Source - SMW
Greatland Gold (LON:GGP)  has agreed to acquire the Havieron gold project in Western Australia for an initial payment of A$25,000 in cash and 65,490,000 ordinary shares (approximate value A$225,000), and a second payment, triggered upon a decision to mine, of 145,530,000 ordinary shares (approximate value A$500,000).

The project covers 135 square kilometres in the Paterson Region of north western Australia and is located approximately 40 kilometres east of Newcrest's Telfer gold mine (27 million ounces of gold produced to date).

Limited historical exploration by Newcrest in the late 1990s demonstrated high grade gold and copper mineralisation at Havieron with peak values of 15.45g/t Au and 2.5% Cu.

Greatland says the Havieron project provides the group with a walk up resource definition drill target and other exciting exploration targets in a region that is attracting increasing interest from major mining and exploration companies. Executive director Callum Baxter said: "We are delighted to have entered into a binding agreement with Pacific Trends Resources Pty Ltd to purchase 100% of the rights to the Havieron project in Western Australia. 

"The Havieron project has demonstrated high grade gold and copper mineralisation and provides Greatland with a walk up resource definition drill target in addition to several regional exploration targets. "The Havieron project covers 135 square kilometres of under-explored ground in the Paterson Province in Western Australia. The Paterson Province is an area that is gaining interest from numerous entities including Rio Tinto which recently acquired ground immediately adjacent to Havieron." 

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Goldplat (LON:GDP)  swung into profit in the year to the end of June as it continued to strengthen its gold recovery operations in South Africa and Ghana, whilst making progress on the geographical diversification of these businesses into Africa, as well as into South America.

The group posts an operating profit of £1,172,000 against a loss of £711,000 last time and a pre-tax profit of £1,942,000 (2015: loss of £796,000).

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Green Dragon Gas (LON:GDG) has issued an update on the exploration and development activities for its Baotian-Qingshan block in China's Guizhou Province.

GDG is the operator with a 60% interest in the GGZ block that covers a total area of 214,982 acres. PetroChina is the working interest partner with the remaining 40% interest.

The Company's focus for the GGZ block is to secure approvals for the Chinese Reserve Report (CRR) from the Ministry of Land Resources (MLR). CRR is a precursor to approval of the Overall Development Plan (ODP), expected to be in 2017.

The Company has acquired 219,827 feet (67 km) of 2D seismic over some of the prospective areasin the block which is the focused area for the initial CRR application. In addition, the Company has obtained selected slim-hole data for 585 wells previously drilled by the Coal Bureau. Using both the seismic and slim-hole data the Company has established 3D geological models over the block that will be used to determine future development plans and subsurface optimisation.

In the exploration phase the Company has drilled a total of 33 wells (21 vertical, 9 directional and 3 LiFaBriC) covering all seven of the prospective seams. Well testing and gas measurement analysis has been undertaken in pilot areas and forms the basis of the commercial assessment, and hence potential, of the gas bearing layers.

Nine of the 33 wells in GGZ, covering five of the seven most prospective seams, are currently connected to power and undergoing dewatering or producing gas. Of these, four wells have established commercial gas rates in accordance with the MLR guidelines.

Green Dragon founder and chairman Randeep S. Grewal said: "In accordance with our 2016 objectives announced at our 2016 Capital Markets Day, the GGZ block has progressed from an exploration block into our development portfolio.

"The block is an exciting prospect as it contains multiple prospective coal seams and is located in Southern China, which has historically been short on gas production.

"We see GGZ offering considerable additional value to our shareholders and will be progressing with the CRR and ODP accordingly during 2017. We believe this can be achieved without distracting us from our absolute focus on delivering production, sales and cash from our existing commercial assets in GSS and GCZ within Shanxi. 

"Realising the potential of the GGZ block is an exciting objective for the Group in the medium term and one that I believe will achieve our dual aims of actively participating in the gas and clean energy revolution in China while providing strong returns to shareholders. GGZ will be our third commercial block, following our successes in GCZ and GSS."

* * *

Gemfields (LON:GEM) posts after tax profits of $23.5 million for the year to the end of June - up from $12.3 million last time.

Revenue rose to US$193.1 million (2015: US$171.4 million) and EBITDA increased to US$69.4 million from US$64.4 million.

Chief executive Ian Harebottle said: "This financial year has seen Gemfields consolidate its position as an industry leader. The Company has achieved record operational progress which has translated into strong financial results for the Group, generating revenue of US$193.1 million, EBITDA of US$69.4 million and profit after tax of US$23.5 million. 

"In addition, US$64.1 million was generated in operating cash flow, an increase of 97% on the previous due to a rise in operating profit. Over the past five years, Gemfields revenue has increased 380% and total revenue generated since the Company's first auction in 2008 has reached US$717.6 million, an impressive achievement given the challenges faced by the mining and luxury goods industries.

"Gemfields strategy is to grow production over time from two of its world class deposits, the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia and the Montepuez ruby operation in Mozambique, increasing consumer demand and achieving higher prices for its rough gemstones year on year. 

