The End of the Day Wrap provides a summary of the most interesting articles published by Proactive Investors during the day, including all of the main stories and exclusive interviews with executives.
PROACTIVE NEWS SUMMARY: Kincora Copper, Forte Energy, Churchill Mining, Specialist Energy Group, Aminex, Solo Oil
Three of today’s main stories by Proactive Investors were dedicated to mining companies including Kincora Copper (CVE:KCC), which Ocean Equities said could see a strong re-rating in the near future.
In Ocean’s Mongolia Exploration Update out this week, analyst Christopher Welch identified Kincora as one of only a handful of advanced and aggressive exploration companies active in the country with flagship assets located in relatively favourable locations for project development.
Kincora’s flagship asset is the Bronze Fox deposit in the country, which is in the same geological neighbourhood as the giant Oyu Tolgoi mine, just over 100 miles to the north-east.
Oyu Tolgoi is the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposit, which also contains an estimated 46 million ounces of gold. It was discovered by Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSE:IVN) and is being developed in partnership with Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).
The bigger picture is also very promising: Mongolia’s shift towards a market economy, the fast and efficient progress of its mining sector, the sustained rapid growth of its neighbour China and the emergence of a number of world-class projects with the majority of the country relatively underexplored has captured the market’s attention.
In the meantime, Proactive covered today’s news from uranium miner Forte Energy (LON:FTE), which has increased the uranium resource by 70 per cent at the A238 prospect Mauritania.
The project’s resource now stands at 45.2 million tonnes at a grade of 100 parts per million, which gives Forte a total of 23.4 million pounds of contained uranium.
It also means that the firm’s total resource inventory across its whole portfolio stands at 37 million pounds of contained uranium, up from 28.5 million pounds.
"These excellent results demonstrate that Forte Energy is on track to increase its resource base from the recent drilling campaigns in Mauritania and Guinea,” said managing director Mark Reilly.
“Following the completion of the resource upgrade we look forward to initiating further studies on both A238 and the Firawa project, and to taking Forte Energy onto its next stage of its evolution".
Overall the resource can be split into two separate parts the A238 Prospect and A238NW.
Forte explains that 10 million pounds, or 46 per cent, of the contained uranium resource is found along a 1.75 kilometre strike length of the A238 Prospect, between the surface and a depth of 150 metres.
The A238 Prospect remains open at depth and along strike. Further drilling work continues here and Forte plans to complete another resource update in July to incorporate results from that programme.
Another article took a closer look at Churchill Mining (LON:CHL). The news that Indonesia’s Supreme Court intends to reject the company’s appeal is clearly a blow, however the firm’s fate does not rely solely on this one ruling alone.
Last week Churchill’s shares shed as much as 30 per cent with the news.
One way or another, the Supreme Court’s final decision will provide investors with clarity on what Churchill’s next move will be. Last week, Churchill reported that notations on the register of the Supreme Court show it intends to reject the appeal.
The firm has been entrenched in a legal battle against the Indonesian government for the past year. The case has put the future of the US$1.8 billion East Kutai coal mine development project in the balance.
Churchill says it has been subjected to a sustained campaign to expropriate its rights as a legitimate foreign investor in Indonesia.
The company believes these actions are in direct breach of both Indonesia's investment laws and Indonesia's obligations under a number of international investment treaties.
The ‘expropriation campaign’, as Churchill calls it, centres of an attempt to cancel the licences that host the East Kutai project by regional authorities that govern the East Kalimantan province, the area on the island of Borneo where the project is found.
Speaking with Proactive Investors, chairman David Quinlivan said he believes Churchill did all the right things in Indonesia and it spent a lot of money on exploration.
With the apparently unsuccessful Supreme Court appeal, Churchill will have had three failed attempts to overturn a decision in a regional tribunal relating to the revocation of mining licences for the East Kutai project, which prior to the legal problems was on the verge of development.
Churchill has been actively preparing contingency plans in the six months since it filed the Supreme Court appeal.
Proactive also talked to chief executive of Specialist Energy Group (LON:SEGR) Ewan Lloyd-Baker. The company’s proposed new financing measures mean its largest shareholder, MBE, will increase its stake to more than 40 per cent.
But Lloyd-Baker emphasised this was not a takeover of the company but a strategic partnership, which will boost Specialist's potential sales in emerging growth markets - notably India.
MBE will subscribe for 10 million new shares in Specialist Energy at 50 pence each - a significant 108 per cent premium to the closing share mid-price on April 4 of 24 pence.
The placing will raise £5million and MBE's holding will move from 25.27 per cent to 41.69 per cent.
The placing was among a range of refinancing arrangements announced on Tuesday with MBE - the investment arm of McNally Bharat - one of the largest engineering and construction firms in India.
"This is not a takeover, but clearly what I would like to think of as a strategic partnership, where they are putting their money where their mouth is, and doing it, at a considerable premium, which is great for shareholders," Lloyd-Baker told Proactive Investors.
McNally is investing for the long term and was obviously willing to pay a considerable premium, pointed out the company boss.
Boiler pump maker Specialist Energy is a niche firm that already shares customers with McNally but the closer ties will mean even more access to large power station operators and aftermarket business in India - a huge emerging market, said Lloyd-Baker.
Indeed, India is to become the firm's largest market, he pointed out.
The CEO noted that 100,000 MW of power is required to be built under the country's five-year plan - and so investment there was currently big on the agenda.
"That's going to be driving growth, particularly in the new build perspective (new power stations) for at least five - probably 10 to 15 years," he said.
Alongside what the CEO called the "huge" opportunities in India, McNally also has opened up an office in Brazil - an area in which Specialist Energy has considerable interest, said Lloyd-Baker, particularly in potential oil and gas markets.
"Currently, we have little exposure there (in Brazil) and we will be looking at what we can do in conjunction with McNally from an oil and gas perspective," he said.
"Having a backer like McNally will enable us to speed up our growth and development in these markets, he added.
"With the completion of drilling at Ntorya-1, operations will now focus on testing the previously announced gas discovery between 2,660 metres and 2,685 metres and planning a seismic programme to evaluate the full potential of the discovery and identify other prospects for future drilling,” said chief executive Stuard Detmer.
“Ntorya-1 has successfully extended onshore the Ruvuma Basin play fairway which has recently been the subject of several high profile offshore discoveries.
“Aminex sees significant further exploration potential for the Ruvuma block, in particular the offshore portion of the PSA which is largely unexplored."
This afternoon project operator Aminex revealed that the deepest section of the extended Ntorya-1 exploration well did not have reservoir potential, although encouraging gas shows were encountered over a 300 metre interval from 2,850 to 3,150 metres.
Ntorya-1 was initially drilled to a depth of 2,500 without finding hydrocarbons in the intervals targeted prior to drilling, prompting Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) to drop out of the venture.
However, the two remaining partners Aminex and Solo decided to deepen the well to test other targets. This uncovered a new gas discovery.
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