Good economic growth in India was more than offset by slowing manufacturing data out of China and weak job numbers out of the United States. So far the mantra of “sell in May and go away” seems to be holding up this year. Once all the trading was done this past week, the TSX Ventures Exchange, home to more junior exploration companies than anywhere else in the world, had dropped 2.14 per cent, while the TSX Gold Index had followed suit, having also lost 2.14 per cent.

Was there any good news around?

Some. Shares of Sabina Gold & Silver managed to add a modest C$0.03 to close at C$6.89 after the company inked a deal to sell its Hackett River base metal project and a portion of its Wishbone greenstone belt in Nunavut to Xstrata Zinc Canada for C$50 million cash. Sabina also maintains reservation of a silver production royalty equal to 22.5 per cent of the first 190 million ounces of silver product and 12.5 per cent thereafter. For its part, Xstrata will spend at least C$50 million to complete a feasibility study on the project.

And Augusta Resources had a good week after it announced that it had delivered its draft Environment Impact Statement for its Rosemont copper project in Arizona into the hands of the relevant authorities. These now have 30 days to provide final comments on the draft as part of the federal government’s National Environmental Policy Act. Augusta ended the week up C$0.14 at C4.44.

But not all good news was favourably received. Fortuna Silver Mines failed to get a boost following news that it has achieved a better start-up production rate than it had previously hoped for at its the San Jose silver-gold mine in Mexico. The miner is producing at 1,000 tonnes per day and expects to hit a targeted 1,500 tonnes per day in the fourth quarter of 2013. Even so, Fortuna ended the week down C$0.40 at C$4.79.

I think investors are more concerned about the future status of Fortuna’s Caylloma mine in Peru.

The presidential election is on Sunday, and heading into the election the Peru government has suspended approval of all mining projects in parts of the southern state of Puno, which does not affect Fortuna but essentially halts Bear Creek Mining's Santa Ana silver mine project. Not surprisingly that news hit Bear Creek further, and its shares ended the week down C$0.78 at C$6.20.

Any Yukon news this week?

Not much. Capstone Mining rewarded shareholders by announcing that the Wildfire/Copper Keel area of its Minto mine in the Yukon will add 219 million pounds of copper to the overall resource at the Minto mine, using a 0.5% copper cut-off. But in spite of that Capstone ended the week unchanged at C$3.48.

There was a bit more news from the Canadian-listed African miners. Shares of Semafo lost C$0.47 to close at C$8.08 after the he gold miner announced production of 60,000 ounces of gold in the first quarter at cash costs of US$654 per ounce. Of concern were the cash costs at its Amira Hill and Kiniero mines, which came in at US$950 per ounce and US$1,110 per ounce, respectively.

Unrest in Burkina Faso, where Semafo has one of its mines, can’t have helped either.

You’d think so, but another company working in Burkina fared well this week following good drilling news. Riverstone Resources tagged 38 metres of 5.6 grams gold per tonne on its Karma project in Burkina Faso. The junior closed at C$0.65 for a C$0.05 gain.

Meanwhile, safely back in Canada, Grande Cache Coal announced profits of US$27.7 million or US$0.28 per share in the 12 month period ended March 31st, 2011. Coal sales for the year tallied 1.55 million tonnes, which was down on the 1.77 million tonnes tabled in the same period a year earlier. Grande Cache ended the week down C$0.28 at C$7.99.

Elsewhere, in exploration news, Extorre Gold Mines hit 8.4 grams gold per tonne and 1,332 grams silver per tonne over eight metres at its new Zoe discovery on its Cerro Moro project in Argentina. The high flying company – which was spun out of Exeter Resources - also announced the discovery of silver-gold mineralization at its Puntudo project, near the Joaquin silver project owned by Coeur d'Alene Mines and Mirasol Resources, and 200 kilometres west of Cerro Moro. Highlights here included 42.3 metres of 0.6 gram gold per tonne and 16 grams silver per tonne. Extorre ended the week up C$0.11 at C$11.55.

Also hitting some good intercepts was Torex Gold Resources. A step-out hole on the Morelos gold project in Mexico returned 2.7 grams gold per tonne over 44.28 metres. But the market failed to notice as Torex ended the week down C$0.07 at C$1.61.

Staying in Mexico, Grayd Resource reported a 253 metres drill intercept running 0.88 grams gold per tonne from drilling in the Tarachi area of its La India property in Sonora State. Grayd ended the week up $0.08 at C$1.85.

Poor job numbers out of the United States spooked investors on Friday and indications are that the markets will continue in skittish mood throughout the summer. We will see what next week has in store.


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