Agriculture Technology Enabling Cannabis Cultivation in South America

Agriculture technologies are being developed to solve the unique challenges offered by the South American climate.

The cannabis industry is increasingly going global as cultivators explore the benefits of new growing locations.

As a leader in the adoption of agribusiness technologies, South America is becoming a major draw for emerging companies seeking the optimal cultivation environment. As cannabis cultivators move into new territories, many are taking into account the unique conditions and challenges presented by the areas, including climate, infrastructure and more. Of all the elements that can influence crop production, water is one of the most critical when it comes to the health and quality of the resulting crop. Quality cannabis cultivation is absolutely dependent on efficient and reliable irrigation, particularly in hotter and drier climates.

Due to its unique climate, South America can be ideal for companies looking globally for low cost cannabis operations; however, the continent comes with its own set of considerations.

Benefits and challenges in South America

South American countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay are becoming hubs for international cannabis companies. Canadian industry giants Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED), Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB) and Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA) have all set up or acquired growing operations on the continent along with dozens of other cannabis growers. The international cannabis industry is interested in South America for the same reasons that made the continent an international agricultural hotspot. Many of the countries in South America feature ideal climate conditions for outdoor and greenhouse cultivation along with a low cost and experienced agricultural workforce. Low cost labor doesn’t just extend to cultivation workers. Due to inexpensive construction costs, cultivation facilities can be built in South America for as much as 80 percent less than equivalent facilities in North America, according to Prohibition Partners. All of these factors contribute to a lower cost of production, which is allowing Colombian cultivators to grow cannabis for as little as five cents per gram.

For all of the benefits offered by South American cannabis countries, they also present some challenges. While there is no shortage of skilled agricultural workers, cannabis is a unique plant with unique needs. Most jurisdictions outside of North America are relatively new to legal cannabis production. Workers in emerging cannabis markets generally have little to no direct cannabis experience and could require training before reaching full cultivation capacity.

A key part of the draw for South American countries is the climate, but those climates are often very different from what cannabis growers in Canada and the US are used to working within, so emerging South American growers need to adjust their operations accordingly. Additionally, South America is a very geographically diverse place, so the growing climate can vary wildly from place to place. Growers need to account for the differences in temperature and humidity, which can be significantly different in mountain regions compared to coastal regions. International cannabis growers need to become familiar with the exact conditions of the areas in which they plan to operate while learning the best ways to grow within those climates.

Finally, cultivators need to consider how a growing environment affects their water needs. Hot climates like those found in South America place even greater importance on efficient water usage. Operating within developing nations means that the water infrastructure may be limited when it comes to water-intensive activities like cannabis cultivation. While water access is generally very good, some areas in South America may be prone to dry seasons or periods of drought. Even when water is abundant and readily available, the heat of South American climates places even greater importance on effective and consistent water distribution. A lapse in irrigation in a hot South American region can decimate a cannabis crop faster than it would in a cooler climate. Due to these unique challenges, growers establishing new operations must design their cultivation systems to account for the water conditions of their environment.

Agriculture technology enabling optimal water consumption

No matter the type of climate, cannabis is a very thirsty crop. Whereas a typical grape plant cultivated to produce wine requires about 12 liters of water each day, the average cannabis plant requires 22 liters per day. In California, cannabis growing operations have already been linked to the depletion of local watersheds. The same could easily happen in hot and dry South American regions if local cannabis operations are not efficient with their water use.

When water is one of a company’s most valuable assets, efficiency can become critical to all business operations. Efficient irrigation systems are designed to recirculate as much previously used water as possible to help eliminate waste. Rather than draining into sewers or septic systems, water can be routed back into storage tanks, treated and run back into the irrigation system.

Automation can be a valuable tool for ensuring water is used as efficiently as possible. The use of sensors to detect where water is needed allows growers to use water with precision and reduce the guesswork that leads to waste, and these automated systems can take into account things like climate and weather data to adjust for local growing conditions. Agriculture technology companies have been developing increasingly comprehensive and sophisticated systems to track and respond to the needs of cannabis crops. Israeli company Water Ways Technologies (TSXV:WWT), for example, has developed a system that uses internet-of-things connected sensors along with collected data and specially developed software to control irrigation, fertilizing, filtration, climate and more. The CANNAWays system and others like it has the potential to help international companies collect and utilize data to optimize their systems for various growing conditions.

