Canadian Graphite Developer NextSource Materials Inc. Secures Registered Trademark for SuperFlake® Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:05:00 +0100 Balmoral Resources raises offering to C$4.04mln after strong demand Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:01:00 +0100 Bezant Resources looking to be operational break-even 'within months' Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:32:00 +0100 Laurence Read, executive director of Bezant Resources plc (LON:BZT) tells Proactive they've achieved the first commercial gold and platinum production at their Choco project in Colombia.

The milestone's been reached within two months of plant commissioning.

]]> Bezant Resources shines as it confirms first gold and platinum production at Choco Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:10:00 +0100 Massive upside in India for Lionsgold after ‘critical’ Jonnagiri feasibility study Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:57:00 +0100 Cameron Parry, chief executive of Lionsgold Limited (LON:LION) tells Proactive preliminary results from the feasibility study being run on the Jonnagiri gold project in India show that the project has the potential to be an economically robust mine.

]]> Zulu looking set to be 'bigger than the others' in Zimbabwe Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:29:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Ltd (LON:PREM), updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on the wait for the Zulu assay results.

''The excitement is definitely building - the intersections we're seeing, the continuous and ongoing drilling that's happening at Zulu is all very exciting''.

Roach also discusses the latest at RHA and says the wheels are in motion towards a PEA for the project.

]]> Harvest Minerals' KPfértil performs well in latest independent tests Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:38:00 +0100 Cadence Minerals highlights positive drill results from Cinovec lithium project Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:26:00 +0100 Sirius Minerals expecting to announce more off-take agreements by end of the year Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:14:00 +0100 Stronger bidding discipline helped contractor Balfour Beatty return to profit in the first half Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:07:00 +0100 Elliott Management raises stake in BHP Billiton to 5%, stepping up the pressure for strategic change at the miner Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:12:00 +0100 Intermin's Jon Price outlines the company's cash generating gold projects and expansion plans Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:12:00 +0100 Jon Price, managing director for Intermin Resources, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> European Metals rises as it receives encouraging results from drill hole at Cinovec Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:24:00 +0100 Balfour Beatty shares up as it posts return to first half profit led by recovery in UK construction business Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:50:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd, Hochschild Mining Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Obtala Limited (LON:OBT): 2016 - A Year of Strategic Change

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

WoodBois Acquisition Complete

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

Agriculture Profit Share Increases

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

Recommendation and Target Price

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


Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

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

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

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

]]> Sirius Minerals says development work is on time and within budget Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:25:00 +0100 Xtract Resources updates on Manica contractor operations Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:11:00 +0100 Bushveld Minerals plans vanadium battery plant to meet soaring power storage demand Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:06:00 +0100 Oklo Resources' Seko discovery, six months on gold source is found Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:46:00 +0100 Mustang Resources boosts ruby inventory ahead of October's inaugural auction Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:09:00 +0100 Hexagon Resources reveals McIntosh flake concentrate well suited for lithium-ion batteries Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:48:00 +0100 Argosy Minerals attracts strategic investment for lithium in Argentina Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:13:00 +0100 Calidus Resources delivers bonanza gold strike in the Pilbara Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:10:00 +0100 European Lithium to finalise monetisation of non-core project Tue, 15 Aug 2017 23:48:00 +0100 Tawana Resources begins lithium plant construction at Bald Hill Tue, 15 Aug 2017 23:17:00 +0100 Azure Minerals acquires high-grade zinc-lead-silver project in Mexico Tue, 15 Aug 2017 23:09:00 +0100 Orion Minerals NL to lift cash for South African zinc-copper hunt Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:30:00 +0100 Endeavour Silver finding high grade, shallow mineralization at La Luz vein, Terronera Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:57:00 +0100 Cruz Cobalt Corp's Ontario airborne survey complete; brings in C$550,000 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:35:00 +0100 Zinc firm Tinka Resources' latest assays underline Peru project's credentials Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:06:00 +0100 Jaxon Minerals welcomes member of Zijin Midas Exploration Fund as director Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:04:00 +0100 Zinc One Resources keen to get the drills turning at Bongara Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:27:00 +0100 Jim Walchuk, chief executive of Zinc One Resources Inc (CVE:Z), introduces the company and outlines their upcoming drill plans for the Bongara zinc mine and the associated Charlotte Bongara zinc project in Peru.

Zinc One also has a more longer-term asset -  the Scotia project located in the Scotia River area of west central British Columbia

]]> Tinka Resources' Ayawilca drilling continues to expand zinc footprint Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:59:00 +0100 Bushveld Minerals pushes ahead with tin float Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:46:00 +0100 Bushveld Minerals shares soar as plans come together Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:19:00 +0100 Orosur Mining moves attention to Colombia as new investors come on board Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:04:00 +0100 Cadence Minerals updates on Czech cobalt project Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:31:00 +0100 Rio Tinto downgraded to 'outperform' by Royal Bank of Canada Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:39:00 +0100 Orosur Mining has sizeable gold opportunity in Colombia according to Cantor Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:01:00 +0100 Caledonia Mining optimistic despite challenging second quarter Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:03:00 +0100 Steve Curtis, chief executive of Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) tells Proactive they produced just over 25,000 ounces of gold in the first half of 2017, at an all-in sustaining cost of US$856 per ounce.

However, on-mine costs per ounce did rise as grades fell and certain logistical constraints underground restricted output.

]]> Asiamet confirms resource base at Beruang Kanan Main Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:02:00 +0100 Lionsgold reveals Jonnagiri feasibility numbers Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:49:00 +0100 Impact Minerals to extend drilling at Silica Hill following gold-silver hits Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:00:00 +0100 Bannerman Resources renews exclusive licence over Etango uranium project Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:09:00 +0100 Atlas Iron's substantial shareholder reduces stake from asset disposal Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:22:00 +0100 European Lithium and Shandong RuiFu Lithium extend time for off-take agreement Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:02:00 +0100 Alkane Resources reveals epithermal style gold from Northern Molong Porphyry Project Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:25:00 +0100 Davenport Resources is focused on German potash, to reveal transaction Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:03:00 +0100 Argonaut Resources gains new substantial shareholder Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:30:00 +0100 Dotz Nano teams up with Sigma Aldrich to sell graphene quantum dots Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:22:00 +0100 Aspire Mining rebalances finances, eyes near-term production opportunity Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:49:00 +0100 American Lithium Corp unveils 1:10 share consolidation Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:31:00 +0100 Klondex Mines' Nevada assets will continue to shine, suggests broker Rodman Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:14:00 +0100 It's back to business in Ukraine for Black Iron Inc Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0100 Matt Simpson, chief executive of Black Iron Inc (TSE:BKI) speaks to Proactive's Andrew Scott about restarting operations in Ukraine at their wholly owned Shymanivske iron ore project.

''Iron ore prices have rebounded quite nicely, they've held in there for over a year now and everything's looking like it'll only push up'', Simpson says.

''We've got political stability ... coupled with a very depressed exchange rate ... so this is the ideal time for investors to get in and really ride that wave''.

''We've done it once and we're going to do it again - this time we're going to build it''.

]]> Nubian Resources set to enter promising copper gold district with new acquisition Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:03:00 +0100 Cadence investee company Auroch completes second drill hole at Alcoutim in Portugal Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:13:00 +0100 Transatlantic Mining's Bernie Stosak highlights assays and geology report for US Grant Mine Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:39:00 +0100 Bernie Stosak, chief executive of Transatlantic Mining Corp (CVE:TCO) talks Proactive through a new report they've published on the US Grant mine property they're currently leasing.

It contains an historical resource estimate for the mine from 1990, which the company's qualified person says met industry standards at the time.

]]> Greatland out 'looking for a taste of Gold' at Ernest Giles East Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:38:00 +0100 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) tells Proactive they've begun a surface geochemistry survey at the Ernest Giles East gold project in Australia.

In addition, a ground gravity survey across Ernest Giles East is expected to commence within the next few weeks.

Results of the exploration programme are likely to be disclosed in September 2017.

]]> Anglo Asian Mining boosted by reserves and resources upgrade at Ugur Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:14:00 +0100 Greenstone Resources’ Tim Simpkin talks 2017’s top copper stock Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:07:00 +0100 Tim Simpkin of Greenstone Resources discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott Excelsior Mining Corp (TSE: MIN, FSE: 3XS, OTCQX: EXMGF) and why they're a good opportunity for investors looking for exposure to copper.

