Resources round-up: Roxi, 3Legs, Diamond Corp...

Also in this report: Medusa Mining and Ncondezi Coal

Roxi, the Central Asian oil and gas company, has announced that Bakmura, a subsidiary of the Korean National Oil Corporation, has agreed to the farm-out of the BNG Contract Area licence. The Korean firm will pay an initial cash consideration of $5m and will invest a further $25m in the BNG Contract Area work programme in return for a 35% interest in the area.

US oil giant ConocoPhillips is to exercise its option to acquire a 70% equity interest in three eastern Baltic Basin concessions of 3Legs Resources, an independent oil and gas group. 3Legs said the deal will enable the company, together with ConocoPhillips, to continue the exploration and appraisal of its three western concessions in the Baltic Basin. 3Legs added that, as at February 29th, the company had unaudited cash and cash equivalents of £48.1m.

DiamondCorp, the African diamond mine development and exploration company, has received an independent engineering report on the proposed 47 level block cave development at the Lace mine which has concluded that the continuous trough block caving method proposed for the mine development is an appropriate mining method for the Lace mine to achieve 1.2m tonnes a year of kimberlite production. The total development cost is estimated in the Lace financial model at $50m.

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Northland Capital Partners said the report was an important step towards production at the Lace Mine. "The low operational cost ($16/t) [$16 per tonne] is comparable to Petra Diamonds' ... Kimberly Underground Mine ($17.2/t). However, the Lace Mine is much higher grade 40cpht [carats per hundred tons] (Kimberley Underground Mine 12.1cpht). The average price per carat for the Lace Mine is also high at $160/ct [$160 per carat], though not as high as the Kimberley Underground Mine ($308/ct)," the broker said.

"In volumetric terms, the Lace Mine will produce c. 0.5mcts [million carats] per annum which is a greater amount than the Kimberley Underground Mine currently produces (0.06mcts per annum) and more than it is expected to produce once it reached full production in FY13 [fiscal 2013] (0.13mcts per annum). The massive volume of diamonds produced at the Lace Mine combined with the high average price per carat will drive value creation and could produce revenues of c. $75m and a relative low operational cost of c. $20m per annum," Northland reckons.

Ncondezi Coal Company, a coal exploration and development company, has announced that the coal resource on the Ncondezi Project has been upgraded to 4,655m tonnes as a result of additional coal resources being classified on the East, West and River blocks. The maiden coal resource of 716m tonnes is 65% classified in the indicated category, while the inferred resources of 1,203m tonnes and 898m tonnes are classified on the West and River blocks respectively. This marks an increase of 157%.

Philippines-focused Medusa Mining has lowered its production forecast for the current year after it had to take four large leach tanks at its Co-O mine out of operation for emergency repairs. The shut-down of the four tanks will limit the throughput to around 700 tonnes per day for the quarter, and in combination with some electrical upgrades the company is planning, 2012 production guidance has been revised to 60,000 - 65,000 ounces from 75,000 ounces. Remedial work on the tanks, expected to take four to five months, will commence in April and will be at the contractor's cost, the firm said.