- Trans-Siberian Gold [LON:TSG] was one of the sector's top risers after it reported that mine development at Asacha in Q4 2014 comprised about 1,061 metres, while ore extraction (including ore from stoping and mine development) amounted to 49,739 metric tonnes.

In the same period, 38,935 mt was processed through the Asacha plant, at an average gold grade of 8.74 g/t, the highest grade achieved in any quarter in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Q4 production comprised 10,310 oz. gold (the highest ever quarterly result) and 11,939 oz. silver. Total 2014 gold and silver production was, respectively, 23.1% and 15.2% higher than the 2013 results.

* * *

Alexander Mining [LON:AXM] has issued a total of 5,000,000 new ordinary shares to settle fees.

The shares have been issued to Cove House Investments Limited, or its nominees, for consultancy and advisory services received in connection with the commercialisation of Alexander's intellectual property. The shares were issued at 0.60p apiece, the mid-market closing price on 22 January.

* * *

Caledonia Mining Corporation [LON:CMCL] chairman Leigh Wilson has increased his stake in the company after buying 30,200 ordinary shares on Friday at an average price of US$0.636 per share.

Wilson's total beneficial holding has increased to 72,500 ordinary shares representing 0.14% of the issued ordinary share capital of Caledonia.

* * *

Condor Gold [LON:CNR] has started a 4000m drilling programme aimed at demonstrating the immediate upside of LaIndia project in Nicaragua.

The initial 2000m of drilling has two objectives. Firstly to test the depth extent of high grade gold mineralisation beneath La India open pit reserve and existing underground gold resource which are currently defined to a maximum combined down-dip depth of only 350m. Secondly, to test the southern strike extent of La India open pit, which is open along strike to the south, but dips beneath the surface.

The remaining 2,000m of the drilling programme will be subject to the initial drilling results and test existing targets on La India Project. A soil sampling programme has commenced on La India Project aimed at identifying high level epithermal prospects potentially concealing deeper high grade gold mineralisation.

Chief executive Mark Child said: "The existing resource of 11.5M tonnes at 3.50g/t for 1.30M oz gold within La India Vein Set contains three high grade ore shoots. Condor has commenced a 4,000m drilling programme designed to test the depth extension of the high grade ore shoots beneath La India open pit reserve and test the strike extent to the south of the main La India vein, where the mineralised boiling zone does not outcrop at surface. Condor raised £6.4M (US$10M) in October 2014 and is fully funded for the drilling programme, which will cost less than US$1M.

"The helicopter-borne geophysics programme indicates that the main La India structure is open to the south for up to 5km. Rock chip samples of 23.5g/t and 9.0g/t have been collected 1km to the south of La India open pit reserve along this structure.

"The initial soil geochemistry programme, which is part of a larger soil sampling programme on La India Project, is being conducted along a 5km strike length to the south of La India open pit reserve and is aimed at determining whether there are signs that La India vein continues at depth for some distance to the south. If so, there is potential for a series of high grade ore shoots which can be targeted by drilling."

* * *

Green Dragon Gas [LON:GDG] reports second half gross production of 4.17 Bcf - up slightly from 4.16 Bcf a year ago.

Green Dragon Gas - a leading independent gas producer with operations in China - said gross gas production for 2014 was 8.2Bcf - unchanged from the previous year.

2015 operational outlook: · Gas prices stable and unaffected by oil price weakness

· Year end exit production objective of 12bcf

· Continued drilling of LiFaBriC wells at the commercial GSS block

· Drilling of exploration wells across all 8 blocks

· CNOOC/CUCBM to cooperate to build significant infrastructure within GSS Block

· GSS block pipeline and gas gathering capacity to increase to 53 bcf

· Coal seam 15 within GSS and GCZ to be explored

Chairman and founder Randeep S. Grewal said: "2014 was a milestone year for Green Dragon. Following the execution of very constructive and lucrative agreements with all our partners in the first half, the latter part of the year was productively focused on our operations. The combined management teams of Green Dragon and our partners are working closely together and sharing extensive technical information to the benefit of all parties.

"The 10 LiFaBriC well drilling campaign was completed on time at GSS and is already showing positive results. This re-confirms our belief in the LiFaBriC completion method and its applicability to the Qinshui basin coal seams, and we look forward to commencing the initial phase of our busy 2015 drilling programme.

"At the same time, in accordance with our agreement, CNOOC/CUCBM continues to invest in the infrastructure needed to monetise the current and expected production from the additional circa one thousand wells which will be put online in due course.

"Furthermore, as expected, Chinese government policies towards gas utilization objectives and prices are unaffected by the drastic fall in crude prices. I am pleased to confirm that our realized gas prices remain stable, as forecasted, putting us in a very strong position for the year ahead. We remain confident that Green Dragon Gas will continue to deliver value to its shareholders through this turbulent global commodity price environment."

* * *

Horizonte Minerals [LON:HZM] reports new high grade results from the Araguaia nickel project in Para State, north central Brazil.

