Venture hits new 52-week low in June 18-22 period

VANCOUVER — The S&P TSX Venture Composite Index sunk to a new low in the June 18 to 22 period, dropping 45 points to close at 1,206.03 points. The closing position puts the index at a new 52-week low and its lowest level since September 2009. With no spikes in volume during the week the overall activity average also dropped significantly, down about 10 million from the week before to an average of 62 million shares traded daily.

Lumina Copper added 67¢ to its late gains of $1.07 the week before to be the highest value climber of the period. The company ended at $9.57, having climbed to as high as $10.35 mid-way through the period before retreating with the market. Lumina initiated a strategic review committee on June 15 to consider its options, including a partial or outright sale of the company, in the face of a dropping share price and hostile Argentine operating environment. Extorre Gold Mines, the other main takeover option in Argentina, agreed to a $395 million takeover by Yamana Gold early in the period.

South Africa-focused Diamcor Mining shot up as much as 48¢ in the period before closing up 22¢ at $1.11 with about 637,000 shares traded. The company announced it had begun the commissioning the processing plant at its Krone-Endora at Venetia diamond project, with most of the construction complete. Diamcor will be testing its 200-short-ton-per-hour plant in the coming weeks by processing concentrate that came with the project when Diamcor bought it from DeBeers, as well as the processing of newly mined material. The company has climbed from around 35¢ in December to its recent 52-week high of $1.37, with just under 30 million shares outstanding.

Barkerville Gold Mines got a 22¢ boost to close at 75¢ with 1.8 million shares traded after completing a mine infrastructure purchase and receiving an environmental permit. The mine infrastructure includes the Goldstream mill facility, tailings pond, and related mineral leases, with Barkerville planning to move the mill to its Gold Quartz mine in central British Columbia. The environmental permit gives the green light for the company to start taking ore from its Bonanza Ledge open-pit gold mine to be processed at its QR mine near Quesnel, B.C.

Max Resource had one of the biggest percentage gains of the period, climbing from 12¢ to 21¢ with about 33,000 shares traded on no news. On June 14 the company announced it had completed 872 metres of drilling in eight holes at its Majuba Hill silver-copper-gold project in Nevada, though that news only prompted a single trade of 100 shares. On June 15 the company saw no shares traded, as was the case between June 8 and 13. Previous results from Majuba Hill project include 96 metres grading 98.3 grams silver equivalent and 50.3 metres averaging 86.7 grams silver equivalent.

On the other end of the spectrum, rare-earth explorer Elissa Resources had the biggest percentage drop, falling from 16¢ to 8¢ on 1.5 million shares traded. The company released the first drill results from its Thor rare earth project in Nevada, with a best intercept of 9.8 metres grading 1.05% total rare earth oxides. Most results were a few metres thick or less, grading around or below 1% TREO.


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