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Proactive weekly mining news highlights - Caledonia Mining Corporation, IronRidge Resources, Chaarat Gold Holdings and more

A look at some news highlights from the small-cap mining sector this week
It was quite a busy week for the diggers

Caledonia Mining Corporation (LON:CMCL, NYSE:CMCL) said on Friday it had potentially secured the future of its Blanket mine in Zimbabwe for the next 20 years by opting to extend the central shaft on site to greater depths.

It comes on the back of the recent resource upgrade, which underlined the potential volumes and grade at depth.

Total measured and indicated gold ounces now amount to 714,000 ounces compared to 671,000 ounces at the end of 2016, the company said last week.

The central shaft is currently under construction, and will now be extended by a further 250 metres to a depth of 1,330 metres and fully commissioned by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the mining group said.

"The creation of an additional two levels will also increase the mining flexibility and further de-risk the target production of 80,000 ounces per annum from 2021," the firm said.

It was one of a host of mining stories that featured this week on the Proactive site.

Another was that Jubilee Platinum PLC (LON:JLP) has seen rising production from its two tailings operations in South Africa, which sent annual revenues soaring at the firm.

Turnover rose to £9.47mln (£1.47mln) in the year to June, while losses before impairments were reduced to £2.1mln from £3.41mln.

Jubilee has chrome and platinum reprocessing plants at the Hernic and Dilokong mines.

Nearly of all the sales in the year (£9.37mln) came from Dilokong, which contributed for a full year.

The Hernic operation, meanwhile, generated first sales of £430,000 in the final quarter.

Elsewhere, IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) published this week high-grade lithium pegmatite trenching and rock chip sampling results from its Ghanaian assets.

The company said numerous target areas have been identified within its recently acquired high-resolution airborne geophysical survey in Ghana, West Africa.

It recently examined samples from the Ewoyaa and Abonku prospects with in the Mankessim licence area.

Bacanora Minerals Ltd (LON:BCN CVE:BCN) has been granted a mining licence for its Zinnwald joint venture in Germany, putting it on track to have two lithium mines in operation.

Zinnwald covers 256.5 hectares in southern Saxony and borders key German automotive and downstream lithium chemical industries.

The licence is for 30 years and has been issued by the Saxony State Mining Authority.

In the big cap space, Societe Generale raised its valuations for all the diversified miners on the back of a stronger commodity price outlook and upgraded Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO).

Rio is SocGen’s second top pick in the sector behind Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN), following an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’.

The price target has been lifted to 4,400p from 3,600p on the back of the French broker’s “more constructive” stance on iron ore in the context of stronger-than-expected Chinese demand and a bit of discipline on the part of producer.

Horizonte Minerals Plc (LON:HZM) has submitted a mine plan for the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil to the National Mining Agency (Agência Nacional de Mineração).

The Agency has already approved Horizonte's final exploration reports, covering the mineral reserves for the planned 28-year mine life at Araguaia.

The new submission contains the economic plan for developing Araguaia.

Approval of the plan, together with approval of the mine construction licence from the State Environmental Authority (SEMAS) will grant Horizonte the principal mining and environmental permits to commence construction of Araguaia.

Elsewhere, Ortac Resources Ltd confirmed that it has completed its acquisition of a 33.82% shareholding in Casa Mining Ltd and converted a loan into equity, taking its stake in Casa to 70%.

The AIM quoted mining firm now has a public offer to acquire the balance of Casa Mining’s equity from minority shareholders, on the same terms as it acquired the 33.8% stake.

Last but not least, Chaarat Gold Holdings has appointed Amara Mining PLC’s ex-finance director as chief financial officer designate.

Pete Gardner headed Amara’s finance team from 2009 to 2016 until its sale to Perseus Mining.  

At Chaarat, Gardner will lead the finance process for the construction of the Tulkubash heap leach project in Kyrgyzstan alongside chairman Martin Andersson and Endeavour Financial.  

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