Wednesday, 8 December 2010

African Aura Mining files NI43-101 report for New Liberty gold project

African Aura Mining (LON:AAAM, TSX:AUR) has filed a NI43-101 technical report for its 100% owned New Liberty gold project in western Liberia.
It has been previously reported that the resource and grade at the project increased to 1.51 million ounces at 3.78 grammes per tonne (g/t) gold with 5.6 million tonnes (Mt) containing 751,000 ounces in the indicated category and 7 Mt containing 762,000 ounces of gold inferred.
Management is targeting a production of 100,000 ounces per year for the open pittable material.
The resource model will be incorporated into a preliminary economic assessment this December.
African Aura operates iron and gold divisions.
The iron ore division includes its 38.5% interest in the Putu iron ore project in Liberia, which is moving through pre-feasibility managed by joint venture partner Severstal Resources.
The gold division includes New Liberty and the proximal Ndablama, Weaju, Silver Hills and Gondoja gold projects all within the company's Bea Mountain 25 year renewable mineral development agreement.

smartFOCUS wins marketing software order from Betsafe

SmartFOCUS Group (LON:STF) has won a contact to help Betsafe - a northern European online gaming group - improve its marketing efforts.
The company will allow Betsafe to boost player retention and profitability, by using timely and relevant multi-channel communications.
"We're in a competitive and fast-moving business," said Betsafe chief executive Henrik Ekdahl Persson. “To us it's all about the best possible player experience and to maintain the most relevant communication across the player lifecycle,
“With our new CRM tool from smartFOCUS we aim to not only enable us to achieve these marketing objectives, but to do so with increased automation and efficiency.”
Persson highlighted that smartFOCUS’ software will give Betsafe an ‘integrated view of the player’, providing information across channels, history and preferences.
He adds: “We've grown so fast, to 500,000 players, and I'm excited about the stage smartFOCUS and its social media, multi-channel analysis, campaign management and reporting will bring us to next."
Betsafe is now going to use smartFOCUS's packaged game solution, which is specially designed for the gaming market's sophisticated digital marketing needs.
The software suite includes smartFOCUS smartMARKETER, with its Analyzer, Campaigner and Reporter components. It also has the eChannel software which communicates through e-mail, mobile, SMS, landing page, microsites, and RSS, as well as social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
"Betsafe has undergone a tremendous rate of growth since its launch,”  smartFOCUS interim chief executive Curt Bloom said.
“I'm looking forward to what we can achieve together as Betsafe reaps the benefit of our intelligent marketing solutions, and also deploys smartFOCUS eChannel to communicate with gamers across e-mail, mobile, social networks, web and SMS," Bloom added.
The financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Desire Petroleum shares dive with U-turn on Falkland oil discovery

It turns out Desire Petroleum (LON:DES) doesn’t have an oil discovery in the North Falkland basin after all.
Last Thursday it proclaimed a new oil discovery after preliminary results indicated that it had found 349 metres of sands and shales with hydrocarbons, including 57 metres of net pay in multiple zones.
This morning Desire told the market that sampling of the main sand has shown that the hydrocarbons are residual and that the mobile fluid is water.
The response from investors was both swift and severe, with Desire shares falling around 50 percent in early deals, to 68.25 pence.
“It is extremely disappointing that the subsequent wireline logs and fluids sampling have dashed all the earlier promise of this being Desire's first oil discovery in the North Falkland Basin,” chairman Stephen Phipps said.
The company stressed that drilling on the Rachel prospect has so far identified five ‘fan systems’ with varying areal extent and reservoir properties, and good reservoir development has been recorded in a number of the fans.
Phipps added: “Despite this setback, the presence of hydrocarbons and good reservoir development have been identified in a number of the Rachel fan sands,
“We therefore continue to believe in the prospectivity of the East Flank Play fairway for future oil discoveries."
According to Desire, some of the sands are of a similar age to those in Rockhopper Exploration's Sea Lion discovery.
The company plans to remap these systems after it has completed its 3D seismic programme in 2011.
Desire’s next drill target will be the Dawn/Jacinta prospect, which is on the southern margin of the basin. The next prospect is independent of Rachel and it is targeting sands at a number of levels.
Another well is also planned after Dawn/Jacinta, but the drilling schedule has not yet been finalised.

