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A stock trader is having a difficult day in Paris on Dec. 12, 2011. (Michel Euler/The Associated Press)
A stock trader is having a difficult day in Paris on Dec. 12, 2011. (Michel Euler/The Associated Press)

Small caps

Today's small-cap stocks to watch Add to ...

Astur Gold Corp. , which lost 6 per cent on Friday, and Gold-Ore Resources Ltd. announced the joint execution of a binding letter agreement to complete a $150-million business combination whereby Gold-Ore would acquire all of the issued shares of Astur Gold by way of a plan of arrangement. The two companies have agreed to combine whereby each Astur Gold shareholder will receive 2.35 common shares of Gold-Ore for each common share of Astur Gold, and the combined company will affect a 3 for 1 roll back of its issued and outstanding shares. The boards of directors of Astur Gold and Gold-Ore have unanimously approved the terms of the Transaction, and strongly recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the proposed Transaction.

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First Uranium Corporation , which closed Friday near a year low 17 cents, announced today that it is assessing options to develop and implement a new operating plan at the Ezulwini Mine in order to optimize cash flow and overall profitability. It said the focus of the new operating plan will be on safety, improving mining efficiency, and reducing fixed costs by mining ore from the more profitable sections of the mine. Today's announcement is part of the Company's strategic review announced on July 12, 2011, and the new plan is intended to provide a stable platform for the sustainability of the Ezulwini Mine.



Midas Gold Corp. , which gained nearly 9 per cent on Friday, announced today the results from reconnaissance sampling and follow-up evaluation of one of the larger geophysical anomalies outlined by its 2011 DIGHEM airborne electromagnetic, with rock samples returning values up to 39 g/t gold in outcrop. Stephen Quin, President and CEO, said: "Midas Gold is encouraged to encounter significant, high grade gold mineralization in outcrop coincident...These results indicate potential for a significant new gold system in this area, warranting systematic exploration to evaluate this anomaly."



Rusoro Mining Ltd. , which closed Friday near a year low 9 cents, provided a Venezuela update, saying the 90-day negotiation period fixed by the Nationalization Decree No. 8413 to negotiate the compensation due to Rusoro and the terms of the migration of Rusoro's mining assets to a Mixed Enterprise to be controlled by the Venezuelan Government expired on Dec. 15, 2011. The Company has not been informed by the Venezuelan Government of an extension to the 90-day period nor does it have information whether its mineral titles and rights have expired and reverted to the Venezuelan Government.

It said: "Since the announcement of the Nationalization, meetings have been held with Government representatives in order to try to reach an amicable agreement on adequate and effective compensation for Rusoro, without success. In these circumstances, Rusoro has formally notified the Government of the existence of an investment dispute under the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (the Canadian Treaty) and the Agreement between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Government of the Russian Federation for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (the Russian Treaty).



Suroco Energy Inc. , which closed Friday down 4.5 per cent near a year low 30 cents, announced that operations in the Suroriente block in the Putumayo Basin of Colombia have been temporarily suspended. It said the suspension was initiated due to civil demonstrations and illegal road transport blockages that occurred between December 11 and December 14. Following the road closures, production activity continued until available storage tanks were filled, at which point a decision was made to suspend production operations until they can safely be resumed. The road transport blockages are no longer in place, and the Operator is now working to recommence production operations. The Corporation's drilling operations in the adjacent Alea 1848 A block were unaffected by the demonstrations.



Camino Minerals Corporation , which closed Friday at a year low 12 cents, reported that it has received final assay results from the remaining 19 holes at its 100 per cent owned Rodeo Gold Project, located in Durango State, Mexico, with hole RO-11-026 returning 1.06 g/t Au and 13.00 g/t Ag over 102.25 metres, including 2.58 g/t Au and 5.00 g/t Ag over 19.15 metres. Camino's diamond drill program, which ended in Oct., 2011, totaled 6,238.20 metres in 29 holes and tested a 5-kilometre long north, north-west trending epithermal system. Results from the first 10 holes were reported by the Company in a news release dated Oct. 7, 2011.



RMP Energy Inc. announced today that it has set a 2012 capital budget of $75-million for exploration and development investments, as compared to an estimated $109-million of E&D capital expenditures in 2011. The company said the focus of the 2012 capital budget will be the continued delineation and development of the 100 per cent-owned, Montney light oil resource play at Waskahigan in West Central Alberta.



Patheon Inc. , provider of contract development and manufacturing services to the global pharmaceutical industry, announced today its fourth quarter results. The company said operating loss was $3.7-million compared to operating income of $13.3-million in the same period last year. The decrease was after revenues rose to $181.6-million from $177.7-million in the same period last year. James C. Mullen, Patheon's CEO, said: "In the locations where we have rolled out our operational excellence programs, we have already realized enhanced capacity, decreased cycle times and improved efficiency. We will continue to focus on what matters most to our customers; quality, on time delivery and right first time results."



Seprotech Systems Incorporated , a provider of pre-engineered water and wastewater treatment solutions that closed Friday just above a year low 2 cents, announced unaudited results for the fourth quarter of 2011 and audited results for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Net Loss for the fourth quarter was $149,000 compared to $552,000 in the year earlier period. But net loss for the year was $1.25-million compared to $625,000.

"While the fiscal year ended August 31, 2011 was a challenging year for the Company, by the fourth quarter business operations had moved significantly in the direction of break-even, as the various corrective measures implemented and reported on during the year began to have an impact," the company said. "As a result of the downturn in activities in both the mining sector (remote operations) and the housing and municipal development sectors, revenues for the year from sales of rotating biological contactors fell 34 per cent from historical normal levels. In response to the reduction in revenues, management imposed further reviews of operating expenses, however for the first three quarters these were not sufficient to offset the revenue decline and as a result the net loss for the year increased."

Edleun Group, Inc. , which traded just a cent above year low 72 cents at Friday's close, announced today that it has acquired 3 of the 4 additional Ontario child care centers located in the Greater Toronto Area. The provider of quality early childhood education and care in Canada said purchased the three operating child care centers in one transaction for $4-million. These centres are of exceptional quality in a major commercial node of the Mississauga, Ontario area.



Hemisphere GPS Inc. , which designs and manufactures innovative, cost-effective GPS products, announced today its partnership with AgSync, Inc. and release of HQ Sync, what it called "a seamless bridge between Hemisphere GPS' HQ real-time web-based asset tracking tool and the AgSync work order management system." The company that ended Friday's session just 4 cents above year low 56 cents said HQ Sync offers comprehensive agricultural services targeted at saving time and money for agricultural aviation companies.

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