Proactive mining news highlights, including Weatherly, Sirius Minerals, ZincOx Resources

A look at some of the small cap mining news stories from the week gone

Mining news from the week gone

A good week for copper miner Weatherly International plc (LON:WTI).

Shares surged on Thursday as it revealed it had turned a corner in Namibia, reaching nameplate production again at its Tschudi copper mine two months earlier than forecast.

The miner saw reduced output in the June and September 2016 quarters due to excessive groundwater going into the pit and said nameplate production of  1,417tpm (tonnes per month) would not be re-attained until December this year.

Moreover, Tschudi has capacity to process many more tonnes at lower costs (20,000 tonnes a year), while at the group's Otjihase and Matchless underground deposits, where nothing is currently being mined, the group has identified a low-risk and potentially cash-generative opportunity to start work again at Otjihase.

This would potentially lead to a small scale operation, achieving 10-12,000 tonnes per annum of contained copper in concentrate from the underground mines at costs below US$2 per pound.

Weatherly has also struck a cooperation agreement with the holder of the Ongombo prospecting license - a prospective copper deposit close to the Otjihase mine and concentrator, it said.

It was one of a number of stories from the junior mininbg sector this week.

Elsewhere, Bacanora Minerals Ltd (LON:BCN) on the same day had news, which caused shares in London to fall back.

It unveiled board changes as it advances the Sonora project in Mexico into a world class lithium carbonate mine but also revealed a supply deal struck with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) had fallen through.

Galantas Gold Corp (LON:GAL, CVE:GAL)  told investors this week it was still awaiting dates for the next court hearing of the judicial review of its planning consent for an underground mine at Omagh, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

The continuation of the review had been listed for the 6th- 8th of December 2016 but those dates are no longer available.

Early in 2016 a  third party had obtained leave from Belfast High Court to bring the case which challenges  the granting of planning permission for underground mining beneath an existing open pit.

Meanwhile, the firm, which holds a valid planning consent, continues to prepare activities on the site.

A fresh start is on the cards for Zincox Resources plc (LON:ZOX) as it struck a  deal with partner Korea Zinc to jointly develop  a new recycling plant in Vietnam.

The plant will be based on ZincOx's Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF) technology, which it developed in Korea.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) sets out the joint venture under which Korea Zinc and ZincOx will design and develop the new plant.

Andrew Woollett, chief executive of ZincOx, said: "We can now accelerate the programme for the development of this important project, and we look forward to entering into the full joint venture agreement in the very near future.

The plan sees Korea Zinc fund 100% of a US$2.25mln definitive development study (DDS) to raise the project finance needed for construction.

Meanwhile, junior mining group IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) is growing its lithium footprint in West Africa - with the acquisition of three prospective tenements in the Ivory Coast, it said on Friday.

It comes after the firm already has secured a land holding of 1,652 sq km  over highly prospective and proven pegmatite terrains in Ghana and yesterday revealed it had snapped up a gold portfolio, also in the Ivory Coast.

Vincent Mascolo, chief executive of IronRidge, told investors: "We see enormous potential in supplying the growing energy industry with lithium, and securing the Ivory Coast lithium package directly complements our recent lithium acquisitions in West Africa."

Existing investors wholeheartedly backed Sirius Minerals PLC's financing plans (LON:SXX) by taking up their full allocation in the open offer portion of the mine developer’s fundraising, it was revealed this week.

The North Yorkshire-focused group said it received acceptances for just over 185mln shares.

Chief executive Chris Fraser said: "I would like to thank our shareholders for their continuing support and playing their part in this important moment in the Company's history.  It has always been our intention to make this provision available and it's good to see so many existing shareholders taking part.”

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