Gulf Keystone’s Akri-Bijeel discovery report puts oil-in-place at 2.4 bln barrels

Gulf Keystone Petroleum’s (LON:GKP) stake in the Akri-Bijeel oil discovery looks set for a boost after its oil-initially-in-place estimate was put at 2.4 billion barrels (P50).
The company has a 20 percent stake in the Akri-Bijeel field in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
Akri-Bijeel’s operator MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas has now submitted a ‘discovery report’ to the Kurdistan Ministry of Natural Resources.
Bijeel-1 struck oil in March 2010. Subsequently in June, Bijeel-1 produced 3,200 barrels of oil and 933,000 standard cubic feet of gas per day, from the Jurassic formation between 3,804 and 3,967 meters.
MOL then sidetracked the well to overcome technical problems, then in early November a joint test was performed, to produce 3,743 barrels of oil and 618,826 standard cubic feet of gas per day.
It is thought that this level could be increased significantly with the use of artificial lifting systems.
MOL said it will use the discovery report in its planning of an appraisal program for Akri-Bijeel.
Arkri-Bijeel is one of four contiguous fields that Gulf Keystone has a stake in. The most advanced, and highest profile, is the Shaikan oilfield.
It first struck oil at Shaikan back in August 2009. The size of the discovery quickly came into focus, with Gulf Keystone finding several layers of reservoirs. Subsequently Shaikan’s oil-in-place resources were estimated at around 1.9 billion barrels with an upside to 7.2 billion - in a P90 to P10 range.
The first well was not able to test the deeper reservoirs and just last week the first deep appraisal well, Shaikan-2, was spudded to test the entire structure.
Shaikan-2 has been drilled through the geopressured sections of the Triassic age rocks, as well as the Cretaceous, Jurassic and the Triassic all the way down to the Permian, with target depth of 5,000 metres.
Drilling and testing is expected to take six months.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Mariana Resources to raise £6.2 mln for exploration in private placement

Mariana Resources Ltd (LON:MARL), an exploration and development company focused in Argentina and Chile, is planning a global private placement to raise £6.2 million before expenses and will use the funds to accelerate the exploration of its project portfolio, and for general corporate and working capital purposes.

In a statement published late yesterday, it said shares will be issued at 40 pence, only just below the closing price in London on the day. The fundraising is scheduled to close on or about December 9.

The placement to investors in North America will be led by Paradigm Capital Inc, while that outside North America will be brokered by finnCap.

The company's primary focus will be to fast-track exploration drilling at its flagship Las Calandrias gold discovery in southern Argentina, to define a resource and evaluate the economic potential of the project.

Mariana has an extensive portfolio of gold, silver and copper projects in Argentina and Chile. In Argentina, in addition to the Las Calandrias gold-silver discovery project, it owns the Sierra Blanca silver prospect and has a joint venture with Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC).

Mariana also owns exclusive exploration rights to a 160,000 hectare area. All of these projects are located in the Deseado Massif gold district in mining-friendly Santa Cruz province of southern Argentina, which hosts four gold/silver mines and several notable bonanza type precious metal prospects.

In Chile, Mariana has a joint venture agreement with US based international mining and natural resources company Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)  to explore for iron oxide-copper-gold deposits (IOCG) in a 92,000 square kilometre area (SCM Mariana Area) in north-central Chile. The SCM Mariana Area includes two IOCG exploration projects in the highly prospective Atacama Fault Zone, approximately 100 kilometres from Freeport's Candelaria Copper Mine: the 44 sq km Buenaventura and 46 sq km Perro Chico projects.

