The S&P/TSX Venture Composite struggled during the trading sessions, dropping 5.4%, or 39.88 points, en route to a 701.99-point weekly close. Energy markets were further hit by falling crude oil futures, which reached a five-year low. Meanwhile, Statstics Canada reported that the Canadian economy lost 10,700 jobs last month, as the unemployment rate rose to 6.6%.
Gold futures gained slightly, with February bullion contracts jumping 3.5%, or US$40.10, before closing at US$1,190.40 per oz. January contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil hit a US$63.72 low before closing up 2.4%, or US$1.53, at US$65.84 per barrel. March copper contracts gained 4%, or US11¢, en route to a US$2.90 per lb. close.
Quebec-focused Midland Exploration led the value-added category after completing a private placement for gross proceeds of US$1.7 million. Shares surged 12¢ before closing at 70¢.
On Dec. 3 Midland reported it had issued 1.1 million units at 80¢ per unit and 1.04 million flow-through shares priced at 85¢. Each unit is comprised of a share and half a warrant exercisable at 95¢ through December 2016. Midland has 32.4 million shares outstanding.
Midland will reportedly use the funds to explore Quebec. The company has interests in mineral prospects under various option agreements, including partnerships with Agnico Eagle Mines and Teck Resources.
Copper explorer Alix Resources was amongst the most heavily traded stocks after a proposed share consolidation. The company saw nearly 10 million shares change hands before closing at 0.5¢ per share.
On Dec. 1 Alix proposed a 10-to-1 share consolidation, leaving the company with 7.9 million shares outstanding. Alix’s board of directors say “the consolidation will increase the company’s flexibility and competitiveness in the market place.”
Alix is a junior explorer with a 325 sq. km land position in B.C.’s Sheslay district copper-porphyry district. The company recently completed a prospecting and soil-sampling program at its South Fork, North Cap East, and North Cap West properties.
U.S.-based Gold Reserve lost 12¢ before closing at $4.20 per share. The company is petitioning the U.S. District Court to enforce a US$713-million award against the Venezualan government for arbitration before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
The Venezuelan government will respond in writing with any arguments. In November it filed submissions in France requesting a stay of execution pending its application for the award’s annulment.