Gratomic’s Benching Program Benefits Share Price

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index (INDEXTSI:JX) continued to edge higher during the second week of August, on track to add almost 10 percent from its Monday (August 8) start of 665.4.

Canada’s junior index had a slight decline mid-week, slipping to the 661 level; however, positive momentum across major North American indexes allowed the TSXV to reach a five day high of 679 late on Thursday (August 11).

Investor sentiment improved following news that July’s Consumer Price Index data out of the US indicates inflation is easing, coming in at 8.5 percent following June’s 9.1 percent, which was a 40 year high.

Gold was able to push past US$1,800 per ounce briefly for the first time since early July. Rallying to US$1,806 on Wednesday (August 10), the yellow metal retracted slightly to the US$1,795 level by week’s end.

According to the World Gold Council’s latest market commentary, released at the start of August, gold’s summer slump is a symptom of larger economic issues. “As US dollar strength continued and inflation expectations softened, the gold price fell, gold exchange-traded funds lost 81 tonnes (US$4.5 billion) and speculative positions in gold futures turned net short for only the fifth time since 2006,” the group states.

After slipping as low as US$1,684 in mid-July, the yellow metal has now regained those losses.

As such, the World Gold Council is anticipating more tailwinds for the precious metal.

“The market reaction to the July Fed meeting may encourage a more sustained fall in the US dollar and run up in risk assets,” its report reads. “This could benefit gold but may also risk strengthening the Fed’s resolve.”

The five TSXV-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest rises last week are as follows:

  • Gratomic (TSXV:GRAT)
  • Sintana Energy (TSXV:SEI)
  • Metalex Ventures(TSXV:MTX)
  • West High Yield (TSXV:WHY)
  • TAG Oil (TSXV:TAO)

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

1. Gratomic

Gratomic has projects in Namibia, Brazil and Canada. The company is presently focused on becoming a leading global graphite supplier through the continued development of its flagship Aukam project.

Last Tuesday (August 9), Gratomic announced plans to commence initial earth-moving activities at Aukam. Describing the process, which is known as benching, the company said: “The benching typically consists of successively cutting berms alongside the mountain edge, which will steadily expose underground material at the same time ensuring the stability of the mountain structure.”

Gratomic estimates that the work will take approximately six months. Shares of the graphite company climbed 63.34 percent higher last week to trade for C$0.44.

2. Sintana Energy

Sintana Energy has a strategic joint venture with oil major ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) to explore the unconventional potential in the Magdalena Basin in Colombia.

Additionally, in Africa, Sintana has strategic exposure to major offshore and onshore projects in Namibia, which it says is emerging as a world-class hydrocarbon province.

The company did not release any updates last week, but it registered a 40.23 percent gain, ending at C$0.14.

3. Metalex Ventures

Diversified exploration company Metalex Ventures is currently advancing its five claims south of Chibougamau, Quebec. To date, the company has identified strong gold and scandium results in the area.

Earlier this year, Metalex identified drill targets in the Block A5 zone and announced plans to conduct a drill program in the area this summer. Metalex shares enjoyed a 33.69 percent increase last week, closing at C$0.08.

4. West High Yield Resources

West High Yield Resources is currently advancing its Record Ridge strategic magnesium deposit using green processing techniques to minimize waste and carbon dioxide emissions.

In late June, the explorer hired Toronto-based Oak Hill Financial to assist with investor relations activities. The company has partnered with Oak Hill to enhance its visibility and profile to the public and in the financial community.

Shares of West High Yield rose 32.23 percent over the five day period to end the session at C$0.43.

5. TAG Oil

TAG Oil is an international oil and gas explorer targeting opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa.

At the end of July, TAG released its results for the fiscal year ended March 30.

“The company had C$13.3 million (December 31, 2021: C$14.1 million) in cash and cash equivalents and C$15.4 million (December 31, 2021: C$15.8 million) in working capital and has no debt,” the financial overview notes.

By Friday, shares of TAG had increased by 32.99 percent and closed at C$0.46.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSXV Performers articles is retrieved each Friday at 10:30 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.

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