Medusa Mining expands high grade gold-silver prospect at Saugon

Medusa Mining’s (LON:MML, ASX:MML, TSX:MLL) recent drilling has extended the mineralised gold-silver zones of  the Saugon project's First Hit Vein prospect to approximately 200 metres of strike and, and they remein open along strike and at depth.
This key exploration project is around 10 kilometres from Medusa’s Co-O gold mine in the Philippines, where it is currently working to double output to 200,000 ounces of gold per year.
The best assays had widths ranging from 0.75 to 4.55 metres, with grades ranging between 9.63 - 28.07 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 125.13 - 413.6 g/t silver. The deepest high grade assay had 3.35 metres grading 11.71 g/t gold and 154 g/t silver, from around 180 metres.
"These new high-grade gold-silver drilling results, whilst confirming and extending significantly the 2004 results, have the hallmarks of a substantial mineralised structure,” managing director Geoff Davis said.
He adds: “The deepest high grade intersection ... and the robust new northern zone intersections indicate scope for substantial increases to this mineralisation,
“Work is on-going to further evaluate its potential to develop as a new deposit".
The First Hit Vein was initially uncovered at the Saugon project in back in 2004. The company thinks this earlier campaign found the ‘neck’ of a hydrothermal system, which may have more substantial zones of mineralisation at depth and along strike.
Subsequently, Medusa completed 34 new drill holes, for around 7,493 metres, and the results broadly confirm the 2004 drill holes, with some wider intersections with mid-range grades as well as narrow zones of high grades.
The drilling programme is aimed to repeat the 2004 un-surveyed holes to establish the geometry of the system and gain a better understanding of the mineralisation.
Drilling is still underway at Saugon.

Cluff Gold readies drill bit for 7 new targets at Baomahun

Cluff Gold (LON:CLF, TSX:CFG) has identified 7 new drill targets at its wholly owned Baomahun project  in Sierra Leone.
The targets were identified following an airborne versatile time domain electro-magnetic survey (VTEM Survey). They are all near surface and they are interpreted as having strikes and dips similar to mineralisation in the existing resource area - which currently has a total resource of 2.4 million ounces of gold.
"We are delighted with the results of the VTEM Survey, which confirm our belief in the significant upside at Baomahun,” chairman and chief executive Algy Cluff said.
“We now have in place a defined schedule to both drill-test these new targets whilst also ensuring that the feasibility study remains on track.”
Around 6,000 metres drilling will test the new targets from January onwards, as part of a larger US$12 million work programme which is already underway.
A separate 20,000 metre drilling programme is already underway at Baomahun.
Algy Cluff added: “Following our recent fundraising, the company is now well positioned to take an aggressive approach to its exploration programmes across all three assets."
It raised US$15 million late in October after Macquarie Bank arranged a private placing.
The company’s primary assets are Baomahun, the Kalsaka mine in Burkina Faso and the Angovia mine in the Ivory Coast.
Between them Kalsaka and Angovia produce around 100,000 ounces of gold per year.
Yesterday, Cluff released new exploration drilling results from Kalsaka and unveiled its plans for another 63,000 metres of drilling.
It told investors that it intercepted significant sulphide mineralisation and drill highlights included 15 metres at 7.44 grams per tonne gold from 90m depth.
Cluff is planning a 63,000 metre drilling programme, encompassing diamond core, reverse circulation and rotary air blast drilling, which will commence in Q1 2011, supported by regional geophysics and geochemistry which are underway.
The company’s strategy at Kalsaka is two-fold: to extend the oxide reserves to ensure continuity of the existing heap leach operation, while targeting both the oxide and sulphide mineralisation within the wider Kalsaka exploration permit and neighbouring Yako exploration permit.
The latter may justify the construction of a conventional CIL/CIP plant so as to generate improved metallurgical recoveries with a faster leaching cycle, thereby increasing the economic returns compared to the existing oxide heap leach operation.

