Australian Vanadium gets positive feedback from vanadium players in China Mon, 18 Dec 2017 04:43:00 +0000 Lucapa Diamond Company drills multiple kimberlites at Lulo Diamond Project Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 +0000 Vector Resources pounces on new asset Mon, 18 Dec 2017 02:05:00 +0000 Crater Gold Mining eyes polymetallic drilling targets in Queensland Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:58:00 +0000 Legend Mining’s shares rise on nickel-copper hits at Rockford Project Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:52:00 +0000 Anson Resources breaks ground at Paradox Lithium Project Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:31:00 +0000 Peel Mining’s drilling reveals high grade zinc-lead-silver in New South Wales Mon, 18 Dec 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Egan Street Resources hits bonanza grade gold at Rothsay project Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:50:00 +0000 Kairos Minerals to boost gold resource in the Pilbara Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:30:00 +0000 Tyranna Resources completes capital raising to support Jumbuck exploration Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:16:00 +0000 Crusader Resources to lift cash for gold strategy Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:02:00 +0000 Peninsula Mines to reveal latest drilling details from South Korea Sun, 17 Dec 2017 22:45:00 +0000 ShareRoot extends closing date for rights issue to raise up to $2 million Sun, 17 Dec 2017 21:42:00 +0000 MGX Minerals acquires zinc air battery developer ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc. Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:47:00 +0000 Jared Lazerson, chief executive of MGX Minerals Inc (CSE:XMG, OTCQB:MGXMF), tells Proactive they've furthered their reach into the emerging energy space with the acquisition of ZincNyx Energy Solutions Inc.

Canadian group ZincNyx Energy Solutions has developed a modular energy storage system (ESS) designed for energy storage in the 5 kW to 1 MW range for extended periods..

Its technology consists of three main systems each using zinc and air to store energy in the form of zinc particles.

]]> Sienna Resources launches new corporate web site Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:24:00 +0000 Liberty One Lithium to accelerate activities at its North Paradox property in Utah Fri, 15 Dec 2017 20:02:00 +0000 Hummingbird Resources in the final phase before production in Mali; expects first gold pour later this month Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:28:00 +0000 MGX Minerals advances massive petrolithium project at Paradox Basin, Utah Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:12:00 +0000 Bacanora Minerals follows up Sonora feasibility study with Chinese offtake agreement and investment Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:50:00 +0000 Thor Mining planning appointment of further executive director to assist project development, commercialisation activities Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:40:00 +0000 Premier African Minerals' boss George Roach ups holding to 7.25% after part-conversion of loan Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:23:00 +0000 Xtract Resources to make a US$700,000 strategic convertible loan notes investment in Moz Gold Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:57:00 +0000 Pan African Resources restructures black economic empowerment arrangements Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:06:00 +0000 Ortac Resources says Casa to start new phase of work at Akyanga gold project Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:03:00 +0000 Strategic Minerals moves to buy Leigh Creek copper project outright Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:49:00 +0000 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), tells Proactive they're to buy the Leigh Creek copper mine in South Australia from Resilience Mining Australia outright following due diligence.

The deal, subject to documentation, is due to take place on January 16, 2018.

]]> Azarga Metals to take full ownership of Unkur copper-silver project Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:29:00 +0000 Dusty Nicol, chief executive of Azarga Metals Corp (CVE:AZR) tells Proactive they're planning to take 100% control of the Unkur copper-silver project in Russia by exercising a call option to increase its stake from 60%, subject to exchange and shareholder approval.

As part of the planned deal, the vendors have also agreed to cancel the remaining US$1.6mln owed by Azarga, via deferred consideration payments.

]]> Strategic Minerals set to buy Australian copper mine outright Fri, 15 Dec 2017 07:49:00 +0000 Aeon Metals attracts $30 million for one of Australia’s biggest undeveloped copper cobalt projects Fri, 15 Dec 2017 04:19:00 +0000 Ardiden confirms thick lithium intercepts from drilling program in Canada Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:01:00 +0000 West Wits Mining's shares halted pending boost to metal inventory Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:55:00 +0000 Calidus Resources takes pause to prepare resource upgrade Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:30:00 +0000 Rift Valley Resources raises $1.5 million to support exploration in Angola Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:22:00 +0000 Geopacific Resources identifies wide high-grade intersections of gold at Woodlark Project Fri, 15 Dec 2017 01:22:00 +0000 St George Mining assays confirm 17 metres of high grade nickel-copper sulphides Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:10:00 +0000 Cazaly Resources snaps up new project Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:09:00 +0000 Volt Resources director increases stake through acquisition of further options Thu, 14 Dec 2017 22:17:00 +0000 PolarX director increases indirect interest in company through share purchases Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:54:00 +0000 Aus Tin Mining raising $1.45 million to progress Mt Cobalt Project Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:44:00 +0000 King's Bay Resources unveils initial sample results from Trump Island Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:24:00 +0000 Aspire Mining’s major shareholder Noble Group increases stake Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:06:00 +0000 Eastmain Resources closes C$2.28mln flow-through offering Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:45:00 +0000 Tango Mining closes $510,500 placing Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:38:00 +0000 Zincore Metals hails new long term debt agreements Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:31:00 +0000 Emmerson Resources very encouraged by early drilling at Kadungle Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:58:00 +0000 Rob Bills, managing director of Emmerson Resources Limited (ASX:ERM), tells Proactive they've identified visible copper sulphides during their ongoing diamond drilling program at the Kadungle Project in New South Wales.

Drilling is targeting shallow epithermal gold and deeper copper-gold porphyry mineralisation.

Drilling is anticipated to be finished prior to Christmas and assay results will be available in late January to early February 2018.

]]> Alba might have next big minerals sands story says broker Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:27:00 +0000 Eurasia Mining amends US$2mln loan agreement so more cash can be directed to mining preparation Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:53:00 +0000 Kore Potash also intends to seek secondary listing on Johannesburg Stock Exchange main board Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:41:00 +0000 Travis Perkins shares drop as JPMorgan downgrades stock in review of housebuilders Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:43:00 +0000 Lonmin agrees to be taken over by South African miner Sabanye-Stillwater Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Tertiary Minerals looking up again as fluorspar price rallies Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:27:00 +0000 Premier African issues more assays from 'best hole' yet at Zimbabwe lithium deposit Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:09:00 +0000 Sunrise Resources puts spotlight on Nevada project milestones Thu, 14 Dec 2017 07:27:00 +0000 Nzuri Copper receives funding package from US$8 billion Huayou Cobalt subsidiary Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:26:00 +0000 Blackham Resources enters trading halt pending update on funding arrangements Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:08:00 +0000 Argent Minerals gets more cash to advance projects in New South Wales Thu, 14 Dec 2017 02:17:00 +0000 Tyranna Resources transitioning from development to mining ahead of reserves update Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:16:00 +0000 Anson Resources shares surge, remains on track for lithium carbonate production Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:02:00 +0000 ShareRoot to acquire profitable digital content agency Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:11:00 +0000 Volt Resources proceeds with issue of US$40 million in structured debt to fund Bunyu Graphite Project Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:47:00 +0000 Argent Minerals secures funds for gold, silver, lead and zinc exploration Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:15:00 +0000 Great Boulder Resources drills out more sulphide mineralisation at Mt Venn copper-nickel-cobalt project Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:58:00 +0000 Piedmont Lithium conducts further drilling aimed at establishing a maiden mineral resource Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:47:00 +0000 Nexus Minerals substantial shareholder increases stake to 12.43% Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:46:00 +0000 Argonaut Resources shares continue to run, more news flow from Torrens Project expected Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:11:00 +0000 Mustang Resources improves quality of graphite mineralisation with further testing Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:07:00 +0000 Tango Mining retains Lakeshore Securities to provide market-making services Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:51:00 +0000 Zinc One Resources secures 124 drill platforms at Bongara mine project in Peru Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:49:00 +0000 Mawson Resources launches start of winter diamond drilling at Rompas-Rajapalot gold project Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:27:00 +0000 Hummingbird Resources ends talks with African Gold for potential earn-in to Kobada Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:46:00 +0000 Global Energy Metals kicks off drill programme at Millennium Cobalt project Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:29:00 +0000 MGX Minerals advances entry into emerging energy technologies with ZincNyx acquisition Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:24:00 +0000 Metalla Royalty and Streaming raises production guidance for fiscal year; announces dividend Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:18:00 +0000 Bacanora Minerals joins the big leagues with Sonora feasibility study Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:14:00 +0000 Savannah Resources' David Archer discusses 'exceptional' results at Mina do Barroso Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:57:00 +0000 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV), tells Proactive they've found some of the highest grades of lithium oxide ever seen in Europe from their latest drilling programme in Portugal.

Significant intersections of lithium mineralisation were crossed from a shallow drilling programme at Mina do Barroso, which Savannah now describes as outstanding deposit.

Drill results from three deposits, Grandao, Reservatorio and NOA, are now being targeted to confirm the potential.

]]> Global Energy Metals completes oversubscribed financing, raising C$1.12mln. Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:38:00 +0000 W Resources hoping to have ink dry on La Parilla US$30mln financing by year-end Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:37:00 +0000 Michael Masterman, chairman of W Resources PLC (LON:WRES), chats to Proactive's Andrew Scott following the announcement this week they've received preliminary approval for a US$30mln term loan with a US special situations fund to finance the La Parrilla tungsten/tin mine in Spain.

The fund’s investment committee has agreed the term loan with financial close targeted for late December 2017 or January 2018.

The plan in the first phase is to produce 2,700 tonnes of tungsten concentrate a year from mining 2mln tonnes of ore, with mine production to be expanded to 3.5mtpa/4,000 tonnes of concentrate in the second phase.

]]> Bacanora Minerals predicts Sonora will be major lithium producer as study values it at US$1.25bn Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:45:00 +0000 Metalla announces maiden dividend and record quarterly production Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:22:00 +0000 Brett Heath, president and CEO of Metalla Royalty and Streaming Ltd (CNSX:MTA) and independent director E.B. Tucker caught up with Proactive after announcing record quarterly production for the three months to the end of November.

158,865 ounces of silver was shipped and provisionally invoiced during the period.

Metalla's also approved and declared a monthly cash dividend payment of CAD$ 0.001 per share with the intention of expanding it over the next year.

]]> Bacanora Minerals delighted as feasibility study indicates Sonora worth US$1.25bn Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:54:00 +0000 Peter Secker, Bacanora (LON:BCN) chief executive, believes the Mexican deposit can become one of the world's top lithium producers and generate significant returns for shareholders given its low operating costs.
The rate of return is 26% and net present value US$1.25bn while Sonora also has the resources to run for more than 200 years at the projected annual production rate of 35,000 tonnes.

