Proactive news summary: Gemfields, Savannah, ReNeuron, Rambler, Stride, Sierra Rutile and more

It was a busy day in the world of small caps with a lot of companies taming up.


Savannah Resources (LON:SAV) has unveiled plans to merge its heavy mineral sands assets in Mozambique with those of mining major Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) to create a world class project.

It was one of the biggest stories on a busy day in the world of small caps.

The AIM-listed explorer has the chance to earn up to 51% of the new joint-venture company, while Rio has agreed that it or one of its subsidiaries will buy the output from any mine.

Speaking of team-ups, stem cell specialist ReNeuron (LON:RENE) and Australia-based Benitec Biopharma are extending their research collaboration.

It the follows “positive results” from studies that found that ReNeuron generated exosomes were potentially an effective delivery system for Benitec's gene silencing technology.

Mporium has completed its share swap with Cxense subject only to the admission of 25mln new ordinary shares on AIM. 

CEO Barry Moat said: "This partnership with Cxense is important to our business strategy of making merchants more successful in all aspects of their m-commerce opportunity.

“We are delighted to have formed this strategic alliance and expect it to be hugely beneficial to Mporium going forward."

Meanwhile, Mongolia oil explorer Petro Matad (LON:MATD) received a US$2.75mln cash injection from new partner BG Group (LON:BG.)

Union Jack Oil (LON:UJO) has increased its stake in the Biscathorpe prospect, onshore UK, to 12% from 10%.

It is the result of deals with UJO’s partners in the project Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) and Montrose Industries.

In other oil news, Madagascar Oil (LON:MOIL) has hired investment bank Jefferies International to assist an ongoing search for a strategic partner to fund the development of the Tsimiroro field.

Elsewhere, Lansdowne Oil & Gas (LON:LOGP) said Petronas unit Kinsale Energy has now contracted the Ocean Guardian drilling rig to drill a well on the Midleton Prospect in the Celtic Sea which it has a 20% stake in.

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG raised £145,000 through an issue of shares at a premium price of 23.79p, 51% above Friday's closing price of 16p.

Providence Resources (LON:PVR) believes the Newgrange exploration prospect represents a “very attractive” proposition, from a risk-reward perspective.

In mining news, Sierra Rutile (LON:SRX) has hired former Kazakhmys’ chief financial officer (CFO) Matthew Hird.

Meanwhile, Gemfields (LON:GEM) has held another successful ruby auction in Singapore that included the sale of a recently discovered pair of rare matching red stones.

Cost saving measures to offset lower copper prices returned Rambler Metal & Minerals (LON:RMM) to profit in its latest quarter.

A new mine plan at its Ming operation in Newfoundland also improved its performance and the miner reported a net profit of C$1.32mln in the three months to April.

In other earnings news, Stride Gaming (LON:STR) said trading in the second half was ahead of management’s expectations.

In pharma news, Recently listed drug discovery firm Redx Pharma (LON:REDX) traded in line with expectations in the first half of its financial year.

The company hailed a six-month period (to the end of March 2015) of continued strong progress in its drug discovery programmes.

Finally, Low-cost airline fastjet (LON:FJET) has offloaded its loss-making Fly 540 Ghana business.

The business was acquired from Lonrho Aviation in July 2012 but has been in mothballs since May 2014, pending a sale or restructuring. It made a loss before tax of US$11.3mln in 2014.


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