Friday, 30 September 2011

Curis' Florence copper project receives environmental compliance from independent review

Curis Resources (TSE:CUV) announced Wednesday its Florence copper project in Florence, Arizona was found to be safe and compatible with the water and environmental safety aspects of the town's "General Plan", by an independent third party consultant.
In its report, the Tucson, Arizona-based Montgomery & Associates concluded that "the proposed . . . project could be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the Town of Florence General Plan."
Specifically, the report found no substantive problems with two groundwater flow models at the Florence project, and that surface impacts "are anticipated to be minimal and limited to the actual infrastructure elements needed."
The consultant also concluded that the Florence project should have no impact on the town's ability to maintain compliance with its Safe Drinking Water program, its development or implementation of a wellhead protection program, or its strategy to protect its water supply.
"We firmly believe their expert review and testimony will help inform both the Planning and Zoning Commission hearings on Curis' applications, as well as the Town Council as they move toward a vote on out applications later this fall," commented Curis president and CEO, Michael McPhie.
"The conclusions of their analysis clearly validate our position that development of the Florence Copper project can be done in an environmentally sound and socially responsible manner, consistent with the goals of the Town of Florence's 2020 General Plan."
Earlier this month, Curis also received a letter of support for its Florence project from the Arizona State Land Department, in which commissioner Maria Baier claimed to "see a clear benefit to the [State Trust] from revenue generated through its mining operations and subsequent reuse made possible through sound mining and reclamation practices."
Currently, Curis is awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regarding its application to update major environmental permits required for the operation of the Florence mine.

IBC Advanced Alloys increases bought deal financing to $3.0 million

IBC Advanced Alloys (CVE:IB) announced Friday it increased its previously announced bought deal financing with Euro Pacific Canada, from $2.5 million to $3.0 million.
Under the terms of the deal, Euro Pacific will now purchase an additional 2.5 million "equity units" for a total of five million equity units at a purchase price of $0.20 each, and a total of 10 million "units" at a purchase price of $0.20 each.
This adds $500,000 to the financing, for a total of $3.0 million, the company said.
Each equity unit consists of one unit, one-half of one subscription right, with each whole right entitling the holder to purchase one unit for $0.20 on a date that is 30 days from closing, and a one-half of a subscription right that, in full, can be redeemed for one unit for $0.20 at a date that is 60 days from closing.
Meanwhile, each unit consists of one common share of IBC, and one-half of one common share purchase warrant. Each whole warrant entitles the owner to acquire one common share of IBC for $0.25 for a period of two years from closing.
IBC has also proportionally increased the over-allotment option that was originally granted to Euro Pacific, which now has an option to purchase an additional 2.25 million "equity units" for another 30 days following the close of the financing, expected on October 24.
This over-allotment option can add gross proceeds of $450,000, IBC said.
The manufacturer of rare metals-based alloys said it will use the proceeds from the financing to strengthen its balance sheet by paying down its notes payable. If any additional funds exist, IBC said it will also use the proceeds to add inventory, and for general working capital purposes.
IBC's alloys serve a variety of industries including nuclear energy, automotive, telecommunications and a range of industrial applications.
The company, which is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with production facilities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Missouri, also owns prospective beryllium properties in the Western US covering approximately 9,500 hectares.

Aguila American Gold’s Angostura Project holds plenty of upside potential for small cap investors

Aguila American Gold (CVE:AGL, OTC:AGLAF) is a junior Canadian gold explorer that is focused on developing a major gold trend that has been identified on its flagship Angostura Gold Project, which is located in southwestern Peru.

Angostura lies within a highly prolific mining district that boasts total resources of over 1.6 billion tonnes of copper ore that are owned by mining giant Xstrata (LON:XTA), and include the Tintaya Copper and Gold Mine, and projects under development at Antapaccay, Coroccohuayco, and Las Bambas that may produce as much as 500,000 tonnes of copper per year.

The gold targets at Angostura are contained within a Cretaceous age sequence of limestones and sediments that has been intruded by the Lower Tertiary age Andahuaylas-Yauri batholith.  This same sequence of sediments and intrusive rocks hosts the Las Bambas copper gold porphyry deposits, the Constancia porphyry copper deposits and the Tintaya porphyry copper and skarn deposits, ,and all have mineralized intrusions with copper, gold, silver and molybdenum mineralization plus base metals occurrences. This belt also contains numerous iron-copper skarn deposits associated with the Andahuaylas batholith. This supports the exploration thesis that Angostura may host a very significant gold resource along with silver and base metal credits.

The Angostura property contains limestone replacement bodies that appear structurally related to the East-West trending Vilcabamba fault in the south of the property and may carry significant amounts of gold and silver mineralization, with possible base metal credits, within brecciated limestones being the main target. The host structure is a splay of the Vilcabamba fault and the contact between limestones of the Upper Cretaceous Ferrobamba formation and the older sandstones, siltstones and shales of Lower Cretaceous Mara/Soraya formation that encapsulate a low temperature gold system containing significant amounts of iron and manganese oxides and barite.

Angostura is located in the Department of Apurimac, in Garu Province and is 430 kilometres southwest of Lima, and 180 kilometres southwest of Cuzco. The property covers 4,869 hectares of fully titled concessions, and 2,965 hectares that are under application for title. Electric power and water are both available on the property, and access is provided by a paved highway and gravel roads that surround the concessions.

The central part of the project area is crossed by Angostura Creek that breaks the currently defined mineralized trend into two parts; with a westerly extension containing a 2,100 metre long oxidized gold bearing system, and a 2,700 metre easterly extension carrying the same style of mineralization.

Historic work programs completed from 1993 to 2003 included extensive sampling and trenching that identified an average of 5.63 metres at 2.45 g/t Au, with a maximum of 8 metres at 3.48 g/t Au, to the west of Angostura Creek. The strike on the easterly side of the creek recorded an average of 6.55 metres at 4.33 g/t Au, with a maximum of 17.5 metres at 5.24 g/t Au, with one section reporting an average of 3.67 g/t Au over 75 metres. The mineralized system is also pockmarked with small scale artisanal mine workings at multiple points along its surface exposure.

In 2010 a surface sampling program collected 13 samples from two areas identified as Zones 1 & 2. Zone 1 carries an exposed strike of 150 metres and a width of up to 30 metres carrying gold grades of from 1.2 g/t to 8.9 g/t Au, and lies to the west.  Zone 2 which runs to the east and is the focus of both exploration and more artisanal mining activity has a surface expression that extends for a length of 400 metres and an average width of 75 metres at an average grade of 3.67 g/t Au.

A sample weighing 400 grams and carrying a head grade of 1.00 g/t Au and 5.46 g/t Ag, was collected and subjected to preliminary metallurgical testing that confirmed a recovery of 97% of the gold and 76.20% of the silver content. Bottle roll tests were also completed on trench samples carrying head grades of 1.1 g/t to 7.33 g/t Au and 3.98 g/t to 12.22 g/t Ag, confirming recoveries of 94.5 to 97% of the gold and 69.6 to 81.2% of the silver content.

These initial tests confirm that the near surface gold content at Angostura is amenable to standard recovery techniques for oxidized gold mineralization at very acceptable levels.

The gold mineralization identified in Zones 1 and 2 carries both gold and silver within a mineralized system that has a northerly dip and is open in all directions along a total strike length of 4,800 metres.

A two phase exploration program has been designed that will commence with geological mapping, sampling and trenching that will be followed by a 3000 meter diamond drill program in 20 holes that will get underway in the fall of this year, and take approximately 4 months to complete.

The second phase drill program plans for the completion of 14 diamond drill holes to test the down dip extensions of Zones 1 and 2. This program will take 5 months to complete and extend into 2012. Further drilling could be recommended based on the results of the trenching and drill programs to test the extensions of the zones beyond the areas of outcrop of oxide gold mineralization.

Aguila American Gold has developed strong local community relations with the local population and administration, who have granted a preliminary access agreement so that the proposed exploration effort can get underway.

Peru recently elected a new center left government that is headed by President Humala, who is seen as a pragmatic leader who seeks a more equitable distribution of wealth that is generated by the mining sector. This sector currently contributes approximately 21% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country and is expected to play a larger part in leading Peru’s poorest citizens to a better lifestyle.

Check your facts: Peru pays a higher tax rate for mining then those on your list. GDP is high as well
This may play out in the boosting of royalty rates from 3% to 5%, and increasing the corporate tax rate to 35%, which will bring these rates into line with other major mineral producers such as Canada, Australia and Chile.

In the meantime major producers such as Xstrata, Peru Copper, Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO, LON:RIO) and a host of other miners remain committed to investing over US$20.7 billion in developing a host of new mining projects. Glencore International (LON:GLEN) also has substantial interests in Peru, recently announcing an investment of US$475 million to acquire a 70% stake in the Mina Justa Project, affirming that Peru remains a favored location for development of major mining projects.

Aguila American Gold is led by John Huguet as CEO, who has more than 35 years of experience in the development of producing mines in South America, and led the Peruvian Business Council where he was twice decorated by the Peruvian Government.

Management support is provided by Christopher Verrico, who has 25 years experience in development and management of open pit mining; and James McCrea who has 20 years resource exploration experience in the Americas, and served in senior roles at Silver Standard and Cumberland Resources. 

