Proactive weekly mining highlights: Eurasia Mining, IronRidge Resources, Pembridge Resources, NQ Minerals …

There was once again a steady stream of news from London's small-cap miners this week

Eurasia Mining PLC -
Eurasia Mining PLC surprised investors this week by revealing that it had put itself up for sale

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) surprised investors this week by revealing that it had put itself up for sale and has appointed UBS to run the formal sales process.

The Russia-focused miner said in recent months it has received “a number of inbound expressions of interest from multiple parties” looking to acquire either all or a stake in its assets. However, the company said there could be “no certainty that an offer will be made” and that further announcements will be made in due course.

In a separate announcement, the company reported its results for the year ended December 31, 2019, where it posted a pre-tax loss of £796,268, narrowed from a £3.24mln loss in the prior year while sales fell to £1.1mln from £2.6mln.

It was a busy week for IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) which on Tuesday revealed it has been granted a new exploration licence in Ghana at Mankessim South.

The licence provides IronRidge with full ownership of a contiguous prospective lithium exploration licence adjacent to its Ewoyaa lithium project, which already boasts a 14.5mln tonne resource.

Field teams have been re-mobilised to the site to commence low-cost regional exploration programmes, including grid auger drilling, mapping and sampling within the newly-granted license and surrounding resource footprint area.

Then a day later IronRidge announced that it had completed the acquisition of CAPRI Metals SARL, giving it full ownership of a “highly prospective gold exploration portfolio” in Côte d'Ivoire.

The Africa-focused mineral explorer said the acquisition completes its purchase of the Vavoua portfolio, which comprises three licenses and grants IronRidge exclusive rights to a tenure package adjacent to the 2.15mln ounce Abujar deposit.

And on Thursday, the company said it has defined a drill-ready target at the Zaranou gold license in Côte d'Ivoire from recently secured historical data, while the company has also enlarged a second phase drilling programme over the Ehuasso and Ebilassokro targets.

The AIM-listed company said the historical data had confirmed the new target, called Yakassé, as a “significant soil anomaly” that warranted follow-up drilling which is planned to begin either on completion of the current drill programme or after the wet season.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) also had a busy week. On Monday it posted full-year 209 results showing a loss of US$13mln in the year to December 31, with revenues for the period amounting to US$12.4mln.

The loss included a US$6.4mln charge which reflected costs of re-starting operations at the Minto copper mine in Canada during the period.

"The financial results for 2019 reflect the investment made and costs incurred to acquire and restart the Minto mine,” said Gati Al-Jebouri, chief executive of Pembridge.

“Having achieved this successfully, I am pleased that we are in a position to face the challenges in front of us as well as grow the business. Although showing a loss for 2019, it is encouraging to be able to show the company generating revenues from operations in the consolidated financial statements.”

Then on Wednesday, Pembridge revealed that the amendment to the shareholders agreement to restructure interests between the investors in Minto Explorations Ltd. has now been finalised and executed.

The group said the final agreement, signed on June 30, 2020, remains as described on April 6, 2020, and provides Minto with US$3mln of cash investment to support its current cash requirements.

This also assists Pembridge's liquidity in the current unprecedented market conditions by relieving the company of significant future financial obligations amounting to US$6.4mln and up to US$22.1mln.

NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) on Monday announced the acquisition of the high-grade and historic Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania, Australia.

The mine has historic recorded production of about 1.8mln ounces of gold averaging around 15 grams per tonne and was closed in 2012 due to the low gold price at that time.

The miner said it plans to re-open the mine as soon as practicably possible as the gold price has more than doubled since 2012.

Then on Thursday, NQ Minerals revealed that last month’s plant upgrade at the Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania has resulted in a 44% increase in production.

The enhancements, done six months ahead of expectation, have resulted in hourly production of 150 tonnes, which equates to an annualised rate of 1.3mln tonnes.

As chairman David Lenigas pointed out, the changes should boost the company’s finances.

