Proactive weekly mining highlights: Sirius Minerals, Anglo Pacific, Pan African Resources ...

A look back at the top news from London's junior miners this week...

woodsmith mine
Sirius Minerals is making progress with its Woodsmith fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire

Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) saw a sharp increase in gold production in the first half of its fiscal year.

Gold production from the group’s continuing mining operations increased by 54.2% to 81,014 ounces (oz) in the six months to the end of 2018 from 52,548 oz in the same period of 2017.

The company said there were “robust operational performances” from Barberton Mines’ underground operations and from the group’s tailings retreatment plants.

The final set of assay results from the drilling at Kodal Minerals PLC’s (LON:KOD) Bougouni lithium project continue to point to high-grade mineralisation.

The results are back from the lab from the four diamond drill holes at the Baoule and Ngoualana prospects, and the reverse circulation (RC) drilling results from the Sogola-Baoule and Boumou prospects.

The optimisation study for the Parys Mountain copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver project on the island of Anglesey is progressing well, according to Anglesey Mining plc (LON:AYM).

The optimisation study is being conducted under a project development and cooperation agreement entered into with QME Mine Engineering Services, from Navan, Ireland.

QME is examining a number of development scenarios for Parys Mountain, which include the initial development of the mine from a new decline, with the first production from the White Rock Zone.

Also under consideration is an initial development through the refurbishment of the Morris Shaft, with early production from the higher value, though deeper, Engine Zone. A number of sub-alternatives are also being considered.

Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) told investors it is making progress with the US$3bn debt financing that’s needed to deliver the group’s Yorkshire fertiliser mining project.

The company revealed in a stock market statement that it has made changes to the anticipated format of the debt in order to “modify credit risk allocation” amongst its potential lenders

It effectively means the UK government will play a smaller role in underwriting the project than previously expected.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) was a strong riser on Monday as the London-listed shares of its Australian partner MOD Resources Limited (LON:MOD, ASX:MOD) shot higher after receiving an unsolicited bid approach from Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Sandfire has made a non-binding indicative offer of 38 cents a share just as MOD has completed a A$15mln fundraise, which comprised a fully underwritten rights issue at 24 cents and an institutional placing at 30 cents per share.

MOD said the offer “undervalues MOD’s unique and extensive assets” even though it is pitched at a substantial premium to both the prices of the fundraiser and the market price beforehand.

Royalty specialist Anglo-Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) revealed it has a war chest of US$90mln to invest in new opportunities after a strong end to 2018.

Income from its portfolio of mining interests jumped 15% to a record £48mln-50mln in 2018, said the group.

There were sharply higher contributions from Australian coal producer Kestrel and vanadium miner Maracás Menchen, which increased its royalty by 180% as the price of the steel additive soared.

Kestrel’s operator has also indicated the possibility of a ‘material uplift’ in production in 2019, which would be comfortably in advance of 10% above the current broker consensus of 5.15mt.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) revealed the results of bulk sampling from the Kizilcukur vein 22 kilometres north of the Kiziltepe mine.

Around 22 tonnes of material were sampled, and returned grades of 4.22 grams per tonne gold and 284 grams silver.

The Kizlcukur vein lies on the Kizilcukur project, outside of the Red Rabbit joint venture, and is 100%-owned by Ariana.

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