Aguila American Gold carries a market capitalization of just $8 million and holds cash of $5 million. Insiders and institutions hold 40% of the 39 million issued shares, which provides a very tight share capital for rapid price appreciation in the event of a significant drilling and exploration results.

Bullion Monarch in talks to raise capital through share offering in Canada

Bullion Monarch Mining (OTCQB:BULM) announced Friday its management is currently meeting with managed funds and other institutional investors in Europe and Canada, in an effort to raise capital through a share offering and listing in Canada.
Bullion said it hired an agent in regards to an offering of its shares in Canada, and that the financing could consist of up to 10.0 million common shares.
The funds that the gold-focused exploration royalty company secures would be allocated to accelerate its exploration projects in the historically gold-rich Tapajos region of Brazil, Bullion said. The proceeds would also provide Bullion with a reserve of cash, allowing it to take advantage of future acquisition opportunities.
The company acquired several properties in this region of Brazil when it purchased Brazilian mining and exploration company Dourave in an all-share deal in March, including the Bom Jesus, Bom Jardim, Oro Mil, Pontal do Paraita, Caldeira and Niquelandia properties.
It has been working extensively at Bom Jesus, where, earlier this year, it extended a gold anomaly after results from a sediment sampling program exceeded expectations.
The company said that traditionally, any values between 50 and 100 ppb gold would be considered anomalous. Several results, according to Bullion, were returned with over 3000 ppb gold, or 3 grams of gold per ton, with the highest result being over 20,000 ppb gold, or 20 grams of gold per ton.
In early June, the company said it had begun exploration at the Niquelândia property in Goiás, Brazil, representing the first aluminum project for Bullion.
On the OTC, Bullion shares rose 2.04% to trade at $1.00 as of 1:33 pm EDT.

DNA Vaccine maker Inovio to present at multiple conferences

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:INO), developer of synthetic vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, reported on Friday that company advisors, collaborators and scientists are scheduled to present at several scientific conferences.

David Weiner will make his presentation on DNA vaccines and T cell responses in humans and animals that induce neutralizing immune responses, at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel on Oct. 2, Seattle.

A day after, product development scientist, Matt Morrow, will make a presentation on induction of Human papillomavirus (HPV) specific CTLs, or killer T cells, in humans after DNA immunization. 

Further, a second conference called Cancer Immunotherapy is taking place at the Millennium Broadway and Conference Centre, in New York.

Mark Bagarazzi, Chief Medical Officer, will make his presentation on Oct. 6 on the topic of delivering potent and durable immune responses with HPV 16 and 18, as well as DNA vaccines through electroporation.  

Bagarazzi is scheduled to make another lecture at the World Vaccine Congress on Oct. 11 in France where he will discuss the future of "Holy Grail" vaccines.

A skin vaccination summit will take place on Oct. 12 to 14 at the Kellogg Conference Hotel in Washington, D.C. 

Kate Broderick of research and development is set to make her presentation on Oct. 13 and will talk about DNA delivery to skin is enhanced by next-generation devices that target dermal tissue. Niranjan Sardesai also from research and development will talk about vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, making his presentation on Oct. 14.

Finally, the fifth conference at Providence, Rhode Island and is scheduled for Oct. 17 to 19. 

Niranjan Sardesai of research and development will present at the Vaccines Renaissance Conference discussing induction of HPV specific CTLs in humans after DNA immunotherapy on Oct. 18.

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based Inovio Pharmaceutical, formerly Inovio Biomedical Corp, is developing next generation vaccines, known as DNA-based vaccines, to treat and prevent cancers and infectious diseases. Its SynCon vaccines are designed to provide broad cross-strain protection against known as well as newly emergent unmatched strains of pathogens such as influenza.

NQ Exploration's option partner to begin preliminary field work at Duncan Ouest project

NQ Exploration (CVE:NQE) announced Thursday its partner for the Duncan Ouest project, Murray Brook Minerals, will begin preliminary field work under an option agreement where it can earn a 50% interest in the property.

Murray Brook has budgeted $50,000 for the preliminary field program, which will consist of mapping and sampling, and is intended to move the project to the next phase of work.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was signed in February 2011, Murray Brook must invest at least $1.4 million in exploration over three years, including $600,000 before the first anniversary of the agreement. It must also make $45,000 in cash payments, and issue 300,000 shares of its common stock to NQ.

Murray Brook may subsequently acquire an additional 30% interest in the property by spending another $1.4 million in exploration costs over two years, and issuing an additional 200,000 shares of its common stock.

The Duncan Ouest property consists of 139 map-designated claims, divided into two blocks, and covers an area totaling 71.17 square kilometres. It sits in the James Bay territory of Quebec, about 35 kilometres south of the town of Radisson.

On the TSX-Venture exchange, NQ's shares started the day up, but, as of 12:28 pm EDT, were trading flat at $0.08.

Digital Shelf Space adds Canadian Tire to fast expanding list of retailers carrying GSP RUSHFIT

Digital Shelf Space (CVE:DSS, OTCQX:DTSRF) announced today that it has added Canadian Tire (TSE:CTC.A) to its fast growing list of retailers that will carry its GSP RUSHFIT home workout DVD series.
GSP RUSHFIT features mixed martial arts (MMA) champion Georges St-Pierre, and was designed to appeal to a demographic interested in MMA and its training methods. The DVD series aims to give both an efficient and effective workout at home, with minimal equipment, by using many MMA conditioning exercises, intense circuit style training and body weight training for fitness consumers to build muscle, cut weight and get in shape.
"We were very excited to learn from our global distribution partner, Northern Response (International) Ltd. that Canadian Tire, with over 480 stores across Canada, has chosen our GSP RUSHFIT workout series," said Jeffrey Sharpe, CEO and President of DSS.
"Being on the shelves at Canadian Tire starting this Fall is a feather in the cap for our GSP RUSHFIT product and gives consumers even greater accessibility and convenience to purchase the GSP RUSHFIT product."
The GSP RUSHFIT DVD series is now carried in Canada by major retailers including Sears Canada, Zellers, Walmart, Future Shop, National Sports, Sports Experts, Sport Check, Best Buy, and as of today, Canadian Tire. It is currently sold in the U.S. by The Sports Authority. The GSP RUSHFIT program is expected to be available in over 3,000 stores by the end of the third quarter.
In the six months ending June 30, 2011, the company generated sales of $1.14 million. Second quarter sales rose 3.6% sequentially, to $582,251 over the first quarter. These numbers are expected to improve further in the second half, as television ads just began airing in June and the number of stores selling GSP RUSHFIT continues to increase.
Over 25,000 copies of the DVD series have already been sold.
The product can also be purchased through the GSP RUSHFIT website (

Caza Oil & Gas major shareholder Junior Oils Trust ups stake to 9.97 pct

Caza Oil & Gas (LON:CAZA,TSE:CAZ) received a strong endorsement from one of its major shareholders after a disappointing week for the shares.

This morning Caza revealed that its second largest shareholder, The Junior Oils Trust bought 1.4 million shares on Wednesday (September 28).

The specialist unit trust now owns 16.4 million shares, or 9.97 per cent of company.

On AIM Caza's shares were up around 8 per cent this morning trading at 10.625 pence each.

However in the context of the whole week the shares are down 25 per cent. On Wednesday the group released a mixed drilling report. Bearish investors latched onto the disappointing outcome of the latest well at OB Ranch, in Texas.

However, Caza chairman John McGoldrick told Proactive Investors that the reaction was ‘very harsh’ and a better-than-expected 88 per cent hike in production had been overlooked.

“Investors seem to have focused in on the disappointing news from OB Ranch versus the success from our other projects,” McGoldrick said.

“There is no doubt the OB Ranch results are a little disappointing but having said that, the wells are commercial, and there’s other formations behind pipe, such as the Frio and Yegua, that haven’t been tested yet.”

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Breakaway Resources: JV partner BHP Billiton kicks off drilling at 7.5M silver ounce Altia

Some investors are not aware of the Breakaway Resources' (ASX: BRW) joint venture with global mining powerhouse BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP), which is located just 100 kilometres from the 'big Australian's' Cannington mine.

Known as the Altia silver-lead-zinc joint venture, BHP will now commence a three hole diamond drilling program for 2000 metres to test depth extensions to the significant resource already in place - with a focus on testing mineralisation similarities to Cannington.

Previous drilling has highlighted the potential for a large-scale silver deposit at Altia with strengthening silver grades – including an intersection of 19 metres at 286g/t silver (down hole width) – occurring at depth and to the south of the current resource.

Altia already hosts an Inferred JORC Resource of 5.78 million tonnes at 40.3g/t silver, 3.96% lead and 0.49% zinc - for around 7.5 million silver ounces.

David Hutton, managing director of Breakaway, told Proactive Investors today that the Altia core would not look out of place in the Cannington coreyard.

And with Cannington becoming a mature mine, and the ore at Altia similar and within a 100 kilometre trucking distance - the potential for an ore processing agreement is worth considering, especially considering BHP is already known to be looking for additional silver ore.

Hutton added that the Altia ore is similar to the lower grade portion at Cannington, with BHP drill testing to examine if the project has the potential to host a size to be considered a commercial opportunity.

