Vancouver – It was a week in the red for the S&P-TSX Venture Composite Index over the June 1-4 trading period, as investor uncertainty over everything from the Eurozone to the summer doldrums pushed the board down 34.77 points over the week to close at 1453.23. And it seems many investors just stayed away: trading volumes were down considerably, averaging just 87 million.
No where was the negative market sentiment more clear than in comparing juniors reaching new share price high versus falling to new lows – only 25 Venture-listed companies rose to new 52-week highs but 167 dropped down to new lows.
One of those bears was Fire River Gold (FAU-V), which lost 2¢ to start the week at a new low of 36¢.Then the junior released more results from its Nixon Fork gold mine project in Alaska and news of intercepts such as 12.3 metres grading 23.2 grams gold per tonne and 5 metres of 19 grams gold prompted an 8¢ gain by the end of the week. Fire River is assaying drill cores from 2007, when a previous operator drilled 9,400 metres from underground drill stations but never reported the results.
The Ring of Fire in the James Bay lowlands of northern Ontario has been generating considerable news and interest of late. Spider Resources (SPQ-V), locked in a tug-of-war between merging with KWG Resources (KWG-V) and being acquired by Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF-N), was the most traded exploration and mining stock on the Venture board over the week, moving 26.8 million shares to gain a penny and close at 14¢. KWG also saw high trading volume, moving 14 million shares to remain unchanged at 14¢.
Sandspring Resources (SSP-V) announced an updated resource estimate for its Toroparu project in the Republic of Guyana that president Abraham Drost described as sufficiently robust to consider advancing the project to feasibility studies. Toroparu is now home to 105 million indicated tonnes grading 0.86 gram gold and 0.12% copper plus 38.8 million inferred tonnes averaging 0.72 gram gold and 0.08% copper, all contained within an open pit shell. The company’s share price fell 11¢ over the week to $1.26.
Western Potash (WPX-V) investors were slightly more satisfied with their company’s new resource estimate, lifting the company’s share price 2¢ to 46¢. The Milestone project hosts 409 million measured tonnes grading 31% KCl, 1.4 billion indicated tonnes averaging 30.8% KCl, and 7 billion inferred tonnes carrying 30.9% KCl, in three intervals amenable to solution mining.
Another set of encouraging drill results from the Kenieba gold property in Mali could not save Avion Gold (AVR-V) from the falling tide. Avion reported such intercepts as 12 metres of 5.79 grams gold, 2.3 metres of 29.8 grams gold, and 4.7 metres of 7.77 grams gold but still lost 9¢ to close at 51¢. The Kenieba project in adjacent to Avion’s producing Tabakoto project.
And in Chihhuahua state, Mexico, joint-venture partners Levon Resources (LVN-V) and Valley High Ventures (VHV-V) drilled 342 metres of near-continuous mineralization at their Cordero project, including 170 metres of 17.2 grams silver per tonne, 0.03 gram gold, 0.64% zinc, and 0.43% lead and 64 metres of 9.64 grams silver, 0.11 gram gold, 1.04% zinc, and 0.06% lead. Levon fell a penny on the news to close at 74¢ while Valley High Ventures stayed unchanged at 47¢.