]]> Savannah Resources hits "some of best grades ever seen in Europe" at lithium deposit in Portugal Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:30:00 +0000 Stratex says Thani Stratex statement has been tweaked; no change to headline number Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:14:00 +0000 Ortac moving closer to full ownership of Casa Mining Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:58:00 +0000 WPG Resources' Wayne Rossiter comments on Pybar's claim Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:59:00 +0000 European Lithium attracts first research from Europe Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:25:00 +0000 Castillo Copper set to begin maiden drilling program at Cangai mine Wed, 13 Dec 2017 01:58:00 +0000 Crater Gold Mining plans test work after completing drill program at graphite project Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:58:00 +0000 Pantoro bringing in new ore sorter to facilitate expansion of gold production Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:51:00 +0000 Emmerson Resources intersects visible copper sulphides Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:45:00 +0000 Aspire Mining attracts $16.5 million to advance coking coal project in Mongolia Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:27:00 +0000 Danakali receives $1 per share valuation from Hannam & Partners Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:40:00 +0000 Neometals progresses downstream integrated lithium supply chain strategy Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:12:00 +0000 Lithium Australia's drilling campaign targets resource upgrade Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:07:00 +0000 Predictive Discovery drilling for gold in Burkina Faso Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:45:00 +0000 Blackham Resources extends closing date of rights issue Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:40:00 +0000 Impact Minerals drills out visible silver extensions at Silica Hill Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:47:00 +0000 Pershing Gold set to bring in over US$13mln to advance Relief Canyon project Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:12:00 +0000 Pershing Gold pushing towards production at Relief Canyon, Nevada Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:46:00 +0000 Eastmain Resources continues to be encouraged by high grades from Eleonore South drilling Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:18:00 +0000 Further STELLAR drilling results imminent at Zulu - Premier African's George Roach Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:40:00 +0000 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited's (LON:PREM), updates on drill results from Hole ZDD-45 - 220m south-east of the Main Zone at the Zulu lithium deposit in Zimbabwe.

Roach adds that Premier's now completed a 8,272 tonne bulk sample of material from an open pit operation at RHA, most of which has been processed.

Underground operations are expected to reach the projected breakeven level of 6,000 tonnes per year this month.

]]> W Resources receives preliminary approval from US fund for US$30mln loan for La Parrilla construction Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:30:00 +0000 Vast Resources says recent open offer to raise up to £1.23mln was 34.5% oversubscribed Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:59:00 +0000 Latin American Minerals increases placing to C$2mln Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:31:00 +0000 Rainbow Rare Earths succesfully raises £2.8mln to accelerate production ramp-up at Gakara Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:37:00 +0000 Berkeley Energia confident it has its timing right at Salamanca Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:22:00 +0000 Azarga Metals plans to increase ownership of Unkur project to 100% Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:54:00 +0000 Sunrise Resources says Canadian investee firm VR Resources discovers high grade mineralisation at its Junction property in Nevada Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:16:00 +0000 Ferrum Crescent looks for silver credit at Toral Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:35:00 +0000 Premier African Minerals LImited delighted with latest lithium drilling result Tue, 12 Dec 2017 07:58:00 +0000 Cobalt Blue Holdings well advanced with Thackaringa Cobalt Project prefeasibility study Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:20:00 +0000 Strategic Minerals & NAE save the best till last with highest grades yet at Redmoor Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:36:00 +0000 Peter Wale, director at Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) and Gary Fietz, managing director at New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE) tell Proactive they've recorded the best results to date from drilling at the Redmoor Tin-Tungsten Project in Cornwall, U.K.

The last five holes of the phase II program all intersected high-grade zones within the Sheeted Vein System (SVS).

There were nine significant intersections averaging 8.4 metres at 1.34% tin equivalent and with grades up to 12.38% tin equivalent.

Redmoor is a 50:50 joint venture between New Age Exploration and Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), through joint venture vehicle Cornwall Resources Limited.

]]> Sula Iron & Gold acquires exciting cobalt project as part of complete makeover Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:36:00 +0000 Roger Murphy, chief executive of Sula Iron & Gold PLC (LON:SULA), tells Proactive they've acquired a cobalt deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help diversify their exploration activity.

A £1.75mln placing and subscription at 0.05p will fund the move, which will be accompanied by a name change to African Battery Metals Limited.

]]> Canamex Gold makes move into cryptocurrency with Harmonychain deal Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:00:00 +0000 David Vincent, chief executive of Canamex Gold Corp (CVE:CSQ), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their move into cryptocurrency.

Vincent says they've signed 'terms of agreement' with Harmonychain, a Norwegian fintech company.

The pair will “consider the issues around” an initial coin offering potentially backed by gold or silver using Ethereum blockchain technology.

]]> Strategic Minerals & NAE save the best till last with highest grades yet at Redmoor Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:28:00 +0000 Peter Wale, director at Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) and Gary Fietz, managing director at New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE) tell Proactive they've recorded the best results to date from drilling at the Redmoor Tin-Tungsten Project in Cornwall, U.K.

The last five holes of the phase II program all intersected high-grade zones within the Sheeted Vein System (SVS).

There were nine significant intersections averaging 8.4 metres at 1.34% tin equivalent and with grades up to 12.38% tin equivalent.

Redmoor is a 50:50 joint venture between New Age Exploration and Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), through joint venture vehicle Cornwall Resources Limited.

]]> 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 Tharisa's PGM/Chrome business set against company's 'Vision 2020' Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:45:00 +0000 Phoevos Pouroulis, CEO of Tharisa (LON:THS) brings us up to date on information delivered to directly to Proactive investors last night in central London at our regular One2One Forum. News on Platinum Group Metal baskets and the surge in chrome prices, which have benefitted Tharisa enormously plus growing demand from Asia also significant. New apartments for a growing middle class are being kitted out with consumer durables with no chrome assets in China at all and a stainless steel market totally reliant on it. News here too on Tharisa's forward programme and it's 'Vision 2020' statement setting out the strategic growth plan for the company over the next two years.

]]> KIBO Mining update on Tanzania asset and its new energy-based profile Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:24:00 +0000 Louis Coetzee, CEO of Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO ) brings Proactive right up to date on the latest PPA developments at its flagship Mbeya project in Tanzania as well as explaining Kibo's 'cookie-cutter' approach to new sites in Africa, leveraging its existing strong mining knowledge.
Kibo is focussed on realising value from the Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP) (formerly known as Rukwa Coal to Power Project) as well as transforming itself from a simple resources outfit to a company which is now building a strong energy portfolio.

]]> Alba Mineral Resources' oil & gas play pairs well with strong mining expertise Fri, 08 Dec 2017 10:56:00 +0000 On oil, George Frangesides, CEO of Alba Mineral Resources (LON:ALBA) has the latest on planning approvals at the 'Gatwick Gusher' (Horse Hill) and on mining brings us updates on the Black Sand asset in Greenland not to mention prospecting for 'bonanza grades of gold in pockets' from the famous Welsh Clogau mine.
Alba pairs owning and operating mining projects in graphite, ilmenite, base metals, gold & cobalt and metals with a focus on those investments in the onshore UK oil & gas sector.

]]> Alastair Ford's Christmas pick of the African miners Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:31:00 +0000 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford kicks off by talking through what's been a busy week for Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR). Their Mozambican subsidiary has negotiated a “significantly enhanced” deal with the contract alluvial miners at the Manica gold project, plus a chinese contractor announced they're now pouring gold at the project in Mozambique.

Ford also discusses Jubilee Platinum PLC which is due to begin trading as Jubilee Metals Group from Friday, 15 December.

Other companies put under the spotlight include Galileo Resources PLC (LON:GAL) and Kennedy Ventures plc (LON:KENV).

Wrapping up with a quick few words on what was a packed week of presentations at Mines and Money, 121 Mining and the Mining Capital conferences in London last week, Ford says there was a strong line up with one of the standouts to watch being Excelsior Mining (TSX:MIN; OTC:EXMGF).

]]> BlueRock Diamonds sells record 957.7 carats at November tender Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:45:00 +0000 Adam Waugh, chief executive of BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD), chats to Proactive after announcing the results of their November tender.

Waugh says total sales came in at $387,000 with a record 957.7 carats sold - a 56% increase over the previous month.

As far as production's going he says they exceeded their monthly target in November of 25,000 tonnes.

]]> 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.

]]> Black Iron's Matt Simpson discusses 'spectacular' revised PEA for Shymanivske Wed, 06 Dec 2017 15:49:00 +0000 Matt Simpson, chief executive of Black Iron Inc (TSE:BKI), talks through their the new preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Shymanivske iron ore project in Kryviy Rih, in Ukraine.

'The numbers are spectacular', Simpson says.

The assessment from BBA Inc outlines a first phase operation producing 4Mtpa of ultra high-grade, low impurity, 68% Fe concentrate expanding to 8Mtpa starting in the fifth year of production.

]]> Plastics Capital expecting surprise boost in films' sales to continue Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:05:00 +0000 Faisal Rahmatallah, executive chairman of Plastics Capital Plc (LON:PLA) tells Proactive that strong demand for their films and mandrels lifted sales by almost a third in their latest half year.

Revenues rose 31% to £36.6mln, with organic growth of 13.5%, though earnings were held back by a combination of heavy expenditure on plant upgrades, raw material price rises and adverse currency movements.

]]> Drill down in to Kennedy Ventures PLC's tantalum mining ambitions Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:51:00 +0000 Kennedy Ventures plc (LON:KENV) CEO Larry Johnson is a mining expert who sits in a class of his own...he's also a visionary...and he rides a Harley when he visits his tantalum mine. How does that help you take a position? Well, it gives you an idea of the kind of dynamic leadership this company is flourishing under...not to mention the plans Larry has in mind for 2018/19.

An investing company listed on AIM, Kennedy Ventures is focussed on opportunities principally, but not exclusively in the resources and energy sectors. The tantalum mine project is located in Namibia and Kennedy has a world class mystery customer which they can't tell Proactive about but which does guarantee they are working with 'top deck' end users.

]]> Energia Minerals begins trading as Alta Zinc after rebranding Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:31:00 +0000 Alta Zinc Limited (ASX:AZI) managing director Alexander Burns speaks to Proactive following the miner's name change from Energia Minerals (ASX:EMX).

Burns says they've spent around $24mln in the last three years on drilling and studies at their flagship Gorno Zinc Project in northern Italy.

''We will be going back to drill the extensions of the current resource in the new year using the existing underground access and our existing contractors''.