Cannington mine
A brief history of the Cannington mine is that its the world’s largest tonnage and lowest cost single mine producer of both silver and lead.

With annual yields in excess of 30 million ounces of silver and long-term smelter contracts in place, the mine is a multi-million investment for BHP.

This leaves the enticing potential that is BHP has additional drilling success in the new holes at Altia - then Breakaway is perfectly positioned to economically and financially benefit.

The farm-in
The area subject to the Altia farm-in and joint venture agreement lies within Breakaway’s 100% owned Eloise Exploration Project.

Under the terms of the agreement, a 70% interest in the Altia zinc rights can be earned by BHP by spending A$10 million over five years.

This includes a minimum commitment, now satisfied, of $1 million in the first year of the joint venture.

Hutton added that the Altia drilling program was an exciting development for the company which in conjunction with Breakaway’s drilling program currently underway at the wholly owned Sandy Creek copper-gold prospect, 20 kilometres west of Altia, reinforced the prospectivity of the Eloise Exploration Project and surrounding areas.

Originally published at:

Legacy Iron Ore expounds on rationale for NMDC proposed investment

Legacy Iron Ore (ASX: LCY) said India’s National Mineral Development Corporation, (NMDC) which has proposed an equity investment in Legacy, was committed to using Legacy for further acquisitions in bulk commodities.
Several projects have already been reviewed by NMDC and Legacy, including an established JORC compliant coal project.
The strategy behind the proposed cornerstone 50% investment by NMDC in Legacy was outlined today.

NMDC also had the capacity to deliver large scale financing through lines of credit and off-take financing, provides Legacy with unrivalled long-term development security and access to additional opportunities.

NMDC Chairman Rana Som said recently, "With our expertise in iron ore mining and steel-making and their (Legacy's) exploration expertise, we will make a perfect synergy for both the companies. Simultaneously, it will provide us a ready-made foothold in Australia."

Chief executive of Legacy Sharon Heng said there were considerable benefits to shareholders.

“Legacy Iron Ore has taken a first mover advantage in securing a highly desirable cornerstone investor, who can contribute significantly to the company’s ability to grow value and develop ongoing assets and acquisitions, regardless of financial market conditions.”

The proposed equity participation by cornerstone investor NMDC "is a critical enabler and first step in executing on this strategy."

The investment by NMDC is an Australian first - providing Legacy with first mover advantage to drive shareholder value.

A parallel was drawn with Jupiter Mines (ASX:JMS) which neighbours Mt Bevan in the Yilgarn region.  Following a placement to Chinese investors, the Haoning Group of $3.7m and an off-take agreement to cover 40% of future direct shipping ore produced, te funds under the placement were used to accelerate the development of their iron ore projects.

Since this investment and strategic alliance, Jupiter Mines' market capitalization has increased from approximately $42m to $528m (undiluted) at present.

Specifically, the benefits for Legacy shareholders from the NMDC strategic plan were seen as:

- Unlocking hidden shareholder value, through the spin-off of core and non-core assets
- The acquisition of new projects. Potential projects are currently being assessed
- Project financing in general, but in particular, the potential to take the Mt Bevan Iron Project from exploration to production, once Legacy has secured its 60% Joint Venture interest from Hawthorn Resources Limited, after spending $3.5m. Significant work is underway to underpin this outcome, which will be the subject of a later release
- Ability to develop the necessary infrastructure in the Central Yilgarn area
- Development funding for a range of existing and potential projects
- Underwriting of future capital raisings to ensure funding is available to move projects forward, irrespective of global financial market cycles
- Practical experience in large scale iron ore resource development and production
- Mineral research and development capabilities
- Off-take access to proven and ready purchasers in Japan, South Korea and China

Mt Bevan is a joint venture between Legacy and Hawthorn Resources (ASX:HAW) whereby Legacy will earn a 60% interest in the project by expending a minimum of $3.5 million to develop the project to a pre-feasibility status.

Originally published at:

Astra Resources PLC arrives on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

The diversified mining company Astra Resources PLC (Code: 9AR) has now listed in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange today at €1.50, which is the UK parent company of Astra Mining.

Astra is firmly targeted on China and India, with the company's primary focus to satisfy the expanding resource demands of these massive urbanising nations.

Astra will look to secure the supply chain of the raw materials related to the steel industry, including iron ore, coal, gold and other raw materials.

The company is also strategically positioned to capitalise on delivering efficiencies from the steel making process, a high demand sector in both these markets.

These steel efficiencies are driven by T-Steel, which is the flagship asset of Astra, with the company holding a 45% interest in T-Steel along with full management and operational control over the technology.

T-Steel is a patented technology that has been proven to substantially reduce the cost of production, and to significantly strengthen produced steel.

The high value intellectual property in T-Steel has been valued at €4.47 billion on a NPV basis (around A$6.18 billion) by a Top 4 accounting firm and is on the verge of large scale commercialisation.

T-Steel has a strong commercial record (under various code names) in Europe. This has immediate effect in China and India who can increase the strength of steel per capita from existing operations, hence reduce the need of the number of new steel plants.

Frankfurt listing a major step forward
Astra chief executive officer Dr Jaydeep Biswas said that the listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is a major step forward for the company.

“After meeting the requirements of the Deutsche Börse, our listing will enable Astra to raise capital to expand our projects internationally.

“This listing is a major milestone for the company and something we have been working hard towards achieving.

“The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the world's largest trading exchanges and provides access to global capital markets, so all these factors make it an attractive option to become a publicly listed company on this exchange.”

Prospectus pending
Astra will prepare a prospectus in the coming months, with the company in negotiations with Minevest USA to underwrite the capital raising of around €1 billion through their own network and associated international banks.

Astra managing director, Silvana De Cianni, says the minimum issue price of the prospectus as advised by Minevest could be €1.50, but potentially higher.

“Between now and issuing our prospectus, we will be raising equity capital by placing company-owned treasury stock and allocations to stockbroking firms.

“We have a number of projects at various stages of development, including our 45 per cent stake in the revolutionary T-Steel, so capital raised will go directly towards progressing these ventures.

“Through our listing and ongoing capital raising we expect Astra Resources to become a major player on the global resources stage in a short amount of time.”

Astra Resources global portfolio includes gold and copper interests in Southeast Asia, coal mines in Africa, iron ore in India, and the production of the high-strength T-Steel technology in Hungary.

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Medical Australia launches ADRs, takes step into North American market

Medical Australia (ASX: MLA, OTC: MDAUY) has announced the launch of an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program and quotation on the Over-The-Counter market in the United States of America.

The program will create a broader secondary market for Medical Australia, particularly in North America, which provides better access for American investors to deal in MLA’s securities.

The ADRs will be tradeable via licensed US brokers in the ordinary course of trading.

This program is a further step into the North American market for Medical Australia. In August, the company secured a distribution agreement with the Canadian arm of medical device company Smith & Nephew for the TUTA irrigation products.

At the time, chief executive officer Mark Donnison said the company had been working on developing its presence in the North American market for some time.
MLA also booked a 20% increase in revenue to to June 30, 2011 of $8.8 million which was announced in August.
Leading depositary provider BNY Mellon has been appointed as Depositary to establish and maintain the ADR facility.

BNY Mellon manages more sponsored depositary receipt programs than any other depositary bank, with depositary receipts issued for more than 2,100 programs for companies from 67 countries.

Medical Australia manufactures, distributes and sells medical devices for the healthcare industry.

Medical Australia’s products are used in human health, biological collection, processing & laboratory and animal health. Its portfolio of companies includes TUTA Healthcare and Clements Medical Equipment.

Circadian files IND with FDA for VGX-100, moves into clinical development phase

Circadian Technologies (ASX: CIR, OTCQX:CKDXY) has taken a significant step forward, filing a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start clinical studies for its VGX-100 antibody to treat cancer. 

An Investigational New Drug Application (IND) is a request for authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to administer an investigational drug to humans.

The first trial or Phase I will involve the treatment of a variety of different cancer types in patients with late stage cancer.

Circadian is focussed on developing VGX-100 (a human antibody against VEGF-C) as a treatment for solid tumours - including glioblastoma and colorectal cancer - as the first target indications for VGX-100.

VGX-100 works by blocking the growth of lymphatics.  Circadian has already invested considerably in the VGX-100 molecule in terms of manufacturing, toxicology studies and other pre-clinical activities.

The filing of the IND represents a significant move for Circadian into the clinical phase of testing in oncology.

After filing the IND, it is likely that Circadian could start dosing cancer patients with VGX-100 in late 2011 or early 2012.

Circadian is well placed to execute on its strategy as cash in hand at June 30 stood at $22.1 million, representing two years of funding.

Robert Klupacs, CEO of Circadian Technologies said, “VGX-100 has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of patients suffering from cancer.

"The IND filing is an important milestone for us, as it completes our pre-clinical phase of development and transitions Circadian into a clinical development company.

"We expect to commence our first in man Phase I studies as soon as possible after FDA review. We also expect to see results from the study in the second half of 2012.”

Studies to date

Preclincial animal model studies across a wide range of tumour types have shown that when combined with Avastin® and chemotherapy, VGX-100 can significantly reduce tumour growth and tumour spread.
As well, studies have shown that VGX-100 can significantly improve tumour inhibition, over and above that of Avastin® and/or chemotherapy alone.

