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Proactive weekly mining highlights: Jubilee Metals, Europa Metals, Tharisa, Bezant Resources …

A look back at some of the top news from London-listed junior miners this week

Jubilee Metals' workers
Jubilee Metals told investors it is ready to completed the acquisition of the Sable Zinc Kabwe refinery in Zambia

Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP) shares rose on Thursday as the firm, in a broader project update, told investors it is ready to completed the acquisition of the Sable Zinc Kabwe refinery in Zambia.

It highlighted that its team is now ready to start a programme of equipment upgrades at the site to process lead, zinc and vanadium.

Also in focus on Thursday, Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) said it has completed a second drill hole at its Toral lead-zinc-silver project in Spain and has begun to drill a third.

After a first hole was terminated early, the second hole is the first in the campaign to successfully exceed the 750m target depth, with the core now sent off to a laboratory for assay.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) said on Tuesday that it expects a strong end to the year after tonnages of ore mined and milled increased in its third quarter.

The output of platinum group metals – platinum, palladium, rhodium – rose a touch to 34,100 oz, while chrome concentrate production improved 8.2% to 334,000 tonnes.

Prices for both chrome and PGMs also rose over the three months to June, though the chrome spot has since dropped sharply.

Meanwhile, Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT) told investors on Wednesday that it is to carry out further exploration at its Buffalo copper/gold option in Zambia after identifying possible extensions to the existing mine pit.

A review of the historic data and site visit suggests that the steeply-dipping target shear zone is open at depth and to the southwest into the Buffalo hill.

And Base Resources Ltd (ASX:BSE)(LON:BSE) rose on Tuesday following news the firm has completed the transition of mining operations to the South Dune orebody at its Kwale operations in Kenya.

Following a successful and on-schedule transition, mining rates are now back to nameplate capacity with all three hydraulic mining units fully operational.

BlueRock Diamonds sees record grades

On the gemstone front, BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) said on Monday that it has achieved record grades and production from the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa.

Some 3,516 carats were produced after the amount of tonnes processed in its second quarter rose 130% to 78,759 tonnes at a grade of 4.46 carats per tonne (cpht).

Average sale prices were US$430/c with one 24.9 carat stone sold for a record US$190,000 in June.

Turning to the world of gold, Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) said on Monday it has found gold nuggets along a longer stretch of its Panorama project in Western Australia and geochemical and geophysical work is continuing to further extend the known area of mineralisation.

The AIM-listed company, which wholly owns the three adjoining exploration licences in the Pilbara region that form the Panorama project, has found “numerous” gold nuggets in more than 10 locations, extending the length of the surface ‘strike’ from 3.2km to 4.3km.

The following day, Greatland also told investors that it has begun a drill programme at the Black Hills gold project, in the Paterson region of Western Australia.

It is the first drill programme at Black Hills and it will comprise a total of 20 holes. The Company expects to drill around 6,000 metres.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) rose on Thursday as the miner highlighted ‘positive’ drill results from the Salinbas gold project in the ‘hot gold corridor’ in Turkey.

Drilling encountered ‘Salinbas-type’ mineralisation in several holes, in an area between the known Salinbas deposit and the Ardala porphyry system.

Also on Thursday, Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) reiterated its 2019 production guidance after a second-quarter increase in output at its Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe.

The AIM-listed firm reported that for the quarter ended 30 June it had produced 12,712 ounces of gold, 6.4% higher than the first quarter of the year, although production for the first half of 2019 was 3.4% lower year-on-year at 24,660.

Gold sparkling

Another gold firm, Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) told investors on Friday that it is assessing options to build on the momentum achieved in the past year.

Ahead of results for the twelve months ended 30 June 2019, the company pointed out that through the year it has emerged as a safe, low-cost and long-life gold producer.

Significantly, it highlighted that gold output exceeded full year production guidance which was set at 70,000 ounces. Production rose by 7.5% to 172,442 ounces, or 54% when considered in terms of continuing operations.

The current rising gold price augurs well for dual-listed, Ontario-focused mine developer Pure Gold Mining Inc (CVE:PGM) (LON:PUR) (OTCMKTS:LRTNF) and the value of its exciting Madsen Red Lake Gold Mine, which isn't far off producing the precious metal. A decision to advance to production is forthcoming.

For example, based on  feasibility study numbers, the group said an increase of just US$25 in the gold price generates a $23 million increase in the Ontario project's pre-tax net present value (NPV) and those numbers balloon when gold sees US$100 dollar increases as we have in recent months.

Staying in Canada, Barrick Mining Corp (NYSE:ABX) has been granted another ten days to decide about a formal offer for the outstanding shares in subsidiary Acacia Mining PLC (LON:ACA).

Acacia agreed to the extension to 19 July, which will allow its Canadian parent time to consider a competent person’s report on its mines in Tanzania.

Consultant SRK prepared the report and came up with a value of 271p/281p per Acacia share on a preferred/high-value basis and 203p on a low-value estimate.

Mark Bristow, Barrick’s chief executive, was quoted recently that it will not raise its offer of 0.153 of its own shares for each one in Acacia, though the miner said it would meet with SRK next week.

Funding moves

On the funding front, after some delay, Regency Mines PLC (LON:RGM) revealed it has managed to secure an investment into its US coal business, Mining Equity Trust.

Following the US$750,000 investment into MET by investment company Carraigbarre Capital Ltd (CCL), Regency will hold a 25.84% stake in MET. CCL will become a 45.02% shareholder in MET, with a board seat.

Premier African Minerals Ltd (LON:PREM) has agreed to lend US$1.35mln to MN Holdings Ltd, the owner and operator of the Otjozondu manganese mining project in Namibia. The coupon is 10%.

"Otjozundu is a producing revenue generating manganese mine based in Namibia currently involved in an expansion programme,” said Premier African’s chief executive George Roach.

“The loan to Otjozundu will enable it to conclude the purchase of significant additional plant and equipment from the nearby Purity mine to allow Otjozundu to steadily increase production and revenues.”

And Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CGH) said on Monday that it has waived the requirement for major shareholder Labro to make a mandatory offer for the company on the acquisition of a further 4mln shares.

Labro already holds 139,841,969 shares, amounting to approximately 34.8% of Chaarat's issued share capital as well as 21,367,521 warrants and US$1mln worth of convertible loan notes.

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