]]> Tyranna's latest acquisition will provide a cash generating asset to fund exploration Mon, 04 Dec 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Tyranna Resources Ltd (ASX:TYX) is acquiring the advanced Eureka Gold Project, located 50 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, from Central Iron Ore Ltd (CVE:CIO).

The acquisition is expected to provide Tyranna with a cash generating asset which can be used to fund its exploration activities at the Jumbuck Gold Project in the northern Gawler block of South Australia.

]]> 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.

]]> Brixton Metals' Gary Thompson presents at Mining Capital Sat, 02 Dec 2017 14:03:00 +0000 Gary Thompson, chief executive of Brixton Metals Corp (CVE:BBB), outlines the company's assets and growth strategy to investors at the Mining Capital conference in London.

Thompson says they're a gold-silver exploration/development company, with four strong assets in safe jurisdictions.

]]> Vast Resources CEO Roy Pitchford presents at Mining Capital Sat, 02 Dec 2017 13:54:00 +0000 Roy Pitchford, chief executive of Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), talks through the company's assets and growth opportunities at the Mining Capital conference in London.

''We can deliver more by production'', Pitchford says.

''We are in production at Manaila and we are in production at the Pickstone-Peerless mine in Zimbabwe''.

''The first phase at Pickstone has exceeded all expectations … we've produced far more gold than planned and we're currently in the sulphide phase of development''.

]]> '2018 is going to be huge for us', says Lionsgold CEO Cameron Parry Fri, 01 Dec 2017 19:54:00 +0000 Cameron Parry, chief executive of Lionsgold Limited (LON:LION) caught up with Proactive following the news they'd raised an additional £200,000.

Parry says the extra cash will be earmarked for their gold currency - Goldbloc.

The additional funds come less than 24 hours after the firm raised £550,000.

]]> Bushveld Minerals completes transition to Vanadium producer after Vametco buy-out Fri, 01 Dec 2017 13:15:00 +0000 Fortune Mojapelo, chief executive of Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) tells Proactive they're to take control of the Vametco vanadium project in South Africa through the buy-out of partner Yellow Dragon.

Shareholders will need to approve a reverse takeover that will see Bushveld pay US$11.1mln in cash and shares for Yellow Dragon’s 55% of their BVL joint venture.

]]> Metminco keen to start construction at Miraflores project mid-2018 Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:51:00 +0000 Metminco Ltd (LON:MNC, ASX:MNC) managing director William Howe and non-exec director Ram Venkat update Proactive on the latest at their Miraflores gold project in Colombia.

It's host to a ‘proved and probable’ 457,000 ounces along with 385,000 ounces of silver.

A feasibility has been completed on the asset with gold production set to begin in the first half of 2019.

]]> London’s busiest mining week comes to an end, with optimism but no euphoria Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:42:00 +0000 Transition to owner-operator progressing well after record year for Tharisa Thu, 30 Nov 2017 15:35:00 +0000 Phoevos Pouroulis, chief executive of Tharisa PLC (LON:THS), chats to Proactive following the release of their results for the year to the end of September 2017.

Revenue rose 59.1% to US$349.4mln from US$219.6mln the year before.

The increase was mainly because of the miner’s chrome segment, with the metallurgical grade chrome concentrate price increasing by 66.7% year-on-year.

]]> Brixton Metals in a good position with four strong precious metal assets Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:54:00 +0000 Gary Thompson, chief executive of Brixton Metals Corp (CVE:BBB), tells Proactive they've got quite a diversified portfolio with projects that are both early stage such as their Thorn Project in the Sutlahine River area of northwestern British Columbia, Canada ... right through to an advanced stage project in Montana.

''We're discovery-focused exploration guys - we certainly like earlier-stage projects, those are the big opportunities, but it's nice now to have an advanced stage project in the portfolio that we can see a fairly short timeline through to production''.

]]> Drill targeting ‘going really well’ at Avrupa Minerals’ Alvito licence in Portugal Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:45:00 +0000 Avrupa Minerals Ltd’s (CVE:AVU) chief executive Paul Kuhn and director Mark Brown update investors at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

Kuhn tells Proactive that drilling at the Alvito iron oxide-copper-gold licence in Portugal has “gone really well” so far and is in good shape for further drilling in the new year.

“We started off with five or six drill targets on the licence and now we probably have 12 or 15, so we’re looking good for drilling in the spring”

Avrupa is a prospect generator that looks to take early-stage projects, build them up and then joint venture them off to mining partners.

Most of its focus is in Portugal where it has three licences in the pyrite belt and one licence in the iron oxide-copper-gold belt.

]]> Super bullish Strategic Minerals MD buys shares for son Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:37:00 +0000 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), caught up with Proactive's Andrew Scott to discuss his recent purchase of 500,000 ordinary shares in the company.

Peters also touches on their recent move into a new office on site at Cobre as well as looking ahead to what investors can expect between now and the end of the year.

]]> Silver Bear on the cusp of production at “phenomenal” Mangazeisky silver project Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:25:00 +0000 Silver Bear Resources Inc (TSE:SBR) president and chief executive Graham Hill speaks with Proactive’s Andrew Scott at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

He praises the company’s “phenomenal” Mangazeisky silver project in Russia – home to a deposit which he says has the “greatest grades that I think you’ll ever see”.

That project – on the edge of the Arctic Circle – is on the cusp of production, with hot and cold commissioning work well underway.

]]> Mundoro provides update on drilling activity and plans for 2018 Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0000 Mundoro Capital Inc. (CVE:MUN) president and chief executive Teo Dechev joins Andrew Scott in the pop-up Proactive studio at Mines and Money 2017.

Dechev says she still expects to complete the paperwork for two tenders Mundoro recently won in Bulgaria by the middle of next of next and perhaps even earlier.

“We’re going through the process of collecting data and getting the contracts signed with the government which we hope to have completed by the middle of next year and ideally if the system works extremely efficiently then perhaps even sooner.”

At the Svoboda permit, there are already two identified prospects with historical resources - the Radka copper and gold play and the Red Hill copper and gold prospect. The Pesnopoy permit has not been actively explored in the past.

]]> PolarX CEO ‘very pleased’ with initial drill results from Alaska Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:35:00 +0000 PolarX Ltd (ASX:PXX) chief executive Frazer Tabeart updates investors at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

Tabeart tells Proactive he is “very pleased” with the initial drilling results from PolarX’s Zackly copper-gold deposit at the Alaska Range project in the US.

The assays for the first 5 holes returned high‐grade results of up to 3.9% copper and 3.7 g/t gold and Taebart says he was “pleasantly surprised” at the widths of some of the intersections.

]]> Azumah Resources MD Steve Stone discusses recent ‘game changer’ private equity investment Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:30:00 +0000 Steve Stone, managing director of Azumah Resources Ltd (ASX:AZM), updates investors at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

He discusses the recent ‘game changing’ funding deal with a private equity group which will invest A$17mln over the next two years at Azumah’s Wa Gold project in Ghana.

Wa is in the highly-prospective gold province in northwest Ghana and the plan is to develop the project while continuing to expand resources and reserves through exploration.

]]> Savannah Resources hopes to release maiden JORC resource for Mina de Barroso before end of 2017 Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:00 +0000 Andrew Scott catches up with Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) boss David Archer at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

Archer says he hopes the company can release a maiden JORC resource estimate for its Mina de Barroso lithium prospect in northern Portugal.

“The plan is that on the basis of much of the drilling we’ve done to date we’ll be able to generate a JORC resource, and we’re hopeful of being able to release that by the end of this year.”

]]> Crucial week for Berkeley Energia as it receives initial US$65mln Salamanca financing Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Managing director Paul Atherley, brought Proactive Investors' presenter Andrew Scott up to date with developments at Salamanca during Mines and Money 2017.

Atherley says the receipt of the first US$65 million fully funds the capital costs for production.

With the funding now completed they plan to award the major construction and mining contracts and begin serious earthworks early in the new year.

]]> Asiamet's Steve Hughes hails 'fabulous' metallurgy results from BKM Wed, 29 Nov 2017 22:54:00 +0000 Asiamet Resources Limited's (LON:ARS) Vice President of Exploration Steve Hughes couldn't resist a quick catch up with Proactive presenter Andrew Scott while in London at Mines and Money 2017 …  describing the recent metallurgy results from the BKM copper deposit in Indonesia as truly "fabulous".

''It's all lovely stuff'', Hughes goes on to add.

"We specifically drilled to the north in all holes targeting the first three years of planned mine life and we got some fabulous numbers." 

"We got 115.5m @ 1% copper and in there were multiple zones of 2% copper."

]]> Xanadu Mines cashed up and working to unlock the value at Kharmagtai Wed, 29 Nov 2017 22:26:00 +0000 Managing Director Dr Andrew Stewart brings Proactive Investors' presenter Andrew Scott up to date with developments at Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX:XAM).

Drilling at their flagship Kharmagtai Project located in southern Mongolia is targeting extensions of copper and gold mineralisation along strike and below the current resources.

This week Xanadu received assay results from a diamond drill hole at the White Hill deposit … the drill hole intersected 850 metres at 0.32% copper and 0.2 g/t gold (0.45% copper equivalent) from surface.

]]> Anglo Pacific has the fire power and looking to 'bring home the deals' Wed, 29 Nov 2017 20:42:00 +0000 Julian Treger, chief executive of Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF), caught up for a brief chat with Proactive Investors' presenter Andrew Scott at Mines and Money in London.

Treger says they're expecting Q4 2017 to be their strongest quarter of the year from an income perspective.

As far as further acquisitions are concerned, Treger says he's keen to get another under his belt within the next few weeks.

]]> Ortac Resources very encouraged by latest drilling at Akyanga Wed, 29 Nov 2017 20:10:00 +0000 Nick von Schirnding, chairman of Ortac Resources Ltd (LON:OTC) tells Proactive at Mines and Money they've intercepted more gold from two holes drilled at the Akyanga gold deposit, part of the Casa Gold Project, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

MSDD0115 was the stand-out: it found the yellow metal at decent grades from 98.4 metres and then from 110.6 metres.

There was an 8.7-metre section at 3.9 grams per tonne, including 2.8 metres at 10.62 grams.

This was followed by a thicker section – 27.5 metres at 2.86 grams.

MSDD0114, meanwhile, uncovered gold at grades of up to 1.32 grams per tonne.