''I don't use these words lightly .. but they have a truly world class management team that cover all aspects from the permitting, the hydrology, the production, the construction … and it really is an exciting story'', Simpkin says.

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

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

Unconventional Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conventional Resources Exploration and Appraisal

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

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

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

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

Producing Assets

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

]]> Caledonia Mining maintains dividend guidance for 2017 Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:18:00 +0100 Savannah Resources starts construction for Mutamba pilot project Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:03:00 +0100 Greatland Gold initiates a new phase of exploration at Ernest Giles Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:47:00 +0100 Exterra Resources: Independent Expert concludes Anova Metals merger fair and reasonable Mon, 14 Aug 2017 04:44:00 +0100 Celsius Resources eyes large-scale cobalt opportunity in Namibia Mon, 14 Aug 2017 04:32:00 +0100 Crater Gold Mining is focused on new strategy at Nevera Gold Mine Mon, 14 Aug 2017 04:10:00 +0100 Sovereign Metals reveals suitability of graphite for lithium-ion battery market Mon, 14 Aug 2017 03:21:00 +0100 Argosy Minerals' shares rally on lithium development strategy in Argentina Mon, 14 Aug 2017 01:51:00 +0100 White Cliff Minerals gets rights issue underway for Aucu gold Mon, 14 Aug 2017 01:49:00 +0100 Oklo Resources reveals more Seko gold, assays pending from deeper diamond drilling Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:25:00 +0100 Neometals approaches buy-back milestone of 20 million shares Sun, 13 Aug 2017 23:54:00 +0100 Capital Mining calls for more time before medical cannabis details Sun, 13 Aug 2017 23:49:00 +0100 Archer Exploration finds gold in Blue Hills Copper Project Sun, 13 Aug 2017 23:32:00 +0100 NioCorp surges as it files feasibility study for Elk Creek Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:42:00 +0100 Galileo Resources shares jump as it says preliminary drilling results show Concordia copper project "promising and well worth pursuing" Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:04:00 +0100 Feasibility study at Horizonte Minerals’ Araguaia project now at an ‘advanced stage’ Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:15:00 +0100 Mandalay Resources sees record quarterly production at its Björkdal asset Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:12:00 +0100 Orosur Mining gets warm response to Colombia exploration plans Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:48:00 +0100 Orosur Mining funds new grabs for gold in Colombia Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:21:00 +0100 Orosur Mining Inc (LON:OMI CVE:OMI) CEO Ignazio Salazar tells us why he's so positive about financing for a new mining exercise on their acreage in Colombia, explaining what they intend to do with the funds. The placing was oversubscribed as the grab for gold and other safe havens continues against an uncertain political backdrop ...which has in turn given the markets some volatility. News too on how that new money for Colombia opens up the potential for production growth at Orosur's other resource base in Uruguay.

]]> Asiamet Resources shares up as JPMorgan Asset management to become cornerstone investor after £6mln placing Fri, 11 Aug 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Fe Limited's chairman Tony Sage continues to buy on-market Fri, 11 Aug 2017 04:21:00 +0100 Lefroy Exploration recommences gold drilling in Western Australia Fri, 11 Aug 2017 04:07:00 +0100 New Talisman's Matthew Hill talks next steps for bonanza gold in New Zealand Fri, 11 Aug 2017 04:01:00 +0100 Ironbark Zinc hosts successful site visit with China Nonferrous and Greenland Government Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:22:00 +0100 Aeon Metals bags A$5.5M to progress Walford Creek project Fri, 11 Aug 2017 03:21:00 +0100 Azumah Resources readies raising for Wa Gold Project in Ghana Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:20:00 +0100 Australian Mines doubles cobalt mineralisation footprint at Flemington Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:08:00 +0100 AVZ Minerals raising $13M from the largest cobalt chemicals producer in China Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:42:00 +0100 Endeavour Silver appoints veteran mining engineer to lead new technical services and mine development division Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:33:00 +0100 Cruz Cobalt kicks off airborne work program over its Ontario assets Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:14:00 +0100 Jaxon Minerals proposes name change and stock split Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:58:00 +0100 Klondex Mines raises production guidance after sparkling quarter at its Nevada assets Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:26:00 +0100 Lydian estimates Amulsar gold project construction is about 29% complete Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:49:00 +0100 Tesla effect filters down to Rainbow Rare Earths Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:18:00 +0100 Kincora Copper raises C$4.5mln to push ahead with Mongolia drilling Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:57:00 +0100 Luke Leslie, chairman at Kincora Copper Ltd (CVE:KCC) tells Proactive they've brought in around C$4.5mln via a placing which is to be used for drilling at their East Tsagaan Suvarga and Bayan Tal targets.

Each unit consisted of one share and one-half a share purchase warrant, with each warrant entitling the holder to acquire a further share for 44.5 cents for a period of two years.

]]> Black Iron to engage in live interview on Proactive Investors next Monday Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:55:00 +0100 Cadence Minerals looking forward to Auroch’s Czech drilling Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:16:00 +0100 Rainbow Rare Earths reports 'fantastic' grades at Gasagwe target in Burundi Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:14:00 +0100 Martin Eales, chief executive of Rainbow Rare Earths Limited (LON:RBW) popped into the Proactive studio for a quick chat through the even better than expected grades they've reported at the Gasagwe target on their Gakare licence in Burundi.

Lab testing of ore from the main vein at Gasagwe returned an average Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) grade of 62.17%, which compared with an average 57% in veins across the rest of the 39 sq km licence published in the competent person’s report.

]]> Fox Marble tees up US distributor in 3-year deal Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:09:00 +0100 Chris Gilbert, chief executive of Fox Marble PLC (LON:FOX) tells Proactive they've signed a deal to establish a new distribution outlet for their marble products in the United States.

The AIM-listed company - focused on marble quarrying and finishing in Kosovo and the Balkans region-  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pristine Stone  NYC LLC in New York, a natural stone importer and distributor in the USA.

]]> 'We'll do it' - Strategic Minerals' John Peters on their 5-year £100mln market cap target Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:05:00 +0100 John Peters, managing director of Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) discusses their Q2 2017 update.

Peters adds they've set themselves a target to reach a market capitalisation of £100mln over the next five years.

Revenues from New Mexico–based iron ore business Cobre Magnetite hit another record in July, though the quarter to June was affected by transport issues at the end of the three months.

]]> Thor Mining kicks off new tungsten drill programme in Nevada Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:04:00 +0100 New Tango Mining Chief looking ahead to re-starting production at Oena Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:57:00 +0100 Samer Khalaf, chief executive of Tango Mining Ltd (CVE:TGV), talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through their recent private placing to raise $250k.

Khalaf also updates on developments with the firm's coal and diamond operations.

]]> KEFI Minerals highlights further reduction in Tulu Kapi funding needs Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:47:00 +0100 Strategic Minerals targets £100mln value as iron ore deliveries ramp up Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:45:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Glencore International Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Glencore (LON:GLEN)

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

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

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

]]> Savannah Resources delighted with maiden drill results from lithium project Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Rainbow Rare Earths hails better-than-expected grades from Burundi licence Thu, 10 Aug 2017 06:37:00 +0100 Fox Marble signs deal to establish new distribution outlet for its marble products in the US Thu, 10 Aug 2017 06:25:00 +0100 Alkane Resources discovers more gold at Tomingley after record production quarter Thu, 10 Aug 2017 04:28:00 +0100 Capital Mining's shares halted pending medical cannabis update Thu, 10 Aug 2017 02:59:00 +0100 Cape Lambert Resources updates on copper-cobalt near Mt Isa Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:57:00 +0100 Volt Resources Ltd's share ride higher on expandable graphite results Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:26:00 +0100 Galaxy Resources eyes potential to expand lithium resource in Canada Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:41:00 +0100 Aspire Mining extends raising timeline for Nuurstei Coking Coal project Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:31:00 +0100 White Cliff Minerals discovers new gold zone at Aucu in Kyrgyz Republic Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:06:00 +0100 Botswana Metals targets cash boost for cobalt and lithium Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:45:00 +0100 Centaurus Metals raising $2.5M for Brazilian projects via rights issue Wed, 09 Aug 2017 22:53:00 +0100 MGX Minerals unveils prospective resources for Paradox Basin Project Wed, 09 Aug 2017 19:37:00 +0100 Premier African's George Roach 'cementing and improving asset base' with increased Circum stake Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:31:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Ltd (LON:PREM) talks through the decision to increase their stake in potash producer Circum Minerals.

