- Turkey-focused Ariana Resources [LON:AAU] was one of the sector's biggest risers after it revealed further development progress at the Kiziltepe sector of the Red Rabbit gold project ahead of mine construction targeted for the fourth quarter.

It said that a decree by the Ministerial Council in Turkey removed the Kiziltepe sector site from an area previously affected by the requirements of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and allowed Ariana to proceed with its environmental impact assessment.

The company says the EIA project summary documentation will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning shortly. This will initiate the formal process for the permitting of the mine.

Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said: "Following the approval of our forestry permits last month, this Ministerial Council Decree has removed another hurdle for us ahead of the construction of our first mine during late 2013.

"The imminent submission of our EIA documentation and initiation of the mine permitting process are significant milestones for Ariana as we advance closer to commercial production from Red Rabbit in 2014.

"Development activities on the ground are also bearing fruit for the company, with significant progress made being made by our technical team on drilling operations at the designated tailings dam site.

"Initial indications have been highly encouraging with the site demonstrating itself to be conducive for the location of the tailings dam, and we hope to confirm this through further work.

"We remain focused on our target of commercial production in 2014."

Strategic Natural Resources' [LON:SNRP] washing plant at the Elitheni Mine at the Eastern Cape of South Africa was achieving its originally intended throughput rates.

The company further said it had completed the profitable delivery of traded coal for its original December 2012/January 2013 cargo. The vessel sailed last week, having achieved all contracted specifications and being fully loaded.

Minera IRL [LON:MIRL] is to raise up to C$32m, which will mostly be directed towards funding early development costs of the Ollachea project in Peru.

This project, following a successful definitive feasibility study announced in late 2012, is currently in the permitting stage.

New World Resources [LON:NWR] expects to produce 10-11Mt of coal and about 800kt of coke this year.

It said the average agreed price of coking coal for delivery in the first quarter of 2013 was 3% up on the fourth quarter of last year at 103 euros per tonne.

The company also said the average price agreed for coke in the first quarter was down 1% at 253 euros per tonne.

Meanwhile, for 2012, the company also said it expected broadly flat mining unit costs year-on-year at constant currency rates.

It further expected a significant reduction of total CAPEX year-on-year on the order of 30-50 per cent.

Beacon Hill [LON:BHR] has revealed a 31% increase in its JORC compliant coal resource for the Minas Moatize coking coal mine in Tete, Mozambique.

It said the results of the infill drilling programme undertaken in 2012 have resulted in the JORC compliant resource at Minas Moatize being upgraded to 86.8Mt (previously 66.4 Mt) including a 15.4% increase in higher confidence Measured and Indicated resources.

Managing director Rowan Karstel said: "I am delighted with the resource update being reported today which has successfully and substantially increased the size and confidence level of the Minas Moatize coal mine.

"We believe that the resource is capable of further material enlargement and look forward to the JORC compliant reserve statement which will be published and announced by the end of Q1 2013."

The sector's biggest riser was Serabi Gold [LON:SRB] - up by more than 19% while the biggest faller was Altona Energy [LON:ANR] - down by nearly 19%.

At 4:03pm:

[LON:AAU] share price was +0.08p at 1.38p

[LON:AMI] American Investment Trust share price was -1.12p at 320.88p

[LON:ANR] share price was -0.35p at 1.53p

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum share price was -2.62p at 68.13p

[LON:BEM] share price was +1.88p at 14.63p

[LON:BHR] share price was -0.06p at 3.03p

[LON:BKY] share price was -0.25p at 28.25p

[LON:CEY] Centamin Egypt Ld share price was -2.17p at 56.18p

[LON:CHL] share price was 0p at 9.25p

[LON:CZA] share price was +0.88p at 22.38p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds share price was -0.12p at 4.13p

[LON:FRES] share price was -36p at 1662p

[LON:GEMD] share price was +8.5p at 164.25p

[LON:HOC] share price was -6.95p at 420.25p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources share price was +0.06p at 34.27p

[LON:MIRL] share price was -3p at 49.5p

[LON:SNRP] share price was +0.38p at 21.75p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources share price was +5p at 1185p

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