Friday's AIM news: Commodities

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While shares in BowLeven jumped on news that the company had completed the sale of its interest in the EOV permit, Caza Oil and Gas slipped as it published its trading results. Read on to see what six other AIM-listed commodities companies had to tell their investors.

Bezant Resources

Bezant Resources (BZT) finished 2011 with approximately £6.32 million cash in bank.

"[The] company remains well funded to pursue its ongoing environmental and work programmes on its wholly-owned Eureka Project in Argentina," confirmed Bezant.

Most importantly, regarding the Mankayan Copper-Gold project in Philippines, shareholder approval had been obtained for the grant of an option for the potential disposal of Asean Copper Investments to Gold Fields Netherlands for an upfront cash payment of $7 million with a further cash sum of $63 million being payable should the option be exercised prior to 31 January 2013.

The initial funds received from the grant of the option to Gold Fields has enabled the company to renegotiate an accelerated acquisition of 100% of the Eureka copper-gold project in Argentina, achieving a saving of $1.3 million versus the original staggered total acquisition price.

"Whilst there is no guarantee that Gold Fields shall also exercise its option with the company prior to its scheduled expiry on 31 January 2013, we remain confident of a successful conclusion, particularly as Gold Fields has demonstrated a firm commitment to be a major foreign investor and mine operator within the Philippines," stated executive chairman Gerry Nealon


BowLeven (BLVN) has completed the sale of its entire equity interest in the EOV permit, offshore Gabon, to Perenco for a cash consideration of $35 million (£21.8 million) plus a working capital adjustment.

The company said that the proceeds from would provide Bowleven with "additional working capital to progress its dual objectives of converting resources to reserves and further exploring the significant potential of the Douala Basin in Cameroon".

Caza Oil & Gas

Caza Oil and Gas (CAZA) posted a 36% increase in proven reserves to 2.35 million barrels (mmbbls) of oil for 2011 - "the direct result of Caza's successful drilling operations during the year".

Average production volumes increased 38% to 240 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) for the 12-month period ended, with the company confirming that the latter portion of the year was "particularly positive".

Orsu Metals

Orsu Metals () released its annual results for the year ended 31 December.

"Key during the year, although actually post year end in February, was the successful completion of the Karchiga definitive feasibility study, which was made available on the company's website last night," commented broker FoxDavies.

The project aims to produce a total of 149,000 tonnes of copper over an 11.5 year mine life. The company expects to receive the necessary construction permitting approvals from the Kazakh authorities by the end of the second quarter 2012.

Cash and equivalents at year end equated to $10.3 million.

"The company will need to raise finance to fund the $115 million capex for Karchiga," FoxDavies added.

Pantheon Resources

Pantheon Resources (PANR) narrowed its losses for the half year ended 31 December to £359,910 from £379,218 made in the previous period.

Operationally, the company confirmed that the Tyler County joint venture continued to progress despite the lack of drilling activity resulting from deteriorating macroeconomic conditions; it intends to drill the Kara Farms #1H well this year.

"Discussions for the potential change in ownership of 25% of the joint venture continue," confirmed the company.

Cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of the year stood at £2.39 million.

Rare Earth Minerals

Rare Earth Minerals (REM) has released its final results for the 15 months to December 2011

The group reported a £1.3 million loss due to increased legal, administrative and due diligence. It closed the year with cash and equivalents of about £243,000.

Serica Energy

Serica Energy (SQZ) closed the doors on a "tough but rewarding" 2011, posting revenues of $27.1 million.

At the Columbus Field in the UK, negotiations concluded with LSE:BG.:BG Group for export via Lomond platform, clearing the way for project sanction. Six new blocks had been awarded in the Irish Rockall Basin

The company has been awarded an 85% interest in central Luderitz Basin blocks, offshore Namibia, A farm-out with LSE:BP.:BP has been secured, with BP carrying the full cost of extensive 3D seismic survey and pay Serica's past costs to earn 30%.

"2011 has seen Serica complete its migration away from Asia, towards the UCS and Atlantic margin, and the near-term development of Columbus will herald the start of the new phase of growth," said FoxDavies.

However, it also stressed the likelihood of an equity financing was likely. "While past costs will be refunded by BP's (BP.) farm-in to its Namibian acreage, we believe that the scope for dramatic improvements in free cash flow are limited.

"Its year-end cash balance of $20 million in the context of its indicated programme of exploration, appraisal and development, means that the likelihood of an equity financing is likely as a means to supplement debt and other contractual financing arrangements in meeting the funding gap."

Tangiers Petroleum

Trading in Tangiers Petroleum's () shares on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has been halted "pending an announcement in relation to project results".

An announcement will be released prior to the commencement of trading on 3 April. Trading will then resume on the ASX.

The company's shares will continue to trade on AIM during this period.

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