“Cannabis is a water-intensive crop, and optimizing water input through precision irrigation systems can help maximize crop quality and yield as well as reduce costs and increase profit margins,” Ohad Haber, CEO of Water Ways Technologies, told the Investing News Network.

In October 2019, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Colombian medical cannabis company Emerald Bud to design, build and support an irrigation system for Emerald’s 43,580 square meter greenhouse space in the municipality of San Gil. The project also involves training Emerald’s Colombian cultivation team regarding how to operate Water Ways’ innovative connected system.

In July 2019, CannabCo Pharmaceutical joined the many Canadian cannabis producers working on cultivation in South America. The company signed an exclusive agreement with investment promotion agency Invest in Orinoquia to develop thousands of hectares of cannabis and hemp production in the Los Llanos region of Colombia. CannabCo has developed its own proprietary cultivation system called the PHOENIX system, which could give the company advantageous control over its water efficiency for the Colombian climate. The company is also developing unique genetics designed specifically to thrive in the Los Llanos climate.

Takeaway

South America is attracting the world’s cannabis industry with its ideal climate and growing conditions. As international cannabis companies continue to move into South America, the use of efficient and innovative irrigation technologies could help them get the most out of these climates.

This INNSpired article was written according to INN editorial standards to educate investors.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information in this article should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

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Royalty Financing and Investing In Rapidly Emerging Commodities Outside of Gold and Silver

Investing in royalty financing and emerging commodities outside of gold and silver is increasingly attractive due to lower risk and the ability to provide commodity price leverage and exposure to in-demand commodities and their price movements.

In recent years, royalty and streaming companies have quickly emerged as a popular choice among a broad spectrum of investors. They provide the capital to finance many of the most highly prospective mining projects around the world to provide investors with a perfect storm of minimized risks and economic upside.

With unparalleled exploration, diversification, and project acquisition opportunities, this particular type of alternative financing could be set for significant expansion over the next decade.

What is royalty streaming?

Marin Katusa, chairman of Katusa Research, told Kitco News in an interview, “I would start at the royalty side of things … that’s the easiest place to start because these are teams that are de-risking themselves.”

Royalty agreements and streams have similar structures at face value but key differences set them apart.

  • Royalty agreements: Also known as net smelter returns, these agreements provide royalty holders with a percentage of a specific mine’s revenue generated from production, typically hovering around one to three percent. Another common type of royalty agreement includes net profits interests, where the royalty holder receives a percentage of the profits rather than the revenue.
  • Streams: These contractual agreements provide the right to purchase a certain percent of metal production directly from the mine, typically ranging from five to twenty percent. Streams often will have a predetermined purchasing price for the metal, which is usually either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the spot price.

An important distinction between royalty and streaming companies is that these entities are not mine operators. Instead, they seek to find untapped value through financing and working with miners to curate agreements that provide their shareholders with steady exposure to various mineral and metal markets. These agreements enable recipient mining companies to further develop or expand projects, providing greater returns for vested interests and the companies with royalties and stream agreements on the projects.

For junior mining companies, having the financing and support from more established royalty and streaming players can be especially beneficial as it may significantly boost development and exploration efforts and improve balance sheets across highly prospective project portfolios.

Risks and rewards to royalty streaming

In the case of royalty streaming, outlining major pros and cons can paint a clearer picture as to what potential downfalls these agreements have and what makes them one of the most popular financial strategies in 2021.

One of the main downfalls of royalty streaming relates to the structure of the business. Royalties and streaming companies have traditionally had intense competition competing within the precious metals space and needed a large amount of capital to invest in mines, which are raised through stocks or debt. Either companies accumulated debt on their balance sheet or issue stocks, which can involve some unfavorable stock dilution. However, there are very few royalty groups focused on clean energy metals and the costs of deals has been much lower thus far.

Another risk involves actual spot prices and mine production. If spot prices fall, so can revenue generation for royalty companies and metal selling prices for streaming. Additionally, in the case of mine delays, both types of companies may be impacted by a delay of commodity flow. Luckily, there are no costs to holding a royalty so there are no operating costs associated with shutdowns and the G&A required for running royalty companies is very low. .

By avoiding many of the operational costs, royalty and streaming companies cut out significant risks commonly associated with mining investments. While mining companies’ operational costs may rise, royalty and stream holders simply reap the potential benefits of high margins during peak pricing periods for their metals, having acquired them at lower fixed prices according to their agreement.