Recent studies have also implicated VEGF-C as a key mediator of disease progression during Avastin® treatment, implying that combination therapy with VGX-100 and Avastin® could significantly improve treatment outcomes in cancer patients.

Circadian’s wholly owned subsidiary, Vegenics Pty Ltd, owns worldwide rights to an extensive intellectual property portfolio covering the angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis targets VEGF-C, VEGF-D and the receptor protein VEGFR-3.

Vegenics has also been granted exclusive worldwide rights to intellectual property filed by Schepens Eye Research Institute, covering the use of anti-lymphangiogenc molecules for the treatment of Dry Eye Disease.

The IND Process

During a new drug's preclinical development, a company focuses on generating scientific data and information necessary to establish that the product will not expose humans to unreasonable risks when used in clinical studies.

The IND application is made to the FDA and must contain information in three broad areas:

- Animal Pharmacology and Toxicology Studies - Preclinical data to permit an assessment of the activity of the drug and whether the product is reasonably safe for initial testing in humans
- Manufacturing Information - Information pertaining to the composition, manufacturer, stability and controls used for manufacturing the drug substance and the drug product
- Clinical Protocols and Investigator Information - Detailed protocols for proposed clinical studies to assess whether the initial-phase trials will expose subjects to unnecessary risks

Once an IND is submitted, the applicant must wait 30 calendar days before initiating any clinical trials. During this time, the FDA reviews the data in the IND and determines the conditions under which human trials can commence.

Originally published at:

Solomon Gold PLC increases resource at Rannes, in search of 2m ounces of gold bounty

Solomon Gold PLC (LON:SOLG) has announced a 24% increase to 676,000 ounces of gold in the inferred gold resource of its Rannes project in Central Queensland, Australia.

With an inferred gold resource target of over 2 million ounces at Rannes, Solomon Gold has set a cracking pace - drilling is planned at 21 defined prospects at Rannes, providing strong news flow and potential to reach the target resource given cash reserves of A$9 million.

Additional drill rigs are being sourced to accelerate the program at Rannes, which is located 150 kilometres west of port city of Gladstone.

What is significant is that the total Solomon Gold project discovery cost to date (Inferred Resource ounces) for Rannes is just A$6.28 an ounce.

The new resource estimate contains the maiden resource at the Brother and Cracklin Rosie prospects as well as a further upgrade at the Kauffmans-Homestead prospect.

The total inferred mineral resource has been upgraded to 21.7 million tonnes of material at 1.0 gramme per tonne gold equivalent for 675,779 ounces of contained gold equivalent - with a 1:40 gold to silver ratio and a 0.30 g/t gold equivalent cut‐off grade - at Crunchie, Kauffmans-Homestead, Brother and Cracklin Rosie.

The new figure includes the Brother and Cracklin Rosie prospects for the first time, which contribute 35,000oz and 24,000oz contained gold equivalent, respectively.

Interestingly, the Brother prospect is open to the south and at depth.  Further drilling is required at the Cracklin Rosie prospect to define the extent of the prospect area. The Kauffmans-Homestead resource component remains open at depth, to the north, east and south. 

The resources are all close to or at surface and the prospective stripping ratios are very low, Solomon said.  Suggesting a future mining scenario would have favourable project economics.

Drilling will continue at Kauffmans-Homestead with shallow, percussion drilling and deeper diamond drilling, and at the 21 other prospects so far identified in the Rannes Project area to meet the company's objective of defining two million ounces of gold equivalent.

Resources currently defined at Crunchie, Kauffmans, Brother and Cracklin Rosie Prospects should be amenable to open-pit mining and processing in a central plant, subject to the outcomes of a feasibility study, the group added.

Apella says China trade delegation a success, finishes analysis at Lac Dore

Apella Resources (CVE:APA) reported Thursday that its recent visit to China during a trade delegation has proven to be "fruitful" as the company finished its analysis of historic data regarding its Lac Dore Vanadium deposit, in Quebec.

The mineral explorer met with key Chinese businesses in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. Aside from Quebec’s trade delegation, Apella set up many of its own meetings through key Chinese contacts the company had developed in-house.

The trade delegation to China had been led by Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec.

During the stay, Apella was able to present the merits and key attributes of its Lac Dore and Iron-T Vanadium-Iron-Titanium projects to senior management teams of many of China’s leading steel producers, vanadium producers and distribution channel participants.

In a statement, the company said: "China’s immense appetite for the minerals contained in Apella’s deposits was quite obvious. It was quite clear that Chinese entities consider Apella’s projects as premium and very attractive when compared to the lower grade domestic deposits currently mined in China."

"Discussions with regard to co-operation and participation in Apella’s Lac Dore and Iron-T projects were both forthcoming and abundant," Apella added.  

Apella has been invited back to China in November.

In other corporate news, since being awarded the Lac Dore claims in March this year, Apella said it has finished its analysis of historic drilling and development from a feasibility study carried out in 2002-2003 by SNC-Lavalin (TSE:SNC).

After extensive reviews of historic drill hole data, Apella has identified all of its category one drill targets for its phase one drilling and development for the Lac Dore Vanadium-Iron-Titanium deposit. 

With the Lac Dore claims officially registered in Apella’s name, the company is now adding the Lac Dore Vanadium-Iron-Titanium project to its near-term drill and develop plans.

Apella said phase one exploration will focus on diamond drilling to confirm the known Lac Dore deposit as a NI 43-101 compliant resource.

The Lac Dore complex, situated 250 kilometres east of Matagami in the Chibougamau mining camp, is a Bushveld-type archean layered mafic intrusion. It consists of 42 adjacent mineral claims covering an area of 1,607 acres.

Apella, which owns potentially the largest vanadium assets in North America, and perhaps the largest combined resource of vanadium in the world, develops vanadium-iron-titanium deposits.

Vanadium is an essential element in high-quality steel and also has applications in energy storage and green technology.

The Vancouver-based company’s stock rose 2 cents, or 13.04%, to 13 cents a share Thursday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s junior venture market.

Great Western makes progress on Steenkampskraal rare earth separation plant

Great Western Minerals Group (CVE:GWG) announced Thursday that it is making substantial progress on the development of its joint venture agreement with Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group (GQD) of China regarding the construction and operation of a rare earth separation plant for its Steenkampskraal mine in South Africa.

In late July, Great Western had announced it signed an agreement with GQD, forming a joint venture company called Great Western GQD Rare Earth Materials, in which Great Western holds 75% ownership, with GQD holding the remaining 25%.

This new company is to be responsible for the design, manufacture, construction, commissioning and operation of the planned separation facility.

The separation plant will be fed with rare earth chloride that Great Western produces at its South African Steenkampskraal mine, and possibly with feedstock from other sources in the region.

Great Western's team of metallurgists will work alongside GQD to finish process and plant design in order to start construction of the facility early next year, Great Western had said at that time.

But, the agreement had been delayed. Great Western and its Chinese partner had originally agreed to finalize the terms of their agreement by the end of August.

Now, however, Great Western said a team of six GQD engineers will travel to South Africa in the coming weeks to continue discussions on the design and construction of the plant.

Great Western will also host a Steenkampskraal site visit for GQD, followed by discussion regarding arrangements for utilities and labour requirements for the plant.

Together, Great Western and GQD will work to finalize the agreement, the company said.

Jim Engdahl, Great Western president and CEO, said: "We continue to work our way through the development process for the separation plant with the active participation of GQD."

"Thanks to the long standing business relationship between GWMG's Less Common Metals and GQD, the minor delay we have experienced in finalizing the Agreement is not preventing GQD from being fully involved in the work on the separation plant, as evidenced by the upcoming meetings and site visit."

EurOmax Resources announces over 98% concentrate recovery at Trun project

EurOmax Resources (CVE:EOX) announced Thursday that preliminary metallurgical tests at its wholly owned Trun gold
project in Bulgaria found gold recoveries of at least 98% into concentrate.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based company said testing on core samples from the Logo resource at Trun showed gold recoveries of at least 98% into concentrate.

Tank leach tests also produced gold extraction of 92%, EurOmax said, indicating that the gold mineralization is not refractory, or resistant to heat.

EurOmax technical advisor Dr. Quinton Hennigh commented: "Although preliminary, these metallurgical results are very
encouraging. Granite-associated gold systems often have very positive metallurgical characteristics, and Trun appears to follow this behaviour."

"In fact, such extremely high recovery of gold into a flotation concentrate is exceptional among most gold deposits."

The company said it is also encouraged by several drill results on the Logo zone, where hole MTC1188 intersected 40.6 metres grading 1.02 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 4.1 g/t silver, including 14 metres at 1.28 g/t gold and 4.0 g/t silver.

Results from drilling on the KD zone have extended the near-surface mineralization to the south, and have increased the overall strike length to 520 metres there, EurOmax said.

Assays at the KD zone returned 30.3 metres grading 0.31 g/t gold and 2.1 g/t silver, including nine metres at 0.59 g/t gold and 2.3 g/t silver, in hole MTC1184.

Hole MTC1186 intersected 31.6 metres at 0.99 g/t gold and 14.4 g/t silver, including 5.6 metres at 2.46 g/t gold and 18.3 g/t silver.

