Voltaic Minerals raises up to C$2.1mln in non-brokered private placement Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:17:00 +0000 Kore Potash gets approval for JSE listing Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:01:00 +0000 Belgravia Capital International buys 14.82% stake in Blackrock Gold Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:53:00 +0000 Alba Minerals' boss delighted Horse Hill pre-conditions have been met Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:04:00 +0000 “That is a key component of us getting back and doing some test work,“ George Frangeskides told Proactive.

The executive director of Alba Mineral Resources PLC (LON:ALBA) said the Horse Hill consortium is now just waiting for approval from the Oil and Gas Authority, before they can go in and do the extended testing they’ve been ‘keenly awaiting.”

Alba has recently appointed in its own senior oil and gas team to assess the data and look for other opportunities.

 Elsewhere, a significant exploration programme is planned for the licences in Greenland, while mine mapping is underway at Clogau Gold in Wales. “We are on the cusp of some exciting times.”

]]> Trade war ahoy? Fed raises rates, gold stays firm, markets dive Fri, 23 Mar 2018 11:50:00 +0000 Harvest Minerals says "2018 is going to be another real step change" Fri, 23 Mar 2018 09:50:00 +0000 UK Oil & Gas, Alba Mineral Resources advance in early deals after Horse Hill update Fri, 23 Mar 2018 08:32:00 +0000 Metminco launches bigger rights issue amid strategy shift and board changes Fri, 23 Mar 2018 08:20:00 +0000 Golden Saint to leave AIM and seek standard listing once reverse takeover completes Fri, 23 Mar 2018 08:07:00 +0000 Premier African welcomes Zimbabwe indigenisation amendments Fri, 23 Mar 2018 07:38:00 +0000 Ibstock confirms Joe Hudson to takeover as CEO from April 4 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 07:26:00 +0000 Kidman Resources receives substantial valuation lift from Foster Stockbroking Fri, 23 Mar 2018 04:50:00 +0000 Accelerate Resources’ survey reveals large cobalt-copper-gold target in Tasmania Fri, 23 Mar 2018 04:22:00 +0000 Venus Metals identifies eight priority gold targets in Western Australia Fri, 23 Mar 2018 03:58:00 +0000 Broken Hill Prospecting and Cobalt Blue form cobalt alliance with LG International, shares jump 30% Fri, 23 Mar 2018 03:35:00 +0000 A-Cap Resources acquires nickel-cobalt project as cobalt price hits highest level since 2008 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 01:24:00 +0000 Cobalt Blue partners with LG to source cobalt for the lithium-ion battery market, shares up Fri, 23 Mar 2018 01:05:00 +0000 Australian Vanadium adds another expert to lead vanadium pre-feasibility study Thu, 22 Mar 2018 23:34:00 +0000 Symbol Mining looks to prove up economic viability of Macy project after upgrading JORC resource Thu, 22 Mar 2018 23:15:00 +0000 King River Copper secures a minimum $6 million from upcoming option exercises Thu, 22 Mar 2018 21:24:00 +0000 Blackrock Gold set to begin work at Silver Cloud project in Nevada Thu, 22 Mar 2018 20:00:00 +0000 92 Resources' Golden project has potential as frac sand supplier Thu, 22 Mar 2018 19:58:00 +0000 Golden Arrow Resources nudges higher as it kicks off drilling at Antofalla Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:43:00 +0000 Caledonia Mining in early talks to increase stake in Blanket mine Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:49:00 +0000 Steve Curtis, chief executive of Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL), tells Proactive they achieved a new production record at the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe, unearthing 56,133 ounces of gold in 2017, some 11.5% more than in the preceding year.

Curtis also discusses the recent moves to relax the indigenisation policy in Zimbabwe and how Caledonia plans to take a much larger stake than it currently has in Blanket.

]]> Valor Resources continues momentum with promising Peru projects Thu, 22 Mar 2018 16:10:00 +0000 Valor Resources (ASX:VAL) Executive Chairman Mark Sumner speaks to Proactive Investors’ Danielle Doporto about development at its Berenguela and Corona Projects.

Recent drilling and assay results have revealed high grade copper and silver deposits from surface along an ever increasing strike.

A scoping study is due out in the next few weeks, and a new drilling programme is funded and set to commence in late May, ahead of a PFS planned for mid-year.

]]> MGX Minerals hires investment bank Capstone Headwaters to advise on M&A Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:52:00 +0000 Lucara's blockchain platform Clara will modernise rough diamond market, says its new chief executive Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:28:00 +0000 Eira Thomas, chief executive and co-founder of Lucara Diamonds (TSE:LUC), tells Proactive that recent blockchain purchase Clara Diamonds will modernise the way that rough diamonds are sold.

 She explained: “Clara could be very lucrative for us in the longer term, and could be a significant revenue generator for us going out several years.”

Clara should be selling rough diamonds on its platform by August of this year, Thomas said, adding Lucara is also committed to being a diamond miner and developing its mines.

 Lucara has forged a reputation for high-quality diamonds with 75% of value created so far coming from stones larger than 10.8 carats in size, while 154 have sold for more than US$1mln each.

]]> Cabral Gold finds several new high-grade gold targets at Cuiú Cuiú project in Brazil Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:35:00 +0000 Cabral Gold (TSXV:CBR.V) CEO Alan Carter tells Proactive Investors the company has found "several new high-grade gold targets" in its initial exploration of the Cuiú Cuiú project in Brazil.

Carter says it has a resource of 1.3 mln ounces, which he believes will grow significantly.

]]> Caledonia Mining’s largest shareholder increases stake after record production Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:37:00 +0000 Vast Resources thrilled about US$9.5mln deal with Mercuria Energy Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:30:00 +0000 Mercuria’s decision to lend it US$9.5mln is a tremendous vote of confidence, Andrew Prelea, chief executive officer of Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) told Proactive.

 Junior miners don’t normally get this size of loan, he said, which also gives third-party validation to the resource in Romania.

Prelea added it was a huge task to get the offtake deal done with documentation running to 700 pages and thirty lawyers involved in three jurisdictions. “We are extremely excited that the company like Mercuria has the confidence to provide us with the debt level of this nature."

]]> Global Energy Metals to press on with next phase to earn 65% at Millennium cobalt project Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:16:00 +0000 Alba Mineral Resources secures 5-year extension for Greenland graphite project Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:26:00 +0000 Bezant Resources reverts back to copper after strategic review Thu, 22 Mar 2018 08:26:00 +0000 Crest Nicholson says trading environment continues to be "generally robust" Thu, 22 Mar 2018 08:24:00 +0000 Kiziltepe 'continuing to perform strongly' - Ariana Resources' Dr Kerim Sener Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:45:00 +0000 Dr Kerim Sener, managing director of Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're expecting to produce 20,000 ounces of gold in 2018 from the Kiziltepe gold project in Turkey - an increase on an annualised basis of around 47% over the number for 2017.

Sener says they'll also stop reporting in gold equivalent and instead treat silver as a by-product credit.

]]> Cadence Minerals begins exploration of Argentinian lithium assets Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:29:00 +0000 Tyranna Resources to acquire high-grade cobalt and base metals project, shares jump 30% Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:20:00 +0000 Tando Resources surges 85% on intended acquisition of vanadium project Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:11:00 +0000 New Talisman Gold Mines shares spike on high gold recovery from Talisman mine Thu, 22 Mar 2018 03:28:00 +0000 OM Holdings continues as one the ASX’s top performers Thu, 22 Mar 2018 02:38:00 +0000 Peel Mining drill results support potential for a cluster of high-grade deposits Thu, 22 Mar 2018 02:00:00 +0000 Mustang Resources drill result shows large potential for Caula vanadium graphite project Thu, 22 Mar 2018 01:53:00 +0000 First Graphene raises $3.4 million to expand graphene products into Europe Thu, 22 Mar 2018 01:42:00 +0000 Sayona Mining brings experienced personnel on board as it moves towards construction Thu, 22 Mar 2018 01:01:00 +0000 Arrow Minerals commencing major drilling campaign at Strickland Gold Project Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:33:00 +0000 Aspire Mining receives draft study that confirms financial viability of Mongolian rail route Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:22:00 +0000 Volt Resources Limited's Bunyu Graphite Project prepares for first production in 2018 Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:25:00 +0000 Aspire Mining sends bulk Nuurstei coal sample for coke oven testing Wed, 21 Mar 2018 22:55:00 +0000 Predictive Discovery expands portfolio into Mali targeting gold and lithium Wed, 21 Mar 2018 21:36:00 +0000 Cabral Gold's new high grade finds will help inform next priority drill targets at Cuiú Cuiú Wed, 21 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +0000 Metalla Royalty and Streaming offers investors cost effective way of getting future upside - CEO Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:56:00 +0000 Barsele Minerals' chief outlines Swedish gold project's credentials Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:17:00 +0000 Global Energy Metals to buy district-scale cobalt projects in a "strategic" investment Wed, 21 Mar 2018 17:00:00 +0000 Global Energy Metal (OTCMKTS:GBLEF) CEO Mitchell Smith says the firm has significantly increased its cobalt footprint in Australia as it unveiled a deal to buy the district scale Mt. Isa cobalt projects.

Smith says the real importance of this is it opens the opportunity to create a scalable cobalt district in the Mt. Isa region.

]]> Millennium Minerals targets gold production of up to 80,000 ounces at Nullagine in 2018 Wed, 21 Mar 2018 16:00:00 +0000 De Grey Mining embarks on Pilbara Gold Project resource expansion drilling program Wed, 21 Mar 2018 16:00:00 +0000 Royal Road Minerals CEO says 'exciting' finds made at Golden Triangle Project in Nicaragua Wed, 21 Mar 2018 14:00:00 +0000 Royal Road Minerals (CVE:RVR) CEO Tim Coughlin tells Proactive Investors that the company's most intense exploration activity right now is at its Golden Triangle Project in Nicaragua, where he says some "pretty exciting" discoveries have led the focus away from vein-style mineralization and on to what he says may be the source of those veins.

Coughlin also says Royal Road will focus its drill attention on the porphyry copper-gold target at Los Andes.

]]> Apollo Minerals expands footprint in Pyrenees with Aurenere deal Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:38:00 +0000 Premier African’s extensive mineral portfolio provides exposure to a wide range of commodities Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:20:00 +0000 Caledonia Mining achieves new production record at Blanket gold mine Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:00:00 +0000 Apollo Minerals to acquire 75% stake in Aurenere project in Spain Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:52:00 +0000 Apollo Minerals' (ASX:AON) Hugo Schumann talks Proactive Investors through the decision to acquire a 75% interest in the Aurenere tungsten-gold project in northern Spain.

Schumann says the project's contiguous with their Couflens Project next door in France and provides an extension of strike along a highly prospective corridor for tungsten and gold.

]]> New Age Exploration just scratching the surface of Redmoor resource Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:20:00 +0000 Gary Fietz, Managing Director of New Age Exploration Limited (ASX:NAE) speaks to Proactive Investors' Danielle Doporto about an updated inferred mineral resource estimate and exploration target for its Redmoor Tin-Tungsten-Copper Project in the UK.

Fietz expresses confidence that a 2018 drilling programme will double estimated resources, transforming the site into a top five tin project in terms of both grade and scale.

He also touches on New Age Exploration's other operations, including the UK coking coal Lochinvar project as well as early stage gold exploration at Otago in New Zealand.

]]> Shefa Yamim happy with bulk sample results from Kishon Mid-Reach Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:16:00 +0000 Vered Toledo, chief operating officer of Shefa Yamim (ATM) (LON:SEFA), talks to Proactive about the ongoing bulk sampling at Kishon Mid-Reach in Israel, where the unique Carmel sapphire has been prevalent so far.

Fourteen samples have been taken from zone 1 at the alluvial deposit, of which two are left to be processed, she said.

Once that is done, the company will process samples from zone 2.

Toledo explained that Carmel sapphires have three unique elements of titanium, zirconium, and aluminium.

Kishon Mid-Reach is in the Mount Carmel region, hence the name.

]]> Cadence Minerals issued shares in Clancy Exploration as compensation for overlapping licenses in Austria Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:09:00 +0000 Bushveld Energy on track to become one of the largest electrical energy storage providers in Africa Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:55:00 +0000 Alba Mineral Resources further strengthens oil and gas expertise Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:46:00 +0000 Kibo Mining sees ‘winds of change blowing’ as Tanzanian president prioritises private sector Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:25:00 +0000 Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd will expand dividend payments Wed, 21 Mar 2018 08:30:00 +0000 E.B. Tucker from Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd (CVE:MTA) tells Proactive Investors the company plans to expand the dividend payments over the course of the year, targeting a payout ratio up to 50% of its operating cash flow after taxes and general and administrative costs.

Tucker also says the company is "on target" for their silver production guidance for the rest of the year

]]> Alice Queen hits high-grade gold in new prospect at Horn Island Wed, 21 Mar 2018 04:34:00 +0000 Rimfire Pacific Mining looking for Lake Cowal style gold potential Wed, 21 Mar 2018 02:54:00 +0000 Sayona Mining survey shows lithium potential at new Tansim project, close to Authier Wed, 21 Mar 2018 02:48:00 +0000 Azumah Resources reaffirms gold drilling success at Butele North target in Ghana Wed, 21 Mar 2018 01:26:00 +0000 Marquee Resources secures $2.65 million to advance cobalt project in Canada Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:15:00 +0000 Oklo Resources stepping up a gear in 2018 as it sets its sights on defining gold resource Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:05:00 +0000 Mustang Resources on track for graphite and vanadium production mid-2019 Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:46:00 +0000 King River Copper tests deliver highest vanadium concentrate grade of all Australian deposits Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:17:00 +0000 Corazon Mining discovers four new cobalt-copper-gold anomalies Tue, 20 Mar 2018 22:41:00 +0000 Alkane Resources wins mining operation of the year award Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:41:00 +0000 Tethyan Resources says Taor acquisition increases potential of making major discovery Tue, 20 Mar 2018 19:47:00 +0000 Royal Road Minerals teams up with Nicaraguan environmental group to protect biodiversity Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:19:00 +0000 Ferrum Crescent raises £1mln for Spanish Project and changes its name Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:48:00 +0000 Ferrum Crescent Ltd’s (LON:FCR) executive director Laurence Read talks to Proactive about plans to raise £1mln to advance its Toral project in northern Spain and a name change to Europa Metals Limited.

The funds will be used in three distinct stages, with a drilling programme to start in the summer to look for additional metal along the current strike.

A scoping study is also planned to get a rough idea of the economics and if it is a viable project while metallurgical work will also be undertaken to better understand the deposit.

The name is being changed because “We’ve got nothing to do with iron anymore,” Read explained.

]]> MGX Minerals nominated as finalist in the S&P Global Platts Metal Awards Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:44:00 +0000 Expanding Down Under: Glencore paying US$1.7bn for more of Rio Tinto's coal operations in Australia Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:52:00 +0000 Energy Fuels nudges higher as it outlines opportunities to lift uranium output Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:51:00 +0000 Ferrum Crescent proposes £1mln fundraising to support Toral lead-zinc project Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:50:00 +0000 Buoyant Bellway on track to build 10,000 new homes Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:05:00 +0000 Renaissance Gold: refining the art of mineral exploration Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:40:00 +0000 Thor Mining to maximise value on its three 'cracking' copper and tungsten projects Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:17:00 +0000 Mick Billing, executive chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) caught up with Proactive Investors too add some more detail around their recent decision to focus solely on their tungsten and copper interests in Australia and the US.

Billing says the time has come to absolutely focus all efforts on Pilot Mountain, Molyhil and Kapunda.

]]> Maxtech’s high-grade pure-play manganese offering is one of a kind in a potentially very lucrative market Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:11:00 +0000 Asiamet to bring in second rig and expand drilling at Beutong Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:34:00 +0000 Steve Hughes, VP of exploration at Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS), tells Proactive ongoing resource delineation drilling at the BKZ prospect in Indonesia is continuing to intersect high-grade polymetallic and copper-silver mineralisation.

Hughes adds they're in talks with a couple of drill contractors and are looking to have a second rig at Beutong within around 30 days to expand the programme there.

]]> Amur boosts nickel resource at Kun-Manie by 50% Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:30:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Wynnstay Group: 2018 AGM Statement Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:17:00 +0000 Wynnstay Group: 2018 AGM Statement

Wynnstay Group (WYN LN), a UK manufacturer and supplier of agricultural inputs, has announced a trading update for its H1 2018 period, which runs from November 2017 to April 2018, ahead of its AGM this morning.

  • Trading for the first four months of FY 2018 described as encouraging with increased demand for most products
  • Feed demand ahead YoY; increasing fertiliser sales; improving grain volumes but margins remain under pressure; seed demand encouraging; higher LFL sales YoY in its agricultural stores

VSA Comment

In animal feed, total UK ruminant feed production across the first two months of WYN’s H1 increased 9% YoY. Although data is not yet available for subsequent months, we believe demand has remained strong, with the recent abnormal cold weather also having benefited this operation in the last few weeks, particularly with regards to sheep feed.

As a reminder, in 2013 the listed feed suppliers all received an economic boost (and a resulting increase in share price) as colder temperatures extended into March, with peer NWF Group (NWF LN) the most financially leveraged to this trend. However, it is worth noting that performance in 2013 was also positively impacted by a very wet summer 2012, which reduced on-farm silage volumes and quality (summer 2017 was wetter than average but not significantly so). So far this year, only NWF and ForFarmers (FFARM NA), the largest feed supplier in the UK, have shown any positive share price reaction.

In arable, and as we wrote at the end of January, with early estimates for the 2018 UK wheat harvest suggesting it will be 2-3% smaller than last year, we are expecting a slightly lower YoY performance for WYN’s seed business and a similar YoY performance for its fertiliser operations. WYN’s fertiliser business will also be boosted this year by its expansion into the Scottish fertiliser sector through its acquisition of a blending facility at Montrose last November.

As highlighted by WYN in its FY 2017 results, having experienced a reduction in early, out-of-season orders at the end of FY 2017, stronger fertiliser demand is now starting to come through and will increase further as farmers begin to buy in the spot market for the spring usage period.

In January, we also stated that we expected WYN’s grain trading volumes would increase this year as volumes from the slightly bigger 2017 harvest continued to be traded and farmers began to clear on-farm stocks in light of higher grain prices ahead of the upcoming 2018 harvest. WYN has confirmed this trend this morning, although margins remain under pressure.

We also suggested that WYN’s specialist retail operations would benefit from a much improved sentiment in the underlying UK agriculture market this year, as highlighted by recent announcements from peers. This is also confirmed by WYN today with improved LFL sales reported for the first four months of FY 2018.
WYN looks set for an improved FY 2018, given the improved underlying market conditions and the decisive action taken last year with regards to the closure of its Just for Pets business.

Consensus for FY 2018 is currently revenue of £405.5m, +3.8% YoY, and an adjusted PBT of £8.2m, +2.5% YoY.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources (EDR LN)# Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:02:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (EDR LN)#

Egdon Resources (EDR LN) has announced that it has reached a Heads of Terms agreement in respect of a farm out of interests in PEDL 253 to Union Jack Oil (UJO) and Humber Oil and Gas (Private). PEDL 253 in Lincolnshire contains the Biscathorpe project.

The terms which were previously announced as a Definitive Farm Out Agreement are unchanged with UJO and Humber to each acquire 6% of EDR’s interest in PEDL 253 by paying their share of a Biscathorpe 2 well cost plus an additional £10k per percentage point interest acquired. UJO and Humber will also acquire 4% each of Montrose Industries Limited interest in PEDL253 under the same terms. This equates to a farm in with a 1.36 times promote at the estimated well cost. The agreement remains subject to approval from the Oil and Gas Authority and EDR will then retain a 40.8% interest with a 29.31% share of the currently estimated well cost.

The mean gross prospective resources at Biscathorpe are estimated at 14mmboe. The planned well is down-dip of the crestal Biscathorpe-1 well drilled by BP in 1987 which encountered oil shows from a 1.2m thick sandstone and EDR expects the reservoir sands to thicken down-dip following reprocessing of seismic data.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.5p target price

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - redT Secures Tidal Energy Project Order Tue, 20 Mar 2018 09:55:00 +0000 redT Secures Tidal Energy Project Order

redT energy (RED LN)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has signed a partnership to be primary energy storage provider for an unnamed large-scale tidal generation project in the UK.

  • 0.6MW, 3MWh flow machine system (five hours of storage) selected by the project consortium, subject to finance and formal contract awards
  • Project expected to be delivered in 2019

VSA Comment


An encouraging large project order from RED (assuming finance and formal contract awards are secured), with its flow machine solution favoured over alternative battery solutions, given the heavy cycling, non-degrading nature of its technology. It is also positive to see RED securing an order in a sector other than solar plus storage, where the majority of its UK orders to date have been won.

This order forms part of RED’s ‘large project’ strategy for 2019 and will be fulfilled with its margin-generating Gen3 machines (to be launched in H2 2018). This order will require 40 tank unit modules - our current forecasts are for more than 1,000 tank unit modules sold to customers in 2019.

The project owner is unnamed but some of the most prominent UK tidal projects are being developed by Atlantis Resources (ARL LN), which designed, built and delivered the first phase of the flagship MeyGen tidal energy project in Scotland. ARL is currently merging with certain assets of SIMEC Energy (part of the GFG Alliance), owner of an interest in Tidal Lagoon plc, which is also developing a number of tidal projects in the UK, predominately in Wales, and internationally.

We currently have a BUY recommendation on RED with a 10-year DCF-derived target price of 22p. 

]]> Kun-Manie nickel resource just keeps on expanding, says Amur Minerals' Robin Young Tue, 20 Mar 2018 09:43:00 +0000 Amur Minerals Corporation’s (LON:AMC) chief executive Robin Young tells Proactive he is ‘very pleased’ with the 50% increase to 1.58mln tonnes at the Russian nickel deposit.

"For every metre drilled, we have found US$213,000 of metal value while each tonne of nickel has cost just US$35 to discover."

The resource is now more than enough for detailed engineering plans and is also of a size to interest large institutions to fund the project, he added.

