A look back at some of the top highlights from UK junior miners over the past week
Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) is to float its Singida gold mining asset in Tanzania on the Dar es Salaam stock exchange.
The gold miner wants to raise US$20mln to develop Singida, with the IPO expected to take between 6-12 months.
Shanta Gold will retain at least 51% ownership of Singida and will operate the project with the money to be used to start production and for exploration to expand the resource.
Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) on Friday unveiled a positive update on the exploration and development activities at its projects within Turkey.
The AIM-listed exploration and development company with gold mining operations in Turkey highlighted the successful completion of 746 metres of infill resource diamond-drilling at its 100%-owned Kizilcukur Project.
The group added that construction of a new haul road and plans for 2019 trial mining are also well underway at Kizilcukur.
The company also said that resource infill, geotechnical and hydrological diamond-drilling are scheduled to commence at the Tavsan Project next week.
Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA) has received £7mln from Talaxis to fund the completion of the feasibility study for the Songwe Hill rare-earths project.
The cash infusion was triggered by the publication of a NI 43-101 technical report resource update a week ago.
As a result of stumping up a further £7mln (C$12.3mln), Talaxis has increased its stake in Lancaster Exploration, which is the holder of the licence for the Songwe project in Malawi, to 49% from 49%; Mkango holds the remaining 51%.
The feasibility study for Songwe is currently underway and expected to be completed in 2020.
Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) has welcomed changes to regulations governing the use of land for mining in north-west Spain’s Castilla y Leon region.
“The new law provides Europa Metals with a clear path to progress Toral into potential future mine development working, within the requisite new regulations,” said Laurence Read, executive director.
Instead of a municipal consultation process, mining projects will now be considered on a case by case basis and assessed on environmental and other stakeholder factors.
Mining royalty group Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) saw a hefty uplift to revenues in 2018 from its investments in coking coal and vanadium.
Total royalty income rose 16% to £46.1mln, driven by a 13% rise to £32.6mln in the contribution from Australian coking coal mine Kestrel.
Vanadium group Maracas Menchen did even better with its contribution almost trebling to £5.9mln as prices for the battery metal and steel additive rocketed.
There was also the first contribution of £1.9mln from Anglo’s new Labrador Iron Ore investment.
Operating profits rose 21% to £37.1mln and as a result of the strong performance, Anglo Pacific raised its final dividend by 25% to make 8p for the year, an overall 14% annual increase.
Bushveld Minerals (LON:BMN) is to expand vanadium battery development in South Africa to a 1Mw mini-grid that will supply its nearby Vametco mine.
The mini-grid will combine 1Mwh of solar photovoltaic generation and 4Mwh energy storage using vanadium redox battery (VRFB) technology and supply power directly into Vametco’s internal distribution network.
Bushveld has also started to process vanadium for use as an electrolyte in the batteries.
Subsidiary Bushveld Energy has also just successfully completed a pilot with South African electricity group Eskom for a redox battery system.
The capacity of the battery is now being expanded to 450kWh thanks to an upgrade from its manufacturer, US firm Unienergy.
Thor Mining PLC (LON:ASX:THR) has announced that drilling at the Bonya tungsten deposits adjacent Molyhil, in the Northern Territory of Australia, is to commence following advice from the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA), providing clearance for the planned drilling program.
The Bonya project is held in a 40%/60% joint venture with Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU), with both parties contributing to the cost of the program in proportion to their project equity.
The AIM-listed group said AAPA clearance has been received for exploration work on five Bonya targets, with a reverse Circulation (RC) drilling program of around 2,500 metres scheduled for each of the Samarkand, Jericho, White Violet, and Tashkent deposits, while sampling trenches – costeans – are to be excavated at surface on the Marrakesh deposit.
The company said drilling is now expected to commence in early April, with further updates expected on drilling progress, preliminary on-site XRF (X-ray fluorescence analysis), followed by formal laboratory assays.
Separately, the group announced that it has acquired two gold and uranium focused companies in Australia in a move to expand its operations portfolio in the country.
The firm has acquired Pilbara Goldfields Pty Limited (PGL) and Hamersley Metals Pty Limited (HML), which together hold interests in two granted licences and seven licence applications at various stages.
Horizonte Minerals PLC, (LON:HZM,TSE: HZM), the nickel development company focused on Brazil, believes the nickel market continues to demonstrate compelling fundamentals.
In its results statement covering 2018, the company highlighted the continued reduction of nickel inventories on the London Metals Exchange, with levels now at six-year lows, while the upsurge in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is likely to give a boost to the nickel price.
Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) said a feasibility study has suggested the T3 copper project in Botswana’s Kalahari copper belt has a net present value of US$368mln.
T3 is 100%-owned by Australian explorer MOD Resources, in which Metal has a 10.48% stake.
Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP) chairman Colin Bird has hailed “exceptional results” as the group swung to a profit in its first half.
The AIM-listed firm reported a pre-tax profit for the six months of £762,000 compared to a £438,000 loss a year ago while revenues from its operations had jumped to £8.3mln from £5.9mln.
Production of platinum group metals (PGM) in the period also rose strongly, jumping 85% to 12,288 ounces, while PGM revenues had risen 98% to £7mln.
Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) has signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and an associated mine finance package with Chinese company Sinosteel for the Monchetundra Project in Russia.
The AIM-listed palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold producing company said discussions between the parties have been ongoing since the issue of the mining permit in November 2018, as the project is progressed towards the production stage.
Erris Resources PLC (LON:ERIS) has delivered positive results from 527 closely spaced soil samples taken from the Abbeytown zinc project in County Sligo, Ireland.
Three new targets have been identified up to 1.25 kilometres southwest of the old Abbeytown mine.
Galantas Gold Corporation (LON:CVE:GAL) is expanding its gold milling capacity at the Omagh mine in Northern Ireland.
The company’s mill is already producing a gold and silver concentrate using a non-toxic, froth-flotation process.
Extended dayshift working patterns will continue until late in the second quarter when a second milling shift will be added to process the increasing quantities of feed expected to be available. Additional milling shifts will be added in the third quarter.
Target production is 2,000 to 2,500 troy ounces of gold in concentrate per month, a rate likely to be reached in 2020 or 2021. The company considers that further expansion may be possible, targeting 50,000 ounces of gold per year.
Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) has boosted the resource at its Beutong copper project in Indonesia to a total of over 500mln tonnes of ore.
Asiamet holds an 80% interest in Beutong through its local operating subsidiary PT Emas Mineral Murni.
The new resource comprises 34mln tonnes of ore grading 0.67% copper, 0.13 grams per tonne gold, 1.68 grams silver and 90 parts per million molybdenum in the measured category.
Exploration results at the Brits vanadium project, which lies adjacent to the Vametco mine currently being operated by Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN), have indicated that an eastward expansion of mineralisation is likely.
The aim of the current exploration programme is to provide Bushveld with enough confidence to deliver a maiden mineral resource for Brits before the end of the second quarter of this year.
Kavango Resources PLC (LON:KAV) has intersected over 200 metres of intense alteration with significant anomalous base metal values at its Ditau prospect, in the first hole of an ongoing diamond drilling programme.
Ditau is part of Kavango’s wider Kalahari Suture Zone project.
The intersection exhibits significant sulphide alteration together with indicative cobalt values of up to 0.9% and a weighted average of 0.2% cobalt over 70 metres.
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