Resources round-up: Thor, Amerisur, Ascent...

Also covered by this report: Sirius Minerals and Rialto Energy.

Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources has logged, cased and cemented the Platanillo-3 well in Colombia, the first of a six-well drill programme. Testing equipment has been mobilised and will shortly begin production tests. The reservoir sections encountered in the well are currently being studied to determine which zones will be tested, with signs already indicating the potential for an increased oil column. The company expects to perform flow tests within the next week. The firm is now planning to drill the second well from the same location, deviating the well to an offset of around 700m from Platanillo-3.

Thor Mining has upgraded its ore reserve estimate at its wholly owned Molyhil project in Australia to 1.64m tonnes at 0.42% tungsten trioxide (WO3) and 0.13% Mo (molybdenum). The tungsten grade is 50% above the resource estimate grade, giving the company more opportunity for the early payback of its project capital. The reserve provides a four year initial mine life at Molyhil, while newly identified prospective extensions and nearby targets add additional potential for extension of mine life.

Ascent Resources, a Europe-focused gas company, has posted an increase in full year pre-tax losses despite a rise in revenue, after growing costs and an impairment write down of exploration costs offset the gain in turnover. Revenue rose from £1.8m to £1.7m, cost of sales increased by £0.3m to £1.7m, while losses before tax on continuing operations grew from £5.98m to £6.25m. The impairment write down rose from £3.1m to £3.5m. Basic losses per share fell from 1.18p to 0.68p.

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Sirius Minerals, the potash development group operating in a national park in Yorkshire, has launched a community funding initiative called the York Potash Foundation which will provide funding to local projects across a wide range of areas including community facilities, educational projects and environmental initiatives. The foundation will be run by an independent board of trustees and is currently seeking charitable status. The firm is contributing an initial start-up fund of £2.0m, after which it will contribute an annual royalty of 0.5% of revenue from the York Potash Project, equal to around £3.0m in the first phase of the project and £9.0m in the second phase.

Rialto Energy's Gazelle-P3 ST well has encountered all expected reservoirs of the Gazelle field, Offshore Cte D'Ivoire, as well as a new exploration objective. The oil and gas firm is considering drilling a side track of the well in order to access the primary target Upper Cenomanian (UC) 1 reservoir in a better location before suspending it as a producer. The firm also said it had encountered a well-developed UC3 reservoir that had previously produced oil and gas at a well drilled by another operator. At the lower Cenomnian, one of the primary gas reservoirs in the Gazelle field was found to be gas bearing in Gazelle-P3 ST. The extension in the proven hydrocarbon column will be incorporated in a revised update of the Competent Person's Report.