Zinc One is aggressively expanding in the zinc space Thu, 25 May 2017 14:33:00 +0100 Medgold's Dan James 'excited' to see what's going to happen with Tlamino drilling Thu, 25 May 2017 13:20:00 +0100 Dan James, president of Medgold Resources Corp (CVE:MED) tells Proactive they're coming to the end of their geophysics programme at Tlamino in Serbia with drilling expected to commence in August.

]]> Premier African to begin first concentrate shipment from RHA Thu, 25 May 2017 13:07:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) tells Proactive they're now in a position to begin the first shipment of wolframite concentrate from RHA to Durban following the receipt of all required permits from the Zimbabwean authorities.

]]> Marathon Gold brings in over $18mln through offering Thu, 25 May 2017 12:52:00 +0100 Premier African ready to ship from RHA as permits come through Thu, 25 May 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Revised debt repurchase deal increases Mandalay's capacity to fund growth Thu, 25 May 2017 11:33:00 +0100 Savannah Resources to become first lithium producer in Europe Thu, 25 May 2017 11:19:00 +0100 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) discusses their acquisition of 'highly prospective' Lithium projects in the north of Portugal.

''We see this initiative as really driving us into a very prominent position in the lithium space in Europe'', Archer says.

''It provides us with a tremendous springboard which means we should be able to move, all going well, into production at a fairly rapid rate''.

''What we're really looking at doing is being a very important element in the whole European energy equation''.

]]> Bacanora issues shares at a small premium Thu, 25 May 2017 11:19:00 +0100 'It's beautiful' - Asiamet's Steve Hughes sums up latest drilling and test work at BKM Thu, 25 May 2017 10:55:00 +0100 Steve Hughes, vice president of exploration at Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS, CVE:ARS) tells Proactive recent drilling has confirmed further extensions to the mineralisation at BKM, both along strike and at depth.

The update came just a day after further encouraging test work on the copper deposit in Indonesia.

]]> Cadence will use key stakes in major lithium growth companies as platform for further growth Thu, 25 May 2017 10:21:00 +0100 Acacia Mining hammered again as Tanzania fears grow Thu, 25 May 2017 10:20:00 +0100 Zak Mir: Ferrum Crescent can rally once resistance line is cleared Thu, 25 May 2017 09:43:00 +0100 Junior miner Ferrum Crescent (LON:FCR) can almost double to 0.2p if it can break through its 50-day moving average of 0.13p believes technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> Shore Capital stays bullish on Sirius Minerals following site visit, expects FTSE 250 inclusion Thu, 25 May 2017 09:29:00 +0100 Rambler Metals and Mining sees lower costs over remainder of year Thu, 25 May 2017 08:42:00 +0100 European Metals to fill gaps in geological model with latest Cinovec drilling Thu, 25 May 2017 08:03:00 +0100 Savannah Resources snaps up lithium deposit in Portugal Thu, 25 May 2017 07:29:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Thu, 25 May 2017 07:09:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Announced yesterday, MTR plans significant exploration work in the Kalahari Copper Belt in support of MOD Resources (MOD AU) field work on the T3 area of Botswana. This work will take place over the summer and be led by the joint venture local operating company Tschukudu Metals Botswana.

Airborne geophysics over the wider T3 Dome area of the licenses will be undertaken beginning in June to identify areas where the apparent geology and mineral signature is a repeat of that which has localised the current high grade copper discovery at T3. The even larger T20 Dome feature will get its first detailed look as well.

The Botswana government has determined that it does not need a formal EIA completed for the next phase of exploration activity. This means the current drillers on break can return to punching holes to find new orebodies from July rather than having to wait for those more exhaustive environmental studies and measurements to be undertaken and completed. Targets to test in the next phase of 30 drillholes include under the current Zone 1 and Zone 2 compliant resources to give further definition to the size and grade of Zone 3 at the sandstone contact and a new geophysical target lying 800m north of the T3 mineralisation.

Further studies toward completion of a PFS on T3 will be undertaken over the next two quarters as well.

There are many, many kilometres of favourable rock stratigraphy yet to test on MTR licenses. We believe the chances of finding further high-grade copper-silver mineralisation in new near surface zones as very high.

We retain our BUY recommendation and 5.86p price target.

]]> Anglo Asian Mining back in profit as copper output doubles Thu, 25 May 2017 06:49:00 +0100 Ferrum Crescent kicks off drilling campaign at Toral Thu, 25 May 2017 06:44:00 +0100 Cauldron Energy reveals potential of Bennet Well uranium deposit Thu, 25 May 2017 05:00:00 +0100 Cobalt Blue's assays surpass expectations and will upgrade resource Thu, 25 May 2017 04:00:00 +0100 Impact Minerals plans new massive sulphide drill targets Thu, 25 May 2017 03:30:00 +0100 Exterra Resources opens gold production window for later in 2017 Thu, 25 May 2017 03:00:00 +0100 Danakali gains new North American shareholders Thu, 25 May 2017 02:30:00 +0100 Black Rock Mining delivers industry-leading results Thu, 25 May 2017 01:00:00 +0100 Lithium Australia NL extends offer period for Lepidico to Monday 19 June 2017 Thu, 25 May 2017 01:00:00 +0100 Argosy Minerals updates on underwritten share purchase plan Thu, 25 May 2017 00:30:00 +0100 Australian Vanadium signs another clean energy agreement Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Hexagon Resources continues to increase graphite resource Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Plymouth Minerals delivers maiden lithium resource at San Jose Wed, 24 May 2017 23:30:00 +0100 Tigers Realm Coal to be among world’s lowest cost producers Wed, 24 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Lucapa Diamond Company boosts cash reserves Wed, 24 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Resources & Energy Group eyes bulk sampling at Radio gold mine Wed, 24 May 2017 22:00:00 +0100 Jaxon Minerals reports encouraging early signs from VMS target analysis at Hazelton Wed, 24 May 2017 19:51:00 +0100 Arizona Silver Exploration may be looking at 'emerging discovery', says analyst Wed, 24 May 2017 18:03:00 +0100 West Red Lake Gold Mines poised to turn drillbit again in famous Ontario gold district Wed, 24 May 2017 13:27:00 +0100 Glencore's agriculture business makes informal approach to US grains trader Bunge Wed, 24 May 2017 13:00:00 +0100 Zinc One Resources unveils its drill plans for Bongara project Wed, 24 May 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Prefeasibility work progressing well at Metal Tiger’s copper joint venture in Botswana Wed, 24 May 2017 11:37:00 +0100 Metals Exploration secures short-term loan ahead of planned mezzanine finance Wed, 24 May 2017 10:27:00 +0100 KEFI Minerals boosts cash flow projections from Tulu Kapi in new study Wed, 24 May 2017 10:13:00 +0100 Hummingbird Resources on schedule at Yanfolila in Mali Wed, 24 May 2017 08:42:00 +0100 Asiamet even more confident about its BKM resource after latest drilling results Wed, 24 May 2017 08:23:00 +0100 Caledonia Mining to list on NYSE MKT Wed, 24 May 2017 08:20:00 +0100 Steve Curtis, chief executive of Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL TSE:CMCL) talks through their decision to seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange’s small cap market

]]> Zak Mir: ‘Mkango shares can almost double this summer if they do this one thing’ Wed, 24 May 2017 08:10:00 +0100 Minerals explorer Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA) could almost double its share price over the summer months if it can post a weekly close above recent resistance of 4p, according to technical analyst Zak Mir.

“[There’s] a rising trend channel that can be drawn from this time last year, with the top of the channel heading towards 7p,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“Really if we can get a decent weekly close above 4p, one would be looking for shares to hit that 7p zone over the next two to three months.”

]]> Caledonia Mining Corporation to list on US small cap market Wed, 24 May 2017 07:49:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Vedanta Resources Wed, 24 May 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Late yesterday, ML announced the entry into a JV with TSX-V junior Liberty One Lithium (LBY CN) upon its Pocitos West property. LBY may acquire a 70% stake in the property for US$5.5m in staged cash payments over 36 months and completion of work commitments of US$1m. It may increase its interest a further 10% to 80% by completing a bankable feasibility study within 42 months of the closing date of the transaction.

This transaction monetises Pocitos West to the benefit of ML by covering underlying property payments on Pocitos West while it incurs drilling costs in firming up the resources on its primary project of Pastos Grandes to the east. ML only acquired 100% of Pocitos West in February for US$4.5m and these JV payment terms and sums are in excess of those in the underlying agreement for a net gain in current valuation of the Pocitos West property to ML of US$2.1m if all thresholds are met by LBY.

ML is simultaneously advancing, profiting from, and de-risking the Pocitos West ground, a sound capital management strategy. This transaction also shows that well positioned, early stage ground within the Lithium Triangle continues to change hands for a premium on acquisition costs.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.

Vedanta Resources (LON:VED)

A final dividend of US$0.35 is declared by Vedanta Resources (VED) as it discloses an underlying full year profit of US$0.011 vs a loss last year. Revenues rose 7% to US$11.5b while EBITDA rose a strong 37% to US$3.2b on the back of better commodity prices. Gross debt however worsened as a result of paying a special dividend during the year and now stands at US$18.2b. Prices in copper, aluminium, zinc, iron ore, oil and gas have all shown a strong recovery last year.

The chairman, Anil Agarwal, states a dedication this year to deleveraging the balance sheet. We hope he is serious as prior expressions of intent have not been forthcoming in large measure in prior years; lagging other integrated metal miners in that regard. Stronger commodity prices will help out, therefore, now is the time if at all.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Wed, 24 May 2017 07:43:00 +0100 Obtala# Acquires Forestry Business

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT) has conditionally acquired (subject to due diligence) the forestry business WoodBois International ApS (WBI) for US$14.8m.

• WBI consists of three operations – a wood trading business in Côte d’Ivoire, a sawmill operation in Gabon with 41,300ha of concessions and an under construction veneer factory in Gabon, which is due to be completed in H2 and should contribute to earnings from 2018 onwards. The group employs c150 people.

• The US$14.8m consideration will be paid in three tranches. OBT will pay US$3m cash and US$3.8m in new OBT ordinary shares on completion of due diligence (target: 30 June), US$3m 120 days after completion (or on 30 September 2017, whichever is earliest) and US$5m over five years in quarterly payments starting 30 September 2017 (conditional on the continued employment of the two founders).

• In FY 2015, WBI generated revenues of DKK 106.8m (then £10.4m), an EBIT of DKK 2.54m (then £0.25m).

VSA Comment

This acquisition represents OBT’s first major move since raising cUS$27m in 2016 and early 2017 as it looks to build a leading African forestry and agriculture business.

WBI has been starved of working capital in recent years and as such OBT will look to secure export finance to significantly expand WBI’s trading operations as well as investing cUS$500k to increase the output of its sawmill (current annual capacity 24,000m3 sawn timber) and complete construction of the veneer factory in H2 (planned annual capacity of 18,000m3 veneer).

This deal also provides OBT with an established trading operation for its existing hardwood operation in Mozambique to gain greater access to international markets, with WBI currently selling wood into more than 40 separate countries. Importantly for a trading business that relies on personal networks, the two founders of the business have agreed to remain with the company for a minimum of five years.

Management believe that with additional capital WBI could rapidly improve its financial performance, contributing an operating profit of more than cUS$12m to the group by 2019 under its base case scenario.

We maintain our BUY recommendation but place our target price under review while we assess the likely impact of this significant acquisition on the wider OBT business.

Wynnstay H1 2017 Trading Update

Wynnstay Group (LON:WYN), a UK manufacturer and supplier of agricultural inputs and retail group, has updated on trading for the six months to 30 April 2017.

• WYN’s pet business, Just for Pets (JfP), has produced a loss in H1, which will result in a non-cash goodwill impairment charge being booked. Excluding JfP, H1 group performance is ahead YoY. JfP restructuring plans to be announced in H2

• Group H1 reported profits will therefore be materially below those reported last year with its adjusted PBT (before the impairment) marginally below last year, due to the loss in JfP

• Interim results will be announced on 21 June 2017

VSA Comment

Following on from UK-listed agricultural peer Carr’s Group (CARR LN)# earlier in the year, WYN has delivered its own profit warning, despite generally improving conditions in its core UK agricultural business.

WYN has long discussed the challenging trading conditions in its pet business, as well as the below expectations performance of newly opened stores. WYN had been trying to address this through the launch of new concept stores and a focus on service sales (in-store vaccinations etc…), which has been the strongest performing sub-sector in the industry. (Earlier this year, industry leader Pets at Home (PETS LN) highlighted ‘Merchandise’ like-for-like revenue growth slowing to -0.5% YoY in its Q3 (14 Oct – 5 Jan) but ‘Services’ revenue growth continuing to show decent strength, +7.0% YoY).

The 25 JfP stores contribute a proportion of group profit in the low single digits and given the challenges and seemingly unrelated nature of the business have long been seen by investors as a potential target for disposal. We would expect this to be at least considered as part of its upcoming strategic review for this division.

]]> Top End Minerals proposes investment in zinc-lead-copper-silver mine Wed, 24 May 2017 04:00:00 +0100 Consolidated Zinc identifies new geophysical target in Mexico Wed, 24 May 2017 03:00:00 +0100 Lithium Australia NL achieves very high lithium recoveries Wed, 24 May 2017 03:00:00 +0100 Maximus Resources among ASX % Gainers intra-day Wed, 24 May 2017 01:30:00 +0100 Black Rock Mining receives high purity metallurgy results Wed, 24 May 2017 01:00:00 +0100 Azumah Resources samples more high grade gold in West Africa Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Echo Resources continues to make progress in the Yandal gold belt Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 UEX shares bolstered as it unveils final assays from Ōrora zone Tue, 23 May 2017 19:07:00 +0100 Royal Road Minerals now owns 100% of Caza Gold Corp Tue, 23 May 2017 17:55:00 +0100 Canarc Resource hires Nevada specialist as US exploration manager Tue, 23 May 2017 15:40:00 +0100 Cadence associate Macarthur finds healthy lithium indications from latest sampling in Nevada Tue, 23 May 2017 14:37:00 +0100 Citigroup thinks there is a “high likelihood” that Lonmin will have to make another cash call later this year Tue, 23 May 2017 13:00:00 +0100 Upheaval in junior mining as leading ETF GDXJ set to rebalance portfolio in June Tue, 23 May 2017 11:20:00 +0100 Greatland Gold extends strike at Bromus project Tue, 23 May 2017 09:53:00 +0100 Base Resources to ramp up mineral sands production at Kwale Tue, 23 May 2017 07:26:00 +0100 IronRidge Resources uncovers "exceptional" lithium grades on Ghana project Tue, 23 May 2017 07:09:00 +0100 Shanta Gold produces first underground ore at New Luika Tue, 23 May 2017 06:52:00 +0100 Mustang Resources bolsters ranks ahead of first ruby auction Tue, 23 May 2017 05:00:00 +0100 Rox Resources drilling to upgrade nickel potential at Fisher East Tue, 23 May 2017 03:30:00 +0100 Argosy Minerals to fast-track works at Rincon Lithium Project Tue, 23 May 2017 02:00:00 +0100 WPG Resources eyes gold mine life extension at Challenger Tue, 23 May 2017 01:00:00 +0100 Renascor Resources shares rise on positive Siviour Graphite study Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Viking Mines has an acquisition update to reveal Mon, 22 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 White Cliff Minerals reveals high gold recoveries at Aucu Mon, 22 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Lincoln Minerals eyes increased graphite potential at Kookaburra Mon, 22 May 2017 22:30:00 +0100 Leading Edge riding the electric car wave with encouraging Woxna tests Mon, 22 May 2017 20:34:00 +0100 Liberty One Lithium set to buy up to 80% of prospective Argentina project Mon, 22 May 2017 19:23:00 +0100 CanAlaska on the hunt for new partners to advance drill testing at Cree East Mon, 22 May 2017 15:12:00 +0100 Peter Dasler, president of CanAlaska Uranium Ltd (CVE:CVV) talks through with Proactive's Andrew Scott their decision to buy back a 50% interest in the Cree East uranium project from their four Korean partners.

Dasler also touches on recent drilling at the Nisku deposit.

]]> Shanta Gold arranges US$10mln loan using new power station Mon, 22 May 2017 14:02:00 +0100 Leading Edge Materials' Blair Way 'encouraged' by lithium-ion battery cell tests Mon, 22 May 2017 13:38:00 +0100 Blair Way, president and chief executive of Leading Edge Materials Corp (CVE:LEM) tells Proactive they've reported encouraging test findings of 18650 lithium-ion battery cells made using high-purity graphite from their Woxna mine in Sweden.

]]> Vast Resources confident SSA investment will be completed in the near term Mon, 22 May 2017 12:48:00 +0100 Rio Tinto shares gain as Barclays and UBS welcome shareholder cash returns Mon, 22 May 2017 12:38:00 +0100 Metals Exploration to seek more funds as Runruno ramp-up slower than expected Mon, 22 May 2017 12:15:00 +0100 Asiamet Resources describes metallurgical test work as "very positive" Mon, 22 May 2017 10:30:00 +0100 Thor Mining posts big resource hike at Pilot Mountain in Nevada Mon, 22 May 2017 10:00:00 +0100 Cadence Minerals rises as more progress is made at Yangibana Mon, 22 May 2017 09:49:00 +0100 'The market's finally waking up' - Greatland Gold's Gervaise Heddle Mon, 22 May 2017 09:44:00 +0100 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold stopped by Proactive's studio to update on what's been a busy seven days for the company.

Today they've reported an airborne survey at their Ernest Giles project which has identified several new structural targets indicative of gold mineralisation.

The survey covered a large portion of the 1,800 sq km project, including the recently acquired East tenements.

]]> Thor Mining's Mick Billing on big resource hike at Pilot Mountain Mon, 22 May 2017 09:41:00 +0100 Mick Billing, executive chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've seen a 55% increase in the resource at their Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada.

Pilot Mountain now has an estimated 11.73mln tonnes at 0.28% WO3

]]> Hummingbird Resources announces "significant milestone" for Yanfolila project with delivery of the ball mill Mon, 22 May 2017 09:20:00 +0100 Sunrise Resources to accentuate the pozzolan Mon, 22 May 2017 08:39:00 +0100 Greatland Gold identifies more gold targets at Ernest Giles through airborne survey Mon, 22 May 2017 08:16:00 +0100 Condor Gold unveils “excellent” results from initial drill programme at its La India Project in Nicaragua Mon, 22 May 2017 08:00:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 22 May 2017 07:27:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has announced that it has completed the balance of payments to Equity Drilling Limited via the issue of 52.4m shares at 0.43p. SULA previously announced that a significant portion of the contract would be paid for via equity. The dilution of just 2% has been minimised as a result of the shares strong performance, indeed, the shares have risen 95% since the contract was agreed.

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

]]> Celsius Resources managing director buys stock on-market Mon, 22 May 2017 05:30:00 +0100 Red River Resources intersects gold and zinc at Liontown East Mon, 22 May 2017 04:00:00 +0100 Encounter Resources bags $2.9M to advance gold projects Mon, 22 May 2017 03:30:00 +0100 Vital Metals on a high-grade gold streak in Burkina Faso Mon, 22 May 2017 03:00:00 +0100 Graphex Mining to update on off-take and financing negotiations Mon, 22 May 2017 03:00:00 +0100 Segue Resources prepares for gold drilling at Barlee Mon, 22 May 2017 02:00:00 +0100 Cape Lambert Resources to acquire another cobalt asset Mon, 22 May 2017 01:00:00 +0100 Cokal to reveal project financing Mon, 22 May 2017 00:30:00 +0100 Coventry Resources to reveal acquisition Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Empire Resources gold mining on schedule at Penny’s Find Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Predictive Discovery trades on deferred settlement during consolidation Sun, 21 May 2017 23:30:00 +0100 Neometals on-market buyback has snapped up nearly 12 million shares Sun, 21 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Matsa Resources to provide exploration update Sun, 21 May 2017 22:30:00 +0100 Jubilee Platinum shares surge as it completes Hernic project Fri, 19 May 2017 14:08:00 +0100 Horizonte Minerals focuses on sustainability team as it looks towards Araguaia construction Fri, 19 May 2017 14:07:00 +0100 Markets spooked by Trump’s disregard for law, spies and media Fri, 19 May 2017 13:55:00 +0100 Latin American Minerals completes first tranche of fund-raising Fri, 19 May 2017 13:52:00 +0100 Market warms to Strategic Minerals' diversification Fri, 19 May 2017 11:10:00 +0100 Gemfields receives nil-premium bid from main shareholder Pallinghurst Fri, 19 May 2017 10:25:00 +0100 Stratex International commits to more exploration in Egypt Fri, 19 May 2017 07:37:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Fri, 19 May 2017 07:16:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR) has announced the issue by the Environment Agency of the variation to the Mining Waste Permit for the planned Wressle field development and associated operations.

The issue of this permit is a key regulatory approval in the proposed Wressle development and provides support to the new Planning Application as submitted on 28 April 2017. This application included additional information to specifically address the concerns raised by the local council on the first refusal of Wressle. We remain confident that this new application will be accepted.