Premier African's agreed to snap up another 416,700 shares – around 0.5% of Circum’s issued share capital – from GMP Securities for just shy of US$521,000.

It will make the payment to GMP through the issue of 87.5mln new PREM shares.

That takes the AIM-quoted firm’s total interest in Circum to 4.1mln shares, or 4.2%

]]> Independent analysis of Amur's drill results 'almost precisely match' what's been reported Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0100 Robin Young, chief executive of Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC) tells Proactive they've received their first batch of findings from lab analysis of samples from the Kun Manie nickel project in Russia.

The initial batch, comprising some 561 core samples from recent drilling, has been used to independently verify the nickel and copper findings.

The results will be incorporated into the group’s ongoing work towards a new mineral resource estimate for the project.

]]> Van Elle Holdings increasing profit and turnover year-on-year Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:43:00 +0100 John Fenton, chief executive of Van Elle Holdings plc (LON:VANL) gives Proactive a break down of the company and the strategy for growth.

Operating for 33 years they specialise in installing geotechnical engineering techniques - such as piling.

Fenton adds they're the largest in their space in the UK as well as the most profitable.

IPO'ing in October 2016, Fenton says: ''It's been a very good move for us, the company's done well since then and it's increased our profile across the construction industry and we're certainly a well-known company in the sector''.

''We're very confident about what's coming up in the new year ... we're just at the end of Q1 and the year's kicked off in line with expectations and the end markets look very good for us''.

]]> Premier African geologists salivating over potential new lithium zone at Zulu Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:34:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM), talks Proactive through a potential new zone of lithium they've identified at their Zulu deposit in Zimbabwe, which they suspect could be larger than the current resource.

]]> W Resources announces award for La Parilla crusher contract Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:15:00 +0100 Michael Masterman, chairman of W Resources PLC (LON:WRES), tells Proactive they've awarded the crusher plant contract for their La Parrilla Project in Spain to a subsidiary of Finland’s Metso Corporation for €1.2mln.

The crusher will be built in France and delivered to the site within 24 weeks, well within the scheduled development time.

]]> White Cliff Minerals kicks off 2017 drilling program at the Aucu gold project Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:51:00 +0100 Todd Hibberd, managing director for White Cliff Minerals, speaks with Proactive Investors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Emmerson Resources focuses on highly prospective tenements for gold and copper Sun, 06 Aug 2017 22:30:00 +0100 Rob Bills, managing director for Emmerson Resources, speaks with Proactive Investors.

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

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

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

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

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.


Vedanta (LON:VED)

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

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

]]> Altintepe mine sale sees Stratex International post interim profit Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:18:00 +0100 Marcus Engelbrech, chief executive of Stratex International plc (LON:STI) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their interims for the six months to the end of June 2017.

It was a period of transformation for the AIM-quoted mine developer – one in which it sold its cornerstone asset and agreed to acquire a Brazil-focused business with a large gold resource.

]]> Segue Resources ready to drill at Barlee Gold Project Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:11:00 +0100 Steven Michael, managing director for Segue Resources, speaks with Proactive Investors.

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

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

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

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

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

Centamin (LON:CEY)

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

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

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

Randgold (LON:RRS)

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

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

]]> Azumah Resources' Stephen Stone reveals details on a A$17 million earn-in deal Wed, 02 Aug 2017 22:30:00 +0100 Stephen Stone, managing director for Azumah Resources, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Thor Mining moving at a pace to advance new copper project in South Australia Wed, 02 Aug 2017 11:51:00 +0100 Mick Billing, chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through their deal to acquire an interest in the historically mined Kapunda copper deposit in South Australia.

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

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

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

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

]]> Canarc Resource Corp's Fondaway Canyon 'littered' with gold at surface Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:15:00 +0100 Catalin Chiloflischi, chief executive of Canarc Resource Corp (CVE:CCM) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're on track to start a drilling campaign at Fondaway Canyon in September.

]]> An 'aggressive' 2017 for Klondex Mines as they take two of their projects into production Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:36:00 +0100 Paul Huet, president and CEO of Klondex Mines Ltd (TSE:KDX, NYSE:KLDX) tells Proactive they're a gold producer with four main assets - two of which are being put into production this year.

They have three assets in Nevada - Fire Creek, Midas and Hollister which they're building.

Huet adds they've also got the True North asset in Canada - which they're building this year.

]]> Amur Minerals strike highest grade intercept ever at Kun-Manie Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:13:00 +0100 Robin Young, chief executive of Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC) tells Proactive they've hit the largest and continuous thickness of mineralisation ever drilled at Kun-Manie - 76.4 metres averaging 0.93% nickel and 0.20% copper.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Premier African Minerals boosted by new funding package to advance ‘tier-1’ Circum and Zulu projects Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:52:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM), talks through their new financing package which'll provide working capital and allow them to increase their stake in fertiliser project developer Circum.

The cash will also allow Premier African to up the exploration effort at Zulu Lithium in Zimbabwe and to start a preliminary economic study there.

]]> Anglo Pacific in very good financial health after boost in royalty income Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:40:00 +0100 Kevin Flynn, Anglo Pacific Group plc's (LON:APF) chief financial officer updates Proactive on their first half trading.

Royalty income was up some 290% for the period - between £15.9mln and £16.3mln - mostly attributable to an increase in sales from the Kestrel mine which is now paying royalties on around 95% of its sales.

]]> Zak Mir: Anglo Pacific Group looking at 150p Mon, 31 Jul 2017 09:47:00 +0100 Shares in mining royalty specialist Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF) can go as high as 150p once 200-day average is breached according to technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> An 'excellent' time for investors to look at Arizona Silver ahead of September drilling Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:53:00 +0100 Greg Hahn, president and CEO of Arizona Silver Exploration Inc (CVE:AZS) tells Proactive they're a relatively new company, having been formed privately about two years ago.

Their main focus is the Ramsey silver mine project in western Arizona, which they'll be doing further exploration work on in September.

]]> Vast Resources seeing an 'upward trend' in Romania & Zimbabwe after difficult Q1 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:38:00 +0100 Roy Pitchford, chief executive of Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), tells Proactive Q2 was an 'improving' quarter after a difficult few months at the start of the year.

He adds that he's expecting output from the mines in Romania and Zimbabwe to continue increasing.

]]> US central bank back to cautious old self amid Trump fury Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:02:00 +0100 Copper surges to two-year high on China demand expectations Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:53:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford talks through a bounce this week for FTSE miners as copper rallies to a two-year high.

Ford also looks back on what's been a tricky week for US President Donald Trump with the Senate rejecting a move to repeal parts of the Obamacare health law as well as his ban on transgender people from serving in the US military.

]]> Zak Mir: Vast Resources could reach back up to 0.5p Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:39:00 +0100 Vast Resources shares could reach back up to the post-May resistance area of 0.5p, says technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> 'It doesn't really get any better than this' - Ferrum Crescent's Justin Tooth on Toral drill results Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:36:00 +0100 Justin Tooth, executive chairman of Ferrum Crescent Limited (LON:FCR) tells Proactive they've now completed a programme of six holes at the Toral project in Spain - all of them returning visually identified lead-zinc intersections.

]]> Goldplat has big expansion plans for mining and gold recovery businesses Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:12:00 +0100 Gerard Kisby-Green, chief executive of Goldplat PLC (LON:GDP) tells Proactive a strong end to the trading year will see them post underlying profits ahead of market expectations.

]]> Savannah Resources launches drilling programme at Portugal lithium project Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:26:00 +0100 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) talks Proactive through the objectives of their drilling programme at the Mina do Barroso lithium project.

They're planning to test three key areas – namely Grandao, Reservatorio and NOA.

]]> Crater Gold is transformed and focused on advancing highly prospective PNG project Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:35:00 +0100 Crater Gold's Alexander Molyneux speaks to Proactive Investors about the company's new focus.

]]> Zak Mir: Targets 8p for Savannah Resources Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:04:00 +0100 Savannah Resources has a notional target price of 8p over the next two to three months, says technical analyst Zak Mir

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:28:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 25p TP


redT energy (LON:RED) : Positive Market Changes

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Lithium producers gearing up to feed EV demand after UK ban on petrol and diesel vehicles Wed, 26 Jul 2017 11:18:00 +0100 Keith Coughlan, managing director of European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH, ASX:EMH) chats through the news the UK is to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

Coughlan also updates on developments at their Cinovec lithium-tin deposit in the Czech Republic.