Meanwhile, hole MTC1187 found 24.5 metres at 0.54 g/t gold and 81.8 g/t silver. Assays from this hole also returned 9.9 metres at 1.77 g/t gold and 6.7 g/t silver, including 3.65 g/t gold and 15.1 g/t silver over 3.5 metres.

"Prior to this summer's drilling program, the Logo resource was the only significant gold zone recognized on this very large property," Hennigh continued.

"In four short months, we have identified at least five additional robust gold exploration zones. Our revised drill plans will now follow up on these new discoveries and will hopefully demonstrate the world class nature of the Trun gold system."

EurOmax also said it decided to follow-up on several targets, given their successful results.

Additional drilling at the Ruy target has commenced, after 2.14 grams per tonne (g/t) gold were intersected over 87 metres. Drilling will continue later this year at the Nadejda target, which EurOmax intersected 24 metres of 7.36 g/t gold.

Drilling on the Logo resource is also encouraging, the company said.

Currently, the company said it has completed about 5,200 metres of core drilling at the Trun property, and expects to complete a total of 10,000 metres by the year's end.

EurOmax shares shed 10.64% today, to trade at $0.21 as of 11:01 am EDT.

Selwyn Resources expands XY West deposit in the Yukon

Selwyn Resources (CVE:SWN) announced Thursday that additional drill results from its XY West deposit at the Selwyn project in the Yukon have expanded the zinc-lead mineralization there.

The results are from the exploration and definition drilling program that was conducted on the property by Selwyn Chihong Mining, a joint venture company equally owned by Selwyn and Chihong Canada Mining, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yunnan Chihong Zinc and Geranium.

Assays from hole XYC-278 found 21.76 metres grading 8.9% zinc and 4.35% lead, including 22.33% zinc and 12.4% lead over 2.47 metres. This hole also returned 6.21 metres at 7.29% zinc and 2.03% lead, including 9.66% zinc and 2.6% lead over 3.4 metres.

Selwyn said the results from this hole confirm the overall continuity of the mineralization, and reinforces the geological model that is currently being developed for the XY West deposit expansion area.

Other notable results include 12.67 metres grading 10.27% zinc and 3.15% lead, including 21.85% zinc and 6.81% lead over 2.47 metres, intersected in hole XYC-279.

Meanwhile, hole XYC-273 found 19.04 metres grading 8.22% zinc and 2.3% lead, including 4.25 metres at 15.89% zinc and 4.12% lead.

These drill results also expand the zinc-lead mineralization trend to the northwest, where it remains open along strike. The results have also increased the high-grade mineralization in the XY West and XY Central deposits to a lateral length of at least 2,500 metres.

Selwyn also said it will use these new drill results to update its 2009 NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based company's shares on the TSX-Venture initially rose today, before trading flat at $0.15 in late morning trading.

Kootenay kicks of additional round of studies to speed up development of Promontorio Silver Project

Shares in junior exploration outfit Kootenay Gold (CVE:KTN) moved 5% higher this morning after the company announced that it had contracted Hatch Engineering, Sanguaro Geosciences and G&T Metallurgical Services to undertake a number of studies on the company’s flagship Promontorio Silver Project in Sonora, Mexico.  The Vancouver based company has also brought in independent consulting engineer Patricia Aguayo Hurtado.
Hatch Engineering will conduct initial hydrologic studies, which will form the basis of additional studies assessing
mine water supply for potential open pit and underground mining. Saguaro Geosciences will design a geotechnical logging program “that goes beyond the basic specific gravity and RQD data currently being recorded.”
Meanwhile, G&T Metallurgical Services, will conduct additional metallurgical work on Promontorio mineralization. The company was keen to note that this work will include a gold deportment study to consider if gold content in the deposit can be extracted economically.
Independent Consulting Engineer Patricia Aguayo Hurtado has been contracted to conduct an environmental baseline study.
“An extensive drilling and analysis program is underway to quantify and confirm the scope and size of our silver deposit. Based on the continued success of our current 25,000 meter drill program, combined with results from our previous phases of drilling, we are sufficiently encouraged with results to begin taking the requisite steps to pursue our ultimate goal, which is to advance the Promontorio Silver Project to commercial production,” stated CEO James McDonald.
Under the direction of James McDonald, Kootenay has completed over 35,000 meters of multi-phase drilling on Promontorio, moving the project to its current advanced stage of development. McDonald has been a key driver in the success of the Promontorio project, and brings a strong track record of helping companies, such as Alamos Gold, move from exploration to production.

Prodigy Gold strikes deal with EBA for permitting at its Magino mine

Junior mineral explorer Prodigy Gold (CVE:PDG) reported on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with consulting firm EBA to supply environmental baseline studies and to assist in the permitting process for its Magino mine gold project, in northern Ontario.

EBA, a Tetra Tech (NASDAQ:TTEK) Company, will complete a baseline environmental program for the Magino mine project, advance permitting related activities, integrate environmental and engineering designs, as well as complete and submit a project definition report to the Ontario mining regulatory authorities.   

Prodigy Gold’s CEO Brian Maher said: "The company is pleased to have EBA and Tetra Tech join the team as we advance the Magino mine gold project through the development process. Both EBA and Tetra Tech have broad experience in planning and permitting mining operations throughout Canada."

EBA is a consulting engineering and environmental sciences company and part of the Canadian Tetra Tech group of companies.

Tetra Tech is a multi-disciplined engineering and consulting firm that offers a broad range of integrated services that draws on expertise from more than 12,000 employees located in 330 offices worldwide.

The Magino mine property, which is a past producing underground gold mine, rests 40 kilometres northeast of Wawa, Ontario and consists of seven claims, four leased claims as well as 63 unpatented mining claims totalling 1,910 hectares.

The Magino project contains indicated gold resources of 1.9 million ounces with a grading of 1.16 grams per tonnes (g/t) gold and 587,100 ounces of inferred gold resources grading 1.04 g/t gold.

A full feasibility study for the proposed open pit mining project at Magino is scheduled to finish in mid 2012, bringing the project toward production.

Prodigy Gold, a peer of Stina Resources (CVE:SQA), is a Vancouver-based gold exploration and mine development company with assets in Eastern Canada.

International Stem Cell names Linh Nguyen as CFO

International Stem Cell (OTC:ISCO) reported on Wednesday that it has named Linh Nguyen as Chief Financial Officer as the company builds on strengthening its executive team.

Nguyen, who has more than 17 years of experience in financial management and accounting, replaces Ray Wood whose employment with the company will be terminated Sept. 30.

Nguyen holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a focus in accounting from the California State University and is a second year graduate student in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program at the University of San Diego.

She has worked for the International Lottery & Totalizator Systems (ILTS) (OTC:ITSI), a publically traded software and system developer of lottery and optical scan voting systems.

As CFO at ILTS, her responsibilities included managing all facets of the accounting and finance functions and international financial reporting and consolidation, among other duties.

Prior to being named CFO, Nguyen held various other roles at ILTS, which included director of finance and finance manager.

International Stem Cell is a biotechnology company with a focus on the therapeutic applications of human parthenogentic stem cells, and the development and commercialization of cell-based research and cosmetic products.

Kimber expands resources at Carmen target in Monterde, Mexico

Kimber Resources (TSE:KBR)(AMEX:KBX) announced Wednesday it continues to intersect strong gold-silver mineralization on the Carmen deposit on its Monterde property in Monterde, Mexico.

The company announced the results from assays in seven reverse circulation drill holes on the property.
Hole MTRD-511 intersected the Carmen deposit, and returned 14.0 metres grading, 4.5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 12.4 g/t silver. This hole also returned 5.8 metres of 6.4 g/t gold and 18.1 g/t silver, and 12.7 g/t gold and 9.7 g/t silver over 4.5 metres.

Kimber Resources' President and CEO, Gordon Cummings commented: "This Carmen Deep drill program continues to show evidence of strong gold-silver mineralization on various structures within the Carmen deposit, with a significant number of high grade gold-silver intercepts over mineable widths in this latest batch of drill results.

"The Monterde drill program has recently been further expanded, with three core rigs on site, and further drilling is planned on the Carmen and Veta Minitas deposits over the coming months."

Other notable results from the drill program include 5.2 metres grading 1.0 g/t gold in hole MTRD-514, and 4.0 metres at 1.9 g/t gold and 6.3 g/t silver in hole MTRD-515.

Hole MTRD-516 returned 3.6 g/t gold and 53.7 g/t silver over 2.15 metres, and 7.5 metres at 1.6 g/t gold and 22.3 g/t silver.

At the Monterde property, a preliminary economic assessment (PEA), which was updated in June 2011, estimates measured mineral resources of 2.54 million tonnes grading 0.88 g/t gold and 102.4 g/t silver for 71,700 ounces of gold and 8.37 million ounces of silver, at a 0.3% cut-off grade.

The PEA also estimated a 15.5-year mine life, in an open pit-underground production combination. Total life-of-mine capital costs are USD $119.3 million. Kimber also said it expects total production of 744,000 ounces of gold and 20.2 million ounces of silver over the total mine life

In other news, Kimber also reported its earnings for the full year, which came in better than analysts had expected.
For the full fiscal year ended June 30, the exploration company posted net loss of $2.97 million, or $0.04 loss per share, compared to a $4.13 million loss, or $0.06 loss per share, a year ago.