We now await further news from the company on the updated timing of the development. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> Condor Gold continues to show major gold district at La India Fri, 19 May 2017 06:56:00 +0100 Watpac wins contract to build $73M aged care facility in Melbourne Fri, 19 May 2017 06:00:00 +0100 Cape Lambert Resources granted interim injunction by High Court of Sierra Leone Fri, 19 May 2017 05:30:00 +0100 Lefroy Exploration gold assays support emerging Red Dale Prospect Fri, 19 May 2017 03:30:00 +0100 Walkabout Resources chairman takes stock in lieu of fees Fri, 19 May 2017 03:00:00 +0100 Zak Mir: Shanta Gold can rebound as high as 11p Thu, 18 May 2017 10:58:00 +0100 Tanzanian gold miner Shanta (LON:SHG) may rebound as high as 11p according to its chart, technical analyst Zak Mir tells Proactive Investors.

]]> Stratex merger 'really exciting for the company' - CEO Marcus Engelbrecht Thu, 18 May 2017 09:56:00 +0100 Marcus Engelbrecht, chief executive of Stratex International plc (LON:STI) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through the news they're to merge with Crusader Resources Ltd (ASX:CAS).

Crusader has two advanced gold projects in Brazil, Borborema and Juruena, with combined JORC-compliant resources of 2.7Moz Au, as well as the Posse iron ore mine.

The share based-deal values Crusader at £31.1mln (A$54.2mln) and will see its shareholders end up with an 81% stake in the enlarged company.

]]> Interest in Ariana Resources' Salinbas target grows after deal next door Wed, 17 May 2017 15:01:00 +0100 Kerim Sener, managing director of Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU) tells Proactive they've received more indications that the gold resource at Kiziltepe is larger than thought with assay results from a site to the west of the mine.

Sener also mentions to Andrew Scott there's been outside interest in their Salinbas target following a takeover last month of Mariana Resources by Sandstorm.

]]> W Resources' Michael Masterman on La Parrilla funding & development Wed, 17 May 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Michael Masterman, chairman of W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) tells Proactive they're closing in on US$24mln in debt finance to fund the next stage of construction at the La Parrilla tin and tungsten mine in Spain.

Masterman also says their 100% owned subsidiary, Iberian Resources Spain SL has formally submitted the final Grant Application to the Junta de Extremadura Government for the project.

]]> Tharisa boss on a 'record financial performance' in H1 Tue, 16 May 2017 15:05:00 +0100 Phoevos Pouroulis, chief executive of Tharisa PLC (LON:THS), tells Proactive's Stocktube they more than doubled revenues to US$175 mln in the half year to March 31st 2017, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose by more than 451% to US$81 mln.

]]> Lionsgold's Cameron Parry 'very excited' about release of Index Gold Tue, 16 May 2017 12:55:00 +0100 Cameron Parry, chief executive of Lionsgold Limited (LON:LION) talks through with Proactive's Andrew Scott the release into the public domain of IndexGold - the company’s financial technology app.

]]> 'A great day for Greatland Gold' - CEO Gervaise Heddle on Newmont deal Tue, 16 May 2017 09:32:00 +0100 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) talks through with Proactive's Stocktube the detail of their deal with giant Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM).

The New York-listed group has been granted exclusive access to the tenements and exploration database for six months and has the right of first refusal should Greatland opt to sell or joint venture the asset in that period.

]]> Newmont tie-up can propel Greatland Gold shares to 0.6p, claims Zak Mir Tue, 16 May 2017 08:55:00 +0100 After today’s tie-up with Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM), Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) could almost double its share price in the coming few months, so says technical analyst Zak Mir.

“We already had a spike to the upside at the beginning of the year through the 200-day moving average and the shares have basically been above that ever since,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“While we hold the 200-day line, [we’re] looking for a push towards the top of this rising January trend channel at 0.6p over the next three to four months.”

]]> Petropavlovsk's Peter Hambro on stepping aside as chairman Mon, 15 May 2017 10:40:00 +0100 Peter Hambro tells Proactive he won't be standing for re-election as chairman of Petropavlovsk PLC (LON:POG), after the company decided, as development continues, the appointment of an independent chairman would be more appropriate for corporate governance purposes.

]]> Mowana mine hitting full-time production 'all good stuff', says Alecto's Mark Jones Mon, 15 May 2017 10:21:00 +0100 Mark Jones, chief executive of Alecto Minerals PLC (LON:ALO) tells Proactive their Mowana copper mine in Botswana is now in full-time production.

]]> Group Eleven Resources keen to 'move the needle' on Ireland exploration Mon, 15 May 2017 07:59:00 +0100 Group Eleven Resources is a privately-held company, less than two years old, but already has over 2,700 square kilometres under license in Ireland.

Bart Jaworski, chief executive of Group Eleven Resources tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're hoping 2017 will see them move the needle on their exploration.

''Our most advanced asset is Silvermines by far, it's actually a bona fide discovery that was made in 1994/95 ... only recently did it come back onto the market'... we're very, very happy with it', Jaworski says.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Premier Oil PLC Mon, 15 May 2017 07:18:00 +0100 Premier Oil (LON:PMO)

Premier Oil (PMO) has produced a positive operational update ahead of its AGM on 17 May. Production for the year to date has averaged 82.6kboepd  (+44% YoY) and ahead of the current full year guidance of 75kboepd. PMO will update further on its FY production guidance once the summer maintenance period is over. The strong operational performance is largely driven by its UK North Sea operations which averaged 45.7kboepd (+160% YoY) due to a full contribution from the acquired E.ON assets and Solan.

Over this period PMO’s operating costs averaged US$13.7/boe, 11% ahead of its budget, whilst G&A costs are also anticipated to be below budget. Similarly development and exploration spend for 2017 is expected to be US$350m, reduced from US$390m, this is largely due to the deferral of a summer well workover on Solan. Net debt remains unchanged from year end at US$2.8bn with financial headroom of US$585m. PMO expects to be cash flow positive after capex and disposals in 2017 above US$50/bbl allowing it to start reducing its net debt. With the refinancing programme now completed the outlook for PMO is looking better, so long as Brent remains above US$50/bbl.

]]> Predictive Discovery talks next steps on drilling programs in West Africa Mon, 15 May 2017 05:00:00 +0100 Paul Roberts, managing director for Predictive Discovery, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Savannah Resources' David Archer 'pleased' with Oman mine development Fri, 12 May 2017 13:28:00 +0100 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) tells Proactive they've lodged an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Mahab 4 copper mine development - the final part of their permit applications for two copper mines in Oman.

]]> The uneasy calm in markets can’t last, and may be bullish for gold Fri, 12 May 2017 13:09:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold's Roger Murphy 'really encouraged' with Ferensola assays Fri, 12 May 2017 11:07:00 +0100 Roger Murphy, chief executive of Sula Iron & Gold PLC (LON:SULA) tells Proactive they've hit their best grades yet at Ferensola and is now more confident than ever the project hosts a major gold system.

]]> Zak Mir: Sula Iron & Gold target is 1.2p Fri, 12 May 2017 10:30:00 +0100 Gold explorer Sula Iron & Gold PLC (LON:SULA) has been on a decent trend since October when it broke through the 200 day average says chartist Zak Mir. 
Exploration news in Sierra Leone has been encouraging and as long as the shares hold above the 50-day average of 0.47p, the technical target is 1.2p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Fri, 12 May 2017 07:44:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced the results from its Batch 1 assays which cover 5 over the 14 drill holes in this current programme. One hole was from Sanama Hill (the existing Exploration Target) and the remainder were from the Eastern Target Zone which has not previously been drilled.

Highlights from hole FDD014, on Sanama Hill, included high grade intersections such as 15.9g/t Au over 4.8m (3.1m true width), and 37g/t Au over 0.75m both from within a mineralised shear zone interval with a true width of 21m. This was intersected at a depth of between 122.85m and 155.45m. These are the most promising results that Sula has returned to date and indicate that the Sanama Hill prospect may be more attractive than previously thought.

The initial results from the Eastern Target confirm that there is indeed a mineralised system present although as yet the gold assays returned have not been significant. The most notable result was a 1m intercept at 0.63g/t. However, as structural controls are better understood this will aid in defining future drilling. There are still three drill holes with results outstanding on this target, however.

Batch 2 results will include the remaining 9 holes including the final three from the Eastern Target and the samples have been dispatched from the exploration camp. The initial results from Sanama Hill are encouraging while it remains early days for the Eastern Target.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.6p

]]> Orion Gold updates on new drilling program in South Africa Fri, 12 May 2017 04:00:00 +0100 Errol Smart, managing director for Orion Gold, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> W Resources' Michael Masterman on a 'very solid' resource update Thu, 11 May 2017 11:04:00 +0100 Michael Masterman, chairman of W Resources PLC (LON:WRES), discusses with Proactive a rise in grades and resources for their La Parilla tungsten mine in Spain.

]]> White Cliff Minerals' Todd Hibberd​ hails upgraded resource estimate at Aucu Wed, 10 May 2017 22:00:00 +0100 Todd Hibberd, managing director for White Cliff Minerals, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> First quarter 'the sign of a good year ahead' - Anglo Pacific's Julian Treger Wed, 10 May 2017 12:52:00 +0100 Julian Treger, chief executive of Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF TSE:APY) runs Proactive's Andrew Scott through the group's first quarter update.

''Our income has gone from £2mln to £10mln which is a huge jump and I think it's a sign of the strength of the market we see coming through for the rest of the year''.

]]> Mawson Resources seeing 'great results' from drilling at Rompas-Rajapalot Wed, 10 May 2017 10:28:00 +0100 Michael Hudson, chairman and chief executive of Mawson Resources Ltd (TSX:MAW) tells Proactive they're seeing great results from drilling at Rompas-Rajapalot.

''Very pleased with the results, but the scales - this was the first stage of exploration if you like'', Hudson says.

''We've done a lot of work over the last few years but this was the first systematic test over the whole property ... we've been seeing gold literally in drill holes on the most southern, western and eastern parts of the system''.

''We doubled the depth of our first known high grade area and made at least one other discovery of another high grade shoot so we're seeing some great results''.

]]> 'It's expandable at all scales' - Hannan Metals' Michael Hudson on Kilbricken potential Wed, 10 May 2017 10:15:00 +0100 Michael Hudson, chairman and chief executive of Hannan Metals Limited (CVE: HAN) talks Proactive through their exploration plans at the Kilbricken zinc-lead-silver project in Ireland.

]]> Weak Yen: Good news for Nikkei - Tip TV Wed, 10 May 2017 09:54:00 +0100 Ronnie Chopra, Chief Market Strategist at TJM Partners tells Tip TV that Japan’s Nikkei index looks given the Japanese Yen is being offered and the USD/JPY pair looks set to test 115.00-116.00 level in the short-term.
Chopra also discusses the outlook for GBP/USD, Copper futures and Anglo American.

]]> Premier African's George Roach looking ahead to 'good and profitable' operation at RHA Wed, 10 May 2017 09:16:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) runs Proactive's Andrew Scott through latest developments at their RHA mine in Zimbabwe as well as drilling at the  'very encouraging' Zulu lithium and tantalum project.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Wed, 10 May 2017 07:18:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO)# has announced that Leo Koot will be appointed as its Executive Chairman effective immediately, with Neil Ritson stepping down from his role of Chairman and CEO.

We see this as a particularly positive appointment by LGO when considering the calibre of Leo’s track record. Leo has over 28 years of industry experience and he brings both financial and technical experience to LGO.

His experience in the industry includes his role as Managing Partner of MENA Gulf Investment Partners (Abu Dhabi), President of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Managing Director of TAQA UK where he built the organisation from a few people to over 2,000 staff and contractors and delivered a mature E&P operating company that managed 60,000 barrels/day production with US$1.7 billion in annual revenues.

Leo has also held roles as a board member at AIM listed Sterling Energy (SEY LN) and as CEO of Energy Development Partners, an oil and gas business creating ways to match capital and resources with developing production. In this role he helped raise a US$350 million private equity fund.

LGO has also announced its intention to change the company’s name to Columbus Energy Resources by the end of this month.

Following this news, we maintain our BUY recommendation and keep our TP under review whilst we await an update of the new management’s plans going forward.

]]> European Lithium presents an economic and valuable project for clean energy Tue, 09 May 2017 22:00:00 +0100 Steve Kesler, chief executive officer for European Lithium, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> 'We're very pleased with how things are coming along' - Anglo Asian's Bill Morgan Tue, 09 May 2017 12:23:00 +0100 Bill Morgan, chief financial officer at Anglo Asian Mining Plc (LON:AAZ) caught up with Proactive Investors for an update on developments at their properties in Azerbaijan.

''We're very pleased the way things are going at Anglo Asian Mining at the moment ... last year we returned the company to profitability. This was after a couple of years of being a loss-making company - obviously that was something we were very pleased with''.

Anglo Asian’s 2017 production target remains in the range of 64,000 to 72,000 ounces of gold, but the source of this production will temporarily change as Ugur comes on stream: mining operations at the Gedabek open pit will simultaneously be scaled back till the end of the year to allow for a greater focus on existing stockpiles.

]]> Caledonia Mining 's Blanket development going well says CEO Tue, 09 May 2017 11:28:00 +0100 A tweak to  guidance this year reflects the juggling act between current production and the huge upgraded currently underway says Caledonia's CEO Steve Curtis.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Dakota Minerals, Millennial Lithium, Metal Tiger Tue, 09 May 2017 07:51:00 +0100 Dakota Minerals (ASX:DKO)

Yesterday, Dakota Minerals (DKO) announced that it was entering the Scandinavian lithium minerals sector with the acquisition of newly granted leases in Sweden. Three areas have been acquired - Spodumenberget (Spodumene Mountain), Raggen, and Hamrange - all in eastern Sweden near the coast.

Spodumenberget was previously sampled by LKAB in the 1980s and found to have pegmatites over a large area with some tin and columbite also. The Hamrange area contains multiple pegmatites as well. The Raggen area is a historic tin-bearing pegmatite area.

Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

MTR announced late yesterday that it was exiting the Semenovsky tailings treatment venture with Eurasia Mining (EUA LN). Semenovsky is a Russian tailings re-treatment project dominated by silver which was in assessment for a new plant. MTR will have no further interest in the JV and will focus its capital on its base metal projects.

MTR appears to have had a nominal investment in the venture of less than £0.5m and we have never considered this project material to the MTR investment case.

We re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 5.68p price target

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has added veterans of Allana Potash to its management and board of directors with the appointment of Farhad Abasov as CEO and director, Richard Lacroix as Director, and Peter J. MacLean as Sr. VP of Technical Services.

Mr. Abasov has over 15 years of experience and most recently Mr. Abasov served as President & CEO of Allana Potash Corp., a potash development company which was sold to Israel Chemical Ltd. (ICL NY) for US$170M in 2015.

Mr. Lacroix has extensive experience in all aspects of potash mining, processing and marketing including 30+ years with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (PCS).  Mr. Lacroix is a former Senior Vice President of PCS and former Director and Chairman of Canpotex. Most recently Mr. Lacroix served as a Director for Allana Potash.

Most recently Dr. MacLean acted as SVP-Exploration of Allana Potash Corp. and directed all exploration and development activities on its flagship Danakhil Potash Project in Ethiopia up to its takeover by Israel Chemicals (ICL NY) including managing the Company's Feasibility Study and overseeing pilot solution mining and evaporation pond trials.

The appointments of Mr. Abasov and Mr. Lacroix as directors follow the resignations of Mr. Brian Morrison and Mr. Brent Butler as Directors. The appointment of Mr. Abasov as Chief Executive Officer follows the resignation of Mr. Kyle Stevenson as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Stevenson will remain as President and director of the Company for the transition period.

The addition of these experienced men in feasibility studies on brines should serve ML well in coming months as it advances its Pastos Grandes brine project in Argentina.

We re-iterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> Zak Mir tips Sula Iron and Gold shares to almost double Mon, 08 May 2017 08:20:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir has tipped the Sula Iron and Gold PLC (LON:SULA) share price to almost double over the coming months and head past the penny mark.

“We’ve seen the shares already rise over recent months,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“[There was] the big break through at the end of October with the clearance of the 200-day moving average which is at 0.27p currently.

“There’s a rising trend channel that can be drawn from that you can draw from the autumn with the top of the channel heading as high as 1p to 1.1p and that target is valid while we hold above the 50-day average of 0.46p.”

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]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 08 May 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Sula Iron and Gold (LON:SULA)

The current drilling program on the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone is now complete. A total of 14 drill holes comprised of 3,788m, 40% more than planned, have been completed. We believe this extra drilling was accomplished without additional expense above the pre-drilling budget.

Drilling extended previously completed holes in Zone 1 (Sanama Hill) and tested two other new targets (TZ2- the Eastern target, and TZ4) based upon surface sampling and geophysics anomalies as well. A hole was also for the first time put into the ‘Kuwait’ artisanal gold area, a new area of bedrock mineralisation identified last year.

A first batch of samples was sent off to the assay lab a couple of weeks ago. A second batch of samples will be dispatched from the project camp around 10 May.

We look forward to the results of the assays and re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 3.1p price target.

]]> CanAlaska's Peter Dasler excited about target potential ahead of West MacArthur drilling Fri, 05 May 2017 16:25:00 +0100 Peter Dasler, president of CanAlaska Uranium Ltd (CVE:CVV) tells Proactive they're encouraged and excited about this summer's drilling at the West McArthur uranium project.

]]> European economy in recovery mode, but China retreat drags down miners Fri, 05 May 2017 13:42:00 +0100 Amur Minerals' Robin Young pleased to kick off early Kun-Manie drilling Fri, 05 May 2017 08:35:00 +0100 Robin Young, chief executive of Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC) talks through with Andrew Scott their plans for 2017 drilling at the Kun-Manie nickel-copper project in Russia’s far east.

''We're looking forward to a very productive year'', says Young.

]]> Strategic Minerals 'takes bull by the horns' with full control of CARE Fri, 05 May 2017 07:55:00 +0100 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML), talks through their decision to acquire CARE - Central Australia Rare Earths.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Fri, 05 May 2017 07:46:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO)# has reported its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2016. Operationally LGO was constrained in 2016 by the BNP Paribas (BNPP) loan facility which saw production from its Goudron Field materially reduced. However, LGO managed to maintain production throughout this period and group oil sales for the 12 month period were 47% lower YoY at 169,702bbls (2015: 323,080bbls).

At the corporate level LGO refinanced the balance on the BNPP facility by means of a new facility from Lind Partners, of which US$1.825m was drawn down to make a payment to BNPP and to remove the previous loan from default. Revenue for the period was 52% lower YoY at £4.55m (2015: £9.48m) and was impacted by problems with production and the lower oil price environment. Pre-tax loss for the period was £11.9m (2015: £11.5m) and was largely a result of a £7.9m impairment charge against its Spanish asset.

Post balance sheet end has seen a more positive outlook for the company as it kicked off its drilling campaign in the Mayoro Sandstone interval of the Goudron Field. We now await a further update from LGO at its investor strategy briefing on Wednesday 10 May 2017 to be held at the offices of VSA Capital, 15-17 Eldon Street, EC2M 7LD at 2:00pm.

]]> Clearwater drilling 'continuing to show strong results' - Eastmain Resources' Claude Lemasson Thu, 04 May 2017 14:44:00 +0100 Claude Lemasson, chief executive of Eastmain Resources Inc (TSE:ER) updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on drilling results from the firm's Clearwater Project as well as their Eleonore South joint venture property.

]]> Ariana Resources' Kerim Sener on 'significant' Kiziltepe resource increase Thu, 04 May 2017 14:28:00 +0100 Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU) is eyeing a substantial increase in the life of its Kiziltepe gold mine in Turkey after a big resource hike.

Managing Director Kerim Sener tells Proactive the mine is now estimated to contain 257,500 oz of gold and 4.87Moz silver to make 338,500oz gold equivalent overall.

]]> First shipment of wolframite concentrate to be made 'within days' - Premier African's George Roach Thu, 04 May 2017 12:53:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) tells Proactive they're expecting to make a first shipment of wolframite concentrate from their RHA mine in Zimbabwe 'within days'.

]]> Sunrise Resources firms up potential of CS Pozzolan project Thu, 04 May 2017 10:29:00 +0100 Patrick Cheetham, executive chairman of Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES), tells Proactive they're to throw their full weight behind the CS Pozzolan project in Nevada after a concept study confirmed its potential.

Interest in pozzolan is growing as a natural and greener alternative to Portland cement and especially in the US where traditionally manufacturers have used fly ash from coal-fired power stations as a key ingredient.

Tests at CS have shown it is a potentially large deposit of perlite, an industrial mineral which expands on heating to a lightweight material with multiple industrial uses.

''We're in the process of putting in our applications for drilling ... so we hope to be on the ground in a month'', Cheetham tells Andrew Scott.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Asiamet Resources, Glencore International, Randgold Resources Thu, 04 May 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Asiamet Resources (LON:ARS)

Latest drilling results in the infill program for the Beruang Kanan project of Asiamet (ARS) have encountered unexpected thicknesses of high grade copper deeper in the BK044 area than currently anticipated in the modelling of the open pit.  Representative values include:

• 33m at 1.11%Cu from 110.5m in hole BKM32400-10

• 18m at 1.6%Cu form 13m in hole BKM32400-07

• 20m at 0.95%Cu from 86m in hole BKM32650-05

Multiple intervals of high grade copper have been encountered in this area with many zones grading well over 2% Cu. This deeper oxidized mineralisation is well beyond the PEA study pit limits suggesting the upcoming feasibility study will reflect significant increase in minable tonnes and a deeper pit model in this area.

Glencore (LON:GLEN)

Glencore (GLEN) slightly raised full year EBIT guidance range to US$2.3bn to US$2.6bn on the back of improved commodity market prices, even as Q1 production results across its commodities were mixed.