]]> Amur Minerals 'set well for project financing' as resource expansion drilling continues Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:03:00 +0100 Robin Young, chief executive of Amur Minerals PLC (LON:AMC) updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on progress at their Kun-Manie project in Far East Russia.

They're currently drilling a further 20,000m at two targets to boost existing inferred resources to the more certain indicated category and find more metal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

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

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

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

]]> Greatland Gold presses ahead with Havieron acquisition Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:19:00 +0100 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their 'very exciting' acquisition of the Havieron Project in Western Australia.

]]> Zak Mir: Petra Diamonds has support up to 118p Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:17:00 +0100 As long as it stays above 100p Petra Diamonds PLC (LON:PDL) has potential to rally as high as 118p, the 50-day moving average, says technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> Asiamet 'zooming along' towards completion of feasibility study at BKM Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:07:00 +0100 Steve Hughes, VP of Exploration at Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) talks through their recent resource update at BKM as well as exploration work which is underway at BK West and BKZ.

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

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

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

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

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS)

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

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

]]> Who will set the gold price this summer: Trump, Yellen, or Black Swan? Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:43:00 +0100 AIM now starting to see 'sparks of life' - Mining Capital's Alastair Ford Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:18:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford talks through a number of upcoming mining IPOs.

''Mining's beginning to recover its confidence ... there are people in the markets saying they can raise more than $1bln for projects and they are being believed''.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Acacia Mining, Metal Tiger Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:30:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

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

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

We reiterate our 4.57p price target and BUY recommendation.

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA)

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

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

]]> CanAlaska launches drill program at West McArthur Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:38:00 +0100 Peter Dasler, president of CanAlaska Uranium Ltd (CVE:CVV) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've kick started summer drilling at the West McArthur uranium project.

]]> Caledonia Mining confident of hitting full year production targets Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:10:00 +0100 Steve Curtis, chief executive at Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL TSE:CAL) tells Proactive they're expecting to meet their gold production target this year through an improved second half performance.

The Zimbabwe-based miner produced approximately 12,522 ounces of gold from the Blanket mine in the three months to June.

Over the half year, output rose by 8.5% to 25,316oz, but Caledonia expects output to rise over the next two quarters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Carr’s Group#: FY 2017 Trading Update

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

• Trading remains in-line with expectations

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Medgold president on 'tantalising' potential at Tlamino after encouraging results Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:42:00 +0100 Dan James, president of Medgold Resources Corp (CVE:MED) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their encouraging exploration results from their Tlamino project in Serbia - as well as plans for upcoming drilling.

]]> 'Everything's looking up', says Endeavour Silver's Bradford Cooke as production ramps up Wed, 19 Jul 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Bradford Cooke, chief executive of Endeavour Silver Corp (TSE:EDR, NYSE:EXK) tells Proactive that improved performances at the Bolanitos and El Cubo mines in Mexico led to increased production in the second quarter of this year compared to the first.

]]> Balmoral Resources' Darin Wagner looking ahead to an 'exciting & busy summer' in Quebec Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:52:00 +0100 Darin Wagner, chief executive and president at Balmoral Resources Ltd (TSE:BAR, OTCQX: BALMF) tells Proactive they're continuing to see more good results from recent drilling at their Detour Gold trend project in Quebec.

There the Bug South deposit has now been extended to a depth of around 385 metres with a broad intercept of 14.28 metres grading 3.51 g/t (grams per ton) gold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

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

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

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

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

]]> Golden Saint Resources 'keeping an open mind' on new projects to become revenue-generating Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:58:00 +0100 Adimas Prawiro, the new business development director at Golden Saint Resources Ltd (LON:GSR) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through the firm's recent restructuring and new focus.

''My main focus is to turn GSR into a revenue-generating entity'', Prawiro says.

]]> Eurasia cracking on with mining application now discovery certificate's in hand Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:07:00 +0100 Christian Schaffalitzky, managing director of Eurasia Mining plc (LON:EUA) tells Proactive they've been granted a discovery certificate for the 1.9 mln ounces of palladium equivalent at its Monchetundra project in Russia.

The granting of the certificate follows swiftly on from the application, announced on 15 June 2017.

]]> The true potential of Zulu 'exciting but daunting' - Premier African's George Roach Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:14:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) tells Proactive they've boosted an already existing interest in Circum Minerals Limited to take their total holding to 2,649,333 Circum shares in aggregate, or 2.7%.

Roach also talks through the discovery of six new pegmatite zones at their Zulu lithium project in Zimbabwe.

The company is now looking at further exploration efforts on these new zones to establish the continuation as well depth extensions, following the completion of another 11 drill holes.

]]> Why are Strategic Minerals Plc getting excited about rare earths ? Tue, 18 Jul 2017 05:05:00 +0100 Having acquired a 100% interest in CARE - Central Australia Rare Earths - Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) chairman Alan Broome outlines to Proactive's Andrew Scott why they're interested in rare earths and the huge upcoming market potential for them.

''West Australia is a well-known rare earth province … we're in the right place''.

''We are looking into the future a little bit, but that's the business Strategic Minerals is in'', Broome says.

''We're looking to find areas where we can advantage our shareholders by effectively being in the right place at the right time as the demand goes up''.

]]> Kefi Minerals 'cracks the back of Tulu Kapi financing' - Exec chair Harry Adams Mon, 17 Jul 2017 11:36:00 +0100 Harry Adams, executive chairman of KEFI Minerals plc (LON:KEFI) tells Proactive they've agreed a finance package for the construction of the bulk of its Tulu Kapi gold mine in Ethiopia.

Infrastructure specialist Oryx is to put up US$135mln in new debt through a lease and payback arrangement that will also see it become the processing plant operator.

]]> Zak Mir: Technicals start to favour Amur Minerals Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:14:00 +0100 If shares in Russia-focused nickel group Amur Minerals PLC (LON:AMC) can break the March resistance line of 6.75p, share price can rally to 10p over next 2-3 months says technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> Egdon Resources - Now Boarding at Fiskerton Airfield Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:10:00 +0100 On 10 July 2017 EDR announced that it will acquire a 100% WI and take on operatorship of the Fiskerton Airfield Oil Field from Cirque Energy for a cash consideration of US$750k (c£0.59m). This will be paid for out of existing cash resources and will have an effective date of 1 January 2017. EDR estimate that 100,000bbls of high quality 32.5°API oil remain recoverable from the existing wells.

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

Further Appeals to be Made at Wressle

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

Biscathorpe Permits Issued

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

Recommendation and Target Price

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

]]> Trump’s influence on gold beginning to diminish, as world tunes out Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:16:00 +0100 Does Trump Jnr have the Midas Touch? Fri, 14 Jul 2017 10:32:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford explains why it's the US President's son who's this time causing fluctuations in the gold market after making comments on Twitter...and what investors are looking for after StratMin Global Resources PLC (LON:STGR) (soon to be Tectonic Gold) make a push on new technologies.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC Fri, 14 Jul 2017 08:01:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

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

Vulcan North West

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

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

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

Hogsback, Hobson and Goacher

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

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

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

]]> Lionsgold snaps up majority stake in gold-focused fintech company TRAC Technology Thu, 13 Jul 2017 12:06:00 +0100 Cameron Parry, chief executive of Lionsgold Limited (LON:LION) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've agreed terms which will see them become the majority owner of gold-focused financial tech company, TRAC Technology.

Parry also chats through developments at their projects in Finland and India.

]]> Stratex boss Marcus Engelbrecht on the 'significant upside' to Crusader merger Thu, 13 Jul 2017 11:50:00 +0100 Marcus Engelbrecht, chief executive of Stratex International plc (LON:STI) updates Proactive on progress with the merger with Aussie-listed, Brazil-focused gold miner Crusader Resources Ltd (ASX:CAS).

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

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

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES)

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

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

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

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

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

redT energy# Operations Update

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Galantas Gold blasting ahead at Omagh as underground pace picks up Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:28:00 +0100 Roland Phelps, chief executive of Galantas Gold Corporation (LON:GAL)(CVE:GAL) tells Proactive it’s all systems go now that underground development work at the Omagh gold mine has started.

