PROACTIVE CANADIAN NEWS SUMMARY: Agrium, Couche-Tard, RIM, Black Iron, Timmins Gold, Orvana Minerals, Asante Gold, Rambler Metals and Mining and others
In corporate news on Toronto’s main trading index, fertilizer giant Agrium (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) raised second-quarter earnings guidance by 15 per cent thanks to continued robust demand, marking a record for the company.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company offers fertilizer products to those in agricultural, industrial and export markets.
Agrium said it now expects to see second-quarter earnings of between $5.40 and $5.50 per diluted share. That compares to the June forecast of $4.18 to $4.78 per share. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect per-share earnings of $4.71 for the second quarter.
Convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard’s (TSE:ATD.A) stock traded higher Wednesday afternoon on news it has snagged a deal with Sun Pacific Energy to buy 27 stores in eastern Washington State.
Under a confidentiality agreement, the companies could not disclose financial details. Couche-Tard will rename the stores Circle K.
Elsewhere in the corporate world, beleaguered Research In Motion (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM) suffered another blow Wednesday when Australia’s Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) said it was dropping the Waterloo company's BlackBerry in favour of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.
In a staff survey, Qantas said its employees voted in favor of using the iPhone, resulting in a decision to replace 1,300 company-issued BlackBerrys and saving the company about $1.4 million.
Among mining news on Wednesday, Toronto-based iron ore explorer Black Iron (TSE:BKI) unveiled late Tuesday additional results from its diamond drill program at the company's Shymanivske project in the Ukraine.
The company said it continues to be "encouraged" from the results of the definition and exploration program, intersecting thick iron bands in each hole, with grades of over 30% iron exceeding 50 metres.
The project consists of 5 claims covering a surface of roughly 6,400 hectares, and is located in a prolific mining district, the company said - just 16 kilometres northeast of Goldcorp's (TSE:G) Camino Rojo project and 80 kilometres southeast of the gold giant's Penasquito mine.
Moving to the junior mineral resource sector, Orvana Minerals Corp. (TSE:ORV) revealed the latest production figures for June at its flagship El Valle Boinas/Carles gold and copper mine in northern Spain.
The natural resource miner said June production for gold reached 4,976 ounces recording head grades of 3.35 grams per tonne (g/t) and recoveries at 93.9 per cent. Meantime, copper production stood at 549,000 pounds with head grades of 0.57 per cent and recovery rates totalling 89.2 per cent.
Following the latest transactions, MacQuarrie now holds, directly or indirectly, roughly 3.45 million common shares, 1.25 million share warrants and 300,000 stock options.
Rambler Metals and Mining (CVE:RAB)(AIM:RMM) said Wednesday that it has completed a C$4.13 million (2.56 million pounds) investment by Tinma International, a subsidiary of a China-based Rambler shareholder.
On a non-brokered basis, Rambler said Tinma subscribed for around 7.12 million new ordinary shares of the company at a price of 58 Canadian cents each, or around 36 pence.
The Proactiveinvestor news team also covered Tasman Metals (CVE:TSM) (AMEX:TAS), which announced the appointment of Dr. Henning Holmström as new managing director of its Swedish operating company, Tasmet AB, amid boosting its advisory board.
REBgold (CVE:RBG) has now completed three holes of phase 2 of the 2012 programme at its Osikonmaki property in Finland, whose results could allow for a resource expansion. These holes were targeting the Osikonmaki shear zone, where mineralization was previously identified by the Geological Survey of Finland.
Assays from the holes are expected by the end of the month.
Abzu Gold (CVE:ABS, OTCQX:ABZUF) announced a placing to raise up to $3 million to advance its Nangodi gold project and others in Ghana. The fundraising will see Abzu sell up to 20 million units at 15 cents each.
And uranium explorer Fission Energy Corp (CVE:FIS) (OTCQX:FSSIF) said Wednesday that is has encountered “off-scale” radioactivity in the J Zone at its joint venture Waterbury Lake property in Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin.
In addition to targeting the primary lead in Block 2A, and following the assessment of new data, the company has decided to increase the coverage area of the survey from 750 square kilometres to approximately 4,000 square kilometres, utilizing 218 data/listening stations, as well as add a geochemical survey during this current phase of fieldwork.