Source - SMW
Shares in Altona Energy (LON:ANR) rose after it conditionally agreed to acquire a 95% indirect beneficial interest in two advanced coal exploration licences in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China. 

The company also announced it had entered into a conditional placing agreement with institutional investors to raise £1million to provide additional working capital.

The total coal resource of the licences is estimated to be approximately 1.17 billion tonnes under Chinese standards (not JORC compliant). 

The exploration licences are well connected to good road infrastructure and growing local and regional coal markets. 

The consideration payable, excluding the option consideration, is approximately £13m with payments conditional on the achievement of, and staged to reflect development and performance milestones.

Chairman Christopher Lambert said: "We are delighted to have secured these two advanced exploration licences, which we believe to have significant potential. 

"These are advanced exploration assets that are expected to have a clear path through the mining licence application process and into production. 

"This is a transformational move for the company, providing the potential to move into production in the near term on a sustainable basis, and generate strong cash flows underpinning Altona's future, as it actively continues the progression of the bankable feasibility studies on its flagship Arckaringa Project in joint venture with CNOOC-NEI."

Altona's managing director, Chris Schrape (formerly CEO of Griffin Coal) will be heading up the due diligence team alongside Altona Beijing office, and during this period Altona's technical director, Peter Fagiano, will be spearheading the Arckaringa project with continued assistance from Schrape and the Beijing office.

Anglesey Mining's  (LON:AYM) 33%-owned associate Labrador Iron Mines has signed an impact benefits deal with Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam of Sept-Iles, Quebec.

The agreement concerns LIM's Schefferville Area direct shipping iron ore mining projects in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and in the Province of Quebec.

The life-of-mine agreement, which follows the earlier agreement in principle signed in December 2010, was approved by resolution of the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam and signed by the Chief and Band Council. 

This new agreement recognises that LIM and ITUM wish to work together to establish a long-term, mutually beneficial, cooperative and respectful positive relationship based on confidence, trust and certainty.

Sirius Minerals (LON:SXX), the globally diversified potash development group, is delighted with progress on its drilling operations at the York Potash Project.

Work at SM3, the company's third hole at the York Potash Project, has gone well and the final casing has now been inserted in preparation for coring. 

So far SM3 has been free from the fluid loss zones and the resultant delays experienced at SM2. Final casing depth on SM3 was reached in just 10 days compared to 40 days at SM2. The casing has now been run into the hole and cemented into position with full coring of the target horizons expected to commence soon. 

Once the hole is complete, a deflection from this hole will be undertaken to obtain further information on the consistency of the deposit.

The second coring rig commissioned by the company's retained drilling contractor is now complete and undergoing final maintenance and equipment checks. It is envisaged that the rig will move from the suppliers in southern Europe by week commencing 27 February, with a view to being on site around the end of March. The second coring rig will help to speed up the completion of the York Potash Project drilling programme.

Following the successful completion of coring at SM2, originally announced last month, the mineral cores extracted were sent to the British Geological Survey for full chemical analysis. The company has received confirmation that the full assay results from SM2 will be available around 7 March.

Anglo American (LON:AAL) announced record earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $13.3bn and a 23% increase in underlying earnings per share for the year to end-December. 

Financial results were driven by operational performance and higher prices.

There was a record operating profit of $11.1bn and record underlying earnings of $6.1bn, with underlying EPS of $5.06, a 23% increase.

Net debt was reduced to $1.4bn at 31st December 2011.

Final dividend is increased by 15% to 46 US cents per share, bringing total dividends for the year to 74 US cents per share, a 14% increase.

Kumba Iron Ore hit record export sales volumes of 37.1 Mt.

Met Coal saw record open cut metallurgical coal production; 7% increase despite Q1 2011 rainfall.

During the year the group made a $5.1bn acquisition of up to 40% interest in De Beers - unique opportunity to consolidate control of the world's leading diamond company.

There was a $5.4bn sale of a minority 24.5% interest in Anglo American Sur copper assets· 

Anglo expects to approve $16bn of projects over next three years.

Latin America-focused gold minier Minera IRL (LON:MIRL) has begun its exploration drive at the Ollachea Gold Project in Peru.

It is a 1.2km drive following the establishment of access to the portal site.

The tunnel will enable underground exploration of the eastern strike extent and the down-dip extension of the Ollachea mineraliaation, as well as provide access to the Minapampa orebody.

Executive chairman  Courtney Chamberlain said: "The commencement of the 1.2km exploration tunnel marks another important milestone at our flagship Ollachea Project.

"This tunnel will provide access to explore approximately one kilometre of highly prospective strike extent to the east of the deposit defined thus far by drilling from surface. In addition, the drive will access the orebody providing valuable practical mining experience and facilitate our objective of commencing production in 2014.

Botswana Diamonds (LON:BOD) has conditionally raised £1.51m, gross, through a placing and direct subscriptions of 37,750,000 new ordinary shares at 4p apiece. 

 This represents a discount of 11% to the closing price of 4.5p yesterday (16 February).

The majority of the net proceeds will be deployed on the company's exploration projects in Botswana, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.

Chairman John Teeling said: "The strong support we have received for the placing is a further vote of confidence in Botswana Diamonds' strategy.

"The proceeds of the fundraising will enable the company to continue its exploration programme in conjunction with its partner in Botswana where first results will come through in Q3, in Cameroon where first results are due mid-year and in Zimbabwe where sampling is on-going."

Saudi Arabia-focused gold and copper explorer KEFI Minerals (LON:KEFI) has conditionally raised £1,850,000, before expenses, through a significantly over-subscribed placing of 61,666,667 ordinary shares at 3p apiece.

The company has granted warrants to Fox Davies and WHI Stockbrokers to subscribe for up to 2,916,667 ordinary shares at 3p. 

Fox Davies has been granted with warrants over 2,391,667 ordinary shares and WHI Stockbrokers has been granted with warrants over 525,000 ordinary shares. 

The warrants will be exercisable for five years following admission.


At 4:17pm:

(LON:AAL) Anglo American share price was +22.25p at 2666.25p

(LON:AMI) American Investment Trust share price was -5.25p at 547.75p

(LON:ANR)  share price was +0.25p at 5.5p

(LON:AQP) Aquarius Platinum share price was +0.35p at 138.45p

(LON:AYM) Anglesey Mining share price was +1.13p at 28.63p

(LON:BEM)  share price was -0.25p at 13.38p

(LON:BKY)  share price was 0p at 24.5p

(LON:CEY) Centamin Egypt Ld share price was -2.7p at 92.8p

(LON:CHL)  share price was -0.25p at 14.25p

(LON:CZA)  share price was -0.62p at 62.38p

(LON:EGU) European Goldfields share price was -12.5p at 707.5p

(LON:FDI) Firestone Diamonds share price was -0.25p at 10.63p

(LON:FRES)  share price was -21p at 1712p

(LON:GEMD)  share price was +1.75p at 235.35p

(LON:HOC)  share price was +3.9p at 497.3p

(LON:KMR) Kenmare Resources share price was -0.27p at 58.23p

(LON:MIRL)  share price was 0p at 71p

(LON:SXX)  share price was +0.38p at 20.63p

(LON:VED) Vedanta Resources share price was +56.5p at 1311.5p