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The Most Followed report is a summary of the most interesting corporate stories of the day, including the most popular stock exchange statements, the hottest topics on message boards, the biggest movers of the day as well as rumours and speculation.
Thursday’s most followed, including Nyota Minerals, Afferro Mining, Rio Tinto, Home Retail, Dixons RetailJanuary 17 2013, 12:36pm
Mining minnow Nyota Minerals (LON:NYO) made a name for itself today after taking another step towards being awarded the licence to dig for gold at the Tulu Kapi project in Ethiopia.
The country’s mining ministry confirmed the AIM-listed mineral explorer’s definitive feasibility study (DFS) met the requirements for a mining licence.
Nyota said that after talks with the ministry over the fiscal and legal aspects of the Tulu Kapi plans, both parties believe that they are close to finalising the terms for the issuance of a mining licence.
The company has also received an extension of its exploration licence, which it said means it can conclude preliminary preparations for the resettlement of people living within the proposed mining licence area and further exploration at Tulu Kapi to optimise the project.
This includes the Feeder Zone drill programme, from which results are due very shortly, it said.
Richard Chase, Nyota’s chief executive, added: “The Ethiopian Government's acknowledgement that our DFS and the ESIA [environmental and social impact assessment] comply with all requisite regulations for the issue of a mining licence means that we can now focus on negotiating the terms on which such a licence will be granted and raising the necessary funding.
“We are one step closer to developing Ethiopia's next gold mine.”
Investors cheered the news, sending shares up 6% to 3.9p each.
Afferro Mining (LON:AFF) caught investors’ attention after it confirmed that Indian giant Jindal Steel and Power is one of a number of the junior miner's potential suitors.
Afferro confirmed last month that it had received bid approaches, which has helped lift the share price.
Prior to this latest announcement AIM-listed International Mining and Infrastructure Corporation (LON:IMIC) was the only company to have been linked formally with a possible offer.
Afferro confirmed today it remains in “active discussions with all potential offerers”.
From the little to the big now as we move onto the rather larger miner Rio Tinto (LON:RIO).
Investors were disappointed by the $14bn in write-downs, including $3bn from its Mozambican coal operations, which have led to CEO Tom Albanese losing his job.
City analysts, though, urged investors to look on the bright side of his shock exit.
Citigroup upgraded the stock to ‘buy’, laying into the former management for its poor capital allocation and lack of shareholder focus, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Liberum tipsters agreed.
Investors browsed the High Street for a bargain today and seemed to come to the conclusion that Argos owner Home Retail (LON:HOME) is the place to invest their hard-earned cash.
Shares in the company, which also runs the Homebase DIY stores, soared 16% today after impressive festive figures.
Dixons Retail (LON:DXNS) fared well with like-for-like sales up 7% over Christmas, helping shares in the Currys and PC World owner to climb 1.7%.
Online retailer ASOS (LON:ASC) showed the High Street's strugglers what some of them are missing out on.
Its web business is still booming, while retailers without a must-visit online presence, such as HMV (LON:HMV), which just went into administration, fall by the wayside.
Mothercare (LON:MTC) sales continued to tumble after a poor performance at its UK business, propped up only by double-digit growth in its international arm.
Investors digested AB Foods (LON:ABF) and found some tasty results from its High Street success, Primark.
Shares jumped 7% after sales at the budget clothing store exceeded expectations, up 25%.
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