Proactive weekly mining news - Bushveld Minerals, URU Metals and more

A look at the week gone for newsflow from the junior and small cap miners

A fairly busy week for the diggers

A fairly busy week for the junior diggers, which ended with news Bushveld Minerals (LON:BMN) has long awaited.

It has now completed its purchase of a 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, transforming it into a "significant player in the global vanadium market".

Strategic is the Evraz subsidiary that owns the Vametco open pit mine and processing plant, which is already next to to Bushveld's Brits Vanadium project in South Africa.

Vametco already boasts reserves of JORC 27 million tonnes (Mt) with some of the highest in-magnetite vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) grades in the world, averaging of 2.55% vanadium pentoxide in magnetite.

These are sufficient to support operations for 24 years at current production levels.

And there is scope to expand production capacity relatively quickly from 2,750 to 3,340 tonnes Vanadium per year, Bushveld said.

Here are some other highlights..

From the Bushveld to Ontario, and Landore Resources Ltd (LON:LND) told investors that drilling had started again on its BAM East gold discovery, part of the Junior Lake property.

The work started on April 1 and 12,000 metres are planned this spring and summer.

One rig is focused on further delineation, with a second scheduled to start exploration along the highly prospective structural trend which hosts the deposit.

One hole, for 282 metres, was completed in the Central Zone revealing the same lithology's hosting the gold mineralisation.

If you're interested in big diamond discoveries, then Gem Diamonds Limited (LON:GEMD) had a treat for you this week.

Shares climbed 10% on Friday  as it announced the recovery of a 114 carat, D colour Type II diamond of exceptional quality from the Letšeng mine in Lesotho.

It’s a big rock, but Letšeng is well-known for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds.

Since Gem's acquisition of Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced four of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded.

Also this week Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) said it was mulling a shift to becoming an owner miner at its platinum/chrome mine in South Africa.

The mine currently has an open pit life of 18 years and a further 40 years underground with operations currently contracted out to MCC Contracts Proprietary. 

Its parent company Extract is reviewing its business model and has offered Tharisa the opportunity to purchase MCC's existing on-site plant and equipment as well as take on its employees currently working at the mine.

To a Toronto listing, and Tango Mining Ltd (CVE:TGV) shares gained as it posted details on its diamond sales from the Oena mine in South Africa.

In the month to March 20 this year 307.94 carats from 183 diamonds were produced and sold with an average price of US$875  per carat.

The top 53 diamonds in value, of the 183 recovered, totalled 174.46 carats, had an average size of 3.292 carats and were sold with an average price of US$1,358 per carat, the group added.

Also, base metals and uranium explorer URU Metals Ltd (LON:URU) confirmed this week that metallurgical test work is underway at its Zebediela nickel project in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

The work is assessing the potential to process nickel mineralisation using acid leaching.

The processing and upgrading of the nickel had previously been envisaged to be done by froth flotation, a more capital intensive process which was expected to result in recoveries of around 54%.

Back to South Africa and Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) has sold its Uitkomst coal mine for almost double the price it paid a year ago.

The gold miner bought the coal operation for a net cost of R148mln (£8.7mln) since when the price of coal has rallied strongly.

Coal of Africa (LON:COAL) is now acquiring PAF's 91% stake for R275mln (£16mln).

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