Mining Roundup

Vedanta Resources (LON:VED) has booked H1 revenue of $4.9bn and EBITDA of $1.2bn, down respectively 15% and 4% on the year mostly due to lower commodity prices and lower volumes at Zinc India in line with mine plans.

“Vedanta Resources continues to deliver on all fronts, achieving robust operational and financial performance in the first half of the financial year,” said chairman Anil Agarwal in a statement.

“We ramped-up production as planned at our Aluminium, Power and Iron Ore businesses. We continue our relentless focus on cost optimisation, generating strong free cash flow and de-levering our balance sheet.

“During H1, we received approval from all sets of shareholders for the merger of Cairn India with Vedanta Limited. This is a significant step towards simplifying the group, and creating long-term shareholder value, in line with our strategic priorities.

“Vedanta’s exposure to India means we are well-positioned to benefit from world’s fastest growing economy.”

HIGHLIGHTS:

– Highest EBITDA margin (excluding custom Smelting)(2) in the last two years of 33% compared to 30% last year, driven by lower costs

– Higher operating Profit of US$720 million (H1 FY2016: US$578 million)

– Underlying Loss Per Share(3) of 18.8 US cents (H1 FY2016: loss of 57.6 US cents) and Basic Loss Per Share of 23.2 US cents (H1 FY2016: loss of 117.7 US cents), reflecting benefits of cost optimisation

– Positive free cash flow after growth capex(4) of US$166 million

– Gross debt reduced by US$118 million over one year

– Net debt increased to US$8.2 billion, due to special dividend payment by Hindustan Zinc Limited in April 2016

– Positive credit rating movements: Moody’s upgraded corporate family rating from B2 to B1 and S&P revised outlook from Stable to Positive

– Interim dividend of US cents 20 per share

– Vedanta Ltd-Cairn India merger approved by shareholders; expected to complete in Q1 CY2017.

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Ariana Resources (LON:AAU) reports excellent results from a scoping study for the Tavsan project undertaken by independent geological, metallurgical and mining consultants.

Tavsan is part of the Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction Co and will be 50% owned by Ariana once mine construction at the Kiziltepe Sector is completed in Q416.

Highlights:

– Results show potential for strong financial returns, with NPV (8%) at US$41.9M, with payback secured within 1.1 years over the Life of Mine (LoM) at a gold price of US$1,250/oz.

– LoM C1 gold equivalent cash-cost of US$559-630/oz, across model range with a pre-tax IRR of 80% at a gold price of US$1,250/oz.

– Average LoM production of approximately 30,000 ounces of gold per annum over approximately 4 years; potential to increase the resource with drilling.

– Capital expenditure estimated at US$20 million, which would involve development of a very low strip ratio open-pit mine and heap-leach.

– Planned as a semi- stand-alone operation to Kiziltepe, potentially sharing much of the same infrastructure including the gold stripping and carbon regeneration facility, and gold room.

– Additional drilling and metallurgical test-work being planned on the Project as part of a Pre-Feasibility Study scheduled for 2017.

Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said: “This is an excellent result which reinforces our view that the Tavsan Sector will become a valuable additional source of revenue within the context of the Red Rabbit Joint Venture with Proccea Construction Co. The addition of Tavsan to our mining schedule will enable the Company the opportunity to increase production from approximately 20,000 oz pa to 50,000 oz pa between two operations.

“We are investigating options for the fast-tracking of further exploration and development work at Tavsan, targeting completion of a PFS in 2017. As part of this programme of work we are currently planning and budgeting for a dedicated drilling programme at Tavsan and further metallurgical test-work.”

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Greatland Gold (LON:GGP) posts a pre-tax loss of £662,903 for the year to the end of June – down from £1,077,779 a year ago.

Revenue was nil – unchanged from last time – and exploration costs of £145,232 were down from £259,263 in 2015. The group booked an impairment charge of £540,570 in 2015 and nil this time.

Chairman Alex Borrelli said: “It has been a year of change at Greatland Gold that has seen a heightened level of activity on both existing and new exploration projects.

“Last year we observed a turnaround in market sentiment towards the global mining sector after several years of falling commodity prices. Although the recovery in commodity prices is still in its nascent phase, the Board of Greatland Gold believes that we are at or near the bottom of the commodities cycle and, consequently, has spent the last year seeking to reposition the Company for what we hope is a sustained upturn in the sector.

“In order to capitalise on these opportunities and execute our strategy, changes have occurred at Board level including the appointment of Gervaise Heddle, Executive Director and myself as Non-Executive Chairman. We would also like to note the resignation of John Watkins and, subsequent to the end of the financial year, the resignations of Andrew Bell, former Chairman of Greatland Gold, and Paul Johnson, former Non-executive Director. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Andrew, Paul and John for their dedication and service.

“Greatland Gold successfully raised £637,000 of new equity (net of costs) during the year and a further £389,025 (net of costs) since the close of the financial year. These funds will be used to advance further our current projects and to take advantage of the exciting opportunities that we believe exist in the market at this time, whilst maintaining a disciplined approach towards capital allocation.”

Greatland Gold also announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Metal Tiger Australia Pty regarding a collaboration on new ventures.

Greatland and MTA will explore project level joint venture and/or co-investment opportunities in the precious and base metal sectors globally, but with a primary focus on Australia and Asia.

Greatland and MTA will discuss the viability of establishing an ASX-listed vehicle primarily focused on Australian-based projects in these sectors.

The MoU is for an initial period of 12 months which can be extended if both parties agree.

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Condor Gold (LON:CNR) has started scout drilling hon its flagship La India project in Nicaragua, which hosts a high grade mineral resource of 18.08m tonnes at 4.0 g/t for 2.31 Moz gold.

The company has started a 4,000 metre scout drilling programme to demonstrate the upside of the entire District, which contains approximately 104.5 km strike length of veins of which only 54.8 km have been trenched or mapped in any detail and only 13.2 km have been drill tested.

Condor says many veins have never been drill tested. As at 9 November, a drill rig has completed 87 m at the El Cacao target.

The programme has been designed by Dr Warren Pratt, who joined Condor as a geological consultant in June 2016. Pratt helped with due diligence on the La India project on behalf of Ross Beaty, a successful mining entrepreneur who subsequently became a 7.1% shareholder in April. The first 2,000 m of drilling has three objectives.

Firstly, to expand mineralisation and identify ore-shoots at El Cacao. Secondly, to expand mineralisation at the Cristalito-Tatescame target. Thirdly, to test for mineralisation on the Andrea Vein, which has never been drilled.

The location of the remaining 2,000 m of drilling will depend on initial drilling results and may also be used to test other targets. Soil sampling began again in June 2016 and has now covered over half of the district. It aims to identify new epithermal targets suitable for drilling.

At 4:25pm:

(LON:AAU) Ariana Resources PLC share price was +0.1p at 1.8p

(LON:BEM) Beowulf Mining PLC share price was 0p at 5.5p

(LON:BKY) Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was +0.63p at 45.5p

(LON:CEY) Centamin PLC share price was -11.7p at 152.6p

(LON:CHL) Churchill Mining PLC share price was -0.13p at 30.88p

(LON:CNR) Condor Gold PLC share price was -3.25p at 66.75p

(LON:CZA) Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.18p at 3.5p

(LON:FDI) Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was +0.75p at 56.75p

(LON:FRES) Fresnillo PLC share price was -194p at 1577p

(LON:GEMD) Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -0.87p at 113.88p

(LON:GGP) Greatland Gold PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.22p

(LON:HOC) Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -20.25p at 260.05p

(LON:KMR) Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.37p at 272.38p

(LON:VED) Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +93p at 874p

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