Young also gave more details about company’s plans in the electric vehicle battery market and marketing programme focused on China, Korea and Japan

]]> Scotgold adjusts the terms of loan from major shareholder Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:41:00 +0000 Strategic Minerals boosts inferred resource at Redmoor by 100% and delineates further high-grade targets Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:38:00 +0000 Shefa Yamim says bulk sample results "firmly support potential" at its Kishon Mid-reach project Tue, 20 Mar 2018 07:37:00 +0000 BlueRock Diamonds raises £500,000 via a placing and subscription to expand mining activities Tue, 20 Mar 2018 07:24:00 +0000 Capricorn Metals confirms potential for new gold zone next to 1.3 million ounce Bibra resource Tue, 20 Mar 2018 04:37:00 +0000 Winmar Resources attracts $3.1 million for cobalt opportunities in DRC, shares surge Tue, 20 Mar 2018 03:51:00 +0000 Argonaut Resources has market's attention with Olympic Dam style target Tue, 20 Mar 2018 03:48:00 +0000 PolarX Ltd releases maiden JORC inferred resource at Zackly, validating historical data Tue, 20 Mar 2018 03:00:00 +0000 Intermin Resources surges higher on revealing world-class vanadium resource Tue, 20 Mar 2018 02:45:00 +0000 Anson Resources suggests lithium trap could be responsible for varied assay results Tue, 20 Mar 2018 01:40:00 +0000 White Cliff Minerals adopts dual strategy for cobalt-nickel and gold projects Tue, 20 Mar 2018 01:19:00 +0000 St George Mining completes capital raising as it embarks on Mt Alexander drill program Tue, 20 Mar 2018 01:10:00 +0000 Aspire Mining chairman retires after eight years of service Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:53:00 +0000 King River Copper in process of securing more funding through option underwriting Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:24:00 +0000 New Age Exploration's updated Redmoor resource features robust tin equivalent grade Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:20:00 +0000 Victory Mines review reveals cobalt and scandium potential, exploration to be fast-tracked Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:13:00 +0000 Legend Mining commences 100-hole drill program in Fraser Range Mon, 19 Mar 2018 22:36:00 +0000 White Cliff Minerals directors make further on-market purchases Mon, 19 Mar 2018 22:17:00 +0000 Predictive Discovery drill results reveal emerging West Africa gold discovery Mon, 19 Mar 2018 21:54:00 +0000 Tyranna Resources in trading halt ahead of project acquisition Mon, 19 Mar 2018 21:14:00 +0000 Klondex Mines to be bought by Hecla Mining Company in premium deal Mon, 19 Mar 2018 20:51:00 +0000 Maritime Resources shares surge as Anaconda Mining puts in premium bid Mon, 19 Mar 2018 17:18:00 +0000 Azarga Metals closes acquisition of Unkur project Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:45:00 +0000 Metalla Royalty and Streaming nudges higher as it expands dividend payments Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:05:00 +0000 Asiamet Resources says ongoing drilling at BKZ copper prospect continues to intersect high-grade mineralisation Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:08:00 +0000 Mawson Resources beefs up drilling at Rajapalot with a fifth rig Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:55:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN)# Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:32:00 +0000 Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN)#


Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN) has announced a significant update in relation to the South West Peninsula (SWP) and the successful completion of the restructuring of the Beach Oilfield (BOLT) transaction. This will enable CERP to begin a fully funded exploration programme including well reactivation in Q2 2018 on the Bonasse field as well as analysis of 3D seismic on the SWP. This is expected to be followed by 2-3 appraisal wells drilled in H1 2019, subject to results. Although the operational turnaround at Goudron is a critical part of the strategy and drives near term cashflow generation, it is the exploration potential at the SWP which provides the key catalysts for a major rerating of the stock; this announcement is therefore a significant milestone for CERP in realising its longer term strategy.

Previously CERP help a 25% equity interest in BOLT via a local subsidiary and was due to acquire the remaining 75% for cash payments totalling US$184k and the adoption of a US$1.1m loan held by BOLT. The new terms which are significantly more attractive, in our view, are as follows. CERP will make a cash payment of US$450k to BOLT as well as a US$80k payment to Petrotrin to complete the purchase of a 27.5% interest in the Bonasse field. CERP will give up its 25% equity stake in BOLT and BOLT will retain the US$1.1m loan. CERP acquires access to oil and gas rights on the SWP.

CERP will pay deferred fees of US$500k to BOLT upon development of any other field than Bonasse within the lease and a royalty of 3% on net production from a development of the SWP license (excluding Bonasse). The royalty is payable on net production in excess of 10mmboe per annum and capped at US$1.25mpa.

In addition to the BOLT transaction, CERP has signed a lease agreement with Singh’s (Cedros) Estates Limited to provide CERP with guaranteed access to 100% of the SWP for oil and gas operations until January 2019 and from February 2019 a lease which provides CERP the same rights for a further 27 years. From February 2019 CERP will pay Cedros US$70kpa (escalated in line with the WTI oil price) as well as a royalty of up to 12.5% capped at US$2m for years 1-2, at 10% for years 3-8 and reverting to 12.5% thereafter. Drilling bonuses of US$15k will be paid upon spud of each of the first three wells.

The above is fully funded from existing cash resources.

The attraction of the SWP for exploration is that it has been relatively underexplored in comparison to the broader region. CERP’s existing interpretation of the multiple prospects indicates 20-400mn barrels in place. Furthermore, since the targets can be drilled from onshore costs are expected to be modest at between US$2-4m per well.

Currently CERP already has a small amount of production from the shallow Icacos oilfield while the Bonasse oilfield is currently producing c10bopd of 23 degree API gravity oil. CERP expect to be able to reactivate as many as ten wells. Other historic drilling at Bonasse included 16 wells dilled to depths of up to 2,500ft. The only deep onshore well was drilled to a measured depth of 12,301ft found oil shows in the Lower Cruse and Lengua formations at a true vertical depth of 10,180ft. This well did not reach the Herrera Sandstone formation which leaves further undiscovered potential. SWP contributes 10p of our 26p target price despite its early stage which should highlight to investors the significant underlying potential.

The region is highly prospective due to its close proximity to the East Venezuelan Basin with which SWP shares its geology and on trend structures, offshore from SWP, have yielded discoveries in excess of 200mmbbls. We also note the recent announcement by BHP Billiton (BLT LN) which underpins the exploration potential in Trinidad. BLT has committed to testing three gas plays off Trinidad this year with a longer term objective of making oil discoveries.

This latest announcement CERP has confirmed the company’s ability to begin to realise its longer term ambitions in defining the exploration potential of the region via low cost onshore drilling. The announcement from BLT and the other interest from majors in the region underpins that exploration potential, in our view, although we highlight that their exploration is offshore. With the shares having eased back recently as the WTI oil price has pulled back from above US$65/bbl we believe that CERP’s current valuation provides a compelling entry point for investment exposure to Trinidad’s exploration upside.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 26p target price. 

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - redT energy: Gen3 due H2 2018 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:56:00 +0000 redT energy: Gen3 due H2 2018

redT energy (RED LN)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced that its margin-generating third generation flow machine will be available for delivery to customers in H2 2018.

VSA Comment


Having now completed its initial stack design and engaged its manufacturing partner, RED has confirmed that first deliveries of its Gen3 system will occur in H2 2018 (narrowing its previous guidance of ‘2018’).

RED has also confirmed that it expects the first pre-orders of its Gen3 system to be concluded shortly. We also imagine that some of the previous Gen2 orders will now be converted into Gen3 deliveries (as we saw with Gen1 orders when Gen2 was launched).

The company has announced that it has 195 units (€11m order value) of Gen3 pre-orders in the Final Stage of Customer Selection. This is new interest in its Gen3 product and is in addition to the Final Stage of Customer Selection pipeline announced on 5 February, which had 330 units with an order value of €18.3m.

As a reminder, Gen3 machines are expected to provide a margin of 15-25%, including various services associated with each sale, compared to 0-5% for the Gen2 systems (including services).

Aside from further sales announcements, investors have been looking for certainty as to when the first Gen3 machines will be available for customers, given its potential significant positive financial impact on the business. This announcement, alongside the Gen3 specific pre-order pipeline, should provide comfort in this regard.

We currently have a BUY recommendation on RED with a 10-year DCF-derived target price of 22p.



]]> Carlton acquisition sees Michelmersh Brick post strong annual results Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:38:00 +0000 Frank Hanna, joint-CEO at Michelmersh Brick Holdings Plc (LON:MBH), tells Proactive Investors the acquisition last year of Carlton as well as a strong market for premium bricks has seen them post a pleasing set of annual results.

Carlton cost £31.2mln in June and was largely behind the 26% jump in revenue to £37.9mln in 2017. Organic growth was 3%.

Underlying profits [EBITDA] rose by 42% to £7.33mln., though pre-profits fell to £3.34mln due to the cost of integrating Carlton.

]]> Thor Mining funded for the foreseeable future, reaffirms focus on Pilot Mountain, Molyhil and Kapunda Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:18:00 +0000 Kibo Mining making good progress and on track with PPA in Tanzania Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:41:00 +0000 Louis Coetzee, chief executive of Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO) tells Proactive all is on track and good progress is being made towards finalising a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with  Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO).

''We've made some really good progress over the last two months, we signed the MoU which set everything in motion towards finalising the PPA .. we have a date set for that which is towards the end of Q1''

''At the moment we're still on schedule ... we're still heading for that date and we have no reason to believe we won't meet it but we're still in the hands of a government and governments have their own timescales''.

]]> Apollo Minerals looking to reopen the world's highest grade tungsten mine Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:19:00 +0000 Apollo Minerals' (ASX:AON) Hugo Schumann runs Proactive through the exploration and development plans for their flagship Couflens tungsten-copper-gold Project in the South of France.

''There's two opportunities here - the first is to reopen the world's highest grade tungsten mine ... and the second opportunity is gold''.

''We think there's a very exciting gold opportunity along big fault systems in the region''.

]]> Anglo Asian Mining outlines three year exploration programme Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:05:00 +0000 Anglo Asian Mining Plc's (LON:AAZ) Bill Morgan and Steve Westhead discuss with Proactive their three-year rolling programme of geological exploration of near mine, brownfield and greenfield areas on its ground in Azerbaijan.

The objectives of the programme are to replace mined ounces, extend the current mine life at the Gedabek project to a 10-year minimum, increase the company's inventory of resources, and to discover new mineral deposits.

The target discoveries would ideally be similar to Anglo Asian’s Ugur open pit mine and have the potential to be quickly developed into operating mines.

]]> Orsu Metals a 'lean and focused' gold explorer advancing key project in Russia Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:38:00 +0000 Sergei Stefanovich and Alexander Yakubchuk from Orsu Metals Corp (CVE:OSU) discuss with Proactive's Andrew Scott the company's new strategy and exciting gold project in Russia.

The Sergeevskoe gold project licence is immediately east from the Alexandrovskoe open pit and gold plant owned by Zapadnaya Gold Mining and to the west of the Klyuchevskoe gold license owned by Sun Gold Mining.

They're now designing a 2018 exploration program aiming to estimate mineral resources in oxide and sulfide material.

Orsu owns a 90% interest in the project.

]]> Russian actions shine a light on the political weakness of Britain, but not much else Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:23:00 +0000 Papua Mining sees high grade gold from sampling at Double Event Mon, 12 Mar 2018 14:31:00 +0000 Rock sampling at the Double Event prospect owned by Papua Mining PLC (LON: PML) has delivered high grade gold results.

Chief executive David Price says approximately 25% of all rock samples returned assays at above 10 grams per tonne gold.

Papua's now planning a reverse circulation drilling campaign to follow up on this work.

]]> Thor Mining to focus solely on its tungsten and copper projects Mon, 12 Mar 2018 10:36:00 +0000 Mick Billing, executive chairman at Thor Mining PLC (ASX:THR), (LON:THR) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've decided to focus solely on their tungsten and copper interests in Australia and the US - Pilot Mountain, Molyhil and Kapunda.

Thor has around £1.6mln of cash in the bank which he reckons will be enough working capital to carry out their planned activities into 2019.

]]> Vast Resources secures extension to US$1.68mln bridging loan repayment Fri, 09 Mar 2018 15:58:00 +0000 Andrew Prelea, chief executive of Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) tells Proactive they've secured a two-week extension with Sub-Sahara Goldia Investments (SSGI) for the repayment date of a US$1.68mln bridging loan due.

The announcement came as Vast told shareholders they've given Mercuria Energy Group another two weeks to finalise its pre-payment offtake.

The offtake offer's for 100% of the copper and zinc concentrate produced at the Manaila polymetallic mine and Baita Plai polymetallic mine.

]]> Never mind the trade war, economists should instead be asking: who are these tariffs really for? Fri, 09 Mar 2018 10:10:00 +0000 Kennedy Ventures uniquely positioned to sell to largest Tantalum consumers Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:50:00 +0000 Larry Johnson of Kennedy Ventures (LON:KENV), tells Proactive things are going well and great progress is being made on the ground at the Namibian Tantalite Investment Mine (NTI).

''It's exciting ... we've done four shipments. The mine is producing very nicely.''

''I'm going to continue growing this company on a global basis''.

Johnson adds discussions are going well with potential additional customers who've been visiting the project.

''Those discussions are going very nicely ... they're very excited about the project''.

]]> Savannah Resources able to produce 'low impurity, higher margin' lithium Tue, 06 Mar 2018 12:47:00 +0000 Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) chief executive David Archer updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on the results of metallurgical testing at their Mina Do Barroso project in Portugal.

Archer also touches on latest Developments in Oman - saying talks are ongoing over the final outstanding approval.

]]> DRDGOLD's reserves to nearly double following Sibanye-Stillwater acquisition Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:59:00 +0000 Niel Pretorius, chief executive of DRDGOLD Limited, discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott the proposed deal with Sibanye-Stillwater.

Towards the end of last year DRDGOLD announced its intention to acquire some of the assets at Sibanye-Stillwater’s West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project for about 38 percent of DRDGold - there's also the option for them to up their stake to just over 50% after 24 months.

Pretorius says move would see a boost of around 92 percent to their gold reserves.

]]> Colin Bird updates on Galileo, Bezant and Xtract Resources Fri, 02 Mar 2018 16:15:00 +0000 Colin Bird, chief executive at Galileo Resources PLC (LON:GLR), caught up with Proactive's Andrew Scott to discuss the recently released drill results from three of their first four holes at the Star Zinc project in Zambia, which he says showed very high value zinc intersections.

There were also high values found of silver and germanium (Ge), a metal used in microscopes, cameras and as an alloying agent.

Bird also chats through his decision to invest in Bezant Resources plc (LON:BZT) plus brings investors up to speed on the latest at Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR).

]]> Pan African increasing production after reaching new high-grade gold zone Fri, 02 Mar 2018 14:39:00 +0000 Cobus Loots, chief executive of Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF), tells Proactive they've begun to increase production again at the Barberton mine complex in South Africa after reaching a new high-grade gold zone.

Barberton, which comprises the Fairview, Sheba and Consort mines, has seen a rise in average grades to 11.5g/t in February from 8.7g/t during July - December.

]]> Are Donald Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs the opening salvo in a new trade war? Fri, 02 Mar 2018 12:40:00 +0000 ScotGold receives green light to develop Scotland's first commercial gold mine Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:24:00 +0000 Richard Gray, chief executive of Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) tells Proactive they've received planning approval for the first commercial gold mine in Scotland's history.

Gray says the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority unanimously approved their application for the development of the Cononish Goldmine at a Special Board Meeting held on Tuesday, subject to the conclusion of legal agreements.

Scotgold wants to construct an underground mine producing 12,000 ounces of gold per year initially.

]]> BlueRock Diamonds to ramp up production in 2018 at Kareevlei mine Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:45:00 +0000 Adam Waugh, chief executive of BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD), tells Proactive they're expecting to ramp up production this year at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa as they operate from the upgraded plant.

Waugh estimates they can achieve an average grade of between 3.5 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht) and 4.5 cpht, indicating total production of between 9,500 and 12,500 carats.

Last year the mine, located in the Kimberley region, produced 3,728 carats.

]]> Vanadium flow batteries to 'revolutionise' power industry Wed, 28 Feb 2018 15:50:00 +0000 Bushveld Energy's Mikhail Nikomarov caught up with Proactive's Andrew Scott to update on developments with their first vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) deployment in South Africa.

The system's being deployed with Eskom, the country's national power utility, at its Research, Testing and Development Centre.

He says they're expecting to deliver and commission it towards the end of Q2 this year.

''It's quite exciting ... it's our first project and from Eskom's point of view it's an ability to really test how the technology works for the purposes that they expect''.

Nikomarov also touches on the broader potential and applications for the technology - not just in South Africa, but globally.

''There are some regions that are heavily pushing the technology - an example is China.''

''The country actually has a formal policy that came out at the end of 2017 where they basically mandated that they're going to look at 100MW-sized Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries''.

]]> Amur Minerals moving away from exploration into pre-production at Kun-Manie Wed, 28 Feb 2018 14:05:00 +0000 Robin Young, chief executive of Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC), outlines their 2018 work programme for the Kun-Manie nickel sulphide deposit in Russia.

The company will complete a new mineral resource update over a total strike length of four kilometres, update its open pit and underground mine design plans at the IKEN/KUB deposit, calculate the most economic life of mine schedule, undertake significant metallurgical work and work up an access road development plan.

]]> Connemara Mining raises £900k to accelerate gold and zinc operations Wed, 28 Feb 2018 08:16:00 +0000 Patrick Cullen, chief executive of Connemara Mining PLC (LON:CON), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've raised £900,000 through the issue of 21,686,747 shares at 4.15p, with Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) subscribing for £200,000.

In conjunction with the fundraising, new board member Patrick Cullen becomes full-time chief executive.

The new cash will allow Connemara to accelerate operations across its gold and zinc portfolio in Ireland.

]]> Pembridge Resources keen to advance exploration and unlock potential at Minto Tue, 27 Feb 2018 14:06:00 +0000 David Linsley and Thomas Horton from Pembridge Resources plc (LON:PERE) update Proactive on the latest since their decision earlier this month to acquire Yukon-based Minto Explorations.

In 2017, the open pit mine produced 16,332 tonnes of copper, 170,809 ounces of silver and 25,205 ounces of gold.

This year, vendor Capstone Mining has forecast 19,000 tonnes of copper at a cash cost of US$2.35 to US$2.45 per pound.

]]> Global Energy Metals looking to significantly grow resource at Millennium property Tue, 27 Feb 2018 13:56:00 +0000 Paul Sarjeant, director and vice president of projects at Global Energy Metals Corp (CVE:GEMC, OTCQB:GBLEF), updates Proactive on their work programme at the Millennium Property in Australia.

''Before Christmas we drilled three RC holes onto the project ... we got those back and got some very good results''.

''We were very encouraged by what we saw on that drill programme'', Sarjeant says.

''We took a bit of a break over Christmas but we were able to restart the programme last week and we currently have a diamond drill rig there and that is planned for around ten drill holes for about 1300m of drilling and we hope to get that done within the next month or so''.

]]> Stratex International 're-balanced and re-engaging with shareholders' Tue, 27 Feb 2018 13:14:00 +0000 Bob Foster, chief executive of Stratex International plc (LON:STI), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've ended the full year to 31 December 2017 with £2mln in the bank, after an eventful year.

The sale of company's 45% interest in the Altıntepe gold project in Turkey was completed in April 2017 and the proceeds of US$8mlm duly received.

Elsewhere, Aforo Resources Ltd, in which Stratex has a 7.84% interest, signed option agreements for two gold projects in Burkina Faso. One of the projects, Niare, has a non-JORC gold resource of 98,000 ounces at 1.36 grams per tonne gold.

New chief executive Tim Livesey is due to start work on March 1.

]]> Strategic Minerals raring to go at Leigh Creek after seal of approval Tue, 27 Feb 2018 08:35:00 +0000 John Peters and Peter Wale of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), tell Proactive Investors they're to tie up the acquisition of the Leigh Creek Copper mine in Australia by early next week.

All requirements, including Foreign Investment Review Board approval, have now been met, with settlement to take place within five business days.

Consideration will be A$1.5mln (£850,000) cash and shares worth A$1.45mln.

]]> Mount Burgess Mining keen to advance work at 'promising' Botswana deposits Mon, 26 Feb 2018 15:34:00 +0000 Nigel Forrester, chairman and managing director at Mount Burgess Mining NL (ASX: MTB) runs Proactive through their two key deposits in Botswana - Kihabe and Nxuu.

Forrester says the Kihabe deposit is partially oxidised in the top portion and is about 2.4 kilometres long.

He adds the bottom section is sulphide so they'll have two different processes of treatment there.

''The Nxuu deposit which is seven kilometres to the east of Kihabe is totally oxidised ... has a maximum depth of 60 metres so we're looking at developing that one first of all''.

Forrester says they're keen to kick off a PFS around July this year.

]]> Goldplat 'happy on all fronts' with boost to interim operating profit Mon, 26 Feb 2018 10:20:00 +0000 Gerard Kisbey-Green, chief executive of Goldplat plc (LON:GDP), tells Proactive they've turned in an operating profit for the six-month period to December 2017 of £1.578mln - up significantly from the £1mln turned in in the corresponding period a year earlier.

The boost comes as the recovery operations continue to perform well and the Kilimapesa gold mine showed major improvements, despite production stoppages during the election period.

]]> Savannah Resources reports 200% increase in resource at Mina do Barroso Mon, 26 Feb 2018 08:21:00 +0000 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV), tells Proactive a 200% increase in the resource at Mina do Barroso marks the project out as one of Europe's most promising lithium projects.

Archer says the plan now is to push ahead with “second pass” metallurgical test work.

A scoping study should be commissioned soon, which would then lead to a definitive feasibility study later this year.

]]> Inflation will increasingly be a factor in pricing commodities and mining equities Sun, 25 Feb 2018 14:41:00 +0000 Strategic Minerals' new director Jeff Harrison in studio Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:11:00 +0000 John Peters, managing director at Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), sat down in the Proactive studio with the company's  new non-executive director Jeff Harrison.

Up for discussion: what’s in the pipeline for Redmoor as well as the latest at Leigh Creek, Cobre and CARE.

]]> Orosur Mining 'delighted' by results and progress so far at Anza in Colombia Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:19:00 +0000 Ignacio Salazar, chief executive of Orosur Mining Inc (LON:OMI, CVE:OMI), tells Proactive Investors they're continuing to intersect good gold mineralisation in drilling at the APTA deposit - one of five identified target areas in the Anzá project in Colombia.

Notable results to date from 17 intercepts in seven drill holes include 17.76 grams per tonne gold over 5.32 metres, 4.89 grams over 13.9 metres, 5 grams over 23 metres and 4.86 grams over 25 metres.

]]> Rainbow Rare Earths focused on upping production at Gakara mine in Burundi Wed, 21 Feb 2018 08:33:00 +0000 Martin Eales, chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths Limited (LON:RBW), tells Proactive they're expecting to commission the new processing plant at the Gakara mine later this month, after which the scale of mining should pick up sharply.

He says the the plant is now running as designed and final adjustments have been completed.

]]> African Battery Metals to kick off Augur drilling programme this week at Kisinka Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:48:00 +0000 Roger Murphy, chief executive of African Battery Metals Plc (LON:ABM), tells Proactive they've commenced field exploration and mapping at the Kisinka licence area in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as part of their Cobalt Exploration Programme.

Murphy says they've completed a satellite imagery sensing report which identified a number of targets that will now be followed up with ground exploration activities.

]]> Restructure of joint venture deal the logical next step for Emmerson Resources Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:35:00 +0000 Rob Bills, managing director of Emmerson Resources Limited (ASX:ERM), tells Proactive they've reached an agreement with Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN) to restructure the Tennant Creek Mineral Field (TCMF) joint venture.

