Resource round-up: Namakwa, Oilex, Kea, Sierra Rutile

Also included in this round-up: Copper Development Corp, Angel Mining and Baobab Resources.

Namakwa Diamonds saw its share price plunge almost 10% on Tuesday morning after it announced further operational problems would hit production targets in Lesotho. This meant its short term funding arrangements would be insufficient, the company said, forcing it to take out US$10m unsecured bridging facility with Sputnick Limited, an investment vehicle focused on the growth and development of African mineral resources.

Oilex followed in the footsteps of Namakwa, also seeing its shares fall around 10% in early trading on Tuesday. The firm said it had been forced to discontinue milling operations at its well in the Cambay Field, onshore Gujarat, India. It said that the volume of fracture sand it had encountered had locked up the milling assembly and caused the drill pipe to part at a depth of about 600 metres. "The drill pipe is being repaired and the well will be circulated to reduce the volume of sand within the well bore prior to pulling the milling assembly out of the well and conditioning the well for flow to surface and production testing," it added.

It was a different story at Kea Petroleum, which announced it had struck oil at its Puka 1 site in New Zealand's Taranaki Basin. The company has maintained its original estimate of gross recoverable resource of one million barrels with a potential upside of up to three million barrels. "The well has been cased and suspended pending flow testing and, if warranted, long term production," Kea said. "The timing of initial flow testing will be determined by the availability of equipment."

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Another firm having a god day is Sierra Rutile. It saw shares rise around 8% in Tuesday morning trading after it announced production of rutile minerals was up 48% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the year before. It also maintained production estimates for the year. Meanwhile Ilmenite production up 57% on the previous year. Chief executive John Sisay added that second quarter pricing to date had been substantially above prices achieved in the first three months of the year.

Baobab Resources, a precious metals explorer, has completed the first stage of its joint venture project with North River Resources, earning the firm a 60% interest in the project, which is based in the Tete province of Mozambique. The results at the magnetite rich intersections report "excellent" concentrate grades of 69% iron at a mass recovery of 26%. The results are in line with exploration targets announced earlier this year.

Gold producer Angel Mining has announced that the main generator at its Nalunaq site is now fully operational and the processing of ore recommenced on April 5th. The firm also announced that it has raised around £259,000 after issuing over 15m shares at 1.66p per share, the proceeds of which will be used to meet the firm's repayment commitments.

Copper Development Corporation has discovered a "highly significant" extension of the deposit at hole 50, while an area of previously unknown mineralisation was located at hole 47. The hole 50 discovery "has the potential to double the resource at the Southeast Deposit", while hole 47 is an "important demonstration of the previously unknown extension of this deposit at depth along its western edge, which has the potential to add more substantial tonnage to the resources at Basay," the firm said.