]]> Kore Potash Ltd's Sean Bennett reveals key next steps for world-class Kola asset Wed, 12 Jul 2017 13:07:00 +0100 Sean Bennett, chief executive for Kore Potash, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Berkeley Energia Ltd's Salamanca is the world’s only major uranium mine in construction Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Paul Atherley, managing director for Berkeley Energia PLC, speaks with Proactive Investors.

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

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

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

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

]]> Battersea Power Station redevelopment 'a tremendous project' for Michelmersh to be involved in Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:13:00 +0100 Frank Hanna, joint chief executive of Michelmersh Brick Holdings Plc (LON:MBH) discusses with Proactive the significance of their bricks being chosen as part of the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.

Hanna also touches on their recent acquisition of Carlton Main Brickworks.

]]> Premier African Minerals' George Roach 'particularly excited' by Zulu upside potential Mon, 10 Jul 2017 14:24:00 +0100 George Roach, chief executive of Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) catches up with Proactive Investors following the release of their 2016 results.

Roach says they're continuing to transition from an explorer to a developer and producer with the ongoing work at the RHA tungsten project in Zimbabwe.

He says they're making substantial progress with the Zulu lithium project and the TCT project in Mozambique.

]]> Niocorp's Mark Smith 'very pleased' with Elk Creek feasibility study after completion in record time Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:02:00 +0100 Mark Smith, chief executive of NioCorp Developments Ltd (TSE:NB) talks through some of the highlights of the feasibility study done on their Elk Creek asset.

Smith says he's particularly proud that the team had completed the study in just over three years, when something closer to ten is the industry norm.

]]> Tharisa notches up another record quarter of production Mon, 10 Jul 2017 11:05:00 +0100 Phoevos Pouroulis, chief executive of Tharisa PLC (LON:THA) says they're seeing signs of stability in the chrome market after recent sharp falls in the price of the metal.

A record 1.275 mln tonnes was mined in the three months to June leading to chrome concentrate production hitting a new quarterly high at 334,000t, a 6.1% quarter on quarter increase.

Within that, high grade specialty chrome production rose 26% to 87,000t, while production of platinum and associated metals rose 3.2% to 35,400oz.

]]> Thor Mining's Mick Billing looking ahead to 'an even busier' second half Mon, 10 Jul 2017 10:06:00 +0100 Mick Billing, executive chairman of Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) tells Proactive the second half of the year will likely be as busy as the first, with a new drill program earmarked for the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in Nevada and the potential acquisition of the remaining 75% of a US lithium explorer.

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

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

Operations Update

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

Water Injection Pilot Programme

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


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

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

Goudron Field Well stimulation campaign

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

Smart pumping systems using downhole sensors

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

Quarterly Production Update

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

South West Peninsula

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> 'All hands on deck' as Otis Gold gears up for Kilgore drilling - CEO Craig Lindsay Fri, 07 Jul 2017 15:03:00 +0100 Craig Lindsay, chief executive of Otis Gold Corp (CVE:OOO, OTC:OGLDF) talks Proactive through their disposal of several non-core assets to Strata Minerals Inc (CVE:SMP.H) in return for Strata shares.

Lindsay also updates on developments at their Oakley and Kilgore projects.

]]> Energy storage 'the game-changer' for Lithium & renewable energy - European Metals' Keith Coughlan Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:14:00 +0100 Keith Coughlan, managing director of European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH, ASX:EMH) discusses with Proactive the implications on lithium and the energy storage markets following the announcement that Tesla's to build the world's largest lithium ion battery in Australia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


]]> Tesla deal 'hugely encouraging for Cobalt miners' - Mining Capital's Alastair Ford Fri, 07 Jul 2017 09:42:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford talks through the deal with electric car firm Tesla and energy company Neoen to build the world's largest lithium ion battery in Australia.

''Cobalt companies are perhaps most under the radar when it comes to lithium batteries because they can't be built without cobalt at the moment and cobalt is a more complex metal to get hold of from a mining perspective than lithium is'', Ford says.

''Cobalt almost exclusively comes as a by-product of copper mining and what we've seen lately in the cobalt industry is that prices have shot up because copper's not being produced as much as it was''.

Ford adds that while cobalt production has slowed demand has rocketed because of this electric battery demand.

Talking through a couple of names in the Cobalt space and those set to really benefit from the upswing in demand, he discusses Metal NRG (LON:MNRG), Strategic Minerals (LON:SML) and what they're up to at Hanns Camp in Australia as well as Greatland Gold (LON:GGP) among a number of others.

]]> Canarc Resource Corp fires starting gun on exploration at Fondaway Canyon Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:28:00 +0100 Catalin Chiloflischi, chief executive of Canarc Resource Corp (CVE:CCM) tells Proactive they've kicked off their first phase of exploration work at the Fondaway Canyon gold property In Nevada in a bid to refine drill targets.

]]> 'We have a great story with big scale-up opportunities' - Rambler Metals & Mining's Norman Williams Wed, 05 Jul 2017 13:51:00 +0100 Norman Williams, President and CEO of Rambler Metals & Mining PLC (LON:RMM) updates Proactive on progress at their Ming copper/gold project in Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada.

They've recently initiated a surface diamond drilling program targeting the depth extension of both the Lower Footwall Zone and high grade massive sulphides at the mine.

The drilling will test up to one kilometre beyond the current known mineralized trend, between depths of 1,200 meters and 1,800 meters below sea level.

''We have a great story, targeting low cost ... ultimately we want to drive our costs low so we can set ourselves up to produce for 20 years'', Williams tells Proactive.

]]> Hummingbird Resources fully cashed-up after accelerated loan drawdown Wed, 05 Jul 2017 09:40:00 +0100 Bert Munro, head of business development at Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've drawn down fully on the US$60 mln senior secured loan facility with Coris Bank International Group, a leading Burkinabe bank.

The debt facility is being used to fund the ongoing construction of the Yanfolila gold mine in Mali, which is on budget and scheduled for first gold pour by the end of 2017.

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

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

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

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

]]> Harvest Minerals' Brian McMaster on the 'excellent' agronomic efficiency results for KPfértil Tue, 04 Jul 2017 12:09:00 +0100 Brian McMaster, executive chairman of Harvest Minerals Limited (LON:HMI) tells Proactive the agronomic test work which has been done on their Arapua fertiliser project in Brazil has confirmed its product, KPfértil, increases the potassium, phosphate, silicate, calcium, and magnesium in the pH of the local soil and corrects the soil acidity.

The results indicate that KPfértil works effectively as a multi-nutrient, slow release remineraliser.

Harvest has already produced 50,000 tonnes of KPfértil under a trial mining permit, but the current resource stands at 13 million tonnes so there is plenty of mine life left.

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

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

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

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

]]> A year of 'excellent' growth for Plastics Capital - Chairman Faisal Rahmatallah Mon, 03 Jul 2017 10:41:00 +0100 Faisal Rahmatallah, chairman of Plastics Capital Plc (LON:PLA) talks through the firm's results for the year to the end of March 2017.

''We made a couple of acquisitions during the course of the year which have contributed'', Rahmatallah says.

''Four of our existing businesses have had record years in terms of organic growth and profitability, so we're delighted with that''.

''We've had a bit of an impact from foreign exchange as well so that's helped a little bit ... and we've used a lot of our cash flow to reinvest back in the business'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Presentational currency switched to US$ from GBP

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

]]> IMF downgrades growth prospects for Donald Trump’s America Fri, 30 Jun 2017 12:12:00 +0100 Lionsgold's Cameron Parry on the ground in Finland ahead of bulk sampling campaign Fri, 30 Jun 2017 11:34:00 +0100 Cameron Parry, chief executive of Lionsgold Limited (LON:LION) updates on developments at their project in Finland.

'We're doing a bit of ground preparation work at our Kuikka block while we're waiting for the environmental permitting to be approved so that we can move forward with the bulk sampling campaign''.

]]> Mining Capital's Alastair Ford on the 'weakness' in the London mining IPO market Fri, 30 Jun 2017 08:47:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford talks through the implications of the  cut by the IMF in their forecast for US growth on metals and mining.

Ford also talks through the two mining IPOs of the week just gone - Jangada Mines (LON:JAN) and Phoenix Global Mining (LON:PGM).

''The London mining scene has been much quieter than many anticipated it would be at the beginning of the year''.

