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Mining highlights: Mandalay Resources, Tertiary Minerals, European Metals, Aureus Mining, Gemfields, and North River

Here are the small cap mining highlights for this past week.
Mandalay managed to make record sales, despite weaker metal prices.

Gold and silver miner Mandalay Resources (TSE:MND) posted record sales in 2015 despite lower metal prices hitting revenues in the final quarter.

For the full year, Mandalay generated income of US$195mln (US$185mln) as sales rose to a record 167,808 gold ounces equivalent. The weakness in gold, silver and also antimony prices meant fourth quarter revenues fell 35% to US$43.6mln.

Underlying profits [EBITDA] were US$68mln, while net income in 2015 was US$14.7mln (US$17.6mln) but there was a loss of US$3.1mln in the fourth quarter as Mandalay booked impairments for La Quebrada and Bjorkdal.

Shares in fluorspar firm Tertiary Minerals (LON:TYM) skyrocketed on Thursday afternoon on Swedish permit news. The firm revealed it had received the long-awaited exploitation permit for its Storuman project from the country's mining inspectorate. Shares rose over 44%.

European Metals (LON:EMH, ASX:EMH) said results from two drill holes 500 metres apart reveal the “extent and consistency” of the lithium mineralisation at its Cinovec deposit in the Czech Republic.

One of the holes, PSn01, found 0.46% lithium oxide over 156 metres. The concentration rose to 0.63% over a 64 metre, higher grade section. There were also zones that were enriched with tin and tungsten, which will provide a credit that will help pull down the overall cost of production when output begins in 2018.

Gold recoveries at Aureus Mining’s (LON:AUE, TSX:AUE) New Liberty operation in Liberia have improved so much that output in the last month a half is around two thirds of the level achieved in the entire second half of 2015.

So, since the start of the year the company has produced 11,001 ounces of gold compared with 17,172 in the six months prior to this. A total of 5,478 ounces were unearthed in January and 5,523 in the February – and remember we are a little over halfway through the month.

Coloured stones specialist Gemfields (LON:GEM) appears to have avoided the “challenges” seen in the diamond sector with all parts of the business recording a strong performance.

For the three months to December 31, which counts as Gemfields’ second quarter, output from the flagship Kagem mine was up strongly, while costs on a per carat basis fell significantly. Production rose to 8.2mln carats of emerald and beryl, up from 5.8mln a year earlier, with the average grade rising to 272 carats from 190.

Shares in North River Resources (LON:NRRP) shot up almost 18% after it said current drilling at its flagship Namib lead-zinc project has increased its confidence in the mineral resource at the Namibia property.

Resource expansion drilling is now underway but  the group has drilled out 4,828 metres, in 66 holes, since the summer of 2014, when the last JORC estimate was published.

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