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Most followed: Ariana Resources, Nyota Minerals, Plethora Solutions, Gulf Keystone

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Ariana Resources (LON:AAU) proved today that even investing in an under-pressure sector such as mining can pay off – as long as you back the right company at the right moment.

While most of the sector has been affected by lower commodity prices, putting the livelihood of many junior metals companies under threat, there is still plenty of value to be found.

In fact, huge daily share price rises are something small cap investors are getting used to seeing from resources stocks.

Today, it was the turn of Ariana Resources (LON:AAU), which soared 67% higher by noon to stand at 1.5p each as it unveiled what it described as “exceptional results” from exploration work carried out on the Kiziltepe Sector of the Red Rabbit Gold Project in western Turkey.

It has uncovered four highly mineralised gold-silver zones within the Kepez and Karakavak prospect areas alongside a “substantially increased” number of gold-silver bearing veins mapped in the region.

The exploration targets were generated from a “comprehensive data review”, Ariana said.

The highlights included grades of up to 383 grams per tonne of silver and 1.5 grams of gold from the Kepez Main.

Meanwhile, Kepez Far West was gold-rich, with one sample returning 14.5 grams per tonne of the precious metal alongside 39 grams of silver.

Managing director Kerim Sener said: “These exceptional exploration results reinforce our views on the prospectivity of the wider Kiziltepe area and continue to point towards future resource upside for our planned mine.  

“It is important to note that our feasibility study is based on only two kilometres of veins out of thirty four now mapped, the latest exploration having identified a further twelve kilometres of veins beyond that previously known.  

“This underpins the potential for further discoveries to be made along the general trend of the Sindirgi Gold Corridor, much of which the company holds under licence.”

Nyota Minerals (LON:NYO) has also enjoyed the sort of share price rises that investors dream of.

Its share price was on the rise again on Monday, having almost trebled since Thursday when one of its major shareholders called for chief executive Richard Chase’s head.

Centamin (LON:CEY) ordered an extraordinary general meeting in a bid to elbow Chase out of the company, in which it has a near 20 per cent stake. 

Sources close to Centamin said it was time for a change at the top, adding that it was concerned about the state of Nyota’s finances, strategy and relationship with major shareholders in Ethiopia.

The AIM-listed miner issued a staunch defence of its boss and argued that his departure would have a negative impact for shareholders, especially since he is the only executive director on the board.

Plethora Solutions (LON:PLE) is still very much in the sights of small cap investors. Today, punters were speculating about a possible takeover from drug giant Pfizer following Friday’s news that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has given its treatment for premature ejaculation their seal of approval.

The AIM-listed company received a “positive opinion” from the committee for PSD502 in one of the last few steps before marketing authorisation is granted by the European Commission (EC).

The decision will be reviewed by the EC, which has the power to give medicines the green light in Europe. It thinks a final decision will arrive shortly from the EC – typically around 60 days after a CHMP recommendation.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LON:GKP) is never far from the AIM limelight. Today, Canaccord Genuity said the Iraqi oil explorer needs to raise around US$700mln in the coming years to develop the giant Shaikan oilfield.

Investors are currently on a high after the AIM-favourite – which will soon step up onto the main board of the LSE – emphatically won a drawn out legal battle to keep full control of its interests in Kurdistan.

With the court case now behind the company, Canaccord says the spotlight is now back on GKP’s development of the Shaikan field. 

To lift production to the 150,000 barrels a day target, Canaccord believes GKP needs to drill around 15 wells and build two more production facilities. And whilst the actual estimate for capital requirement for this expansion has not yet been defined publicly, the broker reckons it will be in the order of US$700mln.


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