- Atlantic Coal [LON:ATC] was the biggest faller after it posted a pre-tax loss for the year ended 31 December of $3,539,560 - up from $1,478,707 in 2013.

Sales were lower at $18,397,465 (2013: $19,661,639) despite record production of over 165,000 tons. Average sales price for Stockton anthracite (all grades) increased by 2.3% from $117.89 in 2013 to $120.79 in 2014.

Chairman Adam R Wilson said: "2014 has seen a lot of exciting and positive developments at Stockton Mine which are feeding through into our performance for 2015 and provide us with a sound basis for optimism going forward. That said, despite record production it was disappointing not to make a profit which was primarily caused by lower sales volumes and low prices towards the end of the year.

"The worst winter for twenty years in Pennsylvania severely curtailed production in the first quarter of 2014 with particular problems of washing anthracite at consistently low temperatures. We did, however, make a strong recovery throughout the rest of the year to achieve record production at Stockton of 165,046 tons in 2014.

"In December 2014 we started to mine a cut of almost solid coal in the Mammoth seam ranging from 29 to 32 feet thick. While we reached this highly productive area of the mine too late in the year to affect the 2014 results, the Directors anticipate that this will have a positive effect on operational costs in that the working ratio (cubic yards of overburden excavated per ton of clean coal) will be reduced.

"Following confirmation of solid coal in the new cut, Wardell Armstrong, international mining consultants, have re-assessed the Stockton reserve which is now estimated at 2.220 million tons as at 31 December 2014 compared with the John T. Boyd estimate of 1.626 million tons at 31 December 2013. Bearing in mind that over 165,000 tons were produced in 2014 this equates to a 37% increase in the reserve base and has a positive effect on the mining ratio, the primary determinant of mining costs at Stockton.

"The improved mining conditions and prospects at Stockton have given the Board of Directors the confidence to enter into an agreement with the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railway to construct a rail loading facility at Stockton this summer, providing us with commercial advantage in the region. Earlier this year, Komatsu, the world's second largest manufacturer of heavy mining plant has shared that confidence in Atlantic Coal such that their wholly owned US subsidiary, Midlantic, entered a partnership with Atlantic Coal to provide new mining plant costing US$20m funded through an asset backed lease purchase agreement.

"On 7 April we were delighted to report an excellent first quarter performance in 2015, and with the additional 2015 tranche of new plant, production rates continue to be extremely positive. I would like to thank all our employees for making 2014 a year of consolidation in what has, at times been difficult working and trading conditions but most importantly in laying down the foundations for a sound future for your company going forward and which is already bearing fruit as we progress through the first part of 2015."

* * *

Alba Mineral Resources [LON:ALBA] has appointed Chade van Hatch to the board as chief financial officer and company secretary with immediate effect.

Van Hatch began her career at Ernst & Young and has worked as group financial controller to a number of ASX-quoted companies, including Cape Lambert Resources, where she worked from 2009 until earlier this year. She takes over as CFO and company secretary from Nigel Duxbury whohas agreed to remain as a consultant to the company for the transition. Chairman George Frangeskides said: "We are delighted to welcome Chade to the Alba board. At the same time, we would like to take the opportunity to thank Nigel for all the support and wise counsel he has given to the board over the years."

* * *

Ariana Resources' [LON:AAU] Kiziltepe gold-silver mine has been granted strategic investment status by the Turkish government. Kiziltepe is part of the Red Rabbit joint venture in western Turkey with Proccea Construction Co.

Strategic investment status provides enhanced investment incentives and demonstrates continued support for the mine's development by the Turkish government.

Benefits include an additional 50% reduction (90% total reduction) in corporation tax and exemptions from customs duties and VAT on components and equipment to be imported.

Chairman Michael de Villiers said: "We are delighted to have received Strategic Investment status following the recent approval of our forestry permits. These enhanced incentives demonstrate support for our mine development by the Turkish Government, ensuring improvements to the economics of Kiziltepe while encouraging new exploration. This is a win-win for the Company and for Turkey as new resources are discovered and mined."

* * *

Trans-Siberian Gold [LON:TSG] has swung to a FY pretax profit of $1.3m, from a prior-year loss of $16.5m. Revenue was $46.2m, from $44.2m. Gross profit was $10.4m, from a gross loss of $7.6m.


· Production 36,089 oz. gold, 44,610 oz. silver, increases of 21.6% and 14.3% respectively

· Asacha plant processed average 13,046 tonnes per month

· Average gold grade in ore delivered to plant 7.68 g/t, 22.1% improvement (2013: 6.29 g/t)

· Cost of sales per oz. gold reduced by 42.0%

· Cash cost per oz. gold sold reduced by 42.4%

* * *

Mwana Africa [LON:MWA] has appointed Yat Hoi Ning as chairman of the company with immediate effect.

