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Proactive weekly mining highlights, including Patagonia Gold and Pan African Resources

The week ended with Patagonia Gold saying it expects to start production from its Cap-Oeste deposit in Argentina by the autumn.
A fairly busy week for the junior miners....

The week ended with Patagonia Gold (LON:PGD) saying it expects to start production from its Cap-Oeste deposit in Argentina by the autumn.

First production is scheduled for the third quarter this year with production in 2016 estimated at 15,700 ounces of gold equivalent.

By then, mining at its Lomada mine in Argentina will have halted after exhausting the commercially available resource with equipment to be switched to the new mine.

It was one of a number of updates from the junior sector last week, which included results statements.

South African gold miner Pan African Resources (LON:PAF) confirmed its commitment to ‘attractive dividends’ as interim earnings soared.

Cash generation increased greatly during the half year, said chief executive Cobus Loots, which allowed it to cut its debts by 40% in sterling terms to £15mln.

“As a result, the company remains well positioned to maintain its sector-leading dividend pay-out and take advantage of future growth,“ Loots said.

Elsewhere, Keras Resources (LON:KRS), formerly known as Ferrex,  revealed it had boosted its gold production profile with a new tribute agreement on a deposit in Western Australia.

The firm has struck a 50:50 profit share agreement with Kalgoorlie Mining to exploit the Wycheproof gold deposit - a high-grade, shallow deposit on an existing mining lease with a resource of 75,600t at 2.87 g/t for 6,974 ounces.

"This latest agreement demonstrates the high level of activity in the region and the availability of deposits to be mined using a tribute method," said Keras managing director Dave Reeves.

Elsewhere, Kibo Mining (LON:KIBO) has been asked to fast track its coal to power project in Tanzania after meeting with government representatives last week.

Kibo chief executive Louis Coetzee met with Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanzania’s minister of energy and minerals, to discuss the progress of its Mbeya project.

Muhongo reiterated the country’s need for a reliable supply of base load power and requested that Kibo did “everything possible” to fast track the project.

Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) told how it had extended its US$15m bridge facility with Taurus Mining for another six months to September.

The gold junior said the extension will allow more time for the two to put together a finance package for the Yanfolila Gold project in Mali.

The bridge facility was originally set up in 2014 to be followed later by a full US$75mln financing package.

Sticking to money, Stratex International‘s (LON:STI) joint venture in Djibouti, Thani Stratex, has arranged US$1.25mln of funding for a first drill programme in the African country.

NurtureEx will provide the cash through a non-repayable and interest-free convertible loan.

Shanta Gold (LON:SHG) has found traces of gold in 24 of 26 holes drilled at the Askari target, 14 km northwest of its New Luika mine in Tanzania, it told investors this week.

Results from the phase 1 programme included four holes with grades of 7.2g/t to 31.2 g/t at depths of 61m to 108m and over widths between 3 and 8m.

Broker SP Angel, in a note, said: “These are great results by any standards and vindicate Toby Bradbury and Scott Yelland’s move to reinstate Shanta’s outlying exploration programme."

Meanwhile, Ariana Resources (LON:AAU) said its interest in technology metals has been boosted as it completed the sale of a package of lithium-containing tenements in Pilbara, Australia to Dakota Minerals.

As revealed in December, the sale - for cash and shares -  was arranged and carried out by Asgard, Ariana’s 86%-owned Australian subsidiary that specialises in metals for new technologies.

After various conditions have been now met, Asgard has now received an initial cash payment of A$147,000 and 22.5mln shares in Dakota (currently valued at A$1.2 million) and Ariana now owns around 8% of Dakota.

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