"Operationally Gemfields succeeded in its ambition of producing 30 million carats of rough emerald and beryl from Kagem, as guided, and 10.3 million carats of rough ruby and corundum from Montepuez, exceeding guidance. Global imports of emeralds, rubies and sapphires also reached US$5.9 billion in 2015, up from US$5.2 billion in 2014, demonstrating a 13% increase in consumer demand on the previous year.

"The Company continues to see opportunities in new and existing markets for further price escalation. For the coming financial year Gemfields is targeting four emerald and beryl, two high and two commercial quality, auctions and two mixed quality ruby and corundum auctions. In addition, to meet the rising demand for coloured gemstones, the Company secured financing in the year to realise its expansion programme which will see higher production at both the Kagem and Montepuez operations over the next three years." 

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KEFI Minerals (LON:KEFI)  - which has projects in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia - posts a pre-tax loss of £1.9m for the six months to the end of June - up from £1.6m last time.

KEFI said that despite the expansion of activities since the full permitting, in April 2015, of the Tulu Kapi gold project, KEFI has maintained tight cost control, illustrated by administrative costs at £861,000 (H1 2015: £876,000.

At Tulu Kapi, the Company has assembled an experienced development team and first-tier backers, including government, industry and financial organisations, and is poised to trigger the development by the end of 2016. The Project targets:

* Steady-state gold production of 115,000 oz pa from 2018 from the open pit at an impressive All-in Sustaining Costs ("AISC") level of c. US$746/oz

* Cash flows in the first 3 production years sufficient to repay all project debt, fund the development of the Tulu Kapi underground mine as well as the equity component of the initial operation in Saudi Arabia, exploration and consideration of the commencement of dividends

In Saudi Arabia, KEFI's gold discovery at Jibal Qutman has shaped up to be a viable project based on preliminary analysis, with a low-capex requirement and an apparent capacity to generate the net cash flows for financing an ambitious Saudi exploration program by the G&M joint venture, of which KEFI is 40% owner and operator. G&M targets:

* To apply for a mining licence at Jibal Qutman after assessing the outcomes of the Government sectoral policy review, which is expected by year-end 2016

* To explore its large portfolio of licences and applications, starting with the large target for precious and base metals at Hawiah, where G&M has commenced fieldwork, focusing on depth-measurement of large buried targets using geophysical surveys, as a prelude to drilling

Other highlights:

- Raised £1.75 million (c. US$2.5 million) through the placing of new ordinary shares at 0.35p per share to provide working capital pending arrangement of Tulu Kapi project finance

- As part of preparations for the development phase, Mr John Leach has joined the senior executive team as Finance Director and Mr Mark Wellesley-Wood, experienced African mining operator, joined the Board as Non-Executive Director

- Since 30 June 2016, the Company has fully discharged the inherited VAT liability and is now entitled to an ETB73,497,020 refund (approximately £2.5 million) and also raised approximately £3.8 million (approximately US$5 million) on the 26 July 2016, before expenses, through the issue of 761,921,740 Placing Shares at a price of 0.5p per share.

Executive chairman Harry Anagnostaras-Adams said: "We are pleased with the tremendous progress made in the first six months of the year as we built on the momentum of 2015. In particular, the progress made on the ground at the Tulu Kapi Gold Project in Ethiopia has been excellent. The project economics are better today than at any time and with all-in costs estimated at US$746/oz, we believe it puts the Tulu Kapi project in the lowest cost quartile of gold producers globally.

"In the second half of the year, our focus is on working with the Government of Ethiopia on the community resettlement, livelihood restoration and community resettlement programmes. Also, we are in advanced discussions with potential finance syndicate participants. As a result, the Board looks to the future with confidence."

* * *

Highland Gold Mining's (LON:HGM) first half revenue rose 13% to US$147.1 million in the six months to the end of June reflecting improved metals prices and increased sales volumes during the period.

EBITDA increased to US$ 79.7 million - up 45% over H1 2015, while EBITDA margin rose to 54% from 42% and operating profits jumped to $50.4m from $18.8m.

All-in sustaining costs per ounce fell by 14% to US$609/oz, assisted by ongoing weakness in the rouble and strict cost controls.

Free cash flow (defined as net cash flows from operating activities less cash flows used in investing activities) was US$60.7 million.

Net debt to EBITDA ratio reduced to 1.3 as of 30 June 2016 versus 1.7 as of 31 December 2016 as the Company directed free cash flow to debt repayment.

Production totalled 128,671 oz of gold and gold equivalent at Mnogovershinnoye (MNV), Novoshirokinskoye (Novo), Belaya Gora, and Sredny Golgotay (Kaftan site), an increase of 6% from 121,242 oz in H1 2015.

MNV and Novo exceeded internal production targets for the quarter, while at Belaya Gora efforts to optimise operations were ongoing.

Exploration work continued on the Northern ore body at MNV, with reserves expected to receive approval from regulators by year-end and work commenced on the planned expansion of processing capacity at the Novo mill.

