Resource round-up: Triple Plate, Sable Mining, Magnolia

Also includes: Kea Petroleum, Herencia Resources

Shares in gold miner Triple Plate Junction plunged 20% on Monday morning after it said drilling would be suspended at its Morobe project in Papua New Guinea for six months after it failed to strike gold. The firm said it would carry out additional fieldwork in the meantime and said "it must be remembered that we have only drilled eight holes and at what is a colossal exploration project with many prospects. To have hit a massive intersection in the first few holes was always an ambitious hope."

Meanwhile AIM-listed Sable Mining Africa announced "highly encouraging initial results" from its early stage surface sampling and mapping programme on its 532 sq km Kpo Iron Ore Project in northern Liberia. "These initial surface sample findings, which includes high grade material of up to 68.3% [iron], demonstrates the Kpo Project's potential to be a major new iron ore discovery," said Chief Executive Andrew Groves.

Magnolia Petroleum rose after it announced it had assumed operatorship for the first time through workover (operations on a producing oil well to try to increase production) of two producing wells. "Our production from these two shallow wells is holding our Mississippi acreage, meaning it is now `Held By Production' and will not expire," the firm said.

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Kea Petroleum also got a boost on Monday with the news that it initial independent field analysis of oil from its Puka-1 well in New Zealand showed it to be excellent quality light oil. "These results could not be better or more encouraging," said Chief Executive Ian Gowie-Smith. "If further testing confirms our expectations, Puka-1 will transform Kea into a profitable oil producer". The firm added that preparations were underway to commence a longer term production testing of the well to establish production rates and reservoir characteristics.

Herencia Resources said high silver and lead assay grades achieved at shallow depths at its Patricia Project in Northern Chile provided potential scope for open pit mining. The firm said that metallurgical testwork on drill core from the oxide and transitional zones work would assist in determining the economic and practical aspects of incorporating an open pit into the overall mine design. It has to decide whether, through an open pit, there is the potential for earlier access to potentially higher grade ore zones, as well as lower operating costs and reduced start-up working capital.