Bills says the mutually beneficial proposed new ownership structure reflects the differing size and corporate objectives of the companies.

]]> 'The shackles are off Torrens' as Argonaut Resources receives final approval for drill program Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:31:00 +0000 Lindsay Owler, chief executive at Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've received the final approval required for a major drilling program at the Torrens project in South Australia.

An application under section 23 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 has been given the green light by South Australia’s Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation.

This will allow the Torrens Joint Venture to proceed to a major exploration drilling program comprising up to 70 deep diamond drill holes covering an area of 120 square kilometres.

]]> University study sheds light on exploration potential for Shefa Yamim in Israel Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:25:00 +0000 Studies recently carried out by Macquarie University for Shefa Yamim (LON:SEFA), the Israeli gemstone company have provided a clearer understanding of the geology of Mount Carmel, the area in which Shefa Yamim has been able to find a suite of gemstones, including natural moissanite and sapphire.

Professor Bill Griffin, Professor of Geochemistry, says the existence of large quantities of moissanite, along with titanium-rich corundum makes this one of the most scientifically exciting projects he's every worked on.

]]> Changing of the Guard in South Africa: former miners’ leader Ramaphosa takes charge Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:25:00 +0000 Anglo Asian Mining to accelerate 2018 expansion plans after debt refinancing Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:02:00 +0000 Bill Morgan, CFO at Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LON:AAZ), talks through their recent debt refinancing as well as production targets for 2018.

The refinancing will releasing US$8.4mln of capital to accelerate 2018 expansion and optimisation plans, as the principal required for repayment this year will drop to just US$5.1mln from the previous US$13.5mln.

]]> Kennedy Ventures looking to build upon production and assess new projects Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:05:00 +0000 Larry Johnson, chief executive of Kennedy Ventures PLC (LON:KENV), tells Proactive a fourth shipment has now been made from the Namibian tantalum mine to their customer with purity of the shipment a high grade 51%.

He adds that a change of strategy is also planned now that the initial ramp-up of the mine has been carried out, with the board to look for new projects in Africa.

]]> Kincora Copper keen to crack on with field exploration programmes next month Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:17:00 +0000 Sam Spring, president and chief executive of Kincora Copper Ltd (CVE:KCC), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott the first phase results from their 22-hole drilling programme at three targets in the Southern Gobi, Mongolia.

The review of the West Kasulu prospect at the flagship Bronze Fox asset supported an exploration target of 416mln to 428mln tonnes, grading 0.26% to 0.30% copper for up to 2,437mln pounds of copper and 0.84mln ounces of gold.

Those numbers rank the prospect as one of the largest potential in-situ copper-gold systems in Mongolia and with only modest drilling, Kincora noted.

]]> W Resources secures US$35mln loan with BlackRock to fully fund La Parrilla Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:53:00 +0000 Michael Masterman, chairman of W Resources PLC (LON:WRES), tells Proactive they've secured a US$35mln loan which fully funds the La Parrilla mine development.

BlackRock Financial Management is providing the loan, which will have a five year schedule term (with the option for early repayment) and it has an average interest rate of 12.6%.

The lender will also receive an upfront fee as well as share warrants.

]]> Pembridge Resources acquires producing copper mine in 'transformational' deal Thu, 15 Feb 2018 18:26:00 +0000 David Linsley, chief executive of Pembridge Resources plc (LON:PERE), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're set to become a cash flow generating copper producer with the acquisition of Yukon-based Minto Explorations.

Currently an acquisition vehicle or SPAC, Pembridge will pay US$37.5mln in cash to vendor Capstone Mining plus shares equivalent to a 9.9% stake in the enlarged company.

Pembridge will then raise a further US$50mln to refinance the company and re-start exploration.

]]> Ariana Resources seeing significant interest in Salinbas as they look to advance project Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:08:00 +0000 Kerim Sener, managing director at Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott a team's now on site at their Salinbas project and are commencing a programme of work there which includes re-logging of around 30 drill holes which will feed into a revision of the ore body model.

''That will then form our exploration plan going forward - we're also planning for drilling at Salinbas later this year''.

''At the moment we're funded for the work we need to complete on the property. We have to give consideration as to how we'd fund a major drill programme but there are lots of options ... we're talking to potential partners at the moment in Turkey and elsewhere and during the course of this year we hope to be able to say more about which direction we're going to be taking''.

]]> Greatland Gold to start drilling at Havieron in April Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:50:00 +0000 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive at Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) discusses with Proactive their plans to start a drill programme at the Havieron licence in April.

Heddle says they're expecting to encounter a potentially large mineralised system, based on the results of detailed aeromagnetic and ground gravity data.

]]> Crusader Resources seeking up to US$15mln through AIM listing Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:55:00 +0000 Marcus Engelbrecht, managing director of Crusader Resources Ltd (ASX:CAS), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're looking to raise between US$10-15mln through a listing next month on London's AIM market.

Engelbrecht says the cash will be used primarily to progress their Borborema project in Brazil.

]]> Metalla Royalty and Streaming off to great start on TSX Venture Exchange Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:16:00 +0000 Brett Heath, president and chief executive of Metalla Royalty and Streaming Ltd (CNSX:MTA, CVE:MTA), caught up with Proactive soon after the precious metals group began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Heath says the move represents a major milestone in their strategic growth plan

He adds that he sees the move helping them to generate increased trading liquidity and access to a significantly larger investor base.

]]> Gubong shaping up to be a 'company maker' for Bluebird Merchant Ventures Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:11:00 +0000 Colin Patterson, chief executive of Bluebird Merchant Ventures (LON:BMV) introduces Proactive to their mine development projects in South Korea.

Paterson says the flagship Gubong mine has all the hallmarks of being a company maker for them - the 'jewel in the crown' as he describes it.

''It has 120 kilometres of underground development ... it's the second biggest gold mine in Korea''.

]]> Amur Minerals secures $10mln convertible loan facility to push forward on Kun Manie Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:56:00 +0000 Paul Gazzard, non-executive director at Amur Minerals Corp (LON:AMC), tells Proactive they've agreed a US$10mln convertible loan facility with a consortium of investors arranged by Riverfort Global Capital.

The convertible loan consists of three advances with the initial advance of US$4 million to be drawn down by the company on 14 February.

]]> Kapunda resource 'far exceeds expectations', says Thor Mining's Mick Billing Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:41:00 +0000 Mick Billing, chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) tells Proactive the Kapunda copper project in South Australia, in which they've got a significant interest, is now estimated to contain 119,000 tonnes of copper.

The new inferred resource, commissioned by Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd and by Terramin Australia (ASX:TZN) relates to the part of the resource that is recoverable by way of in-situ leaching techniques.

]]> Stonewall Resources excited by open-cut potential at TGME gold project Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:46:00 +0000 Rob Thomson, managing director at Stonewall Resources Ltd (ASX:SWJ), spoke to Proactive's Andrew Scott on site at their Theta Hill prospect - part of the TGME gold project in South Africa.

They've kicked off a second round of exploration which will comprise RC drilling of 20-30 holes for around 1500 metres.

Stonewall aims to complete the phase II drilling at Theta Hill by mid‐March 2018.

Further drilling at the Columbia Hill prospect is then expected to take place.

]]> Savannah Resources sees further high grade Lithium intersections at Mina do Barroso Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:02:00 +0000 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV), tells Proactive ongoing reverse circulation drilling at the Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal continues to return significant intersections of lithium mineralisation.

The drilling is designed to build upon the existing JORC resource of 32,000t of Li2O already defined at the Reservatorio deposit, one of three targets currently being evaluated.

So far, in the current programme, a total of 87 holes for 7,081 metres has been drilled.

]]> Papua Mining looking to minimise expenditure risk as it advances key projects Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:43:00 +0000 David Price, chief executive of Papua Mining PLC (LON:PML), tells Proactive the real focus for them at the moment is firmly on their Lighthouse project in Queensland, Australia.

''We've accumulated ground around us in three different acquisitions recently ..  and we're identifying vacant ground that has historical prospects on and we're slowly accumulating that ground holding because we feel taking a larger position is something that we do want to do'', Price says.

He goes on to say they've got a team heading over next month to kick off some early stage exploration work on their projects in Papua New Guinea.

''What we're here to do is grow the company and we'll do that over time … it takes time'', Price adds.

''We'll grow it effectively, we'll grow it sensibly and successfully''.

]]> Volatility presents trading opportunities in individual metals, as global growth continues Fri, 09 Feb 2018 13:29:00 +0000 Strategic Minerals confirms extended access to Cobre stockpile Fri, 09 Feb 2018 11:36:00 +0000 Peter Wale, director at Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott their access to the Cobre magnetite stockpile in New Mexico has been extended until the end of March next year.

Wale says the news is a significant development given the fact they're expecting the strong sales which the company achieved last year will continue into 2018.

]]> Strategic Minerals strengthens board with 'standout' mining engineer Jeff Harrison Wed, 07 Feb 2018 10:50:00 +0000 Alan Broome, chairman of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've hired Jeff Harrison as a Non-Executive Director.

Over the last year Harrison's been a consultant to Cornwall Resources Limited, the joint venture to which Strategic Minerals owns 50%.

Broome says Jeff's experience will be invaluable as they advance Redmoor through to operations.

]]> Anglo Pacific enjoys record year with strengthening coal and vanadium prices Wed, 07 Feb 2018 08:20:00 +0000 Julian Treger, chief executive of Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF) tells Proactive 2017 was a record year for them as higher coal and vanadium prices combined with increased production on its land.

Royalty income rose 90% to £37mln-£37.75mln with a further £4.7mln/£5mln to come from uranium operation Denison/McClean.

]]> KEFI Minerals in a 'terrific position' and on track for Tulu Kapi financing Tue, 06 Feb 2018 16:04:00 +0000 Harry Adams, executive chairman at KEFI Minerals plc (LON:KEFI), updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on the latest at their Tulu Kapi project in Ethiopia.

A consortium compromising mining contractor Ausdrill, engineer Lycopodium, and the Ethiopian government is responsible for the infrastructure and building work.

Building work is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2018 once community resettlement is complete and financing signed off.

]]> Australian Vanadium buoyed by strengthening vanadium demand Tue, 06 Feb 2018 08:27:00 +0000 Vincent Algar, managing director at Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL), updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on the latest at their Gabanintha Vanadium Project in Western Australia.

Algar says over the last month they've enjoyed a really good run on the market.

''At the beginning of January we had a major re-rating of the stock and that's been on the back of some very good news within the vanadium market itself so the story around AVL and the vanadium market together seems to be going in our favour''.

]]> Canamex Gold goes crypto with gold royalty tokens Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:06:00 +0000 Canamex Gold Corp (CVE:CSQ)CEO David Vincent tells Proactive they are offering gold-backed royalty tokens at 0.005 ounces/unit for 5,000 ounces of gold, each token being offered at $5, to be deployed on the Ethereum blockchain.

Vincent says he is hoping to raise $5 million with the royalty tokens to develop an initial token offering (ITO) in the next few months.

]]> Greatland Gold to step things up at Ernest Giles with new exploration campaign Mon, 05 Feb 2018 11:32:00 +0000 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're to kick off a new exploration campaign at the Ernest Giles gold project in Western Australia.

The plan is to drill three high priority targets at the Meadows, Wishbone and Empress areas, although before that, mobile metal ion surveys will be carried out.

]]> Chaarat Gold significantly ups resource estimate at Tulkubash deposit Fri, 02 Feb 2018 13:42:00 +0000 Bob Benbow, chief executive at Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've significantly increased the resource estimate at their Tulkubash deposit - part of the firm's project in the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia.

The last estimate suggested there were just over 800,000 ounces of gold there, but this latest update puts that figure closer to 1mln oz.

]]> Rate rises are coming, but global economic strength will allow metals to weather the downward pressure on the dollar Fri, 02 Feb 2018 13:22:00 +0000 Premier African Minerals seeing further 'fabulous' results at Zulu Fri, 02 Feb 2018 13:14:00 +0000 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM), tells Proactive they've found more high-grade intersections through their latest programme of step-out drilling at the Zulu lithium deposit in Zimbabwe.

Two holes, 250m east of the Main Zone, intersected multiple pegmatites with average grades of 1.17% and 1.04% lithium oxide.

]]> Ariana Resources continuing to build on operational performance at Kiziltepe Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:34:00 +0000 Kerim Sener, managing director at Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU), tells Proactive their Kiziltepe mine in Turkey saw the production and sale of 4,501 ounces of gold and 35,095 ounces of silver during the quarter ended 31 December 2017 - exceeding feasibility forecasts by around 38% for recovered gold on an annualised basis.

Gross income from Kiziltepe for the period was US$6.31mln with an average effective gold price of US$1,402 per ounce.

]]> Endeavour Silver aiming for 20% production growth Thu, 01 Feb 2018 08:29:00 +0000 Endeavour Silver (TSX:EDR) CEO Bradford Cooke tells Proactive their mining operations are ramping up to increase production for silver, gold, and silver equivalent at their three mines in Mexico. The mining company is also planning for initial production at development mine El Compas, saying they should start seeing results in the second quarter.

Cooke says they are on time and on budget to start producing commercial production at El Compas by the end of July. Cooke says coming into a bull market for precious metals colors their outlook in a favorable way.

]]> Asiamet 'intensely active' at Beutong with drilling imminent Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:19:00 +0000 Steve Hughes, VP of exploration at Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're expecting to deliver a maiden resource estimate for their BKZ polymetallic prospect in May.

Hughes says the asset, located in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, has continued to yield near-surface base and precious metal-rich mineralisation.

To date Asiamet has completed 27 of the 35 planned holes at BKZ with the 3,500-metre infill programme expected to be completed by the middle of next month.

]]> Metal Tiger very pleased with Pre-Feasibility Study on Botswana copper joint venture Wed, 31 Jan 2018 13:57:00 +0000 Michael McNeilly, chief executive of Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) tells Proactive the completed Pre-Feasibility Study on their joint venture project with partner MOD Resources Limited (ASX:MOD) in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana for the T3 Open-Pit looks “very robust”.

He adds the PFS found that T3 offers a low-risk, low capital pathway to copper production.

MOD Resources owns 70% of the Botswana joint venture, while Metal Tiger has a 30% stake.

]]> Metminco submits plan of works for Miraflores gold project Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:32:00 +0000 Ram Venkat, non-executive director at Metminco Ltd (ASX: MNC)(LON:MNC), tells Proactive they've submitted a plan of works to the Colombian Mining Agency for the Miraflores gold project.

The plan follows Metminco’s announcement last year that it had established a reserve of 457,000 ounces of gold and 385,000 ounces of silver at Miraflores.

]]> Ferrum Crescent announces maiden JORC resource at Toral Tue, 30 Jan 2018 12:44:00 +0000 Miles Campion and Laurence Read, executive directors at Ferrum Crescent Ltd (LON:FCR), discuss with Proactive's Andrew Scott the maiden JORC resource at their Toral zinc-lead project in Spain.

The resource comes in at 16mln tonnes of ore grading 6.9% zinc equivalent, including lead credits, and 25 grams per tonne silver.

In terms of metal that amounts to 670,000 tonnes of zinc, 540,000 tonnes of lead and 13mln ounces of silver.

]]> Minergy Limited to come into production and list on AIM this year Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:10:00 +0000 Andre Bojé, chief executive of Minergy Limited, talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through the latest at their 100% owned, 390Mt Masama Coal Project in the Mmambula Coalfield, in south west Botswana.

Minergy's currently listed on the Main Board of the Botswana Stock Exchange and Bojé says they're keen to bring the company to London's AIM Market later on in the year.

The company expects that following the approval of the mining license, it will commence the opening of the box cut this July, with the first saleable coal from Masama available in Q4 2018.

]]> A mini renaissance likely for London's coal companies Fri, 26 Jan 2018 12:38:00 +0000 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford gives his take on coal and currency wars, specifically his analysis on how coal mining companies Minergy (MIN:BT) and Anglo Pacific Goup PLC (APF:LSE) are faring.

Ford says there is an increasing demand on coal, and believes Minergy will be one of the few coal companies listed on AIM with significant prospects.

Ford says Anglo Pacific Group is benefiting from the strong coal pricing environment, with an increased amount of mining on its Kestrel royalty, saying a mini renaissance is likely to happen in coal companies coming to the London market. 

Looking to other commodities, Ford says coal prices have risen in tandem with many other commodities helped along by the weaker dollar, a topic being discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

]]> Trump and the dollar: why so weak? Fri, 26 Jan 2018 12:33:00 +0000 Global Energy Metals gets "extremely favorable" results from Millennium Cobalt Project Fri, 26 Jan 2018 09:53:00 +0000 Global Energy Metals (CVE:GEMC) CEO Mitchell Smith tells Proactive after recent drilling at their Millennium Cobalt project in Mount Isa, Australia, the company drew significant intercepts showing high-grade Cobalt over wide intercepts. Smith says because of these favorable results, they are fast-tracking a work program on the project, that will begin in early February.

]]> Mkango Resources in unique position after £6mln funding boost Fri, 26 Jan 2018 09:12:00 +0000 Will Dawes, chief executive of Mkango Resources Ltd. (LON:MKA) (TSX-V:MKA), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott that following recent shareholder and exchange approvals, investments totalling £6mln (C$10.5mln) made by Talaxis Limited have been received by the rare earths explorer’s subsidiaries.

Talaxis has invested £5mln (C$8.8mln) into Lancaster Exploration Limited - the subsidiary which holds the licence for the advanced stage Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi - in return for a 20% interest in the business.

They've also invested £1mln (C$1.8mln) into a new Mkango subsidiary, Maginito Limited, in return for a 24.5% interest in Maginito.

]]> Vast Resources inks conditional financing and off-take deal with Mercuria Energy Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:08:00 +0000 Andrew Prelea, chief executive of Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've agreed a conditional refinancing and offtake deal.

It's with Mercuria Energy Trading for 100% of the copper and zinc concentrate produced at Vast’s Manaila and Baita Plai polymetallic mines in Romania.

Should Vast go ahead and accept the offer, Mercuria will make up to US$9.5mln available to the company which would be drawn down in two tranches: US$4mln to be drawn down before March 5 and up to US$5.5mln further down the line.

]]> Coro Mining encouraged by latest drilling at Marimaca Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:13:00 +0000 Luis Tondo, president and chief executive of Coro Mining Corp (CVE:COP), discusses with Proactive encouraging results from their Marimaca copper project in Chile, plus adds further detail to the news that they've bought more claims next to the property.

Drill results have been received for all 12 holes on the La Atomica claim, which adjoins Marimaca to the northwest, and for seven scout holes drilled to the northeast of the existing resource on the Marimaca claim.

At La Atomica, copper was found in ten out of 12 holes, with the remaining two confirming the location of the southwest faulted boundary of the deposit.

]]> Papua Mining Plc 'in a great position' after exciting drill results at Plateau Thu, 25 Jan 2018 11:35:00 +0000 David Price, chief executive of Papua Mining PLC's (LON:PML), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott that first drilling at the Plateau prospect in Australia has reinforced their view the prospect is geologically similar to the nearby Mt Wright gold mine.

Plateau is in the vicinity of a number of major gold deposits such as Mt Leyshon, Pajingo, Mt Wright and Ravenswood.

]]> Kincora Copper quantifies large copper-gold porphyry target at Bronze Fox Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:43:00 +0000 Sam Spring, president and CEO at Kincora Copper Ltd (CVE:KCC), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott the findings from a review of their wholly owned Bronze Fox copper-gold porphyry project in the Southern Gobi, Mongolia.

Among the highlights, the study supports an exploration target of  416 Mt to 428 Mt grading 0.26% to 0.30% copper for up to 2,437Mlb of copper and 0.84Moz gold, ranking as one of the largest potential in-situ copper-gold systems in Mongolia.

]]> Strategic Minerals completes exchange of contracts on Leigh Creek Thu, 25 Jan 2018 08:42:00 +0000 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott their Ebony Iron Pty Ltd subsidiary has completed the binding exchange of contracts for the acquisition of Leigh Creek Copper Mine Pty Ltd from Resilience Mining Australia Pty Ltd for a total consideration of AS$3.00mln (approximately £1.71mln).

LCCM owns the exploration and mining rights and associated copper processing assets at the Leigh Creek Copper Mine in South Australia.

]]> Cradle Arc PLC back on AIM and fired up over Mowana potential Wed, 24 Jan 2018 11:17:00 +0000 Kevin Van Wouw, Cradle Arc PLC's (LON:CRA)  chief executive, tells Proactive that production at the Botswana-based copper mine will be 12,000 tonnes per year with an upgrade programme to increase this to 20,000tpa.

Copper prices are also rising and the miner will take advantage of this to build the resources at Mowana.

in Zambia, the Matala gold project is ready to begin development and Cradle Arc is looking for funding ahead of a possible start of production next year.

]]> Bluerock Diamonds excited about potential of K5 pipe at Kareevlei Mon, 22 Jan 2018 11:51:00 +0000 Adam Waugh, chief executive of BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've taken their first samples from the K5 pipe at the Kareevlei diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa.

While too small a sample to make firm conclusions, Waugh says the results are encouraging and warrant further exploration.

K5 is undeveloped and not included among the Kareevlei’s inferred resources.

]]> The mining industry will be crucial to all the twenty-first’s century’s technological developments Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:19:00 +0000 Shanta Gold all about growth in 2018 after strong Q4 Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:30:00 +0000 Eric Zurrin, chief executive of Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG), caught up with Proactive's Andrew Scott on the back of their Q4 and operational update.

The miner reported a strong final quarter of 2017 for its New Luika Gold Mine, in Southwest Tanzania, with gold production of 21,288 ounces, an increase of 17% on the third quarter.

Annual gold production for 2017 was 79,585 oz, consistent with its guidance of approximately 80,000 oz.

The group said its annual guidance for 2018 is 82,000−88,000 oz.

]]> Savannah Resources looking ahead to strong cash flows from a 'wonderful' pipeline of projects Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:44:00 +0000 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV), updates on progress at the company's projects in Portugal, Mozambique and Oman.

At Mutamba in Mozambique the successful completion of a scoping study has led into pre-feasibility work which is underway.

Where Oman's concerned, Archer says they're hoping to be in production this year. He says they're waiting on two final ministerial approvals.

In Portugal, drilling is continuing at Grandao with a resource estimate there expected shortly. The company's already established an initial inferred mineral resource of 3.2 mln tonnes of ore grading 1% Li2O at the Reservatorio deposit.

]]> Lionsgold secures strategic deal with Railsbank for Goldbloc Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:57:00 +0000 Cameron Parry, chief executive of Lionsgold Limited (LON:LION), speaks to Proactive's Andrew Scott about their binding heads of agreement with global banking platform provider Railsbank for Goldbloc.

As part of the deal Lionsgold will invest £1.25mln in Railsbank from existing cash for a 12.5% stake.