Attributable oil output was way down by 43% to 1.4mbbls due to ongoing depletion of reserves. Nickel production was down by 10% to 24,600t and copper also sank by 3% to 324,100t on a variety of local production issues at its mines. On the bright side, ferrochrome was up 10% to 439,000t and zinc 9% to 279,100t.  In these times it is a benefit to be diversified like GLEN.

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS)

A solid performance from Randgold Resources (RRS) though it was not quite as good QoQ on costs and gold production. Gold sales were down 10% to 409,603ozs vs last quarter at 453,051ozs. The gold price received was US$30 higher but did not offset the change of the cash costs which rose to US$619/oz from US$549/oz  The additional hydropower station for the Kibali mine is just about complete.

YoY comparables however were positive across all metrics with gold output, cash costs, and gold prices all improved. The cash position rose to US$600m and a dividend increase of over 50% was declared to US$1/share during the quarter.

Today’s results represent solid numbers which appear to be sustainable in the foreseeable term. The building cash pile offers great opportunity to capitalise on exploration discovery or M&A opportunity going forward.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Thu, 04 May 2017 07:41:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO) has announced details its Investor Strategy Briefing to discuss its future programme and strategy. The meeting will be hosted by the Board and attended by senior management and will be held at the offices of VSA Capital, 15-17 Eldon Street, EC2M 7LD on 10 May 2017 at 2.00 pm and will be simultaneously webcast for those unable to attend in person.

]]> Capital Drilling's Jamie Boyton 'very pleased' with Q1 performance Wed, 03 May 2017 09:11:00 +0100 A resurgence in mining activity has meant the best quarter for Capital Drilling PLC (LON:CAPD) since 2013.

Chairman Jamie Boyton tells Proactive's Stocktube: ''We're very pleased ... it's really down to a turn in the cycle.''

''Obviously we went through a challenging period which commenced late 2012 when the cycle really turned against us and then in late Q1 last year we started to see a stronger performance initially in the gold price and a stronger performance in capital raising - particularly in the junior end of the market''.

]]> Shanta Gold's Toby Bradbury 'very pleased' with Nkuluwisi maiden resource estimate Wed, 03 May 2017 09:10:00 +0100 Toby Bradbury, chief executive of Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG) talks Proactive through their maiden resource estimate for Nkuluwisi - one of the satellite deposits that surrounds their New Luika gold mine in Tanzania.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc, LGO Energy PLC Wed, 03 May 2017 07:37:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR) has announced it submitted a new planning application for the Wressle field development on 28 April 2017 following North Lincolnshire Council’s original decision to refuse the application in January. The new application includes additional information to specifically address the concerns raised by the local council on the first refusal and we are confident this new application will be accepted.

We now await further news from the company on the updated timing of the development. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO) has provided an update on its operations in Trinidad ahead of its FY 2016 results on 5 May 2017. Following the completion of the planned two infill wells in the Goudron Field, GY-682 and GY-683, the rig used to drill these wells has been demobilised whilst the new drilling contracts are negotiated for upcoming wells. Further to this, four additional infill locations have been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) and work will commence as soon as the drilling contracts are agreed.

Well GY-683 has now been placed on rod pump at a stable rate of 55bopd, ahead of company guidance of 45bopd. However, GY-682 was producing at 32bopd in the first half of April suggesting it is being affected by depletion. The well will now be left on pump and LGO will perform interventions to restore production closer to the initial rate of 55bopd.

Total production in Q1 17 averaged 435bopd, however we expect this figure to be 80-90bopd higher in Q2 due to wells GY-682 and GY-683 coming on line in the period.

We now await further updates from the company in its FY 2016 results and its Investor Strategy Briefing on 10 May 2017

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Wed, 03 May 2017 07:35:00 +0100 redT energy to Deploy Unit with the RNLI

redT energy (LON:RED), a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, will be installing one of its flow machines at the RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The site is used to manufacture and maintain the RNLI’s fleet of inshore lifeboats.

• The Gen1 15kW-180kWh unit will be used for solar firming at the site and will also operate as a back-up power provider, removing the need for a diesel generator

• The site has a 100kW solar PV farm and currently exports up to 15kW when generation exceeds demand. Once the machine is installed, excess energy will be stored and time-shifted for internal use

VSA Comment

This placement represents the final deployment of the seven Gen1 15kW-180kWh flow machines that were originally destined for the Isle of Gigha (with the other six being moved to The Olde House project in Cornwall, as announced on 18 April).

Although this is again not strictly a commercial sale, this does have commercial implications with regards to accessing further sites in the RNLI’s 238 site portfolio. While only 23 of these sites currently have solar panels installed (and the majority are sub-10kW), the RNLI has a clear desire to increase its use of renewable energy (currently c5% of its total consumption). Coupling solar power generation sites with RED’s flow machines could help accelerate these expansion plans.

More importantly for potential future product sales, this deployment also provides an unique marketing opportunity into the UK charity sector, as we understand that the RNLI currently chairs Fit for the Future, a network of organisations from the not-for-profit sector, including the National Trust and 80 other organisations, that are working together to become “climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient”.

We view it as positive that RED has now re-deployed all seven of its ‘Gigha’ Gen1 machines into attractive marketing locations and hope to see these sites generating commercial Gen2 (2017) and Gen3 sales (2018) in the coming months and years.

We currently have a BUY recommendation on RED with a target price of 22p.

]]> European Metals' Keith Coughlan on 'significant' Cinovec permit awards Tue, 02 May 2017 09:13:00 +0100 Keith Coughlan, managing director for European Metals Holdings, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Tue, 02 May 2017 07:51:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO has announced that it will be publishing its audited full year 2016 financial results and issuing its Annual Report and Accounts on Friday, 5 May 2017.

In addition it then plans to hold an Investor Strategy Briefing on the morning of Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at the offices of its joint broker VSA Capital, New Liverpool House, 15-17 Eldon Street, London, EC2M 7LD where shareholders will be briefed on the Company's plans and the Board and management will be available to answer questions.  It is also intended to webcast the event and further details will be provided by Monday, 8 May 2017.

]]> Australian Vanadium provides update following release of Quarterly report Mon, 01 May 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Vincent Algar, managing director for Australian Vanadium, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Trump’s first 100 days: an unexpected semblance of normality pervades, for now Sun, 30 Apr 2017 16:13:00 +0100 Asante Gold's Douglas MacQuarrie talks through 'encouraging' Keyhole drilling results Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:46:00 +0100 Douglas MacQuarrie, chief executive of Asante Gold Corp ( CVE:ASE, CNSX:ASE,) tells Proactive they've seen some encouraging results from first drilling at the Keyhole option property in the Asankrangwa gold belt in Ghana, which have prompted an expanded exploration program.

The work consisted of diamond drilling in 12 holes, surface sampling and ground geophysics and confirmed that the MEM showing is part of a northeast trending gold mineralized shear that is in excess of 250m in length, 120m in depth, and, significantly, open in all directions.

]]> Zak Mir: Asiamet Resources can reach 6.5p in coming months Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:05:00 +0100 Copper explorer Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) is on a rising trend and could rise to 6.5p over next 1-2 months explains Mir.

]]> Ferrum Crescent's Justin Tooth eyeing up drill programme at Toral Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:56:00 +0100 Justin Tooth, executive chairman at Ferrum Crescent PLC (LON:FCR) talks to Proactive's Andrew Scott about their decision to call time on their Moonlight iron ore project in Limpopo as well as the upcoming first drill programme at the Toral lead-zinc project in Northern Spain.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:29:00 +0100 REA Holdings: FY 2016 Results

REA Holdings (LON:RE), the Indonesian palm oil producer, has released annual results for the period ended 31 December 2016 (FY 2016).

• Revenue: US$79.3m, -12.4% YoY (FY 2015: US$90.5m); FactSet consensus was US$83.7m.

• Loss before Tax: US$9.3m (FY 2015: loss of US$12.2m*); FactSet consensus was a loss of US$11.5m.

• Own Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) Harvested: 468,371t, -22.0% YoY (FY 2015: 600,741t).

• Third Party FFB Harvested: 98,052t, -29.3% YoY (FY 2015: 138,657t).

• Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Produced: 127,697t, -21.1% YoY (FY 2015: 161,844t).

• CPO Extraction Rate: 22.8% (FY 2015: 22.2%).

• Newly Planted Land: 5,758ha (FY 2015: 2,251ha)

• No dividend declared (FY 2015: Nil)

* Restated due to adoption of amended IAS 41

VSA Comment

Another difficult year for REA in terms of cropping, with the severe dry periods in 2014 and 2015 continuing to have a negative impact on yields (FFB yield fell to c15t/ha vs. 20.5t/ha in FY 2015), and even as production began to show signs of picking up in the last two months of the year, heavy rains then arrived to disrupt harvesting operations.

Despite these issues, the company carried out significant financial restructuring during the year, improving its debt maturity profile and bringing in Indonesian planter Dharma Satya Nusantara (DSNJ IJ) as a 15% equity holder in REA’s principal operating subsidiary.

Although the operational figures have already been revealed in the February trading update, we would again highlight the record level of planting during the year, which would likely have hit 6,000ha had it not been for the heavy rainfall in the last two months. We are hopeful that this level of operational improvement can be sustained, despite the unexpected departure of Managing Director Mark Parry earlier in the year.

For 2017, REA has a planting target of 4,000ha. The group remains in active discussions to restructure the remaining portion of the maturing sterling and US dollar notes that it has yet to refinance, in order to meet this target.

Looking forward, although REA has not revealed its own cropping levels for Q1, a number of palm oil producers have already reported a significant uptick in production in Q1, particularly those in Indonesia – Anglo-Eastern Plantations (AEP LN) FFB production +20% YoY; MP Evans (MPE LN) FFB production +15% YoY; SIPEF (SIP BB) CPO production +22% YoY; First Resources (FR SP) FFB production +44% YoY. Official data from Malaysia also highlights this uptick, with CPO production in the country reported +18% YoY for Q1. We are therefore hopeful that REA will also have seen significantly improved crop levels early in the year.

However, this production surge has clearly had a negative impact on pricing, with the European CIF Rotterdam benchmark now trading at US$680/t, down from a 2017 high of US$827/t reached in late January. Expected large soybean crops in the Americas combined with the EU’s recent moves, which, if enacted, would result in the removal of palm oil from the EU’s biodiesel sector by 2020 have also contributed to the current negative market sentiment.

Despite this, recent comments from United Plantations (UPL MK) and SIP have highlighted the upside risk to pricing from any supply disruption due to the current low palm oil stock situation (Malaysian stocks are at about 8% of total consumption and exports, compared to a long-term average of c10%). This may be wishful thinking on the part of producers looking for higher pricing but significantly increasing production levels and stockpiles does seem to us to already be priced into global palm oil prices.

On the supply side there is some early evidence that the strong production increases in Q1 will not be sustained through Q2 (although we would still expect YoY growth). REA has also highlighted a relatively weak market for soymeal, which may constrain soybean oil production and support prices in H2 2017, a period which has been highlighted as a likely bearish period by most analysts (including us) for at least the last year.

Given the expected pick-up in production and other operational improvements, 2017 should prove to be a much better year for REA. It should deliver a significantly improved financial performance with a return to paying ordinary dividends certainly possible (cropping and price dependent).

]]> Voltaic Minerals Corp hoping to "shift the paradigm" in lithium production Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:16:00 +0100 Darryl Jones, president and chief executive of Voltaic Minerals Corp, tells Proactive the firm is hoping to "shift the paradigm" when it comes to lithium production.
The Vancouver-based group owns the Green Energy Project in the historic Paradox basin of Utah, which he says "holds a lot of promise".
It has also teamed up with Lithium Selective Technologies, which has a new method to extract lithium, which saves on time and costs.

]]> Zak Mir: Edenville Energy can go as high as 1.5p Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:46:00 +0100 Shares in Tanzania coal/power station group Edenville (LON:EDL) have bounced above 200 day line of 0.62p and broken the 50 day trend of 0.77p. While they are above this rising channel trend they can return to previous resistance line, or up to 1.5p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Hochschild Mining, Kaz Minerals Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:20:00 +0100 KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ)

KAZ Minerals (KAZ LN) has announced strong results for Q1 2017 with copper production up 16% QoQ and 130% YoY to 52kt as the ramp up at Bozshakol and Akotgay continued. The two assets now make up the majority of KAZ’s production and it is on track to produce 225-260kt of copper in 2017. We also note that gold production remained strong at 43koz in line with Q4 2016 but up 140% YoY. Grades at Bozshakol were stable which with rising production should benefit unit costs.

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Hochschild Mining (HOC LN) has released robust production results for Q1 2017 with attributable silver production flat QoQ and up 12% YoY to 4.1mnoz. Gold production of 61koz up 19% YoY although down 2% QoQ implying total equivalent ounces of 8.6mnoz. Stronger grades at Inmaculada enabled HOC to offset some unplanned stoppages. The stoppages mean that Q1 production is likely to have disappointed, however, HOC have maintained full year guidance of 37mnoz along with all in cost guidance of US$12.2-12.7/oz guidance.

]]> NioCorp boss extremely excited about the 'Lightweighting Revolution' Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:50:00 +0100 Mark A Smith walks us through the so-called "Lightweighting " revolution, which will be a growth driver for metals, alloys and special materials.

He is the chief executive and executive chairman of Toronto- listed NioCorp Developments Ltd (CVE:NB), which is developing the Elk Creek superalloy materials site in Nebraska.

"I'm getting extremely excited  about where we're going with this right now," he told Proactive's Andrew Scott.

]]> Mariana Resources' Glen Parsons talks through 'attractive' takeover deal Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:53:00 +0100 Glen Parsons, chief executive of Mariana Resources PLC (LON:MARL, CVE:MARL) adds some detail to the news that the Turkey-focused mining exploration specialist has agreed to be taken over in a deal that values the business at almost £167mln.

Canada-listed Sandstorm Gold, which already owns 7% of the AIM-listed company, is offering its own paper as well as 28.75p per share in cash.

]]> Turkey deal 'testament to the quality of our marble' - Fox Marble's Chris Gilbert Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:40:00 +0100 Chris Gilbert, chief executive at Fox Marble Holdings PLC (LON:FOX) tells Proactive they've bagged a €400,000 sales agreement with a Turkish customer.

Simsekler Mermer, one of Turkey's premier natural stone groups, is to take Fox Marble's Selene and Sivec marble product in a deal that marks the Aim-listed firm's first significant sale in Turkey.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, BHP Billiton plc, Fresnillo Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO)

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) Q1 2017 copper production was up 9.4% YoY although down 16.4% QoQ to 172kt due to expected weaker grades at Los Pelambres. Gold production was also weak, down 6% YoY and 42% QoQ to 53koz. ANTO is, however, on track to meet full year guidance of 685-720kt yet continues the trend of copper production underperformance by the majors in Q1 2017.

The impact of production weakness was naturally negative on cash costs which were up 12.4% QoQ on a net basis to US$1.27/lb, although down 7.3% YoY. Before by-product credits cash costs were up 8.9% QoQ and down 7.6% YoY to US$1.59/lb.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) has announced disappointing operational results as although modest gains were made in bulks production this was offset by significant declines in petroleum and copper production.

Total copper production of 939kt was down 20% YoY largely due to the strike action at Escondida although production at the other mines of 393kt was down 14% YoY also. Petroleum production of 157mmboe was down 15% YoY largely due to curtailments relating to market conditions.

Iron ore production of 171mnt was up 3% YoY as productivity improvements continued. Despite the cyclone impact BLT was able to increase met coal production by 2% to 31mnt YoY. Thermal coal production was unchanged YoY at 21mnt.

Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) has produced robust operational numbers for Q1 2017 with total silver production of 13.5mnoz up 10% YoY and 1.6% QoQ. This annual increase reflects the contribution from the San Julian mine although the marginal quarterly increase was a result of weaker ore grades at Saucito which offset improvements elsewhere.

Gold production was, however, weaker as expected and down 3.3% YoY and 17% QoQ to 222koz. FRES previously guided towards lower gold grades at Herradura in 2017. Full year silver production guidance of 58-61mnoz has been maintained along with 870-900koz gold and in order to achieve this the second phase of the San Julian ramp up is required. Currently it is due to be commissioned at the end of Q2.

]]> 'The production profile of Manaila continues to improve', says Vast Resources' Roy Pitchford Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:00:00 +0100 Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) chief executive Roy Pitchford as well as Executive Director of the firm's Romania operations Andrew Prelea, caught up with Proactive to update investors on quarterly production and operations - as well as the news that  gold and silver test production has commenced ahead of schedule at Manaila.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) has announced drill assay results from four further holes at the T3 copper project in Botswana. The current drilling is focused on the area at depth immediately below the existing Zone 1 resource; known as Zones 2 and 3.  Highlights from the latter two zones include 5.6m at 1.4% Cu and 20g/t Ag from 243m, 8.9m at 1.7% Cu and 29g/t Ag, 13m at 0.8% Cu and 9g/t Ag from 460m and 13m at 1% Cu and 18g/t Ag from 220m. Results on a further 19 holes are outstanding which are a mixture of geotechnical and infill drilling.

The drill results which demonstrate further mineralisation at depth mean there is potential for an expanded resource and enlarged PFS. However, we believe there is further potential in the surrounding license areas and recent geophysics surveys have identified further chargeable anomalies which will be drill tested as soon as approvals are granted. In addition, airborne electromagnetic surveys are due to be carried out in May 2017 in order to assess the broader area (100km2).

The PFS appears to be progressing well with geotechnical drilling complete and metallurgical testing underway. In addition, pump testing and environmental impact assessment work is due to commence soon.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4p target price.

]]> Hellyer project 'a really significant acquisition', says NQ Minerals chairman Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:24:00 +0100 Brian Stockbridge, chairman of NQ Minerals PLC (NEX:NQMI), talks Proactive through their recent acquisition of the mothballed Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania, Australia through a A$20mln (£11.8mln) deal that could see it in production within a year.

]]> Thor Mining's Mick Billing talks through 'very significant' Pilot Mountain drill results Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:25:00 +0100 Mick Billing, executive chairman at Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) tells Proactive they've reported zinc as well as further tungsten indications from latest drilling at their Pilot Mountain project in Nevada.

At the Garnet target, tungsten mineralisation was sufficient for Thor to start to prepare an initial maiden resource.

At Desert Scheelite, another target, Thor also confirmed a significant extension to the east, with higher grade targets lying deeper.

]]> Zak Mir: 'Berkeley Energia shares to add another 25%' Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:20:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the uranium mine developer Berkeley Energia Ltd (LON:BKY) to add another 25% or so to its share price over the summer months.

“Shares have fallen back from the dizzy heights of January and February at just over 70p to a major support area in the mid-40s,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“There’s a bullish divergence also in the RSI window where the shares are now oversold under 30.

“Ideally no break back below 40p ahead of a retracement of recent losses back towards the 55p level.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Anglo American Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Anglo American (LON:AAL) has reported robust production results for Q1 2017 with strong production of bulks and diamonds offset by weakness in base metal production. Iron ore production at Kumba of 10.5mnt was up 17% YoY due to ongoing mine plan improvements whilst at Minas Rio the ramp up continued with a 30% YoY increase in production to 4.3mnt. Meanwhile, met coal production of 5.2mnt was up 28% YoY while thermal coal production was up 6% YoY to 6.5mnt.

De Beers also reported strong operational performance with diamond production of 7.4mnct up 8% YoY, as curtailments were partially relaxed due to improving trading conditions. Meanwhile, copper production of 143kt was down 6% YoY due to weak grades at Los Bronces and a temporary suspension at El Soldado. We note that AAL is the second of the majors to realise weak copper production results in Q1. Nickel production, down 12% to 9.9kt was also impacted by unplanned maintenance. Platinum production was largely unchanged at 572koz.

]]> 'A good quarter on all fronts' - Goldplat's Gerard Kisbey-Green Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:31:00 +0100 Gerard Kisbey-Green, chief executive of Goldplat plc (LON:GDP) talks through the firm's operations for the three months to the end of March, telling Andrew Scott: ''I'm particularly pleased with progress made on the plant expansion and achievement of targets at Kilimapesa''.

Among other highlights, Kisbey-Green mentions the signing of their first South American agreement with shipment expected in the next quarter.

]]> Kibo Mining's Louis Coetzee talks through 'very significant' partnership with Mbeya Cement Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:59:00 +0100 Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO) chief executive Louis Coetzee runs Proactive through their announcement that they're partnering up with Mbeya Cement Company, a LaFarge subsidiary in Tanzania, as they push ahead with the Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP).

Coetzee says the deal will establish a strategic regional collaboration and reciprocal supply of materials agreement.

]]> Fundamentals returning to the fore in mining, at long last Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:36:00 +0100 New Cobre client could prove 'spectacular' for Strategic Minerals, says John Peters Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:56:00 +0100 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through the company's quarterly update for the three months to March.

The period saw record local sales at its iron ore tailings plan at Cobre in New Mexico, which is helping to fund exploration programmes for tin and tungsten in Cornwall and cobalt in Australia.

Strategic also recently signed up a new client at Cobre that it anticipates will double sales over the current year.

]]> Fundamentals 'returning to the fore' in mining, says Mining Capital's Alastair Ford Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:56:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford tells Proactive the FTSE miners have taken a bit of a battering over the past few weeks.

