Source - SMW
Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC)  was one of only nine sector risers after it announced positive results derived from bench scale flotation metallurgical test work on its Kubuk and Maly Kurumkon/Flangovy deposits within its Kun-Manie production licence located in Amur Oblast.

This completes the bench scale test work phase which determines the range of metallurgical recoveries at various life of mine average mining grades for KU and MKF.

This augments the previously completed bench scale work at Vodorazdelny and Ikenskoe/Sobolevsky.

These results provide a comprehensive set of grade recovery curves for nickel and copper as well as the by-product metals cobalt, platinum, palladium, silver and gold which provide the basis to determine the metal content of the concentrate for smelting.

Grade recovery curves are an essential input for the development of a more highly refined and focused follow-on phase of metallurgical work in flowsheet design of the process plant.

Chief executive Robin Young said: "With completion of the bench scale flotation metallurgical work on our Kun-Manie ores, we can advance to the next stage in the definition of operational design parameters for processing the sulphide ores by using larger samples more reflective of production considerations. 

"With Maly Kurumkon/Flangovy targeted as the first production source, the testing of a half-tonne representative sample will continue to define a narrower range of production parameters. 

"This approach is cost effective and allows us to hone in on the specific process design prior to moving to large-scale bulk metallurgical sample testing the actual production flow sheet identified for the treatment of our ore. 

"This information is key to the compilation of the definitive feasibility study targeted for the end of Q4 2017."

* * *

Firestone Diamonds (LON:FDI) says has agreed to extend the date by when all conditions for the sale of its  Botswana operations to Tango Mining  must be satisfied. This extension is to enable Tango Mining to finalise its funding.   

As announced on 9 July, the company entered into a conditional sale agreement with Tango Mining for the disposal, for a total consideration of US$8.0 million and, as announced on 13 October 2015 and 6 April 2016, certain terms of the CSA were amended by the amendment letters. 

 Pursuant to a further amendment of the CSA, all conditions of the CSA must now be satisfied by no later than 9 September.   

All other material terms of the amended CSA remain the same and accordingly, if the conditions of the CSA are not satisfied or waived by the Revised Drop Dead Date, the disposal will not complete.

* * *

Patagonia Gold (LON:PGD) has provided updates on its open-pit mine and heap leach processing facility at Cap-Oeste, and operations at the Lomada de Leiva mine. CAP-OESTE "The Environmental Impact Study for the development and construction of, and the mining permit for the Project have now been approved and issued respectively by the Provincial Mining Authority. This is a significant milestone in terms of the continuing development and construction of the Project. 

"Initial earthworks commenced at the Project in April 2016 and all equipment and plant supplies for the Project have now been purchased. Construction is also advancing as planned with initial production expected to commence during September 2016. 

"A total of US$13 million will be invested in the project to take it into production including capital expenditure and working capital.

"The newly purchased mining fleet, consisting of three Caterpillar 773G trucks and a CAT 390C excavator, is now on site and currently being commissioned. 

"The new equipment will replace some of the existing mine fleet transferred from Lomada, enabling the Company to demobilise all hire machines and is also expected to increase the overall earth moving capacity, resulting in a reduction in unit costs in local currency significantly.

"All Cap-Oeste ore produced from the open pit operations will be treated via a heap leach operation similar to Lomada, with the dore produced being shipped directly from Cap-Oeste's gold room facility, which is currently being expanded to account for the increased silver content of the final dore product. 

"The forecast production for the Project during the 24 month expected life of mine is estimated to approximately 82,000 oz AuEq, with potential to increase the mine life with supply from satellite deposits such as Monte Leon and La Manchuria. 

"In this regard, a 2,000m reverse circulation drill programme is scheduled to commence in September on Monte Leon, with the objective of expanding the oxide mineralisation and delineation of an additional open pitable resource at Cap-Oeste. 

