- Red Rock Resources' [LON:RRR] shares rose after it executed a binding letter of intent to sell its Colombian interests to Nicaragua Milling Co for up to $5m.

Chairman Andrew Bell said: "We believe this is an attractive transaction for Red Rock as, should it go ahead, the proceeds will enable Red Rock to continue its strategy of asset development and disposal, and reduce the need for fundraising via share issuance."

Under the LOI, Red Rock will sell: a.) its 100% interest in American Gold Mines Limited, which owns a 50.002% interest in Four Points Mining SAS, the owner of the El Limon mine; and b.) its loans to Four Points Mining SAS for a total consideration of $5m.

The El Limon mine is situated in Antioquia province in Colombia, and has been in operation for periods of the last sixty years.

Red Rock provided under a Funding and Co-Operation Agreement announced on 10 June 2010 the funding to re-open the mine, which recommenced operations on 21 December 2010. On 8 March 2011 Red Rock announced the exercise of an option to buy 50.002% of Four Points Mining SAS and became through its 100% owned subsidiary American Gold Mines Limited the majority owner of the mine.

Nicaragua Milling Company has agreed to pay $50,000, which is non-refundable, for an exclusivity period of 60 days in order for it to carry out due diligence, and has the option to pay a further $50,000 to extend this exclusivity period by an additional 30 days in the event it needs extra time to conduct due diligence on the El Limon mine.

Payment of consideration will occur in three tranches. The first tranche of $2.5m will be payable upon the completion of satisfactory due diligence on the mine and subsequent closing of the transaction, which is expected to be 11 August 2014, should the exclusivity period not be extended.

A second tranche of $1.5m will be satisfied by the issuance by NMC to Red Rock of a non-interest bearing promissory note due and payable on or before the date that is one year from the closing. Security for the PN will be held in the form of a charge over 100% of the shares in AGM.

The third tranche of up to $1m will be paid in the form of a 3% royalty on annual net gold sales. In the event that gold production at any stage ceases at El Limon, the total paid under the third tranche may fall short of this amount.

* * *

SolGold [LON:SOLG] issued an exploration update for its Kuma copper-gold porphyry project in the Solomon Islands. Highlights: - Internal technical review and model of the Kuma prospecting license completed; - Objective to define porphyry copper-gold drill targets beneath the extensive Kuma lithocap; - Exploration program of USD150,000 for 2014 (September quarter) defined and approved; - Grid soil sampling and diagnostic clay mapping (TerraSpecTM) to be conducted over 6.5 km2 to identify centre of the system; - Copper and gold mineralisation to 13.05g/t gold and 11.7% copper at lower topographic elevation off the lithocap margin suggest strong targets may exist under or near the lithocap; and - 3D inversion modelling of magnetic anomalies below the Kuma lithocap to be conducted.

Chief executive and managing director Alan Martin said: "Over the last 12 months SolGold has prioritised its project portfolio which has meant that we can focus the Company's exploration efforts on the best opportunities to create value for shareholders. The Kuma copper-gold project in the Solomon Islands contains a major porphyry copper-gold target for SolGold. The Kuma project is an exciting early-stage porphyry target that has not yet been tested by drilling. A third phase of groundwork is about to commence to define drill targets under the lithocap. "The programme we will be conducting is a very low-cost, high-value program which is aimed at adding value to the Kuma project rapidly."

* * *

African Minerals [LON:AMI] reports an increase in the direct shipping ore resource at the Tonkolili iron ore mine in Sierra Leone.


· JORC compliant DSO mineral resource estimate updated to 142.1 Million tonnes ("Mt") grading 57.0% iron as at 31 March 2014.

· 94% of the total Mineral Resource Estimate classified in the Measured and Indicated categories.

· The delineation of an additional 59.5Mt of Direct Shipping Ore will considerably extend the life of DSO operations.

· With a near term expansion of production capacity to 25Mtpa, and with saprolite processing currently expected to commence in 2016, the DSO operations (which will run concurrently with saprolite processing) will be expected to extend to circa 2020.

· An updated saprolite resource, including optimised metallurgical parameters (yield, recovery and concentrate grade), is expected to be available by end Q2 2014.

The JORC compliant DSO Resource has been updated by independent consultant SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd.

Chief executive Bernie Pryor said: "The increase in the Tonkolili DSO resource is a significant event. The increased life of the DSO resource, now with over 90% classified in the Measured and Indicated resource categories, will allow the company to produce a DSO product to 2020, and to take a longer term view regarding the current operations.

"Production of DSO will be concurrent with our near-term plans to expand production to 25Mtpa and to move into a higher value saprolite hematite concentrate product from 2016.

"We are, of course, excited to embark on this next stage of our expansion, for which we expect to provide more information in due course. The first step of this expansion will be the publication of an updated saprolite resource later this quarter, incorporating the adjustments to the DSO resource as announced today."

* * *

Rio Tinto's [LON:RIO] Pilbara iron ore system of mines, rail and ports - Australia's largest integrated mining project - has reached a run rate of 290 million tonnes a year, two months ahead of schedule.

Early completion of the expansion has added significant value to the Pilbara operations, with continued ramp-up of the system contributing to the record first quarter production achieved this year.

The achievement further underlines the world-class status of Rio Tinto's Western Australian iron ore operations and follows completion of the infrastructure component in September 2013, which itself was delivered four months ahead of schedule and $400 million under budget.

Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Andrew Harding said: "This is a significant milestone which adds real value for our business and our shareholders by moving more iron ore through the Pilbara at low cost. It builds on an impressive track record of delivery, achieved through our culture of driving performance and the quality of our people.

"We are now focused on the next phase of our expansion towards 360 Mt/a. The infrastructure is on schedule for completion in a little over 12 months and, from a base run rate of 290 Mt/a, we have a rapid, low-cost pathway to increase mine production capacity by more than 60 Mt/a between now and 2017."

Rio Tinto has achieved the 290 Mt/a run rate but there is likely to be some run rate variability in coming months as Rio Tinto completes its 360 Mt/a expansion and realises the integration of AutoHaul, the world's first automated heavy-haul rail system.

* * *

Griffin Mining's [LON:GFM] pre-tax profits fell in the year to the end of December despite record gold production.

Operating profits fell to $20.3m from $31.2m and pre-tax profits dropped to $14.8m from $27.2m.

Record amounts of ore were mined, hauled and processed in 2013. With the upper mine levels being mined to maximise the extractable amount of ore, grades were lower resulting in lower zinc, lead and silver production in 2013.

But Griffin said gold grades and recoveries improved such that record gold production was achieved in 2013.

Revenues were further impacted by lower prices for all metals. As a result revenues in 2013 fell to $71,071,000 (2012 $76,860,000

At 3:54pm:

[LON:AMI] African Minerals Ltd share price was +0.38p at 123.38p

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was -1.37p at 23.63p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.15p at 4.75p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was +0.01p at 15.63p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +0.05p at 63.7p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was +0.13p at 18.63p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.07p at 4.61p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 3.5p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was -10p at 822.5p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +1.5p at 172.5p

[LON:GFM] Griffin Mining share price was -1.63p at 28.75p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -1.12p at 153.38p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +0.38p at 12.88p

[LON:RIO] Rio Tinto PLC share price was -16.5p at 3323.5p

[LON:RRR] Red Rock Resources PLC share price was +0.02p at 0.28p

[LON:SOLG] SolGold PLC share price was +0.26p at 7.88p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +27p at 995p

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