''Rio Tinto’s (LON:RIO) shares are now hovering at just over 3,000p, down from a three year high of 3,691.5p hit in mid-February, BHP Billiton’s shares are down from a January 12-month high of 1,477.5p to a current 1,185p, Glencore’s shares are down from a mid-March 12 month high of 341p to the current 295p, and Anglo American’s (LON:AAL) shares are off from mid-February high of 1,416p to the current 1,114p''

Ford adds that the strength in Sterling following Theresa May’s decision to hold an early election this year has weakened the investment proposition of the FTSE miners even further as they are priced in pounds but book revenues and incur costs primarily in dollars.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)
Metal Tiger  has announced that its private placing with Sprott has closed, raising £4.85m at a placing price of 3p/sh via the issuance of 161.7m shares with an equal number of warrants which have an exercise price of 6p/sh and five year exercise period. The funds will go towards the development of the T3 copper project in Botswana.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation although reduce our target price by 17% to 4p to reflect the dilution.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:18:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)
Goldplat has announced an operational update for Q3 FY 2017 and reiterated its targets for the full year. Production of 6.7koz in the quarter was down 45% QoQ and 7% YoY, however, this is largely due to a delay in the receipt of processing material in Ghana. Indeed, on a nine month basis, production of 28koz which is up 14% YoY is on track to meet the target of 45koz for group FY 2017 production.

In Ghana 803oz was produced with 5.5koz sold. The discrepancy between gold sold and produced had been expected due to an outstanding license which was received towards the end of Q2 FY 2017. However, this difference was exacerbated by a delay in the receipt of material for processing which negatively impacted production in Q3. Production in Ghana had been expected to be lower in H2 versus H1, however, and with the arrival of the first shipment of material from South America we expect a more normalised production level in the final quarter. Capital projects in Ghana are progressing on target, including the construction of the additional 4t elution column.

The South African operations delivered a robust performance with 5koz produced, up 2% YoY although down 30% QoQ due to a particularly strong prior quarter. Following the recent announcement regarding the legal proceedings with Rand Refinery, GDP has confirmed that it has identified an alternative refinery as well as Aurubis in Germany where shipments can be processed meaning it has largely mitigated the associated operational risk.

At Kilimapesa the ramp up is performing well with quarterly production of 964oz up 70% QoQ and 92% YoY. Stage Two is expected to be completed by the end of April 2017 with the crusher installed by the end of May 2017.

Overall, we remain positive on GDP’s operational performance and our forecasts remain unchanged.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 11.2p/sh. target price.

]]> Stratex International's Marcus Engelbrecht on 'positive' talks with Turkey joint venture partner Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:37:00 +0100 Marcus Engelbrecht, chief executive of Stratex International plc (LON:STI) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've resumed talks with Bahar Madencilik, their joint venture partner at the Altıntepe gold mine in Turkey over their share of revenues from mining operations.

Stratex owns a 45% interest in Altintepe and is due to receive 20% of net cash from operations until capital expenditure has been repaid, at which point it will be due 45%.

However, in February the company reported that such distributions had yet to take place.

Engelbrecht also touched on latest developments at their projects in Senegal and Egypt.

]]> 'Things are going really well', says Sula boss Roger Murphy as first samples are despatched Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:00:00 +0100 Roger Murphy, chief executive of Sula Iron & Gold PLC (LON: SULA) updates Proactive on progress at their Ferensola project in Sierra Leone.

They've now sent the first batch of borehole samples from the current drilling programme off for assay.

Sula has two drill rigs onsite.

The first rig is drilling additional holes at Sanama Hill, where the target, as defined by SRK Consulting Ltd, is 5-to-7 mln tonnes grading at between 4 grams per tonne and 8 grams between 0.8 mln and 1.5 mln ounces of gold.

The second rig is focusing on Sula's Eastern Target, comprising a 4 km long ridge, which has a very strong Induced Polarisation anomaly, and which Sula believes is indicative of pyrite mineralisation.

]]> Technical analyst Zak Mir tips Caledonia Mining shares to add 50% Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:35:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir reckons the Caledonia Mining Corporation (LON:CMCL) share price can add the best part of 50% over the summer months.

“There’s been a decent uptrend here since the beginning of last year when the mining sector turnaround started,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board segment.

“The top of the channel is up to £1.60 which would be the three to six month target here…and that’s the upside target value while we hold above 90p.”

]]> Avrupa Minerals looking to up its profile among European investors Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:58:00 +0100 Paul Kuhn, chief executive of Avrupa Minerals Ltd (CVE:ARU) runs Proactive through their two recent fundraises, where they're looking to spend the cash and how they're keen to up their profile among investors in Europe.

Avrupa currently holds eight exploration licenses in three European countries, including five in Portugal, two in Kosovo and one in Germany.

The company's recently pulled in a big hitting partner for its Alvito iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) project in southern Portugal in the shape of Oz Minerals Limited (ASX:OML).

]]> Amur Minerals takes 'major step forward' towards Kun-Manie access road construction Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:14:00 +0100 Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC) chief executive Robin Young tells Proactive they've received topographic and hydrological information on a four kilometre wide, 320 kilometre long corridor, along its planned access road route.

Once constructed, the road will connect the Company's flagship Kun-Manie project to the Baikal Amur ("BAM") rail line and will be used to transport concentrate and supplies to and from the site.

]]> European Metals' Keith Coughlan 'comforted' by Cinovec pre-feasibility study Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:04:00 +0100 Keith Coughlan, managing director for European Metals Holdings PLC, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Altyn Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Altyn (LON:ALTN)
Altyn  has provided an update on Q1 2016 production highlighting the ramp up progress. Ore milled, grades and recoveries have all improved through the first quarter resulting in production of 5.2koz gold compared to 7.3koz in the entire of H2 2016.

The monthly ramp up demonstrates a clear positive progression with ore milled at 17.8mnt followed by 18.1mnt and 28.5mnt in each month through the quarter. Grades and recoveries of 1.79g/t, 2.59g/t and 2.55g/t and 73%, 86%, and 87% respectively demonstrated similar progression.

Through the year we anticipate further improvement in grades as higher grade ore is accessed while the improvement in recoveries is expected to be sustained now that the company is focussed on processing ore solely from the underground mine. Q2 production is expected to benefit from the addition of a load haul dumper for filling underground trucks which was delivered in March. Furthermore, a prospect drilling machine delivered in April will be operational in May 2017. This should enable more accurate definition of mineralisation and reduced dilution.

We believe that the company is on track to achieve its guidance for 2017F of 40-45koz and our estimates remain unchanged.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 5p target price.

To read our recent initiation report please click here.
Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)
Sula Iron & Gold has announced that the first batch of samples to be assayed have been dispatched for analysis at the ALS laboratories in Ireland. Currently two rigs are on site with one focusing on the Sanama Hill area where the JORC Exploration Target was previously defined and the second on the significant IP anomaly known as the Eastern Target.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:27:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)
LGO Energyhas announced that the second development well of its drilling campaign in the Mayaro Sandstone is now on production. It was drilled to a total depth of 1,250ft and perforated over a 269ft interval of net oil pay before flowing at an initial rate of 80bopd, above company guidance of 45bopd. Once the natural flow period ends the well will be placed on pump at an initial stabilised rate of c65bopd.

LGO has approvals in place for the next three wells in its campaign and is now evaluating the drilling contracts before embarking on the next 3-5 wells in its programme. We maintain our BUY recommendation.
Benchmark Prices
- Brent:   US$55.36/bbl -US$0.53/bbl
- WTI:   US$52.65/bbl -US$0.53/bbl
- Henry Hub:   US$3.16/MMBtu -US$0.06/MMBtu

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Metal Tiger
Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) has announced that the closing date for the previously announced placement of £4.29m with Sprott Private Wealth has been extended from the 17th April to the 20th April. The placement is subject to certain conditions being met ahead of closing.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4.8p/sh. target price.

]]> Gold rises as Trump focuses attention on global flashpoints Sun, 16 Apr 2017 08:06:00 +0100 W Resources' Michael Masterman hails award of 'critical' Jig and Mill contract at La Parilla Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:51:00 +0100 Michael Masterman, chairman of W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) talks proactive through the award of a key vendor-financed contract at the company's La Parilla project in southwestern Spain.

The AIM-listed group announced that it has awarded the design and construct contract for the Jig and Mill to German firm allmineral Aufbereitungstechnik GmbH & Co at a contract price of €4.98mln.

W Resources said allmineral is providing vendor finance for just under 50% of the contract price on “very competitive terms.”

]]> Gold on the rise over Trump rhetoric against Syria and North Korea - Mining Capital's Alastair Ford Thu, 13 Apr 2017 12:14:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford talks through the rise of gold on the back of tensions between US President Donald Trump and Syria as well as North Korea.

Ford asks: ''Is he feeling the pressure at home and so looking to divert attention by taking action abroad?''.

''This is the cue for investors to come into gold because they're looking for a bit of safety in this uncertain environment'', Ford says.

''I always like to mention Galantas Gold in particular because they're the only gold miner which is going to be incurring costs in sterling and selling its gold in sterling .... sterling is so weak against the dollar that that has a multiplier effect given that gold is also strong against the dollar''.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:10:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced that the holdings of Madini Occidental (304.6m shares), a subsidiary of Madini Minerals, have been transferred entirely, including warrants (304.6m warrants) to Galactic Tide. Madini does continue to hold 38.1m shares through a different subsidiary, “Ongeza Mining”. Aside from the initial US$400k cash investment, Madini’s contribution has been technical and capital markets advice which has primarily come from Roger Murphy and Iain Macpherson in their executive roles for SULA. Roger and Iain remain committed to SULA and there is no operational change as a result of the share transfer.

With 304.6m shares Galactic Tide, its interest in Sula is now approximately 13.76%. Galactic is a private investment company incorporated in the Seychelles. This means that despite the transfer, SULA, continues to have a strategic partner as a key shareholder. Indeed, Iain Macpherson holds an indirect shareholding in Galactic meaning his combined direct and indirect interest represents 5.8%. Furthermore, Mike Warren, an experienced mining professional and 100% owner of Equity Drilling, the drill contractor on the current programme, has a non-controlling shareholding in Galactic (meaning a personal indirect interest in SULA of 6.9%).

We reiterate our Spec Buy recommendation and 1.6p target price

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced positive results from its recent geophysical survey at its Cauchari East project, as expected. The survey identified high resistivity upper zones and low resistivity lower zones. Low electrical resistivity is likely an indication of brine bearings sediments based on the evidence of technical studies on adjacent properties owned by Lithium Americas (LAC US) and therefore likely represent a continuation of the same brine bearing aquifers.

The results demonstrate continuous block of between 72-105m thick running north south. Towards the southern end of ML’s tenement the thickness increases beyond capability of the measuring equipment whilst there is also indications of further confined low resistivity zones. An application for a permit to drill has been applied for and is expected in Q2 2017.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation


]]> Noram Ventures' Mark Ireton 'extremely pleased' with phase 1 drilling results Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:59:00 +0100 Mark Ireton, president and chief executive of Noram Ventures (CVE:NRM) talks through the last batch of drill core sample results from the 46-hole phase 1 drilling program on the Zeus portion of the Clayton Valley lithium project in Nevada.

The Zeus claims are located within 1.25 miles of Albemarle's Silver Peak lithium mine, the only lithium-brine producing mine in North America.

]]> Pan African raising $123mln to fast-track construction of 'very attractive' Elikhulu project Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:50:00 +0100 Cobus Loots, chief executive of Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) runs through the details of the firm's US$123mln raise via an issue of equity and debt to fast-track the build of the Elikhulu Tailings Project in South Africa.

]]> Honduras joint venture 'a huge opportunity' for Wishbone Gold, says CEO Richard Poulden Wed, 12 Apr 2017 11:28:00 +0100 Richard Poulden, chief executive of Wishbone Gold PLC (LON:WSBN) runs Proactive's Andrew Scott through their announcement of a joint venture to tap into gold mining in Honduras.

Subsidiary Wishbone Gold Honduras Ltd has inked the 30 - year deal with SION Honduras, which has an agreement with the Honduran government to expand the mining industry there.

''This is a huge opportunity which the market hasn't really grasped at this point'', Poulden says.

''The idea isn't for us to go into mining here ... it is simply to secure supply of gold at good margins''.

The venture will provide equipment and expertise to small mines in Honduras to enable them to increase production.

In return, the mines will supply Wishbone's trading subsidiary Black Sand FZE with all the output at preferential prices.

]]> Asiamet's BKM project 'developing quite nicely', says analyst Paul Renken Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:42:00 +0100 Paul Renken, VSA Capital's mining analyst and media commentator gives his view on developments at Asiamet Resources Limited's (LON:ARS) BKM project in Indonesia.

The company's told investors that ongoing resource definition drilling continues to intersect thick intervals of copper mineralisation.

Latest holes, BKM31900-02 and BKM1900-03, were both outside of the current BKM resource envelope suggesting they will contribute new resources.

''It's developing quite nicely ... all of the initial drilling is now being infilled with additional drilling in order to move it into the categories for which the feasibility study can be measured'', Renken says.

''It's definitely hitting the kinds of resources we thought it would ... very nice, very thick, very shallow and easy to treat''.

]]> Chaarat Gold can add another 50%, says Zak Mir Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:15:00 +0100 Leading technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH) share price to add 50% over the next few months or so.

“There’s been a rising trend channel since the middle of last year with a solid break-out to start 2017,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“The view here really is while we’re above the floor of the channel around the 15p level the target could be up to 30p over the next three to six months.”

]]> New lithium projects in Mexico are 'a good, exciting opportunity', says Arian Silver's Jim Williams Tue, 11 Apr 2017 11:12:00 +0100 ''Now is the right time for Lithium'', says Arian Silver's Jim Williams following the news they've taken out an option to acquire three lithium exploration projects in Mexico.

The projects cover 1,600 hectares (ha) in Zacatecas State, a region known for its lithium deposits.

''This is a good, exciting opportunity .... the upside for Lithium is there and I think we should maximise that benefit'', Williams says.

]]> Markets 'cynical' on BHP Billiton restructure proposal - Proactive's Jon Hopkins Tue, 11 Apr 2017 10:37:00 +0100 Proactive Investors senior reporter Jon Hopkins talks through activist hedge fund manager Elliott Advisors' push for BHP Billiton plc (LON:BLT)  to consider some 'radical' moves to unlock shareholder value.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR LN) reported H1 2017 results with revenues decreasing 51% YoY to £0.51m (H1 2016: £1.05m) owing to the shut-in at Ceres. Despite this, EDR narrowed the loss per share of 0.31p from a loss of 0.90p per share in H1 2016, due to one off charges in H1 2016.

Having successfully completed a £5.06m placing and open offer in November 2016, EDR substantially strengthened its balance sheet. EDR remains debt free with a strong cash position (H1 2017: £6.80m vs. H1 2016: £5.26m.

EDR’s production during the period was c94boepd and therefore broadly in line with the revised production guidance for FY 2017 of c.100-110boepd. The revision was due to Ceres having remained shut-in since the end of the maintenance shut-down in September/October 2016.

A series of acquisitions of additional interests has been made in PEDL068, PEDL201, PEDL306 and PEDL334 and the farm-in agreement on PL161/162 has been extended to December 2018. Post period-end EDR acquired an additional unconventional resource interest in PEDL209, an a revised Opt-in agreement was also secured with Total on PEDL209.

Wressle Development - Appeal and New Planning Application Update

EDR has announced today that it will start the appeal process in respect of North Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to refuse planning consent for development of the Wressle Oil Field. We expect the Planning Inspectorate to validate the submitted appeal documentation within the next 1-2 weeks and will then notify Egdon and the Council of the start date and timetable for the appeal process.

In parallel, EDR intends to submit a new planning application during April for the Wressle development. This new application is expected to include even more detailed information to address the specific points raised by the Council in their refusal. It is also anticipated that the Environmental Permit for Wressle should be issued by the end of April, subject to the outcome of the current consultation process on the draft permit which closes shortly.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> Bacanora off-take deal 'a good transaction', says CEO Peter Secker Mon, 10 Apr 2017 14:57:00 +0100 Peter Secker, chief executive at Bacanora Minerals Ltd (CVE: BCN)(LON:BCN), runs Proactive through their off-take deal and strategic partnership with Hanwa Co.

The leading Japan-based global trading company and one of the larger traders of battery chemicals in the Asian region has agreed to buy up to 100% of the battery grade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) produced at Bacanora’s Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

]]> Strategic Minerals' John Peters 'very happy' with new Cobre supply deal Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:09:00 +0100 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) talks Proactive through the company's new supply deal.

The contract, with an unnamed private company, is for 400,000 tons of magnetite from the Cobre facility in New Mexico over several years at market prices.

]]> Zak Mir tips Bacanora Minerals shares to hit £1.30 Mon, 10 Apr 2017 08:20:00 +0100 Bacanora Minerals Ltd (LON:BCN) shares are already up more than 10% this morning, but technical analyst Zak Mir reckons they can add another 40% or so more in the coming months.

“Shares are currently around the 92p level which is approaching 2017 resistance,” said Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board segment.

“A weekly close above 95p should be enough to take the shares on a journey as high as 130p over the following three to six months.

“The stop loss on the ‘buy’ argument is back below 80p which is the floor of a rising 2014 trend channel.”

]]> 'Another solid quarter of production for us', says Tharisa PLC boss Mon, 10 Apr 2017 08:04:00 +0100 Phoevos Pouroulis. chief executive of the platinum and chrome miner Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) tells Proactive they've reported another quarter of “steady production”.

Pouroulis adds they remain on track to meet production guidance for the current financial year.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Centamin PLC Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:29:00 +0100 Centamin (LON:CEY)

Centamin (LON:CEY) has announced soft Q1 2017 production data which was down 20% QoQ and 13% YoY to 109koz. The company has, however, maintained its full year guidance of 540koz. The weakness was primarily due to weak grades at the open pit which were below the reserve grade and the company’s forecast. In 2016 open pit grades averaged 0.95g/t Au whilst in Q1 2017 they averaged 0.58g/t. In addition underground ore grades were also weaker; down from an average of 9.04g/t in 2016 to 7.44g/t in Q1 2017, however, these were ahead of the company’s forecasts for the full year of 7.26g/t.

The weakness in grades is likely to result in higher unit costs for the period although CEY has maintained its full year guidance of US$580/oz and US$790/oz for AISC.

]]> Bushveld Minerals' Vametco acquisition 'an amazing deal', says SP Angel's John Meyer Fri, 07 Apr 2017 13:43:00 +0100 SP Angel analyst John Meyer sums up Bushveld Minerals' Vametco acquisition as an amazing deal.

Bushveld has signed off on its long-awaited and transformational deal to buy Russian firm Evraz's 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation.

The latter holds 75% of Vametco Alloys which in turn runs the Vametco vanadium mine and process plant 8km northeast of Bushveld's Brits project.

''The timing was fantastic, they agreed what we think is a bargain price ... and since the deal was agreed the Vanadium price has picked up and from what I see it looks as if Bushveld is essentially using Vametco's own balance sheet to finance the deal through what is quite an innovative debt structure'', Meyer says.

]]> Panmure Gordon's Kieron Hodgson discusses monster diamond finds in Lesotho Fri, 07 Apr 2017 11:50:00 +0100 Kieron Hodgson, commodities and mining analyst at Panmure Gordon, discusses with Proactive Gem Diamonds Limited's (LON:GEMD) recovery of a 114 carat, D colour Type II diamond from their Letšeng mine as well as a recovery by Firestone Diamonds PLC (LON:FDI) of one of their largest rocks to date from their flagship Liqhobong diamond mine.

Hodgson also touched on his recent visit to Gemfields PLC's (LON:GEM) mines in Zambia and Mozambique.

With regards to their operations in Mozambique: ''I've always been a big fan of this asset ... it's like walking on a huge jewellery box'', Hodgson says.

]]> 'We're really excited about the Orora deposit', says UEX Corporation's Roger Lemaitre Fri, 07 Apr 2017 10:55:00 +0100 Roger Lemaitre, president and CEO of UEX Corporation (TSE:UEX) tells Proactive they've unveiled further positive  assays from drilling at its Christie Lake project in Saskatchewan.

The group discovered Ōrora back in January this year. It's a new high-grade unconformity zone  500 metres along strike and to the northeast of the Ken Pen deposit.

]]> Zak Mir: Gem Diamonds could rally if it posts a weekly close above this price Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:40:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir says the Gem Diamonds Limited (LON:GEMD) share price needs to post a weekly close above £1 if it wants to rally after its recent “disappointing” run.

“[Shares] have had quite a weak run over the last month or so,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“There’s a line of support from November 2015 just below 90p and really while we hold above that one would be looking for at least a rebound towards the 100p former support area.

“Really a weekly close above 100p is required to get the stock back in full recovery mode.”

]]> 'We've barely scratched what Unkur can be', says Azarga Metals' Dusty Nicol Thu, 06 Apr 2017 09:44:00 +0100 Dusty Nicol, president and CEO of Azarga Metals Corp (CVE:AZR) updates Proactive on the company's inferred resource estimate at their Russian copper-silver asset Unkur.

The  inferred resource was put at 42mln tonnes at 0.52% copper and 38 grams per tonne (g/t) silver, containing 220,000 tonnes of copper and 52mln ounces of silver.

The next phase of work will focus on targeting potential extensions of this higher grade zone.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:46:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LGO Energy)

LGO Energy (LON:LGO) has announced that its second new development well in the 2017 drilling programme successfully reached a total depth of 1,250ft. Electric log interpretation of the Mayaro Sandstone target interval confirms the presence of oil and will shortly be put into production over a net oil pay of 269ft.