"In addition, following the increase in the gold price, the Company is commencing a further optimisation study for the Project, based on prices of US$1,350 Au and US$20 Ag per oz versus the original pit study which was undertaken based on prices of US$1,200 Au and US$20 Ag, which may also increase the life of mine.

"In respect of the underground mine at Cap-Oeste, metallurgical test work is continuing on the Arsenopyrite hosted mineralisation and recently completed floatation test work reported a 92.3% recovery of Au into a 62 g/t cleaner concentrate with silver assays still pending. 

"The concentrate will now be subjected to a series of leach tests with oxygen addition and fine grinding of the concentrate. Subject to the outcome of this test work and it being demonstrated to be economically viable, there is a potential to unlock high grade refractory ounces in the deeper section of the Cap-Oeste resource."


"Whilst mining ceased at Lomada in May 2016, irrigation of the heap leach pad has continued and Lomada produced 17,862 oz Au for the first seven months to 31 July 2016, which represents 14% above the Company's forecast for the period of 15,600 oz Au. Cash costs for the period were US$572 per oz.

"Gold production from the continued irrigation of the pad is now only forecast to continue for at least a further six months, as production has decreased faster than initially anticipated. 

"The net profits obtained from this production are being utilised to meet a portion of the operating capital requirements from the construction of Cap-Oeste. 

"With the recent increases in the gold price and the removal of export royalties on dore, the Company is reassessing the viability of resources located in the southern end of the Lomada pit previously considered uneconomic."

* * *

Minco (LON:MIO) said that for the six-month period to June 30 it posted a loss of $513,000, from a profit of $79,000 for the same period ended June 30, 2015. 

The loss for the six month period ended June 30, 2016 included a foreign exchange loss of $98,000 compared to a gain of $550,000 for the period ended June 30, 2015.

During the six month period ended June 30, 2016 Minco invested $264,000 on exploration of its mineral properties, of which the largest amounts were expended on the Buchans zinc lead project in central Newfoundland. 

Administrative expenses, excluding foreign exchange, for the six month period ended June 30, 2016 amounted to $429,000 compared to $497,000 in the same period in 2015.

At June 30, 2016, Minco held mineral properties with a book value of $13,260,000, cash and cash equivalents of $3,313,000 and had a working capital surplus of $2,959,000, compared to a working capital surplus of $3,628,000 at December 31, 2015.

* * *

Beowulf Mining (LON:BEM)  reports a loss after taxation attributable to the owners of the parent company of £333,052 for the six months to the end of June - in line with the corresponding period last year of £330,276. 

The loss in Q2 2016 of approximately £166,000 was also in line with the loss in Q1 2016. 

Basic/diluted loss per share for the period of £0.07 showed an improvement over the loss per share for the corresponding period last year (June 2015: £0.09) and was significantly better than the 2015 full year loss per share of £0.38.

Cash and cash equivalents at 30 June 2016 of £1,231,594, are £1,058,639 above the corresponding period last year and £878,680 above the level at 31 December 2015.

Chief executive Kurt Budge said: "I am looking forward to the coming months as we increase our efforts to get the Exploitation Concession for Kallak North awarded, working with the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden and our stakeholders. 

"In the last month we have provided updates on our exploration activities in Finland and Sweden as we have been busy carrying out work at our graphite assets and at the Atvidaberg licence. In addition, we have been successful in the award of another exploration licence, Sala nr 10 in Sweden.

"We have shareholders who remain focused on Kallak as the value driver of Beowulf, but our moves into graphite, Atvidaberg and Sala will show their worth in time.

"It's nearly two years since my appointment as CEO, and while we are still waiting for a decision on the Exploitation Concession for Kallak North, Beowulf has diversified and made significant progress towards building a solid platform for a modern and sustainable mining business in the Nordic region.

"We have never believed in 'sitting on our hands', and we are excited that we have momentum in the Kallak process, an opportunity to re-engage with the community in Jokkmokk and our stakeholders in Sweden, and we are actively working on our graphite portfolio and Atvidaberg licence.