]]> Coro Mining targeting 30,000 tonnes of copper before 2022 Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:45:00 +0000 Coro Mining Corp (TSE:COP) boss Luis Tondo joins Andrew Scott at Mines and Money 2017, explaining that the company wants to be producing 30,000 tonnes of copper before 2022.
"We've got a long-term target to be producing 30,000 tonnes of copper in three to five years' time."
Alongside Tondo is Tim Simpkin - a representative of Greenstone which is Coro's majority shareholder.
Coro is a Chile-focused copper producer. It has one asset in production, one in development and another two in the exploration stage.
]]> BREAKING...Exciting times for St.George Mining Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:05:00 +0000 St.George Mining (ASX:SGQ) Executive Chairman John Prineas can barely conceal his delight as he describes why St.George's share price has tripled...check out this sigificant breaking mining update.
John also tells Proactive why we should be watching St.George very closely for more opportunities over the next 24's all happening down at the Mt.Alexander mine in Western Australia...if you're watching copper sulphide demand, hit play.

]]> eCobalt looking for offtakers to help finance construction of "very rare" Idaho cobalt project Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:40:00 +0000 eCobalt Solutions Inc (TSE:ECS) president and chief executive Paul Farquharson tells Proactive that the company is on the lookout for offtakers to help finance the construction of its "very rare" Idaho cobalt project.

"What we're doing now is talking to the offtakers and listening to their feedback as to what kind of product they want. To us that's the key to financing - having an offtake agreement and a really solid balance sheet."

]]> Alianza Minerals ready to take the next step with Peru projects, says chief Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Proactive catches up with Alianza Minerals Ltd (CVE:ANZ) president and chief executive Jason Weber at Mines and Money in London.

Weber says the company is ready to "take the next step" with its two drill-ready projects in Peru - Yanac and La Estrella.

Alianza is an early-stage exploration company with various properties in Peru, Mexico, the Yukon and Nevada.

]]> 'It's all coming together' at Anglesey's Parys Mountain zinc-copper-lead project Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Anglesey Mining plc (LON:AYM) chief executive Bill Hooley talks to Andrew Scott at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

Hooley says "it's all coming together" at its Parys Mountain project, with zinc and copper prices heading higher.

Anglesey is currently carrying out development work at its Parys Mountain zinc-copper-lead project in North Wales.

The explorer also has stakes in a couple of iron projects in Canada and Sweden.

]]> Tin, Coal and why Vanadium is Bushveld Energy's new success story Wed, 29 Nov 2017 07:44:00 +0000 Energy storage big hitter vanadium plus tin and coal are all part of the Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) success story over the last year. CEO Fortune Mojapelo tells us why Bushveld anchored to vanadium in the first place and why it's such a compelling energy storage proposition with increasing usability worldwide.
News too on Bushveld's power purchase agreement with Madagascar state-owned utility, JIRAMA, located at the mine-mouth of Lemur's approximately 136mln tonnes of coal.
Mojapelo also explains how the addition of a power component will unlock the full value of their coal asset, while at the same time securing reliable electricity off-take backed by a government entity. Plus some detail on the Vametco acquisition.

]]> Kopy Goldfields to publish feasibility study on Krasny project next year Tue, 28 Nov 2017 22:16:00 +0000 Mikhail Damrin brought Proactive up to speed on developments at Kopy Goldfields (NASDAQ:KOPY) at Mines & Money 2017.

He told Proactive Investors’ presenter Andrew Scott they're looking to publish a feasibility study on their most advanced project, Krasny, by the end of 2018.

For more videos from Mines & Money 2017 go to

]]> Salinas Grandes ‘potentially one of best lithium resources’, says Dajin Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:30:00 +0000 Dajin Resources Corp’s (TSX-V:DJI) (OTC: DJIFF) chief operating officer Catherine Hickson talks with Andrew Scott at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

Hickson claims Salinas Grandes - a salt flat in Argentina where Dajin holds significant mineral concessions - has the potential to be “one of the best lithium resources” around.

Dajin is a lithium exploration company with targets in northwestern Argentina as well as Nevada, USA.

]]> Prairie Mining perfectly positioned to help meet Europe's coking coal demands Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:03:00 +0000 Chief executive Ben Stoikovich brought us up to date on Prairie Mining (LON:PDZ, ASX:PDZ) at Mines & Money 2017.

He told Proactive Investors’ presenter Andrew Scott there's a great deal of steel-making still in Europe - german vehicles, wind farms, the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor  … and the fact is today in Europe 85% of the coking coal Europe consumes is imported.

''What we have is two large-scale world-class  coking coal deposits in Poland ready to supply this market''.

For more videos from Mines & Money 2017 go to

]]> Ariana Resources' Salinbas exploration 'a project with legs', says Kerim Sener Tue, 28 Nov 2017 20:20:00 +0000 Managing director Kerim Sener brought us up to date on Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU) at Mines & Money 2017.

He told Proactive Investors’ presenter Andrew Scott they've reached the end of the current exploration field season at Salinbas and they're now processing all the data they've collected over the last couple of months.

Sener says the numbers are made up of data from both the Ardala as well as the Salinbas areas … and they've also completed geochemistry right across the Hot Gold corridor.

He adds they're also pretty close to a resource estimate at Tavsan.

For more videos from Mines & Money 2017 go to

]]> MGX Minerals' Ian Graham welcomes C$8.3mln grant to advance lithium brine tech Tue, 28 Nov 2017 19:39:00 +0000 Vice President of Operations brought us up to date on MGX Minerals Inc (CSE:XMG, OTCQB:MGXMF) at Mines & Money 2017.

He told Proactive Investors’ presenter Andrew Scott the grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) was a landmark moment for them.

Graham adds it will go along way in helping them advance and accelerate the commercialisation of their low energy water treatment system for the oil and gas industry.

For more videos from Mines & Money 2017 go to

]]> Hummingbird launches range of coins made from Yanfolila gold Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:15:00 +0000 Bert Monro, head of business development at Hummingbird Resources Ltd (LON:HUM), tells Proactive about the decision to produce a collection of coins made out of gold from the Yanfolila gold mine.

“We thought it’d be great to offer our shareholders the chance to buy some Yanfolila gold, so we launched a range of seven coins.”

]]> Metalla Royalty CEO: ‘2017 was good, but 2018 shaping up to be even better’ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 13:52:00 +0000 Metalla Royalty and Streaming Ltd (CNSX:MTA) president and chief executive Brett Heath discusses the company’s progress with Proactive’s Andrew Scott.

Metalla is solely focused on gold and silver streams and royalties.

It generates royalty revenues from several projects around the world, including from the Endeavor mine in Australia where Metalla has the right to buy 100% of the silver production up to 20mln ounces.

]]> Neo Lithium to start construction at 3Q lithium project in 2019 Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:23:00 +0000 Gabriel Pindar, director at New Lithium Corp,
Brings Investors up to date with the company’s progress at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

He says the company hopes to complete a feasibility study at its 3Q project next year ahead of beginning construction in 2019 - subject to finance.

As the name suggests, Neo is a lithium explorer.

Its principal asset is the 3Q project which is located in the highly prospective ‘lithium triangle’ in Argentina.


]]> 2018 looks set to be a busy year, says Royal Road boss Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:12:00 +0000 Tim Coughlin, managing director at Royal Road Minerals Ltd (CVE:RYR), brings investors up to speed at Mines and Money 2017 in London.

He discusses the progress made in the past 12 months and what looks set to be a ‘busy and productive’ 2018.

Royal Road is a gold and copper explorer with assets in Colombia and Nicaragua.

]]> Thor Mining cashed up and eyeing a busy end to 2017 Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:54:00 +0000 Mick Billing, executive chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott a resources estimate for their Kapunda copper project should be ready by Christmas and he's optimistic it'll be of a size or number that'll have people saying 'it's not too bad'.

Billing also mentions they're in the middle of getting an upgrade to the ore reserve at the Molyhil tungsten project - which he also hopes will be out this side of Christmas.

]]> Post-Mugabe opportunities for Vast Resources Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:07:00 +0000 Roy Pitchford, chief executive of Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST),  caught up with Proactive to discuss both the company's highliights for the year as well as the mind-boggling opportunities he reckons are now on offer in Zimbabwe following the change of government.

After raising £1mln (US$1.32mln) from investors last week they've now outlined the details of a follow-up open offer to raise up to another £1.23mln (US$1.64mln).

]]> Greatland Gold well financed with a busy year of exploration ahead Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:20:00 +0000 Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) chief executive Gervaise Heddle and chief technical officer Callum Baxter caught up with Proactive  while in London to update on their work programmes at Panorama and Paterson in Western Australia.

Earlier this month they picked up the Black Hills gold project in the Paterson region for A$225,000.

Greatland are paying A$25,000 of the consideration in cash and the rest will be satisfied by the issue of 6.5mln shares to the vendor, Peter Wiltshire.

]]> Emmerson Resources to kick off drilling this week at Kadungle after $2mln raise Sun, 26 Nov 2017 11:41:00 +0000 Rob Bills, managing director of Emmerson Resources Ltd (ASX:ERM),  tells Proactive they're expecting to start drilling this week  at Kadungle after raising $2mln back in October in what Bills describes as a fantastic response from institutional investors.

Drilling is also underway at Tennant Creek, providing strong news flow for the company in the near-term.

]]> Coal of Africa officially rebrands as MC Mining Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:02:00 +0000 David Brown, chief executive of Coal of Africa Limited (LON:CZA) spoke to Proactive just hours after their AGM in which shareholders gave the green light to rename as MC Mining.

The junior miner's also announced it wants to consolidate its issued share capital through the conversion of every 20 shares into one share.

Brown tells Andrew Scott the renaming of the company's to better reflect its new focus on their metallurgical coal prospects.

]]> 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.

]]> ShareRoot's MediaConsent platform 'putting control back in the hands of consumers' Thu, 23 Nov 2017 13:20:00 +0000 Noah Abelson, chief executive of ShareRoot Ltd (ASX:SRO), discusses  with Proactive Investors the rollout of their MediaConsent platform.

The product will be released in four phases, the first of which will be the launch of Audit Services - on target for the upcoming March quarter of 2018.

''MediaConsent is based on the fact that the digital marketing world and technology has become so complex over the last five or ten years and the reality of the world is we and our kids are being tracked everywhere we go''.

''Our interests are known to companies, who we interact with on a daily basis is known to companies and the same thing for our kids ... and finally the governmental bodies throughout the world are saying they now need to protect consumers''.

]]> Rainbow Rare Earths confirms significant exploration potential at Gakara Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:40:00 +0000 Martin Eales, chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd. (LON:RBW), tells Proactive they've recently wrapped up an airborne magnetic survey which has suggested there are at least four large carbonatite anomalies at the Gakara project in Burundi.

