After opening marginally up and edging up further in early trades, the TSX slipped into negative territory Thursday morning. The downward trend was the result of economic data from either side of the border due to uncertainty about the approval of the deal and worries about U.S.-China trade dispute. However, materials shares and mining stocks remained in demand following news from several Canadian gold miners that prompted investors to make cautious moves.
Among the gold stocks in the Materials Index, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) soared more than 16%. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) gained 5.2%. Centerra Gold (CG.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), Silvercorp Metals (SVM.TO), Sandstorm Gold (SSL.TO), First Majestic Silver (FR.TO), Alacer Gold (ASR.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), Novagold (NG.TO) and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) were up 3 to 4.5%.
Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO), Kinross Gold Corp (K.TO), Detour Gold Corp (DGC.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) and Pan American Silver (PAAS.TO) also rose sharply.
The biggest deal during the week came from B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) which sold El Limon and La Libertad Gold Mines, the Pavon Gold Project and additional mineral concessions in Nicaragua to Calibre Mining Corp. for aggregate consideration of US$100 million.
Eastfield Resources Ltd. (ETF) ETFLF, -34.57% ("Eastfield") reported on the progress of the Hedgehog project located near the historic gold mining community of Barkerville in east central British Columbia. Investors geared for the release of the mining news since returned values of outcropping quartz veins discovered in 2013 have shown 1.51 g/t gold, 1.37% zinc, 0.48% lead, 1,203 ppm arsenic and 1,313 ppm antimony (plus many lesser values).The massive scale of the exploration program is one of the primary motifs behind the takeover bid of Barkerville Gold Mines (controlling 75 kilometers of the Hedgehog Project) by Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. announced on September 23, 2019 and valued at approximately CAD$338 million
News from gold miner Alamos Gold were not as positive as the Canadian company announced halting construction work at its Kirazli project in western Turkey. The move comes after its mining concessions expired on Sunday amid protests against the project.
Thousands of locals, including opposition lawmakers, have been protesting against the mine, fearing contamination of the soil and waters of a nearby dam due to the use of cyanide to extract gold. They have also said Alamos has cut down more trees than it had declared.
The week saw two junior gold miners caught in civil litigation with British Columbia-based Midas Gold filing court documents on Wednesday to put on hold a lawsuit by the Nez Perce Tribe. The company is looking to mine for gold in central Idaho but the tribe filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in August, claiming Midas Gold is illegally allowing arsenic, cyanide and mercury to remain in the area where the tribe has had hunting and fishing rights since an 1855 treaty with the U.S. The Canadian miner is hoping to open the Stibnite Mining District to speed up ongoing efforts to get on this Site and help this area.
Overall, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which declined to 16,403.39 after advancing to a high of 16,468.78 in early trades, was down 14.76 points, or 0.09%, at 16,412.42 around noon.