Analysts had expected Kimber to maintain its six-cent loss.

The company attributed its narrowed loss to last year's write down of previously capitalized costs for the Pericones and Setago grass roots exploration properties. The company had opted to pursue exploration of the Monterde property instead.

"During the year ended June 30, 2011 Kimber strengthened its cash position and has made significant advancements in its flagship asset, the Monterde project," Cummings added.

"We look forward to the prospect of continuing the advancement of the Monterde project towards a production decision and the exploration in and around the principal gold-silver deposits that comprise the Monterde project with the objective of increasing the existing mineral resources."

In Toronto, Kimber shares shed 1.29% to $1.53 as of 3:20 pm EDT.

Prophecy Platinum appoints chief geological advisor

Mineral explorer Prophecy Platinum (CVE:NKL) reported Wednesday that it has appointed Larry Hulbert as chief geological advisor in a bid to help the company find more massive sulphide mineralization at the Quill creek land package, in southwestern Yukon.
Hulbert boasts a professional background that includes 23 years with the geological survey of Canada.
He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from the University of Regina, as well as a Doctor of Science from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Since 2003, Hulbert has been registered as a professional geoscientist and as a qualified person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 compliant standards.
Additionally, he is the author of many reports defining the geology of the Wellgreen deposit, which is located in southwestern Yukon, and the broader Kluane mafic-ultramafic belt as a whole.
As geological advisor, Hulbert is tasked with helping Prophecy find extra massive sulphide mineralization inside the Quill creek land package that consists of a strike length of 17.5 kilometres, with extensive soil anomalies throughout, the company said.
Prophecy is nickel, platinum group metal exploration company with projects in Canada, Argentina and Uruguay. Its flagship Wellgreen copper and nickel project rests in the Yukon Territory, Canada and its Lynn Lake project is located in Manitoba, Canada.

Afferro Mining uncovers high grades with direct shipping ore (DSO) potential at Nkout

West Africa-focused iron ore miner Afferro (LON:AFF, CVE:AFF) has uncovered significant high grade material at its Nkout iron ore project in Cameroon with direct shipping ore (DSO) potential.

The find means the firm could begin production from the project at an earlier stage requiring less initial capital expenditure.

The DSO material was found in one minable area in a line of adjacent holes and the headline results include 51 metres at 63.4 per cent Fe,  30 metres at 60.4 per cent Fe and 48 metres with 58.6 per cent  Fe.

They support the existence of a high grade cap overlying a BIF deposit.

Afferro said that the results will be included in the forthcoming mineral resource estimate (MRE) in November together with the revised banded iron formation (BIF) resource.

Chief executive of the company Luis da Silva said: "These results are very encouraging and continue to support the DSO potential of the Nkout project and the possibility of having an early phase of production."

Meanwhile, the firm said it continued to make "excellent" operational progress at Nkout. It delivered the MRE update three months ahead of schedule in June, showing 1.42 billion tonnes at 33.6 per cent Fe.

It is on track to deliver a further resource update in November.

So far, the company has drilled 113 holes totalling 18,500 metres and this rate of drilling is expected to increase, with two further drill rigs bringing the total number of rigs on site to seven.

Meanwhile, the scoping study for infrastructure and logistics, due in October, will estimate the capex required for Nkout firstly, as a stand-alone project and secondly, utilising the synergies resulting from infrastructure cooperation with other nearby iron ore developers, primarily Sundance Resources.

From these early results the firm will gain a deeper understanding of the economics of the project and the minimum resource required to justify an investment based on a standalone project.

da Silva added: "The increase in the number of rigs will enable us to progress our resource drilling programme, and ultimately the project, more quickly, creating value for our shareholders."

Noventa chairman Eric Kohn to leave at end-September, non-exec Bechis takes interim role

Tantalum miner Noventa (LON:NVTA, TSE:NTA) announced that executive chairman Eric Kohn has resigned from his position and will be leaving the company with effect from September 30.

The board would like to wish him every success in his future endeavours and thanks him for his contribution to bringing the company out of care and maintenance, ensuring its survival in very difficult circumstances and moving it towards the construction and commissioning of the Marropino mine in Mozambique.

While Noventa is looking for a replacement, non-executive director Luca Bechis will assume the role of interim non-executive chairman from October 1 until a permanent chairman is appointed.

As previously announced, John Allan will also be stepping down from his current position as chief executive, which he assumed as on an interim basis in May 2011.  This will take effect from September 30 2011, after which he will return to his role of project pirector. Fernando Fernandez-Torres, currently chief operating officer, will become CEO with effect from October 1 2011. 

Since completion of the placing at the end of August which raised US$37.6 million, encouraging progress has been made regarding the construction and commissioning of the enhanced and expanded plant at the Marropino mine, and the new plant is on schedule, the group said. 

The new pipeline, to overcome the water shortages previously flagged, is due to commence pumping from the Melela river shortly.  In addition, production from the present plant continues as previously announced. Further updates regarding progress will be made in due course.

GeoMegA estimates 183.9 million tonnes indicated at 1.45% TREO for Montviel

GeoMegA Resources (CVE:GMA) announced Thursday the results of its NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Core Zone at its wholly owned Montviel rare earth elements (REE) project in Quebec.

In the indicated category, the estimate found 183.9 million tonnes grading 1.45% TREO. In the inferred category, the estimate reported 66.7 million tonnes at 1.46% TREO.

The resource estimate was prepared by SGS Canada - Geostat, and considers a 1.0% total rare earth oxide (TREO) cut-off grade.

GeoMegA's CEO Simon Britt said: "This world class Neodymium resource is in Quebec (Plan Nord eligible), near surface (open pit potential), road accessible and close to electricity and available labour (60 minute drive from Lebel-sur-Quevillon). Montviel has the potential to play a significant near term role in the clean energy of the 21st century."

The Montviel property, located 200 kilometres north of the town of Val-d’Or in the Abitibi region of Quebec, includes 159 mining claims covering 8,830 hectares. It is situated under the Montviel carbonatite complex, which is one of North America’s largest known carbonatites, covering 32 square kilometres with a 3.1 square kilometre core.

GeoMegA based its resource estimate on the 19-hole, 9,567-metre, phase one diamond drill program it completed on the Montviel property in April 2011. The first seven of 19 holes drilled at this time confirmed a mineralized zone of REE over a strike length of 300 metres.

The first hole, MVL-11-01, returned 480 metres grading 1.24% TREO and 0.22% neodymium oxide at a depth of 21 metres. The second hole, MVL-11-03 found 512.7 metres at 1.38% TREO and 0.23% neodymium oxide. The next five holes intersected similarly significant mineralization.

Hole MVL-11-09, the eighth hole of the program, which was drilled 200 metres west of MVL-11-03, intersected 127.55 metres of 1.51% TREO and 0.216% neodymium oxide. The ninth hole drilled on the property, MVL-11-10, found 1.41% TREO and 0.247%neodymium oxide over 544.6 metres.

The Montreal, Quebec-based company said these results confirmed that the property contains one of the world's most significant neodymium deposits.

Neodymium is most frequently mined for its role in the heat-resistant neodymium-iron-boron magnets, called neo-magnets. These permanent magnets, which represent the largest REE market in both volume and value, are used in computer hard drives, hybrid/electric vehicles, and gearless wind turbines.

Each megawatt (MW) of generation capacity in a wind turbine requires an estimate 150 to 200 kilograms of neodymium. In 2009, 159,213 MW of wind power - equaling only 2% of global consumption - were generated. That number is expected to grow to 1.5 million MW by the year 2020.

Electric and hybrid vehicle sales are also expected to rise to 11.28 million units by 2020, from 480,000 vehicles in 2008.

Global REE demand is expected to reach 180,000 metric tons by 2015, with neodymium demand accounting for between 35,000 and 40,000 metric tons of that. Global REE sales are expected to reach $9.2 million. Neodymium oxide currently sells at $290 per kg.

The Core Zone mineralization at Montviel remains open at depth, and to the south and west, where GeoMegA said the grade tends to increase.

Hole MVL-11-18 from the phase one program intersected 2.15% TREO over 250.65 metres, and was drilled in the western region of the Zone.

Phase two drilling, which commenced earlier this month, continues to focus on defining the high-grade, near-surface resource in the western portion of property.

GeoMegA said it expects to complete metallurgical tests in the first quarter of 2012, during which it will initial a preliminary economic assessment.

"Our goal is to define Montviel as economic based on its Neodymium content alone," Britt concluded.

In the last year, GeoMegA shares have more than tripled. As of markets' open, they were trading at $1.80 on the TSX Venture.

Great Panther Silver up 2% on San Ignacio drilling update

Great Panther Silver (TSE:GPR)(AMEX:GPL) Thursday provided an update on the diamond drilling program at its wholly-owned San Ignacio Mine property in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Investors cheered the update, sending the stock up 2% to $2.75 in Toronto.

Since identifying a high degree of grade variability in the first nine holes, Quality Assurance (QA) procedures were significantly improved and holes ESI10-001 to ESI11-009 have been re-logged, and mineralized zones re-assayed using quarter core sampling.

Three of these earlier holes have been twinned and a comparison of half and quartered cores from holes ESI11-010 to 014 has been completed in a study to gauge the reliability of quarter core sampling. Furthermore, holes ESI11-010 to 024 have been completed using the more stringent QA protocols, the company said.