Parry says the move secures Goldbloc's future as a digital gold currency.

]]> Royal Road Minerals making good progress on 10-hole drill programme in Nicaragua Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:34:00 +0000 Tim Coughlin, president and chief executive of Royal Road Minerals Ltd (CVE:RYR), updates Proactive on their current drill programme in Nicaragua.

Coughlin says they're up to hole number four with the initial two drill holes sitting in the laboratory - results on those are due in the next couple of weeks.

Another six holes in the programme are yet to be drilled.

]]> Anglo Asian Mining 'beginning to get the wind in its sails' Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:46:00 +0000 Anglo Asian Mining Plc's  (LON:AAZ) Bill Morgan and Steve Westhead chat to Proactive's Andrew Scott following the release of their Q4 & FY 2017 Production and operations review.

The miner produced 71,461 gold equivalent ounces during 2017, a production rate which hit the uppermost level of guidance.

]]> Resource estimate for Thor Mining's Kapunda project due imminently Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:37:00 +0000 Mick Billing, chief executive of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott a mineral resource estimate for the Kapunda copper project in Australia is just around the corner.

Billing also updates on developments at Thor's other projects as well as touching on the news this week that US Lithium – in which Thor holds a 25% stake – is looking to list on the Australian Securities Exchange.

]]> Sula Iron & Gold begins trading as African Battery Metals Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:30:00 +0000 Roger Murphy, chief executive of African Battery Metals PLC (LON:ABM), tells Proactive their name change from Sula Iron and Gold better reflects the company's new focus.

The firm's acquired a cobalt deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of their diversification strategy.

Despite the name change and new project Murphy says he's still committed to Ferensola in Sierra Leone where he's hoping to find a joint venture or farm-out partner to move the project forward.

]]> Tango Mining eyeing revenue from two diamond mines Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:43:00 +0000 Samer Khalaf, chief executive of Tango Mining Ltd (CVE:TGV), updates Proactive on developments at the group's Oena diamond mine in South Africa as well as Txapemba, an 84 sq km concession in Angola, which Tango took operational control of last October. They're planning to begin alluvial diamond production testing  at the site this month.

Khalaf also discusses their recently acquired Middlepits project - an alluvial diamond property in Botswana.

]]> Hummingbird Resources entering 2018 in a very strong position Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:57:00 +0000 Bert Monro, head of business development at Hummingbird Resources Ltd (LON:HUM) tells Proactive they wrapped up 2017 with around US$40mln in cash in the bank and gold flowing from the furnaces at the new Yanfolila mine in Mali.

Hummingbird poured its first gold in the second half of December, following a build and commissioning process that was completed on time and on budget.

]]> Savannah Resources off to a fast start at Mutamba with three mining lease applications Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:24:00 +0000 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV), tells Proactive that three applications for mining leases have been submitted to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy in Mozambique, for the Mutamba heavy mineral sands projects.

Mutamba, which is being evaluated in a consortium with Rio Tinto, would likely have a 25-year life if the mining leases are confirmed.

]]> Chinese economy still underpinning global growth, but watch for red flags Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:19:00 +0000 Mining and commodities set off into 2018 at a heady pace Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:38:00 +0000 VSA Market Movers - Goldplat Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:06:00 +0000 Goldplat - LON:GDP
Goldplat   has provided an update in relation to its arbitration with Rand Refinery as well as general corporate activity, both of which indicate positive progress. An agreement on an arbitration process has been determined and dates for the proceedings have been set for June 2018.

Aside from the arbitration, GDP’s operational progress continues to be robust with key development projects running in line with expectations. The elution plant construction in Ghana is on track for before the end of December 2017 as previously indicated while positive progress continues to be made regarding the treatment of artisanal tailings. The Ghanaian Ministry of Mines is actively working with GDP on this project. At Kilimapesa the target for 5.8koz has been reiterated and at this level of production we continue to expect a return to profitability at the asset.

In South Africa, GDP has built a strategic stockpile in excess of a year’s planned production for the carbon in leach circuit. Work is now being carried out to optimise recoveries and therefore profitability. This is further evidence of GDP’s proactive approach towards providing longer term clarity in terms of sourcing material in addition to the dedicated sourcing teams now operating in Africa and South America.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 17p target price.

]]> Bitcoin up, gold sideways as Donald Trump rips up old certainties in the Middle East Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:18:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Novo Lítio Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:41:00 +0000 Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)
Novo Lítio provided an update on the legal proceedings yesterday. NLI had been progressing through an expedited procedure to protect the 7th December mining license application cut-off date. However, the court in Braga has determined that this is no longer necessary since the vendors Lusorecursos (LR) have submitted an application which protects that date. The court has therefore determined NLI’s rights over the asset may now be determined via the main legal case which will take longer. NLI in response have submitted their own comprehensive mining plan and license application in the event that LR’s application is rejected due to a lack of technical or financial capability.

NLI have indicated that they will provide further updates in the coming weeks.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and A$0.2/sh. target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 04 Dec 2017 08:36:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)
Egdon Resources has announced that it has acquired a 100% interest in offshore License P2304 from Arenite Petroleum and Eruope Oil & Gas (EOG LN) which runs until December 2018. Located offshore from North Yorkshire, the license area is immediately South of EDR’s P1929 License which contains the Resolution gas discovery. The consideration is a nominal fee primarily covering licensing costs etc although EDR have agreed future staged payments in relation to the completion of successful milestones.

Resolution is mapped by EDR as extending southwards into the new license block and the new block also contains a gas discovery confirmed by historical wells, drilled by Total (FP FP) and Conoco, which tested at rates up to 34mmcfd and 1,280 barrels per day of condensate. At both Resolution and this new discovery there is further prospectivity for deeper gas in the Carboniferous sandstones underlying the proven Zechstein sequences.

EDR has previously indicated that it intends to carry out seismic surveys across the Resolution discovery in order to better target future drilling. The discovery is a significant asset within EDR’s portfolio and we believe that this additional license block will enable EDR to fully exploit the potential of this attractive asset, in our view.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.8p target price.

]]> London’s busiest mining week comes to an end, with optimism but no euphoria Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:42:00 +0000 London’s three biggest mining events are lining up back-to-back next week Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:19:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:49:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML) has announced that the company has successfully closed the second tranche of its recent C$30m strategic investment by Golden Concord Group (GCL). The second tranche involved the issue of 5.7mn shares to bring a total of 12mn shares issued for the transaction at C$2.5/sh.

There is an agreed lock up period of six months on the shares and GCL have exercised their right to appoint a board member and Mr Man Chung (Charles) Yeung will act as a non-executive director with immediate effect. He has over 20 years of experience in accounting, auditing and financial management. He is responsible for the financial control and reporting, corporate finance, and tax and risk management of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (“GCL-Poly”) and its subsidiaries.  He is a member of the Nomination Committee, Corporate Governance Committee and Strategy and Investment Committee of GCL-Poly. Mr. Yeung has been a Certified Practicing Accountant in Australia since 1996 and an Associate of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants since 1996.  Mr. Yeung holds a Bachelor of Business degree with a major in accounting from Edith Cowan University in Perth Australia.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Edgon Resources Tue, 21 Nov 2017 08:32:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has provided an update in relation to the Holmwood prospect where EDR has an 18.4% interest. It was previously announced that Surrey County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee had opted to defer its decision on Condition 19 (the Traffic Management Scheme), requesting further information. However, the license operator, Europa Oil and Gas (LON:EOG), now considers that it is in a position to submit an appeal and resubmit the Construction Traffic Management Plan which meets the requirements of Condition 19. In addition to the resubmission, EOG intend to carry out additional consultations with local Parish Councils and the residents of Coldharbour Lane.

In line with company guidance we continue to expect EOG and EDR to commence drilling at Holmwood in H1 2018 following successful approval of the resubmission.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.8p target price.

]]> The short-term gold price will be set by the Fed, further out it’s up to Western Civilisation itself Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:13:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Mon, 13 Nov 2017 08:27:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)
Millennial Lithium has announced a strategic investment by Million Surge Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden Concord Group Ltd, one of China’s largest service providers in clean energy.

Million Surge will acquire 12m shares via two tranches for an aggregate amount of C$30m at C$2.50/sh. The initial tranche totals 6.3m shares representing 9.9% of the issued share capital while the remaining 5.7m shares will be issued upon completion of the TSX clearance process for new insiders. The total holding of Million Surge is expected to represent approximately 17% of the issued and outstanding common shares. GCL has a right to nominate a representative to the BoD whilst it holds 15% or more of the outstanding share capital of ML.

The proceeds will be used to advance the development of ML’s lithium brine projects in Argentina.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Strong global economic activity should help investors ride out fluctuating asset valuations Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:33:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:11:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)
Independent Oil & Gas has announced an update in relation to the Harvey license area. Following the release of an upgraded resource for the field IOG has now provided an updated valuation estimate. The best estimate for the resource was 114BCF although with c21% of the resource off license, the volume attributable to IOG is currently 90BCF. We note, however, that the company is looking to license the entire resource.

With this significant resource alongside the Thames Pipeline strategy which materially reduces the infrastructure capital requirements the economics appear attractive, in our view. Based on the best estimate resource and using a 10% discount rate for the entire structure the NPV comes to £159m with an EMV of £79m whilst on IOG’s license area the NPV is £126m with an EMV of £63m assuming 50% CoS in each case. The CPR assumes dry hole costs of £8.5m for the planned well. This is, in our view, has the potential to be the most attractive prospect within IOG’s portfolio. IOG is progressing plans to drill as soon as possible although has made a firm commitment to drill within two years.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Novo Lítio Tue, 07 Nov 2017 08:36:00 +0000 Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of a significant land package in Northern Portugal from Medgold Resources (MED CN) as per the previously announced conditions. The land package is highly complementary to the Sepeda project with multiple known tin-bearing pegmatite outcrops as well as multiple historic workings. NLI paid EUR167.5k for the tenement package.

Crucially, the tenements already have licenses granted and therefore it is not possible, as in the case of other unlicensed sites in Portugal, for other parties to put in additional license applications whilst the grant process is ongoing. Given the prospectivity of the region for lithium and the ongoing strong market fundamentals, ungranted licenses typically have multiple applications and the auction style process which follows can take some time to be resolved. It is therefore of great advantage to NLI to already have the licenses on this new tenement package. Consequently, NLI’s team is already identifying exploration targets via soil sampling and mapping.

With regard to the Sepeda court process, the company are still awaiting a date for the hearing although continue to expect this to be in November 2017.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and A$0.2/sh. target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:27:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has announced that it has sold a 20% interest in the recently acquired Fiskerton Airfield, for a cash consideration of £137k, to Union Jack Oil (UJO LN). In addition, UJO will fully fund the re-processing of 3D seismic data at a gross cost of £35k. The effective date of the transaction is November 3 2017 and completion of the acquisition is subject to approval of the OGA.

Given EDR acquired the asset for US$750k, the sale of the 20% for an implied valuation of US$1.09m, the sale represents an early and profitable realisation of value for EDR whilst minimising the cost of upside evaluation. This will be used to determine the benefit of infill drilling which is being considered beyond the current planned workovers.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

]]> Chinese and US economies underpin global growth, as power continues to shift east Fri, 03 Nov 2017 15:11:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:29:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)
Independent Oil & Gas has announced a revised CPR on the Harvey license. The Harvey license lies between the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite Hubs; it is intended, pending appraisal, that gas from the Harvey field is exported via the Thames Pipeline as with the other sites.

The CPR demonstrates unrisked prospective gas resources for Harvey of 114 BCF in line with management estimates. The range for resources is 45-286BCF and most likely 90BCF on the license owned 100% by IOG. IOG have committed to drilling an appraisal well which will test the up dip potential of the structure and this will be carried out by December 20th 2019, subject to acceptance and a license extension by OGA. Given the proximity of the field to the Thames pipeline we believe that this will have a significant positive impact on the economics of Harvey and further strengthens the rationale of the hub strategy particularly given that even at the most likely level of gas resources, this would be IOG’s largest field.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:27:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas has announced that it has submitted the Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Vulcan Satellites Hub to the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). IOG recently published a CPR indicating a significant upgrade and expansion of 2P reserves on the Hub.

The project is underpinned by the acquisition of the Thames Pipeline that enables IOG to tie back the gas fields into the pipeline and save significant capital expenditure thereby enhancing the project economics as demonstrated by the recent CPR. Furthermore, IOG has reduced the upfront funding requirement via agreements with various major contractors such as Schlumberger, Heerema and ODE as part of their service contracts. These commitments from major service contractors further demonstrates confidence in the project as well as enhancing IOG’s ability to fund the development and retain its 100% ownership.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:33:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources  has completed the previously announced transaction of the Fiskerton Airfield oil field in Lincolnshire (License EXL-294). The announcement of the transaction was made in July 2017 and following a cash payment of $750k EDR has obtained a 100% interest from Cirque Energy.

The acquisition is effective from Jan 1 2017 and field sales averaged 15.7bopd in H2 FY 2017, below the current run rate due to a maintenance shut-in during January 2017. Current production is between 17-19bopd from one of the two production wells and as previously indicated EDR intends to increase production to 30-40bopd  via modest capital spending.

To date around 400kbbls of oil have been produced from an estimated STOIIP of 2.2mmbbls and we believe that the addition of high quality oil production (32.5⁰ API) is an attractive addition to the portfolio.

The asset has already been incorporated into our target valuation, however, is not fully reflected shares currently. We therefore, reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

EDR is due to announced full year results tomorrow, 31st October.

]]> Where are we in the mining investment cycle? Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:04:00 +0100 This is a question on which small fortunes, and some big ones too, will turn. Certainly, the commentators and analysts have a clear enough idea – Investec, borrowing from an idea originally put together by the Lion Selection Trust, reckons we are between 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock.

On the standard modulation of the clock, bust happens at 12 o’clock, with all the aftershocks running in succession though the following hours up to 6 o’clock when the first signs of boom begin to re-emerge.

According to Investec we are currently at between 6 o’clock and 7 o’clock with boom times already well underway.

If this doesn’t exactly feel like a mining boom, that’s perhaps because the last one was so exceptional. The Chinese aren’t going to come out of nowhere to emerge as the world’s second largest economy this time round, and although there is still an element of monetary easing occurring around the world, it’s no longer on anything like the scale that drove gold to close to US$2,000 nearly five years ago.

But still, no less an illustrious a figure than Trevor Steel from Baker Steel Resources Trust Limited (LON:BRST) has been using a graphic illustration of the Investec/Lion Selection clock in presentations around the City recently, and he’s a man who knows a thing or two about gauging markets.

Steel was one of the founders of the famous BlackRock mining fund, now one of the powerhouses of London resources finance, and went on to establish several Baker Steel funds that survived the bear market intact and which are now pushing hard for a higher profile.

The net asset value of the Baker Steel Resources Trust, the most generalist of the funds, has narrowed markedly over the past couple of years, a sure enough sign in itself that interest is returning to the sector.

But Steel himself is acting on the gradual turning of the dial – the trust is now deploying the last of its remaining cash into a major investment in a new Australian coking coal listing called Gateway. This will mean that once again the Baker Steel Resources Trust is fully invested, a sign of faith that the boom will continue, at least for a while.

Because, as the doomsayers say, it’s always later than you think. If it seems like the boom in London has hardly even got going yet, it has at least been more visibly on the move elsewhere for a little while. Hence, exploration companies like Eastmain Resources Inc. (TSE:ER) in Canada and Artemis Resources in Australia have been delivering successful exploration results all year.

And in London we are finally seeing signs of life too: Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) has been getting in on the act, Altus Strategies PLC (LON:ALS) has finally got its early stage exploration portfolio listed on Aim, and within the past month we’ve seen Cora Gold make it onto the market too.

But beware. According to the Investec dial the rise in exploration activity is likely to take us well past 7 o’clock on the dial, and according to the original Lion Selection way of thinking, and according to Investec too, the time to start selling is at 8 o’clock.

Sure, you can ride your luck between 8 o’clock and midnight, as debt levels start to rise again, shares are increasingly used as currency in takeover bids, and new, larger flotations start to happen as the smart money increasingly heads for the exits.

At midnight, according to Investec, the onset of the crash phase of the cycle is marked by a tendency on the part of governments to start raising taxes. It will come as no surprise to anyone that governments are among the worst of the market operators when it comes to maximising gains from economic cycles.

In fact, according to the mining investment clock, it’s governments that kill off the last vestiges of a collapsing boom, and lead once again to the crash phase of the cycle. But we are a little way away from that yet.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - NuLegacy Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0100 NuLegacy (CVE:NUG)

NuLegacy (CVE:NUG) has announced that it has commissioned Mine Development Associates of Nevada to prepare a NI 43-101 compliant resource inventory for the Iceberg gold deposit at Red Hill. The resource inventory will be constrained to approximately 35% of the 3km strike length. This is the area in which there is sufficiently high drill density to determine a resource and an announcement is expected in Q1 2018. Holes from up to year end 2017 will be used which includes those from the current programme.

NUG’s stated aim continues to be to determine a multi-million ounce resource on the property.  However, as this resource inventory only covers a portion of the known mineralisation it will likely serve as a base case in our view. Having a defined resource will better enable NUG’s budgeting for determining the remainder of the resource.

We believe that the resource calculation will demonstrate the progress made to date and the significant oxidised mineralisation that has been discovered. From here there is attractive optionality to expand the resource either via infill drilling of the known deposits or by further exploration of the two new zones drilled for the first time in 2017. Meanwhile the prospect of discovering high grade mineralisation remains the most exciting potential catalyst for the stock.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:15:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)
Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced robust Q1 FY 2018 numbers with production up 12% YoY to 10.2koz which is on track for our full year target of 45.8koz. Gold sold increased 95% YoY to 13koz, however, this was primarily a result of timing of sales in Q1 FY 2017 as well as some delayed sales from Q4 FY 2017.

Increased production in South Africa and at Kilimapesa offset reduced production at the Ghanaian operations. In South Africa, production of 7.6koz was up 40% YoY with a strong focus on sourcing material for the more profitable CIL circuits. GDP has now built a stockpile of this material to last 12 months.

At Ghana, production of 1.2koz was down 61% YoY although gold sold was up 93% YoY to 2.6koz with sales and production continuing to be more volatile at this operation. We expect greater stability going forward, however, as a result of the efforts to expand sourcing from South America which is now delivering regular shipments of by-product material. Furthermore, negotiations, regarding an artisanal tailings clean-up programme, with the Government are ongoing. A mobile gold concentrator pilot plant has been constructed as part of this whilst the 3 tonne elution column is on track for commissioning in December 2017.

The Kilimapesa ramp up continues with production of 1.4koz, up 132% YoY. This was notwithstanding some disruption in the period due to employees taking time off to vote in the Kenyan national elections which has resulted in some ongoing general business uncertainty due to the contested result. The target production run rate for Plant 2 is now being regularly achieved and we expect operational performance to continue to improve in the coming quarters.

The results demonstrate continued robust operational performance and the company is on track to meet our estimates for further production and earnings growth in FY 2018.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 17p.

]]> Russia, Brexit and Catalonia Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:50:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:09:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has provided an update on PEDL143, the Holmwood prospect, following a meeting of the Surrey County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee yesterday. EDR holds an 18.4% interest in the prospect.

The results of the meeting were the approval of a security fence for the drill site. However, the Committee elected to defer a decision on traffic management following requests for further information. As a result, EDR has indicated that drilling of the conventional oil exploration well is now likely to take place in H1 2018.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, Sula Iron and Gold PLC, Goldplat plc Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:35:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG LN) has announced that it has signed an LOI with Offshore Design Engineering for multiple contractor roles in the development of the Blythe and Vulcan Satellites project beginning with technical and operational support in preparation for the final investment decision.

ODE will provide technical and operational support both before and after the FID and will act as the operations and maintenance service provider. Pre-FID costs will be fully deferred while pre first gas costs will be 50% deferred until first gas. The Thames Pipeline will also be included in ODE’s remit along with an onshore operational base in Great Yarmouth.

The announcement demonstrates further support from external contractors underpinning confidence in the project. Furthermore, the terms of the LOI with significant deferrals reduce the upfront funding requirement strengthening IOG’s ability to advance the project as a 100% operator.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.


Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has provided a corporate update. Structural interpretation work following the recent drilling programme and soil sampling is ongoing. The results of this analysis will aid in identifying the most appropriate next steps for development and management is of the opinion that finding a JV or farm in partner may be the most advantageous way of developing the Ferensola project.

The board have also indicated that it intends to expand SULA’s asset base and is considering opportunities in this regard.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.2p target price.


Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

We note the purchase of share’s by CEO, Gerard Kisbey Green.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 17p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC, Polymetal International Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:14:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)#

Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN) has provided an update on the recently announced Open Offer. The Open Offer for up to 20.1mn shares at 5p per share is being made to qualifying shareholders as of close of business 13 October 2017. Qualifying shareholders are existing shareholders as of the record date and are entitled to 1 open offer share for every 31 existing ordinary shares.

Qualifying shareholders are also eligible to apply for additional open offer shares through an excess application facility for which full details are available in the circular which will be on the company’s website today.

The last date for application for qualifying shareholders is 11am on 1 November.


Polymetal (LON:POLY)#

Polymetal (POLY LN) has announced strong Q3 2017 production results. Gold equivalent production of 470koz was up 26% YoY meaning that in the first 9mo17 POLY has produced 1.03mnoz GE, up 15% YoY. This strong operational performance was achieved via the full ramp up at Svetloye as well as record production at Albazino (89koz, up 24% YoY) and Varvara and a strong performance at Mayskoye (81koz, up 70% YoY). As a result of higher prices and production group revenue was up 17% YoY to US$546mn, which also benefitted from delayed sales from prior periods and POLY has indicated that this timing gap is due to be closed during Q4 2017.

POLY appears comfortably on track to meet its guidance of 1.4mnoz GE production in 2017 and has maintained cost guidance also at US$600-650/oz and AISC of US$775-825/oz. Given that the ramp up has been driven by the low cost heap leach operation at Svetloye this is likely to benefit group margins particularly as grades at the project were up 27% YoY to 4.8g/t.


]]> Is big money finally ready to flow towards West African gold juniors? Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:19:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Millennial Lithium Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

Ashanti Gold Corp (AGZ CN), the joint venture partner and operator of the Anumso gold project in Ghana of Goldplat (GDP LN) reports significant gold soil anomalies encountered in a completed program. In aggregate up to 400m wide and with an underlying host rock of conglomerate, the anomalies show a significant number of samples with grades at or above 30ppb (.03ppm) gold; deemed highly anomalous among explorationists who work the W Africa gold belts. At least 24 samples gave results at or above 0.1ppm gold.

Mineralized rock grab samples grading 1gAu/t or better were submitted for metallurgical recovery of gold. Oxidized samples were crushed, ground, and bottle rolled for cyanide leach recovery and showed excellent results of greater than 85% gold recovery in 48 hours across all types of samples in the batch.