''Phoenix Global raised £4.6mln which was actually the second largest mining raise of the year which I think is a statistic which says a lot about the weakness in the mining IPO market in the UK''.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Metal Tiger, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:46:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

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

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

Our target price and recommendation remain under review.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

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

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Greatland Gold spots 'interesting' new targets at Ernest Giles after ground gravity survey Thu, 29 Jun 2017 12:55:00 +0100 Gervaise Heddle, chief executive of Greatland Gold plc (LON:GGP) tells Proactive a comprehensive ground gravity survey across a significant portion of the Ernest Giles gold project in Western Australia has “highlighted several additional targets conducive to gold mineralisation”.

Heddle also discusses some 'outstanding' gold intercepts that've recently been reported by Antipa Minerals who've been drilling at their Minyari Dome Project - approximately 35 kilometres along strike from Greatland's Havieron project.

]]> Asiamet Resources shares set to test five-year highs, says Zak Mir Thu, 29 Jun 2017 10:00:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) share price to re-test the 7p zone, a level not seen since 2012 in the coming months.

“We’ve been in an uptrend since the big breakout at the beginning of the year through 3p, since when 4p has effectively become the support zone – well above the 200-day moving average at 3.55p,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“While we hold above the 200-day line, the notional technical target over the next two to three months is as high as 7p at the top of this year’s trend channel.”

]]> Jangada Mines keen to crack on with development at their 'one of a kind' project after £2.25mln IPO Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:16:00 +0100 Brian McMaster, chairman of Jangada Mines Plc (LON:JAN) tells Proactive they own what they believe is South America's largest and most developed PGM asset which they purchased about two years ago from Anglo American.

Raising just over £2mln, McMaster says the plan is to use that cash to fast-track a pre-feasibility study on the project which they hope to have completed by the end of the year.

''The asset has quite a long history, it's been developed for about 40 years, it's had around about $35mln spent on it to date'', McMaster says.

''The £2.25mln raised through IPO will be more than enough money to get us through the PFS and ready for the next stage of development''.

''Roughly 80% of the world's PGM production comes from South Africa ... it's well documented it has issues at the moment so to find a really high quality PGM asset outside of South Africa is rarely quite rare.''

]]> The Empire mine 'ticks all the boxes', says CEO as Phoenix Global Mining kicks off trading on AIM Thu, 29 Jun 2017 07:14:00 +0100 Phoenix Global Mining's chief executive Dennis Thomas and CFO Richard Wilkins introduce the company to Proactive Investors as they begin their first day of trading on AIM.

''Phoenix is a redevelopment of the Empire copper mine in Idaho … looking at developing oxide at surface, open-pit and also the underground potential as well'', Thomas says.

''[The Empire mine] ticks all the boxes if I'm perfectly honest … jurisdiction, we've looked all over the world and evaluated a lot of projects, Idaho is an excellent mining location … it has everything'', Thomas adds.

CFO Richard Wilkins says: ''[Raising £4.6 million] we raised a little bit more than anticipated … this will take us right the way through to complete the first phase of our work programme and will enable us to start on the second phase as well''.

''We had a very good response from a number of institutional investors and high net worth investors so yes, we're delighted in the current market to have achieved what we were after''.

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

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

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

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

We re-iterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL)

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

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

]]> Ironveld eyeing up production and profitabilty by Q1 next year - CEO Peter Cox Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:07:00 +0100 Peter Cox, chief executive of Ironveld (LON:IRON) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through the latest developments at their High Purity Iron, Vanadium and Titanium Project in the Northern
Limb of the Bushveld Complex in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Cox also goes through the detail on their recent £2.1mln fundraise as well as ongoing discussions regarding the potential acquisition of a 7.5 MW smelting plant and associated independent power plant in Middleburg, South Africa.

]]> European Metals' Keith Coughlan talks through 'excellent' Cinovec maiden ore reserve Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:54:00 +0100 Keith Coughlan, managing director of European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH, ASX:EMH) tells Proactive they've declared a maiden ore reserve for the Cinovec lithium-tin deposit in the Czech Republic as well as securing a A$2mln interim funding package that will “maintain momentum” behind the project.

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

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

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

]]> Savannah Resources gives green light to Mina do Barroso drilling after 'very very positive' test work Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:49:00 +0100 David Archer, chief executive of Savannah Resources Plc (LON:SAV) tells Proactive they're to press ahead with a drilling programme at their Mina do Barroso project in northern Portugal after metallurgical test work indicated the potential for high grade lithium.

]]> Strategic Minerals gets hands-on at Hanns Camp as exploration kicks off Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:44:00 +0100 Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) managing director John Peters and chairman Alan Broome discuss with Proactive's Andrew Scott their three stage exploration programme by subsidiary Central Australian Rare Earths (CARE) in Western Australia.

Hanns Camp will see the first exploration with 2,000 metres of shallow hole drilling focused on finding cobalt and nickel.

Stage two will involve deeper drilling looking for nickel sulphide deposits.

The third stage will see a soil sampling campaign at Mount Weld, 30km to the south, to identify rare earths and gold targets.

]]> Anglo Pacific to give investors more regular income with quarterly dividend Mon, 26 Jun 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Julian Treger, chief executive of Anglo Pacific Group plc (LON:APF TSE:APY) tells Proactive they're moving to a quarterly dividend payment as well as choosing to pay dividends more rapidly than they have previously.

]]> Capital Network's Sam Catalano on Greatland Gold Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:57:00 +0100 Sam Catalano, Capital Network's mining analyst talks through Greatland Gold plc's (LON:GGP) key assets as well as strategy and outlook.

]]> Global growth will continue to spur mining, but watch for political upheaval along the way Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:53:00 +0100 Capital Network's Sam Catalano on Thor Mining Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Sam Catalano, Capital Network's mining analyst talks through Thor Mining PLC's (LON:THR) key assets as well as strategy and outlook.

]]> Petropavlovsk waves goodbye to mining legend Peter Hambro Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:04:00 +0100 Mining Capital's Alastair Ford reports on Peter Hambro, chairman of Petropavlovsk PLC (LON:POG), being voted off the board of the company he founded 23 years ago.

]]> Shanta Gold now set up 'for many years to come' after series of transactions Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:48:00 +0100 Toby Bradbury, chief executive of Shanta Gold Ltd (LON:SHG) talks Proactive through their acquisition of Vancouver-based Helio Resource Corp, the raising of US$14mln from investors, and their debt restructuring deal.

''We've pulled together a number of strings for the company at one time which really sets us up to take Shanta - particularly New Luika - forward for many years to come'', Bradbury says.

]]> Berkeley Energia finalising costs as 'exciting' Salamanca construction ramps up Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:04:00 +0100 Paul Atherley, managing director of Berkeley Energia Limited (LON:BKY) updates Proactive on construction and progress at their Salamanca uranium project in Spain.

Atherley also talks through developments with further offtake deals and financing plans.

]]> 'It's nice to be active again' - Ortac CEO Vassilios Carellas Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:02:00 +0100 Vassilios Carellas, chief executive of Ortac Resources Limited (LON:OTC), talks Proactive through their increasing focus on projects in Africa - particularly Misisi in the Democratic Republic of Congo that already boasts a resource of well over a million ounces.

Carellas adds the company's long-standing chairman Anthony Balme will stand down at the company’s next annual general meeting, to be held in September this year

]]> Orosur Mining's Ignacio Salazar 'very pleased' to hit production targets after underground move Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Ignacio Salazar, chief executive of Orosur Mining Inc (LON:OMI TSX:OMI) tells Proactive a pick-up in production from their new San Gregorio West underground mine in the last three months helped them to meet production guidance for a fourth year in a row.

]]> Avrupa Minerals' Paul Kuhn 'really excited' to take back control of Alvalade Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:01:00 +0100 Paul Kuhn, chief executive of Avrupa Minerals Ltd (CVE:ARU) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their decision to take back full control of the Alvalade VMS project in the Iberian pyrite belt of southern Portugal.

]]> 'This is a time for growth' - Endeavour Silver's Bradford Cooke Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:30:00 +0100 Bradford Cooke, chief executive of Endeavour Silver Corp (TSE: EDR, NYSE:EXK) updates Proactive on their plans to develop two new mines - El Compas and Terronera.

They've also recently increased their footprint in Zacatecas state through the purchase of two additional properties for under US$1mln.

''We have I think one of the most compelling organic growth profiles in the silver space'', Cooke says.