Another key advantage royalty and streaming companies have is advantageous portfolio diversification and the ability to be selective with their agreements. With the right management and strategic acquisition team, companies can minimize concentrated jurisdictional or asset risk and make agreements with mines already at near-term production staging. Since costs per ounce are contractually defined, this also protects streamers from cost overruns across the life of a mine.

Electric Royalties (TSXV:ELEC) is a royalty company focused on building a premium portfolio that takes advantage of the demand for a wide range of commodities and critical metals like lithium, vanadium, manganese, tin, graphite, cobalt, nickel and copper. Its focus on vital battery and base metal elements leverages the growing demand and global drive toward electrification across virtually all sectors, including transportation, rechargeable batteries, large-scale energy storage, renewable energy generation and more.

The company has a robust commodity portfolio, which helps to diversify investment and mitigate risk for investors and shareholders while leveraging exploration upside, revenue-driven business modelling and more. It currently has a portfolio of 12 royalties with exceptional exploration potential and four additional royalties currently under acquisition.

Electrification: Growing market for royalty streaming companies

The mining royalty and streaming sector have grown steadily from US$2.1 billion in 2010 to more than US$15 billion in 2019. While gold and silver take up a large portion of the streaming market, up-and-coming metals like copper and cobalt continue to show exceptional growth potential as the world shifts to greener alternatives to energy, power and more. Market researchers expect bright futures for both commodities despite disruptions in production in 2020.

Year-to-date:

  • Lithium prices are up 313 percent
  • Copper prices are up 25 percent
  • Zinc prices are up 22 percent
  • Nickel prices are up 18 percent
  • Tin prices are up 82 percent
  • Cobalt prices are up 75 percent

These raw materials expose prospective investors and many royalty streaming companies to multiple sectors, including new economy drivers like electric vehicles, batteries, energy storage, personal electronics and renewable energy platforms including wind and solar. .

Nova Royalty (TSXV:NOVR) is a royalty company focused on copper and nickel discovery as the foundational building blocks in clean energy decarbonization. With a rich portfolio of base metal royalty assets operating out of mining-friendly and highly prospective mining jurisdictions, Nova could become a leading royalty company in the transition to the future of sustainable energy.

With the battery revolution and growing demand for copper and nickel, the company has also strategically positioned itself as a potential frontrunner in the transition to an electric-powered world. As a royalty company, it has a decreased risk across a global portfolio.

Royalty financing: Economic upside potential for investors

For investors, royalty and streaming companies continue to be increasingly attractive due to their lower risk and ability to provide commodity-price leverage and exposure in-demand commodities and their price movements. In addition, investors in streaming companies advantageously leverage the ability to contract metal prices and delivery and tailor metals exposure more than royalty companies can.

Innovative companies are leveraging the momentum behind the transition for decarbonization into green power and investing in these companies outside of precious metal markets like gold and silver. With unprecedented demand and growth in prices for these raw commodities, market researchers predict more money investment opportunities coming into the sector for royalty and streaming companies exposed to these commodities.

Takeaway

Royalty and streaming companies present unparalleled investment opportunities with benefits of low risk, stable metal and mineral market diversified exposure and support for highly prospective mining projects across the globe. With no exposure to issues such as operating cost pressures or capital cost overruns due to predetermined metal pricing and revenue generation agreements, it comes as no surprise that royalty financing has become a significant strategy utilized by new and experienced investors.

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ESG investing best fits socially conscious investors looking for ESG companies focused on environmentally friendly practices to benefit from carbon credits.

Investing in companies based solely on in-depth financial analysis isn’t the only way to evaluate a company these days. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is a trending investment strategy in which an investor assesses a company’s social presence as it relates to profitability and future returns before making an investment decision.

In 2020, the total worldwide. According to Bloomberg, global ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025 –– showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. Some of the top ESG stocks, according to RBC Capital Markets, include large companies like Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) — to name a few.

It is clear that ESG investing has a role to play for the more socially-conscious investors out there. Read on to learn more about the basics of ESG investing and why this trend continues to grow in popularity.

What is ESG investing?

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. ESG includes a variety of actions and responsibilities that a company takes towards building a more sustainable future. ESG initiatives typically come in the form of company policies, dedication to best practices or responsible operations.

Environmental impact includes all investments that support preservation and conservation of the natural world including climate change, carbon emissions, air and water pollution, biodiversity protection, deforestation, energy efficiency, waste management and water supply.