No comment was made of what comes next on the project but these results certainly put a fire in the field geologist’s mind we believe to get ready for drilling. GDP will retain no less than 25% interest in this ground in the JV.

We retain our BUY rating and 17p price target.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)#

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has opted to pay off the debt early incurred in the acquisition of the initial core license ground at Pastos Grandes with a portion of the funds raised in the past few weeks. This ground had been set up with a payment schedule upon the announcement of its acquisition on 19 July, 2016. Due to highly successful drilling results to date on the ground, ML has consummated a full and final 100% ownership of this first 1,219 hectares with the transfer of deeds completed 5 October, 2017.

In other news, drilling results from the ‘Cruz’ property have proved disappointing. ML has notified the original vendor of the ground that it is terminating its further interest. ML was to have received US$1m in the next option payment from the JV partner by 1 October, 2017.

Though the drilling results from ‘Cruz’ have been disappointing, the early exit from ground which is not prime preserves capital for better opportunities in the ML property portfolio.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - NuLegacy Gold Corp, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:34:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced the results of its recent CPR on the Vulcan Satellites, Blythe and Elgood assets. The key finding of the report is a significant increase in gas reserves from 34 BCF to 303BCF on a 2P basis with the uplift coming primarily from the Vulcan Satellites which now have 2P reserves of 248 BCF. At Blythe 2P reserves were unchanged at 33 BCF while at Elgood reserves increased to 22 BCF.

The increase in reserves has enabled IOG to demonstrate the economic viability of the project following 3D seismic analysis, well design and placement as well as hydraulic stimulation on the Vulcan Satellite. Consequently, IOG has received production forecasts for each field with peak production from 2P reserves indicated at 200 MMcfd. Initial capital for the whole field is projected at £466mn while the pre-tax NPV using a conservative 10% discount is £453m.  

We do expect a further increase to resources at Harvey with a CPR due. The gas hub strategy using the Thames pipeline should enable IOG to scale the project at relatively limited capital expense. We therefore view this CPR as a robust base and additional exploration success is likely to further enhance the economics.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation

Multi-Million Ounce Potential

NuLegacy (CVE:NUG) holds the largest independently owned land package within the Cortez gold trend in Nevada. During 2017 the company has significantly expanded the footprint of mineralisation amongst Carlin Type Gold Deposits (CTGDs) within the license area, building on the existing exploration target* of 90-110mnt at between 0.9-1.1g/t Au. New zones, Serena and the Western Slope drilled for the first time in 2017 yielded intercepts of 85.4m at 0.64g/t including 50.3m at 1.00g/t Au from 133m.

NUG has identified a significant cluster of oxidised gold deposits; however, it has yet to identify the high grade zones of mineralisation typically associated with the centre of CTGDs. We believe that identifying these zones offers significant upside potential for investors, however, we stress that this is not a binary investment case reliant on this type of discovery. The region’s strong infrastructure, the shallow depth of the mineralisation and potential for low cost heap leaching indicate to us that the deposits determined to date are sufficiently attractive to warrant further development.  

Support From the Region’s Experts

Barrick (NYSE:ABX) has discovered some of the world’s leading gold deposits in the immediate vicinity of NUG’s license area, including Cortez Hills (15mnoz+), Pipeline (21mnoz+) and Goldrush (10mnoz+). ABX opted to take equity in NUG and now holds approximately 10.9% of the shares. There is a strong relationship between the two companies and three former ABX executives hold directorships at NUG. Also, NUG’s Chief Geoscience Officer and Co-Founder, Roger Steininger, is credited with discovering the Pipeline deposit and is one of the region’s foremost geologists. The senior management team and Board of Directors in place at NUG significantly strengthen the investment case, in our view.


We believe that the large footprint of oxidised gold mineralisation that NUG has established to date across multiple deposits forms an attractive base for future exploration. With C$11m in cash, backing from ABX and a strong senior management team we believe that NUG is well placed to further the development of these attractive assets. We expect strong newsflow over the balance of 2017 as a 14 hole (c.4.9km) programme has just begun.

We initiate coverage with a Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Gulfsands Petroleum plc, Novo Litio Ltd Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)

Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI) has provided an update on the Sepeda project. Although NLI has opted to progress legal proceedings through the Courts of Portugal via an expedited process, the vendors of the project (Lusorecursos) have threatened violence towards NLI staff on site as part of their attempts to frustrate NLI’s acquisition of the license and license applications. NLI maintains that it has a binding agreement to acquire 100% of the granted license and license applications from Lusorecursos and anticipates that injunction proceedings will commence in November 2017 in time for a Mining License application to be made.

We highlight, however, that NLI has received support from the Baldios of Carvalhais demonstrating that it maintains strong local support and relationships with key Portuguese stakeholders. The Baldios are the administrators of the communal land on which Sepeda is located with whom NLI have exclusive access and land rights for the site. They have intervened to provide support via the local gendarmerie when Lusorecursos have entered the site.

In addition, NLI have brought the actions of Lusorecursos to the attention of the Director General of the Portuguese mines Department and now await a response. Although this represents a frustrating setback for NLI this course of action is unlikely to favour Lusorecursos in the legal process and we await further updates from NLI.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of A$0.2/sh.

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

We note that Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX) has announced that it has secured a reset of its PUT-14 Licence terms in Putumayo, Colombia. This means that Phase 0 which focuses on stakeholder and community consultation will restart giving GPX the necessary time to carry out this process and will have a full three year period to then carry out the Phase 1 exploration. The PUT-14 license will now run until at least mid-2021 thereby providing a more attractive timescale for potential partners for a seismic and drilling programme.

The minimum work programme is unchanged along with the other commercial terms and GPX as part of Phase 1 will need to complete 98km2 of 2D seismic and drill one exploration well. The announcement is a positive step which will enable GPX to better demonstrate the potential of its asset base in what is, in our view, an attractive region for exploration.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC, Columbus Energy Resources PLC Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:49:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced the departure of Howard Baker as Non-Executive Technical Director. In place, John Gould, who is a geologist and Partner at Madini (SULA’s technical advisors) will fulfil this role alongside and experienced South African based geologist who has significant experience of Archean greenstone gold deposits. The pair will continue the ongoing structural interpretation work at Ferensola.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.2p


Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced a fundraising of up to £4.1m. The placing is structured in three parts; £3m via Schroders Investment Management for 60m shares at 5p, a £0.1m subscription from the senior management team (Leo Koot; Executive Chairman, Gordon Stein; CFO, Stewart Ahmed; MD for Trinidad and Michael Douglas; NED) at 5p as well as an open offer available to existing shareholders. The open offer is proposed as a 1 for 31 offer of up to c.20m shares at 5p with the timing to be announced in due course. Schroders’ holding of 60m will represent a 9.65% interest in CERP’s enlarged share capital. The price of 5p represents a discount of 16.7% to the prior close and a premium of 14.4% to the one month VWAP.

The investment by Schroders’ represents, in our view, an endorsement of CERP’s turnaround strategy which we believe can unlock significant unrealised value potential at the Goudron field and South West Peninsula. The funds will be utilised to accelerate the execution of this turnaround strategy as well as for targeting potential new opportunities.

Our estimates our Under Review following this announcement.

]]> Catalonia, gold and bitcoin Fri, 06 Oct 2017 12:13:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Wed, 04 Oct 2017 07:24:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML) has announced an update to its activities across its portfolio. At Pastos Grandes, ML has four drill rigs currently operating and for which results will be used in the anticipated Q4 2017 resource update. Two holes have been drilled with brine analytic results outstanding while four holes are currently being drilled. Also in relation to the Pastos Grandes project, the company has engaged SGS-Lakefield to conduct advanced processing studies which will include on site evaporation test work across 16 trial ponds as well as purity trial test work to create plant grade Li-rich brine (1-2%) from 600 litres of sample brine. In addition, Ausenco has been engaged to conduct ML’s baseline environmental studies.

In relation to the Cruz property to which Southern Lithium (SNL CN) is earning in a two hole drilling programme has been completed. The holes reached depths of 476m and 500m and results from brine analytics are now outstanding.

The announcement follows the closure of the recent financing for which gross proceeds of C$11.5m were raised at a price of C$1.25/sh.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, REDT Energy Tue, 03 Oct 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced that it has signed an LOI with Heerema Fabrication Group for the front end engineering and design as well as the engineering, procurement and installation of up to four Normally Unmanned Installation platforms (NUIs).

The NUIs will be installed on the SNS project with costs front end costs fully deferred and procurement and installation costs 50% deferred until first gas. The final investment decision on the SNS project is due to be made by the end of Q1 2018 and a full contract following on from this LOI is now expected to be signed before year end.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.


redT Announces 1MWh Order in Australia

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced its entry into the Australian storage sector with the commercial sale of a 300kW-1MWh hybrid vanadium flow machine/lithium-ion battery system to Monash University in Melbourne.

• System will consist of 900kWh of flow machines (12 x 75kWh tank unit modules) and a 120kW lithium-ion battery

• To be housed at the University’s Biomedical Learning and Teaching building, be coupled with on-site solar PV and integrated into the ‘Monash Microgrid’

VSA Comment

The recent high profile announcement by Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA US) to construct the world’s largest lithium-ion battery project in South Australia (129MWh) has highlighted the significant potential for energy storage in the Australian market.

RED has previously announced its intention to enter this market in H2 2017. It has now delivered on this promise. The company believes that the country’s energy storage market will require investment of between A$20bn and A$30bn up until 2030. The extremely high cost of electricity in Australia means that the payback period of a RED flow machine could be as little as 1-2 years (assuming energy trading is implemented).

This system sale will build on the hybrid system work currently being carried out by RED in partnership with the University of Newcastle (UK) as part of a three-year programme announced in September 2016. The basic premise of such a system is that the lithium-ion battery component provides high power, when required, over a short duration (c20% of a customer’s overall requirements) with the vanadium flow machine providing the long duration output due to its much higher energy storage capability and lack of degradation (c80% of a customer’s overall requirements).

Pairing with lithium-ion battery technology should also make flow machine sales slightly easier, as customers are familiar with the more established lithium storage technology (despite its well-understood shortfalls). 

Although no order value was quoted in the RNS, we estimate that this sale will be worth cUS$1m (cA$1.3m) to RED. Aside from being its first sale in Australia, this will provide an extremely high-profile marketing site for the stimulation of potential further orders in a country which will require significant investment in energy storage capacity for many years to come. 

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.

]]> Technology and information are rendering today’s political structures increasingly obsolete Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:02:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, Obtala Ltd Fri, 29 Sep 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced interim results for H1 2017. In the period the company made a net loss of £1.4m versus a loss of £1m on year earlier; as despite a reduction in administrative expenses of 20% YoY to £750k finance expanses were higher at £663k.

During the period IOG made significant progress, advancing the development of its core assets. The Thames pipeline acquisition is a key milestone in development of the Southern North Sea (SNS) gas hub and will save around £100m in costs whilst opening up these assets via a fully owned export route. IOG will now undertake an assessment programme to understand any necessary repair work ahead of dewatering. In addition, 3D seismic work was carried out on the Harvey asset demonstrating significant potential. IOG received an extension on the Harvey license in March 2017.

Post period end, the company made previously announced changes to the senior management team and board. In July IOG was awarded Licence P2343 by the OGA strengthening the position at the Vulcan Satellites where positive seismic and hydraulic stimulation studies were completed in June 2017. Furthermore, an LOI was signed with Schlumberger providing a framework for the two companies to work towards the Final Investment Decision on the SNS project.

In the remainder of 2017 we expect a CPR to be commissioned which will cover the entire SNS project which will support funding negotiations for project advancement. Negotiations with creditors relating to the Skipper Well are ongoing in order to determine whether liabilities due at the end of 2017 will be repaid, rescheduled or converted to equity in part.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

Obtala Limited#: Q3 Update

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# has announced a Q3 operational update.

• Forestry: 15,000m3 of logs harvested across Mozambique and Gabon in the quarter; 4,500m3 of export grade timber produced, with a proportion of logs stockpiled for future processing; 100m3 per day sawmill in Mozambique remains on track to be completed at the end of 2017; rapidly scaling of timber production in Gabon, increasing from 900m3 in July to 1,500m3 in August; remains in discussions for a US$25m trade finance facility to significantly scale timber trading business

• Agriculture: First significant Melon harvest processed through upgraded packhouse with product exported through Mombasa, Kenya

VSA Comment

Once again OBT has had an extremely busy operational quarter. However, unlike previous quarters, Q3 2017 marks the first period where OBT has also delivered significant revenues, following its acquisition of WoodBois on 30 June and the harvest of cash crops in Tanzania.

Our FY 2017 forecast for OBT’s log harvest across Mozambique and Gabon is c24,000m3, with c10,700m3 of timber produced. Given the levels achieved in Q3, the company is currently trading in-line with our expectations. Prices are reported in the range of US$400-900/m3, dependent on species and grade. Again, this is in-line with our expectations, with our FY 2017 average selling price forecast at US$400/m3 in Gabon and US$850/m3 in Mozambique.

Although its expansion plans are ambitious, OBT appears to be successfully executing its strategy in-line with our aggressive expectations.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 36p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:15:00 +0100 Obtala Limited#: H1 2017 Results

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# has released its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2017 (H1 2017).

• Revenue: US$0.2m (H1 2016: US$0.4m); VSA FY 2017 forecast US$13.7m

• Operating loss: US$3.8m (H1 2016: US$2.5m); VSA FY 2017 forecast US$2.0m

• Net assets: US$152.5m (H1 2016: US$120.2m)

• Cash and cash equivalents as of 30 June 2017: US$1.9m (31 December 2016: US$3.4m)

VSA Comment

Having carried out its transformational acquisition of WoodBois International at the end of the period, H1 2017 looks set to be the last period of minimal financial performance for the company, given WoodBois generated US$9.2m in revenues in H1 and OBT has near-term plans to rapidly scale up the trading side of this business through additional trade finance facilities.

The biological assets of WoodBois have been assessed by the same valuer used on its existing concessions and a value of US$53m has been provided. This provides a significant non-cash ‘gain from bargain purchase’ contribution to OBT’s P&L for the H1 period and adds to the already significant biological assets on its balance sheet, which now total US$228m.

OBT has also announced this morning that it will be creating individual Board of Directors’ for each of its forestry (Argento) and Agriculture (Montara) divisions. This additional separation of the business should make it easier for the company to attract new investors and partners into the specific areas of the OBT business that are most relevant in each case. It will also assist in the potential sale or IPO of its agriculture division if such an opportunity arises in the future.

The company has also announced the appointment of Martin Collins as Deputy Chairman of the OBT board as well as Chairman and CEO of the agriculture business, replacing COO Warren Deats, who has resigned from the company.  

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 36p.

Zambeef: Crop Damage Not as Bad as Feared

Following its announcement on 6 September, African agribusiness Zambeef (ZAM LN) has announced that crop damage to its winter wheat crop from the Septoria fungal disease has not been as bad as originally feared. It now expects crop yields to be c10% lower than original expectations, rather than a fall of 20%. The company therefore now expects to report a small profit for the year to 30 September 2017.

NWF Group: In-Line AGM Statement

Ahead of its AGM later today, UK agricultural input business NWF Group (NWF LN) has announced trading in its first quarter (June-August, traditionally its quietest period) has been ahead of last year and in-line with expectations.

Summer feed volumes are reported as robust with margins in-line with expectations. DEFRA data shows that the overall UK ruminant feed market increased by a significant 12% YoY over June and July (no data yet available for August). However, it must be remembered that these months are the quietest in terms of feed demand, so YoY changes can be quite volatile.

Its food division is also in-line with expectations with three new customers adding an additional 4,000 pallets at its Wardle site, leaving 4000 pallets of spare capacity left to fill (of c100,000 total capacity).

Its fuel division has experienced increased commercial business, with lower margin road diesel the main contributor to this growth.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Novo Litio Ltd, REDT Energy Wed, 27 Sep 2017 07:21:00 +0100 redT energy#: H1 2017 Results

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2017.

• Revenue: €4.5m, flat YoY (H1 2016: €4.5m), VSA FY estimate is €12.2m

• EBITDA: loss of €3.2m (H1 2016: loss of €2.2m), VSA FY estimate is a loss of €7.2m

• Net Cash as of 30 June 2017: €13.2m (31 December 2016: €2.8m)

VSA Comment

RED’s H1 results are pretty academic as the company was busy significantly scaling up its workforce (+100% YoY) during this period, following the December fundraise (administration expenses increased to €5.2m from €3.6m in H1 2016). As revealed in its operations update in mid-July, RED sold just six tank unit modules in H1. However, EBITDA remained in-line with our expectations due to strong performance from its legacy carbon business.

More importantly to us is the fact that commercial sales are now beginning, evidenced by the recent announcement of a 12 tank unit order (as part of a 300 unit pipeline) for certain distributors and a 14 tank unit order (as part of a 150+ unit pipeline) for a Botswana-based client, both announced in the last month.

Of these, we would highlight the Botswana order as most notable given RED’s flow machines are replacing failing lithium-ion and lead-acid products at each of the 14 sites. This is a key marketing angle for the company and we are hopeful that additional potential customers in the sector will also begin to appreciate the advantages of flow machines over more traditional forms of storage in the coming months/years.

In its July trading update, RED revealed that it had €15.9m of potential orders in the final stage of customer selection (up from €6.5m when it released its FY 2016 results in April) and an active customer pipeline of €314m (vs. €246m in April). It also outlined plans to enter the Australian market in H2.

It has delivered on the later goal through its announced distributor agreements and has increased its pipeline even further since this announcement with €16.5m (205 units) now in the final stages of customer selection and an active customer pipeline of €323m.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.


Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)#

Novo Lítio (NLI AU) has announced strong drill results from the Sepeda project in Northern Portugal as well as progress regarding drill permitting for its Swedish lithium prospect, Spodumenberget.

At Sepeda Phase 4 drilling results included 80.3m at 1.36% Li2O and 80.45m at 1.3% Li2O. Both these results relate to infill drilling and confirm the continuity of the mineralisation, providing further support for NLI’s geological model. A resource update is due in Q4 2017, subject to tenure issues, and we believe that these results confirm our view that an increase in confidence from Inferred will be possible.

Furthermore, one of the key finding of the PEA was that in order to support the second stage of processing, i.e. a lithium carbonate conversion plant, a larger resource would be necessary. We are confident that this will be achievable and the latest drilling results confirm this with 68.06m at 1.26% Li2O as part of the extensional drilling, down plunge. This high grade mineralised zone remains open at depth.

In addition to the strong results at Sepeda, NLI has announced that its permitting process is now under way to drill at Spodumenberget in Sweden. Surface sampling earlier this year produced encouraging results and NLI has been able to identify appropriate drill targets as a result. 4 drill holes will test the area which has known pegmatite outcrops over a strike of 340m by 100m partially masked by glacial cover. Drilling is expected to commence in late 2017 once approval is received.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of A$0.2/sh.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 26 Sep 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced further results from its 5,185m Phase 3 drilling campaign including high grade intercepts at the new TZ4 target as well as at Sanama Hill. These are the final results from this programme.

The results at TZ4 included 1.2m at 19.3g/t Au from a depth of 287m which follows on from the earlier result of 5.2g/t Au from hole FDD021 around 600m away. We note, however, that SULA has stated that the structural orientation of these holes is different which indicates multiple controls and that as at Sanama Hill the structural geology is complex. This is something that management is putting significant effort into understanding and will help with future drill targeting and understanding the potential of the mineralisation discovered to date.

Additional drill results were from Sanama Hill and also included encouraging high grades such as 8.6g/t Au over 2m from 134m deep as well as 7.5g/t Au in near surface oxide ore from 31m deep. The drilling campaign has provided robust results including high grade intercepts such as these although now the focus at Sanama Hill will be on low cost analysis of the data with a particular focus on structural geology.

Soil sampling across 8 of 19 identified targets has demonstrated multiple zones with anomalous gold values. One of these includes a new gold target to the northeast of Sanama Hill yielding anomalous gold grades, underpinning the company’s view that there is further potential for gold targets beyond those that have been tested to date.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.2p target price.


Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (LON:ECO)#

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)# has announced it has entered into an option agreement on its interest in the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana, with Total (FP FP). The option allows FP to acquire a 25% working interest (WI) in the block from ECO, of which it currently holds a 40% WI, Tullow Oil (TLW) is the operator and holds the remaining 60% WI.

FP will make an immediate payment of US$1m to ECO for the option and will make a further cash payment of US$12.5m upon exercise of the option. The Orinduik Block is located up dip and just a few kilometers from Exxon’s (XOM US) recent Liza and Payara discoveries confirming, by XOM estimates, between 2.25-2.75Bbbls of recoverable oil. ECO has reviewed 2D seismic data across the block and leads have been identified which TLW estimates contain prospective resources of 900mmboe. This 3D seismic programme is now the next stage of the exploration programme over the block and is being completed on time as per ECO’s guidance.

The option is entirely exercisable at FP’s right and must be done so within 120 days of completion of processing the 3D seismic survey, which has been underway for three weeks now. Should the 3D seismic survey back up or improve the initial resource estimates from the 2D data then we believe it would be highly likely that FP would exercise this option. Should this be the case then ECO will be left with a 15% WI on the Orinduik Block.

Each partner on the block will pay its pro-rata WI from the date of exercise of the option and ECO estimate exploration wells offshore Guyana on the Orinduik block will cost cUS$35m. ECO’s participating interest on a well would then be cUS$5.25m per well, therefore, the successful completion of this option would provide funding to meet ECO’s commitments on two wells and re-cooperate its contribution to the 3D seismic survey.

Following the success of the XOM at Liza, offshore exploration in Guyana has been high on the priority list for many of the majors as they seek to gain exposure to a basin with world class prospectivity but has been de-risked somewhat by XOM. We see this announcement as confirmation of this and as extremely encouraging news for ECO that will likely help move the licence further along the value chain.

We re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 25p TP.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Mon, 25 Sep 2017 07:16:00 +0100 redT Secures 14 Unit Order in SSA

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced the sale of 14 units in sub-Saharan Africa.

• 14 5kW-40kWh machines sold to a Botswana-based customer for deployment in the country’s critical communications infrastructure sector

• Machines will be hooked up to solar power installations, storing power generated during the day for use in the evening, effectively ‘firming-up’ solar power

VSA Comment

Following on from last week’s announcement of an initial 12 unit order (as part of a 300 unit pipeline), RED has delivered a further sales announcement in a key market. The units will be delivered next year and are expected to generate cUS$850k in revenues for FY 2018 (unit sales + add-on services). We also understand that this single customer has a significant pipeline of additional projects that could eventually require more than 150 RED units.     

This multiple-unit sale into the African market highlights RED’s strong networks in the region, which originally stemmed from its legacy carbon project development business.