The previous well in this programme, completed in Mid-March was perforated over a 273ft net pay interval producing an initial 55bpd. Three further wells have been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.

Our target place and recommendation remain under review.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:37:00 +0100 VSA Morning Agri Comment, 06/04/17

The 2017 Extel Survey is Now Open!

We hope that you have valued the service we have delivered this year. Please vote for us in the 2017 Extel Survey under the 'UK Small & Mid Caps: Consumer Goods' category. We appreciate your support. Click here to vote


MP Evans: FY 2016 Results

MP Evans (MPE LN), the Indonesian palm oil producer with residual Malaysian property interests, has released its annual results for the period ended 31 December 2016 (FY 2016).

• Revenue: US$83.9m, +15.6% YoY (FY 2015: US$72.5m)

• Profit from continuing operations: US$16.4m, +110% YoY (FY 2015: US$7.8m)

• Own fresh fruit bunches (FFB): 399,300t, -5.8% YoY (FY 2015: 423,900t)

• Smallholder fresh fruit bunches (FFB): 92,400t, -8.2% YoY (FY 2015: 100,700t)

• Outside crop purchases of fresh fruit bunches (FFB): 52,000t, +37.9% YoY (FY 2015: 37,700t)

• Crude palm oil (CPO) produced: 117,300t, +14.8% YoY (FY 2015: 102,200t)

Total dividend: 20p per share, including 5p special dividend (FY 2015: 8.75p).

VSA Comment

Given the torrid time experienced by many palm oil producers during 2016, MPE needs to be commended for its full year results, which certainly supports our view, maintained from the start of last year, that it was the most attractive of the London-listed palm oil producers. 

Crops fell (as expected and mirrored across the whole sector) due to exceptionally dry weather, but it is worth noting that H1 saw a YoY decrease of 9%, whereas for the FY this had reduced to a fall of 6%, which suggests that production is now moving towards a more normal state. This has accelerated into 2017 with its own crops to the end of March standing at 99,900t, +15% YoY.

MPE also had planting success, with a total of 3,600ha planted during the year (2,100ha group, 1,500ha smallholder co-operatives) and an additional 800ha cleared for planting entering 2017.

Away from the numbers, the real story for MPE in 2016 was the attempted acquisition from Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK MK) and MPE’s strong rebuttal in the last few months of the year (at a cost of cUS$2m). As we wrote at the time, we believe both the initial bid and the revised bid significantly undervalued the company. In the end, MPE was very successful in its defence, with the revised KLK bid attracting just 13.2% shareholder acceptances However, KLK has since bought c11% in the market and is free to try again in nine months (at the end of December).

As part of its defence strategy, MPE has paid a 5p special dividend, announced an increased dividend policy (minimum 25p total dividend in FY 2017) and commenced a £5m share buy-back scheme (c50% complete). It has also disposed of its JV PT Agro Muko for US$100m and will likely dispose of its other JV PT Kerasaan in due course.

Looking forward, investors are waiting to see MPE deploy its surplus cash (net cash US$75.3m at 31 December 2016), which may include additional land near its existing Kalimantan project (+5000ha to 20,000ha) and a potential new 10,000ha project. In particular, investors should examine the price MPE will be required to pay to acquire these new assets, as prices have been increasing as CPO prices moved upwards last year.

On pricing, the benchmark European CPO price increased almost 40% in 2016 with the Malaysian benchmark increasing almost 25% as the impact of El Niño-induced dryness continued to linger on regional palm oil production. This strength continued through January but prices have been decreasing since.

This has slightly surprised us given that this has occurred during the low production months, as we had expected weaker pricing to start in H2 given that the palm oil market was reacting to facts, not in anticipation of facts, through much of 2016. However, Malaysian CPO production saw its only YoY increase last year in December and this has been followed up with a 13% YoY increase in January and a 21% YoY increase in February. This suggests production is starting to bounce-back strongly and traders are clearly anticipating greater supply over the rest of 2017, despite another likely fall in Malaysian stockpiles for March (data due Monday).

On the demand side, exports have remained lacklustre, +1.2% YoY for the first two months of the year. With Europe the second largest importer of palm oil (behind India) investors should note Tuesday’s vote in the European Parliament in favour of certain resolutions to eliminate palm oil use in biofuels by 2020 and enforce stricter regulations on production and certification. Despite, the measures still needing to be enforced, this has the potential to impact medium-term consumption growth.

The first point is more important (if it ends up being enforced) than the second (the trend is for stricter regulations in any case), with c45% of European palm oil consumption currently used in biofuels (c3 million tonnes), compared with biofuel’s share of global palm oil consumption at 10-15%.

Global consumption of palm oil is growing at about 3% (c4% if you exclude the EU), which is about two million tonnes a year. So, assuming that all of that European palm oil consumption disappears overnight, then this accounts for the removal of about one and a half years of global consumption growth. In reality, this would likely be spread over a number of years, so the impact would likely be more muted but is still a fairly significant factor and may have negative implications for pricing. However, the potential impact could also be offset if Indonesia carries through on its promise to fully roll-out its palm-based biodiesel strategy.

The announcement that US farmers are likely to plant a significantly increased area with soybeans, a rival vegetable oil, in the coming season is also adding to the current negative sentiment in the sector.

MPE has impressively maintained its bid premium since late 2016, despite an immediate drop when the bid lapsed. This has been largely as a result of investors realising that KLK remains in the shadows but MPE’s share buy-back has also helped, accounting for c25% of an average day’s total trading volume. With c50% of the share buy-back now complete, three months into the programme, investors need to consider what happens after this (although the board may look to extend it). Any sensible acquisitions will certainly help and we expect positive cropping updates in 2017, but we suspect KLK’s continuing interest will remain the biggest influence on the share price.

We would remain holders of MPE having been strong buyers through 2016. However, although the share price seems well supported at the current level, we think it is unlikely to see much upside from here, except in the case of a stronger bid from KLK once its bid restriction period ends.

]]> Asiamet 'tooling up' to take BKM project through to development Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:52:00 +0100 Peter Bird, who's recently taken over as CEO of Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS, CVE:ARS) talks to Proactive about the strengthening of the management team and updates on developments at their main BKM project and also the Beutong project.

''A very strong team in place now, led very capably by Tony [Manini] who will remain heavily involved in it but my role really is to do the heavy lifting in that period and assist the team in satisfying the objective''.

]]> Sale of Uitkomst coal mine 'allows us to focus on our gold business', says Pan African's Cobus Loots Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:28:00 +0100 Cobus Loots, chief executive at Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) runs through the details with Proactive of their decision to sell off their Uitkomst coal mine in South Africa.

Coal of Africa (LON:COAL) is now acquiring PAF's 91% stake for R275mln (£16mln)

]]> New Bovis boss Greg Fitzgerald 'looks like a good move' for the firm, says Proactive's Jon Hopkins Wed, 05 Apr 2017 11:17:00 +0100 Proactive Investors senior reporter Jon Hopkins discusses the naming of new Bovis Homes PLC (LON:BVS) CEO Greg Fitzgerald as well as the rejection of merger talks with Galliford Try plc (LON:GFRD).

]]> South Ayawilca drilling could reveal a 'world class discovery', says Tinka resources' Graham Carman Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:08:00 +0100 Dr Graham Carman, chief executive of Tinka Resources Ltd (CVE:TK) talks Proactive Investors' Andrew Scott through their the first two holes of this year's 10,000 metre drill program at Ayawilca in Peru.

A17-056 and A17-057 were drilled at South Ayawilca - around 400 metres from the existing zinc mineral resource -  and beat the firm's expectations on the grade and thickness of zinc.

''These grades are pretty spectacular, you don't get those sorts of thicknesses and grades every day in drill holes''.

'We believe this really could be a world class discovery... we're confident the resource is going to grow and grow substantially and hopefully get into that world class scale'', Carman says.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON;EDR)

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has acquired a 12% interest in the unconventional resources exploration rights in UK Onshore licence PEDL209 located in one of its core areas, the Gainsborough Trough, from Stelinmatvic.

• As part of the consideration for the acquisition, EDR has transferred 12% out of its interest in the remaining conventional prospects on the PEDL209 licence to Stelinmatvic

• It has also issued 580,646 ordinary shares (£54k) to Stelinmatvic, representing 0.22% of EDR’s enlarged share capital

EDR has also entered into a new opt-in agreement with Total E&P UK to provide an option for Total to farm-in to unconventional resources exploration in PEDL209 and to earn a 36% interest in the licence by paying EDR’s remaining 36% (together with Total's own 36% interest) of an exploration programme of up to £13.47m, which would include seismic acquisition and the drilling of a well. The option is exercisable until 31 December 2018 and supersedes the previous agreement announced on 30 January 2014.

The acquisition from Stelinmatvic adds a total of 1,898 net acres to EDR’s unconventional resources exploration acreage holdings (949 net acres post-option exercise).

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:06:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has provided an update on the dispute with Rand Refinery relating to a batch of by-product material treated in 2016. Although the results of the Independent review support GDP’s position, in the company’s view, the Rand Refinery have not accepted the findings of the report. Consequently, GDP will now take the dispute to court. The disputed sum owed to GDP is ZAR13.5m (£640k at time of the original announcement although with the weaker pound this is now valued at around £780k).

Much of GDP’s focus in the past 12 to 18 months has been to reduce its single refiner risk by sending material to Aurubis, a European refinery, as well as the five-fold increase in elution capacity in South Africa. Therefore whilst disappointing we believe that the strong operational turnaround, as well as the recently secured US$2m loan mean that GDP is in a robust operational and working capital position, minimising any potential negative impact. Indeed, we expect no material operational impact and we continue to expect GDP to receive the full amount and a negative resolution remains unlikely, in our view.

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

]]> Eau Claire drilling 'going as good as expected, if not better', says Eastmain's Claude Lemasson Mon, 03 Apr 2017 15:03:00 +0100 Claude Lemasson, chief executive of Eastmain Resources Inc (TSE:ER) tells Proactive they're now over 92% of the way through drilling on the Eau Claire deposit.

''We will complete the rest of the drilling during April and that totals 55-58,000 metres of drilling'', Lemasson says.

He adds that the encouraging results they've been seeing will be used in its updated resource estimate for the property in the middle of this year.

In all, 118 holes have been reported since the program began in late August, 2016.

]]> Jubilee Platinum 'accelerating investment into projects' says CEO Leon Coetzer Mon, 03 Apr 2017 10:12:00 +0100 Leon Coetzer, chief executive of Jubilee Platinum PLC (LON:JLP) talks to Proactive following the release of their half-year results.

Losses were cut by more than two-thirds to £0.53mln in the period to December as revenues rose to £4.85mln.

Coetzer says Jubilee was transformed over the period by the sale of its Middelburg operations and the acquisition of three platinum surface processing projects.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Mon, 03 Apr 2017 07:41:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

On Friday LGO Energy (LGO)# announced that it had raised £2.5m by the issue of c113.6m new ordinary shares at an issue price of 2.20p, representing a discount of 12% to the previous day of trading closing price.

This fundraise comprises an institutional placing of £2.2m in conjunction with a fully underwritten retail offer of £0.3m that was announced as fully subscribed this morning.


This fundraise will strengthen LGO’s balance sheet and allow it grow production from its Goudron Field in Trinidad as well as carry out further operations on other licences, as outlined below.

• Continue the drilling of Mayaro Sandstone infill wells in the Goudron Field of Eastern Trinidad

• Close the existing arrangements with Beach Oilfield Limited to acquire a 100% controlling interest and access to their petroleum leases in the SW Peninsula of Trinidad

• Continue the preparations for a waterflood pilot project in the C-sands at Goudron

• Commence an independent resource audit of the SW Peninsula assets leading to the issue of a Competent Persons Report

• Provide corporate overhead and general working capital

We view this as a positive step made by LGO which, not least, is vital for the ramp-up of the infill drilling programme at the Goudron Field.

As a result of this fundraise we reiterate our BUY recommendation but place our target price under review whilst we determine how this raise will influence LGO’s work programme going forward.

]]> KEFI Minerals in 'heavy lifting stage of execution' at Tulu Kapi Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:36:00 +0100 Harry Adams, KEFI Minerals' (LON:KEFI) chairman, discusses the group's progress at the Tulu Kapi gold mine in Ethiopia.

"We are in the heavy lifting stage of execution," he says.

]]> Zak Mir hails ‘markedly improved’ technicals at Thor Mining as he sets 2.5p target Fri, 31 Mar 2017 09:10:00 +0100 Analyst Zak Mir says the technicals at Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) have improved “markedly” so far in 2017 and is tipping the share price to almost double in the coming weeks.

“Over the past couple of months, the technicals here have improved quite markedly,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“We broke through the 200-day moving average in the middle of February [and there was] a ‘golden cross’ buy signal earlier this month.

“Now we’ve got a rising trend channel based around the 1p level and while we’re above that, the best case scenario target over the next couple of months is 2.5p.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Millennial Lithium Fri, 31 Mar 2017 07:48:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

GDP has announced that Ashanti Gold (CVE:AGZ) has exercised its option to earn into the Anumso project in Ghana. In the first 18 months AGZ must spend US$1.5m on the project to earn 51% which included a six month review period. Once this has been spent AGZ must spend a further US$1.5m to earn a further 24% which would result in an effective interest of 67.5%.

Whilst we expected AGZ to exercise the option and begin to advance the Anumso project it is nonetheless a positive outcome and enables GDP to realise value for one of its non-core assets.

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

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

ML has made its initial option payments to gain 100% control of the Pocitos West Project of 15,857 hectares as first announced 2 February, 2017. The property can be purchased in full for payments totalling US$4.5m over the coming three years in staged payments.

The Pocitos basin is a known lithium bearing basin where ML already has a land position. The basin of 60km length lies west of ML’s flag ship project Pastos Grandes but is orders of magnitude larger in total area than Pastos Grandes. Geophysical evidence suggests the basin is at least 500m deep and tips toward the west and ML’s ground.

This acquisition further cements a growing land position of scope and scale for ML in highly prospective lithium brine basins within the Lithium Triangle.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Fri, 31 Mar 2017 07:34:00 +0100 redT energy# Manufacturing Update

LON:RED | MC: £56.6m | Vanadium Redox Flow Machine Developer

redT energy (RED LN)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced that it is delivering a 5kW-20kWh flow battery to its customer, University of Strathclyde.

The machine will be used alongside the grid and connected renewables as part of a joint project between the University and Gaia Wind at a site in Glasgow, Scotland. RED has confirmed that its production schedule remains on track and it is due to ship additional Gen2 machines to Africa shortly.

RED has also noted the announcement last week by its manufacturing partner Jabil (JBL US) that it will be closing its Livingston manufacturing plant. This closure does not impact the RED business model, with mass production always due to take place at other JBL plants around the world under its global manufacturing service agreement, in order to minimise its unit production cost.

We recently initiated research coverage on RED with a BUY recommendation and a target price of 22p.

]]> Expansion approval 'means a lot for our long-term production profile', says Energy Fuels' Moore Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:42:00 +0100 Curtis Moore, VP of marketing and corporate development at Energy Fuels Inc (TSE:EFR, NYSE:UUUU) tells Proactive they've reached a key milestone - receiving the final licence amendment, and thereby approval, from the US nuclear authorities to expand its Nichols Ranch uranium project in Wyoming.

]]> 'The market for our materials is getting bigger and bigger', says Leading Edge Materials' Blair Way Thu, 30 Mar 2017 19:28:00 +0100 Blair Way, president and CEO of Leading Edge Materials Corp. (CVE:LEM) brings Proactive up to speed on their projects - including recent drilling at their 100%-owned Bergby lithium project in Sweden.

''We're doing around 25 holes, maybe a few more if we're seeing some of the good stuff, but essentially we're well into that program now and we're expecting results in 2-4 weeks''.

]]> 'It's been a very active first quarter for Horizonte Minerals', says CEO Jeremy Martin Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:24:00 +0100 Jeremy Martin, chief executive of Horizonte Minerals Plc (LON:HZM, TSE:HZM) talks to Proactive about the start of drilling work on their Araguaia nickel project in northern Brazil that will contribute to the compilation of a feasibility study.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger and Sula Iron & Gold Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:59:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)#
MTR has announced that following further drilling at the T3 copper project in Botswana MTR and its JV partner MOD Resources (MOD AU) intend to include the additional recently discovered mineralisation into the broader resource. The initial results included an assay of 72.6m at 1.5% copper and 27g/t Ag from 250m depth as well as 13m at 1% cu and 16g/t at 271m depth.

The extent of the zone has now been delineated over a 700m strike length and sufficient drilling has now been completed to expand the existing resource and therefore the scope of the pre-feasibility study. 16 holes have been completed in six weeks and assays are currently underway. This zone of mineralisation is directly below the existing resource and has significant positive implications for the project economics.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4.8p/sh. target price.
Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#
Sula has announced that it intends to change its name to Sula Gold.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Wed, 29 Mar 2017 08:56:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

MTR has announced a placing of £4.29m led by Sprott Private Wealth and other Canadian investors at a price of 3p/sh with the issue of 143m shares. The price represents a premium of 6% to the close prior to the deal’s announcement, subsequently the stock has risen 16% to 3.275p/sh. The placing is still subject to due diligence by Sprott and will close on April 17th.

The funding will primarily be used as part of MTR’s commitment to the T3 Project in Botswana for which it has a 30/70 JV with MOD Resources (MOD AU).

We have adjusted our target price to 4.8p/sh. to reflect the dilution of 15.5% although reiterate our Buy recommendation.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:07:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced the closure of its placement which raised gross proceeds of C$5.98m at C$1.25/sh via the issuance of 4.75mn shares with a half warrant issued with each share. The price which had been previously announced represents a 5% discount to the previous close and indicates 12% dilution for existing shareholders. Each whole warrant is exercisable for two years with a price of C$1.50/sh.

The fund raise means that ML will now resume drilling at Pastos Grandes where it is targeting a NI 43-101 compliant resource. ML has identified 11 additional drill sites. Additionally ML will carry out 72 hour pumping tests at the sites measuring draw down and brine parameters to determine suitable pumping rates and conditions.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:28:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)
Independent Oil & Gas  has updated the market on the Harvey and Elgood licences.

Firstly, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has continued licence P2085, which contains the Harvey discovery until 20 December 2017. If successfully appraised, this licence has the potential to be the largest gas discovery in IOG’s portfolio, with an internal P50 estimate of 113BCF. In order to extend the licence further IOG must commit to drill an appraisal well, which it expects to do later in 2017. If this licence can be successfully appraised IOG expects to tie it back to the same pipeline which it has signed an MoU to acquire. This pipeline will also be used to export gas from the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs.

Secondly, technical work submitted by IOG in relation to the Elgood discovery has been accepted by the OGA and will be added to the Blythe Field Development Plan (FDP). This has an internal P50 estimate of 22BCF of recoverable gas.

Benchmark Prices
- Brent:   US$50.80/bbl +US$0.24/bbl
- WTI:   US$47.97/bbl +US$0.27/bbl
- Henry Hub:   US$3.08/MMBtu +US$0.02/MMBtu

Risers and Fallers (Last Close)
Risers Price Movement % Chg
Sirius Petroleum +0.09p +12.1%
Empyrean Energy +0.37p +11.5%
Serica Energy +1.50p +7.1%
Fallers Price Movement % Chg
Premier Oil -2.50p -3.8%
Urals Energy -0.38p -6.3%
Gulfsands Petroleum -0.75p -9.7%

]]> Miners wobble, but Trump dump yet to have serious impact Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:23:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Ferrexpo Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:41:00 +0000 Ferrexpo (LON:FXPO)

FXPO has delivered strong results in a turnaround year recovering from its local banks issues which resulted in the loss of a significant amount of cash of around US$592m. FXPO’s robust operational performance was, however, unaffected. Production of 11.2mnt was down 4% YoY, however, sales volumes were up 3% YoY to 11.7mnt and prices averaged 5% higher YoY at US$58.3/t. Revenue was therefore up 3% YoY to US$986m.

Cash costs were down 13% YoY to US$28/t and EBITDA increased 20% YoY to US$375m as a result of the improved cost base. Net profit of US$189m was up close to fivefold YoY while with minimal capital investment owing to the completion of ramp up activities net cash flow was also up strongly. Consequently net debt was reduced from US$868m to US$589m YoY and FXPO opted to pay a final dividend of US$0.066/sh., double last years.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:49:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG) have made the following board changes.

• Andrew Hockey joins the board as Deputy Chief Executive. He has 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry most recently with Fairfield Energy and Sound Energy. He also led the early development of Clipper South, a successful SNS producing gas field which is analogous to IOG’s Vulcan satellites development.

• Hywel John joins the board as Chief Financial Officer. He was previously CEO of Bayfield Energy, CFO of Candax Energy and senior executive at Burren Energy.

• The Right Honourable Charles Hendry appointed Non-Executive Director as a nominee of the Company’s major stakeholder, London Oil & Gas Limited, a major investor in IOG. Minister of State for Energy between May 2010 and September 2012.

• David Peattie resigns from the Board, with immediate effect, as a consequence of his appointment as Chief Executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

• Mark Routh, IOG’s Chief Executive Officer, is appointed Chairman on an interim basis.

• Peter Young leaves the board and takes up a new role as Head of Business Origination. He has a strong track record in business origination, M&A and Finance.