Social impact includes all investments that support the people and communities affected by a company’s operations including customer satisfaction, data protection and privacy, gender and diversity, employee engagement, community relations, human rights and labor standards.

Lastly, governance issues include investments in standards in which the company operates by, including board composition, board diversity, board independence, audit committee structure, risk and governance committee structure, compensation committee structure, health & safety committee structure, anti-bribery and anti-corruption bodies, lobbying, political contributions and whistleblower schemes.

ESG funds and stocks reduce portfolio risk and increase returns

Portfolios that include ESG investments have proven to have greater long-term success than those that do not. Part of this is because ESG funds have had progressively higher returns on investment due to resilience in the face of conventional market disruptions. For example, companies with strong ESG track records had less stock price volatility than non-ESG companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research has also found that ESG stocks produce similar if not better financial results than non-ESG stocks. According to Arabesque, the top quintile S&P 500 companies with ESG initiatives performed more than 25 percent better than the bottom quintile companies from 2014 to 2018.

This reduction in portfolio risk is believed to partly stem from the fact that ESG companies are less likely to be involved in controversies –– whether it be environmental, social or governance due to proactive management.

Environmental is the leading ESG factor

According to recent survey data, among all ESG factors, pollution and waste management ranked top in importance and support from ESG investors. Investor prioritization of pollution and waste management is likely linked to growing concerns around climate change. Both large and smaller companies have responded to this growing concern by either launching or shifting to green models.

Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) is a company that produces furniture and architectural elements. Steelcase minimizes waste through smart product designs that easily allow for product disassembly for use in refurbishing and recycling. Steelcase produces very little waste in addition to reducing pollution through the use of renewable energy and water efficiency.

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPE) has also established a recycling program that spans 73 countries and has collected and recycled 90 million kilograms of plastic. The initiative has substantially cut back on landfill waste and reduced heavy metal pollution. Hewlett Packard has also reduced its greenhouse gas emission and water consumption through the use of 100 percent renewable energy in its manufacturing process.

Northstar Clean Technologies (TSXV:ROOF,TSXV:ROOF.WT) is an emerging clean technology company focused on the recovery and repurposing of single-use asphalt shingles. The company has developed a proprietary design process at its Empower Facility in Delta, BC for taking discarded asphalt shingles, otherwise destined for already over-crowded landfills, and extracting the liquid asphalt, aggregate sands and fiber. Northstar’s mission is to become the leading shingle material recovery provider in North America, extracting 99% of the recovered components from single-use asphalt shingles that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.

Carbon credits for ESG investments

The Canadian government recently announced an upcoming Canadian Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System that will provide carbon credits to a variety of industries. Companies with ESG investments will be well primed for successful carbon credit trading given the expected rising costs of carbon under the Trudeau government.

For companies with ESG-focused models, a federalized carbon credit system will not only provide additional working capital but can improve profitability, growth and ROI potential.

Takeaway

ESG is considered to be crucial to business success. Industries that have not adopted ESG initiatives have received criticism and pressure from various stakeholders. As ESG takes off with billions of dollars in investment, investors may find ESG companies to be of more interest, specifically ESG companies with a focus on environmentally-friendly practices that are well-suited to benefit from carbon credits.

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The industrial applications of silver make it an ideal material for driving the green revolution.

Silver is one of the oldest precious metals known to humanity, rivaled only by gold. And like gold, silver demand comes from a variety of different markets that go far beyond traditional jewelry and currencies. This precious metal is heavily used in high-technology, electrical, thermal and many industrial spaces. With such usage versatility, especially in our increasingly electrified world, investors can expect silver demand to grow exponentially.

There are many technology use cases for silver today. Analysts project silver will play a pivotal role in the “green revolution,” playing a fundamental role in green technologies, as well as in the fintech space with its applications in crypto mining and the broader cryptocurrency market.

Before we dive into why silver is a worthwhile investment, it’s important to understand how silver is used in technology today, from its industrial applications to more modern technology products.

Silver’s unique properties in technology

Silver has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of all metals which makes it highly used in electronics and technological applications today.

Electronics demand silver of the highest purity at 99.99 percent silver. During processing, the precious metal can either be smelted and refined from ore into bars or grains or dissolved in nitric acid to produce silver nitrate, which can be formed into powder or flakes. This material can then be fabricated into contacts or silver pastes, like conductive paste made with a silver-palladium alloy.