Elsewhere, Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) on Monday said it has initiated a 10,000 metre air core drilling campaign at the Faré target on its Senala project in Senegal, where joint venture partner IAMGOLD Corporation has the option to spend up to US$8mln to earn a 70% interest.

"We are delighted to see the start of drilling at the Faré prospect, in the north of the Senala licence," Oriole chief executive Tim Livesey said in a statement.

Oriole followed up that announcement with news on Tuesday that it had raised £419,500 via a placing and subscription of shares at 0.3p.

The placing price represented a 14% discount to the price of the company's shares at close of market on June 29, 2020, and a 11% discount to the 30-day volume-weighted average price.

The group said the proceeds will primarily be used to support ongoing exploration at the company's projects in Cameroon, including moving the programme at Bibemi towards drill mobilisation later this year.

There were a welter of results statements from the junior miners this week.

On Tuesday, ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) posted interim financial results for the six months to March 31, 2020.

The company recorded a loss of £1.85mln during the period, including an exceptional £1.6mln charge relating to the disposal of its Argentine subsidiary. Post-period end, the company’s cash position was strengthened by a £500,000 equity financing and the receipt of A$500,000 from Fosterville South Exploration Ltd in April 2020.

The group operating loss for the period was reduced to £369,102, set against the £438,145 loss booked for the six months ended March 31, 2019.

On the same day, Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO) highlighted “a year of growth” as the company released its full-year results for the year to December 31, 2019.

During the year, the company's technical director, Bill Brodie Good embarked on an acquisition-led strategy focussing on strengthening the company’s portfolio of diversified assets to encompass silver and precious metals projects in Mexico and newly acquired silver and iron ore projects in Western Australia. The company also holds copper assets.

As of December 31, 2019, the company had total assets of US$700,000, of which US$200,000 was cash. The company made an operating loss of $1mln during the year, equating to a loss per share of US$0.001 cents.

Meanwhile, Ferro Alloy Resources Ltd (LON:FAR) booked revenue of just over US$1.8mln in the year to December 31, 2019.

Losses rang in at US$3.3mln, and there was US$650,000mln in the bank at end December, although the company raised more money post the period end.

Significant progress has now been made towards a major expansion of the existing processing operation, with the new equipment installed increasing capacity to 60 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide per month.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) closed out the six months to March 31, 2020, with net assets of £2mln, after booking a £240,000 loss.

The metals exploration and development company had a busy first financial half, as it struck deals on assets in Botswana and the USA, and undertook exploration in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Subsequent to the period end, deals were also done in Australia, and further progress made on the African portfolio.

Then on Thursday, Power Metal said it has now undertaken the registration of additional claims at the Alamo gold project in Arizona.

The AIM-listed explorer said the footprint of the project now covers the area potentially containing a proximal bedrock gold source for the gold nugget mineralisation identified near-surface.

In a subsequent statement on Friday, Power Metal revealed that said the pitting and mapping exploration programme at its Kisinka copper-cobalt project has confirmed copper anomalous areas.

The programme on the 70%-owned project, located in the southern part of the Katangan copper belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was carried out over 40 days. In all, 211 samples including 11 field duplicates were collected and after sample preparation at the Preparation Laboratory of the University of Lubumbashi one batch was subjected to x-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing by an XRF Niton analyser, where a correlation with an R2 coefficient of 0.8835 for cobalt and 0.9661 for copper was obtained, indicating good precision.

Zanaga Iron Ore Company Ltd’s (LON:ZIOC) chairman this week hailed “a rise in global investment into large scale iron ore projects”, which he said provides a strong investment case for the company’s project in the Republic of Congo (ROC).

In a statement accompanying the company’s final results, Zanaga's non-executive chairman, Clifford Elphick also said iron ire prices had been resilient and premiums for “high quality iron ore products” had been maintained, further bolstering the company’s investment case.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, Zanaga reported a pre-tax loss of US$1.88mln compared to a US$1.86mln loss in the prior year, while the company ended the year with a cash balance of US$800,000.