While it is clear from the additional holes drilled that there is indeed a high degree of grade variability on the San Ignacio Mine project, the QA exercise and extra drilling have provided sufficient confidence in the data for the company to re-initiate the NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for the property, to be completed in the fourth quarter 2011.

Seven silver-gold mineralized zones have now been delineated by the 2010-2011 diamond drilling at San Ignacio, namely the Melladito, Intermediate, Intermediate 5, Intermediate 2, Nombre de Dios, Nombre de Dios Footwall 1 (FW1) and Nombre de Dios Footwall 2 (FW2). Of primary importance are the Melladito and the three Intermediate zones with significant mineralization up to three metres in true width.

Great Panther said that of holes ESI11-010 to ESI11-024, holes ESI11-010 to 013 tested the north end of the various structures; holes ESI11-014, 016 and 017 were twin holes; holes ESI11-015 and ESI11-018 to 021 were fill-in holes; and ESI11-022 to 024 were drilled on the southern extensions of the structures where surface mapping and sampling indicates that the mineralized zones continue in this direction. The mineralized zones have been delineated by drilling for a total strike length of 300 metres and ongoing surface and underground mapping and sampling in old workings has extended the mineralized structures at San Ignacio a further 400 metres south of the above drilling.

Twinned holes, drilled within 15 metres of the original, include ESI10-003 (twinned by ESI11-017), ESI11-007 (twinned by ESI11-016), and ESI11-009 (twinned by ESI11-014). Between holes, the Melladito vein shows quite consistent thickness and grade continuity (ESI10-003 intersected 4.15 metres grading 2.38 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 176 g/t silver while twin hole ESI11-017 intersected 4.27 metres grading 1.76g/t gold and 93g/t silver).

However, the Intermediate zones show high variability in thickness and grade, (Intermediate 5 vein in ESI10-003 intersected 4.25 metres grading 2.48g/t gold and 623g/t silver while twin hole ESI11-017 intersected 1.4 metres grading 0.88g/t gold and 94g/t silver). Further in-fill drilling is being planned for the mineralized portions of these veins, the company said.

A comparison of half core assaying and corresponding quarter core assaying for ESI11-010 to 014 has shown excellent assay correlation values. As such, holes ESI10-001 to ESI11-009 were re-logged and all intersections quarter cored and duly assayed. The master database now contains only the quarter cored assay values for ESI10-001 to ESI11-009, with the previous half core assays being removed for database consistency. In holes ESI10-001 to ESI11-009, significant zones of silver-gold were intersected where silver sulphides were observed in the core.

Great Panther said that the drill is working along a 200 metre strike length immediately south of the area drilled by the aforementioned holes. A second drill, originally planned for September, will be added to the project in the first quarter 2012 to expand the drilling further south. This second drill has instead been diverted to drill several deep holes at the Valenciana Mine at the main Guanajuato Complex, and to complete a preliminary drill program at the company's new Santa Rosa Project.

A further 250 metres south (on section 200N), sampling of the Melladito vein structure in the old Mina San Pablo adit returned composited assays of 2.02g/t gold and 150g/t silver over an average width of 2.03 metres, and along an accessible strike length of 25 metres.
In addition to the original San Ignacio Mine, reconnaissance of the property has identified old mine workings, comprising seven shafts and eight adits, over most of the four kilometre strike length of the property. Detailed geological mapping, geological studies, outcrop sampling, and re-sampling of old underground workings are on-going to highlight additional priority targets along the four kilometres of prospective structures.

The San Ignacio project is located in the La Luz vein system of the Guanajuato silver-gold district. The multiple vein structures are steeply dipping and low sulphidation epithermal in nature. The tops of the mineralized intervals are approximately 80-100 metres below surface in the area presently being explored and many of the vein structures do not surface. Mineralization within the veins appears to occur in shoots but the size and orientation of these have not yet been fully delineated.

The Guanajuato Mine Complex is the company's flagship operation and consists of 32 claims totalling 2,621 hectares.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Lachlan Star snares Newmont Mining as partner for Australian copper project

Lachlan Star (ASX: LSA) has engineered a deal to allow the company to focus more on the gold producing operations of the CMD Gold Mine in Chile.

Lachlan Star has entered a farm-in agreement with world's largest gold producer Newmont Mining Corporation (ASX: NCM) at the Bushranger Copper Project in New South Wales.

Mick McMullen, executive chairman of Lachlan Star, commented “This agreement enables the company to focus its finances and management time on its 100% owned operating CMD Gold Mine in Chile, whilst exploration at Bushranger is continued by a major such as Newmont."

Importantly for Lachlan Star at the completion of the farm-in period, the company will have the option to fund its 49% share of the joint venture, providing exposure to the asset should Newmont deliver some significant developments.

Lachlan Star also has the option on the table to dilute further, providing some optionality on the project.

McMullen added, "Newmont is one of the world’s largest gold producers and is the only gold company included in the S&P 500 Index and Fortune 500 and to have them as a partner on our exploration assets in Australia is very encouraging."

The terms of the agreement are:

Newmont will have a 12 month option period to evaluate the Bushranger Copper Project, during which time it must spend a minimum of A$250,000.

At any time during that 12 month period, Newmont can elect to exercise the option, and earn a 51% interest in the project by spending a total of A$1 million (including expenditures during the option period) over a period of 2 years from the date of the agreement.

At the completion of the farm-in period, Lachlan Star and Newmont will form a joint venture owned 49% and 51% respectively, with both parties funding exploration and development on a pro rata basis. Either party may elect to dilute during the joint venture.

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Hill End Gold to announce large increase in gold resources at Hargraves in October

New South Wales focused Hill End Gold (ASX: HEG) is looking at announcing a large increase in resources in October at it its Big Nugget Hill deposit at Hargraves located 35 kilometres north of Hill End.

The company has a goal of reaching one million ounces of gold from Hargraves and Hill End Gold deposits.

Work to date from data compilation and interpretation indicates that the deposit is much larger than the current extent of drilling.
This "suggests a large increase in resources is likely with more closely-spaced drilling below 150 metres and along strike to the north and south."

The managing director of Hill End Gold, Philip Bruce, said, ”We have found that the Big Nugget Hill Deposit is much larger than the extent of drilling to date.

"We are in good position to realise our strategy of increasing the quality of our resource inventory, and the quantity to over a million ounces, to facilitate the development of a commercially viable mining project.”

Hill End, Hargraves and Windeyer tenements are located within a radius of 35 kilometres enabling Hill End to look at a profitable mining strategy for the deposits.

An initial combined Inferred and Indicated Resource for the Big Nugget Hill Deposit of 1,439,000 tonnes averaging 5.1g/t gold (234,400 contained ounces of gold) was announced in October 2010.

This estimate relates only to an 800m portion of the Big Nugget Hill Deposit to a depth of approximately 200m.

A review and re-estimate of the Big Nugget Hill resource is close to completion. Recent drilling in the Central Zone has been included.

The drilling below 150m depth below surface is still quite widely-spaced.

The re-estimate has undergone an extensive due diligence exercise and peer review, which was conducted by an independent consultant and in-house personnel.

The 2010 estimate contained 74% of the resource estimate in the low confidence Inferred Resource category.
Work to date has shown that the new resource estimate will lead to a significant upgrade of the Inferred Resources to the more confident Indicated Resource category.

Under the JORC Code, Measured and Indicated Resources can be converted to Reserves based on project development criteria, though not necessarily Inferred resources.

The updated resource estimate for the Big Nugget Hill Deposit is expected to be released within two weeks.

Further resource upgrades are anticipated. The company said since there is no geological reason why the gold mineralisation would be limited to the extent of drilling to date, work is ongoing to establish a reasonable mining scenario and to plan for appropriate drilling to test extensions.
Potential resource additions are likely from:

- infill assaying program, which has identified a low grade halo, some high grade material, up and down dip of previously reported high grade results. This may add significantly to the metal content of the deposit.
- channel sampling and near surface drilling.
- drilling along the strike of the deposit deeper than 150m below surface where drill hole spacing is quite wide-spaced.
- drilling along strike to the north (~350m) and to the south (~350m) where wide-spaced drilling has indicated that the mineralisation continues.

The company holds a minimum 85% beneficial interest in the Mining Leases in the Hill End area and the area formerly subject to Exploration Licence 2037.

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Magnetic Resources delivers positive NPV in Jubuk Magnetite Conceptual Mining Study

Magnetic Resources' (ASX: MAU) has released a Conceptual Mining Study for the Jubuk Magnetite Project, which delivered a positive NPV, with the company already looking to enhance the project economics by reducing capital expenditure and additional regional exploration targets under review.

The study, completed by Engenium Pty Ltd, indicates a Net Present Value (NPV) of A$40 million, a capital cost of A$153 million, operating costs of A$106/tonne, an IRR of 18% and a nominal payback period of 4 years.

The capital cost of the base case study assumed new Australian-sourced equipment and applied a short term exchange rate of 1.0 US$/A$ reducing to 0.8 US$/A$ in Year 6.

The study investigated the scenario of a potential development of Jubuk producing 0.5Mtpa of magnetite concentrate, road freighted to the Kwinana port in containers, and also modelled a combined road and rail transport scenario which resulted in an increased capital cost of A$170 million, an NPV of A$35 million and an IRR of 16%.