Highlights · High grade nickel assay intersections received to date for the first 15 holes from the bulk sample drilling include: 12.47 metres grading 2.17% Ni; 12.45 metres grading 2.13% Ni; 13.35 metres grading 2.07% Ni; 13.95 metres grading 1.99% Ni

· Drill programme on schedule with 113 diamond holes drilled (2,188 metres ) completed

· Further infill drilling results due from the Pequizeiro Deposit where drilling is currently under way

· Significant progress made on the Environmental and Social work for Araguaia - Public Hearing process for the preliminary environmental licence is imminent

· On track to commence bulk sampling collection early February 2015 with a 200 tonne bulk sample to be used to feed a continuous large scale pilot plant in Q2 2015 with initial dryer/agglomerator commissioning and trials commencing by the end of January 2015

Horizonte chief executive Jeremy Martin said: "We are making good progress on the Feasibility work at Araguaia with the drilling and collection of the 200 tonne bulk sample running to schedule. The drill results received from the bulk sample sites confirm the high nickel grades that are scheduled for the early part of Araguaia's mine life. The next major step will be the running of the pilot programme with the aim of confirming the detailed design parameters around the Rotary Kiln Electric Arc Furnace process and the production of nickel.

"Despite the current challenging market conditions, the Company is on track to deliver the planned milestones during 2015; we have a solid funding position; and the ongoing results from Araguaia continue to deliver. The fundamentals behind the nickel markets over the next 24 to 36 months from consensus forecasts are positive.

"This combined with the use of a proven processing route (RKEF) to produce ferronickel and Araguaia's favourable mining jurisdiction make a strong investment case for our flagship development project. I look forward to providing further updates throughout the year as we move Araguaia through the Feasibility process."

* * *

Kirkland Lake Gold [LON:KGI] has appointed Eric Steven Sprott as chairman, subject to regulatory approvals.

He will take over from D. Harry W. Dobson who said: "I am extremely pleased to have Eric succeed me as Chairman of Kirkland Lake Gold, especially in light of his expertise and reputation in the sector, I am very confident that shareholders are in good hands. I continue to believe in the future prosperity of the Company, and remain an avid supporter of the management team and story."

Sprott, age 70, is a renowned and respected leader in the investment community and one of the world's premiere gold and silver investors.

After earning his designation as a chartered accountant, Sprott entered the investment industry as a research analyst at Merrill Lynch and Company Inc. In 1981, he founded Sprott Securities (now Cormark Securities Inc.), which today is one of Canada's largest independently owned institutional brokerage firms. After establishing Sprott Asset Management LP., in December 2001 as a separate entity, Sprott divested his entire ownership of Sprott Securities to its employees.

* * *

Petra Diamonds Ltd [LON:PDL] has issued a trading update for the six months ended 31 December 2014.


· Production down 2% to 1,601,069 carats (H1 FY 2014: 1,634,576 carats); Petra revises its full year production guidance from ca. 3.2 Mcts to ca. 3.3 Mcts.

· Certain adjustments to guidance for H2 grades and diamond pricing have been made and are covered in the 'Production' and the 'Diamond Market and Sales' commentary. These adjustments may lead to full year results being below current market consensus.

· Revenue up 16% to US$214.8 million (H1 FY 2014: US$184.6 million); results for H1 include sales proceeds for two exceptional diamonds for combined revenue of US$38.7 million.

· Strong safety performance, with the Group LTIFR of 0.28 for the Period demonstrating management's focus on this important area.

· While the market for rough diamonds has been softer than usual in H1, the impact on Petra has been mitigated by the exceptional diamond sales noted above. The weaker Rand is also currently having a favourable effect on Petra's operating costs in US Dollar terms.

· Costs remain well controlled and in line with guidance.

· Capital expenditure ("Capex") of US$125.2 million (H1 FY 2014: US$85.3 million), in accordance with the roll out of the Group's fully funded expansion programmes; no change to FY 2015 guidance.

· Robust financial position as at 31 December 2014 with net debt reduced to US$45.8 million (31 December 2013: US$108.8 million), cash at bank of US$129.6 million and debt facilities undrawn and available to the Group of US$66.9 million.

· Progressive dividend policy adopted; maiden dividend of 2p per share, to be paid for the full 2015 financial year.

* * *

Scotgold Resources [LON:SGZ] has been given the green light to change the working hours at the Cononish gold mine.

The board of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park has voted unanimously to vary condition 13 (relating to hours of operation of the processing plant and work on site) of the existing planning permission for the development of the mine.

This approval is subject to the finalisation of the relevant legal agreement which is expected to be concluded shortly.

The variation provides for a change to the hours of work permitted for the operation of the processing plant to a 24/6 basis (excluding Sundays and public holidays) compared to the previously permitted 16/6 basis (excluding Sundays and public holidays and will facilitate efficient plant operations and possible capital expenditure reductions in respect of the processing plant.

Chief executive Richard Gray said: "This approval represents a significant step towards the realisation of our vision for the responsible development of a commercial operating gold mine in Scotland and demonstrates the robustness of the planning process. Scotgold is now focused on the completion of the optimised mine development plan and securing the necessary funding for the construction of the project.

"Today's decision in conjunction with the recently released resource update for the Cononish project means we are now well placed to achieve our objectives."

At 4:20pm:

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was -0.37p at 14.63p

[LON:AXM] Alexander Mining PLC share price was +0.08p at 0.73p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.01p at 1.38p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was 0p at 13.75p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was -0.42p at 65.98p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was 0p at 13.5p

[LON:CMCL] Caledonia Mining Corp share price was 0p at 43.5p

[LON:CNR] Condor Resources PLC share price was -1.63p at 65.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.02p at 1.73p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was -0.25p at 34.88p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +1.5p at 898.5p

[LON:GDG] Green Dragon Gas Ltd share price was -10p at 402.63p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -6p at 171.5p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -3.87p at 99.88p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.03p at 3.12p

[LON:TSG] TransSiberian Gold PLC share price was +2.88p at 13.5p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -37.25p at 392.75p

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