• Graham Cox joins as SNS Project Manager. Previously he was project manager on the Clipper South Development.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:09:00 +0000 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

GDP announced on Friday that it has secured a US$2m loan facility from Scipion Capital. The facility is available for 360 days from first draw down and is repayable monthly while annual interest is set at LIBOR plus 9.5%. We expect the expansion at Kilimapesa and consequent profits to be the primary source of loan repayments.

Since GDP funded the expansion at Kilimapesa through internally generated cash the loan will improve the working capital position of the operating subsidiaries in Ghana and South Africa strengthening the company’s negotiating position as it procures new by product material. This will also be beneficial for GDP’s push into South America since upfront cash typically improves the contracts’ terms. Secondly, we believe that the addition of a modest level of debt positively enhances GDP’s capital structure and have reduced our WACC from 8% to 7.6%.

To read our flashnote on the announcement please click here.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and increased our target price by 9% to 12.2p/sh.

]]> Janet Yellen is already feeling the force of Trumponomics, and gold is responding Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:22:00 +0000 VSA Morning Flow Test - Range Resources Ltd, Tullow Oil plc Fri, 17 Mar 2017 09:02:00 +0000 Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

Tullow Oil (TLW) have announced this morning a fully underwritten rights issue to raise approximately £607m through a 25 for 49 rights issue of c467m new shares at a price of 130p per share.

This represents a discount of c45% and c35% to the current share price and TERP respectively. This will allow TLW to lower its gearing ratio to a level it is more comfortable at, its aim is for less than 2.5x net debt/EBITDAX, which had grown to 5.1x at 31 December 2016. Reducing its level of debt will allow TLW to improve both its operational and financial flexibility which will enable it to grow the company in the next 3 to 5 years.

One of the stated use of proceeds made by TLW this morning is to “drill high impact, potentially high return prospects across Tullow's African and South American portfolio”. Therefore, we view this to be particularly positive for TLW’s partners across its licences, in particular Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)# which has a 40% working interest in the TLW operated Orinduik Block in Guyana, adjacent to the giant Liza and Payara discoveries made by ExxonMobil (XOM). TLW and ECO are about to conduct a 3D seismic survey over the Orinduik Block, which TLW estimates to contain prospective resources of 900mmboe, to refine the targets and scope out new leads. The fact that TLW have stated it plans to drill in the next 3-5 years across this portfolio is extremely positive and is ahead of our estimates.

ECO is also a partner with TLW in Namibia where TLW is contingently carrying ECO for the costs of one well on the Cooper Block. We, therefore, re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 25p TP on ECO.

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

We also note this morning Range Resources (RRL) positive set of interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2016. Operationally production was unchanged for the period at 495bopd compared to the six months prior. An independent reserves audit showed 2P reserves increased to 24.4mmboe and water injection has been ongoing on two waterflood projects, with production commencing on one of these as a result.

Financially, revenues had increased by 38% YoY to US$3.8m (H2 16: US$2.8m) largely due to higher oil prices. Whilst operating expenses improved 9% YoY to US$40/bbl. RRL also has a strong cash position of US$20.6m (H2 16: US$13m) with no debt repayments due in the next 15 months.

We view this as positive read across for LGO Energy (LGO)#  which following the restructuring of its balance sheet in December 2016 now appears to have turned the corner and preserved its reputation as an operator in Trinidad. It is now refocusing its efforts on the Goudron Field development plan, including its own water injection programme. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 22p TP on LGO.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger, MOD Resources Fri, 17 Mar 2017 08:48:00 +0000 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

MTR’s JV partner MOD Resources (ASX:MOD) has announced that it has raised gross proceeds of A$14.6m in a share placement. The funds were raised at a price of A$0.062, a discount of 2.2% to the 15 day VWAP, with 235.42m new ordinary shares issued.

MTR holds a 30% interest at the project level, which is naturally unaffected by the placing. However, MTR additionally holds shares in MOD which at the last announcement were equal to 5.0% of the outstanding share capital. We now estimate that MTR’s holding in MOD shares is equivalent to 4.4%.

The T3 project in Botswana is one of the most attractive developing copper projects globally and we believe that MTR continues to offer investors attractive exposure to its development as well as the robust outlook for copper prices.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 5.68p/sh. target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Polymetal International Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:35:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

ML has announced key changes to its fundraising which is currently underway as well as an update on the Cauchari East project. Following the appointment of Montgomery and Associates, a hydrogeological consultancy, it has been determined that the cost of the next phase of development is likely to be lower due to be reduced drilling costs and necessary drilling frequency.

This will enable any funds raised in the current raise to be used more efficiently; however, ML has announced that at this time it will scale back the planned fundraising from C$8.7m to C$5.65m with a new subscription price of C$1.25 versus the previous C$1.35 which represents a 9% discount to the last close. ML will not be accepting further subscriptions in this raise.

At Cauchari East, ML has begun a ground geophysics programme consisting of a Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES) survey. This will comprise seven profiles of the two blocks and will detect soil layering, the top of the bedrock, groundwater table and salt water intrusions with the last two key for identifying subsurface brines.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation

Polymetal (LON:POLY)

POLY has announced robust results for 2016 with revenues up 10% YoY to US$1.6bn as gold prices were up 8% YoY. Gold equivalent production of 1.27mnoz was marginally ahead of guidance while gold production of 890koz was up 3% YoY offset by lower silver production which was down 9% YoY to 29.2mnoz.

EBITDA of US$759m was up 15% YoY primarily reflecting the stronger top line as cash costs on a gold equivalent basis were up 6% YoY to US$570/oz, at the upper end of the guidance range. AISC of US$776/oz were also up 6% YoY. The outlook for next year is for a modest increase in production to around 1.4-1.55mnoz gold equivalent although unit costs are expected to rise to US$600-650/oz and US$775-825/oz on an AISC basis.

POLY announced the dividend for 2016 of US$0.42/sh. for the full year which was down 18% YoY.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, Polymetal International, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:41:00 +0000 Sula Iron and Gold (LON:SULA)

SULA has conditionally placed 128.6m shares priced at 0.4p and raised £0.5m for general working capital purposes and drilling expenses on the Ferensola project and other potential regional programs.

Shares were placed with a select list of targeted existing investors and a strategic long term Asian investor. Trading of the new shares will take place on 17 March. VSA Capital acted as broker on the fundraising. Total shares in issue will amount to 2,214m.

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO)

Year end results for ANTO showed an EBITDA rise of 78.7% to US$1,626m. Operating cashflow rose 70% to US$1,457m. CAPEX fell 24% to US$795m. Earnings per share after exceptional items and discontinued operations fell to just US$0.16/share. A final dividend of US$0.153/share was declared versus none last year.

Forward guidance is for a rise in capex to US$900m but copper output to stay as previously forecast at 685,000 – 720,000t copper metal.

Polymetal (LON:POLY)

POLY has updated JORC reserves and resources after a year of exploration and mine production. Reserves down 5% to 19.8mozs Au EQ. Resources up 29% to 16.5mozs Au Eq due to two project acquisitions and first resources calculated for Levoberzhny and Lichkvaz.

Total resources including reserves rose to 36.4mozs. These results are based on US$1200Au/oz and US$16Ag/oz. Drilling meters of 324km are represented from this past year. POLY is holding an Investor Day tomorrow.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:38:00 +0000 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LON:LGO) have announced that its first well (GY-682) in its development programme over the Goudron Field has been completed, reaching a total depth of 1,145ft. Electric log interpretation of the Mayaro Sandstone interval confirmed the presence of oil over an estimated net reservoir thickness of 408ft. LGO have now decided to perforate and place on production the 273ft with the best net oil pay within the reservoir.

This is the first well of a planned 45 well programme targeting 2P reserves of 11.8mmbbls. The next well in the programme will be spud shortly with each well planned to cost cUS$500k and come on to production with initial rates of 45bopd.

We re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 22p TP

]]> Trump v Yellen: what next for gold and the US dollar? Fri, 10 Mar 2017 14:04:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Fri, 10 Mar 2017 09:15:00 +0000 Ineos/UK Shale Gas

Ineos announced yesterday it has acquired the entirety of Engie’s (ENGI FP) British shale gas interests spanning over 15 licences, including seven of which Ineos had a previous position in, for an undisclosed sum. This reaffirms Ineos’ position as the largest UK shale gas company which now has access to an area of more than 1.2 million acres.

We view this as a positive deal for the UK shale gas industry as a whole as ENGI’s core focus moves towards power generation and consumer energy as opposed to oil and gas production, whereas Ineos is the key player in UK shale gas, with the deal coming at a time when UK shale is beginning to gather momentum.

We view Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) as an attractive way for investors to gain exposure to UK shale gas and have a BUY recommendation and 34p TP on the stock. EDR has an assessment of its undiscovered mean gas initially in place (GIIP) of 48TCF over 200,190 net acres.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:15:00 +0000 LGO Energy - Turning the Corner

Following the restructuring of its balance sheet in December 2016 and the 20 for 1 share consolidation in early March, LGO Energy (LON:LGO) now appears to have turned the corner and preserved its reputation as an operator in Trinidad. It is now refocusing its efforts on the Goudron Field development plan and looking to capitalise on its acreage position in the South West Peninsula.

Goudron Field Development Underway                                      

Following the completion of its refinancing with Lind Partners in December 2016, LGO was able to repay its senior loan facility with BNP Paribas allowing it to access previously restricted funds in Trinidadian dollars and begin the drilling of infill production wells in the Mayaro Sandstone formation of the Goudron Field, which is estimated to contain 2P reserves of 11.8mmbbls. Despite the challenges it faced LGO maintained production from the Goudron field through 2016, averaging 425bbls/d.

LGO has now mobilised a rig to begin drilling the first two wells of a planned 10 well shallow programme as it begins to ramp up production, with the cash flow from each well contributing to the remainder of the programme.

LGO also plans a full field enhanced oil recovery waterflood development at Goudron targeting over 60mmbbls of independently verified 3C resources. A low cost waterflood pilot programme, using wells already drilled, should be underway later this year.

South West Peninsula Offers Additional Value

Further to its development programme at Goudron, LGO has significant potential to add material upside from exploration in its South West Peninsula leases. Given Trinidad’s history as a prolific petroleum province we view this as a particularly exciting area with reduced geological risk.

Recommendation and Target Price

We initiate coverage on LGO with a BUY recommendation and 22p target price, in line with our risked NAV using 12% WACC and a US$50/bbl flat long-term oil price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:26:00 +0000 redT energy (LON:RED) has developed a machine based on vanadium redox flow battery technology for deployment in the commercial and industrial energy storage sector. Unlike the majority of its flow battery peers, RED’s machines have already been deployed in a number of field test environments with first commercial sales occurring at the end of 2016. 

Developing into a Forecasted Multi-Billion Market

Demand for stationary energy storage is set to rapidly increase. Although market estimates and definitions of the market itself vary wildly, most forecasters agree that the sector will be a multi-billion one by 2020. Given its highly reliable, low cost product and strategic cost reduction plan, RED appears well placed to gain significant market share in this sector.

Low Cost Product with Cost Reduction Schedule

We believe RED’s flow battery is currently the lowest cost commercially sold product in the sector. RED currently manufactures its cheapest second generation product at US$496/kWh and it has a specific technology development programme in place (no blue-sky R&D) to drive this below US$300/KWh by the end of 2018.

£14.9m Financing to Accelerate Roll-Out

In December 2016 RED closed a £12.0m placing and £2.9m open offer. The majority of new funds raised (c£8m) will be used to for sales, operations and working capital over the next two years to accelerate pipeline delivery (current pipeline c2,608 units, cUS$263m revenues).

Additional monies (£4m) will be deployed in the development of its third and fourth generation products, with the balance to be used for electrolyte working capital (£2.2m) and fees.

Recommendation and Target Price

We begin coverage on RED with a BUY rating and a target price of 22p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Mon, 06 Mar 2017 12:30:00 +0000 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal tiger (LON:MTR)# has announced positive assay results, following the discovery of significant mineralisation at greater depth than the T3 resource in Botswana. MTR holds an effective 30% stake in the JV with MOD Resources (ASX:MOD) on this copper project in Botswana.

The hole highlighted in the previous announcement MO 65D which had intercepted 72.6m of mineralisation was determined to have a grade of 1.5% copper and 27g/t silver including 18m at 2.7% copper and 52g/t silver. This mineralisation is therefore of significance and confirms the project potential to 100m below the current T3 resource sequence. Furthermore, infill drilling confirmed T3 resource continuity with 22.2m at 1.6% copper and 26g/t from 163m depth.

We previously indicated that we believed that the initial resource and our analysis of the PEA, which resulted in a mine life of nine years and an NPV of US$170m on a 100% basis, was very much a starting point. With four drill rigs currently on site conducting further infill drilling, the confirmation of strong continuity of mineralisation could enhance the existing resource and the potential mine economics.

We reiterate our buy and 5.68p target price.


]]> Chinese economic policy begins to mature as US anxiety feeds in on itself Fri, 03 Mar 2017 15:16:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Fri, 03 Mar 2017 08:39:00 +0000 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced full year results for the year ended September 2016. The operating loss of £1.8m was in line with the prior year while cash at the end of the period was £100k. Since the period end there have, however, been significant changes to SULA with a new management team put in place along with an injection of a total of approximately £1.8m including the contribution by Madini, SULA’s new strategic partner. Since the period end, the shares have rallied 369%.

In 2016 SULA changed its focus towards the gold mineralisation within its tenements; initially at Sanama Hill. A successful drilling campaign which followed the reinterpretation of historical data confirmed the presence of significant gold mineralisation on which a JORC Exploration Target of 5-7mnt at 4-8g/t which implies 0.8-1.5mnoz had been defined. Subsequently SULA carried out IP surveys and with the receipt of funds, post period end, the data was released which demonstrated 8.5kms of targets with the same geophysical signature as the Sanama Hill deposit.

The drilling programme on which SULA announced that the two drill rigs had arrived on site this week is primarily focused on these geophysical anomalies known as the Eastern Target. SULA now intends to carry out over 2,400m of drilling.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy Recommendation and 1.7p/sh. target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:52:00 +0000 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced that the two diamond drill rigs required for the upcoming programme have now arrived on site at Dalakuru exploration camp. The original target was to drill 2,400m, however, since the contractor Equity Drilling has agreed to take a portion of payment in equity, this has freed up cash to pay for additional drilling beyond the original target. We expect the drilling programme to result in the announcement of a JORC Exploration Target.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.7p/sh.

]]> President Trump one month in: gold range-bound, Europe still edgy Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:30:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Glencore and KAZ Minerals Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:29:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)
Millennial Lithium has announced that it intends to complete an equity placing of C$8.7m at a price of C$1.45 per share (6m shares), a discount of 4% to the last close. For each share purchased investors will receive one half common share purchase warrant. This will entitle the holder to purchase one common share a t a price of C$1.9 for a period of 24 months from the closing date.

Proceeds will be used to advance the Pastos Grandes project, in Argentina, particularly drilling and process and evaporation trials engineering as well as working capital. ML indicates that the full placement would enable a PEA to be completed.

Please click here for our recent initiation.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Glencore (LON:GLEN)
Glencore has announced modestly improved results for 2016. Revenues of US$153bn were up 4% YoY while adjusted EBITDA of US$10.3bn was up 18% YoY. EBITDA for energy products and agricultural products were down 20% and 19% YoY to US$1.5bn and US$138m respectively. This was despite the recovery in oil prices. However, the recovery in metals prices meant that the improvement in EBITDA in the metals division of 43% YoY to US$6bn more than offset weakness in other divisions. Net income of US$1.9bn was up 48% YoY. GLEN reduced net debt by 40% YoY to US$15.5bn, below the published target, while capex was down 41% YoY to US$3.5bn. GLEN announced a dividend of US$0.07/sh.

KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ)
KAZ Minerals  has announced strong results driven by a combination of rising copper and gold prices as well as a strong operational performance. Revenue of US$969m was up 43% YoY as copper production of 140kt was up 73% YoY and gold production of 120koz was up 245% YoY, ahead of guidance. Group net cash costs of US$0.59/lb were down 46% YoY, driven by the significant by product credit contribution. Consequently EBITDA of US$492m was up 136% YoY. Net income of US$180m reversed a loss of US$10m in the prior year. KAZ has opted to not pay a dividend given the ramp up of Aktogay and Bozshakol, which drove the increase in production, is ongoing. We note that net debt increased 18% YoY to US$2.7bn owing to continued pressures from expansionary capex. However, with the ramp ups progressing well, KAZ appears to be on track to reducing its operating leverage.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:40:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)
Millennial Lithium  has announced the results from the completion of a ground geophysics programme at its Cruz Property in the Salta Province, Argentina. Southern Lithium (SNL CN) has an option to acquire up to 80% of the project through the completion of certain payments, exploration funding and completion of a feasibility study.

A Transient Electromagnetic Survey (TEM) covering 20.25km2 demonstrated a continuous north-south trending conductive unit over a distance greater than 6km, the full distance of the Cruz property. In the central core of the property indications of brine are apparent from 30m and up to 250m beyond which point data becomes limited due to the highly conductive nature of the anomaly. High conductivity is often an indication of high lithium brine contents.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron & Gold, Anglo American and BHP Billiton Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:50:00 +0000 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)
Sula Iron & Gold has announced the issue of 9.375mn ordinary shares at an exercise price of 0.16p following the exercise of warrants. The gross proceeds raised amounted to £15k. Share capital is now 2,086mn ordinary shares.

We reiterate our Buy Recommendation and target price of 1.7p/sh.

Anglo American (LON:AAL)
Following strong production results Anglo American  has announced strong full year results. Group revenue of US$23.1bn was marginally higher at 1%. However, margins were significantly stronger owing to cost cutting and currency depreciation and EBITDA of US$6.1bn was up 25% YoY. The key segments which drove the improvement were De Beers, iron ore and coal although this was offset by modest declines in platinum and copper. Net income of US$1.6bn reversed a loss of US$5.6bn in the prior year.

AAL opted not to pay a dividend in 2016. The net debt target of US$10bn was well beaten, however, as the strong earnings combined with asset sales (US$1.8bn) and capex reduction (-37% YoY to US$2.5bn) resulted in a 34% YoY decline in net debt to US$8.5bn. AAL is targeting a further US$1bn in cost savings and is aiming to resume dividend payments by the end of 2017.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)
BHP Billiton  has released robust interim results as the strong recovery in bulk and base metal commodity prices offset production weakness in petroleum, copper and thermal coal. Group revenues for H1 FY 2017 were up 20% YoY to US$15.7bn driven primarily by the recovery in prices in iron ore, copper and coal. Underlying EBITDA of US$9.9bn was up 65% primarily as a result of the strong top line. EBITDA in the iron ore division was up from US$2.8bn to US$4.2bn while in copper EBITDA was up from US$0.8bn to US$1.7bn and US$0.2m to US$2bn in coal.

Net debt decreased from US$25.9bn to US$20bn owing to a 38% reduction in capex to US$2.7bn combined with the significant recovery in earnings. The final dividend of US$0.3/sh. meant that the full year dividend of US$0.4/sh. was up 150% YoY.

BLT has announced an increase in exploration spending for FY 2017 and 2018 by around US$400m.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Petra Diamonds Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:16:00 +0000 Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL)

Petra Diamonds (PDL) interim results were in line with expectations following a soft trading update. The significant increase in revenues, up 48% YoY, was largely due to the timing of sales with production in the period up 24% YoY to 2mncts. PDL is on track for full year production of 4.4-4.6mncts.  Realised price performance was mixed with changes in product mix the key driver. As expected the benefits of processing undiluted ore impacted earnings positively and along with the stronger top line this meant that EBITDA of US$87m was up, 80% YoY. This meant that net income of US$35.2m reversed a loss of US$2.2m in the prior period.

PDL has not yet opted to resume dividend payments. Capex of US$135m represents the majority of spending for FY 2017 which is expected to be lower YoY overall. Net debt, however, increased in the period from US$385m to US$464m.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:06:00 +0000 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

MOD Resources (MOD AU), which holds a 70/30 JV with Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced drill results which indicate further mineralisation at greater depth than the current T3 resource. The additional drilling has been carried out as part of the PFS work. This result confirms our view that there is potential for resource expansion at the T3 project.

Hole 64D indicated new mineralisation at depth below the current zone, this may be the source of a geophysical anomaly known to lie beneath the current resource. The core showed a 75m wide zone at a depth of around 247m. The drill core also shows that the mineralised interval sediments are folded upon themselves, suggesting that the mineralised horizon repeats, at least in some places. As the potential scope of total copper in resource is expanding MOD has mobilised another drill rig to speed up the effort to assess this new discovery. A new deep drill hole, to a depth of 600m, is intended to tes geophysical anomalies south and below the T3 resource. There are, however, no assays reported as yet and it is not yet possible to determine the grade.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 5.68p/sh.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:57:00 +0000 Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (CVE:EOG) is a junior E&P with licences in highly prospective offshore acreage in Guyana and Namibia. The prize catch on offer lies in the potential of ECO’s 40% working interest in the 1,800km Orinduik Block in Guyana, which is firmed up by ExxonMobil’s (XOM US) world class Liza and Payara discoveries on the adjacent block where recoverable resources are estimated to be up to 1.4Bboe.