]]> OTCQX listing 'the natural next step' for Eastmain Resources - CEO Claude Lemasson Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:35:00 +0100 Claude Lemasson, president and chief executive of Eastmain Resources Inc (TSE:ER, OTCQX:EANRF) tells Proactive their shares have begun changing hands on the  OTCQX Best Market in the US under the ticker EANRF.

]]> Ferrum Crescent's Justin Tooth 'thrilled and delighted' to welcome new technical consultant Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:14:00 +0100 Justin Tooth, executive chairman of Ferrum Crescent Ltd (LON:FCR) - more commonly known now as FCR - talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through their recent hiring of heavy-hitting technical consultant Myles Campion.

Tooth also discusses their drilling program at Toral in Spain and the increasing interest they're getting from Australian investors since making the strategic decision to distance themselves from iron ore in South Africa .

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:02:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced an update demonstrating robust operational progress as well as the potential impacts from the recently proposed changes to the South African Mining Charter. The notable changes that GDP would need to make relate to BEE ownership and board quotas. Currently the required BEE stake, with which GDP is compliant, is 26%. However, the new proposals would increase the stake to 30%. The Chamber of Mines of South Africa had not been consulted on the proposed changes and given the controversial nature of the new Charter; it is taking legal action against the Government to prevent its implementation. This is likely to be a drawn out process.

Operationally, GDP has announced that Kilimapesa is now running profitably, this is a major step for the company and one we expect to unlock significant value in the coming years. Installation of Stage Two at Kilimapesa was completed in mid-June and commissioning of the new crusher and leach tanks should be completed by the end of the month. Target Stage 2 run rate using stockpiled ore was achieved in May 2017 at 120tpd. GDP has found a solution to switch to grid power earlier than planned which should have a positive impact on costs and once production is stabilised on this basis Stage 3 can be commenced.

GDP has altered its plans for adding an elution plant in Ghana, saving US$1m of the original US$2m budgeted. This has been achieved by purchasing a second hand plant rather than moving an existing one from the South African operations. This will also bring forward the planned completion date.

In South America, GDP has reported signing its first recurring contract demonstrating clear positive progress as the company looks to diversify and expand its network of suppliers of processing material.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has provided an update on its current drill programme and financing. The first hole on the new programme has been completed with the core now being logged whilst two further holes, also at Sanama Hill, are underway. One of the two currently operating drill rigs will soon be moved to TZ4 where recent scout holes yielded encouraging results.

In addition, Sula has announced that it has raised £340k of the planned £400k, of which the outstanding balance is expected to be received in the coming days. The planned issue price has been adjusted downwards marginally from 0.268p to 0.25p and will result in a further 160m shares being issued.

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

]]> Long-term outlook for gold remains favourable, despite Fed tightening Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:23:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:09:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (CERP)# presented to investors yesterday evening to officially launch its rebranding and gave an outline for its strategy going forward. Having spoken to the almost entirely new management in place we now view this as a materially different company. In short, we are extremely impressed by CERP’s new leadership and the significant progress that has been made both in Trinidad and London in the 5 weeks since Leo Koot was announced as CEO. Our key takeaways from the event are summarised below.


Leo Koot - CEO

In the coming years we will probably view 10 May 2017 as the day that realistically transformed LGO Energy into CERP upon the appointment of Leo Koot as CEO. We view Leo’s appointment as an extremely positive step made by the company for a number of reasons and, in truth, the announcement was a very welcome surprise to us at the time.

Primarily we are excited by LEO’s wealth of experience, not just his 28 years of expertise in the oil and gas industry but by the fact he has built an oil company effectively from scratch before as Managing Director of TAQA (Abu Dhabi National oil Company) UK. In this role he built the organisation from a few people to an organisation of over 2,000 staff and contractors and delivered a mature E&P operating company that managed 60kboepd production with US$1.7 billion in annual revenues. Further to this he has been a board member of AIM listed Sterling Energy (SEY), Managing Partner of MENA Gulf Investment Partners (Abu Dhabi), whilst prior to TAQA he was CEO of Energy Development Partners an oil and gas business creating ways to match capital and resources with developing production, for which he helped raise a US$350 million private equity fund. Leo has a Master in Petroleum Engineering and a business degree from Harvard Business School.

Gordon Stein – CFO

Further to Leo’s appointment Gordon Stein was announced as the new CFO on 15 June 2017. Gordon has already made his influence felt in the very short time he has been appointed as at the briefing yesterday it was announced CERP was moving its London office, which is estimated to be saving the company c£20,000 per month.

Gordon has over 24 years of international experience in the oil and gas sector and was most recently CFO of Madagascar Oil. Prior to this, he was CFO at Cadogan Petroleum, Vanguard Energy Limited and Regal Petroleum. Gordon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy.

Stewart Ahmed – Managing Director, Trinidad

Stewart Ahmed’s appointment as effectively country manager in Trinidad is another appointment we view as being important in turning the company around. Previously under the old management CERP did not have a board member in country, however, Stewart will be based in Trinidad to oversee operations and as outlined at the briefing has already made a number of operational improvements at the field to make it more productive at minimal cost. Significantly by having Stewart both on the board and working on site in Trinidad we believe this will remove any disconnect between the two and will bring his wealth of technical and commercial expertise from his international career.

Stewart has 32 years oil industry technical, commercial and management experience, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Madagascar Oil in Antananarivo from 2013-2016. Operating the Tsimiroro Field steam flood pilot, he gained the first Field Development License in Madagascar’s history.

Geological Potential

From the presentation made to investors yesterday it is clear that Leo is extremely enthusiastic about the potential in CERP from a geological and technical perspective. The first point he makes is that the quality of the oil is particularly good (38° API) i.e. the oil is light. This is particularly unusual when considering that the reservoir depth at Goudron is shallow (c500m), ordinarily at these shallow depths one would expect the quality of the oil to be much lower and viscous due to biodegradation of the oil and interaction with bacteria. However, as this is not the case this would indicate that the oil is leaking and, therefore, migrating from a deeper and much larger source which the management indicated it will be targeting to exploit.


Strategic and Operational Improvements

CERP has already moved on from the days of LGO and its strategy has moved accordingly and it plans to implement a 3-5 year strategy to add incremental value to the business. Previous management indicated it wanted to drill 45 new wells into the Goudron Field which were expected to produce c50bbls/d initially before gradually tailing off. The new management has now confirmed this strategy will not be followed and will be implementing a new one. Whereby, instead of drilling new wells CERP plans to increase the pressure in the reservoir through water injection in order to encourage the existing wells to produce at or close to their initial production rates. Indeed the field has produced c2000bbls/d in 2014 and these are the sort of numbers that the new management is targeting.

Management are confident by implementing these changes and a number of other cost cutting measures this will allow it to become cash flow positive in a matter of months. CERP will then use some of this cash to build up production further.


South America

Finally CERP indicated its intention to export its expertise into South America, therefore, we expect it to announce M&A activity in this region in due course.


We have summarised the key points of the meeting below and we now view CERP as an entirely different investment proposition to LGO and we are excited to see the new management follow through on these plans.

• CERP plans to implement a 3-5 year strategy to add incremental value to the business

• The first part of its strategy is to grow its production organically from its currently producing assets in Trinidad to allow it to become cash flow positive through a number of cost cutting measures

• CERP then intends to invest part of this free cash flow into its exploration portfolio in the South West Peninsula where it is targeting several large prospects

• CERP plans to build on its asset base in Trinidad with a portfolio of assets across South America

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

As of this morning LGO Energy (LON:LGO), the oil and gas E&P company focussed on onshore Trinidad, has officially changed its name to Columbus Energy Resources (CERP).

Further to this, CERP has announced that Gordon Stein has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer. Mr Stein has over 24 years of international experience in the oil and gas sector and was most recently CFO of Madagascar Oil. Prior to this, he was CFO at Cadogan Petroleum, Vanguard Energy Limited and Regal Petroleum. Mr Stein is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy. James Thadchanamoorthy has stepped down from his position as finance director effective immediately.

As a reminder, CERP will be holding a re-branding launch event this evening at Patch St Paul’s at 18:00.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced the results of its updated CPR for its Thai lead zinc silver assets. A CPR was previously completed in 2013 by ACA Howe and formed the basis for our assumptions. The new report completed by SRK Consulting indicates that on a 10% discount rate the study has shown an NPV of US$45.9m with an IRR of 33% and upfront capex of US$50.3m.