How is silver used in today’s technology products?

The number one use of silver in the technology industry is in electronics, making up 35 percent of total silver usage in the United States. The precious metal’s unsurpassed thermal and electrical conductivity among metals means it is a superior metal to less expensive alternatives.

Silver’s role as a superconductor makes its uses varied tremendously across the electronic and technology space. Small quantities of silver are used in electronic applications such as contacts in electrical switches and wires, nanosilver conductive inks in printed electronics, automotive innovation, silver oxide high-weight and high-capacity batteries and many everyday consumer devices.

Silver’s versatility also extends to the booming cryptocurrency industry. Unsurprisingly, the metal plays a vital role in the function of circuit boards inside computers and their accompanying keyboards. A computer’s cooling system needs silver’s superconductive thermal properties to keep the system from overheating while expanding the massive amount of energy computers need to compute. Crypto mining rigs run massive clusters of graphic processing units across a network of computers day and night so the necessity for silver conductivity cannot be understated.

Industrial Applications of Silver

According to market research, industrial buyers drive more than 50 percent of silver demand. In 2020 alone, industrial fabrication reached over 486.8 million ounces in demand. With rapid global efforts to decarbonize and electrify the world, three specific areas present highly prospective and high-level silver consumption.

These industries include the automotive sector and electric vehicles, including the associated infrastructure, the solar energy industry and the fifth-generation (5G) broadband cellular networks. By 2025, silver demand in 5G technology could more than double to 16 million ounces and, by 2030, triple to 23 million ounces, according to estimates by Precious Metals Commodity Management.

Additionally, the metal’s high tensile strength and ductility make it an ideal option for brazing and soldering or flattening into sheets for employment across different industries, including chemical production, medicine, photography and more. With so many applications, the highly valuable metal presents exceptional market demand and outlook as a commodity of the future.

Silver in today’s technology markets

At multiple levels of production, silver presents stellar economic growth and investor upside potential. Despite a global pandemic, silver proved its status as a safe-haven asset for investment portfolios, rising to 47.89 percent in 2020. However, before silver becomes a viable resource in the latest technology and industrial applications, markets need silver exploration and development companies to produce the valuable commodity.

Lakewood Exploration (CSE:LWD) is a silver exploration company focused on becoming a multi-mine silver producer. Its growing asset portfolio includes the recently acquired past-producing Silver Strand and Burnt Cabin mines located in the renowned Silver Valley mining district in Idaho, USA–a district that has produced over 1.2 billion ounces of silver and hosts some of the world’s largest silver mines; the Eliza project located adjacent to the historic Hamilton silver district, in Nevada, which produced 40M oz silver in the 1800s; the past-producing Silverton Silver mine also located in Nevada within the same trend as numerous multi-100M oz silver deposits;and the early-stage Lacy gold-silver project in British Columbia.

In August 2021, the company reported high-grade surface samples including 11.79g/t gold and 255g/t silver to further extend the mineralized trend at Silver Strand. “We are very excited with these results which confirm widespread alteration and gold-silver mineralization throughout the property and along the 5.5 km strike,” commented Lakewood Resources President Morgan Lekstrom.

Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) is a mineral exploration and development company operating silver mines in Alaska, Idaho and Mexico. The company has a variety of exploration properties and pre-development projects in six silver- and gold-mining districts in North America. Hecla leverages North America’s politically stable and mining-friendly jurisdictions to meet the demands of current silver markets.

Santacruz Silver Mining (TSXV:SCZ,OTC Pink:SZSMF) is poised to become Mexico’s next mid-tier silver producer. It currently operates its Rosario project and Zimapan project in top mining districts in Mexico. Both properties benefit significantly from exceptional infrastructure, with road accessibility, utility networks, skilled labor, and significant exploration upside and discovery potential in one of the world’s richest silver-producing countries.

Takeaway

Today, silver presents exceptional versatility in usage across some of the world’s most dominant sectors. As a superconductor, the precious metal boasts the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of all metals, which makes it an ideal material for driving the “green revolution” and meeting the demands of increasingly electrified industries and popular crypto mining technologies. Investors could see tremendous economic upside gaining exposure to this safe-haven asset and the exploration companies that supply it to the world.

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hand with floating dots

Last week's top-gaining stocks on the TSX were Sierra Metals, Champion Iron, SouthGobi Resources, Verde Agritech and Forza Petroleum.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index (INDEXTSI:OSPTX) was trading at 21,198.01 by midday this past Friday (November 26). It closed the period at 21,129.53.

