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Market movers: Atlantic Coal, Tethys Petroleum, Mariana Resources, SolGold, Ryanair

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Shares in Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC) were hot property, starting the week 20% higher at 0.27p after an impressive production update from the Pennsylvania-focused anthracite miner.

Clean coal production for the three months to the end of September was 28,629 tonnes compared with 30,641 tonnes in the June quarter.

Sales from the Stockton mine rose considerably to 40,462 tonnes against 23,761 tonnes produced in the previous quarter as the company focused on selling its stockpile.

The average sales price realised in the quarter was US$121.82 per tonne, compared to US$126.40 in the second quarter.

Managing director Steve Best said: “Our Q3 [third quarter] volumes were strong and I am pleased to report that at the end of October our total sales for 2013 had already exceeded the 2012 total of 140,213 tonnes. 

“This is particularly encouraging given that we scaled back mining operations during the quarter to focus on sales to reduce our stockpile. This also had the benefit of reducing costs over the summer months.”

He also said market prices for anthracite are now improving.

Elsewhere in the small cap world, Tethys Petroleum (LON:TPL) shares were up 8% at 43p each. The company, which is listed in London and Toronto, unveiled a deal after Friday’s close to farm out 50% of its Kazakh assets to SinoHan Oil and Gas Investment, part of Beijing-based private equity fund HanHong.

The agreement will result in an initial US$75 million cash injection for Tethys, with potential for future bonus payments, while the company will also retain a 50% stake for future upside.

Tethys said the cash injection will help the company fund a more extensive and accelerated work programme in Kazakhstan and it will form ties with an investor that has strong Chinese networks in the resources sector.

Mariana Resources (LON:MARL) was another small cap success story on Monday, climbing 7% as it revealed it is to take a 70% interest in the Soledad project in Peru, owned by Toronto-quoted junior Condor Resources.

The AIM-listed miner has paid US$25,000 on signing the deal, with the right to acquire a 70% interest within four years by spending US$4mln on exploration and making cash and/or share-based payments to Condor of $1.125mln.

Soledad is located in the prospective Cordillera Negra province in the Peruvian Andes, around 34 kilometres south of the Pierina gold-silver mine operated by Barrick Gold.

The news is hot on the heels of the start of drilling at Condor del Oro, another Mariana project in Peru.

SolGold (LON:SOLG), another South American mining minnow, was also on the rise. The company, a popular stock among retail investors, is to expand the drill programme at its flagship Cascabel project in Ecuador on the back of encouraging results so far.

The current five-hole programme at the Alpala copper and gold prospect will be boosted to 11 holes for a total of 6,600 metres.

Paragon Diamonds (LON:PRG) was also in positive territory, up 1.5% to 5.2p a pop. Less than a month after receiving permission for trial mining at its Lemphane Kimberlite in Lesotho, chairman Martin Doyle and the team have been awarded a prospecting licence in Botswana.

They will explore a highly prospective 442 square kilometre area located in the Tsabong Kimberlite Field, which for those in the know is significant.

It is host to a number of world-class diamond bearing kimberlites and boasts a 200-hectare “super-kimberlite”.

Ryanair (LON:RYA) was the big story of the day as its shares nosedived 12% to €5.39 a share after cutting its full-year profit guidance by €60mln to €510mln.

It will be the first time in five years that the budget Irish airline’s profits will tumble.

This resulted from higher unit costs due to a 7% increase in fuel prices, along with a 2% fall in the average fare, which are continuing their decline into winter.

The FTSE 100 rose 30 points to 6,765 out of the gate with miners among the winners.


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