Herencia Resources raises £4.7 mln for 2011 work programme at Paguanta gold-silver-copper-lead project

Herencia Resources (LON:HER) has raised £4.7 million via a share issue to advance its 70% owned Paguanta copper-silver-lead-gold project in Chile.
Specifically, the funds will be used to commence the feasibility study for the proposed Patricia mine, drill the Doris copper-silver prospect and the La Rosa porphyry-copper target and undertake infill-step out drilling of the Patricia mineral resource.
“The support shown for our plans for the Paguanta project, from both existing and new shareholders, has been outstanding.
“We are now funded to undertake a comprehensive work program in 2011 which is scheduled to include drill programs on all three project areas and commencement of the feasibility study,” said managing director of Herencia Resources Michael Bohm.
A total of 270.7 million shares were issued by Herencia at a price of 1.75 pence per share.
Herencia Resources has recently announced that the Paguanta project was worth US$90.4 million after an update of the project's economic model. In October it upgraded the mining inventory.
The recent upgrade increased the inventory by around a third to 1.66 million tonnes. Consequently Herencia now gives Paguanta a net present value of US$90.4 million.
The latest economic assessment also highlighted the project’s potential to increase its value. Herencia reported to 'sensitivity' cases that estimated Paguanta’s value in the future.
The ‘Post-Feasibility’ case assumed that a further 740,000 tonnes are added to the mining inventory in 2011, in this scenario Herencia believes Paguanta could be worth US$139.5 million.
Meanwhile, the ‘Upside Case’ assumes that Herencia can double the current 1.66 million inventory, which would give Paguanta an estimated value of US$184.9 million.
A week ago, Herencia hired a contractor to carry out geophysical work on the Doris prospect.
The work programme is expected to start in the first week of January, and it should be completed by the end of the month.

Frontier Mining shares rise on release of Benkala copper project JORC report

Frontier Mining (LON:FML) announced the completion of a JORC resource estimate for its Benkala copper deposit in Kazakhstan, making the company “even more confident” that the project will be a success.
The completion of the estimate is very good news for Frontier, as it had been long awaited by brokers and investors and regarded as a major milestone that will boost its share price.  The stock was trading up 7.8 percent at 6.88 pence in early deals.
The report met the company’s expectations, as it is generally in line with Soviet estimates, showing almost 1.5 million tonnes (Mt) of copper.
Now there is yet more to look forward to.
Frontier expects to increase this resource, categorisation and quality, having submitted additional infill drilling data to engineering consultancy Wardell Armstrong International (WAI).
“On sulphides, we are moving forward with our plans to complete exploration and fully define the deposit. We are now even more confident that our Benkala project will be a great success for the company,” said chief executive of Frontier Erlan Sagadiev.
The gross attributable measured resource stands at 2.5 Mt grading 0.55% copper containing 14,000 tonnes. Indicated resource amounts to 94.5 Mt grating 0.45% copper for 425,130 tonnes contained and 66.76 Mt at 0.42 copper for 282,450 tonnes of copper in the inferred category.
The gross attributable resource stands at 194.15 Mt at 0.45% copper for 878,400 tonnes of copper contained in the measured and indicated category and 133.52 Mt at 0.42% for 564,900 tonnes inferred.
“We are pleased that this key deliverable of a resource estimate to JORC standards has been completed.
“Most importantly it largely supports our oxide estimates and quality for our ongoing SX/EW project,” said Sagadiev.
The JORC report marks the continuation of the rapid progress Frontier has been making with Benkala development.
Just a little over a week ago, the company signed a US$4 million loan with HSBC (LON:HSBA) to fund the Benkala development.
Furthermore, HSBC has indicated it is ready to provide a further US$15 million to develop Benkala, provided Frontier meets certain unspecified conditions.
In June Frontier said it had begun the construction of the open pit mine at Benkala, with initial production set to begin in the first half of next year.
Frontier plans to build the second electrical power line to the Benkala mine after the first one was built in 2009.
Frontier currently has a 50% indirect interest in the Benkala Copper Project which is managed by a joint-venture company, KazCopper.  The other 50% of Benkala is owned by Coville Intercorp, a private Kazakh mining group.
The company is set to take full ownership of Benkala, after it agreed a US$86.3 million paper deal with Colville Intercorp.
According to Edison, the deal is valued at US$61.8 per tonne of copper, which is a 9.9 percent discount to FML’s pre-deal enterprise value per tonne.