The index opened lower as energy stocks fell on the back of declining oil prices, which hit a two month low on the last day of the trading week.

On Friday, investors turned to safe haven assets as concerns over a new coronavirus variant increased. Gold gained, but silver fell and was on track for a weekly loss.


Last week's five TSX-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest gains are as follows:

  • Sierra Metals (TSX:SMT)
  • Champion Iron (TSX:CIA)
  • SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SGQ)
  • Verde Agritech (TSX:NPK)
  • Forza Petroleum (TSX:FORZ)

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

1. Sierra Metals

Sierra Metals is a growing polymetallic mining company with copper production from its Yauricocha mine in Peru and its Bolivar and Cusi mines in Mexico.

The company did not release news last week, but shares of Sierra Metals increased 8.67 percent during the period and were trading at C$1.88 by the end of the week.

2. Champion Iron

Champion Iron is an iron ore exploration and development company with several major projects in the Southern Labrador Trough, considered the largest iron ore-producing region in Canada.The company is currently developing eight iron-rich projects, including its flagship Bloom Lake asset.

Last week, Champion Iron shares increased 8.29 percent to end at C$4.05.

3. SouthGobi Resources

Integrated coal supplier SouthGobi Resources is focused on its flagship Ovoot Tolgoi mine, the closest coal mine to China, located 46 kilometers north of China-Mongolia border. The company also holds mining and exploration licences for other metallurgical and thermal coal deposits in the South Gobi province of Mongolia.

Over the five day period, shares of SouthGobi Resources increased 7.46 percent to end the week at C$0.36.

4. Verde Agritech

Verde AgriTech is developing its Cerrado Verde project, located in Brazil. The project is the source of a potassium-rich deposit from which the company intends to produce solutions for crop nutrition, crop protection, soil improvement and better sustainability.

Last Wednesday (November 24), the company announced a 169 percent rise in revenue for Q3, and revised its target for the year upward. Verde Agritech saw its share price increase 6.29 percent last week to hit C$1.86.

5. Forza Petroleum

Forza Petroleum, formerly Oryx Petroleum, is an oil exploration, development and production company. It has a 65 percent participating interest in and operates the Hawler license area in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Last week, shares of Forza Petroleum increased 6.25 percent to trade at C$0.17 by the end of the week.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSX Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST using TradingView's stock screener. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$50 million prior to the week's gains are included. Companies within the non-energy minerals and energy minerals are considered.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Energy Fuels is a client of the Investing News Network. This artice is not paid-for content.

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Last week's top-gaining mining stocks on the TSXV were Adex Mining, Butte Energy, Noble Mineral Exploration, AurCrest Gold and International Iconic Gold.

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index (INDEXTSI:JX) ended last week on the decline, shedding 27 points shortly after the morning bell on Friday (November 26). It closed at 942.62.

Global markets were plunged into uncertainty as news that a recently discovered COVID-19 variant known as omicron may be more contagious and potentially vaccine resistant.

Several European and Asian nations scrambled during the last full week of November to implement border and flight restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the variant, which was first detected in South Africa.


Concern that the new mutation could hinder economic recovery weighed heavily on North American markets, with most of the leading indexes slipping lower Friday morning. The energy sector bore the brunt of the declines, with West Texas crude oil dropping 9 percent and Brent crude losing 8 percent.

Gold also faced headwinds from the uncertainty. It fell below US$1,800 per ounce on Tuesday (November 23), and remained under pressure throughout the week, only briefly rallying above US$1,800 early on Friday.

Last week's five TSXV-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest gains are as follows:

Here's a look at what may have moved their share prices during the period.

1. Adex Mining

Explorer Adex Mining is developing the Mount Pleasant mine property in New Brunswick. The site houses two distinct deposits: the Fire Tower zone, which hosts a significant molybdenum and tungsten resource, and the North zone, which contains the world's largest indium reserve and one of North America's largest tin resources.

Adex filed a number of documents on SEDAR last week, including its latest management's discussion and analysis document. Company shares rose 50 percent for the last full week of November, ending the session at C$0.02.

2. Butte Energy

Butte Energy was previously engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of petroleum and natural gas reserves in Western Canada. The company sold its last remaining asset in 2017 and currently has no active operations other than the completion of reclamation activities on previously abandoned wells.

