Share Talk Weekly Mining Sector News Round-Up, Saturday 23rd September 2022

Blencowe Resources (LON: BRES) has secured a grant of US$5 million from the US government-supported Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for a definitive feasibility study on its Orom-Cross graphite project in Uganda.

This financial support is a component of a strategy spearheaded by President Biden, aiming to ensure the US has dependable sources of essential metals. This occasion marks the first time DFC has backed a pre-production graphite project, according to Blencowe.

Of the total US$5 million, provided as a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG), the DFC retains a right of first refusal to organize project financing for the Orom-Cross project on commercial terms. An initial sum of one million from the grant is to be disbursed immediately, with the balance following as the feasibility study reaches certain milestones.

Kodal Minerals (AIM: KOD) provides an update on project development activities and general progress at its Bougouni Lithium Project in southern Mali.

The Company has continued to make good progress with its detailed engineering works for the DMS (dense media separation) plant utilising in part the conditional prepayment received from Hainan Mining Co. Limited of US$3,500,000 (see announcement of 3 August 2023), and confirms that the phased development (change) notification has now been formally submitted to the Direction Nationale de la Geologies et des Mines in accordance with the 2019 Mali Mining Code.

Vast Resources plc (AIM: VAST) announces a clarification regarding certain reports made on Friday regarding its Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine (‘Baita Plai’) in Romania. Certain Romanian press outlets reported strike action by mine workers at Baita Plai.

The strike action, which was undertaken illegally, was reported from the mine and coordinated by a small number of individuals. The majority of the workforce remains supportive of the Company and continues to perform their duties on-site without impediment; as such the impact on operations at Baita Plai is expected to be minimal.

Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) an African-focused mining and development company, provides an update on the sale of high-grade lithium ore from the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine in South Africa, and the status of its negotiations over a long-term offtake agreement for production from the stockpiles at Blesberg and from the Company’s broader development plans for the proposed Blesberg open pit mining operations as announced on 31 August 2023.

Mining behemoth, Glencore PLC (LON: GLEN), is diligently fortifying its business by venturing into recycling, a field closely in sync with the firm’s inherent marketing acumen, say Citi analysts. In commercial jargon, a ‘moat’ signifies a competitive edge tough for rivals to match.

Premier African Minerals Ltd (AIM: PREM) The commissioning phase is now planned to commence on 21st September with the first material expected to be fed through the Mill on Monday, 25 September 2023. Open pit mining operations at Zulu are expected to resume next week and while there is already substantial material on the run-of-mine pad, it remains critical that the plant has sufficient ore for current processing.

George Roach, CEO, commented, “Subsequent to our update of 23 August 2023, I am pleased to confirm the completion of the installation of the Mill including all necessary feeds and discharge components, pumps, control circuitry and grinding media requirements that are expected to support planned production of up to 1,000 tons per month of spodumene from November 2023 at Zulu.

Harvest Minerals Ltd (AIM: HMI, OTC: HMIFF) faces hurdles in fertiliser sales in Brazil due to reduced farmer spending amidst low crop values and soaring energy prices, with a 74% decrease in sales for the half-year ending June 2023.

Shares of Neometals Ltd (ASX: NMT, OTC: RDRUY, AIM: NMT) escalated by 6% after the firm secured an Australian patent for its battery material recycling method, the first of the 17 global applications by its 50%-owned recycling IP subsidiary for the LiB Recycling Technology.

Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) provide an update on the approx. ZAR 25 million (approx. US$1.35M) resource drilling exploration and mine planning program for the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine in South Africa that is underway following the appointment and mobilisation to the site of experienced South African drilling contractor, PDS Africa Pty Limited (“PDS Drilling”) and as announced on 11 August and 15 August 2023.

Jason Brewer, Marula Mining PLC CEO said: It is very pleasing to see the progress that has been made on the resource drilling and mining works program at the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine over the past month.

“PDS Drilling are moving ahead at pace and are now almost 75% through the initial 20-hole diamond drilling program. With the core shed now completed on site, the actual core logging, cutting and sampling of the diamond drill core can now start and with spodumene mineralisation having been observed in some of the drill cores, I am looking forward to the commencement of the assay work and first assay results.

Emmerson PLC (AIM: EML) conveyed that Global Sustainable Minerals (GSM) and Gold Quay Capital plan to substitute an existing convertible loan note following environmental clearance for the Khemisset fertiliser project in Morocco. However, recent seismic activity in Morocco could potentially cause delays.

Greatland Gold PLC (AIM: GGP, OTC: GRLGF) resumes exploration activities at the Ernest Giles project after securing a land access agreement with the Wakamurru Aboriginal Corporation, which will substantially benefit the local community.

