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Proactive weekly mining news summary - Condor Gold, Alexander Nubia, Chaarat Gold, Caledonia Mining and Bushveld Minerals

A mixed bag from the small cap diggers this week and here are some highlights.

Yesterday, Condor Gold (LON:CNR) said its pre-feasibility study and preliminary economic estimate for La India in Nicaragua revealed the project to be ‘robust’.

The group modelled three developments from a smaller, single open pit costing just US$110mln to develop through to a much more ambitious open-pit, feeder pits and underground mine requiring US$169mln of investment.

The single open-pit would process 800,000 tonnes of ore a year, producing 79,300 ounces of gold at an all-sustaining cost of US$685 an ounce. The internal rate of return is put at 22% and the post-tax net present value is US$92mln at US$1,250 gold and 5% discount rate.

Meanwhile, Chaarat Gold (LON:CGH) told investors this week it now has a far better understanding of its project of the same name as it unveiled a 15% increase to the global resource to 6.1mln JORC-compliant ounces of the precious metal at 3.2 grams per tonne.

The update followed a further 6,500 metres of drilling on the deposit in Kyrgyz Republic.

It led to a 33% increase in the resource contained within the higher confidence measured and indicated categories, and it also helped further define the 729,000-ounce lower-grade Tulkubash Zone, which will be the basis for an initial heap leach project.

Lesotho-based diamond group Paragon Diamonds (LON:PRG) has bought out its equity swap agreement with Lanstead Capital, which comprised 18.9% of its share capital.

Alexander Nubia's (CVE:AAN) Hamama volcanic massive sulphide project in Egypt just "keeps getting better".

That's the view of broker VSA Capital following news the Toronto-listed firm has uncovered a high-grade massive-sulphide lens.

This lens assayed in one trench 6.4 g/t gold, 231 g/t silver, 0.38% copper, 3.5% lead and 8.16% zinc across eight metres, the broker notes.

The gold cap, where the lens was uncovered, now has a measured surface area of 59,000 sq metres.

VSA noted: "The average precious metal grade above 2gAuEQ/t in the oxide cap nowranks right up there with other major VMS deposits in East Africa when they were first mined. The project just keeps getting better."

Lower grades, gold prices and tax changes in Zimbabwe cut Caledonia Mining’s (LON:CMCL) third quarter earnings back sharply.

The gold miner, which had already flagged production for the three months had dropped, generated revenues of US$13.5mln (US$16.6mln) and a net profit of US$1.3mln (US$4.6mln) in the period to September.

Caledonia added it still generated C$3.6mln cash in the quarter despite the lower output, which has boosted cash holdings overall to C$26.9mln.

Blanket, 49% owned and run by Caledonia, remains on track to achieve its target production of approximately 40,000 ounces of gold for 2014.

Sirius Mineral’s (LON:SXX) fertiliser product, Poly4, has received another encouraging crop research report, this time from Warwick University, it emerged this week.

The university’s study on barley showed POLY4 outperforming the more common forms of potash, MOP and SOP, on yield and other agronomic measures.

Sirius said the study highlighted POLY4's potassium and sulphur content as well as the added benefits of its low chloride levels. 

Results showed that POLY4 increased yields over MOP and SOP by 4.10t/ha and 0.6t/ha respectively; increased winter season survival rates and maximised macro and micro nutrient uptake compared to both MOP and SOP. 

Last but not least, Bushveld Minerals (LON:BMN) unveiled a 136% increase in the vanadium resource estimate at its South Africa project of the same name.

The figure rises to 284.8mln tonnes of iron ore containing 1.9mln tonnes of vanadium, which is used as a steel additive.

The mineral resource estimate was defined using a cut-off grade of 0.3% vanadium oxide, rather than an iron ore-based cut-off.  

The upgrade resulted from re-evaluating several areas of the deposit following metallurgical test work.

Giles Gwinnett
Giles Gwinnett

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