TSX Venture falls with oil futures, Dec. 11-17

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index took a hit from falling commodity futures, as it tumbled 1.5%, or 7.33 points, en route to a 496.95-point weekly close. On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that foreigners invested $22 billion in Canadian instruments in October. Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production dropped 0.6% in November, which marks the steepest decline in more than three and a half years.

February contracts for gold closed down 2%, or US$21, at US$1,052.10 per oz. Crude oil futures have been on a steady decline since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries opted during a meeting in early December to maintain production levels. January contracts for West Texas Intermediate fell another 5.3%, or US$1.96, en route to a US$34.80-per-barrel close. March contracts for copper lost US2¢ before closing at US$2.04 per lb.

In capital markets news, Salman Partners announced it will shut its doors in February, after 22 years of business. The investment banking and institutional trading firm had offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and had carved out a niche in the natural resource industry. CEO Terry Salman said in a media release that the firm would resign its membership in the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, due to “extremely difficult” industry conditions.

Select Sands topped the value-added category after a $1.1-million financing. The company gained 11¢ on 710,000 shares traded, before closing at 47¢ per share. On Dec. 11 Select Sands announced closing a private placement, where it issued 2.7 million units at 40¢ each. The units consist of one share and one purchase warrant, exercisable at 60¢ for three years.

The company is advancing its Silica Sand project in Arkansas to sell frac/industrial material into “major U.S. oil and gas basins, as well as industrial and specialty end markets.” As per a recent preliminary economic assessment, the project hosts 20 million tonnes of silica sand, with a pre-tax, US$190-million net present value.

Explorer Skeena Resources was the most traded stock after releasing news on an outstanding financing. The company saw nearly 6 million of its shares change hands, before it closed up 1¢ at 7¢ per share.

On Dec. 16 Skeena reported it would delay closing the second tranche of a private placement valued at $1.3 million. The company closed its first stage, valued at $4.7 million, in early November. The company expects the rest of the financing to close in January.

Skeena recently picked up the GJ copper-gold project from Teck Resources and NGEx Resources, and is advancing its Spectrum high-grade gold property. Both assets are located in B.C.’s prolific Golden Triangle region.


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