Eales says the discovery gives the project significant exploration upside potential.

In their announcement today Rainbow also reaffirmed that first production and sales of rare earth concentrate are on schedule for the fourth quarter of 2017.

]]> Oracle Power hails funding MoU with two chinese state-owned enterprises Wed, 22 Nov 2017 13:05:00 +0000 Shahrukh Khan, chief executive of Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP), discusses with Proactive their memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two China state-owned companies to advance their lignite coal mine and power station project in Pakistan.

The UK energy developer said the MoU with Sichuan Provincial Investment Group Co. Limited (SCIG) and PowerChina International Group Limited records the intention to proceed to a formal agreement to collaborate in setting up, constructing, owning and operating the company’s flagship Thar project.

]]> Premier African's oversubscribed placing 'a reflection of the quality of Zulu' Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:33:00 +0000 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott the value attributed to their Zulu lithium project in Zimbabwe was higher than expected in a scoping study.

Consultant Bara worked on two options at Zulu: just to produce a concentrate; or for Premier to build its own lithium production plant.

Bara estimated a value of US$127mln for a 15-year open cast operation mining a concentrate of spodumene and petalite, the source ores for lithium.

A funding to raise working capital to pay for the scoping study and further exploration was heavily oversubscribed, with Premier pulling in £1mln at 0.4p compared to an original target of £500,000

]]> 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.

]]> Shanta Gold publishes first resource for Singida Tue, 21 Nov 2017 08:16:00 +0000 Eric Zurrin, chief executive at Shanta Gold (LON:SHG), runs Proactive through their first official resource at Singida - one of the miners two main deposits in Tanzania.

The junior operates the New Luika mine but Singida, in the centre of the country, is at a much earlier stage of development.

The Australian standard JORC resource of 728,000oz stems from 12.3mt at a grade of 1.84 g/t. The cut-off grade was 1.0 g/t.

Added to the resources already identified at New Luika, Shanta now has 2mln ounces of gold delineated in Tanzania.

]]> Commissioning well underway at Savannah Resources' Mutamba pilot plant Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:51:00 +0000 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV), says he's delighted the pilot plant construction at Mutamba in Mozambique is now complete and that commissioning is well underway in anticipation of an official opening next month.

The plant will produce bulk samples of concentrate for metallurgical and product test work.

Archer also gives an update on developments at Savannah's copper deposits in Oman as well as current drilling at their lithium project in Portugal.

]]> Hummingbird Resources still on track for first gold pour by year-end Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:41:00 +0000 Bert Monro, head of business development at Hummingbird Resources plc (LON:HUM), tells Proactive they've begun the commissioning process at the Yanfolila gold mine in Mali.

First gold pour remains on track for the end of this year.

Mechanical and electrical testing of the installed ball mill is now complete, and the water supply for the processing plant in place.

]]> Stratex International's Bob Foster keen to get the show back on the road Mon, 20 Nov 2017 08:47:00 +0000 Bob Foster, interim CEO at Stratex International plc (LON:STI), tells Proactive it's been pretty challenging over the last few weeks at the company - for management as well as shareholders.

''It's been value destruction for many different reasons and the key thing is to get this whole show back on the road''.

Foster will carry out an independent review of the company's position and strategy.

Prior to his retirement, Foster had been at the helm for ten years.

]]> 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 Arizona Silver encouraged by latest Ramsay drill assays Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:59:00 +0000 Greg Hahn, chief executive of Arizona Silver Exploration Inc (CVE:AZS), talks Proactive through 'encouraging' second phase drill results from their Ramsey silver project in La Paz County.

Since July, five holes have been sunk, from a current total of 12 to test for a continuation of silver mineralization at depth.

All five holes intersected silver with highlights being 62.5 g/t (grams per ton) silver from an intersection of 44.2 metres (m), from a depth of 79.3m.

]]> Asiamet expands programme at BKZ after new high grade hits Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:45:00 +0000 Steve Hughes, VP of exploration at Asiamet Resources Ltd. (LON:ARS), tells Proactive exploration drilling at the BKZ polymetallic prospect in Indonesia has continued to intersect high grade copper mineralisation.

Three holes at BKZ, located in Central Kalimantan, have intersected high grade copper mineralisation, confirming a strike length of at least 110m and a true thickness of up to 50m.

]]> Bannerman Resources well positioned for uranium price recovery Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:46:00 +0000 Brandon Munro, chief executive of Bannerman Resources Ltd (ASX:BMN; NSX:BMN), talks Proactive through the details of their recently completed Etango Processing Optimisation Study (Processing OS).

Among some of the key findings, Munro says they've been able to reduce estimated capex by US$73 mln which has been achieved without a trade-off against operating costs.

]]> Metal Tiger takes aim at Australian miner Kingsgate Consolidated Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:02:00 +0000 Michael McNeilly, chief executive of Metal Tiger plc (LON:MTR), tells Proactive he's called for a meeting to replace all but one of the directors at Kingsgate Consolidated.

McNeilly says the incumbent board has overseen a massive destruction of shareholder value and failed to articulate a clear strategy going forward.

Metal Tiger has recently built up a 6.7% stake in Kingsgate, which has lost more than 90% of its value over the past five years.

Kingsgate owns the Chatree mine 200 miles north of Bangkok in Thailand, which has just had a suspension order from the Thai government lifted.

]]> Tlamino looking very healthy as Medgold firms up 3D mineralisation Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:59:00 +0000 Dan James, president of Medgold Resources Corp (CVE:MED), tells Proactive recent sampling results at the Tlamino project in Serbia have shown mineralization isn't limited to the outcrop plane but extends into the hillside.

The firm has released a composite channel sample of 52 metres at 2.20 g/t (grams per ton) gold and 88 g/t silver from a recently reopened historical lead-zinc exploration adit, in the centre of the main Barje occurrence.

The adit was excavated by a Yugoslav state company in the 1950s as part of their regional exploration for lead, zinc mineralization.

]]> Bezant Resources successfully verifies grades down to bedrock at Choco Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:43:00 +0000 Bernard Olivier, chief executive of Bezant Resources plc (LON:BZT), tells Proactive they've moved to the next phase in the ramp-up of production at the Choco alluvial mine in Colombia after successful grade verification work.

About 110oz of gold and platinum was recovered during the grade work, which tested 35,000 tonnes of material from the surface to the bedrock.

]]> Miners keeping close watch on army takeover in Zimbabwe Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:27:00 +0000 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford explains the background to the shock coup in Zimbabwe, the motives behind the army's actions and what may happen next for President Mugabe and the country.
The implications for mining companies in the country, many of which are listed in London, are also discussed.

]]> Chaarat Gold CEO Bob Benbow keen to get construction going at Tulkubash Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:40:00 +0000 Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd's (LON:CGH) CEO Bob Benbow sits down with Proactive's Andrew Scott to discuss the development plans for their Tulkubash mine in Kyrgyzstan.

Benbow says Chaarat will be his fourth greenfield mine development - he's previously overseen two in the US and another in Turkey.

Back in September Chaarat told investors they'd received official sign-off from the Kyrgyz government to take stage one and two of the project into production.

]]> Caledonia Mining's Blanket mine still has a lot of life left in it yet, says CEO Curtis Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:36:00 +0000 Steve Curtis, chief executive of Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL), tells Proactive that revenues from gold production at the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe rose to over US$18.2 mln in the third quarter, up from the US$17.6 mln generated in the same period a year ago.

Pre-tax profit rose to US$6.2 mln, up from US$4.1 mln a year ago.

]]> Scotgold Resources keen to crack on with construction after £2.65 mln raise Mon, 13 Nov 2017 15:56:00 +0000 Richard Gray, chief executive of Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ), tells Proactive they've raised £2.65 mln via a rights issue offering two new shares for every three already held.

The offer price is 25p, although for each five existing shares shareholders also get one new option priced at 40p.

The money raised will be used to commence the next stage of work at Scotgold’s Cononish gold mine in Scotland, where the existing stockpile will shortly be depleted.

]]> 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 Connemara Mining highlights reinvigoration of Irish mining scene Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:28:00 +0000 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford says it's early days for Patrick Cullen at Connemara Mining PLC (LON:CON) but he's a man with a plan and is keen to get things moving.

''If you look at the Connemara share price graph over the past two months I don't think there's any argument that he has managed to get things moving'', Ford says.

''Shares have more than doubled and it looks like there's still some significant momentum behind it''.

]]> Otis Gold busy putting together exciting 2018 drill programme at Kilgore Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:54:00 +0000 Craig Lindsay, chief executive of Otis Gold Corp (CVE:OOO), caught up with Proactive to chat through the latest plans to advance the company's Kilgore project in Idaho.

Lindsay says they've recently submitted a 'plan of operation' to the US forest service and an environmental assessment will also be completed as part of the service's review of the plan, which will include the drilling of up to 140 new sites.

]]> 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.

]]> New Age Exploration eagerly awaiting final five Redmoor assays Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:28:00 +0000 Gary Fietz, managing director of New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE), discusses recent drilling at Redmoor and their focus now on working towards an updated resource.

Fietz says the results from the five Phase 2 holes will be released after completion of logging, core cutting and laboratory analysis and are expected by the end of 2017.

]]> Energy Fuels meeting production targets and maintaining a strong balance sheet Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:07:00 +0000 Curtis Moore, vice president of marketing and corporate development for Energy Fuels Inc (TSE:EFR) tells Proactive they sold 60,000 pounds of triuranium octoxide (U3O8) at an average realized price of US$58.28 per pound in the third quarter.

Uranium production totalled 465,000 pounds of U3O8, of which 170,000 pounds were for the company's account and 295,000 pounds were from alternative feed materials toll milled for the account of others.

]]> Higher coal and vanadium prices sees Anglo Pacific post 89% increase in Q3 royalty income Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:31:00 +0000 Julian Treger, chief executive of Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF, TSE:APY) tells Proactive they've had a strong third quarter, with free cash flow tripling from the previous year’s level.

The combination of higher coal and vanadium prices resulted in an 89% increase in royalty income, with Anglo flagging a 39% increase in average coal price achieved at Kestrel and a 46% increase at Narrabri, while the record operational performance at Maracás Menchen resulted in its royalty income increasing to £0.6mln for the quarter from £0.2mln a year earlier.

]]> AfriTin PLC has its eyes on becoming the African tin champion Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:58:00 +0000 Anthony Viljoen, chief executive of AfriTin Mining Ltd (LON:ATM) chats to Proactive as the group begins trading on London's AIM.

It's a newly formed company which has acquired the tin assets of Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) in Namibia and South Africa.

