Base Metals

Copper Investing

Last week’s other top-gaining stocks on the TSX were Niocorp Developments, Asanko Gold, Minco Silver and Belo Sun Mining.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index (INDEXTSI:OSPTX) ended Friday (December 22) down 17.36 points, or 0.11 percent, at 16,165.27 points. 
Over the course of the week, the index gained 0.8 percent, achieving its sharpest gain since late last month. Volumes were low on Friday ahead of the Christmas holiday weekend.
“You really can’t read too much into market movements in a pre-holiday trading session today. The volumes are quite anaemic across the board,” said Ian Scott, equity analyst at Manulife Asset Management.
Against that backdrop, a number of TSX-listed mining companies enjoyed share price gains last week. The five biggest gainers are as follows:

  • Niocorp Developments (TSX:NB)
  • Minco Silver (TSX:MSV)
  • Belo Sun Mining (TSX:BSX)

Here’s a look at those companies and the factors that moved their share prices last week.

1. Niocorp Developments

NioCorp Developments is developing its Elk Creek project, which it says is North America’s only niobium-scandium-titanium project.
Last week, the company’s share price rocketed up 42.5 percent to hit $0.57. During the period, NioCorp released two pieces of news. First, on December 18, it said that Nebraska has conditionally approved a package of tax incentives for Elk Creek; they may be worth more than $100 million over the first 10 years of commercial operation. Then, on December 20, NioCorp commented on a recent White House executive order aimed at accelerating the production of critical minerals upon which the US is dependent.

2. Asanko Gold

Africa-focused gold producer Asanko Gold holds the Asanko gold mine in Ghana, as well as “highly prospective land packages” in the area. The Asanko mine is made up of two deposits, and is wholly owned by Asanko, with the government of Ghana holding a 10-percent free carried interest. The company did not release any news last week, but its share price nevertheless increased 31.15 percent, closing at $0.82.

3. Minco Silver

Minco Silver’s share price rose 29.85 percent last week to close at $0.85. The company’s main focus is its Fuwan silver project, which is located in China about 45 kilometers southwest of Guangzhou. The company has not released any news since September.

4. Belo Sun Mining

Belo Sun Mining is developing its Volta Grande gold project Brazil. It received a construction license for Volta Grande in February 2017, but it was suspended in April because Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Agency had not approved the indigenous studies completed by the company. In early December, the country’s Federal Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of Belo Sun’s construction license. Peter Tagliamonte, the company’s president and CEO, said he is “confident that a resolution can be reached.”
The company has not released any news since then, but last week its share price jumped 26.98 percent to end the week at $0.40.

5. Trilogy Metals

Trilogy Metals’ main assets are the Upper Kobuk mineral projects in Alaska’s Ambler Mining District. The company says it is “uniquely positioned” to give investors exposure to rising copper, zinc, gold and silver prices, and it is working to determine the extent of mineralization at its projects.
The company’s share price leaped 26.96 percent last week after it announced that a subsidiary of South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32) has become a “significant new shareholder” of the company, with about 6 percent of its outstanding common shares. Trilogy CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse also increased his stake in the company to 2.6 percent, which comes out to about 2.7 million common shares. Trilogy’s share price closed at $1.35.
Data for 5 Top Weekly TSX Stocks articles is retrieved each at 10:30 a.m. PST using The Globe and Mail’s market data filter. Only companies with a market capitalization greater than $50 million prior to the week’s gains are included. Companies within the mining and precious metals sectors are considered.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.



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