Venture continues decline in May 9 – 13 period

Vancouver – The S&P TSX Venture Exchange had another tough week, dropping 50.38 points in the May 9 to 13 period after three days of losses outweighed two days of gains. The board ended at 2,038.22 points, the lowest in 2011 and a level not seen since last November.

Volume was noticeably lower as well, averaging just 122 million shares traded daily. And the gap between the bears and bulls widened further, with 121 Venture-listed companies hitting 52-week lows and only 20 hitting 52-week highs.

With the market reacting poorly to both good news and bad, it was left to companies with no news to lead the indicators.

First Lithium Resources was by far the most traded company despite not releasing any news in the period. The company was forced to clarify that it had no material changes as the company saw 45 million shares traded in the period and climbed up 7¢ before retreating and ending up 2¢ at 14¢. The company’s last news was on April 25 where it announced results from a deepened hole at its Mollie River project in Ontario and concluded that no further work would be done on the claims where the hole was drilled.

Next in overall volume, Ultra Lithium saw 21.9 million shares traded as the company’s stock nearly doubled in mid-day trading before ending the period up 1.5¢ to close at 7.5¢, also on no news. The company has interest in properties in Nevada, Ontario and Alberta, with the Zigzag lithium/rare metals project in Ontario the only one to see recent work. Canadian Orebodies is currently earning in 80% of the project while Ultra Lithium can earn the remaining 20%. March drill results showed elevated levels of tantalum on the property.

Topping the value category, Weststar Resources bucked the general downward trend and gained 40¢ to finish at $1.30 after not closing down once in the period.  The 44.4% increase was also good enough to take third in the percentage-gain category. Weststar, however, released no news in the period, though it recently arranged a $9 million financing and in late March secured an option agreement to earn 80% of the La Paloma gold-silver project in Jalisco, Mexico.

Rare earth plays also ranked high on the value gains, with Geomega Resources up 29¢ to $3.44 and Tasman Metals up 26¢ to $4.83. In keeping with the pattern, neither company released news in the period. However, Geomega recently amended an option agreement for the Montveil and Pump Lake properties in Quebec to immediately secure full ownership of Montveil, and Tasman recently announced positive metallurgical results from its Norra Karr heavy rare earth element and zirconium project in Sweden.

Meanwhile, Great Quest Metals managed to gain 29¢ to end at $3.20 after actually releasing news in the period. The company announced it had started an air-core drilling program on its Tilemsi phosphate project in Mali that will include up to 800 shallow holes. Great Quest also announced it had completed the first hole of a 16-hole, 2,500-metre core drill program at its Sanoukou project, also in Mali. Previous air-core drill results from Sanoukou include 19 metres gradng 2.59 grams gold per tonne and 7 metres averaging 3.65 grams gold.


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