Late last year, Butte brought on a new board and management team that is actively evaluating potential opportunities, including those outside of the oil and gas industry.

Last Tuesday (November 23), the firm released its interim financial statement and management overview.

"In order to fund future operations or acquisitions, the company will need to raise additional funds by way of equity or debt. There is no assurance that the company will be able to raise such funds on terms acceptable to it," the overview reads. "These factors indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Shares of Butte rose 36.75 percent last week, ending the session at C$0.20.

3. Noble Mineral Exploration

Noble Mineral Exploration has holdings in Canada Nickel Company (TSXV:CNC,OTCQX:CNIKF), Spruce Ridge Resources (TSXV:SHL,OTC Pink:SRCGF) and MacDonald Mines Exploration (TSXV:BMK,OTC Pink:MCDMF).

Additionally, the diversified explorer has an interest in the Holdsworth gold exploration property near Wawa, Ontario. The property is comprised of approximately 72,000 hectares of mineral rights in the Timmins-Cochrane areas of Northern Ontario known as Project 81. According to Noble, Project 81 hosts diversified drill-ready gold, nickel-cobalt and base metals exploration targets at various stages of exploration.

Last week, the company entered into a letter of intent (LOI) with Canada Nickel Company to option mining claims in the Mann, Hanna, Duff and Reaume townships. The deal will also see Noble sell its MRO patents in Kingsmill and Mabee townships to the nickel-focused company.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to invite Canada Nickel, with their expertise, to secure this very large land package as it represents a 20km strike length where evidence of nickel, cobalt, PGM's, rhodium and rare earth minerals have been found to be present in work carried out by past explorers," said Vance White, president and CEO of Noble. The LOI news sent shares of Noble 22.83 percent higher, ending the trading week at C$0.13.

4. AurCrest Gold

AurCrest Gold is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties. Presently, the gold-centered firm has a portfolio of assets in Ontario, including the Richardson Lake, Ranger Lake and Bridget Lake gold projects.

In mid-November, the explorer released results from a spring/summer program at its 100 percent owned Ranger Lake property. The program consisted of nine drill holes designed to test one of three high-priority targets.

"Eight drill holes encountered sulphide veins and stringer zones over 1-7 metre intervals hosted in a metasedimentary sequence," the report reads. "Veins and host rocks are sheared and folded, and display characteristics consistent with stages of post-mineralization deformation and partial melting, the latter inferred by quartz-alkali feldspar leucosomal bands."

AurCrest shares added 22.46 percent last week to trade for C$0.35.

5. International Iconic Gold

Exploration company International Iconic Gold is focused on developing its wholly owned San Roque gold project, located in the Rio Negro province of Northeastern Patagonia, Argentina.

According to the company, a gold, silver and base metals resource assessment released in July 2019 shows an inferred mineral resource of 32.9 million tonnes grading 1.42 grams per tonne gold equivalent (AuEq) for 1,499,900 AuEq ounces at a cut-off grade of 0.6 grams per tonne AuEq.

Last Wednesday (November 24), the firm increased its ownership to 100 percent in Minas San Roque (MSR), which owns the legal title to the mining claims comprising Iconic Gold's flagship San Roque property.

"MSR's ownership of the deposit and the prospective geology around it are protected by a system of mine rights. Three federal government mining concessions, known as 'Minas,' totaling 94.5 square kilometers (sq. km) have been granted to MSR," the late November press release states. "In addition, MSR controls eleven temporary mineral exploration licenses, known as 'Cateos,' covering 645 sq. km around the Minas."

By Friday, shares of Iconic Gold had climbed 20.77 percent to close at C$0.14.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSXV Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST using TradingView's stock screener. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$10 million prior to the week's gains are included. Companies within the non-energy minerals and energy minerals are considered.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Canada Nickel Company, MacDonald Mines Exploration, Noble Mineral Exploration and Spruce Ridge Resources are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

MARKETS

Markets
TSX21125.90-487.28
TSXV944.05-31.53
DOW34899.34-905.04
S&P 5004594.62-106.84
NASD15491.66-353.57
ASX7279.30-128.00

COMMODITIES

Commodities
Gold1796.92+1.67
Silver23.35+0.04
Copper4.36+0.07
Palladium1795.28+10.78
Platinum962.31-17.69
Oil71.56+3.41
Heating Oil2.19+0.10
Natural Gas5.10-0.38

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