Now focused more on vanadium, Bushveld will retain a 17.5% stake with a further 24.4% to be distributed to shareholders.

AfriTin is valued at £2mln at the issue price of 3.9p

]]> Shefa Yamim tapping into the 'jewellery box' of precious stones in Israel Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:23:00 +0000 Shefa Yamim (A.T.M.) Ltd is an Israeli precious gems firm that claims to be the only company globally to find large quantities of naturally occurring moissanite stones.

Chief operating officer Vered Toledo and independent non-executive director James Campbell tell Proactive they're planning to list in London before the end of the year.

Shefa Yamin currently has one exploration and two prospecting permits covering an area of more than 600 square km in northern Israel.

The group is developing the Kishon Mid Reach placer, which is its priority target.

]]> 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.

]]> CASA acquisition a turning point in Ortac Resources' recent history Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:00:00 +0000 Nick von Schirnding, chairman of Ortac Resources Ltd (LON:OTC), discusses with Proactive their decision to acquire 33.82% of Casa Mining Ltd - with plans to make an offer for the rest of the company.

The price is just over £1mln, payable in Ortac shares.

]]> 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.

]]> Endeavour Silver Corp sees significant improvement in Q3 revenues and earnings Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:03:00 +0000 Bradford Cooke, chief executive of Endeavour Silver Corp (TSE:EDR, NYSE:EXK), chats to Proactive following the release of the firm's Q3 update.

Cooke says earnings, cash flow and revenues for the period were down from Q3, 2016 but improved significantly compared to the second quarter of 2017.

He adds that they're anticipating continued improvement of their operating and financial performance in the fourth quarter of the year.

]]> Chinese and US economies underpin global growth, as power continues to shift east Fri, 03 Nov 2017 15:11:00 +0000 Asiamet's Steve Hughes says they're just getting started at their 30+ prospects Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0000 Steve Hughes, VP of Exploration at Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS, CVE:ARS), tells Proactive they've continued to intersect thick, near surface high-grade base and precious metal-rich mineralisation while drilling at the BKZ prospect in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Hughes says the 14 hole campaign at BKZ has now wrapped up and the rig's heading to BKW with drilling due to kick off tomorrow.

]]> European Metals Holdings sees very good results from latest Cinovec drilling Thu, 02 Nov 2017 12:28:00 +0000 Keith Coughlan, managing director of European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) tells Proactive they've now wrapped up their six core-hole infill drilling program at the Cinovec lithium-tin project in the Czech Republic.

A total of 2,697.1m of drilling was completed on time and without loss time accidents.

]]> Strategic Minerals very encouraged by early exploration at Hanns Camp Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:25:00 +0000 Alan Broome, chairman of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott the results of the first phase of exploration drilling at Hanns Camp.

Broome says the results are highly encouraging for the prospectivity of the mineralisation and give them a solid base for further exploration.

]]> Ferrum Crescent adds Colin Bird as strategic shareholder through £185k raise Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:54:00 +0000 Laurence Read, executive director of Ferrum Crescent Limited (LON:FCR), tells Proactive they've received support from strategic investor Colin Bird in their placing which conditionally raised £185,250.

Read says the cash will be used to support their ongoing exploration programme at Toral.

]]> 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.

]]> KEFI Minerals targeting higher returns through Tulu Kapi production expansion Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:53:00 +0000 Harry Adams and Wayne Nicoletto of KEFI Minerals plc  (LON:KEFI) chat to Proactive from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa about their finalised plans to expand the projected production rate at the Tulu Kapi gold project.

The average annual gold production in the first three years is now estimated to be 145,000 ounces per year.

Payback will be in three years, assuming a gold price of US$1,250

]]> Greatland Gold kicks off extended exploration work at Panorama Wed, 01 Nov 2017 10:35:00 +0000 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP), tells Proactive they've extended field operations at the Panorama project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The extended operations aim to assess gold potential, focusing on the possible mineralisation in the southern licence area and will involve additional mapping, stream sampling and metal detection.

]]> Thor Mining weighing up exciting potential new project in the Pilbara Wed, 01 Nov 2017 10:17:00 +0000 Mick Billing, chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR), caught up with Proactive following the release of their quarterly update.

Billing  says they're in the middle of doing some due diligence on a project in the Pilbara.

''This is something relatively hot-off-the-press ... we've had an opportunity to have a look at a potential piece of land there in the Pilbara where all this conglomerate-hosted gold has been turning up ... and we hope this is one of those''.

Billing also gives a round-up of latest developments at their core projects.

He adds that high-cost exploration is no longer a key activity for the company as they look to fast-track their key tungsten and copper assets.

Part of the programme for the coming months is a review of the open-cut ore reserve at Molyhil, the tungsten and molybdenum deposit in Australia’s Northern Territory.

]]> BlueRock Diamonds gaining international recognition as they clock up record sales Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:22:00 +0000 Adam Waugh, chief executive of BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD), tells Proactive they've achieved their highest sales to date from the Kareevlei diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa.

The group earned R3.25mln (US$226,000) from a tender in October, with the number of carats sold at auction also a record at 609.84.

Waugh says the auction confirmed the high quality of diamonds mined at Kareevlei.

]]> 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.

]]> Connemara Mining advancing exciting Zinc and Gold projects in Ireland Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:54:00 +0000 Patrick Cullen, chief executive of Connemara Mining PLC (LON:CON), chats to Proactive's Andrew Scott about their projects and plans.

Cullen says their ambition's to create shareholder value by exploration in Ireland - one of the most prospective countries in the world for zinc and where recent developments on gold projects have attracted the interest of major investment.

]]> Strategic Minerals secures key institutional investor through £1.5mln raise Mon, 30 Oct 2017 09:18:00 +0000 John Peters and Peter Wale from Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) return to the Proactive Investors studio to discuss their £1.5mln raise.

The placing was significantly oversubscribed, and was increased from an initial target of £500,000.

The money was raised at more than five times the price of the company's last fundraising on 2 November 2016.

Peters says: ''A new institutional investor participated in the placing in addition to the company's largest existing shareholder, the Manners family''.

]]> Kasbah Resources sticking to their knitting as they advance the Achmmach tin project Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:58:00 +0000 Russell Clark, chief executive of Kasbah Resources (ASX:KAS), discusses their Achmmach Tin Project in Morocco.

Summing up the investment case, Clark says: ''Morocco's an interesting place, a good reserve, an advanced project in a metal that's been increasing in price ... in a safe, solid part of Africa. All of those things appeal''.

]]> 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.

]]> Egdon Resources - Now Boarding at Fiskerton Airfield Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:10:00 +0100 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£0.59m). 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.

The field is currently producing at 19bopd but has suffered from a lack of investment in recent years. However, EDR plans to commit capital, which should bring production up to 30-40bopd, increasing both the profitability and cash flows from the field.

Further Appeals to be Made at Wressle

On 2 July 2017 North Lincolnshire County Council refused planning for the Wressle Oil Field for the second time. 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.

Biscathorpe Permits Issued

The Environmental Agency awarded the environmental permits on 13 July 2017 to enable the drilling and possible subsequent testing operations of the Biscathorpe-2 exploration well, which is targeting 14mmbbls gross prospective resources. We anticipate EDR to commence operations including site construction later in 2017.

Recommendation and Target Price

EDR remain debt free with a strong balance sheet and we re-iterate our BUY recommendation with an updated target price of 35.5p, following the acquisition of the Fiskerton Airport Oil Field.

]]> Trump’s influence on gold beginning to diminish, as world tunes out Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:16:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC Fri, 14 Jul 2017 08:01:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG)# has been awarded a new licence (Block 48/25a) by the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in the 2016 supplementary Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round. The licence includes the western part of the Vulcan North West discovery that extends into 48/25a and also includes the Hogsback, Hobson and Goacher prospects.

Vulcan North West

Vulcan North West is a key part of the Company's Vulcan Satellites hub development.  It is a discovery with independently estimated P50 gas initially in place of 215 BCF and 2C recoverable resources of 131 BCF.  18% of the discovery is estimated to be in the new licence 48/25a, so the award of this licence secures 24 BCF of 2C resources for the Company.

The Vulcan Satellites field development planning is progressing very well with all three fields expected to be tied back to the Thames Pipeline which is in the process of being acquired and recommissioned by the Company.

The new licence will be included in the Field Development Plan ("FDP") that is currently being drafted and will also be included in the new Competent Person Report ("CPR") that is being prepared by ERC Equipoise.  The CPR for the Blythe hub, consisting of the Blythe and Elgood fields, should be received within the coming weeks.  The CPR for the Vulcan Satellites is targeted by the end of the third quarter.

Hogsback, Hobson and Goacher

The Hogsback Leman gas prospect is a tilted fault block to the west of Vulcan North West.  It is on-trend and up-dip from the 48/24b-2 gas discovery drilled by Hess in 1990.  It is estimated by the Company to have a technical chance of success of 44% with a most likely gas in place of 30 BCF and most likely resources of 18 BCF of which 96% is on block.

Hobson is an oil discovery but currently there is significant uncertainty regarding its size with minimum, most likely and maximum oil in place estimates of 1 MMBbls, 2 MMBbls, 18 MMBbls respectively.  59% of the Hobson discovery is on the newly awarded block.  Should any decision be taken to drill, Hogsback and Hobson could be appraised with a single well.

Goacher is a Leman gas prospect which is a relatively low relief faulted anticline with a most likely gas in place of 71 BCF.  The Company currently estimates that the technical chance of success is 29% with 36% on the newly awarded block.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy, Egdon Resources Plc, Millennial Lithium, Sunrise Resources Plc Thu, 13 Jul 2017 07:46:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)#

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML) has announced that the Phase 1 drill programme at the Cruz lithium property in the Pocitos Salar in Argentina. ML are operating the programme on behalf of Southern Lithium (SNL CN) who may earn up to 80% in the project. This programme consists of two holes to a minimum depth of 250m based on drilling conditions and brine content. The programme is seeking to confirm the findings of the prior Transient Electromagnetic Survey (TEM) which indicated a continuous N-S conducive unit over more than 6km length. Indications are that brine may be as shallow as 30m and to depths of at least 250m.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES)

Sunrise Resources (SRES LN) has announced that drilling is due to commence imminently at its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project with the trenching programme now complete. 11 trenches in an area of 1,300m x 700m were dug to gain samples from the bedrock, of which ten were successful. The bedrock sampling has been used to better identify suitable drill targets and an extra hole has been added as a result.

