We have, though it was a week that brought to mind Melbourne’s famously fickle weather, where you get four seasons in a day. The ASX started horribly, as was expected after the triple-headed crisis in Japan, steadied, wobbled again, and then rebounded on Friday to finish roughly where it started. The indices tell the story of the week, but not of the day-to-day confusion. The all ordinaries closed on Friday down 0.4 per cent. The metals and minerals index closed up 0.9 per cent, and the gold index closed down one per cent.

In other words: all over the shop.

Very much so, though you could also say we were saved by Friday, when the indices made up most of their lost ground. The all ordinaries added 1.7 per cent on Friday. Metals and mining added 2.6 per cent, and gold rose by 3.6 per cent. Victim of the week was undoubtedly the uranium sector which was slaughtered, with all companies down by between 20 and 35 per cent. A few brave chief executives raised their voices against the sell-off, only to be whacked by the popular press, which added insult to injury. The gold sector produced a surprising number of positive moves, even if the index did end lower. Copper was the best of the base metals. Iron ore was mixed, as were the minor metals.

Let’s go straight to gold, and leave uranium for last because most investors up this way already understand what happened there.

Kingsrose (KRM) was Friday’s star. It rose a sharp A20 cents to a 12 month high of A$1.55 in its second heaviest trading day of the past 12 months. Slightly more than three million shares were traded, almost matching the previous record of 3.5 million recorded late last year. Nothing was filed by the company at the ASX, and the exchange did not hit the company with a price and volume speeding ticket. Perhaps it’s in the mail.

Another solid upward move in the gold space came from Ramelius (RMS). The shares rose A17 cents to A$1.27 after the company reported a resource upgrade at its Mt Magnet project in Western Australia. The new resource for the Galaxy area alone at Mt Magnet stands at just over one million ounces, comprised of 20.3 million tonnes grading 1.65 grams of gold a tonne. Troy Resources (TRY) also had a good week, recovering A28 cents of recently lost ground to close on Friday at A$3.70, thanks largely to the discovery of a high-grade gold vein at its Casposo project in Argentina. This could potentially add years to the mine’s life. Also on the move was Crusader (CAS), which continued to rise in the wake of fresh drill results from its Borborema project in Brazil. The best assay showed 19.65 metres at 5.33 grams per tonne, which included nine metres at 9.75 grams per tonne. The shares rose A13 cents to A$1.10.

Two other gold companies which we follow closely also deserve special mention. Gold Road (GOR) reported that it has boosted the resource base at its Central Bore project in Western Australia beyond the one million ounce mark. In response Gold Road’s shares rose A2 cents to A42 cents. And Catalpa (CAH) enjoyed a decent rub-off from Bruce McFadzean’s talk at the 77th Minesite forum last week, rising by A16 cents to A$1.74.

Which goes to show that London investors can still drive your market.

Never doubted it. We’ll wrap up the developments in the gold space with a quick call of the card. Companies on the rise included Kingsgate (KCN), up A42 cents to A$8.50, Saracen (SAR), up A4.5 cents to A64.5 cents, Silver Lake (SLR), up A5 cents to A$2.09, Medusa (MML), up A27 cents to A$6.78, and Beadell (BDR), up A3 cents to A78 cents. Gold companies that fell included Ausgold (AUC), down A17 cents to A$1.10, Perseus (PRU), down A10 cents to A$2.80, OceanaGold (OGC), down A9 cents to A$2.40, Northern Star (NST), down A1.5 cents to A34.5 cents, and Scotgold (SGZ), down A0.3 of a cent to A7.2 cents.

Base metals next, please.

Copper did best. Nickel companies slipped a little, and zinc companies slipped a little more. Best of the emerging copper producers were Sandfire (SFR) and Rex (RXM). Sandfire rose A35 cents to A$6.78 and Rex rose A15 cents to A$2.75. Other copper companies on the rise included: OZ Minerals (OZL), up A7 cents to A$1.53, Equinox (EQN), up A16 cents to A$5.31, Marengo (MGO), up A1 cent to A28.5 cents, and PanAust (PNA), up A4.5 cents to A77 cents. Bougainville Copper (BOC) was also on the move as it continues to attract speculators ahead of a possible commitment to the re-development of its mothballed mine in Papua New Guinea. Bougainville rose A20 cents to A$1.50.

Nickel movers included: Mincor (MCR), down A1.5 cents to A$1.41, Western Areas (WSA), down A26 cents to A$6.03, Panoramic (PAN), down A4 cents to A$2.05, and Poseidon (POS), down A1.5 cents to A25 cents.

Zinc movers included: Perilya (PEM), down A7 cents to A55.5 cents, Terramin (TZN), down A2.5 cents to A35 cents, Ironbark (IBG), down A1.5 cents to A22.5 cents, and Prairie Downs (PDZ), down A3 cents to A15.5 cents. The one zinc company to rise was Bass (BSM), which closed up half a cent to A39 cents.

Iron ore and coal next, please.

The trend was modestly down, although there were also some risers, and one company that fell markedly. BC Iron (BCI) dropped A51 cents to A$2.44 after the surprise withdrawal of a takeover bid from Regent Pacific. We should hear more about that in the weeks ahead because the reason for the withdrawal, a claim that Ukrainian oligarch Gennadiy Bogolyubov, the owner of Consolidated Minerals, had not spelled out his intentions to accept or otherwise, has raised eyebrows. Other companies on the move included: Atlas (AGO), down A6 cents to A$3.32, Iron Ore Holdings (IOH), down A1.5 cents to A$1.62, Territory (TTY), down A1 cent to A27.5 cents, Brockman (BRM), up A14 cents to A$6.10, and Fortescue (FMG), up A6 cents to A$5.94.

Coal companies had a mixed time of it, though there was one notable rise. Aspire (AKM) reported fresh assay results from its Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia, and rose A7 cents to A75 cents. Other movers included: Coal of Africa (CZA), down A7 cents to A$1.24, Riversdale (RIV), up A19 cents to A$15.71, Hunnu (HUN), down A1 cent to A$1.33, Xanadu (XAM), down A5.5 cents to A50 cents, and Aston (AZT), up A28 cents to A$8.77.

Minor metals, and then finish with the call of the rather ill uranium card.

There was very little to report among the minor metals. Rare earth companies were weaker. Lynas (LYC) slipped A5 cents lower to A$1.92, and Alkane (ALK) lost the same amount, A5 cents, to A$1.35. The tin companies went in different directions. Venture (VMS) added A3.5 cents to A49 cents, while Kasbah (KAS) lost A1.5 cents to A26.5 cents. South Boulder (STB), the leading potash player, recovered a modest A4 cents to A$4.51. Nkwe Platinum (NKP) returned to trade after a period in suspension over uncertainty relating to its tenements in South Africa, and promptly dropped A9.5 cents to A35.5 cents.

Uranium, and goodbye.

As you might expect, there’s no good news to report. Just a list of share price falls. Mantra (MRU) dropped A$2.55 to A$5.29 after a Kazakh-based company dropped its proposed takeover bid. Paladin (PDN) fell A$1.13 to A$3.60, but did get as low as A$3.01 on Thursday, although there were some signs of a recovery on Friday. Extract (EXT) fell A$3.63 to A$7.00. Manhattan (MHC) fell A24 cents to A81 cents, but did touch A60 cents on Thursday. Berkeley (BKY) fell A52 cents to A90 cents, but did get as low as A74 cents on Tuesday. And Bannerman (BMN) fell A24.5 cents to A44.5 cents, but did get as low as A34.5 cents on Tuesday.


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