It was, as expected, a fairly quiet week for news from the mining sector, with few announcements released in the shortened trading week between Christmas and the New Year.
AIM-listed Harvest Minerals Limited (LON:HMI) was a focus on Friday after it reported positive results after the completion of its second air core drilling programme at the Maximus Prospect, part of its Arapua Fertilizer project in Brazil.
The group said results from the second drilling programme, which firstly focused on the extension of the area drilled in the previous drilling stage, confirms the continuity of the weathered kamafugite ore body with consistent K2O, P2O5, CaO and MgO grades.
Harvest said it has retained the services of independent consultants GE21 (formerly Coffey Mining Brazil) to revise the current resource using the additional drill data.
GE21 will be on site in mid-January to check the results and an updated resource is expected by mid February.
Brian McMaster, Harvest’s executive chairman said: "These latest drilling results confirm the consistent quality of the mineralisation at Maximus.”
Mkango approval ...
Elsewhere on the same day, Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA, CVE:MKA) said it had received regulatory approval for its previously announced agreement to collaborate with commodity trader Noble Resources.
It also said it has obtained regulatory approval for a £450,000 placing with existing shareholders and new institutional investors.
Mkango shares surged before Christmas on the news that Noble Resources is to lend its considerable weight to the rare earths explorer.
The group confirmed that it would issue 12 million warrants to Noble, with an exercise price of 6.6p.
Should Noble exercise all of the warrants, which have a life-span of two years, it would end up with a 12.5% stake in Mkango.
Hummingbird Resources PLC (LON:HUM) reached another milestone this week - appointing a mining contractor for its Yanfolila gold project in Mali where first gold is expected in 2017.
The group has hired African Mining Services (AMS), which is a subsidiary of ASX listed Ausdrill Limited.
Dan Betts, Hummingbird's chief executive, said the deal represented the single largest contract the company will award.
The AIM-listed group said the final 44 rock-chip samples collected from the Bougouni project in southern Mali have confirmed further high-grade lithium mineralisation at the site.
The group said all samples for the drilling have been submitted for laboratory analysis and results are expected by the end of January 2017.
Elegant Aurum ...
Elsewhere, the mining directors of Aurum Mining PLC (LON:AUR) have been tasked with finding an “elegant solution” for the company’s Spanish gold portfolio as the business looks to take a different direction.
Having recruited an entirely new management team with experience in aerospace and defence, the company raised £6mln just before the Christmas break and announced it would change its name to Shearwater Group.
The new cash injection along with the £1.2mln it raised in October will fund the move into cyber security.
Chairman David Williams said the deal to offload the mining assets might enable Aurum to retain some sort of carried interest.
Petra is required to report payments made which individually or collectively are more than £86,000 within a financial year - in this case - to June 30, 2016.
A total of US$8.9mln was paid to governments, the report showed.