In light of these significant discoveries being just a few kilometres updip of Liza, ECO and its partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN) have agreed to enhance the work programme in Guyana with TLW carrying ECO for US$1.25m on the 3D seismic survey. This will refine the targets already identified from the existing 2D seismic, which TLW estimates contain prospective resources of 900mmboe, as well as scoping out new leads. ECO is also unique in that it is currently the only AIM listed oil and gas company with exposure to Guyana.

AIM Listing Raises £5m

As part of its AIM listing ECO has raised £5.09m which will be used to advance ECO’s current work programmes including enhancing the 3D seismic data programme on the Orinduik Block, funding the acquisition of new licences as well as providing general working capital.

Carried For One Well in Namibia

In Namibia ECO has working interests across four blocks with multiple leads and is again partnered by TLW and AziNam amongst others. Whilst in Namibia, ECO is contingently carried by TLW for the full costs of one exploration well on its Cooper Block. TLW and its partners are also due to be drilling on the adjacent PEL 37, once a drillable prospect is identified, which will provide read across for ECO as well as providing a catalyst for exploration in the region.

Recommendation and Target Price

We initiate coverage on ECO with a BUY recommendation and 25p 12 month target price, representing a 41% upside on the current share price. This is in line with our risked NAV using 12% WACC and a US$60/bbl flat long-term oil price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Acacia Mining Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:44:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (TSX:ML)

Iain Scarr has been promoted from VP of Development and Exploration to Chief Operating Officer of Millennial Lithium.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA)

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA) has announced strong results for the full year 2016. Gold production of 830koz was up 13% YoY while gold prices averaged 7% higher YoY meaning revenues of US$1.05bn were up 21% YoY. The stronger top line alongside significant cash cost reduction resulted in EBITDA of US$415m, up 137% YoY. Operating cash costs of US$640/oz were down 17% YoY whilst on an AISC basis at US$958/oz they were 14% lower. This was despite a modest increase in capex of 7% YoY to US$196mn.

ACA significantly increased its dividend up from 4.2 cents per share in 2015 to 10.4 cents per share in 2016 after a final dividend of 8.4 cents per share. Net cash of US$218mn was up more than double from US$105m as a result of the strong performance.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:23:00 +0000 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced that two diamond drill rigs for its upcoming drill programme on the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone were unloaded at the port in Freetown on 10th February. The original programme had envisaged a single drill covering 2,400m, however, the second drill has been provided at no additional cost to SULA meaning that the results of the programme should be received faster than planned. Furthermore, since Equity Drilling are taking a portion of payment in SULA common shares the cash freed up can be used to fund the programme beyond the original 2,400m plan.

Drilling will be carried out on the Sanama Hill target, where drilling previously backed up historical data, as well as on the significantly larger Eastern Target which was highlighted by the recent IP survey.

We reiterate our 1.7p/sh. target price and Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:21:00 +0000 AAAP#Secures New Supply Contract

Anglo African Agriculture plc (LON:AAAP), the London-listed food manufacturing and processing company with operations in Cape Town, South Africa, has announced a significant contract win.

AAAP will supply up to 300t of speciality spices to an unnamed South African food manufacturer through CY 2017

Order subject to supply chain volumes from the purchaser

VSA Comment

In FY 2017 AAAP sold c1,100t of product through its wholly owned spice manufacturing business Dynamic Intertrade. This latest contract provides a significant proportion of the volumes needed for AAAP to exceed this figure in FY 2017.

As previously announced, AAAP is currently undergoing a number of expansion initiatives to expand its production capacity to 250t per month, which should be complete by the end of February.

The contract win highlights the continued progress at AAAP, following the installation of new senior management at the end of last year.

]]> Gold on the rise as markets struggle to gauge the actual impact of Donald Trump Fri, 10 Feb 2017 13:56:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Thu, 09 Feb 2017 08:16:00 +0000 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) announced yesterday that it has exercised 29.2mn warrants at AUD0.01/sh. for 29.2mn shares in MOD Resources (MOD AU) at a cost of AUD292k (£179k). MOD and MTR hold a 70/30 JV on the T3 copper project in Botswana. The funds arising from the exercise will be used in the development of this project where the focus is on completing a PFS. We note that the exercise of the warrants increases MTR’s holding in MOD’s issued shares to 5.01% which is notifiable on the ASX. 

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 5.68p/sh.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Rio Tinto, Tullow Oil plc, Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd Wed, 08 Feb 2017 08:38:00 +0000 Rio Tinto (LON:RIO)

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) has announced robust full year results for 2016. Revenues were down 3% YoY to US$33.8bn, however, EBITDA was up 7% YoY to US$13.5bn and net income of US$4.6bn reversed a loss of US$0.9bn in 2016. Segment performance was mixed with iron ore and energy and minerals performing strongly offset by weakness in aluminium, copper and diamonds. Annual production for iron ore was up 4% YoY and with the benefit of stronger prices EBITDA was up 11% to US$8.5bn. Although oil production was weaker YoY the rebound in prices drove a significant recovery in segment earnings and EBITDA was up 46% YoY to US$1.8bn. Copper and diamonds segment earnings were, however, weaker with EBITDA down 24% to US$1.4bn owing largely to weakness in commodity prices. The aluminium division also suffered due to weaker aluminium premia, offsetting strong production increases and EBITDA was down 10% YoY to US$2.5bn.

RIO have also declared a final dividend of US$1.25/sh. meaning a full year dividend of US$1.70/sh or US$3.1bn, down 21% YoY. This is alongside a share buyback programme of US$0.5bn to be carried out during 2017.

Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

Tullow Oil (TLW) announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2016 this morning. FY working interest production was 67.1kboepd (-9% YoY), in-line with recent guidance. However, including the impact of insured barrels from the Jubilee field this increases to 71.7kboepd. With the TEN development coming on-line in August 2016 TLW’s production is now expected to increase to 78-85kboepd in 2017. Revenue was US$1.3bn (-21% YoY) and net debt at a significant US$4.8bn (+19%).

TLW’s balance sheet remains under pressure with gearing standing at 5.1x. 2016 capex was US$0.9bn (-47% YoY) and TLW plans to reduce this further in 2017 to US$0.5bn. Which includes US$125m to be offset by the completion of the farm out for 21.57% of the Lake Alberta project to Total (FP FP) for US$900m. However, only US$100m of this deal will be received upfront so it will not provide significant deleveraging of its balance sheet in the short term.

Whilst TLW was free cash flow positive in Q4 2016 after TEN first oil, we anticipate that it may farm-out more of its assets to allow it to deleverage quicker. We are cautious over the stock whilst the net debt remains at such levels.

Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO)

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)# an oil and gas company with highly prospective exploration licences offshore Guyana and Namibia was admitted to trading on AIM today. As part of the listing it raised £5.09 million before expenses by placing 31,781,250 new Common Shares.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 07 Feb 2017 08:31:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has provided an update on its plans at the Wressle oil field having had planning permission refused for production at the site by North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee on 11 January, going against previous planning guidance. As anticipated EDR will now submit a formal appeal against the ruling at the earliest possible opportunity.

Also as expected, EDR has lowered its average production guidance for the year ending 31 July 2017 from 165boepd to 100-110boepd, reflecting the initial refusal. EDR will now take the opportunity to submit a new planning application along with the appeal for the development to address specific concerns outlined by the council.

In our model we assume EDR’s appeal will be successful but the delay has pushed out our expected cash flows for the well by one year, with the Wressle income and associated capex now occurring in FY 2018. However, this does not impact on our NAV and we maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat and Rangold Resources Mon, 06 Feb 2017 08:29:00 +0000 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat has announced the successful commissioning of its Stage One processing facility at its Kilimapesa mine in Kenya. Although in line with our expectations this news confirms that the turnaround at the mine, which has resulted in significant losses in recent period is well underway. The plant has a design capacity of 200tpd and stage one represents the commissioning of the plant whilst stage two includes the installation of the crusher circuit and three leach tanks and stage three is the installation of a second mill and three further leach tanks.

A stockpile of 6kt of crushed ore was created to enable the plant to operate whilst stage two is completed. At the current rate, GDP has guided to gold production of 4,600oz in FY 2017 which is marginally above our estimate of 4,500oz and up from 2,005oz in FY 2016. In line with GDP’s guidance we anticipate that Kilimapesa is likely to reverse operating losses in FY 2017 which would strongly benefit the results of the wider group.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 11.2p/sh. target price.

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS)
Randgold Resources has delivered robust operational results for 2016 although the significant announcement is the dividend increase to US$1/sh., up 52% YoY. Group production of 1.25mnoz up 3% YoY was in line with guidance while total cash costs were down 6% YoY to US$639/oz.

As a result of stronger production and a recovery in the gold price revenue of US$1.55bn was up 11% YoY. Given stronger revenues and a reduction in cash costs, profit from mining activity was also up strongly by 31% YoY to US$752mn. RRS long term plan indicates that production is due to rise further in 2018 alongside declining unit costs.

]]> Why small cap miners can be far better bets than their larger peers Fri, 03 Feb 2017 15:51:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger, Millennial Lithium Fri, 03 Feb 2017 08:14:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (TSX:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has added to its existing prospective lithium acreage in the Pocitos basin of NW Argentina with the signing of an option to acquire 100% of an additional 15.9km2. This acreage is to be called the Pocitos West project. ML currently has a license at the north end of the basin optioned to Southern Lithium (SNL CN) and lies 40km west of ML’s primary project Pastos Grandes. ML will make initial payments of US$0.25m and a further set of staged payments over 36 months to total US$4.5m to acquire 100% of the license.

The Pocitos basin is 60km long and is a known host of lithium brines. Historical results from 12 shallow holes drilled in 1979 by an Argentine government agency yielded lithium in brine of up to 417ppm and potassium in brine up to 15,300ppm. Historical geophysical evidence suggests the basin is 500m deep under this license and has a floor which dips toward this ground.

ML continues to consolidate the ownership of prime lithium acreage in the Lithium Triangle of South America; the source of 80% of the world’s current lithium reserves.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.

Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN)’s JV partner MOD Resources (MOD AU) announced this week a quarterly activities report. MTR holds a 30% interest in the T3 copper project in Botswana, for which MOD holds a 70% interest. Although the release does not contain additional new information MOD has confirmed that the PFS is now underway following the release of a PEA in Q4 2016.

The PEA demonstrated the potential for a low cost copper project producing c20ktpa Cu and 609kozpa Ag. Our analysis derived a post-tax NPV of US$170m on a 100% basis with initial capital of US$135m and cash costs of US$1.19/lb.

Currently MOD’s market capitalisation of A$48.8m (£29.7m) implies that MTR which currently has a market capitalisation of £9.8m does not even reflect the full value of its interest in the T3 project. We therefore believe that MTR continues to be heavily undervalued particularly given its broader portfolio of interests such as the brownfield zinc-lead-silver mine at Boh Yai and Song Toh in Thailand.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 5.68p/sh. target price.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:03:00 +0000 NWF Group: H1 2017 Results

UK-focused specialist agricultural and distribution business NWF Group (NWF LN) has announced six month results for the period ended 30 November 2016 (H1 2017).

Revenue: £255.9m, +13.9% YoY (H1 2016: £224.6m), FY 2017 consensus is currently £487.3m (+4.6% YoY)

Adjusted Operating Profit: £2.2m, -21.4% YoY (H1 2016: £2.8m), FY 2017 consensus is currently £9.0m (+3.4% YoY)

Adjusted PBT: £2.0m, -23.1% YoY (H1 2016: £2.6m), FY 2017 consensus is currently £8.3m (+22.1% YoY)

Interim Dividend: 1.0p, flat YoY (H1 2016: 1.0p)

Net Debt: £19.1m, +83.7% YoY (30 November 2015: £10.4m)

Feeds: Revenue was £65.1m, +4.8% YoY (H1 2016: £62.1m), operating loss was £0.3m (H1 2016: profit of £0.3m)

Food: Revenue was £20.1, +4.1% YoY (H1 2016: £19.3m), operating profit was £1.6m, +14.3% YoY (H1 2016: £1.4m)

Fuels: Revenue was £170.7m, +19.2% YoY (H1 2016: £143.2m), operating profit was £0.9m, -18.2% YoY (H1 2016: £1.1m)

VSA Comment

Following its trading update on 19 December, NWF has confirmed the extent to which it has been impacted by the poor underlying market conditions in H1, particularly through Q1.

In feeds, following a very strong November for UK ruminant feed production (+8.0% YoY), DEFRA data shows overall ruminant compound feed production fell just 1.0% in NWF’s H1 with a QoQ turnaround clearly visible in the data (Q1: -4.7% YoY; Q2: +2.3% YoY), with sheep feed volumes being particularly strong.

This increase in demand has arrived alongside significant input commodity price increases as a result of the devaluation of the pound following the Brexit vote. This has caused margin pressure for NWF, leading to a loss for its feed division, despite two price increases being implemented during the period (in-line with peers). A third price increase has been made earlier this month as input commodity prices have continued to increase (UK feed wheat now +40% since 1 June 2016).

Although NWF gained market share in H1 (+1.5% YoY to 268,000t) it has clearly come at a cost with regards to margins. If commodity prices stabilise and NWF can maintain these customers, then it should receive a boost from these new customer additions in H2.

Net debt has increased in-line with expectations, with c£4m spent on automating the blending plant at Wardle and doubling capacity to more than 200,000t, and also doubling capacity at the compound feed plant at Longtown to 120,000t.  c£5m was also spent on the acquisition of Jim Peet Agriculture.

NWF’s food division continues its solid performance with its Wardle warehouse fully utilised and high service levels maintained. The division is benefiting from the gradual recovery in the ambient grocery market.

NWF’s fuel supply business was impacted by warm weather and lower demand for heating oil through summer (H1 volumes -20% YoY). FY performance will depend on temperatures in the remaining winter months, with a cold snap forecasted for February, which would be beneficial for volumes of higher margin heating oil.

NWF remains confident on meeting FY expectations, which would represent a significant turnaround from its performance in the quieter H1 period (adjusted PBT moving from -20% YoY for H1 to +20% YoY for FY). Due to higher commodity prices, consensus expectations for revenues are likely to be upgraded through £500m following these results. As we have been writing for some time, underlying market conditions have turned in the UK agricultural sector and NWF appears set to benefit from this improved sentiment in H2.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 30 Jan 2017 09:01:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has acquired an additional 12.5% working interest in PEDL 201 in the Widmerpool Gulf from Corfe Energy for a consideration of 424,593 shares, equivalent to £50k based on the average closing mid-price for the five days prior to completion.

This increases EDR’s interest in the licence to 45% which lies in its core area of the East Midlands which is considered prospective for both conventional and unconventional resources. We value PEDL 201 as part of EDR’s shale portfolio, therefore, the value added by increasing its net acreage offsets the dilution by the issuance of these additional shares. Hence we maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> Trump and May are both heralds of a new protectionism, and gold will benefit Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:58:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Anglo American, Kaz Minerals, Polymetal International Thu, 26 Jan 2017 08:23:00 +0000 Anglo American (LON:AAL)

Anglo American (LON:AAL) has released largely strong production results for Q4 2016 with production increases across all commodities bar copper and met coal. Diamond production of 7.8mnct was up 10% YoY reflecting curtailed production in 2015 and also the increased contribution from Gahcho Kue in Canada. Platinum production of 610koz was up 2% YoY in Q4 meaning full year production of 2.38mnoz was also up 2% YoY.

Copper production of 147kt was down 19% YoY in Q4 and 10% YoY to 577kt for the full year. This was due to unplanned disruptions as well as planned sequencing of lower grades at Los Bronces. Nickel production of 11kt was up 4% YoY in Q4 meaning full year production of 45kt was up 47% YoY driven by the ramp up of additional capacity.

Iron ore production at Kumba was strong, up 9% YoY to 12mnt in Q4, however, full year production was 8% lower YoY at 42mnt. The optimisation of the pit shell did not take effect until H2 2016 hence the weaker annual output. The ramp up at Minas Rio continued strongly, however, with production of 4.9mnt up 49% YoY with full year production of 16.1mnt up 76% YoY. Met coal production was 2% lower YoY in Q4 and the full year at 5.4mnt and 21mnt respectively following the sale of Foxleigh. Thermal coal production up 4% in Q4 to 8mnt was insufficient to offset the sale of Callide meaning full year production of 33mnt was down 4%.

Polymetal (LON:POLY)

Polymetal (POLY LN) has announced strong Q4 2016 production results with gold equivalent production of 375koz, up 21% YoY. This was primarily driven by stronger gold production, up 30% YoY to 285koz in Q4 while silver production was down 3% YoY to 3mnoz. Full year production of 1.27mnoz gold equivalent was marginally ahead of full year guidance of 1.26mnoz.

POLY expect gold equivalent production of 1.4-1.55mnoz, however, cash costs are expected to rise versus 2016 to between US$600-650/oz from US$525-575/oz and on an AISC basis to US$775-825/oz from US$700-750/oz.


KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ)

KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ) has announced strong Q4 production results with 140kt of copper produced in the full year, up 73% YoY and in line with guidance.  Gold production was strong and ahead of guidance with 40koz produced in Q4 meaning that full year production of 120koz was up 245% due to elevated grades at Bozshakol.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, BHP Billiton plc, Fresnillo Wed, 25 Jan 2017 08:34:00 +0000 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO)

Full year copper production at Antofagsta (LON:ANTO) narrowly missed full year guidance of 710-740kt at 709.4kt despite a 12.5% YoY increase. Q4 2016 copper production of 206kt was up 14% QoQ and 22% higher YoY. 2016 gold production of 271koz was up 27% YoY at the upper end of guidance of between 245-275koz.

Despite weaker than planned copper production, net cash costs were ahead of guidance of US$1.25/lb at US$1.20/lb, down 20% YoY. Q4 2016 net cash costs were down 4.2% QoQ to US$1.13/lb.

Guidance for 2017 suggest broadly flat copper production at 685-720kt. Gold production is expected to decline significantly to between 185-205koz while molybdenum production is expected to modestly increase from 7.1kt in 2016 to 8.5-9.5kt in 2017. Capex was previously guided to below US$900m in 2017 while group cash costs are forecast to rise modestly to US$1.30/lb, due to a weaker by-product credit contribution. Operationally the outlook appears weaker in 2017, in our view; however, this is likely to be offset somewhat by stronger copper prices.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) has released weak results, with production declines in petroleum, copper and thermal coal in H1 FY 2017. Petroleum production of 106mmboe was down 15% YoY in H1 due to a sharp decline in onshore US production. Conventional production was largely flat, meanwhile. Copper production of 712kt was down 7% YoY as although Escondida production was flat at 452kt this was offset by maintenance at Pampa Norte and grade weakness at Antamina.

Iron ore production of 118mnt in H1 FY 2017 was up 4% YoY as production continued to ramp up at Jimblebar. Met coal production of 21mnt was up 1% YoY while thermal coal production was down 4% YoY to 14mnt.

Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) has released strong results with silver production of 50.3mnoz, up 7% YoY and in line with guidance. Q4 2016 production of 13.3mnoz was up 10% YoY. FRES also benefitted from strong gold production of 934koz, up 23% YoY and ahead of guidance. This was enhanced by a one off inventory drawdown at Herradura. Guidance for 2017 is for continued strong silver production with a further annual increase to 58-61mnoz including 4mnoz from the silverstream. Gold production is again expected to be strong although without the inventory drawdown impact this will likely be lower at between 870-900koz.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Petra Diamonds Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:09:00 +0000 Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL)

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) has announced a trading update for H1 FY 2017 which is soft, in our view, as achieved prices disappointed. Production increased 24% YoY to 2mnct as mining at Finsch and Cullinan moved away from undiluted ore thereby improving grades while PDL also benefitted from the increased contribution from tailings production at Ekapa. Grades were in line with company guidance and full year guidance of 4.4-4.6mnct is unchanged. However, since the period end, PDL has experienced some labour disruption at Cullinan due to a dispute with contractors. This may impact up to 0.6mnt of ore throughput.

Revenue was up 48% YoY to US$228.5mn, in part due to the timing of sales as volumes sold increased 47% YoY to 1.9mnct. However, per carat prices demonstrate a mixed picture. Despite a periodic increase in per carat values at Finsch of 20% and at Koffiefontein of 8% these disappointed versus guidance. At Cullinan and Williamson per carat values were ahead of guidance although at Williamson values declined 17% YoY.

Capex was marginally lower at US$135m (-4% YoY) although this represents c70% of FY 2017 capex. Net debt was up 21% YoY to US$465m.

]]> Mining hits new highs, as world awaits Trump Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:25:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Mariana Resources Ltd, Shanta Gold Limited Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:25:00 +0000 In the news: Mariana Resources, Shanta GOLD, West African Resources, Base Resources & The Alchemist


We have a few items of news today. In the Companies section we have a review of the amazingly robust results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment into the development of the Hot Maden Project in Turkey, in which Mariana Resources† has a 30% interest. The study delivered a post-tax NPV8 of US$1.4bn for the whole project and an IRR of 153%. We also review the quarterly production report from Shanta Gold, a company that is building a solid reputation for delivery from its New Luika operations in Tanzania.

You might have missed this on West African Resources (we did!). The company has now received the mining permit for its lead project in Burkina Faso; this has been renamed Sanbrado (it was formerly Tanlouka). With this significant milestone passed, the company is now focused on the delivery of the definitive feasibility study for the project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1Q17.

Just to remind you about our latest publications. Jim Taylor put out Base Resources*† — December Quarterly Activities Report, 17 January 2017. The company’s latest quarterly figures show it continuing to offer quality exposure to improving mineral sands markets. Production was largely stable, with guidance for 2017 largely unchanged.

