- Mariana Resources [LON:MARL] was the sector's top riser after it secured up to US$6m investment to fund growth of its South American exploration portfolio over the next 12 months

Mariana has entered into a convertible securities issuance deed with Bergen Global Opportunity Fund, an institutional investment fund managed by Bergen Asset Management a New York asset management firm. The agreement allows for the issuance by the company of zero coupon convertible securities for an initial amount of US$2,000,000 immediately, and up to a further US$4,000,000.

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Metals Exploration [LON:MTL] says the build programme at its Runruno gold-molybdenum project in the Philippines is progressing well and construction of the gold recovery process plant is within budget.

Other highlights:

· Planned commissioning of the processing plant now expected in Q2 2015 due to late delivery of final engineering drawings. · The Company is confident the Group has sufficient financial resources to absorb any additional cost due to the delay. · Drawing down of debt facility has commenced. · 90,000 ounces of gold delivery hedge orders have been placed. · The construction team and complimentary technical consultants are successfully executing the self- managed project build. · All high value and long lead equipment packages have been awarded with most components successfully delivered to site. · The quality of materials and construction of the processing plant is to a very high standard. · Production readiness planning and preparations have commenced. · Exploratory drilling suspended while the Company's resources are focused on Project construction.

Executive chairman Ian Holzberger said: "For the period being reported upon the rate of change experienced in the company and at the Runruno project site has been quite remarkable and it is pleasing to report the infrastructure components which were established in advance of the main build have proven capable of supporting the demands of a fast moving construction project like ours.

"The advanced procurement of the high value and long lead time plant components, most of which are now on site or in storage close by, supports an orderly approach to the erection of the processing plant minimising construction risk.

"A number of additional highly qualified and experienced personnel have been recruited to the Project including a General Manager Mining and a Processing Plant Manager. The skills and experience brought to the project by these employees will complement the committed and dedicated team already in place as the Project is preparing for commencement of production.

"Securing the debt funding package from two of the leading project finance institutions lending to mining companies, is viewed as a major milestone for the Company. Their support and involvement in the project is very welcome and the financing facility they provide together with the shareholders' equity contributions sees the Company sufficiently well-funded to bring Runruno into commercial production.

"Although our exploration drilling activities have been temporarily suspended while the Company's resources are focused on delivering the Project, they will resume at the earliest opportunity to further test the highly potential Runruno FTAA for additional gold deposits and for the discovery of new copper mineralisation.

"Unfortunately the late finalisation of detailed design by contracted design engineers will push back the commencement of the commissioning of the processing plant to the second quarter 2015. However this slight setback is offset by the construction continuing to track within budget."

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Mariana was the only double-digit riser - up more than 19% in late trading - with Kibo Mining [LON:KIBO] and Griffin Mining [LON:GFM] the two next best performers - up by nefarly 7% and more than 5% respectively. The biggest faller was Oxford Advanced Surfaces Group [LON:OXA] down by more than 11%

At 4:21pm:

[LON:AMI] African Minerals Ltd share price was -1.37p at 24.63p

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was +0.13p at 21.38p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.05p at 2.85p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was 0p at 17.75p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was -0.82p at 60.23p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -1.5p at 28.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.09p at 2.99p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 36.5p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was -12.75p at 799.25p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -4p at 199.25p

[LON:GFM] Griffin Mining share price was +2.13p at 41.75p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -1.25p at 158.75p

[LON:KIBO] Kibo Mining share price was +0.13p at 1.93p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +0.13p at 11.63p

[LON:MARL] Mariana Resources Ltd share price was +0.3p at 1.85p

[LON:MTL] Metals Exploration PLC share price was -0.63p at 7.5p

[LON:OXA] Oxford Advanced Surfaces Group PLC share price was -0.25p at 1.88p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -9p at 1040p

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