A maiden JORC is still pending for Magnetic, which is why the study is not a Scoping Study.

The Jubuk tenements host the Jubuk coarse grained magnetite deposit with an exploration target range of 50-200 million tonnes of magnetite banded iron formation.

A reduction in cost targeted

Magnetic Resources is already investigating options to further reduce the capital costs, as the study identified that additional mineralisation with low overburden strip ratios will strongly enhance the project economics.

Importantly, exploration targets within a 30 kilometre radius of Jubuk remain untested, and are therefore being prioritised and investigated in preparation for further drilling.

Development options

The study reviewed a range of development options and concluded that a modest scale operation would be appropriate with a resultant reduction in capital costs by maximising local employment and minimising mine camp requirements for personnel, compared to larger tonnage options.

Likewise the reduced power and water requirements were deemed achievable with minor upgrades to existing infrastructure.

The capital costs of rail loading/unloading facilities and rail upgrades were eliminated by using road haulage directly to Kwinana in purpose built containers and discharge into ships using a container tipper mounted on existing container cranes or ships cranes.

Magnetic said that the smaller scale of operation is reflected in higher operating costs.

Conceptual Mining Study assumptions

· Mining rate of 2.0-2.4 Mtpa, producing 500,000-600,000tpa of magnetite concentrate;
· A Life of Mine of 14 years based on 29Mt of mineralisation;
· Long term iron ore price of US$ $1.77/dmtu (including 10% premium for quality
  product) and a long term exchange rate of 0.8 US$/A$;
· Strip ratio increasing from 1.4:1 to 3.6:1 over the Life of Mine;
· Mass recovery of 25%;
· Concentrate iron content of 67%;
· Royalty rate 5%;
· Tax rate 30%;
· Discount rate of 10%;
· Financial model over a project life of 14 years;
· No terminal value added to the NPV, (which would reflect any extension to the plant
  and/or mine life)
· Sustaining capital at 10% of direct capital from Year 4 onwards.

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Millennium Minerals garners strong support in rights issue

Millennium Minerals (ASX:MOY) has received strong support from investors to its recent rights issue, with existing holders taking up 1.208 billion shares or 80.5% of all shares on offer.

This was despite despite the global equity markets experiencing volatile conditions and an outcome that would have likely brought a wry smile to the face of Millennium's chief executive officer Brian Rear.

The remaining 291.9 million shares (or 19.5%) will be taken up by the Underwriter and Lead Manager to the Issue, Patersons Securities.

The Rights Issue raised approximately $25.5 million before costs.

Following completion of rights issue, Millennium will have largely funded the construction of its flagship Nullagine Gold Project in Western Australia’s East Pilbara region including contingency provisions.

On completion of the issue, the Company will have cash of $41 million and $45 million in arranged debt and lease finance facilities when financial close is achieved.

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Central Petroleum updates market on Century Energy Services proceedings

Central Petroleum (ASX: CTP) has updated the market regarding the dispute status with Century Energy Services Pty Ltd.

Central said yesterday the Supreme Court of Western Australia published its decision on an application by Central for an injunction restraining Century Energy Services Pty Ltd from demanding or obtaining payment under a Banker's Undertaking.

Central had provided the Banker's Undertaking as security for payment for drilling services provided by Century between May and December 2010.

The contract pursuant to which the services were provided was terminated as a result of a breakdown of the rig on 5 December 2010.

Century had initially claimed that it was entitled to be paid an amount of $795,649.36 in addition to the amounts already paid for services provided up to the point of termination of the contract.

While the Court decided against granting an injunction, Century has through the process reduced its claim to between $312,282.66 and $358,832.66.

In respect to Century’s claim for payment, Central says that it has a claim arising from the breakdown and termination which is for a far greater sum.

It has made a claim against Century for costs incurred as a result of the breakdown and termination, and for the likely costs associated with the logistics and the re-entry and drilling of Surprise 1 to the depth reached at the time of termination of the contract with Century in December 2010.

Central has commenced arbitration proceedings in connection with this claim. Century has disputed Central's claim.

Central and Century are currently engaged in amicable discussions in an attempt to resolve these issues without the need for continuing arbitration proceedings.

If these discussions do not lead to an agreed resolution, these issues will be resolved by arbitration, which would likely occur in April 2012.

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iSonea clinches $10.6m investment by U.S. institutional investor

iSonea (ASX: ISN), formerly KarmelSonix has raised up to $10.6 million in investment over a two year period from New York-based Bergen Global Opportunity Fund, LP.  

The deal will position Bergen as a cornerstone investor in iSonea, as it gears up for an OTC listing of its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) in 2011.

Specifically, the deal is structured into two parallel instruments.  The first a AU$1 million lump sum investment by way of an unsecured convertible instrument on the execution of the agreement - with a face value of AU$1.12 million.

An investment of up to AU$9.6 million (of which AU$4.8 million is conditional on a mutual commitment) will follow over a period of 24 months, as Bergen’s payment for additional ordinary share issues over a 24 month period.

The Agreement also provides the company with the option to elect within a certain time after execution of the Agreement for Bergen to invest $200,000 - $400,000 monthly in the company over 24 months, with the company issuing ordinary shares to Bergen.

The agreement for the convertible instrument also provides for a grant of 25,000,000 options over ordinary shares to Bergen following execution of the arrangements.

Chief executive officer Michael Thomas said: “We are extremely pleased to secure this new funding from Bergen and we appreciate the flexibility that it will give us in launching our clinical development plans to establish ARM technology in the US market. This is a critical step toward growing and sustaining our revenue and providing an appropriate return for our shareholders.”

Jon Freudman, MD, medical director for the iSonea, said: “Advancing our clinical data set is our top priority for the coming year. This will drive adoption of our products and set the stage for converting the CPT codes to Category I. We are delighted to receive funding that will help the Company to attain these goals.”

iSonea is focused on supplying innovative, non-invasive Acoustic Respiratory Monitoring® devices and software for disease management of asthma and related pulmonary disorders.

Acoustic Respiratory Monitoring® is seen in the market place as a breakthrough in asthma management for patients of all ages, including the very young, very old and others who cannot perform currently available asthma assessment tests.

Kimberley Rare Earths dials in to pegmatite hosted rare earth project in Mozambique

Kimberley Rare Earths (ASX: KRE) has hit the ground running in just the first few months of public life after being admitted to the ASX after a successful IPO in mid-2011.

Kimberley Rare Earths is already achieving the objectives set out in the IPO, which stated that the company will assess and, if warranted, acquire other rare earths projects that have potential to add value.

The company has now secured a significant interest in a strategic pegmatite hosted rare earth project in Mozambique, which hosts major exploration potential, including for xenotime‐hosted yttrium, dysprosium and erbium.
Artisanal miners have historically exploited the area for topaz, aquamarine and amazonite gemstones of exceptional quality.

Kimberley Rare Earths can earn up to a 90% interest in the Malilongue project, with terms including an up front $300,000 cash payment to earn a 40% joint venture interest in the non-gemstone rights.

Additional consideration comprises a cumulative $4 million payment over 5 years to earn up to 80%, with a right to increase to 90% by sole funding to production.

The agreement has been made with Great Western Mining (GWM), a gemstone mining company incorporated in Mozambique.

Tim Dobson, chief executive officer of Kimberley Rare Earths, provided some very positive comments on the African joint venture, “Malilongue presents an excellent focal point for our exploration team to add medium to long term value while our development focus rests squarely with Cummins Range.

"Additionally, the new project has exciting potential for yttrium, dysprosium and terbium, all rare earth metals in critically short global supply, and complements the light rare earth project being developed at Cummins Range.”

The exclusivity period for the project will expire on 12th November following which, subject to due diligence, the company intends to complete the first farm-in transaction, and commence exploration activities.

Impressive historical data

No doubt attracting Kimberley Rare Earths to the Mozambique domiciled project is the historical data, which includes rock chip samples assaying over 20% TREO.

Added to this is concentrates from 38 separate pits located throughout the pegmatite field sampled by the current owner, which have averaged over 1000ppm TREO with 55% being LREO, 25% HREO and 20% yttrium oxide.

A sample extracted from the eluvial beds was subjected to mineralogical examination by a scanning electron microscope and found to comprise major xenotime and minor monazite and zircon.

In addition to yttrium, the xenotime shows appreciable dysprosium and erbium.

A further boost to the prospectivity is that the pegmatite-hosted mineralisation at Malilongue shows many similarities to Quest Resources’ Strange Lake deposit in Quebec Canada.

Quest has a 43‐101 compliant Indicated Mineral Resource of 36.4 million tonnes at 1.16% TREO with 57% being LREO, 15% HREO and 28% yttrium oxide.

Strategic project location

Malilongue is located in western Mozambique about 300 kilometres west of the regional mining centre of Tete, and comprises two tenements, Mining Concession 1133C and Prospecting License 1583L.

Another plus for the project is good access with grid hydroelectric power, with mobile phone coverage located 50 kilometres to the east.

GWM has established some basic infrastructure within the mining concession including a secure office / accommodation / workshop complex and have fully operational earth moving, haulage and treatment facilities associated with their gemstone operation.

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