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has announced it will appeal against the decision of North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee to refuse a second planning application to develop the Wressle oil field.

EDR will also request the planning inspectorate to co-join this new appeal with EDR’s initial appeal against the refusal of planning permission on 11 January 2017, which is currently scheduled for early November 2017.

Separate to this EDR will appeal against the decision to refuse a 12 month extension to the existing planning consent for the site. We retain our BUY recommendation whilst our TP remains under review.

redT energy# Operations Update

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced an operations update ahead of its AGM later today.

• Significantly lower than expected orders of its low to break-even margin Gen2 product. RED has sold six tank unit modules in H1 2017 (five machines), compared to our FY 2017 estimate of 185 units (50 machines)

• However, the expected EBITDA loss for FY 2017 remains in-line with our expectations due to strong performance from its legacy carbon business

VSA Comment

RED has attributed its slower sales to a fundamental lack of understanding among potential customers of the benefits of flow machines versus alternative large-scale storage products, such as lithium-ion battery systems, a delay in recruiting specific employees, and the expedited closure of Jabil’s Livingstone facility (to August 2017 from December 2017) and relocation of RED’s stack manufacturing operations to a Jabil site in Southern Italy. Although delivering short-term disruption, this relocation will in fact mean lower cost manufacturing for its stack component and, longer-term, lower cost volume manufacturing of Gen3 and subsequent machines.

Despite slower sales, RED has revealed that it now has 265 tank unit modules (€15.9m) in the final stage of customer selection (up from 101 units and €6.5m when it released its FY 2016 results in April) and an active customer pipeline of €314m (vs. €246m in April).

RED has also highlighted the UK and Australia as two markets where the economic payback for energy storage solutions has improved ahead of its initial expectations. RED is now looking to enter the Australian market in H2. In the UK, RED expects to have its 1.08MWh Olde House energy storage project in Cornwall operational within the next few months. This will allow significant marketing opportunities for the company to target potential UK-based customers and should help accelerate its pipeline conversion efforts.

RED has undergone considerable change since the fundraise in December, rapidly scaling up its workforce by some 70%, managing the impact from the closure of Jabil’s Livingston plant by adding a low volume manufacturing partner in Yorkshire, all the while continuing development of its important Gen3 product. Although it is disappointing that Gen2 sales are occurring slower than originally anticipated, in our view, this operational progress is impressive and the focus has to be on the margin-providing Gen3 product, due to be launched in 2018.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Hochschild Mining Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC) has reported robust production figures which indicate that it is on track for full year guidance of 37mnoz silver equivalent. H1 2017 production of 17.9mnoz on an attributable basis was up 5% YoY with a 9% increase in silver production to 8.9mnoz and a 3% increase in gold production to 121koz.

At Inmaculada ore throughput returned to the full run rate in Q2 after a weak Q1 while production benefitted further from higher silver grades. Production at Pallancata of 1.9mnoz was up 52% YoY in Q2 while in H1 production of 3.2mnoz silver equivalent was up 81% YoY. This strong performance was offset by a reduction in throughput at Arcata where production was down 22% YoY to 2.9mnoz silver equivalent. This was due to a change to the mining plan.

HOC has strengthened its already robust balance sheet, reducing net debt by 14% through the period to US$160mn. In addition to production guidance, cash cost guidance was also maintained at US$12-12.7/oz.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC, Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:29:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)#

This morning Cloumbus Energy Resources (CERP)# has released its first awaited operations update since Leo Koot and his new management team took over in May. The management team have now completed its review of the Trinidad operations with the key aim being to develop a work programme over its assets using its existing cash resources with the objective of generating free cash flow in Q4 2017. In completing its review management has identified a number of key changes to the strategy held by previous management.

Operations Update

Primarily, CERP intends to increase its short term revenues through increased production of its current wells. This means that CERP has decided to place the Mayoro well infill programme on hold as analysis of the reservoir has shown that without artificially increasing the pressure in the reservoir any new wells drilled will decline rapidly and not deliver as previous management expected. The plans CERP intends to employ on its current wells to increase revenues over the short term are outlined below.

Water Injection Pilot Programme

Firstly CERP plans to increase production rate and recovery in the reservoir by increasing the reservoir pressure from current reduced levels by injecting water into the reservoir and sweeping oil towards the production wells. CERP plans to implement a multi-pilot approach on the Goudron Field through testing a number of reservoir intervals and field areas prior to deciding on whether to expand water injection over the entire field in 2018 and beyond.               


CERP has already applied for approval of this programme from the Enironmental Management Authority of Trinidad to begin a planned water injection pilot “A” programme for the Gross Morne 665 Area in the hope it is approved this quarter. This pilot “A” programme will be financed from existing funds and forecast revenues from current oil sales and will replace the previously announced single pilot waterflood strategy which targeted just one area of the Gros Morne reservoir.

Pilot “A” will consist of injecting c500 barrels of water per day (BWPD) of currently produced water from the Goudron Field via three injection wells. CERP are forecasting an increase in production from the Pilot “A” reservoir interval from the current level of 30bopd to a peak of over 150bopd. Further to this three additional water injection pilot programmes (B, C and D) are being planned to target two areas of the shallow Goudron Mayaro reservoir and as potential pressure support for the GY-670 well, which initially peaked at 1,150bopd in December 2014.

Goudron Field Well stimulation campaign

In parallel, CERP has started planning a well stimulation campaign targeting wells close to mapped faults that have historically responded well to this technique by previous operators. This will be carried out in the coming month and is expected to provide a sustained incremental rate of 30-100bopd.

Smart pumping systems using downhole sensors

Smart pumping systems using downhole sensors will be installed firstly on well GY-644 in the coming weeks allowing automatic pump optimisation and will simultaneously acquire continuous downhole reservoir pressure data which can be used to monitor the pilot “A” water injection programme.

Quarterly Production Update

Average production from the Goudron Field in Q2 2017 was 327bopd, however, production was lower at the end of the quarter due to Tropical Storm Bret hitting the island on 19 June and damaging external power supply. Permanent repairs have now been made to overhead power lines and operations in the field have returned to pre-storm levels of 380-420bopd.

South West Peninsula

CERP is also awaiting approval from the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries for the renewal of the petroleum licence at the Bonasse Field as part of the BOLT licence. Whilst CERP awaits this renewal it has completed several tests on the field to determine potential for sustained production. During this testing the oil quality from the individual wells was measured and was proved to be of higher quality than the heavy oil that was first expected (25°API).

CERP remains focussed on gaining approval for the licence applications in the South West Peninsula, which will allow it to develop material exploration prospects in the area.

VSA Comment

We view this operations update as particularly important as it has now outlined the new management’s plans and expectations going forward. We view the decision to place the Mayaro well infill programme on hold and instead focus capital investment on increasing the reservoir pressure as a positive one.

We still view the South West Peninsula as potentially the most exciting asset in CERP’s portfolio which will drive the long term value in the company. CERP intends to work up 3-4 large prospects (c200mmboe) in this area which, if successful, will be materially game changing to a company the size of CERP. Clearly CERP is not the sort of company that would then go on to develop projects of this size and we would expect a major or large cap E&P to step in and operate projects of this scale. We would expect CERP to profit in this situation either from a direct sale of the asset or it could farm-out the licence for a free-carry on the full capex costs whilst retaining a material working interest. Furthermore, we still expect CERP to announce M&A activity in South America in due course.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and our TP remains under review whilst we update our model with this new information.

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has announced it will acquire a 100% WI and operatorship of the Fiskerton Airfield oil field from Cirque Energy for cash consideration of US$750k payable from its existing cash resources upon completion of the deal.

The Fiskerton Airfield oil field is located approximately 7 kilometres to the East of the City of Lincoln. The field was discovered in 1997 and cumulative production has totalled around 440,000bbls from the most likely mapped Oil in Place estimate of 2.2mmbbls. The oil is of good quality (35.2°API) and is exported by road tanker to Immingham, North East Lincolnshire. EDR estimate that in excess of 100,000bbls remain recoverable from the existing wells on the field.

Currently the field is producing c19bopd from one of two producing wells, whilst the second producing well is currently shut-in and awaiting a workover. Whilst this field has suffered from a lack of investment over recent years EDR now plans to enhance cash flows and profitability by increasing production to initially to 30-40bopd via low cost well interventions. EDR plans to carry out this work over both wells in 2017.

Following the disappointment of Wressle this will come as very welcome news and add immediate production and near term cash flow to EDR. We reiterate our BUY recommendation and our TP remains under review, whilst we add the Fiskerton Airfield oil field into our core NAV.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Mon, 10 Jul 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced positive results from its extended pumping tests at Pastos Grandes in Argentina. Tests were conducted over a 60 hour period with an average pumping rate of 27.7 litres per second. Lithium content over the course of the test was consistent; fluctuating between 438.7-430.5mg/l, indicating the aquifer is robust. Furthermore, drawdown over 24 hours was around 9m while the brine level recovered after pumping to within 0.5m of the original level.

The strong flow rates and lithium content are encouraging and underpin our confidence in the project. Indeed, ML is now using brine from the pump test to feed a number of trial evaporation ponds. In addition, a second pumping well is being constructed to test the area where recent drilling intersected lithium-bearing brine.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Western civilisation at stake, says Trump: gold tracks sideways Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:47:00 +0100 Donald Trump has argued this week that the future of Western Civilisation is at stake.

If true, you’d expect a fire to be set under the gold price and immigrants to be streaming away from Europe and the US by the million, bound, presumably, for China and perhaps to a lesser extent India.

But when the content of the speech was leaked ahead of Trump’s actual delivery of it in Poland net immigration to the West showed no sign of reversing and the reaction of the gold price was muted, to say the least. It actually moved up US$3.06, to US$1,223 per ounce.

So, either the end of Western Civilisation has already been priced in, or Donald Trump’s views on it are not actually relevant to the decisions international investors actually make.

In the short-term, of course, the international investors are right. People have been talking about the decline of Western Civilisation as such at least since the days of Oswald Spengler.

It’s nothing new, but so far Spengler’s theories have survived Hitler and Stalin, and frankly you only have to walk the streets of London, New York, Washington, or Manchester to see that it’s doing a pretty good job of surviving Islamic fundamentalism too.

But Trump’s pitch is more nuanced and subtle than the intellectual misfire some liberals might at first take it for.

The location of the speech in Krasinksi Square in Warsaw is ostensibly designed to highlight the heroism of those who took part in the rising against the Nazis in the summer of 1944.