Away from the numbers, Trident Resources PLC (LON:TRR) on Monday announced the acquisition of a royalty from Moxico Resources PLC over production from the operating Mimbula copper mine and associated stockpiles in Zambia's prolific Copperbelt Province.

The royalty is being acquired in exchange for a cash consideration of US$5mln, and Trident will be entitled to royalty payments on production commencing from 1 July 2020 and extending in perpetuity.

On Thursday, Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) said that Özaltin Holding A.S., through its subsidiary, Özaltin Insaat, Ticaret and Sanayi A.S., has formally committed to proceeding with its acquisition of 53% of both the Salinbas Project and the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. joint venture which is currently owned by Ariana in a 50:50 partnership with Proccea Construction Co.

The AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe announced on November 25, 2019, that it intends to partially dispose various interests held in Turkey to Özaltin, including jointly with Proccea, 53% of Zenit for US$50mln - to be split equally by Ariana and Proccea -, as well as an initial 17% of the Salinbas Project for US$mln.  In addition, Özaltin committed to injecting a further US$8mln of equity into the Salinbas Project in order to acquire 53% of the project.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) revealed this week that it has been granted an exploitation licence for the Manaila Carlibaba project in Romania, which will allow the company to re-examine the exploitation of the mineral resources within the larger licence area.

The Manaila Carlibaba exploitation perimeter contains a JORC 2012 compliant measured and indicated resource of 3.6mln tonnes at 0.93% copper plus other associated metals, with 1mln tonnes inferred grading 1.10% copper. The enlarged exploitation license is 138.6 hectares in size, an increase of 410% in surface area from the existing exploitation license at Manaila.

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) (NYSE AMERICAN:CMCL) this week declared a further increased quarterly dividend of 8.5 US cents, a 13% hike from the previous quarterly dividend of 7.5 cents, which, together with the increase to the dividend in January 2020 from 6.875 US cents, represents a cumulative 24% increase since October 2019.

The group highlighted significant business resilience demonstrated through the COVID 19 pandemic with gold production levels still within the range of 2020 guidance of 53,000-56,000 ounces, and with target production for 80,000 ounces of gold per annum from 2022.

In fundraising moves, Landore Resources Ltd (LON:LND) on Monday said it had conditionally raised gross proceeds of £2.8mln through a placing of 414mln shares at a price of 0.675p. The discount was 7.53% to the closing mid-market price on 26 June 2020.

The placing shares will represent 23% of the company's share capital. Holders of the placing shares will also be issued one warrant to subscribe for one share. The net proceeds will allow Landore to complete 3,400 metres of exploration drilling to follow up on identified gold targets on its projects in Canada.

And Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) received a major boost to its finances with a A$10 million strategic investment from Equatorial Resources Ltd (ASX:EQX) as part of a A$15 million placement of convertible notes to corporate and institutional investors.

Equatorial has subscribed for A$10 million of unsecured convertible notes in the company following a detailed review by Equatorial focused on investigating opportunities related to Salt Lake’s current financing requirements and operational progress.

On the management front, Emmerson PLC (LON:EML), the Moroccan focused potash development company, revealed Monday that it had appointed Graham Clarke as its chief executive, effective from 1 July 2020.

Clarke is a highly experienced fertiliser industry executive with 26 years' experience in underground potash mining and a proven ability to attract talent and build operating teams with the capability to deliver large, complex projects in the fertiliser space.

Pan African Resources PLC (LON:PAF) shares rose on Thursday as the firm told shareholders that it has established a sponsored Level -1 ADR programme from today on the over-the-counter market in the United States.

It said Bank of New York Mellon has been appointed as the Depository, with each ADR in the programme representing twenty ordinary shares in Pan African Resources and will trade under the symbol ‘PAFRY’.

And Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) revealed in written form questions that would be answered at its AGM on Monday. The questions were submitted in writing, as the company, in common with many around the world, is unable to host a full meeting of shareholders due to coronavirus restrictions.

The company said in its written answers that gold production on its Azerbaijan portfolio of assets is likely to increase, assuming that its new discoveries turn out to be viable

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