We also published our latest edition of The Alchemist. This was focused on zinc, which should benefit from rising commodity prices, production cuts, minimal new mine development and growth in demand. The piece looks at where investors can obtain exposure to zinc miners. It can be viewed here.




LON:MARL| £0.835 | US$128m

Stellar Economics Highlighted in the Hot Maden PEA

Mariana Resources has announced the results of its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the 30%-owned Hot Maden gold-copper project in Turkey. Headline figures includes a base case of 1.0Mtpa mined, a nine-year mine life producing 2.6Moz Au and 142,000t Cu, an IRR of 153% and an NPV8 of US$1.4bn.

COMMENT: The Hot Maden PEA assumes very low operating costs and a low upfront capital intensity from a sizeable underground mining operation. The economics showing a post-tax NPV8 of US$1.4bn and an IRR of 153% highlight why Mariana’s stock price has quintupled over the last 12 months. The pace of development has been fast, with no sign of letting up. The current programme includes a further 10,000m of drilling, with the next milestone the planned publication of a pre-feasibility study in 3Q17. Subject to financing and permitting, we suggest that this could see the completion of a DFS and the project construction completed by the end of 2018.

Mariana’s flagship asset is the Hot Maden Project in Turkey — Hot Maden is a gold-copper project in north-eastern Turkey. It is a joint venture, of which Mariana owns 30%. The JV partner owning 70% is Turkey-based Lidya Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS (Lidya), the mining arm of Çalık Holding, a private Turkish conglomerate with operations in energy, construction, mining, textile, finance and telecommunications. The company’s 30% interest was acquired as part of its acquisition of Aegean Metals Group (announced in September 2014). Drilling commenced in December 2014 and was performed (and fully funded) by Lidya in order to earn its 70% interest.

Very low capital intensity is key to driving IRR — Upfront capex is expected to be US$169m, which equates to US$51/oz AuEq over life-of-mine. Total capex (upfront + sustaining) is expected to be US$261m, which equates to US$79/oz AuEq life-of-mine.

Low-cost underground mining adds to the positive economics — The mine plan assumed in the PEA is an all underground operation using transverse and longitudinal long-hole open stoping. The base rate for mining and processing is 1.0Mtpa, with an assumed mineable quantity of 7Mt at 11 g/t gold and 1.9% Cu over a nine-year mine life. Mining costs are assumed to be low at US$31.05/t.

The gravity and flotation process delivers high recoveries — Metallurgical testing to date has been done through flotation and concentration, and indicated high recoveries of both copper and silver. The assumed recoveries vary based on grade, but the life-of-mine weighted averages are 88% Au and 90% Cu. The flow sheet for the PEA assumes the production of one standard copper-gold concentrate, and a second gold-bearing pyrite concentrate for sale to smelters. Processing these concentrates is assumed to cost US$15.13/t.

Economics highlight a low-cost operation with a very high NPV — In calculating the NPV, the company assumed a gold price of US$1,250/oz and a copper price of US$2.75/lb. Royalties on the property include a 2.6% state royalty and a 2% NSR to pay to Sandstorm. The PEA highlights an NPV of US$1.4bn using an 8% discount rate, and an IRR of 153%.

The fast pace of development is expected to continue — Lidya and Mariana will continue to advance this project rapidly in order to capitalise on what appears to be a highly cash-generative asset. This went from early drill results to PEA in 20 months, and is expected to move to PFS by 3Q17. The PFS is expected to consider the economics of the hanging-wall zinc zone (2.8Mt at 4.0% Zn), which was not considered in the PEA. The study will be conducted concurrently with a 20,000m drill programme planned for this year, including exploration drilling aimed at the discovery of new resources south of the Main Zone in the area of the old Russian mine.


LON:SHG | £0.11 | US$81m

December Quarterly Production and Operational Update

Shanta Gold has announced that 4QFY16 production from New Luika in Tanzania was 18,897oz (-8% QoQ). Cash costs were US$486/oz (+26% QoQ) and AISC US$747/oz (+20% QoQ). For the full year, production was 87,713oz (+7% YoY) and AISC were US$661/oz (-22%).

At 15,285oz, gold sales for the quarter were 81% of the total produced over the period. This, and a lower gold price received of US$1,187/oz, contributed to cashflow from operations going from US$11m in 3QFY16 to an outflow of US$0.1m in 4QFY16. Capex of US$13m and the receipt of US$5m in cash from a silver streaming deal led to a US$5m increase in net debt QoQ to US$43m (debt of US$58m and cash of US$15m).

Production and cost guidance for FY17 was 80,000–85,000oz at AISC of US$800-850/oz. Production is expected be lower during 1H17, when the ramp-up of higher-grade underground ore is scheduled to commence, than in 2H17.

COMMENT: Annual production was a record for the operation and was ahead of guidance for the year of 82,000-87,000oz. Also, AISC for the year of US$661/oz were lower than guidance of US$690-740/oz, further building the current management team’s growing reputation for delivery. This was reinforced by statements that the all-important, fully-funded transition to underground operations is on budget and on schedule to deliver first ore by mid-year.

With respect to the future; an updated mine plan is planned to be completed by the end of 1Q17, which we expect to increase the planned mine life by two years (to 2023). The project retains considerable local and regional exploration potential, on which the company is now re-focusing its attention.

Encouragingly, the company also stated that its net debt will continue to decline in 2017, despite the completion of the underground development programme in 1H17.

In summary, the outlook for Shanta looks positive.

Production has been stable and costs have fallen — Commercial production was declared at the 100%-owned New Luika gold mine in south-west Tanzania in 2Q13. The company produced 64,000oz in 2013, 8,000oz in 2014 and 82,000oz in 2015; it has now delivered 88,000oz in 2016. Over each of these years, All-in Sustaining Costs (AISC) declined YoY (from US$1,049/oz to US$941/oz, to US$834/oz and to US$661/oz in 2016).

Much of cashflow hitherto has been re-invested in the project — A large proportion of the healthy cashflow generated by New Luika since coming on-stream has been reinvested in the operation. Between 2013 and 2016, Shanta’s operating cashflow totalled US$140m; over the same three-year period, a total of US$115m of this was reinvested in the operations (mainly on retrofitting the plant), resulting in net cashflow before finance over the four years of US$25m. In spite of the planned capex in 2017 of US$33m, much of which will be spent in 1H17, the company has stated that it expects to reduce net debt over the coming year.

New Luika commenced transition to underground in 2016 — Operations currently comprise production from two open pits — Ilunga and Jamhuri (which contained 39,000oz of gold reserves) — and from stockpiles. A further three small deposits (with total reserves of 49,000oz) are planned to be mined by open pit until the end of 2021. Under the current plan (‘Base Case Mine Plan’ of September 2015), production from underground mining operations is planned to commence at the Bauhinia deposit in early 2017, and at the Luika deposit by mid-2017. This plan included total production of 310,000oz from 2016 to early 2022, at average AISC of US$640/oz and pre-production capex of US$38m (excluding working capital). Assuming throughput of 600,000tpa, recoveries of 90% and a head grade of 4.8 g/t, the Base Case Mine Plan forecast average production of 84,000oz pa between 2016 and 2020.

New mine plan to be published in 1Q17 — The company plans to announce a new mine plan in 1Q17 that will update the previous ‘Base Case Mine Plan’ of September 2015. The new plan is expected to include a modest increase in reserves at the Elizabeth Hill deposit, and also the incorporation of a third planned underground operation at the Ilunga deposit. We expect that this will extend the mine life by two years (until mid-2023).

To date, development of the first underground operation at Bauhinia is on time and budget — The decline has now intersected the first ore levels and the first stope is planned to be in production by July 2017, with full production from Bauhinia to be reached by 1Q18. We anticipate first production from Luika underground by the end of 2017 and full production around mid-2018.

Current EV of US$124m — Net debt at the end of 2016 was US$43m, comprising US$15m of cash and US$58m of gross debt. We estimate that this comprised:

• US$3m of promissory notes, repayable April 2017

• US$37m loan from Investec (Libor +4.5%, repayable over four years)

• US$15m of convertible loan notes (maturing April 2019, 13.5% interest, convertible at US$0.47/share (equivalent to £0.38/share))

• US$3m of equipment finance and lease finance

At the company’s current share price and with 583m shares outstanding, the current market cap is equivalent to US$81m. With net debt at end-December of US$43m, the estimated enterprise value is therefore US$124m.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Acacia Mining Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:41:00 +0000 Acacia Mining (LON:ACA)

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA) has announced strong production results for Q4 2016. Production of 213koz was up 6% YoY resulting in record full year production of 830koz, up 13% YoY. Higher throughput and stronger recoveries offset a marginal YoY decline in grade driving cash costs down by 7% YoY whilst AISC were down 5% YoY to US$952/oz. For the full year AISC of US$958/oz, down 14% YoY, indicates strong free cash flow generation, which given the stronger gold price for much of the year, resulted in net cash rising from US$114m to US$219m.

Although full year guidance was not provided at this time, ACA indicated that production at Buzwagi would be extended by six months to the end of 2017 before two years of stockpile processing. This will likely result in an increase in annual production from 162koz in 2016 at Buzwagi.

It was announced recently that ACA is in talks to merge with TSX listed Endeavour Mining (EDV CN). EDV has assets in Mali, Ghana and Ivory Coast. EDV produces less gold per annum at below 625koz, however, this at a lower AISC of less than US$920/oz. EDV is currently capitalised at C$2.17bn (£1.3bn) versus ACA at £1.78bn. The merger would create a geographically diversified Sub-Saharan gold producer with significant growth potential from EDV’s Hounde project in Burkina Faso. With the gold price likely to be volatile in 2017, the strong cost position of both firms places them in a strong position.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Hochschild Mining Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:08:00 +0000 Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Production numbers for Q4 and the full year show a robust growth in output of both gold and silver for Hochschild (HOC). Total silver equivalent ounces for the year rose 31% to 35.5m ounces on the back of a rise in gold output to 246kozs while silver output rose to 17.3mozs.  AISC costs per equivalent ounce of Ag are looking to come in at $11/oz-$11.50/oz.  Cash grew by almost US$60m to US$140m over the year.

Forward guidance is rather conservative with growth of 2mozs to a 37moz target.  AISC costs are predicted to rise about $1/oz to above US$12/oz due to increased exploration budgets and capex on the Pablo vein development.

We see Inmaculada mine is proving its production worth for the company but also is its corporate vulnerability; being its flagship operation and significant source of cashflows.  It will be interesting to see what HOC may do with its rising cash on M&A opportunities in coming months.

]]> Gold bulls slowly returning, as Trump boost to dollar fades and balance of power shifts Tue, 17 Jan 2017 11:03:00 +0000 VSA Capital Market Movers - Rio Tinto Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:25:00 +0000 Rio Tinto (LON:RIO)

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) has announced mixed production results for Q4 2016 resulting in a robust full year result. Copper production was up by 20% YoY to 134kt meaning full year production was up 4% to 523kt, however, this was short of guidance owing to no contribution from Grasberg. This was despite strongly higher production at Kennecott and a marginal recovery at Escondida.

Iron ore shipments were modestly higher, up 4% YoY and 3% QoQ to 86mnt with full year shipments of 330mnt up 6% YoY. As well as a targeted increase in production which met guidance, RIO also benefitted from minimal disruption from poor weather. Coking coal production was up strongly by 15% QoQ and 1 % YoY to 2.2mnt although up just 4% YoY to 8.1mnt. Semi soft and thermal coal production was weak, down 13% QoQ and 3% YoY to 5.2mnt in Q4 2016 and 4% lower YoY at 21.4mnt although this was in line with guidance.

Bauxite and aluminium production was strong, with record annual aluminium production. Bauxite production of 12mnt was up 8% QoQ although down 2% YoY while full year production was up 9% to 47.7mnt, ahead of guidance. Aluminium production driven by the improved Kitimat smelter was up 7% QoQ and flat YoY to 925kt while full year production was up 10% YoY to 3.6mnt.

RIO should benefit from stronger commodity prices in Q4 2016 which should offset production weakness in copper and thermal coal and enhance revenues in aluminium and iron ore.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Mon, 16 Jan 2017 08:18:00 +0000 MPE Share Buy-back Programme

Indonesian palm oil producer MP Evans (LON:MPE) has announced a share buy-back programme.

£5m share buy-back programme

Duration of up to 12 calendar months

Programme will be kept under review and Board will make a decision in due course on whether to extend it

VSA Comment

Following its successful bid defence against Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK MK), one of the key concerns for us is that we may see a gradual drifting of the share price from current levels, as MPE naturally takes time to deploy its surplus cash into earnings enhancing assets.

Although fairly small, the commencement of a share buy-back programme should help address this issue and maintain the share price at around the current level, given the low levels of liquidity in the stock. Over the past 90 days, MPE has traded on average c60,000 shares a day (£350-400k).

Fellow palm oil producer REA Holdings (RE/ LN) carried out a similar share buy-back programme at the end of 2013 through to late 2014, which stabilised its share price somewhat. However, its share price fell significantly following completion of this programme.

In the case of MPE we feel this is less likely to happen, given the strength of its balance sheet, and this programme should give the company a little more time to implement its post-KLK bid strategy, including the completion of various acquisitions to support its long-term growth plans.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc, Premier Oil PLC Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Yesterday afternoon North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Committee refused planning consent for the development of the Wressle Oil Field. This is disappointing for stakeholders in the licence including Egdon Resources (EDR)#, which holds a 25% WI and is operator of the licence. Permission was refused by the council over concerns that it had insufficient information on ground contamination, effect on the local community and the local economy.

Wressle is a “conventional” oil field and does not require fraccing. Therefore, this result comes as a surprise to us. EDR will now consider its options on the project including its right to appeal and we await further updates.

However, Wressle only formed a small part of our 34p/sh valuation (1p/sh) and we therefore maintain our BUY recommendation.

Premier Oil (LON:PMO)

Ahead of its FY 2016 results Premier Oil (PMO) announced an operational update with record production of 71.4kboepd in 2016 (+24% YoY), in-line with its upgraded guidance. This strong operational performance was largely driven by the acquisition of E.ON’s North Sea portfolio and the Solan field coming online. Furthermore, estimated capex for 2016 is expected to be US$690m, below guidance of US$730m. Whilst net debt reduced in Q4 as anticipated to US$2.8bn with cash and undrawn facilities was cUS$600m.

PMO 2017 production guidance for 2017 is 75kboepd before any contribution from Catcher is considered and is revised for lower Solan production due to poorer than expected reservoir performance which is limiting water injection, production uplift from works to repair this is unlikely to be added before 2018.

Catcher is on schedule for start-up later this year with total capex now forecast at US$1.6bn (29% lower than originally sanctioned).

Approval of the Tolmount gas field in the Southern North Sea is expected shortly, however, we question if PMO should begin committing significant capex to greenfield development projects whilst it is still looking to reduce its net debt. Details on its refinancing are expected shortly.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Tullow Oil plc Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:57:00 +0000 Tullow Oil plc(LON:TLW)

In an operational update ahead of its FY 2016 results, Tullow Oil Plc (LON:TLW) confirmed production was in line with its recent guidance, with West Africa averaging 65,500boepd, whilst in Europe FY net production averaged 6,200boepd.

TLW successfully brought TEN online in August 2016. Gross annualised working interest production in 2016 averaged 14,600boepd (net 6,900boepd) but in early January the capacity of the FPSO was successfully tested at an average rate of 80,000boepd over a 24 hour flow test. However, TLW now expects production from TEN to average c50,000boepd gross in 2017 as no new wells can be drilled before the ITLOS ruling in Q4 2017 with regard to the maritime border dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

This follows TLW’s announcement yesterday over its major farm out for 21.57% of the Lake Alberta project to Total (FP FP) for US$900m. This will leave TLW with 10% of the project, which is expected to produce c230,000boepd once complete. The deal will consist of US$200m cash with Total to pay US$700m of TLW’s remaining development costs on the project. We view this as a positive deal as it will allow TLW to repair its balance sheet with cash flow from its producing assets and not enter into another intensive capex period. Indeed net debt at the end of 2016 stood at US$4.8bn and capex is expected to reduce from US$0.9bn in 2016 to US$0.5bn in 2017.

However, this update is likely to be largely overlooked by Aiden Heavey leaving his post as TLW’s CEO to become a non-executive chairman and will be succeeded by Paul McDade (the current COO) and we expect the stock to trade a little weaker today.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:20:00 +0000 Carr’s Group#: AGM Statement

Ahead of its AGM later today, Carr’s Group (LON:CARR), the agricultural, food and engineering group, has provided a trading update for the eighteen weeks to 7 January.

CARR continues to trade in-line with expectations (FactSet consensus: revenues of £328.5m, +4.3% YoY, PBT of £14.4m, +2.1% YoY).

In agriculture (c80% of operating profit), the division is performing ahead of expectations. Compound feed and fuel volumes are ahead YoY, with machinery sales showing signs of recovery in Q1. Retail sales ahead of expectations; UK feedblock sales ahead YoY; US feedblock sales flat YoY.

In engineering (c20% of operating profit), the division is performing below expectations, driven by a significant contract delay in the UK manufacturing business.

Net debt at 3 December 2016 was £16.9m (3 September 2016: net cash of £8.1m).

VSA Comment

CARR has once more demonstrated the advantage of its diversified strategy. As we expected, CARR reports that it is operating in an improved environment with regards to its agriculture operations, perhaps best demonstrated by the reported signs of recovery in machinery sales, typically the first sector to suffer in a downturn and the last to pick-up in an upturn. With an improved outlook for farmers in 2017, particularly those in dairy, as discussed in our last VSA Agri Monthly publication, we believe the environment will continue to be beneficial for CARR for its remaining FY.

CARR again delivered compound feed volumes ahead of the overall UK ruminant animal feed market, which fell 0.7% YoY for September and October (November and December data not yet available) and again highlighting the market share gains that the larger producers are making. 

Although there has been little weather-related boost this winter to overall feed volumes so far, it is worth noting that sheep feed volumes have posted double digit increases in every month since the Brexit vote at the end of June and subsequent devaluation of the British pound. Key to this market will be whether these significant increases continue through the peak winter and early spring period.

More important to CARR will be UK demand for cattle and calf feed, for which the overall monthly YoY production decreases are moderating but have some way to go to reverse course, due to milk production continuing to be significantly lower YoY in recent months (last available data: -7.3% YoY in November, -4.2% YTD), despite steadily increasing milk prices.

As CARR had previously flagged would happen, US feedblock sales have slowed, as low US cattle prices begin to impact producers. CARR’s new facility at Shelbyville, Tennessee, expected to open by autumn 2017, should help a return to growth in this area over the medium-term. Although US cattle prices has staged somewhat of a recovery over the last two months, they remain significantly below those seen in 2014 and 2015 and farmers will need time to adjust to what may be a new normal.

No new information on potential acquisition targets was provided following the recent disposal of its flour milling division and the €7.85m acquisition of long-term strategic engineering partner STABER GmbH, except that management continues to review suitable acquisition opportunities. With £32.5m of undrawn facilities, CARR certainly has the firepower to make significant acquisitions in the coming year and we expect it will do.

As we move towards invoking Article 50 in March, considerable uncertainty has emerged in the UK and the unknown agriculture policy post-Brexit provides uncertainty for the sector over the medium-term, despite the guarantee of similar levels of funding until at least 2020. At the recent Oxford Farming Conference, Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, outlined some of her views on this particular issue and professed her strong support for UK farmers, but it is also clear that much of detail remains unknown. Assessing the recent commentary, it seems that post-Brexit a focus on farming efficiency and high quality production seems most likely. This should support demand for CARR’s products in the market, which are particularly focused towards this segment of the UK farming sector.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Thu, 05 Jan 2017 08:18:00 +0000 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) has announced that it has appointed Alastair Middleton as a Technical Director to its Board. He has 27 years of experience in both underground and open pit operations as well as in financial markets. Having spent 4 years at Goldfields of South Africa he worked for 14 years for Datamine International. He is a qualified Competent Person for gold, base metals, coal and industrial minerals.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 5.68p/sh. target price.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Thu, 22 Dec 2016 08:20:00 +0000 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)#

Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) has announced that it has today received High Court approval to cancel its share premium account alongside the cancellation of Deferred Shares. In the event of an exit from one of MTR’s multiple projects this would enable the possibility of a dividend payout to shareholders.

Whilst this does not alter our outlook this is a positive development, in our view, which gives MTR greater flexibility.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 5.68p/sh.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Tue, 20 Dec 2016 08:19:00 +0000 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced that it has received a renewed license from the Ghanaian Government to purchase and deal in gold. The new license is valid for three years and its receipt was expected given GDP’s long operating track record in the region.

The terms of the new license include a 5% royalty on all minerals and a commitment to install an additional elution plant as previously announced. The timeframe stipulated in the license agreement is that the plant should be commissioned by June 30 2018, in line with our expectations. The additional capacity will enable GDP to progress with its strategy of sourcing additional feedstock from overseas and expand the group’s gold output.

The receipt of the license enables a small inventory of by-products which require further processing outside of Ghana to be shipped which will positively impact earnings, most likely, in H2 FY 2017.  Despite the recent weakness in the gold price, the shares have remained supported and within their recent trading range and we continue to expect the turnaround at Kilimapesa to support earnings in FY 2017.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 11.2p/sh.