Source - SMW
Beowulf (LON:BEM) was one of the sector's biggest risers after announcing assay results from reconnaissance 'grab' sampling at its Haapamaki and Pitkajarvi graphite projects located in eastern Finland, approximately 40 kilometres southwest of the well-established mining town of Outokumpu.  


- Sampling and geological mapping have been undertaken at Haapamaki, and at two newly discovered prospective areas, Pitkajarvi and Aitolampi.

- The previously identified airborne electromagnetic (EM) anomaly from Pitkӓjӓrvi to Aitolampi extends more than 16km in length and up to 0.6km in width, with the EM conductive zone being associated with outcrops of graphite schist, together with numerous graphitic boulders in glacially transported till.

- For the 13 'grab' samples taken at Pitkajarvi, assays ranged between 1.61% and 13.4% graphitic carbon (Cg).

- Two assays for 'grab' samples taken from the Kaarmerinne area of Haapamaki, yielded 44.8% and 45.2% Cg.

Summary of the work:  

- Sampling and geological mapping have been undertaken over an area that has several historic workings, which correspond to ground and airborne EM anomalies, identified by company's geophysical survey with Slingram horizontal loop electromagnetic (HLEM), completed in March 2016, and by historic airborne survey work undertaken by Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).

- Identified conductive zones were located on the ground, in most cases glacial till obscured possible graphite mineralisation, but in some locations graphite mineralisation was located, mapped and sampled; these included road cuttings, old quarries and pits, outcrops and mineralised boulders.

- 28 samples were assayed at Activation Laboratories (Actlabs) in Canada. 15 samples taken at Haapamaki and 13 samples taken at Pitkajarvi.

- The results shown in this announcement are from reconnaissance 'grab' samples (of approximately 1.5 to 2kg each in weight) collected from mineralised outcrops and boulders.

- The samples were collected in isolation and therefore cannot be considered representative of the grade of the mineralisation over a deposit, but nevertheless give a range of values, some with high Cg content, that are indicative of the potential at Haapamaki and Pitkajarvi, and which have assisted the field teams to determine areas for further investigation.

- Four composite samples for different areas have also been prepared from the "grab" samples collected for those areas, and despatched to SGS Minerals Services in Canada for preliminary metallurgical test-work, to evaluate graphite flake size and distribution, and provide an indication of graphite concentrate Cg grade. 

- The company will wait for these results before finalising the next stage of exploration work, which will likely include trenching, and potentially, drilling.

Chief executive Kurt Budge said: "We continue to make good progress with our graphite assets in Finland and, having recently identified two new prospects, we have now completed reconnaissance 'grab' sampling which has delivered encouraging results.   

"It is pleasing that where we can inspect rock outcrops, located within areas of medium to strong EM conductors, we find medium to high grade flake graphite.    

"We are keen to push forward with our exploration work, especially as the EM anomaly for our new prospects, Pitkӓjӓrvi and Aitolampi, extends more than 16km in length and up to 0.6 km in width.  

 "I look forward to providing shareholders with further updates of our progress."

* * *

Vedanta Resources (LON:VED) deputy chief financial officer Arun Kumar has been appointed CFO of the Vedanta group.

Kumar takes over from DD Jalan, Vedanta's group CFO, and whole-time director of Vedanta Limited, who superannuates toay after almost 16 years with the group.

* * * 

Gemfields (LON:GEM) reports a positive result from its latest auction in Jaipur with 81% of the gems offered successfully sold but sees a softening in demand for some of the lower qualities in some markets.

Highlights - emerald auction

- Auction revenues of $10.7 million

- A robust $3.28 per carat for the specific auction mix offered

- Of the 4.05 million carats offered for sale, 3.27 million carats were sold (81%)

Highlights: amethyst auction

- Auction revenues of $0.4 million;

- The average realised price was 3.73 US cents per carat

- Of the 13.6 million carats offered for sale, 11.6 million carats were sold (86%).

A total of 30 companies placed bids in Gemfields' first auction of Kagem production in the current financial year.

Gemfields said auction saw 4.05 million carats of commercial quality emerald extracted from Kagem placed on offer, with 15 of the 19 lots offered being sold, generating auction revenues of $10.7 million. The auction realised a pleasing overall average value of $3.28 per carat, a robust figure considering the specific quality mix of goods placed on offer at the auction.

The company's 23 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined at Kagem since July 2009 have generated USD 437 million in total revenues. The proceeds of this auction will be fully repatriated to Kagem Mining Ltd in Zambia, and with all royalties due to the Government of the Republic of Zambia being paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction.

In addition to the auction of gemstones mined by Gemfields at Kagem, the Jaipur event was also used to host an auction of higher quality amethyst mined by Kariba Minerals Ltd (in which Gemfields has a 50% interest). 

The auction saw 13.6 million carats of higher quality amethyst extracted from Kariba placed on offer, with 10 of the 14 lots offered being sold, generating auction revenues of USD 0.4 million from the 11.6 million carats sold. 

The amethyst auction realised an overall average value of 3.73 US cents per carat. Gemfields has hosted only four prior rough amethyst auctions which took place in Jaipur in March 2011, Lusaka in February 2015, Singapore in September 2015 and Lusaka in April 2016.

Chief executive Ian Harebottle said: "With 81% of the gems offered successfully sold, Jaipur has yet again delivered a positive result in support of Gemfields' vision and reflecting the fact that the platform upon which the growth of the coloured gemstone sector is being built remains encouraging. 

"While there is evidence of a softening in demand for some of the lower qualities in some markets, the overall average price per carat achieved was impacted on by this auction not having the benefit of some of the larger-size, higher quality gems that were placed on offer in our May 2016 auction.

"As always, we thank our partners in the Zambian Government for their vision and support in building and internationalising the Zambian gemstone sector by promoting transparent and globally-competitive practices."

* * *

Coal of Africa Limited  (LON:CZA) generated no revenue was generated during the year to the end of June as all operations are on care and maintenance (FY 2015: $nil).

Non-cash charges totalled US$12.8 million (FY2015: US$7.5 million) including:

* depreciation and amortisation of US$1.2 million (FY2015: US$1.4 million);

* unrealised foreign exchange loss of US$9.5 million (FY2015: US$18.9 million gain) as a result of the South African rand weakening against the United States dollar

* share based payment expense of US$0.2 million (FY2015: US$3.1 million).

The group reports total unrestricted cash balances at year-end, including cash held by operations available for sale of US$19.5 million (FY2015: US$17.8 million).

Chief executive David Brown said: "The financial results for the year ended 30 June 2016 continue to reflect the progress on transitioning into a project development company. Most legacy issues have now been resolved and progress has been made on a number of regulatory matters at both Makhado and Vele. 

"We have started the process to acquire a cash generating asset in order to provide the company with a sustainable future. Despite not consummating the Universal Coal transaction we are actively pursuing other acquisition opportunities."    

  At 4:06pm:

(LON:BEM) Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.38p at 4.63p

(LON:BKY) Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was 0p at 47p

(LON:CEY) Centamin PLC share price was -1.25p at 148.15p

(LON:CHL) Churchill Mining PLC share price was +0.76p at 30.38p

(LON:CZA) Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.16p at 2.84p

(LON:FDI) Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 52.25p

(LON:FRES) Fresnillo PLC share price was +2.5p at 1812.5p

(LON:GEM) Gemfields PLC share price was -1.5p at 51.5p

(LON:GEMD) Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +4.63p at 126.13p

(LON:HOC) Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -9p at 286.4p

(LON:KMR) Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +4.38p at 329.38p

(LON:VED) Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -7p at 584.5p