Proactive news summary: accesso, Bushveld, Caza, Condor Blanco, COPL, Ebiquity, e-Therapeutics ...


Mining and oil companies were engaged in their usual fight to dominate news flow on AIM, with the miners emerging victorious on points.

Herencia Resources (LON:HER) has published a maiden resource for its Picachos project in Chile, which it estimates can cover the first 3-5 years of production from an open pit.

The total tonnage is 7.1Mt at 0.85% copper and 7.6 grams per tonne (g/t) silver at a cut-off grade of 0.2% for copper, but within this is a high grade zone of 3.4Mt at 1.12% copper.

The company added there is scope to boost the total as the resource only covered a small part of the tenement.

Pan African Resources (LON:PAF) said grades have started to improve at its Evander mine in South Africa after a tough six months.

Revenues in the half year fell by 20% to £68.1mln, while net earnings were £5.5mln (£17.3mln).

Kibo Mining (LON:KIBO) told investors all five of its projects are now active - as joint ventures with AIM peer Metal Tiger at the Morogoro gold prospect and the Pinewood uranium portfolio have kicked off.

Bushveld Minerals (LON:BMN) shares advanced as it ran through the aspects, now ticked off, of a pre-feasibility study on its vanadium project in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

The study on the project, where the firm is currently focusing attention, is on track to be finished during the first half of 2015, it confirmed.

Meanwhile, the application for a mining right is on track to be submitted in the first quarter this year.

Forte Energy (LON:FTE, ASX:FTE) has applied to the ASX to have its shares delisted in a bid to cut listing and compliance costs.

On the funding front, KEFI Minerals (LON:KEFI) says the completion of a £4.9mln placing unveiled last November is on track as it announced the receipt of the third and final tranche.

The cash is planned to be mainly used on its flagship Tulu Kapi project in Ethiopia to the point in mid-2015 where it is planned that full development funding be arranged.

Condor Blanco Mines (ASX:CDB) has struck a share deal with a UK mining support firm Minesweeper, in which it will subscribe for up to A$1mln of shares in the Australia-listed firm.

Under the share investment agreement (SIA), Condor has placed shares worth A$249,000 with Minesweeper at $0.001 a share and the proceeds of this will be used for general working capital and Chile costs.

In board room news, Premier African Minerals (LON:PREM) has appointed geologist and mining veteran Michael Foster to the board as a non-executive director.

Foster is currently a director of CASA Mining Limited, a private company with interest in exploration licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was previously non-executive chairman of Copperbelt Minerals.

Following the shareholder vote earlier this week Nicholas Gay and Neeve Billis have taken up their positions as non-executive directors of Petroceltic International (LON:PCI).

At the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Wednesday the appointments of Gay and Billis were both approved by shareholders. Gay won 60.94% of the vote, while Billis was narrowly approved with 50.14%.

Elsewhere in the energy sector, Wentworth Resources (LON:WRL) shares advanced as the company said it expects in the near future to significantly increase its gas reserves in Tanzania.

A government pipeline project is now due to be commissioned in the second quarter, and once operational it will provide a route to market and unlock the gas within Wentworth’s Mnazi Bay field.

It will enable a portion of Mnazi Bay’s 639bn cubic feet of contingent gas resources (P50) to be reclassified as reserves.
Wentworth owns some 31% of Mnazi Bay.

Caza Oil & Gas (LON:CAZA, TSE:CAZ) has opted out of a proposed joint venture in Reeves County, Texas, as it continues to manage capital spending amid lower oil prices.

The deal with Clayton Williams Energy, agreed in November, would have required Caza to pay for 75% of drilling costs for an initial commitment well.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum (LON:COPL) has unveiled a tie-up with African oil firm Shoreline Energy which is expected to see the new partners invest in new projects.

COPL and Shoreline will each own 50% of the new vehicle which will be called Shoreline CanOverseas Petroleum Development Corporation (or ShoreCan).

ShoreCan will build a portfolio of exploration and development assets in sub-Saharan Africa.

Away from the resources sector, ValiRx (LON:VAL) has received a UK patent for lead compound VAL201 for endometriosis or hormone induced abnormal cell growth in women.

Endometriosis is excessively debilitating, typically seen during a woman’s reproductive years and represents one of the major causes of female infertility.

Based on results in endometrial models, VAL201 has been shown to reduce abnormal endometrial growth, but leave other hormone-induced activities working normally.

Shares in AIM quoted drug discovery firm e-Therapeutics (LON:ETX) shot up to a new year high on Thursday as investors apparently eyed the group’s brimming pipeline.

The company noted the rise the group’s share price and said it has continued to observe high levels of productivity from its proprietary drug discovery processes.

It said that, as noted in an earlier statement in November, that it is finding a large number of highly active molecules in cellular screens.

Marketing performance group Ebiquity (LON:EBQ) has acquired its franchise partner Media Value (MV) for up to €6mln in cash.

The firm has been Ebiquity's partner for media auditing in the Iberian market since 2008 and consists of two divisions: these are a media auditing and benchmarking business to be included in Ebiquity's Media Value Measurement division and a return on investment/effectiveness practice to be included in Ebiquity's marketing performance optimisation division.

MV's unaudited revenue for the year to April 30 last year was around €2.3mln and the purchase is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year. The initial consideration is €743,000, which is being satisfied from existing banking facilities.

The maximum consideration is up to €6mln depending on the performance of the MV business in the three financial years ending April 30, 2016.

Photo-Me (LON:PHTM) shares looked the picture of health this morning after the photo-booth firm sent out a snapshot of its recent performance.

A quick look through the lens shows pre-tax profit in the three months to January was up 12% on the same time last year, while turnover went up 3%.

Accesso Technology (LON:ACSO) has expanded its ticket sales business as it announced its ShoWare division had won a further 11 contracts across North and South America.

It means the total number of contracts won since ShoWare was acquired in 2014 to 22.

Digital media firm Milestone (LON:MSG) said each of its businesses is showing revenue potential as it posted a pre-tax loss in the year to end September, 2014.

For the 12 months to end September, the loss before tax was £1.071mln compared to £980,570 in 2013.

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