Ning, who has been a non-executive director of Mwana, will fulfil this role until a new chairman has been appointed.

Ning joined the board in June 2012 and has more than 20 years' experience in the trading, investing and managing of non-ferrous and precious metals businesses.

He is the founder of a number of mining companies including Congo International Mining Corporation SPRL, African PGM Processing SPRL and Fareast Nickel Mining Corporation.

He is the chairman of Hoi Mor Industrial (Group) Limited, China International Mining Group Corporation, Hong Kong Mining Exchange Company Limited and previously Chairman of MBMI Resources Inc.

Ning also sat as the vice chairman of China Non-ferrous Metals Council.

Chief executive Kalaa Mpinga said: "During his time as a Director of Mwana, Mr Yat-Hoi Ning has been instrumental in Mwana's operational progress through his wealth of knowledge, experience and advice. These qualities, along with his deep understanding of the company and the jurisdictions in which we operate will greatly assist Mwana in delivering maximum value from these assets during a particularly challenging time for the company."

Separately, the company announced that China International Mining Group Corporation, a substantial shareholder in Mwana, and Ning, an associate of CIMGC, have settled with the company all claims with respect to their petition issued in the Companies Court on 8 December. In addition to the withdrawal of the petition against Stuart Morris and Johan Botha, two former directors of the company, as detailed in the announcement on 5 June, CIMGC and Ning have now agreed to withdraw also their petition against the company as part of the settlement.

* * *

Minera IRL [LON:MIRL]has arranged a $70m secured finance facility structured by the Peruvian state-owned development and promotion bank, Corporacion Financiera de Desarrollo S.A. (COFIDE) and syndicated through Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

The Bridge Loan is expected to be the first step towards a senior project credit finance facility of up to $240m, described in a Mandate Letter signed by COFIDE and Minera IRL.

The Senior Project Debt Facility will be structured by COFIDE, in conjunction with Minera IRL, to build the Company's Ollachea gold project in the Puno Region, southern Peru ("Ollachea", or the "Ollachea Gold Project").

The Company has agreed to COFIDE's participation on the Minera IRL board of directors, subject to the required approvals.

* * *

Beowulf Mining [LON:BEM] reports outstanding testwork results on ore samples from Kallak North iron ore project in Sweden.

The company says a 'super' high grade magnetite concentrate, with over 71% iron content and very low levels of deleterious elements (silica, alumina, phosphorous and sulphur) was produced.

It says the 'super' high grade and purity of the magnetite concentrate produced are valuable attributes for key target markets: pellets; Direct Reduction Iron facilities in Europe and the Middle East; and in chemical industry applications, with higher quality iron units benefiting manufacturing productivity with improved economy, and high purity delivering environmental benefits.

And it says the testwork results support the case for a significant price premium for 'Kallak super concentrate', over and above much reported iron ore market benchmark prices. As a comparison, the 65% iron content pellet price was on average $40 per tonne higher than the 62% iron content price in 2014.

All testwork was carried out at GTK in Outokumpu City, Finland on samples generated from test mining at Kallak North in 2013. A magnetite product control sample was analysed by SGS Canada Inc. to validate the high grade results.

Chief executive Kurt Budge said: "With the funds raised in March 2015, we decided to commission further testwork on Kallak North ore to demonstrate the quality of the orebody, despite the delay in being granted an Exploitation Concession.

"The programme has delivered a 'super' high grade magnetite concentrate, with the added bonus of a high grade hematite concentrate, which is what our metallurgical consultants predicted.

"With an enhanced understanding of the high quality products that can be produced from Kallak, we can now build on our understanding of the positioning and pricing of 'Kallak Super-con' in the markets we are targeting, and seek to realize the significant premiums paid for higher quality iron units.

"The award of an Exploitation Concession and our advanced understanding of Kallak North, and its market attractiveness, are important foundations for bringing in a strategic partner and investor. I look forward to updating the market further in due course."

At 4:12pm:

[LON:AAU] Ariana Resources PLC share price was -0.02p at 1.08p

[LON:ALBA] Alba Mineral Resources PLC share price was -0.08p at 0.65p

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was -0.08p at 8.23p

[LON:ATC] Atlantic Coal PLC share price was -0.03p at 0.12p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.53p at 2.25p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was 0p at 12p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +1.4p at 69.7p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was +6p at 42p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.09p at 6.49p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was +0.88p at 30.13p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was -3.25p at 715.75p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -1p at 152p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -2.12p at 98.13p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +0.01p at 4.01p

[LON:MWA] Mwana Africa PLC share price was +0.06p at 1.98p

[LON:TSG] TransSiberian Gold PLC share price was +0.25p at 11.75p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -9.5p at 543.5p

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