Greatland Managing Director, Shaun Day, commented: “We are very pleased to announce the completion of our Land Access Agreement with Wakamurru which sets in place a mechanism for the Manta Rirrtinya People to benefit from exploration by Greatland on their country. I would like to thank the Wakamurru Board for their efforts in bringing this agreement to fruition and look forward to building a strong relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation.”

“This LAA provides Greatland with exploration access to the highly prospective Ernest Giles tenements. Ernest Giles has been a long-standing priority for Greatland as an underexplored Archean greenstone belt. Ernest Giles will now resume its place as a high priority project within our exploration portfolio.”

Trident Royalties PLC (AIM: TRR, OTCQX: TDTRF) reports progress in both the Paradox and Green River lithium projects in Utah by Anson Resources, over which Trident holds a 2.5% net smelter return royalty.

Shanta Gold Ltd (AIM: SHG, OTC: SAAGF) reported unprecedented first-half results, attributing its success to the recent inauguration of the Singida mine in Tanzania.

Revenue surged by 70% to US$88.3 million for the half-year ending June 2023, with gold output increasing by 55% to 44,770 ounces. This growth was influenced by contributions from Singida since March, alongside improved extraction efficiency and quality at the existing New Luika mine, located in Tanzania.

This upward trajectory resulted in a pre-tax profit of US$22.7 million, a significant leap from last year’s loss of US$0.9 million. Meanwhile, the underlying profits (EBITDA) saw a staggering rise of 140%.

Wishbone Gold PLC (AIM: WSBN, AQSE: WSBN) initiates a drilling program at the Red Setter project in Western Australia, situated near significant gold projects, aiming to expand on prior successes.

Richard Poulden, Wishbone Gold’s Chairman, commented: We are pleased to be continuing on from last year’s successful drill program which confirmed a hyperthermal gold/copper system. The analysis done in the meantime has added greatly to our knowledge of the system and provides additional targets on which to focus.

Ferro-Alloy Resources Ltd (LON: FAR) introduces a second tranche of its ongoing US$20 million bond program following the substantial sale of the initial batch.

Galileo Resources PLC (AIM: GLR) identifies drilling targets at the Shinganda copper/gold license in Zambia after a comprehensive geophysical review.

Australia-centred mining firm ECR Minerals PLC (AIM: ECR) has garnered £580,000 through a direct share subscription, priced at 0.175p each, to several affluent individuals and institutional backers. The capital raised will propel ECR’s current assets, explore new potential ventures, and support the company’s day-to-day operational needs.

Share issuance depends on the approval of shareholders and its listing on AIM. ECR’s Managing Director, Nick Tulloch, expressed his gratitude stating, “Despite the testing market circumstances, ECR’s robust assets have garnered the backing from a key group of wealthy and institutional shareholders.”

Kodal Minerals PLC (AIM: KOD) announces the resignation of non-executive director Qingdao Zeng, representing major shareholder Suay Chin International Pte Ltd, for personal reasons.

Bernard Aylward, CEO of Kodal Minerals, remarked: “I would like to thank Qingtao for his long-term involvement and support of Kodal and his contribution to our Company has been invaluable as we have explored and advanced the Bougouni Lithium project.   Qingtao has provided a strong sounding board for our plans and has willingly offered his expertise to the Company. The Company extends its best wishes to Qingtao for all his future endeavours.”

Wishbone Gold PLC (AIM: WSBN, AQSE: WSBN)’s drilling at Cottesloe reveals the license’s high potential for precious and base metals, with significant sulphidic and pyritic shale zones encountered.

Greatland Gold plc (AIM: GGP) announced the release of an updated Corporate Presentation which is being delivered at the Denver Gold Forum in Colorado, USA today.

The presentation is available for download from or by clicking this link.

Andrada Mining Ltd (AIM: ATM, OTC: AFTTF) reports the final assay results from Lithium Ridge in Namibia, confirming mineralised pegmatites and the continuity of surface mineralisation at depth. CEO Anthony Viljoen notes the promising lithium grades are in line with global hard-rock resources.

First Class Metals PLC (LON: FCM) launched of systematic exploration campaign at the Zigzag Lithium project in the Province of Ontario Canada. 

Marc J Sale First Class Metals CEO Commented:

“The initial, non-systematic grab samples collected by FCM, myself included, have demonstrated and validated the potential indicated by the historic samples from the Zigzag showing. Having visited the property and walked the outcrop I am confident that drilling will support the tenor of assays reported to date. Whilst we await further assays, FCM has embarked on a prospecting and systematic sampling programme including sawn channel sampling of ‘exposed’ outcrop in the central zone. I am confident that further outcrops in this zone and along strike will be identified. The focus of the current, ongoing programme is to bring Zigzag to a drill ready status in a ‘fast track,’ but diligent manner.’

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