Aside from the monetary benefit, this deal also explicitly highlights the advantage of flow machines over lithium-ion and lead-acid solutions, which RED notes that in many cases have already failed on these specific project sites.

It also shows that its business model of deploying seed units in certain key markets (two Gen1 machines are deployed in Africa) is beginning to pay off.

We are hopeful that, once operational, the Olde House installation in Cornwall should have a similar stimulating effect for the UK market and lead to significant orders for RED’s bigger and more lucrative units.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.


Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG LN) has announced that it has signed an LOI and Consultancy Master Services Agreement with Schlumberger in relation to development of two of its North Sea gas hubs; Blythe and Vulcan Satellites. This provides a framework for a joint team to complete field development plans in the period prior to the final investment decision.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> Fed turns hawkish, gold outlook still favourable Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:42:00 +0100 VSA Morning Agri Comment - M.P. Evans Group PLC Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:32:00 +0100 MP Evans: H1 2017 Results

MP Evans (LON:MPE), the Indonesian palm oil producer, has announced interim results for the period ended 30 June 2017.

• Revenue: US$57.5m, +89.4% YoY (H1 2016: US$30.4m)

• Adjusted Operating profit: US$15.9m (H1 2016: US$3.4m)

• Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) processed (own, majority-owned estates): 213,800t, +25.5% YoY (H1 2016: 170,300t)

• Crude palm oil (CPO) produced: 70,500t, +55.6% YoY (H1 2016: 45,300t)

• Interim dividend: Increased to 5.0p (H1 2016: 2.25p)

VSA Comment

As expected, MPE continues to increase its cropping levels as its young estates develop into maturity and, more specifically for H1, production levels in the sector recover from the 2015/16 El Niño. Stronger CPO prices (+10% YoY) and a c15% YoY fall in its cost of production (US$380/t) also contributed to a much improved financial performance, with its adjusted operating profit increasing by more than 4.5x.

In terms of the outlook for pricing, palm oil prices have increased c10% over the last month, touching six month highs in Malaysia, as expectations of a relatively muted peak production cycle have been played out in the market. The latest data from South East Asia suggests that for July and August at least, these expectations have not yet been realised to the extent that some were forecasting.

However, we are likely to see strong near-term export demand with the approach of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China (4 October) and the Hindu festival of Diwali (19 October). Although this is likely to be supportive to CPO pricing in the near-term, production will likely be strong in September and October, which may lead to weaker pricing as we move towards the end of the year. Last week’s upgrade to the US soybean crop by the USDA is also a bearish indication for vegetable oil pricing (soybean oil premium over Malaysian CPO is currently around its historic average at cUS$110/t). 

Having completed c99% of its £5m share buy-back programme, last Friday MPE announced that it would be extending the programme by a further £2.5m. Extrapolating from the rate of share purchases so far, this extra allocation should last through to at least mid-January. Given the low liquidity in the stock (the buy-back has accounted for c20% of all traded volume since the scheme began), we believe this programme is an important factor in maintaining the share price at the current levels.

Having perhaps made a slower start on its post-KLK bid strategy than we had originally expected, MPE has now impressively disposed of its Agro Muko joint venture (and paid a special dividend of 10p per share as a result), acquired a new majority-owned 10,000ha newly planted plantation in Kalimantan, extended its share buy-back scheme and now more than doubled its interim dividend.

With MPE anticipating that its crop levels will double between 2016 and 2020 (as they did between 2010 and 2016), it is clear that the company is set for significant levels of growth in the coming years, which is precisely the reason it remains such an attractive acquisition target.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:19:00 +0100 redT Signs Partnership Sales Agreements

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has signed partnership agreements with a number of distributors in Central & Eastern Europe, South East Asia and the Pacific region. It has also announced two new senior hires.

• Combined, the distributors have made an initial commitment of 12 units as part of a qualified pipeline of more than 300 units

• Bengt Stahlschmidt has been announced as Global Business Development Lead, alongside Adam Whitehead who has joined as Research Principle. Both join from flow battery peer Gildemeister, which has recently entered the administration process in Germany

VSA Comment

RED has secured its first commercial orders from a group of specialist energy sector distributors with longstanding experience selling flow machines from Gildemeister and others into the global market. The fact that RED has now been selected to deploy its machines through these channels highlights the company’s move towards becoming the flow machine manufacturer of choice in the market.

The apparent demise of key flow competitor Gildemeister has given RED access to its key people, the first two being Bengt and Adam as detailed above, as well as its future pipeline, with the Austrian company having done much to promote the benefits of flow machines in the global energy storage sector.

Although RED’s commercial sales have started slower than we had anticipated, this announcement is clearly good news for the company and we hope a sign of things to come as the company looks to move from generating a limited number of individual sales, to becoming the low cost mass market producer of flow machines for the global energy storage sector.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.

]]> The 19th Chinese Party Congress is coming, and will have an interesting effect on markets Fri, 15 Sep 2017 11:15:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Independent Oil & Gas PLC Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:06:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced interim results for H1 2017 which with operational changes enacted in late H1 2017 are likely to mark a turning point in the company’s development. CERP has set out the strategy to restore profitability at the core operations which will provide stable cash flow for unlocking CERP’s exploration potential.

Group oil sales of 108k barrels of oil were down 32% YoY as production in Spain ended in January 2017. While in Trinidad production was disrupted by Tropical Storm Bret alongside declines in well pressure in the Goudron field. However, higher average oil prices and favourable timing of sales more than offset the decline in production and revenue of £2.5m was up 28% YoY. The operating loss of £1.88m was in line YoY, as although CERP has made significant progress and reduced SGA by 16% YoY to £1.4m, cost of sales were higher as a result of one offs relating to Spain while a positive non cash gain in H1 2016 benefitted earnings in the prior period. We note, however, a 33% YoY reduction in operating costs at Trinidad to £700k. The net loss of £1.96m was therefore broadly in line YoY.

However, we believe that H1 2017 is likely to mark a turning point for CERP. With the new management team in place from May 2017, CERP has indicated the early success of its low cost initiatives to restore profitability and positive cash flow at its core operations. In line with previous experience the performance of the first two wells drilled as part of the Mayaro infill programme (GY-682, GY-683) resulted in strong initial production of 55bopd and 65bopd, however, this declined to 8bopd and 18bopd respectively within a few months as pressure declined. Consequently and with 160 historic wells of which around 90 are shut in, management has decided to utilise the existing wells and address the issue of declining pressure via well stimulation rather than continue with the Mayaro sand infill programme.

Yesterday, CERP announced that it had received a CEC enabling the first programme of the waterflood pilot injection to commence. This is planned to increase production from 30bopd to over 150bopd on a stable and consistent basis at a cost of just US$300k compared to US$500k for each Mayaro well. On a larger scale the potential is therefore likely to be significant and by utilising water injection and other well stimulation techniques such as smart pumping systems CERP is targeting over 550bopd by year end. Early injectivity tests have resulted in tenfold increases in production rates so far.

CERP’s cash position at the end of H1 2017 was £1.7m and on Monday CERP announced an additional US$750k in Lind funding due in Q4 2017. CERP have guided that the turnaround strategy based on well stimulation and the waterflood injection programme will be achievable using existing cash resources and are targeting positive cash flow generation by Q4 2017.

While restoring profitability at the core Goudron operations in the near term is in itself highly positive we highlight the announcement that based on the existing cash resources and the projected cash flow from Goudron, CERP intend to bring forward development of the significant exploration potential at the South West Peninsula (SWP). CERP intend to drill SWP in mid-2018 using existing cash resources. This is subject to completion of permit approval and completion of commercial negotiations which have begun following the acquisition of the BOLT license and production of 200 barrels of oil sold to Petrotrin in May 2017. SWP represents CERP’s transformational growth opportunity and the ability to develop the asset internally is a significant positive step, in our view.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 25p/sh.

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced changes to management as James Chance, previously IOG’s Commercial Director, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect. James has not been appointed to IOG’s Board of Directors. Hywel John, has stepped down from CFO and resigned as a Director with immediate effect to pursue other interests. The IOG project team has been strengthened by the addition of Ian Pollard as HS&E Manager and Jonathan Walker as Engineering Manager.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Tue, 12 Sep 2017 07:28:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced that it has received a Certificate of Environmental Compliance (CEC) for the Goudron field Waterflood programme from the Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad. The approval will enable CERP to commence work on the Goudron Field Water Injection Pilot Programme which is intended to increase reservoir pressure consequently sweeping oil towards production wells resulting in an increase in production rates. The forecast increase is from the current 30BOPD to in excess of 150BOPD which will require an injection of 450 barrels of water per day.

CERP intend to commence the programme immediately and crucially, as the new management team have reviewed the project they have concluded that the first of the four pilot programmes can be completed from internal cash. Costs committed to date for the first programme for pumps, filters, tanks and pipework etc, total just US$300k. These have been tested during well injectivity trials and the system is expected to be running with continuous water injection within the next few weeks. Ongoing operating costs will be minimised by the fact that the source of injection water is already produced water from the Goudron field.

The data on recovery and incremental production rates will be key to determining the extent of the waterflood expansion, with a decision now expected in 18 months’ time. Proposals for the next three programmes will be submitted shortly and will target two areas in the shallow Goudron Mayaro well and the GY-670 well. 

The application was submitted in late June and has been approved far quicker than expected bringing project commissioning forward by around a year. This reflects three key positives for CERP going forward which underpin our positive view on the stock. Firstly, as with the improved Lind facility terms it demonstrates the new management’s proactive approach to restoring profitability at the core CERP operations. Secondly it demonstrates that despite the changes in senior management, strong relationships with the Trinidad authorities have been maintained. Thirdly, it highlights the attractiveness of Trinidad as an operational jurisdiction.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 22p target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Mon, 11 Sep 2017 09:13:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced an update to the ongoing dispute over a contract with Rand Refinery. With no resolution having yet been achieved GDP has now decided to issue an application to the High Court of South Africa for recovery of the fees owed by Rand Refinery.

It is not clear at this point how long resolution might take, however, the impact on our outlook for GDP remains unchanged. From an operational perspective we highlight GDP’s efforts to reduce its exposure to Rand Refinery by increasing internal elution capacity and using alternative refiners. Consequently our earnings estimates are unchanged and reflect the strong operational performance achieved in FY 2017.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 12.2p target price.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Mon, 11 Sep 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced a favourable revision to the terms on its lending facility with Lind Partners. Following the agreement announced in December 2016 for a US$8.9m convertible loan facility of which US$1.825m (T1) has been drawn down, CERP has negotiated an increase in the conversion price, an increase in the facility and an improvement in payment terms.

• T1 conversion price increased by 50% to 4.5p/sh.

• Issue of 17.9mn shares to Lind, held in escrow for at least six months from 23rd September.

• The next monthly repayment of T1 will be paid in shares (2.3m) at a price of 3p/sh.

• Lind intends to exercise its right to increase the size of the facility by US$750k (T2) with funds available to CERP in Q4 2017. T2 will be repaid at a monthly rate of US$38.7k in cash or shares as determined by CERP.

• Lind will be eligible for 7.6mn share options on provision of T2 exercisable at a price of 50% above the preceding 20 day average to the award date for up to 40 months.

The additional funds will aid in furthering the new management’s turnaround strategy. This includes field optimisation, well stimulation and the water injection pilot programme for which an application has been submitted. CERP expect to be cash flow positive during Q4 2017 as a result of these initiatives and we believe this can be achieved from the expanded cash resources given their low cost nature.

Furthermore, we believe that Lind’s decision to improve the terms of the facility, which has weighed upon the shares in recent months, reflects positively on the new management and their strategy, underpinning our positive outlook.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 22p target price.

CERP will announce interim results on 13 September and hold an AGM and investor presentation on 14 September at the company's solicitors, Kerman and Co LLP, who are located at 200 Strand, London WC2R 1DJ

]]> Gold mining in Tanzania gets riskier, and more attractive too Fri, 08 Sep 2017 12:58:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Wed, 06 Sep 2017 07:41:00 +0100 Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO)

Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO) has announced that along with its operating partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN) it has completed a 2,500km2 3D seismic survey on the Orinduik block in Guyana. The block is owned 60% by TLW and 40% by ECO and the test was completed by Schlumberger on schedule with stable seas and no weather disruptions. Orinduik is a few kilometres up dip from ExxonMobil’s (XOM US) Liza and Payara discoveries which XOM estimates contain between 2.25-2.75bnboe.

The 3D survey had originally been conceived as a 1,000km2 study, however, owing to the positive results of 2D survey data and down dip discoveries ECO and TLW opted to increase the scope of the study. On the enlarged study TLW agreed to carry ECO’s cost of the share to 1,000km2 (capped at US$1.25m) with the balance of the programme funded pro-rata. ECO and TLW will now begin interpreting the data with results to be released in due course.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 25p

]]> Trump will use North Korea to palliate long-standing domestic tensions in the US Mon, 04 Sep 2017 08:20:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Wed, 30 Aug 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has announced a placement of up to C$5m at a price of C$1.25/sh per unit. Each unit will consist of one common share and one warrant. Each warrant will be exercisable into one common share at C$1.50 for a period of 24 months post the offering. The offering is expected to close on September 26 2017.

Following the recent announcement of strong drill results and the acquisition of additional ground adjacent to the flagship project the funding will be used to advance the ongoing work programme.

We reiterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> Gold punches through US$1,300 as reality of North Korean missile attack is brought home Tue, 29 Aug 2017 16:45:00 +0100 VSA Morning Agri Comment Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:47:00 +0100 MPE Acquires New 10,000ha Block

Indonesian palm oil producer MP Evans (LON:MPE) has acquired a privately-held Singapore-based company whose local subsidiary holds 95% of a 10,000ha oil palm project in East Kalimantan.

• Of the 10,000ha land block, 8,240ha are company-owned estates with 1,300ha contained in a smallholder scheme and the balance being infrastructure and conservation areas

• Of the 8,240ha owned by the company, 7,400ha are planted with young oil palms (non-producing), 440ha are mature oil palms (producing) with a further 400ha in the process of being planted

• Total consideration is US$108m, with US$88m cash consideration and US$20m of assumed debt

• Significant growth is expected in the coming years as the trees mature along the yield curve. MPE expects the project to produce 270,000t+ of FFB per annum within ten years

• MPE plans to build a mill in due course as well as register the land with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), in line with its existing estates and mills

VSA Comment

Following the sale of the group’s 36.84% stake in Agro Muko in January, investors have been eagerly awaiting the deployment of the received funds into another palm oil project. Although it has taken longer than many expected, the transaction appears to be a good one, more than replacing the share of planted land lost through the Agro Muko disposal (7,200ha) for a price in-line with other recent transactions in the sector (cUS$13,100 per planted hectare).

However, it will take much longer for this project to replace the financial contribution lost as a result of the disposal of Agro Muko, given the early stage nature of the estate. The new project has just c5% of its palms currently producing, compared with Agro Muko that had c90% of mature oil palms. The new project made an operating loss of US$0.4m in 2016 compared to Agro Muko which contributed a share of profits to MPE of US$7.1m and gross dividends of US$3.7m in 2016.

With its ongoing share buy-back coming to an end (now 96% complete), the pressure was on for MPE to deploy its excess cash into an attractive transaction with strong growth prospects to support its share price. It appears to us that this deal fits the criteria. However, the end of the hands-off period for Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK LN) is now only four months away. We still expect it to return for a second try at acquiring MPE once this restricted period expires.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Polymetal International Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Polymetal (LON:POLY)

Polymetal (LON:POLY) has announced weak results despite increased revenues. The reversal of the USD, despite its positive impact in the dollar gold price was more than offset by the impact of the stronger RUB on costs. Revenue was up 15% YoY to US$683m, as gold sold increased 19% YoY to 380koz offset in part by a 5% YoY decline in silver sales to 12.4moz.

EBITDA of US$257m was down 12% YoY as cash costs increased 28% YoY to US$656/oz. Meanwhile, AISC increased 20% YoY to US$906/oz. This is expected to moderate somewhat in H2 with POLY maintaining its guidance for a full year average of US$600-650/oz and US$775-825/oz for total cash costs and AISC respectively. However, we do not expect the dollar to weakness to reverse in H2 indicating that the RUB is likely to remain strong.

Net earnings of US$120m were down 27% YoY as a result of higher cost pressures. Despite this, POLY announced a dividend of US$0.14/sh. equivalent to 50% of net earnings and a 56% increase YoY.

]]> Trump’s threat to shut down the government is no bluff Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:24:00 +0100 One commentator from one of London’s smaller financial trading institutions used the word “bluff” several times in a note this week analysing the likelihood or not of Donald Trump following through on his threat to shut down the government if funding for his Mexican wall is withheld.

The mechanism for Mr Trump to follow through on his threat is already there: the US has once again hit its “debt ceiling” and has been resorting to what’s known by Washington insiders - and increasingly now by the outsiders that Mr Trump has been bringing in – as “extraordinary measures.”

WATCH: 'Trump to deliver a golden opportunity' says Alastair Ford

But in order for the sprawling edifice of US government to be able to afford to continue to fulfil its manifold functions, this debt ceiling needs to be raised again, and soon: by 29th September, according to the US Treasury Department.

It requires the agreement of the legislative and the executive branches of government, and if Mr Trump wants to make extending the debt ceiling about the wall, he can do.

Is he bluffing?

Maybe, but not for the reasons the far-removed commentator in London gives. Mr Trump doesn’t want to be seen as responsible for failure, runs the simplistic analysis, and certainly not for a failure so huge as the creditworthiness of the US government.

But think again about what Mr Trump has said he stands for, and about what he does. He is no friend of big government. Not at all. Even if he hadn’t been elected on a platform which if it had any coherence at all was about rolling back the state, his own personal circumstances are unlikely to make him well disposed to the technocrats about whose roles he may or may not be bluffing.

The other side of the same coin is the failure itself. If the debt ceiling is not raised and the US government does cease to function effectively it may or may not be the fault of Donald Trump, but who in their right minds thinks he’s going to allow that narrative to dominate?

Not even the Democrats, who must be taking a good, long hard look now at a President using as a bargaining chip a policy he was clear enough about in his manifesto and his campaigning, and which he legitimately won an election on.

To make things worse, though, Republican party in-fighting has seized on the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to forward other measures. Trump has taken down leading Republicans before, and there is little doubt he’s capable of doing it again, but each time he does it the stakes get a little higher.

In the Presidential primaries, all that was at stake was the global credibility of the Grand Old Party. Now, what’s at stake is the functionality of the US government itself. Small wonder that some in the security industry are beginning to get nervous about what may be next - the nuclear button?

Recent rhetoric

Given some of the recent rhetoric about North Korea, the fears are at least understandable in the form in which they are aired in the media. But hard to know what this President is really thinking.

So, to return to before the beginning, is it likely that there will be a US government shutdown some time in the fourth quarter? It’s not likely, but it’s possible. Mr Trump is grappling with issues as complex and as varied as the US has faced at any time since the end of the Cold War, and not the least of which is the diminishing influence of the US itself at a global level, and the predominant culture within the US at the national level.

Mr Trump says he has the answers to these questions. But if he can’t get enough people to agree with these answers, it may just be that he prefers conflict to resolution in order to keep pushing on with his own agenda.

So, although the wall on the Mexican border may not be the most pressing of all the issues on his agenda, if Mr Trump chooses to use it as the touchstone to set off the next round of his assault on government, then there’s not much anyone can do about it.

Gold has now ticked up to US$1,290. The price is being set by US domestic developments, and little else. For now at least, sell gold at your peril.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Fri, 25 Aug 2017 07:42:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has reported that it has been awarded 2,492 hectares of claims from The Salta Provincial Energy and Mining Company (REMSA). This acreage is in the Pastos Grandes basin where drilling is currently underway to define a compliant JORC lithium resource. The land position at Pastos Grandes now totals 8,664 hectares.

ML will move on to this acreage to begin drilling in the coming days once an environmental plan is submitted for approval.  ML paid US$3,000 per hectare for this acreage and considers it of strategic and critical importance to the ultimate scale of lithium resources on this project. With approval of the environmental plan, ML begins an intensive Stage 1 program of preparation for pilot lithium production at commercial scale upon which it is obligated to spend at least US$15.54m.

In addition, ML’s partner on its Pocitos basin Cruz property reported on 23 August that fluid density measurements on the first drill hole are consistent with brine and in agreement with prior historic drill hole information elsewhere in the Pocitos basin. Drilling is ongoing.

The two announcements are highly positive and important to the progress and expansion of ML’s lithium activities and total resource in Salta Province of Argentina. The REMSA deal effectively doubles the ground ML controls on Pastos Grandes. We believe this to be the heart of the best lithium brines. With two projects currently drilling, we expect strong newsflow in the coming weeks.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Fri, 25 Aug 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO)

Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas (LON:ECO) has announced FY Q1 2017 results. The net loss increased from C$667k to C$2,122k as a result of increased operating expenses. This was partially offset by a modest increase in interest income. ECO finished the quarter with cash of C$4.9m.

Operationally, ECO is nearing completion of a c.2,550km2 3D seismic survey on the 1,800km2 Orinduik Block offshore Guyana along with its operating partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN). Completion of the survey will be roughly two years ahead of schedule. The targets are a few kilometres up dip of Exxon Mobil’s (XOM US) recent discoveries which are estimated to contain between 2.25-2.75mmboe.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 25p target price.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Vedanta Resources Wed, 23 Aug 2017 07:21:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) will today hold its shareholder conference call. Shareholders may submit questions in advance of the call via email using or alternatively via the following link:

The link will enable shareholders to access the call and submit questions via a chat function.

Telephone dial in details are as follows: 0808 109 0701 or for international callers +44 (0) 20 3003 2701 with participant pin 9478969#.

The call will begin at 12pm UK time.

Vedanta (LON:VED)

Vedanta (LON:VED) has announced robust results for FY Q1 2018 benefitting from stronger zinc and aluminium prices in particular. Group revenue of US$3.1bn was up 32% YoY while primarily as a results of the stronger top line group EBITDA was up 48% YoY to US$778mn. VED continues to deleverage with a US$1.4bn decline in net debt since March 2017. 

As well as a 35% YoY increase in zinc prices and a 26% increase in lead prices VED increased zinc production in India by 90% YoY to 194kt while lead production was up 42% YoY to 35kt. This was partially offset by a decline in output at the international assets of 25% YoY to 32kt. Total aluminium production of 352kt was up 44% YoY while prices averaged 21% higher YoY. Copper production of 90kt was down 10% YoY in India due to planned maintenance while in Zambia copper production was up 5% YoY to 47kt.

