International Ferro Metals, the AIM-listed miner of ferrochrome (an essential ingredient in stainless steel), rose strongly on Tuesday after saying that the ramp-up of its Sky Chrome project to a record 73,000 tonnes per month was achieved last month. The plant provides low-cost chrome ore for the smelting operations and now fully compensates for the closure of the Lesedi open pit mine which reached end of life in July.
Meanwhile, the company said that its smelting operations have performed better than expectations in July and August, with furnaces producing 39,700 tonnes of ferrochrome.
Magnolia Petroleum, the AIM-listed oil and gas group focused in the US, has started participating in two more wells in Williams County, North Dakota, both operated by energy company Brigham Oil and Gas: the Jake 2-11 #1H well and the Jake 2-11 #2TFH well. The firm also said that it wants to elect to participate in four further wells in the Williams County area in the near future, also operated by Brigham.
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Magnolia's working interest in both the Jake and Jake 2TFH wells is 1.9531%, meaning that its share of the $10.215m drill costs associated with each well is $199,509. The company's net revenue interest in each well is 1.4648%.
Shares in US-focused peer Sefton Resources sank by 12% in spite of the group announcing that oil revenue grew 13% to $2.28m and oil production increased 9% to 21,755 barrels in the first half of 2012. Earnings before non-cash charges, interest and tax rose 32% to $484,000, while cash and cash equivalents jumped 175% to $2.5m.
"Sefton continues to be financially stable with award winning operations and good market liquidity and we have significant expansion capability in our two main 100%-owned project areas. I am pleased to be able to report the first half of the year has seen continued progress in the development of our assets and operations," said Chairman Jim Ellerton. However, he did note that the firm has seen an increased amount of water during drilling and the group is looking to improve its water disposal facilities.
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