That sets it at the centre of an apocalyptic fire that didn’t end well for anybody, no matter how much Trump or anyone else paints the efforts of the Polish resistance as “noble in spirit”.

But evoking images of this kind of destruction actually plays well in certain Trump heartlands. Millenarian fear, or a belief that the end of the world is nigh, is central to the theology of the Baptist and other ultra-Reformed faiths that dominate small-town America and the Midwest.

According to them, the end of the world has been looming since the Zwickau prophets picked up the baton that Martin Luther had left lying around in the early 1500s and ran with it straight into the Peasants War.

But when the world didn’t actually end in Europe, the descendants of these cheery people upped sticks and emigrated to the North American colonies, and became known in a cheerful rebranding orchestrated by later generations as the Pilgrim Fathers.

So whether the main threat to Western Civilisation is Islamic fundamentalism, or North Korean nuclear weaponry, or government bureaucracy, or Mexicans, the important fact is that there is a threat, that it is God’s will that there is a threat and that key people recognise and articulate that threat.

Global warming doesn’t fit this bill particularly well though. For one thing, it’s too gradual. For another thing, it’s a threat articulated by science and which can be fixed by science, and scientists are neither crediting God nor asking for his help in the matter.

So, if you’re wondering why a terrorist bomb in Manchester or Mosul is more of a threat to Western Civilisation than global warming, one answer is to be found in the roots of the European Reformation and its transference to Middle America.

It’s also why North Korea is more dangerous in a world in which Donald Trump is President than in a world in which he isn’t – because the Christian apocalypse is what the faith of many of his supporters is built around.

What all this may mean for the gold price in the long term is interesting. It may be that the initiatives of the likes of Elon Musk  in driving progressive technology forward outweigh US electoral skittishness.

But it may also be that being left behind may sit increasingly ill with the people who originally believed that they were “chosen” and whose right to dispossess the original owners of the land they now live on was enshrined in political doctrine called “Manifest Destiny.”

It appears to sit ill enough already. But the real question for analysts of global political uncertainty now which be which way American demographics will carry government in the future, and if as predicted the progressives eventually win by weight of numbers, whether open internal conflict in the US can be avoided.

After all a greater willingness to engage in open conflict, reduced recourse to human reason and negotiation to mitigate that conflict, and a fanatical belief the correctness of the course chosen is not new in the tide of human affairs. And we’ve seen where it ends up.

For now the gold price is sanguine in the face of President Trump’s rhetorical flourishes. But it may turn, as they say in the American heartlands, on a dime.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold Wed, 05 Jul 2017 07:57:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)
Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced that the first six holes in the Phase 3 drilling programme have been completed at Sanama Hill whilst samples from the first three of those have been sent for assay. These six holes cover over 2,000m. One of the two rigs has been moved to TZ4, the newly discovered area of mineralisation identified during Phase 2 drilling.

The company anticipates that the early results from the initial assays will likely be received towards the end of July.

Sula has issued 7.92m shares at 0.25p in settlement of advisers’ fees over the past six months. The enlarged share capital is now 2.44bn shares.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 04 Jul 2017 07:43:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR)# announced yesterday afternoon that North Lincolnshire County Council has refused planning consent for the Wressle Oil Field for the second time since January 2017. We were surprised at the initial refusal by the County Councillors in January and this decision has come as a further surprise after the project received positive recommendation from the planning officers on both occasions.

Seven of the 10 person committee voted against the development, near Scunthorpe, with the Councillors citing the reasoning behind the rejection being there was not enough information in the officers’ report to convince them that the application would not have a negative impact on people and the environment in the local area.

EDR will now proceed with the appeal it has already submitted against the original refusal which is due to be heard in November 2017, the outcome of which we now expect early next year. This is clearly disappointing for EDR as it pushes the development of the project back even further from the first delay. However, the Wressle development made up only 1p/sh in our core NAV for EDR, therefore, we maintain our BUY recommendation but place our TP under review whilst we await a further update from the company.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:40:00 +0100 Obtala Limited#: FY 2016 Results

On Friday afternoon, African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# released its results for the year ended 31 December 2016.

This morning, OBT has also announced the completion of the recently announced acquisition of WoodBois International (with upside on many of its initial assumptions) as well as the immediate retirement of Frank Scolaro and Philippe Cohen (CFO search now underway) from its Board of Directors.

• Revenue: US$0.6m (FY 2015: US$0.9m); VSA forecast US$0.9m

• Pre-tax loss from continuing operations: US$5.3m (FY 2015: US$14.8m); VSA forecast US$5.9m

• Total assets: US$181.1m (FY 2015: US$179.7m)

• Cash and cash equivalents as of 31 December 2016: US$3.4m (31 December 2015: US$1.0m)

• During 2016, OBT secured US$18.25m through the issuance of preference shares into its forestry subsidiary Argento, with a further US$3.0m secured in March 2017. In addition, OBT announced a US$5m equity subscription in May 2017.

• Given the strong involvement of Asian investors in recent fundraises, OBT is now investigating the potential of a dual-listing in Asia.

• Presentational currency switched to US$ from GBP

VSA Comment

2016 was a transformative year for OBT, with its new Chairman carrying out a comprehensive review of the business that resulted in disposal of certain non-core operations and a renewed focus on the twin sectors of forestry and agriculture in Africa.

To support this new strategy, OBT carried out a number of fundraises, largely involving the issuance of preference shares in its forestry subsidiary, raising more than US$25m in 2016 and H1 2017. We view this as an extremely significant achievement, considering the financing difficulties that many other companies operating in similar sectors and countries have experienced.

OBT continues to advance its new strategy, with key staff now in place across its businesses. Deploying the recently raised funds into its existing operations, as well as through acquisitions, such as the US$14.6m WoodBois International acquisition, should help the new management team quickly build OBT into an African agriculture and forestry business with the required scale to successfully operate on the continent.

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

]]> IMF downgrades growth prospects for Donald Trump’s America Fri, 30 Jun 2017 12:12:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Metal Tiger, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:46:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced full year results for 2016. Following the strong performance in mining equities in the period, MTR experienced a significant increase in the valuation of its equity investments with a net gain of £2.2m in 2017 versus £287k in 2016. Administrative expenses which include much of the project related work were up from £887k to £3.2m owing to the significant progression of MTR’s flagship projects in Botswana and Thailand. The overall net loss was £720k in 2017 versus £599k in 2016.

MTR’s balance sheet at December 2016 was in a strong position with £6.2m in cash, which has subsequently been strengthened by a £4.85m investment primarily by Sprott Wealth.

Our target price and recommendation remain under review.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced an option agreement to significantly expand its interest in the Cauchari East Project. The additional 8,742 hectares is contiguous to ML’s existing interest which would bring the total acreage at Cauchari East to 11,742 hectares. The tenements lie to the East of the Lithium Americas/SQM joint venture which is currently being developed. In order to exercise the option ML will be required to pay US$250k via staged payments.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has released financial results for the 6 months ended March 2017. The loss for the period of £698k was somewhat lower than £924k in the prior period owing to lower administrative expenses. SULA’s cash position at the end of the period was £923k supported by a raise in July 2017 for £0.4k to fully fund the Phase 3, 5,000m, drilling programme which is currently underway.

Phase 3 follows a successful Phase 2 which underlined the potential of Sanama Hill with a 21m intercept at 3.65g/t Au. In addition, scout drilling at TZ4 which also yielded positive gold results demonstrated the potential for further mineralisation outside of the Sanama Hill Exploration Target.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:21:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

We note that North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Committee will meet this Monday 3 July to decide on the new planning application for the Wressle Development, for which Egdon Resources (EDR)# is operator and owns a 25% working interest.

This new application was submitted by EDR to address the specific concerns raised by North Lincolnshire County Council following its original decision to refuse the application on 11 January 2017. This new application was also submitted in addition to an appeal made by EDR over the original ruling as EDR believe this double approach will produce the desired outcome with the shortest delay.

This new application has already received recommendation for approval from North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Department and we assume the outcome is successful in our model. We have a BUY recommendation and 34p TP on EDR.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Petra Diamonds Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Drilling results for hole PGMW17-04b at Pastos Grandes have shown yet further depth of lithium brine. The hole bottomed in brine at a depth of 564m, over 150m deeper than the deepest prior drilling so far. Grades were significantly better than prior drill holes with a continuous interval from 93.5m to 475m grading an average 535mg/l. Potassium values range from 4,906 mg/L to 6,148 mg/L and average 5,610 mg/L over the 381.5m intersection.  Similar to magnesium, the sulphate/lithium ratio is also lower in this region, averaging 17.4 compared to an average of approximately 22.1 in holes PGMW16-01 and 02. The sediments continue to be highly permeable gravels and sands to the bottom of the hole.

Two rigs are operating and a third will be added in coming days. Two more holes currently underway are expected to TD this week. An upgraded resource estimate will be deferred until later in calendar Q3 or early Q4 2017 given the far better than expected depths and grades of brine being encountered. We suspect management wants to get a better idea of just how much bigger this resource might be.

The smaller surface area of the Pastos Grandes basin is proving to be highly deceptive as to the actual lithium volumes and grades within it. Looking to the longer term this would increase the scale of annual LCE output and significantly increase the potential mine life.

We re-iterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL)

Petra Diamonds (PDL LN) has announced that it is likely to significantly miss its production targets by 8-9% owing to slow progress at its expanding projects. Prior full year guidance had been 4.4mncts. Revenue is therefore expected to be lower, also by 8-9%, and there will consequently be a negative effect on earnings for FY 2017.

This announcement follows a series of soft trading updates by PDL, however, given the company is at the target run rate of 5mnctpa FY 2018 production guidance remains unchanged. The announcement also indicates that PDL may technically break its debt covenants relating to financial ratios but believes that this can be resolved with its lenders.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger has announced the results of recent exploration work on its Spanish gold and tungsten JV. A significant soil sampling programme as well as limited shallow RAB drilling has been carried out resulting in the identification of significant gold and tungsten anomalies. At Logrosan South two parallel structures of 6km by 950m have been identified as a gold anomaly. At Logrosan East an anomaly of 5km in length and up to 80m in width has been identified that combines two previously known gold anomalies into one larger block. Additionally at Logrosan East a new tungsten anomaly has been identified following positive soil sampling results which measures 2.3km by 900m. At Logrosan East a gold anomaly of 2.5km long has been identified.

MTR in conjunction with its JV partners is now identifying possible drill sites to follow up on the recent work.

]]> Global growth will continue to spur mining, but watch for political upheaval along the way Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:53:00 +0100