"I look forward to updating shareholders on our progress in due course."

* * *

Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES)  will start the second phase of drilling at its Bay State silver project in Nevada on 7 September.

Three drill holes are planned as a follow up to high-grade silver mineralisation found in phase 1 drilling - two holes to test Chihuahua Vein south of Mining Canyon and beneath 19th/20th Century mine workings with an additional hole planned as first test of Lincoln vein system.

The objective is to demonstrate continuity of mineralisation along strike, to justify a substantial resource definition drilling programme and a scoping study for the development of future mining operations.

Assay results are expected within 6 weeks of completion of the two-week programme.

Executive chairman Patrick Cheetham said: "We are pleased to be announcing a start date for drilling, and we look forward to releasing results as soon as they become available." 

* * *

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) says a panel of four geotechnical specialists has published its findings into the immediate causes of the failure of the Fundao tailings dam at the iron ore operations of Samarco Mineracao in Minas Gerais, Brazil, on 5 November.

Vale, BHP Billiton Brasil and Samarco jointly commissioned Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP to investigate the immediate cause of the failure. 

To assist with the investigation, Cleary Gottlieb retained the Panel to advise on the technical aspects of the failure and to conduct testing and analysis. 

BHP Billiton's chief commercial officer, Dean Dalla Valle, said the dam failure had a devastating impact.

"In November 2015, BHP Billiton committed to making the findings of this investigation public, and we are determined to learn from this tragedy" Dalla Valle said.

"This important technical study will improve our understanding of what happened at Samarco. We have shared these findings so that the sector can learn from the dam failure and develop and implement further standards that can help prevent a similar event like this happening again."

Dalla Valle said, separate to the external investigation, BHP Billiton had also conducted its own reviews of other significant dams at its operations and of its non-operated minerals joint venture arrangements.

"In the wake of this event, we have separately undertaken a comprehensive review of our significant dams, which has confirmed that those dams are stable. We will take a number of actions to further enhance risk management at these facilities.

"We have looked comprehensively at tailings dam management and benchmarked to global leading practice. We have assessed our portfolio of dams against these global standards and are implementing actions to enhance the management of our dams.

"We also conducted a review into our non-operated minerals joint venture arrangements and have identified a number of opportunities for improvement. This is consistent with our commitment to continuously improve risk management and our determination to learn from, and share the lessons from, this tragedy."

The panel's findings released today are the outcome of a 10 month investigation and scientific analysis involving experienced geotechnical engineers and seismologists, led by Dr Norbert Morgenstern, a University Professor of Civil Engineering and an authority in the field of Geotechnical Engineering.

A full overview of the panel's findings, explanatory materials, detailed modeling, input data, a video and technical diagrams can be found at: 

* * *

Anglo American  (LON:AAL) has announced that non-executive director Judy Dlamini intends to step down with immediate effect in order to devote more time to her business commitments as chairman of Mbekani Group in South Africa.

Anglo American chairman Sir John Parker said: "We are disappointed that Judy Dlamini has decided to step down from the Board and we will miss her valued contribution. 

"However, we of course understand the additional efforts she wishes to devote to her business interests. On behalf of the Board, I would like to wish her all the very best as she continues to build upon the many successes of her business."


At 4:10pm:

(LON:AMC) Amur Minerals Corporation share price was +0.04p at 3.8p

(LON:CEY) Centamin PLC share price was -14.3p at 154.2p

(LON:CHL) Churchill Mining PLC share price was -1.88p at 26.25p

(LON:CZA) Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.01p at 3.51p

(LON:FRES) Fresnillo PLC share price was -97.5p at 1692.5p

(LON:GEMD) Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -3.5p at 124.75p

(LON:HOC) Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -22.1p at 255.5p

(LON:KMR) Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -1.5p at 268.5p

(LON:VED) Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -13p at 514.5p