StockMarketWire.com - Leyshon Resources [LON:LRL] was the sector's biggest riser after it revealed that progress at the Zijinshan gas project has exceeded the company's initial expectations.

The company previously announced that during the fourth quarter its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pacific Asia Petroleum Ltd, completed the drilling and wire line logging of ZJS5 and ZJS6 wells, together with flow testing of ZJS5 on its newly-acquired Zijinshan gas project on the eastern fringe of the prolific Ordos Gas Basin in central China.

Drilling at both ZJS5 and ZJS6 intersected multiple potential pay zones, with initial results indicating that ZJS5 has encountered nine potential pay zones with a total thickness of 56 metres and ZJS6 has encountered 15 potential pay zones with a total thickness of 80 metres.

A flow test without stimulation was conducted on two potential pay zones totalling 17.6 metres in ZJS5 which confirmed that fracking will be required to produce commercial gas flows.

Further flow tests to determine whether commercial flow rates can be established from selected pay zones will be conducted on an ongoing basis as each well is completed.

These tests are expected to start in mid-March, following the spring festival and pending weather conditions. ZJS5 is located seven kilometres from ZJS6 which is close to the southern boundary of the 708 sq km Zijinshan production sharing contract. Both wells ZJS5 and ZJS6 are part of an initial programme designed to explore and test the potential for commercial gas production in a highly prospective and unexplored 380 sq km central depression area that appears to show good continuity with the neighbouring Sanjiaobei discovery.

Managing director Paul Atherley said: "We are very encouraged by the positive progress we have made to date which has exceeded our initial expectations for the Zijinshan gas project.

"We have made the decision to accelerate the 2013 programme with plans to drill and test six wells, capture 300 kilometres of seismic data with the aim of delineating a resource by the end of the year.

"The company has a very healthy cash balance, sufficient to support our near and medium term requirements.

"Additionally, we have established a very strong technical team with a growing track record in the region, which is more than capable of unlocking value from this rapidly developing project, located in the heart of the world's fastest growing market for gas."

Jubilee Platinum [LON:JLP] has increased its stakes in two subsidiaries - Power Alt (Pty) and Pollux Investment Holdings (Pty).

Jubilee said it had issued 6,187,765 shares as consideration for the purchase of further shares in Power Alt (Pty) Ltd and as a result Jubilee's holding will increase by 9.5% to 68.1%.

It has also issued 907,276 shares as consideration for the purchase of a further 5% interest in Pollux Investment Holdings. As a result Jubilee will own 67.5% of Pollux.

Jubilee says 584,689 shares have been issued to Majestic Filtration Solutions (Pty) Ltd as vendor consideration.

The merger of Faberge with Gemfields' [LON:GEM] subsidiary Runway is expected to take effect on 28 January.

Gemfields has issued 213,999,999 new ordinary shares which are expected to be admitted to trading on AIM on Monday.

Following admission, Gemfields is expected to have 539,929,874 ordinary shares in issue.

Caledonia Mining Corporation's [LON:CMCL] board has declared an initial dividend of C$0.005 per non-consolidated share.

The dividends will be paid to the shareholders of record at the close of business on 8 February.

President and chief executive Stefan Hayden said: "The declaration of Caledonia's initial dividend is a further milestone in Caledonia's development as an emerging mid-tier gold miner and reflects Caledonia's strong operational and financial performance.

"The dividend of one-half cent per pre-consolidated share is approximately one-tenth of Caledonia's cash on hand. Caledonia retains the financial capacity to continue to invest in expanding its business."

Earlier, shareholders approved a reduction of stated capital and for the issued and outstanding common shares to be consolidated on the basis of one post-consolidation common share for every ten common shares currently issued.

Anglo American [LON:AAL] reports solid increases in production of export metallurgical coal, copper, export thermal coal from South Africa, iron ore from Kolomela and diamonds.

Export metallurgical coal production increased by 13% to 4.6 million tonnes, with a 5% increase in the coking coal share of product to 74% versus Q3 2012.

Copper production from Los Bronces increased by 31% with the mine's expansion contributing 54,100 tonnes. Total copper production increased by 2% to 172,900 tonnes.

Export thermal coal production from South Africa increased by 5% to 4.7 million tonnes reflecting the ramp up of Zibulo and increased production of lower calorific coal. Cerrejón achieved record production of 11.5 million tonnes in 2012.

Diamond production increased by 24% to 8.1 million carats reflecting the resumption of mining operations at Jwaneng in September.

Kumba Iron Ore production decreased by 19% due to the illegal strike at Sishen mine. This action and subsequent recovery time has resulted in a loss of production of around 5 million tonnes.

Kolomela exceeded monthly design capacity and contributed 2.8 million tonnes for the quarter and 8.5 million tonnes for the year, significantly in excess of its ramp up schedule.

Equivalent refined platinum production decreased by 29% due to the illegal strike at the Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union mines. 272,590 ounces of platinum production were lost during the quarter as a result of this action and subsequent ramp up.

Nickel production decreased by 25% to 7,400 tonnes, largely due to the expiry of Loma de Níquel mining concessions in Venezuela in November.

Avocet Mining's [LON:AVM] fourth quarter gold production from its Inata mine in Burkina Faso fell to 30,909 ounces at a total cash cost - including royalties - of $1,246 per ounce.

This compares with 33,067 ounces produced in the third quarter at a total cash cost of $937 per ounce, and with 46,102 ounces produced at a total cash cost of $773 per ounce in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Gold production for the year was 135,189 ounces at a total cash cost - including royalties - of $1,000 per ounce, in line with revised guidance.

This compares with 166,744 ounces at a total cash cost of $693 per ounce for 2011.

The sector's biggest faller was Altona Energy [LON:ANR] - down by more than 16% in late afternoon trading.

At 4:20pm:
[LON:AAL] Anglo American share price was -15p at 1879.5p
[LON:AMI] American Investment Trust share price was +2.5p at 320p
[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum share price was +2p at 69p
[LON:AVM] Avocet Mining share price was -5.62p at 59.13p
[LON:BEM] share price was -0.5p at 12.75p
[LON:BKY] share price was 0p at 28.5p
[LON:CEY] Centamin Egypt Ld share price was -0.35p at 58.65p
[LON:CHL] share price was 0p at 9.25p
[LON:CMCL] share price was +0.01p at 8.88p
[LON:CZA] share price was -0.12p at 21.88p
[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds share price was -0.13p at 4.25p
[LON:FRES] share price was -10p at 1693p
[LON:GEMD] share price was +1.88p at 154.88p
[LON:HOC] share price was -14.6p at 424p
[LON:JLP] Jubilee Platinum share price was +1.01p at 12.38p
[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources share price was +0.11p at 34.03p
[LON:LRL] share price was +2.13p at 15.63p
[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources share price was -1p at 1182p


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