Oil and gas production was weaker, however, down 5% YoY to 17mmboe on a 100% basis. This was due to largely to the natural decline of the fields. Iron ore production was largely unchanged at 3.2mnt, however, realised prices were lower YoY due to a widening in the spread for low quality iron ore.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, BHP Billiton plc Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:42:00 +0100 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO)

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) has released strong results on the back of stronger copper prices, output and robust cost control. Revenue of US$2bn was up 42% YoY as copper sold increased 14% to 310kt YoY while copper prices averaged 25% higher. Unit costs of US$1.56/lb were down 2.5% YoY. EBITDA was consequently up strongly by 88% YoY to US$1.1bn. Net income of US$455m was up 187% YoY while the interim dividend of USc10.3/sh. was more than double that of 2016.

Delayed shipments from H2 2016 at Centinela offset the impact of port disruption at Los Pelambres. Production is expected to increase further in H2 with full year guidance of 685-720kt. This is primarily expected to come from the ramp up at Centinela.


BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) has released strong results for full year FY 2017. Revenue of US$38.3bn was up 24% YoY while underlying EBITDA of US$20.3bn was up 64% YoY. This was primarily driven by stronger earnings in from bulk materials and copper although petroleum earnings were also stronger. Iron ore EBITDA increased by 62% to US$9bn while coal EBITDA was up five-fold to US$3.8bn. The full year dividend of USc83/sh. was up from USc30/sh. in 2016 with an H2 contribution in 2017 of USc43/sh.

FY 2018 production guidance is for increases across the board bar the petroleum division which has been declared non-core and available for sale. Iron ore production is expected to increase on an attributable basis from 231mnt to between 239-243mnt with cash costs down from US$14.6/t to below US$14/t. Copper production is expected to increase from 1.3mnt to between 1.66-1.79mnt as production is normalised at Escondida, however, cash costs are expected to increase to US$1/lb (up 8% YoY). Coal costs are guided as flat YoY although met coal production is expected to increase from 40mnt to 44-46mnt whilst thermal coal production is expected to increase by 7% YoY to 29mnt. Petroleum output is expected to fall from 208mmboe to between 180-190mmboe.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:50:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced an equity subscription to raise £900k at a price of 0.146p/sh. The investment by Riverfort Global Capital will be structured so that an initial £400k is received by SULA with subsequent investment made in monthly instalments. Accordingly, 616m new shares will be issued taking the share capital to 3.1bn implying dilution of 24.6% with Riverfort holding 19.77% of the enlarged share capital. A formula has been determined to account for future fluctuations in the share price which will mean that share dilution from this investment will not increase. SULA has also announced that the Board will take a 50% reduction in salaries until December 2017. This along with the new investment should provide sufficient capital to advance exploration into 2018.

Operationally, SULA has announced that the remaining samples collected in the Phase 3 drilling have left Sierra Leone for analysis. The results are expected to be received in mid to late September for the remaining eight holes. Depending on the results it may be possible to complete a maiden JORC resource at Sanama Hill.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation although adjust our target price to 1.2p/sh. to reflect the dilution.

]]> Civil War, Gold and Donald Trump Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:24:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Kaz Minerals Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:36:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (GDP LN) has announced that it will hold a shareholder conference call whereby shareholders and interested investors are invited to email questions to the Board which will be address in a Q&A session.

The call will be held at 12pm UK time on Wednesday 23 August 2017.

Questions should be sent in advance of the call to:

To participate in the call please dial 0808 109 0701 or if outside the UK using +44 (0)20 3003 2701

KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ)

KAZ Mineral (KAZ LN) has reported strong results for H1 2017 with strong increases in revenue and earnings on the back of increased output and higher prices. Copper production of 118kt of copper was up 109% YoY as the primary sulphide concentrator at Bozshakol reached 93% of capacity. While at Aktogay where the ramp up was faster the plant is running at full capacity.

EBITDA of US$429m was up 273% YoY driven primarily by higher prices and output although unit costs were also down 18% YoY to USc64/lb after by-product credits. As a result of the strong H1 performance, Akotgay unit cost guidance has been reduced to USc110-130/lb and at Bozshakol to USc115-135/lb on a before by product credit basis. Net income of US$195m was up 157%.

Copper fundamentals have not been as supportive in recent months with Chinese imports disappointing. That said, copper prices have been more moving higher in dollar terms owing largely to recent US political events. There is further downside potential in our view for the dollar with the Fed likely to face difficulty winding down its balance sheet and continuing its implied rate of rate hikes. This is likely to benefit commodity prices across the board. KAZ has traditionally been a highly operationally leveraged producer, however, the current transition to low cost mining is likely to change this and reduce future share price volatility on the back of more stable earnings and stronger free cash flow.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd, Hochschild Mining Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Obtala Limited (LON:OBT): 2016 - A Year of Strategic Change

On Friday 30 June 2017, African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# released its results for the year ended 31 December 2016. Since then, OBT has made a number of additional announcements, which we cover in this note. 2016 was a year of strategic review and change for OBT, with a new chairman arriving in the middle of the year with a mandate to effect change and transform the company into a leading agriculture and forestry company in Africa. Shareholders have shown considerable support since then, providing the group with cUS$27m in various funding rounds.

WoodBois Acquisition Complete

OBT now has to execute its plan successfully, with the first stage being the successfully integration of its US$14.6m acquisition WoodBois International into the group, the completion of which was announced on 3 July. As a reminder, WoodBois operates a significant wood trading business headquartered in Copenhagen with a trading hub in Côte d'Ivoire, a forestry concession in Gabon with a sawmill, as well as a veneer factory under construction, which is scheduled for completion in H2. This acquisition should provide the business with an opportunity to significantly expand its sub-Saharan African forestry business.

Agriculture Profit Share Increases

On 4 July, OBT made a complex announcement concerning ownership of the land, processing assets and economic benefit on its two farms in Tanzania – Magole and Wami. The end result is that OBT’s economic ownership of Magole has increased to 71.2% from 60% and has increased to 67.5% from 52.5% for Wami. In addition, OBT’s effective economic stake of the processing assets at Magole is now 75%, up from 60% previously.

Recommendation and Target Price

We have made a number of changes to our forecasts, including converting them to US dollar from British pound, reflecting the company’s decision to switch its presentational currency to the former. We maintain our BUY recommendation and DCF-derived target price of 36p.


Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC) has reported weak results despite rising production. H1 2017 production of 17.9mnoz on an attributable equivalent ounces basis was up 5% YoY with a 9% YoY increase in silver production to 8.9mnoz and 3% increase in gold production to 121koz.  Revenue of US$341m was flat YoY.

Adjusted EBITDA was, however, down 20% YoY to US$136m while profit before exceptionals was down 49% YoY to US$18.2m. The earnings weakness was largely due to unplanned stoppages in Q1 2017 and unit costs were up 35% YoY to US$6.6/oz at Inmaculada where the stoppage took place. Full year cost guidance at Inmaculada is for AISC of US$9.5-10/oz (US$8.8/oz in H1 2017) indicating further cost inflation. The revised mine plan at Arcata following a number of reduced stopes and narrower veins also impacted costs negatively and AISC were up 35% YoY to US$17.6/oz with full year guidance now increased to US$17/oz.

The interim results demonstrate cost inflation across the group’s key assets which has negatively impacted performance during the recent period. HOC does remain on track for 37mnoz while AISC guidance of US$12-12.7/oz remains unchanged. The cost inflation at Inmaculada, Arcata and San Jose has been partially offset by stronger performance at Pallancata where guidance was reduced enabling HOC to maintain its full year target.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:55:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR) has this morning provided the market with an extensive review of its operations after making significant progress across its entire portfolio since the start of the year and ahead of a potentially key period for the company to year end.

Unconventional Resources

We view the UK shale gas industry as one of the key value drivers to EDR’s share price and it has built up an impressive portfolio across its core area in the north of England of c201,000 net acres.

H2 2017 will see a number of catalysts for both the industry and EDR, of particular interest to investors will be the news that IGas (IGAS) intends to drill the potentially play opening Gainsborough Trough exploration well Springs Road-1 (PEDL140, Egdon 14.5% carried) later in 2017. This is a key well for EDR, which will see it drilling a thick Lower Carboniferous tight sand and shale sequence. This will be extensively logged and cored to provide a full suite of modern data with which to evaluate the play properly. Other shale catalysts are summarised below;

• Cuadrilla plans to drill and hydraulically fracture two horizontal wells at Preston New Road

• Hydraulic fracturing and testing operations by Third Energy at Kirby Misperton-8 (“KM-8”), this onshore well will have potential read through to the neighbouring Cloughton gas discovery (EDR 17.5%) and Resolution Prospect (EDR 100%).

• 3D seismic acquisition by INEOS in the East Midlands including over parts of EDR’s PEDL001 and PEDL130 licences

• We also note IGAS has applied for planning permission to test gas shows in the Pentre Chert in the 2014 Ellesmere Port-1 exploration well, located very close to PEDL 191 (EDR 100%), and is a newly identified potential gas play

Conventional Resources Exploration and Appraisal

EDR’s next drilling activity is likely to be the Holmwood-1 conventional exploration well in Weald Basin licence PEDL143 (EDR 18.4%) where the operator, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG), has advised that they expect to commence operations later in 2017 once approvals are in place. This well will test the Portland sandstone, Kimmeridge Clay and Corallian targets, in an analogous trap configuration to the Horse Hill-1 oil discovery and tested 323bopd from the Portland Sandstone and 1,365bopd in total from two intervals in the Kimmeridge Limestone. Further catalysts on the conventional portfolio are summarised below;

• Licence extensions for both Biscathorpe (7.4mmbbls net-prospective resource) and North Kelsey (5.2mmbbls net-prospective resources) to 30 June 2018, drilling operations at Biscathorpe-2 are expected to commence in early 2018 whilst EDR hopes to drill North Kelsey in mid-2018

• EDR continues to make progress on the Resolution Prospect (160BCF, 100% WI) and plans to acquire a new 3D seismic survey during 2018 to confirm the potential resource volumes and enable optimisation of the planning for an offshore appraisal well. EDR continues to seek an industry partner and/or investors to share the forward costs

• EDR completed its withdrawal from its French licences and is now solely focussed on the UK

Producing Assets

Full year guidance remains in-line with previous expectations of 100-110boepd this is despite the timing of the maintenance shut-downs changing from 2016 to 2017 meaning only 9 months of production from Ceres contributed to production in the 2016/17 financial year. The Keddington and Avington oil fields also continue to produce in-line with expectations.

On 10 July 2017 EDR announced that it will acquire a 100% WI and take on operatorship of the Fiskerton Airfield Oil Field from Cirque Energy for a cash consideration of US$750k (c£590k). This will be paid for out of existing cash resources and will have an effective date of 1 January 2017. EDR estimate that 100,000bbls of high quality 32.5°API oil remain recoverable from the existing wells.

Finally EDR has experienced difficulty with the Wressle Oil Field and was refused planning for the second time by North Lincolnshire County Council 2 July 2017. This decision was taken despite the project receiving a positive recommendation from planning officers on both occasions. EDR will now submit an appeal against the second refusal and seek to co-join it with the appeal it has already made against the original refusal which is due to be heard in November 2017, the outcome of which we now expect early next year. We have updated our forecasts accordingly and now do not expect production from Wressle until H2 2018. In the case of a successful outcome this would add 125bopd to EDR’s production.

VSA Comment

We remain impressed by the progress EDR continues to make. Although we believe EDR’s investment case is turning increasingly towards the UK shale gas industry, we note the company continues to make good progress on its conventional fields by adding immediate production at Fiskerton Airport, for a relatively modest fee, and it has now provided updated timing on Biscathorpe. Holmwood has the potential to provide significant upside with little downside risk to EDR as it is mostly carried by UKOG on this well where the CPR estimates mean un-risked prospective resources of 5.6mmbbls, which would make it one of the largest onshore oil fields in the UK, if successful. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 35.5p TP, which we recently updated.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Glencore International Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Glencore (LON:GLEN)

Glencore (LON:GLEN) has announced strong interim earnings reversing a loss of US$369m in H1 2016 to a net profit of US$2.45bn. Full year net profit for 2016 was US$1.38bn. Revenue of US$100bn was up 44% YoY whilst EBITDA of US$6.7bn was 68% YoY. The stronger earnings were primarily driven by the recovery in commodity prices, particularly base metals. Although commodity prices in dollar terms benefitted from the recent depreciation the positive earnings impact was partially offset by the consequent strength of EM currencies where GLEN’s operations are based.

Capital expenditure of US$1.7bn was up 7% YoY in H1 while net debt fell a further 11% YoY to US$13.9bn.

With the strong rally in cobalt prices, 115% YoY, GLEN has highlighted its positioning for the growing focus on electric vehicles and battery storage. Although production of 12.7kt in H1 2017 makes GLEN one of the largest global producers of the metal, production was flat YoY. Ramping up production in this small market is challenging and quality assets are scarce. The impact of soaring prices which impact the cost of batteries is likely to show that the fight for preferred battery chemistries remains wide open.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Carr's Group Plc Mon, 07 Aug 2017 07:16:00 +0100 Carr’s Acquires US Nuclear Engineering Firm

Carr’s Group (LON:CARR) the agricultural, food and engineering group, has announced the acquisition of ESI Holding Company, the holding company of US-based nuclear engineering firm NuVision Engineering.

• NuVision supplies engineering services and products to the commercial nuclear and power plant industries, government waste remediation facilities and waste clean-up sector

• Initial cash consideration of US$11.5m (£8.8m), with a total cash consideration of up to US$20m (£15.4m) payable, dependent on future financial performance

• Initial consideration financed through £6.0m of new and £2.8m of existing undrawn debt facilities with the balance paid through NuVision's future retained earnings

• NuVision had revenues of US$8.8m and an adjusted EBITDA of US$2.3m for the year to 31 March 2017. For comparison purposes, CARR’s group EBITDA in FY 2016 was cUS$22m with its engineering division contributing cUS$4.7m of this.

VSA Comment

CARR has long harboured ambitions to expand into the US nuclear engineering services market, a sector dominated by domestic businesses. This acquisition provides the company with the platform to do that. Current clients of NuVision include the US Department of Energy, major nuclear suppliers and public utilities in the country.

We see synergies with CARR’s German engineering business Wälischmiller, which will be able to supply its remote handling products into upcoming projects and an area that is currently trading ahead of expectations.

There are also opportunities for collaboration with CARR’s UK engineering business Bendalls, which has worked in the past with NuVision and is due to do so again on a recently signed major nuclear contract.

We would anticipate an initial year of consolidation, before significant collaborative benefits begin to be realised from year two onwards.  

This is a highly complementary acquisition of a high-tech engineering firm, providing the group with a platform to develop into the extremely important US nuclear sector, bringing specialised IP and innovative technology into the group to complement CARR’s existing remote handling and engineering operations.

At 8.7x EBITDA/2.3x Sales (assuming total consideration conditions are reached), the acquisition is more expensive than a traditional CARR’s acquisition. However, we believe the strategic rationale for the acquisition more than makes up for this. We would also note that more than 40% of the total consideration is based on future financial performance, which means the existing management team has considerable motivation to continue to deliver over the next few years.

]]> The conflict between liberty and democracy will keep the gold price high for decades Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:27:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Vedanta Resources Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:36:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

The latest drill hole completed at Pastos Grandes salar has proved the best to date. Reported late yesterday, hole PGMW17-05/5c, drilled in the southern part of the surface salar has been completed to a depth of 601m with a continuous brine bearing interval from 382m to 593m grading 545 mg/L Li. A 33m interval uphole starting at 27.5m also carried brine at 523mg/L Li.

The host sediments in both intervals is poorly consolidated sands and constitutes the deepest confirmation and thickest interval of brine yet encountered in the basin. The magnesium to lithium ratio is improved at 6.0. Potassium values range from 4680 mg/L to 6186 mg/L and average 5847 mg/L. The hole was stopped due to reaching depth capacity of the drill rig.

We view these results as very exciting. The grade of lithium is increasing with depth in the basin, brine bearing thickness is increasing without degradation of apparent porosity and permeability, and the chemistry of the brine is improving for the economics of lithium extraction. With three rigs now working the basin for ML, we expect more good drilling news to come as the company works toward a first compliant resource declaration later this quarter or in October. The size of that lithium resource gets bigger with every drill hole completed.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.


Vedanta (LON:VED)

Vedanta (LON:VED) is offering US$1.0b in bonds with maturity in 2024 with a 6.125% coupon in order to re-purchase two different existing bond series that have a shorter duration and a higher coupon rate. The total value of the existing bonds eligible for redemption is US$1.67b with the majority of it being at a coupon rate over 8%.

As separately announced today, after cancelation of those bonds already tendered under the offer, US$252,259,000 of the 2019 bonds and US$670,157,000 of the 2021 bonds will remain outstanding.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Centamin PLC Randgold Resources, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced positive initial results from the Phase 2 drilling programme. The first three results, all from Sanama Hill, extend the continuity of gold mineralisation down dip and along strike. Highlights include 1.6m at 6.9g/t Au from 257.4m including 1m at 10.2g/t Au as well as 1.2m at 2.5g/t Au from surface and 3m at 2.8g/t Au from 294m which includes 5.7g/t Au over 1.1m. The results are broadly in line with previous findings at Sanama Hill and the mineralisation remains open at depth.

The drill programme consisted of 14 holes and the remaining samples are due to be shipped from Sierra Leone within the next week while a significant soil sampling programme has also been carried out with analysis also due to be carried out shortly. The additional drilling along with the soil sampling programme will further enhance SULA’s understanding of the structural geology which will benefit future drill targeting.

In addition Equity Drilling have elected to receive 50% of their payment in equity; consequently SULA will issue 67.3mn shares at 0.225p/sh.

We reiterate out Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.6p/sh. target price.

Centamin (LON:CEY)

Centamin (CEY LN) has announced results for Q2 2017, largely in line with expectations as the short transition period continues. Whilst gold production in Q2 was up 14% QoQ, it was down 11% YoY to 124.6koz. Revenue of US$151m was up 7.5% QoQ and down 16% YoY largely due to production differences.

EBITDA of US$66m was up 24% QoQ although down 31% YoY. Changes in the grade profile have been the key to recent results and the higher production in Q2 2017 was due to a recovery in grades as well as an increase in throughput. The recovery in grades also benefitted costs in part, however, cash costs of US$609/oz (down 17% QoQ and up 32% YoY) remain above the full year target of US$580/oz. AISC of US$829/oz, up 24% YoY and down 7% QoQ, were also above the full year target of US$780/oz.

CEY announced an interim dividend of 2.5 US cents per share, up 25% YoY. H2 is guided to be stronger with production weighted towards this period driven by access to higher grade areas. This should benefit cash costs also.

Randgold (LON:RRS)

Randgold (LON:RRS) has announced strong results for Q2 2017 with revenue up and costs down. Production of 341koz was up 6% QoQ and 21% YoY while revenue of US$422m was up 3% QoQ and 19% YoY.

Total cash costs of US$572/oz were down 8% QoQ and 21% YoY due primarily to an increase in throughput at Loulo-Gounkoto and Tongon. This offset some weakness at Kibali where total cash costs were up 2% QoQ and 4% YoY to US$859/oz owing to stoppages and a higher strip ratio. Overall profit from mining was up 14% QoQ and 53% YoY. Net income of US$84m was up 20% QoQ and 71% YoY. RRS is now guiding towards the top end of its production range for 2017 at less than US$600/oz.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Rio Tinto Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:07:00 +0100 Rio Tinto (LON:RIO)

Rio Tinto has released strong results largely driven by higher commodity prices. Group revenue of US$19.9bn was up 22% YoY with iron ore revenue up 38% to US$8.8bn and aluminium revenue up 18% YoY to US$5.4bn. Indeed, it has been RIO’s higher exposure to the strong performance of aluminium prices which has driven the relative outperformance of the shares versus peers in the past few months.

Group EBITDA of US$9bn up 68% YoY was primarily driven by the stronger top line with a 63% YoY increase in iron ore EBITDA to US$5.6bn and a 55% YoY increase in aluminium EBITDA to US$1.7bn. Copper and diamonds posted a modest increase in EBITDA of 16% YoY to US$771bn as stronger copper pricing was offset by weak operational performance. The energy and minerals division also performed strongly, again largely due to the stronger top line which was up 30% to US$3.9bn directly translating to a strong EBITDA increase of 170% YoY to US$1.4bn.

Capex was up by a third YoY to US$1.8bn as spending on capital projects ramped up, we also not a 10% increase in exploration expenditure to US$85mn. Net debt was down US$2bn to US$7.6bn owing to the strong earnings performance which drove free cash flow generation. The shares were also supported in the recent period by the US$252mn share repurchase programme. Furthermore, RIO announced a dividend of US$1.1/sh. up from US$0.45/sh.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment - NWF Group plc Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:27:00 +0100 NWF Group: FY 2017 Results

UK-focused specialist agricultural and distribution business NWF Group (LON:NWF) has released results for the year ended 31 May 2017 (FY 2017).

• Group results: Revenues £555.8m, +19.3% YoY (FY 2016: £465.9m) and an adjusted operating profit £9.0m, +3.4% YoY (FY 2016: £8.7m)

• FY 2017 FactSet consensus was for revenues of £539.4m and an adjusted operating profit of £9.0m

• Feeds Division: Operating profit £1.5m, -28.6% YoY (FY 2016: £2.1m)

• Fuels Division: Operating profit £4.5m, +15.4% YoY (FY 2016: £3.9m)

• Food Division: Operating profit £3.0m, +11.1% YoY (FY 2016: £2.7m)

• Net debt at 31 May 2017: £13.0m (31 May 2016: £9.9m)

• Final dividend of 5.0p delivers a full year dividend of 6.0p, +5.3% YoY (FY 2016: 5.7p).

VSA Comment

NWF delivered a strong recovery in the second half, which saw its operating profit improve from being more than 20% behind YoY in H1 (mainly due to a very poor Q1) to posting an increase of 3.4% YoY over the FY, supporting the Board’s assertions at the half year stage that its full-year result would indeed still be in-line with expectations.

This was particularly impressive in its feeds division, which swung from a small H1 loss to an operating profit for the FY, and its fuels division, which posted a 20% YoY operating profit decrease in H1 but a 15% YoY increase over the FY. The turnaround in fuels was due to a revised sales & marketing strategy and new outlets exceeding expectations (FY volumes were 513 million litres, +8.2% YoY).

In feeds, the group achieved the improvement despite having significant margin pressure, as commodity costs increased in H2 (feed wheat ended the FY at c£140/t from c£100/t at the start of the FY in June 2016) with increased prices difficult to pass through to farmers in the key winter period. NWF’s total feed volumes for FY 2017 were 589,000t, +1.6% YoY, in-line with the wider UK market, +1.5% YoY, which also showed a significant recovery in NWF’s second half (-0.9% in H1, +3.4% in H2).

Despite the group having £9.4m of capital expenditure during the year, including £5.2m spent on a significant mill development programme in the Cheshire and Northern mills, net debt was kept at 1x EBITDA.

We believe the outlook for the group looks quite positive with solid performance expected to continue in its food division (having showed considerable resilience in FY 2017 following the previously announced lower contracted volumes with a major customer), an improving dairy market likely to spur compound feed volumes, and the operational improvements in its fuels division made in H2 likely to be sustained.

