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Proactive weekly mining highlights: Sirius Minerals, Tharisa, W Resources...

A look at the week's main events in the small-cap mining sector

Tharisa PLC -

Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) was one of the hottest topics this week after news broke that blue-chip miner Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) was going to submit a possible premium-priced takeover offer.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that Anglo had stopped short of making a formal bid but had proposed a possible 5.5p per share (£386mln) cash offer to buy all of the stalled UK mine developer’s shares.

Analysts had mixed views: Barclays said the newly acquired business could represent around 6%-9% of Anglo American’s group earnings by 2026 and the Yorkshire fertiliser project as a “decent asset”.

Shore Capital analyst Yuen Low said the FTSE 100-listed company has the resources and capabilities to make a success of the partially built potash mine.

However, UBS mining analyst Myles Allsop repeated a ‘sell’ rating on Anglo American, arguing the “experimental M&A” move is unlikely to be rewarded.

Elsewhere in the mining sector, Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) chief executive Phoevos Pouroulis described a “solid operational performance” as the company reported on the three months ended 31 December 2019.

W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) announced the sale its first shipment of tungsten concentrate from the La Parrilla mine, and, it confirmed that the proceeds have been received.

Landore Resources Ltd (LON:LND) boosted the NI 43-101 resource at the BAM Gold project to just over 31mln tonnes of ore grading 1.02 grams per tonne gold.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) also underlined the potential of its assets, in particular the Bonya tungsten and copper deposit in Australia with assays from recent drilling. Latest holes to be drilled showed best results of a 23m intersection at a grade of 0.58% WO3 (tungsten) from the surface at White Violet and a 9m copper band at Samarkand. Holes at both deposits also intersected grades above 2% tungsten over small widths at depths below 40m.

Similarly, NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) delivered a record-breaking set of production results from its Hellyer mine in Tasmania, Australia. During 2019 the company returned steadily increasing production of lead concentrate, such that, in the first quarter, production was running at 4,712 tonnes, while by the end of the year production had hit 8,160 tonnes. Total lead concentrate production for the year rang in at 24,980 tonnes.

NQ Minerals this week also signed a deal with Bass Metals Ltd (ASX:BSM) to secure 100% of all the mining and exploration rights at the main 1,695 hectare Hellyer mining lease.

Pembridge Resources Plc (LON:PERE) had a busy week as well with production statistics from the Minto copper mine and the third payment under its offtake agreement with Sumitomo.

Mineral & Financial Investments Ltd (LON:MAFL) told investors that its 75% owned associate Redcorp Empreedimentos Mineiros expects to publish a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Lagoa Salgada polymetallic project, in Portugal, later in January.

Alien Metals Limited (LON:UFO) was also doing paperwork to submit applications for permission to drill at its Los Campos and San Celso Silver projects in Mexico.

Meanwhile, MetalNRG PLC (LON:MNRG) announced it will blend material from waste dumps and mined ore to optimise gold production at its project in Arizona.

MetalNRG also said this week that the exclusivity period with regards to its acquisition of a majority stake in a Romanian company that owns the rights to an oil and gas concession for the next fifteen years has commenced and will run until 28 February 2020.

Shefa Gems Ltd (LON:SEFA) and European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) both bagged investments of US$50,000 and £350,000 respectively.

Shefa had its chief financial officer David Ben David investing via a convertible loan, while European Metals sold 2.3mln shares at 15.25p each to new and existing investors.

Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA) confirmed it has bought a stake in a company that has developed a technology to recycle rare earth magnets and appointed Tim Slater as interim chief financial officer.

Ormonde Mining plc (LON:ORM) also clinched an agreement, and sold its 30% stake in the Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain for around £5.1mln (€6mln).

Red Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR) responded positively to production expansion plans at the Tshipi manganese mine in South Africa, proposed by Jupiter Mines Ltd (ASX:JMS), which owns 49% of the project.

Panther Metals plc ‘s (LON:PALM) ordinary shares began trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, having moved its listing from the NEX Exchange.

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