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Proactive weekly mining highlights, including ECR Minerals, Kefi Minerals and Ariana Resources

A mixed bag but quite a bit of financing news from the junior space....
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A mixed bag of mining stories this week.....

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) ended the week with news it is to draw-down on a convertible financing deal so it can further assess immediately the recently acquired Avoca and Bailieston gold projects in Victoria, Australia.

ECR with YA Global has agreed the former will drawdown on four loan tranches under the facility for a total of US$600,000. The first tranche of US$250,000 has already been taken.

The firm is focusing on confirming the potential to generate relatively near term revenue from the reprocessing of historical mine dumps at the Avoca project, as previously announced.

It was a fairly busy week for small cap miners. Tungsten, gold and copper junior W Resources PLC explorer (LON:WRES) raised £750,000 through a share placing backed by its directors.

The placing was at 0.45p and Michael Masterman, chairman, is putting up £75,000 and David Garland, another director, £25,000.

The firm is developing the La Parrilla project in Spain, where tungsten production at a "fast-track mine" is scheduled for late 2016 at an estimated cost of US$16mln.

Sticking to the financing theme, Sula Iron & Gold PLC (LON:SULA) has raised £210,000 through a placing to fund the next phase of exploration at gold prospect Ferensola in Sierra Leone.

SEMS Exploration will undertake a Gamma-Ray Spectrometry and Resistivity and Induced Polarisation survey over the regional fold structure identified.

The objective is to define drill targets from across the 10km mineralised fold belt and beyond the extent of an Exploration Target defined by SRK.

Ariana Resources plc revealed this week it had doubled the resources at Kizilcukur in Turkey, one of the potential satellites for the Kiziltepe mine currently under construction.

The Kizilcukur resource is now estimated at 33,000 ounces gold equivalent, which would be sufficient for an additional 18 months of operations at Kiziltepe.

A mining permit is already in place, while Ariana sees significant exploration upside along strike and on sub-parallel vein splays.

Elsewhere, KEFI Minerals PLC (LON:KEFI) has the potential to increase production from its flagship Tulu Kapi project in Ethiopia to 150,000 ounces of gold a year with the addition of an underground operation, it said.

Currently designed only as an open pit, going underground would add a further 50,000 ounces to output, according to a preliminary economic assessment that looks at expansion plans.

This would boost the net present value of the project to US$200mln at an estimated capital cost of US$37mln.

The cash operating cost of an underground mine are forecast to be US$664 an ounce, giving all-in sustaining costs of US$845 per ounce. The net operating cash flow generated is estimated to be around US$30mln a year

On a mining related note, seeing as a  core of the DMS business has in recent years been in the  mining and industrial vehicle markets, Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) delivered an exciting update on its breakthrough driver monitoring system (DMS).

It came alongside interim results, which recorded a near 600% rise in revenues and a decisive move into profitability.

The AIM-listed pioneer of eye-tracking technology said Monday it and its partner Takata, the Japanese auto parts firm, had landed a follow-on order for the next-generation DMS.

The customer is an unnamed but “global” car manufacturer that took the first version of the technology.

This second order is expected to embed the Seeing Machines system in more than ten higher-volume, 2018 vehicle models.

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