Tuesday's AIM news: Mining

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Mariana Resources unveiled positive results from its Las Calandrias gold-silver project, while Aureus Mining updated investors on drilling at its Bea Mountain mining licence. See what they, and seven other miners, had to say...

Anglo Asian Mining

Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) saw its shares move higher as it revealed a 50% increase in the JORC-compliant gold resource at its Gedabek gold/copper mine in Azerbaijan.

The new figures were: 37,111,577 tonnes at 0.884 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold for 1,054,382 ounces; 0.220% of copper for 81,765 tonnes and 7.215 g/t of silver for 8,608,551 ounces in the measured and indicated classifications at a cut-off grade of 0.3 g/t of gold.

"Reaching over one million ounces of gold in the measured and indicated resource category is a significant milestone for the company, underpinning the production potential and the inherent value of Gedabek that we first saw when we commenced mining in 2009," said chief executive Reza Vaziri.

He added: "With steady gold, copper and silver production at Gedabek (financial year 2011 57,068 ounces of gold, 611 tonnes of copper and 46,940 ounces of silver), and continuing strong metal prices our position as a profitable and cash-generative production company is strengthening.

"Indications from the 3,420 metres of drilling completed since phase 1 and phase 2 drilling included in the JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate highlight the significant potential to further upgrade and increase the size of this deposit. In line with this, we are now planning to conduct a further 24,567 metre drilling programme with the aim of further increasing the mineral resources of the Gedabek deposit."

Aureus Mining

Aureus Mining (AUE) updated investors on the results of a further 40 diamond drill holes at the New Liberty gold project within its 100%-owned Bea Mountain mining licence in Liberia.

The 9,143 metre drilling programme was designed to test previously undrilled areas and potential depth extensions to the New Liberty deposit, as well as completion of further definition drilling within the current resource area.

"The latest infill drilling programme has demonstrated that there is no gap in the mineralised system between the Kinjor and Marvoeareas. In addition to this potential increase to the resource, the deeper drilling in the Latiff zone shows the considerable potential for an underground mining project after the open pit reserve has been mined out," outlined chief executive David Reading.

"The definitive feasibility study will be published as soon as these results have been incorporated into new resource and reserve estimates," he added.

Churchill Mining

Churchill Mining (CHL) will seek international arbitration in its dispute with the Indonesian government over the revocation of four coal mining licences at the East Kutai Coal Project.

The move follows the announcement that the country's supreme-court register of cases showed that the company's appeal against the decision has been rejected - Churchill said this was not yet a binding decision.

The miner said in a statement on Tuesday that it is in the process of filing a claim at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC for what it called direct breaches of Indonesia's investment laws and the country's obligations under international investment treaties.

The statement highlighted that following a significant investment in exploration, Churchill identified a world-class thermal coal deposit in East Kalimantan in which it holds a 75% interest.

Cluff Gold

Algy Cluff has announced he is to step down as non-executive chairman of Cluff Gold () at the company's AGM on 21 May to assume a chief executive role in a new natural resources company.

The company confirmed that Cluff will remain available to the board as a consultant to ensure continuity, specifically in relation to African politics.

John McGloin, previously head of mining at Collins Stewart, will take over as executive chairman.

Algy Cluff said he left the company in good hands: "As an entrepreneur, I consider the most important judgements relate to identifying opportunities and recognising when different skills are required to deliver the next stage of development.

"I now believe it is time to leave Cluff Gold and I am pleased that we have managed to attract a new chairman with the knowledge and experience of John McGloin to lead the company going forward."

Mariana Resources

South American-focused Mariana Resources (MARL) revealed a positive update from its Las Calandrias gold-silver project located in the world-class Santa Cruz mineral district in southern Argentina.

The company said that re-sampling 15 of 40 holes has unearthed new zones of vein/stockwork gold-silver mineralisation in silicified volcaniclastics at Calandria Sur.

The mineralisation extends laterally and below the NI 43-101 compliant initial resource of 441,000 gold equivalent ounces at the rhyolite-hosted bulk tonnage Calandria Sur prospect.

"These positive first results of the re-sampling programme indicate further gold and silver below and adjacent to the Calandria Sur rhyolite dome resource, in rock types initially considered to be barren. This, together with numerous volcaniclastic-hosted intersections already reported, greatly enhances the potential to expand the Calandria Sur mineralised system in the next drill programme with a view to increasing the resource," commented the company's chairman John Horsburgh.

Mariana said the Calandria Sur mineralised system now extends over an impressive area of 800 metres north-west to south-east by 600 metres north-east to south-west and up to 170 metres below surface. Intensive further target definitions underway at Las Calandrias with integrated results are expected this month and phase V drilling is scheduled to end during the second quarter or early in the third quarter of this year.

Analyst Duncan Hughes at Ambrian currently has no rating on the stock, but commented: "We believe the strongest case for an investment in Mariana remains the huge (and highly prospective) regional exploration portfolio in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. We anticipate a large number of targets to come from the regional target definition programmes. The phase 5 drilling programme will focus on extensions to the Calandrias Sur resource, as well as progressing a number of exploration targets. "

Mwana Africa

Mwana Africa () has conditionally placed a total of 140,618,165 new ordinary shares of 1p each with investors at a price of 5.5p per placing share.

In addition, and as previously announced, China International Mining Group Corporation has conditionally subscribed for 242,424,282 new ordinary shares at the placing price.

The gross proceeds of the placing and subscription will be approximately $33.5 million (£21.1 million). The shares being issued represent approximately 53.4% of the company's issued ordinary share capital prior to the placing.

Premier Management Holdings

Premier Management Holdings () has changed its name to Premier Gold Resources (PGR) from Tuesday.

The company said the name change reflects the new strategy of gold exploration and development in Central Asia.
Effective today, the ordinary shares will be trading under their new trading symbol PGR. Warrants in the company will continue to trade under the separate symbol PGW.

Sunkar Resources

Following receipt of $10 million from Sun Avenue Partners, Sunkar Resources () has issued $10 million 10% convertible loan notes on the terms announced on 23 December 2011. An application for the Kazakhstan government waiver for the loan notes to be converted to ordinary shares in the company is being finalised.

In a statement the company also said that during March, both mills at Chilisai milling and loading complex have been test run after an idle period, with 20 operating and maintenance staff re-employed. The company expects that both mills will be running at full rate by the end of April.

Uranium Resources

Uranium Resources (URA) announced on Tuesday that it has raised £3,930,000 gross through a subscription of 163,750,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at a price of 2.4p per ordinary share.

The placing has been subscribed to by Uranium Resources' major shareholder and strategic investor Estes Limited, along with others.

The capital raised will be used to fund the development of the company's primary Mtonya uranium project in Tanzania, where it is undertaking a 20,000 metre drilling programme to identify and develop additional resource opportunities, and for general working capital purposes.

URU Metals

Ongoing drilling continued to confirm large disseminated nickel resources at Burgersfort and Zebediela nickel projects, South Africa, said URU Metals (URU) in a statement on Tuesday.

The first phase of drilling has now been completed on both projects and confirms large open-pit disseminated sulphide nickel resources.

A large peridotite body with known disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation is being evaluated at the Zebediela site with the target of proving the existence of a large (potentially in excess of one billion tonnes) near-surface disseminated nickel sulphide resource.

With the completion of the drilling, URU has satisfied its obligations under the joint venture agreement and has now fully vested a 50% interest in the South African Nickel joint venture.