TSX Venture struggles as gold plummets, July 13-17

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index declined for a fourth week, as it closed down 1.9%, or 12.17 points, at 628.81 points. Markets were hit by falling commodity prices, while Statistics Canada reported that foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $5.4 billion in May, with most being divestments in equities.

Gold miners were hit particularly hard after August contracts for bullion tumbled 2.6%, or US$29.60, en route to a US$1,131.80 per oz. close. Meanwhile, September contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.7%, or US89¢, before finishing at US$51.21 per barrel, and September contracts for copper lost 1.2%, or US3¢, en route to a US$2.50 per lb. close.

Explorer Temex Resources had a busy week following a second bid for its gold portfolio in northeastern Ontario. The company jumped 83%, or 5¢, on 14.5 million shares traded before finishing at 11¢ per share.

On July 16 Temex announced a $24.5-million, all-share bid from producer Lake Shore Gold. The company has a 60% interest in the Whitney gold project under a joint venture with Goldcorp, and the property sits next to Lake Shore’s Bell Creek mine and mill. Under the proposal, Temex shareholders would receive 0.105 of a Lake Shore share.

The situation could escalate into a bidding war, since Oban Mining had previously received Temex’s approval to offer shareholders a chance to join a five-company merger. Oban’s offer represented a 35% premium based on Temex’s 15-day, volume-weighted average share price at the time. Lake Shore is offering a 106% premium relative to the same trading period.

NexGen Energy also experienced heavy trading after releasing drill results from a 25,000-metre mid-year program at its Rook I uranium property in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin. The company saw nearly 7 million of its shares change hands, as it lost 9%, or 7¢, before finishing at 74¢ per share.

On July 16 NexGen reported that hole 15-49c2 intersected 73.5 metres of mineralization, including 23 metres of off-scale radioactivity in the A2 shear, which extends high-grade mineralization up-plunge to the northeast. Meanwhile, hole 15-48c1 intersected 61 metres of mineralization, including 5.8 metres of off-scale radioactivity.

Beleaguered Pacific Booker Minerals is hitting historic lows amidst permitting delays at its Morrison copper-gold project, 65 km northeast of Smithers, B.C. Shares tumbled 33%, or 76¢, to $1.55 per share.

Pacific Booker won a second chance at permitting Morrison via a court case, but the the project will undergo more review.

Pacific Booker announced on July 13 that it is consulting professional advisors.


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