Venture sees small point, large volume drop in Feb 6-10 period

Vancouver – The S&P TSX Venture Composite Index saw its first week of decline since mid-December in the February 6 to 10 trading period, dropping 11.56 points to 1,653.55 points as questions about the Greek debt deal overshadowed markets. The uncertainty led to hesitant trading, with the index moving little in the period, and affected trading volumes as well. The average daily trading volume came in at 111 million shares traded daily, a drop of 24 million shares compared with the week before.

Bucking the trend was Nevada Sunrise Gold with 15.5 million shares traded as it ended up 67% or 6¢ to 15¢ after its option partner struck high-grade gold on its property. The company owns the Kinsley Mountain project in Nevada in which Pilot Gold is working to earn a majority stake, believing the project bears a striking resemblance to the Long Canyon deposit. Pilot’s first drill results from the project included 18.4 metres grading 5.91 grams gold per tonne and 7.5 metres averaging 6.75 grams gold. Pilot should soon earn 51% of the project and then has the option to earn an additional 14%.

Roxgold also saw significant activity with 13.6 million shares traded as it hit a brief 52-week trading high of $2.14 before settling slightly with a 5¢ gain at $2.05. The company announced more impressive intercepts from its Yaramoko gold project in Burkina Faso, including 7.4 metres grading 60.5 grams gold, 24.6 metres averaging 14.74 grams gold, and 2 metres averaging 43.97 grams gold. While riding near its 52-week high — having fairly steadily climbed from 30¢ last April — the company announced a $25.9-million financing,  selling shares at $1.85 each.

Great Quest Metals continued a February recovery, climbing 63¢ over six days of straight gains. Of that, 35¢ was in the most recent period, making Great Quest the biggest value gainer for the week. The climb followed losses around the time the company released results from its Tilemsi phosphate project in eastern Mali on February 1. Results from the phase 2 program included bulk sampling that showed a 21% grade increase compared to drill holes, but with narrower intercepts. The bulk sample showed intercepts of 1.2 metres grading a weighted average of 29.3% phosphorus pentoxide.

Aurcana climbed 15¢ on 14.3 million shares traded on no news. The company last released news in mid-January, stating that its La Negra mine produced a million oz. silver in 2011, or 1.7 million oz. silver equivalent, and updating construction of its Shafter mine. Silver has gone from about US$29 per oz. at the beginning of 2012 to hovering just under US$34 per oz. in February.

Verde Potash continued a steep decline following the release of financials related to its conventional potash operation and a change of priorities. The company released a PEA on its Cerrado Verde project on January 31 that outlined an after-tax NPV of US$2.3 billion and an IRR of 23.7% for a 3-million-tonne-per-year operation. Verde also announced it was suspending development work on its Thermopotash project and concentrating efforts on the conventional potash project, which it expects to have operational by 2015.  Since then the company’s share price has dropped from $8.56 to $6.45, with a 51¢ drop in the latest period.


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