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* TSX rises 37.23 points, or 0.30 percent, to 12,579.36 * Seven of 10 main index sectors decline * Gold mining stocks surge 4 percent * BlackBerry gains 5 percent on plan to explore strategic alternatives By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Monday, boosted by gains in gold producers and a jump in shares of BlackBerry after the smartphone maker said it was exploring strategic alternatives. Bullion rose 2 percent to a near three-week high as positive sentiment extended to a fourth straight session, and gold miners soared 4 percent. Investors also followed data showing Japan's economic growth slowed more than expected in the second quarter, a third straight quarter of expansion but below market expectations. BlackBerry said it has set up a committee to look at options, including joint ventures, partnerships or a sale of the company. The stock rose about 5 percent. "Somewhere along the way, somebody will be interested in either becoming an owner of BlackBerry or a partner with BlackBerry," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "Hopefully, the committee will be able to put a little bit of vigor into the company." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 37.23 points, or 0.30 percent, at 12,579.36. While seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were lower, gains in the materials and information technology groups helped keep the market in positive territory. The jump in gold miners pushed the materials sector up 2.6 percent. "Gold has been under some pressure for a while, and maybe it's time that the price of gold settles down and establishes some kind of floor," Ketchen said. Goldcorp Inc climbed 4.4 percent to C$29.23 and Barrick Gold Corp rose 4.2 percent to C$18.76. BlackBerry jumped to C$10.54, helping lift the information technology sector up 1.1 percent. But financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were down 0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada losing 0.2 percent to C$63.58. Shares of energy producers declined 0.4 percent. They mirrored a decline in the price of oil. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was down 1.2 percent at C$31.01.