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Market Movers: Magnolia Petroleum, Afferro Mining, International Mining, Amphion Innovations, Petra Diamonds

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Magnolia Petroleum (LON:MAGP) led the small caps up after revealing a five-fold increase in the value of its oil reserves to US$94mln.

A new competent person's report (CPR) estimates the group’s 3P – Proven, Probable and Possible - oil reserves at 2.8mln barrels of oil and condensate and 9.2mln cubic feet of gas.

These reserves are valued in the CPR at US$94mln and this underlines the value added to the company since it listed on AIM in November 2011, when its reserves were worth US$18mln.

"The CPR provides an independent assessment of Magnolia's first full year on AIM, which saw excellent progress made towards delivering on our strategy to build a significant US onshore oil and gas company,” said chief operating officer Rita Whittington.

Shares jumped 23% on the news.

Afferro Mining (LON:AFF) has received an early stage takeover approach from International Mining & Infrastructure Corporation (LON:IMIC) worth between 100p and 140 per share.

AIM-listed IMIC is much smaller than Afferro and first expressed an interest in making a bid late last year.

Afferro gave a guarded response to the bid, saying the board could not make a recommendation until it got a formal offer and received confirmation that IMIC has the necessary finance in place.

The bid puts a significant premium on the Afferro's shares and pushed the company's stock up 15% in early trading, but the news did not have the same impact on International Mining (LON:IMIC), which dropped 11%.

Shares took a hit after Afferro's directors added they were still seeing strong industry interest in the company and would continue to investigate other options as they arise.

Haresh Kanabar, IMIC's chairman said that, together with its Chinese strategic partners, his firm had the necessary capabilities to develop the mining-related infrastructure associated with Afferro's Cameroon project Nkout.

This "significantly de-risks the project and creates the potential for long-term returns for shareholders and stakeholders alike", Kanabar said.

Amphion Innovations (LON:AMP) was also down after the firm's directors said they were taking a more cautious approach to valuing the companies in Amphion’s portfolio.

They said the relatively dormant new issues market for medical and technology companies recently made it hard to find a benchmark.

As a result of downward adjustments in the carrying value of holdings in several partner companies, the 2012 loss will be wider than it was in 2011.

Shares were down 28% on the news.

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL) shares advanced on Wednesday as it announced the recovery of a high quality blue diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The company said the rare 25.5 carat blue diamond was of ‘top colour’.

Back in 2009, Petra banked US$9.49mln from the sale of a 7 carat polished stone called the ‘Star of Josephine', which was cut from a 26.6 carat blue diamond.

In early trading, Petra shares were up 3%.

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