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Proactive weekly mining roundup: African Potash, Xtract, Sirius, Sunrise, Stratmin, Stratex and more

Fertiliser, in particular potash, has been at the forefront of the small cap mining space this week.
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African Potash signed a deal for 500,000 tonnes of fertiliser this week.

Fertiliser, in particular potash, has been at the forefront of the small cap mining space this week after African Potash (LON:AFPO) struck a preliminary distribution agreement with Comesa, a free trade union of twenty African countries, to supply 500,000 tonnes of fertiliser a year.

Under the three year deal, which was brokered over several months, African Potash is teaming up with Mask Africa Crowd Farm Fund to supply farmers and groups identified by Comesa.

In other potash news, Premier African Minerals (LON:PREM) noted the US$2.1bn value in the definitive feasibility study published by Circum Minerals for the Danakil Potash deposit in Ethiopia.

Premier African has a 2% stake in Circum after it sold it Danakil in 2013 for US$5mln cash and a further 2mln shares.

Sticking with fertiliser, Polyhalite, the fertiliser product that will be produced by Sirius Minerals (LON:SXX), has received further endorsement from an ongoing programme of crop studies.

Trials at US college Texas A&M and Brazil’s University of Sao Paulo have shown positive results for growing soya bean, while North Dakota State University showed enhanced growth for corn.

In other mining news, Xtract Resources (LON:XTR) intersected a second high grade gold reef system at the Colin target at Chepica in Chile.

This new find, Reef System B, follows the earlier discovery of a system that graded at 4.2 grams per tonne (g/t) over a 3.5 metre (m) width and may significantly extend the area’s mine life.

In other gold news, Stratex International (LON:STI) expects to complete construction of the Altintepe gold mine in Turkey imminently with the first gold pour on track for the end of next month.

Bob Foster, Stratex’s chief executive, said: "Our partners continue to make good progress and advise that construction is still due to be completed this month, with first gold pour expected in the following few weeks."

To silver, and Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES) expects to start drilling Bay State silver project in Nevada this month after permitting came through.

Contractor bids are being reviewed it said with the US Bureau of Land Management allowing Sunrise to construct up to 16 drill pads.

In other news, Kincora Copper (CVE:KCC) is set to resume field activities on the ground at its copper exploration properties in Mongolia shortly.

The company said that it will conduct infill mapping and geochemistry work on the Bronze Fox and Tourmaline Hill properties, which lie not far from the giant Oyu Tolgoi development currently being undertaken by Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).

Staying in Africa, Stratmin Global (LON:STGR) has achieved it target production rate for graphite from a pilot plant at Loharano in Madagascar sending its shares rocketing higher.

Following recent process changes and bottleneck clearing, up to 900kg of refined graphite is being produced per hour while maintaining graphite purity levels, the company said.

Finally, Paragon Diamonds (LON:PRG) said it has received official sign-off for the US$8.5mln acquisition of the Mothae kimberlite in Lesotho from Toronto listed Lucara Diamond Corp.

Formal approval from the government for the purchase of a 75% stake in the diamond project took a little longer than anticipated, but paves the way to development of deposit in tandem with the Lemphane asset Paragon already owns.

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