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Small Caps

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

Palko Environmental Ltd. shares are doubling up on Monday's closing price after Gibson Energy last night offered to acquire the remaining shares of Palko it doesn't already own for $62.7-million in cash or stock, including $15.95-million in assumed debt. Palko shareholders are being given the option of accepting either $3.05 in cash for each share they currently own -- a 97 per cent premium to Palko's $1.55 closing price on Monday -- or 0.1717 of a Gibson Energy share. Gibson, which owned 39 per cent of Palko prior to proposing this acquisition, said the deal will expand its custom terminal operations to include water disposal and oilfield waste management. The firms expect to close the transaction by mid-December, subject to shareholders and regulatory approvals. Gibson shares were flat in early trade.

Western Copper Corp. , soon to be known as Western Copper and Gold Corp., was down about 6 per cent this morning after saying it intends to soon spin out Copper North Mining Corp. and NorthIsle Copper and Gold Inc. into publicly traded, stand-alone companies. The new companies are expected to begin trading on the TSX-Venture Exchange starting Friday, with Copper North Mining owning Western Copper's interests in the Carmacks Copper Project in the Yukon and the Redstone Project in the Northwest Territories; NorthIsle will hold the Island copper and gold project on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Western Copper also will add the "and Gold" to its name on Thursday, retaining its existing ticker symbol and ownership of the Casino copper, gold and molybdenum project in the Yukon.

Wajax Corp. and LeTourneau Technologies Inc. have finalized a deal scrapping their long-time dealer distribution agreement for LeTourneau mining equipment and parts products in Canada, effective April 27, 2012. New York-listed Joy Global Inc. in June completed its acquisition of LeTourneau, signaling plans to integrate the company's field facilities and distribution activities into its P&H Mining Equipment subsidiary. Wajax previously warned its $40-million a year business with LeTourneau could be jeopardy as a result of the deal and said last night it expects any write-downs or exit costs during the wind-down period to be minimal. LeTourneau contributed about $10-million in pre-tax profits to Wajax during 2010, representing about 18 per cent of its net income last year. Wajax shares were down a little over 1 per cent this morning.

Rockex Mining Corp. last night said high-resolution aeromagnetic surveys over its Western Lake St. Joseph, Doran Lake and Root Lake projects in northwestern Ontario better identified several iron formations, prompting company officials to conclude they are larger in size and contain more mineralized zones in and around the formations than previously thought. The company owns 23 contiguous mining claims covering nearly 5,400 hectares and also holds an option to acquire five additional claims covering 1,024 hectares in close proximity to the western end of Lake St. Joseph. Rockex shares were unchanged so far this morning.

Ecometals Ltd. is down about 2 per cent today after the company and Asia Minerals Ltd. again extended the exclusivity period for Asia Mineral's proposed acquisition of Ecometal's indirect interest in the Serra do Navio manganese project in northern Brazil. The companies announced the $17-million deal in April and originally anticipated wrapping up due dilenge by mid-September and closing the purchase by the end of the month. When Asia Minerals did not deliver written confirmation it had satisfactorily completed its testing by that initial deadline, it was extended through Oct. 17, and now, to Dec. 1. Ecometals put its 34 per cent stake in the Serro do Navio project on the sale block to free up funding for exploration drilling at its Rio Zarza gold project in Ecuador and acquiring and developing other opportunities in Latin America.

Emerge Oil & Gas Inc. is off more than 3 per cent this morning after warning that production this year will be below guidance, averaging between 5,600 to 5,700 barrels of oil equivilent. The company blames the mid-year reallocation of capital toward evaluating the potential of the Viking light-oil drilling program for much of the anticipated shortfall, as well as weather-related production downtime and slightly faster than expected decline rates in some of its heavy oil fields. Emerge also said it expects to drill between 40 to 43 heavy-oil wells during 2011, down from the 65 to 70 wells announced in the company's original production guidance. It said the 2012 capital budget will be developed later in the current quarter.

Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. is flat this morning with the animation studio saying that CEO Warren Franklin has left the company and will be replaced by Rainmaker president and executive producer Catherine Winder. The company also said it will take a $1-million charge against fourth-quarter earnings as a result of Franklin's departure. In addition to recently releasing its first short film, Rainmaker has a feature-length film in the works for The Weinstein Company, along with several Mattel-based DVD's and other properties in development.

Lucara Diamond Corp. is about 2.4 per cent higher today after saying it will not renew prospecting licenses for the Kavango Project in eastern Namibiaid following exploration work at the properties by its joint partner at the properties. Documents formally relinquishing Lucara's interest in the 10 licenses are now being prepared. The diamond miner also said trial mining at the Mothae mine in Lesotho continues to produce good results, prompting the company to move soon to the pre-feasibility stage.

Security solutions provider Garda World Security Corp. moved higher by about 3 per cent after announcing today that its subsidiary, Garda Security Group, has acquired the operations of Aeroguard, a pre-board screening services provider. Aeroguard was selected last August by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to provide screening services for the Prairies Region, the company adds.

Forbes & Manhattan Coal Corp. reported today a sharp increase in revenue as a direct result of its record export sales in the second quarter of 2012. Total export sales were 192,400 tonnes, a 109 per cent increase compared to first quarter 2012 export sales of 91,800 tonnes. Slater stand alone EBITDA for the quarter increased by 109 per cent from $4.4-million to $9.2-million year over year.

Colabor Group Inc. went up by nearly 4 per cent after announcing today that it ended the third quarter of 2011 with strong results. The distributor of food and non-food products said net earnings for the quarter were $3.1-million, or $0.14 per share, compared to $1.8 million, or $0.08 per share, in the same quarter of 2010 after its consolidated sales jumped 38.6 per cent to $324.8-million from $234.3-million. This increase reflects the acquisition of RTD Distributions Ltee, the company adds.

Sprott Resource Corp. added about 2 per cent to its share price after announcing today that the board of its subsidiary Waseca Energy Inc. has initiated a process to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic alternatives available to the company, with a view to maximizing shareholder value. The company said this process could result in a sale of Waseca, a sale of a material portion of the Waseca's assets, or a corporate reorganization among other alternatives.

Advanced Explorations Inc. announced today the final drill results from its Tuktu Iron Ore Project located in Nunavut, Canada. Results show that drill-hole 11TT018 contained an interval of 196 metres of 31.32 per cent iron. This hole further demonstrates the quality of banded iron formation at the Tuktu 1 deposit, the company also said.

Taseko Mines Limited slipped about 3 per cent despite announcing today that a comprehensive economic study at its proposed $1.5-billion New Prosperity gold-copper project in British Columbia revealed that it would provide a significant economic stimulus to the economy, and create thousands of new jobs for Canada over its 20 year mine life. The company said the project will increase real GDP by $11-billion and will create 71,000 jobs.

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