In addition a JORC 2012 resource update to that defined in 2012 has been announced. This has increased the confidence categories of the resource, however, resulted in a slight reduction in tonnage. The scheduled mine life remains unchanged at 14 years.

The project is brownfield and the CPR highlights that mines are in good condition and that much of the existing infrastructure including the processing plant may be utilised.

Our target price and recommendation are withdrawn

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:40:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced an update on its 30% owned T3 copper project in Botswana. Assay results from geotechnical drilling using wide diameter holes are encouraging and confirm the initial pit design whilst wide intersections such as 46.6m at 2.1% Cu and 6g/t Ag may benefit the resource update due in July 2017. These wide holes are primarily to determine a greater understanding of rock strength and stability as well as to provide samples for metallurgical testing, further drilling will seek to determine the potential for an expanded pit design.

MTR has stated that it expects the remaining assays from Zone 2 drilling to be returned by the end of June. A resource update is due in July 2017 covering Zones 1 and 2 although further drilling is also due to take place on nearby anomalies at the same time. In August drilling will focus on Zone 3, below the current T3 resource while in Q3 2017 the company aims to complete metallurgical, mining and processing testwork for the PFS.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4p target price.

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron and Gold (SULA LN) has announced that its Phase three drilling programme has commenced. The new programme is for 5,000m and will again be carried out by Equity Drilling. The focus of this drilling will follow up on the promising results from Sanama Hill as well as the Southern Target TZ4 where the initial scout hole yielded 5.2g/t over 1.2m.

The final assay results from the recent programme have now been received. The second scout hole at TZ4 also returned mineralisation with two intervals of 0.8m at 1.59g/t and 1.79g/t. At Sanama Hill hole FDD020 hit intervals of 1.3m and 1.8m at 0.97g/t and 1.48g/t respectively and in total 10 of the 14 holes at Sanama Hill returned mineralisation with an average 2.05m at 3.9g/t (average true thickness and length weighted grade).

Sula has also announced that a detailed structural review of the local geology has been carried out resulting in the identification of a total of 19 target zones including Sanama Hill and the Southern Target which includes TZ4. Given the recent results we believe that a stronger understanding of the structural geology will significantly benefit future drill targeting and enable Sula to capitalise on this drilling programme which demonstrated the potential at Ferensola for multiple zones of gold mineralisation as well as thick mineralised structures.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:39:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has acquired a 50% interest in PEDL278 in its core area of the East Midlands from Celtique Energie Petroleum and Investcan who were originally awarded the licence in the 14th licencing round. The licence contains the Kirk Smeaton tight gas discovery and further conventional and unconventional prospectivity.

IGas (IGAS) is acquiring the other 50% and will act as operator. Therefore, this acquisition adds 4,695 net acres to EDR’s unconventional resources position, which now totals c205,800 acres. The acquisition was completed for a nominal cash consideration.

This acquisition is in-keeping with EDR’s strategy within its core area. We now await further update on the development and exploration programme on this licence from EDR and IGAS.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> UK election shows era of Conservatives as natural party of government is over Sat, 10 Jun 2017 07:09:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Thu, 08 Jun 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (LON:ECO)

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)# has announced that its operating partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN) have approved a c2,550km2 seismic survey on its Orinduik Block offshore Guyana. ECO anticipate the survey to commence in the next two weeks and will be completed by Schlumberger Guyana.

As a reminder ECO owns a 40% working interest in the Orinduik block with TLW owning the remaining interest and acting as operator. The Orinduik Block is located up dip and just a few kilometers from Exxon’s (XOM US) recent Liza and Payara discoveries confirming, by XOM estimates, in excess of 1.5Bbbls of recoverable oil. ECO has reviewed 2D seismic data across the block and leads have been identified which TLW estimates contain prospective resources of 900mmboe. This 3D seismic programme is now the next stage of the exploration programme over the block and is being completed on time as per ECO’s guidance.

TLW will fully carry ECO over the first 1,000km2 of the survey at a cap of US$1.25m with the balance being funded by both parties on a pro-rata basis. ECO is well funded to cover this by its own cash following its £5.1m raise in February. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 25p TP

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:47:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced an additional assay result from its recent drilling programme at Ferensola. Hole FDD021, a scout hole 2km South of Sanama Hill and beyond the Southern extent of the Eastern Target Zone at an anomaly known as TZ4, has yielded encouraging results.

The assay shows 5.22g/t over 1.2m at a depth 116m and is the first of two holes in this programme drilled at TZ4. Although only a single data point at this stage, the result does confirm the exploration potential beyond the existing target at Sanama Hill. Previously trenching and grab samples at TZ4 have yielded grades of 3.28g/t and 2.54g/t and the IP anomaly has a strike length of c.1km with a shallower dip than at Sanama Hill; as confirmed by the initial drill result which showed a dip of 38⁰.

A total of seven assays remain outstanding from the current programme, including a second from TZ4.

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

]]> Peter Hambro’s relationship with retail investors could prove as crucial as Tiny Rowland’s Mon, 05 Jun 2017 12:11:00 +0100 Trump climate change decision good for coal and gold, bad for stability Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:13:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Dakota Minerals Wed, 31 May 2017 07:25:00 +0100 Dakota Minerals (ASX:DKO)

Reported this past Monday, DKO confirms metallurgical suitability for production of Li2CO3 for the battery market from its petalite mineralisation from the Sepeda pegmatite in Portugal. Dorfner-Anzaplan of Germany conducted the work and accomplished 99.88% purity prior to bicarbonation and 99.97% purity after. This quality is quite suitable as battery grade and was accomplished with industry standard methodology of calcination (roasting), acid baking, and leaching.

DKO reported back on 24 April that metallurgical testing had confirmed the petalite would produce technical grade products suitable for the ceramic industry. It is now shown that the producible Li2CO3 will also be prime for the battery market off-takers as well.

DKO expects to have a Scoping Study completed incorporating these results by mid-June.

All the signs and results are still pointing to a robust lithium project being put forward in coming weeks for definitive feasibility studies and eventual construction finance.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 30 May 2017 07:38:00 +0100 Stratmin Global (LON:STGR)

Released on Friday, STGR announced the resignation of director Shishir Poddar. He will now focus on the development of the Vatomaina graphite mine in Madagascar, which is a joint venture between Tirupati Resources Mauritius and STGR. Mr. Poddar retains a 3.55% shareholder stake in STGR. STGR holds 1.45% of Tirupati Resources Mauritius (TRM). TRM is passing its interest into private firm Tirupati Graphite plc with the intent of a future IPO.

Stratmin is proceeding to transform to a gold exploration company with the Scheme of Arrangement now filed with the Australian authorities for the reverse takeover of private firm Signature Gold by STGR. Shareholders of STGR will have a vote on the transaction at a future date.

Our recommendation and target price are suspended while STGR is not trading.

Sula Iron and Gold (LON:SULA)

SULA is not allowing any lapse in drilling activity at Ferensola with the signing of a new 5,000m contract with Equity Drilling (EQD) under largely the same terms as the previous one just completed. EQD will take a portion of its fees and costs in shares of SULA just as it did in the prior contract.

The contract is valued at US$700k and is intended to be infill and step out drilling concentrating on the TZ0 target of Sanama Hill where the latest program encountered 21m true width at 3.65gAu/t in assay. Some assays from the previous round of drilling are still pending.

As the company completes more holes into the gold and geophysical anomalies of the Ferensola gold targets, the better it understands the controls to gold mineralisation on this very big anomaly.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation and 1.6p price target.

]]> Peace be upon you: Trump wrong-foots critics with foreign travel, US dollars and religion Mon, 29 May 2017 09:19:00 +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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> Markets spooked by Trump’s disregard for law, spies and media Fri, 19 May 2017 13:55:00 +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.

]]> 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.

]]> The uneasy calm in markets can’t last, and may be bullish for gold Fri, 12 May 2017 13:09:00 +0100 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

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> European economy in recovery mode, but China retreat drags down miners Fri, 05 May 2017 13:42:00 +0100 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> Trump’s first 100 days: an unexpected semblance of normality pervades, for now Sun, 30 Apr 2017 16:13:00 +0100 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).

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> Fundamentals returning to the fore in mining, at long last Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:36:00 +0100 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.

]]> 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 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


]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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

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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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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%