close the session at $4.89 on volume of 1.4 million. It recently closed a $20-million financing that will be primarily used to continue exploration of its Condor copper-gold project area in southeastern Ecuador. The large land package contains more than 60 epithermal gold and porphyry copper deposits and targets.
TSX-V greatest percentage change
|Marifil Min wt||MFM.WT||117||0.40||0.18||0.205||+57.6|
|Becker Gold M||BGD||113||0.40||0.325||0.40||+17.6|
|Golden Odyss M||GOE||293||0.37||0.28||0.325||+16.0|
|Pac Imp Mines||PPM||30||0.25||0.25||0.25||-44.4|
|Terra Nova Gld||TGC||163||0.13||0.085||0.085||-34.6|
TSX-V greatest value change
|Pan African Mg||PAF||199650||2.30||+0.10|
|Pearl Ex & Pr||PXX||473816||5.30||-0.74|
|Pac Booker Min||BKM||87965||5.60||-0.60|
TSX-V most active issues
|ECU Silver Mng||ECU||6804||3.06||2.28||2.95||+0.06|
|Cons Gold Win||CGW||4809||0.19||0.13||0.165||-0.02|
|Mandorin Goldf||MGD td>||4091||0.135||0.08||0.09||-0.035|