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Proactive weekly mining highlights - Amur Minerals, SolGold, Alecto Minerals and W Resources

There were some big stories for mining juniors Friday...after a fairly busy week..
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A fairly busy week for the sector as commodity prices are still under pressure...

There were some big stories for mining juniors Friday.

Russian Fra East focused Amur Minerals (LON:AMC) saw shares surge after it inked an outline agreement with the Russian government's Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund.

The “non-binding heads of terms” could expand the financing options for its flagship Kun-Manie nickel sulphide project in the east of the country.

The company is already talking to strategic partners in Russia, China and India, which it said remained the “cornerstone” of its strategy to develop a mine.

Also, SolGold (LON:SOLG) shares shot up as it revealed its well-documented Hole 16 at the Cascabel copper project in Ecuador continues to hit intense porphyry style mineralisation.

The firm also told investors it is preparing to drill another prospect - the Trivnio-  after surface gold copper samples showed up to 0.43% copper and 0.43g/t gold.

ECR Minerals (LON:ECR) told last week how its subsidiary has bought two gold projects in Australia with the potential to generate near term revenue from processing historic dumps at one of them.

Snowden consultants are now preparing a JORC technical report on the Avoca and Bailieston projects in Victoria after ECR subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia struck a deal with Currawong Resources.

Elsewhere, Strategic Minerals (LON:SML, USOTC: SMCDY) revealed how it saw good demand for magnetite from its Cobre tailings operations in New Mexico last year due to falling oil prices and this is continuing into 2016.

This offset a sales dip in mid 2015,  the resources group revealed, as it issued a wide-ranging update on strategy and recent decisions.

Last month, the firm revealed it had moved away from bulks like iron and coal, securing an option to acquire up to 50% of an Australian firm Central Australian Rare Earths (CARE), which has nickel and rare earth exploration potential.

Rare Earth Minerals (LON:REM OTC REMMY) raised its stake in the Cinovec lithium deposit in the Czech Republic to 19.8% by bumping up its stake in owner European Metals.

Rare Earth increased its stake by taking part in a placing by the Australian and AIM-listed EMH (LON:EMH ASX:EMH) that raised just over £912,000. The additional 7.9% stake cost Rare Earth £670,000.

European Metals owns 100% of the exploration rights to Cinovec and will use the money for a drilling campaign to upgrade current inferred resources into the indicated category.

Mineral sands specialist Sierra Rutile (LON:SRX) said Robert Edwards will become independent non-executive chairman.

The 49-year-old will replace Michael Barton who stepped down on March 2 following his departure from Pala Investments, Sierra's majority shareholder, to pursue other career opportunities.

Last week,  W Resources  (LON:WRES) posted positive results from its São Martinho gold project and Tarouca project in Portugal.

At Tarouca, W has received high-grade tungsten results from trench work with 15 samples out of 126 exceeding 0.5% tungsten.

W is now looking at incorporating this high-grade material into its Régua mine development in Portugal. Next steps will be initial metallurgy work and assess options for an RC drilling programme.

At São Martinho, the firm has commissioned a report aiming at preparing a JORC compliant mineral resource estimate after assays and modelling using historic drilling data, including recent drilling by W Resources, are showing positive results that confirm the presence of three main mineralised zones.

Royal Road Minerals (CVE:RYR) said it was excited about the latest results from underground samples at the La Golondrina gold mine in Colombia.

The firm has taken 60 saw cut channel samples on four active underground mining levels at the mine, aiming to confirm high-grade, vein-hosted gold mineralisation.

Alecto Minerals (LON:ALO) said its previously announced joint venture with mining major Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) had now been completed.

All conditions for exploring and developing Alecto's 137 sq km Kossanto West Gold project in western Mali have now been satisfied.

Alecto chief Mark Jones told investors: "Whilst satisfaction of certain conditions in the joint venture agreement signed with Randgold Resources was essentially a formality, we are delighted to receive formal confirmation and we hope that this will give shareholders the confidence that the joint venture is moving ahead as planned."

Also significant, on Wednesday, Aureus Mining (LON:AUE) achieved commercial production status at its New Liberty gold mine in Liberia. Production exceeded 9,000 ounces during February 2016 as the company sorted teething issues that had affected the gravity and carbon in leach (CIL) circuits at the process plant.

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