- Red Rock Resources' [LON:RRR] shares were down in late trading having issued an update on its gold and manganese exploration licences in Ivory Coast and reporting that the provisional closing of the sale of its interests in Four Points Mining in Colombia will not be met.

On 18 September, Red Rock announced it had purchased the rights to three gold exploration licences and four additional pending exploration permits in Ivory Coast through the acquisition of Nemex Resources CI SARL and Barclay Resources SARL.

Recently, the company acquired exploration data previously gathered from the licence areas and has issued a summary of work completed to date and plans for the coming months. Dabakala The Dabakala licence covers 393.4sq km in north-central Ivory Coast and occupies part of the Ouango-Fetini Greenstone belt and associated granites. The ground is considered highly prospective for both gold and manganese and the immediate vicinity has been targeted by Newmont, Randgold and Resolute Mining. The area comprises thrusted, thick units of highly altered greenstones wrapped around granitic intrusions and the emerging depositional model is analogous to Randgold's c. 5.8Moz Tongon Gold Deposit in northern Ivory Coast. Although regional geological mapping was carried out in 1999, the licence area received limited exploration until Nemex carried out a preliminary soil geochemical sampling programme over most of the license area in late 2013, collecting approximately 1,200 samples along a 2km by 100m spaced grid. Samples were then collated into approximately 650 composite samples soon to undergo assay analysis. Along Dabakala's eastern margin, a 17km long Banded Manganese Formation (BMF) ridge is considered a target for Manganese deposits. The ridge will be a focus of future field programmes alongside follow up assessment of any Au anomalies evident from the pending soil geochemical results. Alepe The Alepe licence covers 392.6sq km in south eastern Ivory Coast and contains a NE-SW faulted Birimian meta-sedimentary sequence wrapped around a granite intrusion. The licence area contains more than 30km of structural target in ground considered a potential cross-border extension of Ghana's gold-rich Sefwi Greenstone Belt, host to Newmont's c. 17Moz Ahafo Gold Mine. Recently, a Red Rock team mobilised from Abidjan to complete a preliminary soil geochemical sampling programme across the licence area, the results of which will be announced in due course and will form the basis of follow-up work on the licence. Abengourou The Abengourou licence covers 399.6sq km in eastern Ivory Coast and is positioned along a 35km long, NNE-trending sheared corridor containing magnetic intrusive rocks.

Nemex carried out a regional soil geochemical programme across Abengourou, followed by infill programmes over five anomalous areas, leading to the application for an extension to the southwest corner of the licence to capture an expected continuation along the structural trend defined by 'Anomaly 5'. Future work will focus on follow-up testing of the existing soil anomalies in additional to soil geochemical sampling of the licence extension, once granted.


Due to the travel arrangements of the parties progress on concluding the sale of the Company's interests in Four Points Mining SAS has not been sufficient for the provisional closing date of 15 December 2014 to be met. Red Rock will be travelling to meet the purchaser in the US early next week, and a further update will follow.

Company chairman Andrew Bell said: "The commencement of our exploration work in Ivory Coast, a country with great potential for gold discoveries, is a milestone in our development. In the past, in strong markets, our exploration activity was in less active countries. Now in poor markets we have been able to take positions in a country that is the focus of major mining company interest. In ground selection, Nemex benefited from the insights of individuals with outstanding local geological knowledge and were able to acquire some highly prospective ground as a result. They followed this up with good preliminary exploration programmes and have generated promising early results.

"With our Alepe soil sampling programme now underway and the Dabakala soil samples collected by Nemex soon to undergo assay analysis, we look forward to a stream of results over the coming months. Other applications for exploration ground proceed. It is an exciting stage of our move into Ivory Coast."

* * *

Highland Gold Mining [LON:HGM] has lowered its full year production guidance to 250,000 oz - 260,000 oz of gold and gold equivalents.

This is down from the previously announced range of 280,000-291,000 oz but is 5-10% above 2013 production.

The company says unusually extreme weather conditions in northern Khabarovsk region in recent weeks, for which the regional administration has declared a state of emergency, resulted in intermittent power and road outages as well as work stoppages at the open pit mines at Mnogovershinnoye (MNV) and Belaya Gora.

These factors, combined with the slower-than-expected ramp-up of operations at Belaya Gora, restricted the company's ability to meet its previous guidance.

Highland Gold says the Novoshirokinskoye (Novo) mine, located in Zabaikalsky region, is not affected and continues to meet or exceed production forecasts.

The company says that despite these difficulties, it is on track to reduce total cash costs for the full year to approximately $650/oz versus $689/oz in H1 2014.

* * *

Hochschild Mining [LON:HOC] has set out changes to the chairman's role and, as part of its on-going cost cutting programme, further reductions in board remuneration.

The group says that in light of its continuous review of its board structure, Eduardo Hochschild will become non-executive chairman with effect from 1 January. With effect from that same date, the fees of non-executive directors will be further reduced by approximately 30% and, in addition, deputy chairman Roberto Dañino has waived the fee payable to him as special adviser to the group.

Hochschild said: "Since the Company's IPO in June 2006, we have sought to establish a board structure in keeping with those of premium listed companies in London and my decision to assume a Non-Executive role represents a clear and continued commitment to our ethos of strong corporate governance.

"Separately, given the current weak precious metal environment, the Board wishes to demonstrate its support for the ongoing cost saving measures and the collective efforts of our employees by implementing the further reductions in Board remuneration announced today."

* * *

Kenmare Resources [LON:KMR] says it has been holding 'constructive' talks with its lenders.

The company issued a statement after noting the recent decline in its share price which, it said, "appears in part prompted by concerns regarding the ability of the company to meet the 31 January 2015 budget requirement under the debt amendment announced on 1 August".

The company says it has been working closely with lenders and their advisers.

It adds: "Constructive discussions are continuing with a view to reaching agreement on amendment to the terms of the debt that would both address any potential default relating to the 31 January budget requirement and provide a basis for a more sustainable debt structure."

* * *

Weatherly International [LON:WTI] has granted options over 5,600,000 ordinary shares to directors - 4 million of them to chief executive Rod Webster. Each option will entitle the holder to subscribe for new ordinary shares in the company at an exercise price of 3.38p per new ordinary share on or before 9 December 2024.

Directors John Bryant, Charilaos Stavrakis, Wolf Martinick and Alan Stephens were each granted 400,000 options.

At 3:55pm:

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was -0.12p at 13.38p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.05p at 1.43p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was 0p at 15.5p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was -0.45p at 50.95p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -0.5p at 15.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.07p at 2.41p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 34.25p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +30.25p at 763.25p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -6p at 165p

[LON:HGM] Highland Gold Mining Ltd share price was -0.87p at 32.13p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -1.07p at 86.93p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.08p at 3.82p

[LON:RRR] Red Rock Resources PLC share price was -0.02p at 0.14p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -8.5p at 641p

[LON:WTI] Weatherly International PLC share price was 0p at 2.8p

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