Other highlights:

- Pre-feasibility study completed for Kekura, and a subsequent fatal flaw review supported open pit and underground mine design plans.

- Scoping studies initiated for the Baley Cluster Projects (Taseevskoye, Sredny Golgotay and ZIF-1 tailings) and Unkurtash, and a revised pre-feasibility study initiated for Klen.

Chief executive Denis Alexandrov said: "Sadly, I have to begin by stating that, after the reporting period, on 10 September, the Company witnessed a fatality at our MNV underground mine. 

"In light of this accident and an increase in minor incidents this year, we have undertaken urgent measures to strengthen and expand our HSE team and to update our safety standards across all of our operations. We have also initiated safety inspections of all underground shafts at MNV and Novo.

"Overall, the Company witnessed a positive first half of 2016, with increased production, stronger gold prices, cost controls, and the weak rouble together contributing to improved earnings, lower costs and higher margins.

"At the core of this progress were MNV and Novo, which both exceeded their six-month production targets. Work on reassessing MNV's reserves, as well as exploration of near-mine targets, continued apace with a target of extending life of mine. Novo increased mining and processing throughput while also advancing plans to expand the mill's capacity to 1.3 million tons over the next two years.

"Belaya Gora continued to face challenges with both geology and metallurgy during the half, despite higher ore production and a reduction in tailings grade. The Company has initiated work, together with consultants SRK, to reassess the mine's reserves, to study the combined processing of Belaya Gora ores with those of the nearby Blagodatnoye deposit, and to upgrade the mill with CIL technology. This work will continue throughout the second half and be finalised early next year.

"The Company also saw progress in its exploration and development projects, with over US$ 10 million spent on drilling programs at MNV, Kekura, Sredne Golgotay, and Blagodatnoye, as well as on a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for Klen, open pit dewatering at Taseevskoye, and a scoping study for Unkurtash. A PFS for Kekura was delivered in the second quarter and preparations for construction at the site are already underway. These efforts are laying the foundations for production growth in the years to come." 

* * *

Condor Gold (LON:CNR) posts a loss of £1.2m for the six months to the end of June - down from £1.4m last time. Revenues were nil - unchanged from a year ago.

Condor said it completed a pre-feasibility study and two preliminary economic assessments on La India project in Nicaragua in December 2014. 

Whittle Consulting Limited produced a mining optimisation study in January 2016, which produced an average NPV US$196million and average IRR of 30% across four production scenarios. 

Production ranges from 101,000 oz gold per annum from a single open pit to 165,000 oz gold per annum once feeder pits and underground production is included. Condor has applied to permit a base case with a processing plant of 2,800 tonnes per day capable of producing 100,000 oz gold per annum for the first 5 years of production from a single open pit.

* * *

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) is taking advantage of its strong liquidity position to further reduce gross debt, today launching a bond purchase plan for up to $3 billion.

Under the plan, Rio Tinto has issued a redemption notice for approximately $1.5 billion of its 2017 and 2018 US dollar-denominated notes and commenced cash tender offers to purchase up to approximately $1.5 billion of its 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 US dollar-denominated notes.

Today's announcement is part of the Rio Tinto Group's ongoing capital management and follows the successful completion of $4.5 billion cash tender offers earlier this year. 

In April, Rio Tinto launched a programme to purchase $1.5 billion of its 2017 and 2018 notes and in June it announced plans to purchase $3 billion of its 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 notes. Both offers were successfully completed. In June, $1.5 billion of notes also matured and were repaid with cash.

* * *

North River Resources  (LON:NRRP) posted an H1 pre-tax loss of £1.30m, from a loss of £1.38m a year earlier.

"The Company now faces a critical period of assessment in determining the way forward for the Namib Project," it said in a statement. 

"In regards to this assessment we are cognisant of both the prolonged, ongoing uncertainty regarding timing and terms to be attached to the grant of a mining licence, and the results of the resource expansion drilling programme."

At 4:11pm:

(LON:BEM) Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.13p at 4.38p

(LON:BKY) Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was +0.5p at 49.5p

(LON:CEY) Centamin PLC share price was +1.1p at 149.4p

(LON:CHL) Churchill Mining PLC share price was +1.13p at 29.88p

(LON:CZA) Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.09p at 3.04p

(LON:FDI) Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was +4.25p at 51.75p

(LON:FRES) Fresnillo PLC share price was +14.5p at 1800.5p

(LON:GDG) Green Dragon Gas Ltd share price was +5p at 235p

(LON:GDP) Goldplat PLC share price was +0.25p at 6p

(LON:GEM) Gemfields PLC share price was +0.75p at 45.75p

(LON:GEMD) Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +1.13p at 121.63p

(LON:GGP) Greatland Gold PLC share price was +0.02p at 0.21p

(LON:HOC) Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +2.3p at 289.1p

(LON:KEFI) KEFI Minerals PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.49p

(LON:KMR) Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -15.25p at 314p

(LON:VED) Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +7p at 562p

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