As usual, the main risk for the coming year is the potential for a warm winter and/or a rapid decrease in input commodity prices after NWF’s key commodity buying period for the winter in August and September. Of course, the first is impossible to predict but the second feels unlikely this year given the continued weakness of the GBP.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Fresnillo Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) has announced strong results on the back of production increases. Silver production of 28mnoz was up 11.2% YoY in H1 and revenue of US$1,070m was up 11.5% YoY. Gold production of 446koz was broadly unchanged. The incremental production came primarily from the San Julian phase 1 ramp up.

EBITDA of US$523m was up 10% YoY due largely to the stronger top line as production costs were up at all assets bar Cienega. The key driver which resulted in a 14% increase in production costs to US$343m was the additional cost of the ramp up at San Julian. We also note a 23% increase in exploration costs to US$64m. Net income of US$310m was up 87% YoY owing to the stronger earnings and reduced non-cash charges. FRES increased the interim dividend by 23% YoY to 10.6c/sh. FRES maintained guidance for 58-61mnoz silver in 2017.

]]> US central bank back to cautious old self amid Trump fury Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:02:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:28:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

Goldplat (GDP LN) has announced full year production results which demonstrate production increases across the board at GDP's operations; up 14% YoY to 42,857oz overall. Ounces sold or transferred were marginally lower YoY (-1%), which is largely due to a delay in shipping material produced in Ghana. This will now be reflected in Q1 FY 2018.

In South Africa, production of 29,418oz exceeded the strong FY 2016 result and our estimate of 28koz. This was largely due to the successful processing of a major batch of carbon from a new Africa based-client and demonstrates GDP's progress in securing new sources of by-product material. Metallurgical test-work is ongoing for the South African tailings dam and whilst we do not currently include the processing potential in our forecasts we recognise the positive potential. GDP has indicated that approval from the relevant authorities is taking longer than planned, however, in the current climate in South Africa that is to be expected.

FY 2017 gold production at Ghana of 10,031oz was up 46% YoY despite the ongoing depletion of local sources of by-product material, however, was modestly lower than our full year estimate of 11koz. Having altered the plans for installing new elution capacity at the plant, GDP has bought forward its target for adding this new capacity to the end of December 2017. The increase in annual production at Ghana has yet to include the benefits of the South American initiative with the first batches of material due to be processed in Q1 FY 2018 following successful trial processing as well as delivery of material from the first large, long term contract from Uruguay. We also note that GDP is working with the Ghanaian Government to assess the viability of processing artisanal tailings. This could provide a stable source of material whilst helping the regeneration of former mine sites. Early sampling programmes are now underway and we await the results which could provide significant benefits to GDP and the Government.

At Kilimapesa, although GDP did not hit maximum planned capacity for the Stage 3 ramp up, as initially hoped, the successful completion of Stage 2 has meant that GDP returned to a profitable run-rate in the final two months of FY 2017 whilst production of 3,408oz was up 70% YoY. This is a significant achievement for GDP and we expect the strong positive benefits of this turnaround to be felt in FY 2018. We had initially expected 4.5koz of production in FY 2017, however, this was not achieved and is key reason for our full year target of 45koz group production not being met. Final commissioning of the crusher section is now expected in Q1 FY 2018 and should enable higher tonnage, grade and recoveries in FY 2018 which will likely have a positive impact on the operation's earnings.
Aside from GDP's key operations, the company's JV partner on the Anumso project in Ghana continued to make positive progress with early stage exploration. Meanwhile at the Nyieme project in Burkina Faso, GDP has decided to allow its rights to the project to expire given the capital required to further develop the project. Consequently, a write down of £980k will impact FY 2017. However, as a one off write down of historic sunk costs this has little bearing on our outlook for GDP.

Overall, despite the modest delay in the ramp up at Kilimapesa the group has performed strongly. Indeed, GDP's main objective for the year was to return Kilimapesa to profitability in which it has succeeded. GDP has demonstrated in FY 2017 its ability to source material from new clients in new regions which underpins our confidence in the company's longer term outlook.

We reiterate our BUY recommendation and 12.2p/sh target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Thu, 27 Jul 2017 07:42:00 +0100 Eco (Atlantc) Oil & Gas (LON:ECO) #

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas# (ECO) has announced its results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2017. ECO reported a net operating loss of C$4.05m. Sale of its interest in Ghana reduced the net loss to C$3.56m. The listing on AIM and oversubscribed placing of £5.09m in February 2017 has left ECO’s balance sheet in a healthy position with C$6.09m of cash. On top of this ECO has brought down its costs in a number of areas.

• General and administrative expenses down 22% YoY to C$386k (2016: C$497k)

• Compensation down 25%  YoY to C$483k (2016: C$642k)

• Professional fees down 12% YoY to C$287k (2016: C$325k)

• Occupancy and office expenses down 72% to C$82k (2016: 295k)

Operationally ECO had a very good year and in a joint venture with its partner, Tullow Oil (TLW), it has commenced its 3D seismic survey on the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana, almost two years ahead of schedule, thereby seeking to de-risk the existing defined targets. ECO and TLW is gathering 2,550km2 of seismic data over the 1,800km2 block amid the ongoing success in the region, indeed the Orinduik block is up-dip and in close proximity to ExxonMobil’s (XOM) recent Liza, Snoek, and Payara discoveries on the Stabroek block estimated to contain oil recoverable resources of between 2.25 and 2.75Bboe. The seismic programme is now over double the size of what ECO and TLW originally planned with TLW covering the costs for c1,000km2 up to a maximum of US$1.25m with the remaining costs being covered by ECO’s cash reserves. TLW also has further interests in Guyana in the Kanuku licence which it is also collecting seismic over and plans to drill prospects in 2018/19 which should drive further news flow from the basin in the meantime.

Further to this ECO has also made progress in Namibia by extending the Cooper, Sharon and Guy licences into the first renewal period until March 2018. Whilst it has also advanced the 3D interpretation on Cooper and Guy blocks, applied for drilling permits and pre and post drilling EIA surveys are underway.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 25p TP


redT energy (LON:RED) : Positive Market Changes

There has been a flurry of announcements in the last few days from a number of parties regarding the future shape of the UK’s energy sector. Although many of these provide a generally supportive backdrop for the future of the UK renewable energy sector, we believe the most important of these specifically with regards to flow machine energy storage developer, redT energy (RED LN)# are:

• A joint publication from Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, which outlined a raft of new measures to support the development of the UK energy storage sector, including the removal of double-charging (network payments made when both charging and discharging a battery) and the addition of an explicit definition of storage as a sub-set of generation within UK policy terms

• The launch of a consultation from BEIS into the Capacity Market, which included a proposal to reduce the de-rated capacity for those energy storage projects that cannot provide their stated energy output for the maximum four hours specified under the scheme

VSA Comment

Although the removal of double-charging and regulatory recognition of energy storage is positive, this was largely expected. However, to us the second point came as more of a surprise.

If agreed after the consultation period, which ends on 8 September, this proposed de-rating of high power/low energy assets into various technology classes, depending on their minimum discharge time, could significantly reduce the IRR for large-scale lithium-ion battery parks, increasing their dependence on the two frequency response schemes by reducing the payments they can generate from the Capacity Mechanism. For high energy storage solutions, such as RED’s flow machines, they will likely still be able to access the current level of Capacity Mechanism payments, as these can provide power for the full four hour period (and will likely stay at 96% de-rated capacity).

It appears that there is now a clear understanding in government regarding the difference between power and energy and, although subject to a consultation period, there is now a clear direction of travel regarding the deployment of large-scale grid storage.

It appears to us to be similar to Ofgem’s decision to slash embedded benefits for small generators from April 2018, which, although impacting other technologies, looks set to hit the economics of existing, and limit the expansion of, small diesel farm generation facilities.

We see these changes as sensible to correct certain market distortions and would highlight the ability of RED’s flow machines to cover all of the grid-related revenue streams available to it. Other storage projects that cover just a segment of these (such as the two frequency response revenue streams) will likely gain significant competition in the market from flow machines as they are deployed, which can address these extra revenue streams at little extra cost.

RED has been surprised by the pace at which the UK market has developed this year and we expect the measures announced this week will only contribute to this increasingly economic market for its machines.

]]> VSA Morning Flow Test - Tullow Oil plc Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

Tullow Oil (TLW) has reported its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2017 broadly in line with consensus, with its key financials highlighted below.

• Revenue of US$0.8bn. Gross profit of US$0.3bn. Free cash flow of US$0.21bn. Loss before tax of US$0.5bn after impairments.

• Net debt reduced by just short of US$1 billion YoY to US$3.8bn  following the generation of free cash flow and US$750m Rights Issue in April 2017. Facility headroom and free cash is now US$1.2bn.

• 2017 Capex guidance reduced from US$0.5bn to US$0.4bn and this is anticipated to reduce to US$0.3bn on completion of the Uganda farm-down.

Operationally TLW performed in line with expectations with West Africa net working interest oil production, including production-equivalent insurance payments, averaged 81.4kbopd in H2 2017. Full year guidance of 78-85kbopd remains unchanged. The Kenya exploration and appraisal programme continues with a further three wells planned in H2 2017 whilst working towards FID.

Further to this, TLW has made progress across its exploration portfolio, which in our opinion will be the key driver for the stock going forward. It remains on track to drill the high impact Araku-1 well in Suriname in Q4 2017 and has also completed or commenced seven seismic campaigns so far this year. This includes a seismic programme in Guyana which commenced in May and will be used to define prospects for drilling on the Kanuku licence in 2018/19.

We are particularly excited by TLW’s exploration acreage in South America, particularly in Guyana which is directly updip of the giant Liza and Payara discoveries made by ExxonMobil (XOM). The progress made by TLW in these basins will also be positive for TLW’s partners across its licences, including Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)#, which has a 40% working interest in the TLW operated Orinduik Block in Guyana. TLW estimates this block contains prospective resources of 900mmboe. We have a BUY recommendation and 25p TP on ECO.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, Fresnillo Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO )

Net cash costs fell more than 5% to US$1.20/lb in the latest quarter reported by Antofagasta (ANTO LN). Copper production was 174,400t or 1.4% higher QoQ while gold production rose 10.5% QoQ to 58,900ozs due to improved grades at Centinella mine. Molybdenum grades improved at Los Pelambres mine which drove a 36% increase in output YoY and was reflected by 2,400t produced this quarter.

For the six month period, net cash costs were 1.6% lower at US$1.24/lb YoY due to improved productivity at mines and commodity price increases.

Forward guidance remains unchanged at 685kt to 720kt copper produced for the year, expecting higher output in the remaining half. Cash costs pre-by-product credits should come in at US$1.55/lb and net cash costs a bit higher at around US$1.30/lb.

Not much note of it, but foul weather did cause some disruption to shipments both at mines and away from ports which delayed an even better sales result. Hopefully, this won’t be repeated and will drive a better comparative sales result in H2.

Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) quarterly silver production of 14.5moz (including Silverstream) led improved production numbers which were up 11.7% YoY and up 7.3% QoQ. First half silver production of 28.0moz (including Silverstream) was up 11.2% YoY, primarily due to the start of operations at San Julián Phase I, higher ore processed at Fresnillo and higher ore grade at Ciénega. Cost comparative data was not disclosed in the release.

FRES is on track to achieve 2017 production guidance of 58moz to 61moz silver (including Silverstream) and 870koz to 900koz gold. San Julian Phase II should be operational in the coming quarter.

FRES has been delivering significant production growth according to plan and management expectation for several quarters now, demonstrating its premier global primary silver producer status.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Petra Diamonds, Randgold Resources Mon, 24 Jul 2017 07:34:00 +0100 Petra Diamonds  (LON:PDL)

Production results for the year released by Petra Diamonds (PDL LN) today show total carats produced up 8% YoY to 4mcts and revenue up 11% to US$477m. Diamond prices in the rough market were largely stable with a change upward of just 2% YoY. Cash at bank rose over 3x to US$205m as capital is allowed to accrue against the increased debt level which now stands at US$554m. Capital expenditure will now be declining from here.

The production pipeline is looking good with guidance supporting a forecast of 23% more carats produced to circa 5mcts for 2018. Tailings derived stones will be diminishing from here on out which should improve the product mix on sales. Net debt should stay relatively level in H1 this coming year and fall thereafter PDL predicts. Preliminary financial results will be released on 19 September.

If we can see an increase in stone size distribution from mined ore in the product sales over the coming 12 months as well as an increase in the number of carats as tailings production falls away, this should give the company an added revenue boost above just more carats produced alone.

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS)

In a media briefing on Saturday, Randgold (RRS LN) disclosed a significant discovery of gold in Cote d’Ivoire at Boundiali but also complained of the encroachment of large numbers of illegal miners to the site as a result. CEO Mark Bristow typified unhindered illegal mining as the single biggest challenge to the industry now.

Mark reported that Tongon ramp up is proceeding to plan with a 2017 target of 285kozs but admitted that the investment of US$28m into the government grid infrastructure has not yet been agreed with the local tax office as to when and how it should be repaid in the accounts, despite the government having already earned US$100m in revenue on the power distribution to RRS and regional users.

]]> Who will set the gold price this summer: Trump, Yellen, or Black Swan? Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:43:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Acacia Mining, Metal Tiger Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:30:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Interpretation of results of airborne geophysics around the T3 dome complex in Botswana has found 19 targets worth investigating further. Four of the targets have similarities to the airborne and ground geophysics signature of the T3 Dome copper deposit in which MTR has a 30% interest. Three of these four are also directly on stratigraphic strike from the Banana zone copper deposit held by Cupric Canyon Capital.

Field geologists and sampling crews are now following up the results with ground surveys to do some mapping and sampling as appropriate to prioritize drilling targets in coming months. Given the success of finding new deposits in this part of the Kalahari by simply doing proper modern exploration, we believe the potential for more copper is very, very good indeed.

We reiterate our 4.57p price target and BUY recommendation.

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA)

Six month results released today by Acacia Mining (ACA LN) give us an insight into the impact of the Tanzanian ban on export of gold bearing concentrates affecting it. The cost to the cash balance of the company was a decline from US$318m to US$176m at period end 30 June. Revenue fell 22% YoY to US$391.7m. Gold sales amounted to just 312,438ozs though production overall rose 4% to a record 428,203ozs. AISC was US$893/oz, a figure the company suspects would have been over 10% lower if it had been able to sell all its cons.

The company has reduced its full year production guidance to 850,000 to 900,000ozs but will leave AISC guidance unchanged.  The company cannot and will not continue to haemorrhage cash it would appear while unsold concentrates pile up. Job losses will have to come if the tax dispute with Tanzania remains unresolved.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Anglo American Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:25:00 +0100 Anglo American (LON:AAL)

Anglo American (LON:AAL) has released a positive trading update for Q2 2017 demonstrating strong performance in the iron ore, diamond and platinum divisions whilst copper production was modestly lower. Met and thermal coal production was, however, negatively impacted in the quarter.

Iron ore production at Kumba was up 28% QoQ and 23% YoY to 11.4mnt with the reworked mining plan delivering operational efficiencies. Full year guidance has been upgraded from 40-42mnt to 41-43mnt. At Minas Rio the ramp up slowed, however, with QoQ production flat at 4.3mnt.

At De Beers, rough diamond production increased 36% YoY and 18% QoQ to 8.7mncts. The increase was driven by the ramp up at Gaucho Kue in Canada and means the company is on track to meet guidance of 31-33mncts for the full year. However, the product mix appears to have weakened with a 12% YoY decline in prices despite a modest improvement in diamond prices in the wider market.

Copper production of 141kt was down 2% YoY and 1% QoQ. Unplanned disruptions at El Soldado offset strong performance at Los Bronces while poor weather affected Chile’s ports and therefore AAL’s shipments. Guidance remains unchanged for the full year at 570-600kt.

Platinum production of 617koz was up 5% YoY and 8% QoQ as declines from the sale of Rustenburg were offset by strong increases at the JV mines at Mogalakwena, Amandebult and Unki.

Met coal production of 4.9mnt was own 19% YoY an 24% QoQ largely due to the impact of Cyclone Debbie. Thermal coal production was also negatively impacted by unexpected stoppages which resulted in a 4% decline YoY to 6.5mnt. Guidance for both remains unchanged for the full year.


Carr’s Group#: FY 2017 Trading Update

Carr’s Group (LON:CARR)#, the agricultural, food and engineering group, has provided a trading update for the 19 week period ended 16 July 2017.

• Trading remains in-line with expectations

• UK agriculture operations continue to recover with feed & like-for-like retail sales ahead YoY and machinery sales significantly ahead YoY; Feed block sales remain in-line with expectations, with the US business still underperforming but recovering

• UK engineering business continues to be impacted by previously reported issues. However, the delayed contract has now been signed and will be delivered through 2018/19; CARR’s remote handling business is performing ahead of expectations with a pipeline at its highest level for years, and is transacting a significant level of Chinese business

• Last month CARR made a small acquisition, Mortimer Feeds, a feed merchant business principally operating in Cheshire

• Second interim dividend of 0.95p to be paid on 6 October (2016: 0.95p)

• FY 2017 results for year-ending 2 September due 13 November

VSA Comment

An in-line trading update from CARR, following its warning on FY 2017 performance at the end of March, which saw consensus forecasts for PBT fall to £11.6m, -17.7% YoY, from £14.4m, +2.1% YoY, previously.

Although expected, it is nonetheless positive to see the delayed significant engineering contract signed and due to be delivered through FY 2018 and FY 2019. An increased pipeline for both its UK manufacturing and remote handling business also provides confidence that the engineering division may move to recovery in FY 2018.

In agriculture, US cattle prices have continued to show strength with benchmark prices having increased more than 20% since the start of CARR’s FY 2017 period. US operations will also benefit from the opening of CARR’s new feedblock facility in Shelbyville, Tennessee, which remains on track to open in October 2017.

In the UK, for the first nine months of CARR’s FY 2017, compound feed volumes in the overall market have increased 3.2% YoY, compared with decreases of 3.9% in FY 2016, 1.1% in FY 2015 and 5.9% in FY 2014. It is therefore likely we will see the first YoY growth in the market for four years.

Given the extensive media coverage concerning the increasing price of some dairy products and a forecasted milk shortage, we would expect the average milk price to increase in the last few months of FY 2017, having decreased slightly to 26.78ppl in May (last available data). Having been higher than 27ppl earlier in the year, this level should again be surpassed in the coming months.

Both of these factors should continue to support CARR’s UK agriculture business for the rest of the year and into FY 2018.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:24:00 +0100 Obtala Limited#: Q2 2017 Business Update

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# has provided an update on its operations for Q2 2017.

The announcement is largely a reiteration of previously announced information, including the completion of the significant US$14.6m acquisition of African forestry business WoodBois International.

The most relevant new information:
• Six forestry management plans have now been approved over 153,500ha of its concessions in Mozambique
• The cutting season has begun, after a delay, but with better productivity due to new equipment, processes and procedures (250 logs per day vs. 90-180 logs per day last year). This is expected to increase even further as the season progresses
• The land has been purchased for OBT’s larger sawmill at Nampula and construction has now started
• The company has continued to make a number of important hires, including an experienced sawmill manager, Henning Visser, who will oversee production at Uape and the new development at Nampula.
• In Tanzania, the group has planted melons and its market garden. The packhouse renovation is now complete, which has increased its capacity and improved the cold room technology
• OBT has decided to plant mangoes for its first orchard crop
VSA Comment
A positive operational update from OBT and we continue to be impressed by the speed at which the company is progressing a number of separate, but related, operations, given the challenging countries in which it operates.

We see the Mozambique government’s continued efforts to restrict illegal logging, evidenced by the delay in issuing logging licences for this season and the recently announced first project under the Mozambique Forest Investment Project (MozFIP) framework agreement with the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as positive for OBT, given OBT’s core focus on sustainability and its ability to produce and export added-value forestry products, not just unprocessed timber, from the country.
This first project will see the FAO providing technical support to develop a 20-year national strategy for the forestry sector, a revision of institutional frameworks for forest concessions to ensure greater transparency, accountability, equity and sustainability of forest production, and the establishment of 'model' concessions that implement best practices.

For FY 2017, our forecasts should be supported by the consolidation of WoodBois’ H2 results, an operation which recorded total revenues of US$9.15m in H1.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 36p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - BHP Billiton plc, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG)# has submitted the Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Blythe Hub, which comprises the Blythe and Elgood fields.

The Blythe and Elgood gas fields are 100% owned and operated by IOG and located in the UK Southern North Sea (SNS) close to existing infrastructure and other IOG-owned licences.  Blythe contains independently verified 2P reserves of 34.3BCF and Elgood 22 BCF of 2C resources.  A new CPR currently being completed for the Blythe Hub will soon provide up-to-date independently verified estimates of the reserves and resources. Neither Blythe nor Elgood requires further appraisal and on FDP approval the Elgood resources would be upgraded to 2P.

The Blythe Hub is expected to provide the first gas for IOG via the recommissioned Thames Pipeline and therefore the first revenues to the Company from its current portfolio of assets. IOG is in the process of completing the 100% acquisition of the pipeline which is intended to be tested and recommissioned. There are significant synergies with the 100%-owned Vulcan Satellites Hub, containing independently verified 2C resources of 321 BCF, which is also intended to be exported via the Thames Pipeline. IOG is also 100% owner of the Harvey discovery, which lies between the Blythe and Vulcan Satellites Hubs. Harvey needs further appraisal and is currently estimated to have P50 recoverable resources of 113 BCF.

The submission of this FDP brings IOG a step closer to developing its SNS gas assets and generating revenues but it must now find a way to finance its development, we await an update on this in due course.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (BLT LN) has announced production results for FY 2017. Despite robust performance in the iron ore and thermal coal divisions where production met guidance, with a 4% and 7% YoY increase to 231mnt and 29mnt respectively, production declined in other key divisions. Iron ore production is guided to another modest increase in FY 2018 to 239-243mnt while thermal coal guidance is for flat production in FY 2018.

Copper production of 1.3mnt was 16% lower YoY largely due to the strikes at Escondida as well as unplanned maintenance at Olympic Dam. Consequently, BLT now believes that unit cost guidance for FY 2017 in the copper division may now not be achievable. However, FY 2018 production guidance is for a 7% increase YoY as production is normalised.

Petroleum production of 208mmboe was down 13% YoY as onshore US development activity was deferred owing to the current pricing environment. FY 2018 guidance is for further cuts to between 180-190mmboe as natural field decline as well as planned maintenance at Mad Dog is expected to more than offset new production.

Met coal production declined 6% YoY to 40mnt although is expected to be between 44-46mnt in FY 2018. Unplanned disruption caused by Cyclone Debbie was the main driver of the FY 2017 decline and the higher production in FY 2018 represents a normalisation.