StockMarketWire.com - Serabi Gold (SRB) has swung to an H1 profit, before and after tax, of $76,897, from a year-earlier loss of $2.9m. Revenue was $18.7m, from nil. It produced 15,626 oz of gold, with a total cash cost of production per oz at $767.

CEO Mike Hodgson commented:

"As I reported on 28 July 2015, when the Company issued its second quarter operational update, this was our best quarter to date from Palito and was boosted further by initial gold production from Sao Chico. We anticipate an increased contribution to our gold production from Sao Chico in the coming months.

"Palito is operating very well and this is reflected by the gross profit from operations of US$2.9 million for the first six months of 2015.

"The direct mining and development costs at Sao Chico have been capitalised during the period and the revenues generated from gold production have been set off against these costs but this does mean that Palito production is carrying all of our current overhead and general mine site costs.

"As production from Sao Chico steps up and these overheads and general site costs can be spread over a larger revenue and production base I anticipate improvement in our margins.

"The recent unexpected fall in the gold price as with all other producers directly impacts on our short term cash generation and we continue to look closely at our cost base.

"However, with Sao Chico still in a ramp-up phase opportunities for cost reductions in the short term are limited. We are benefitting from the devaluation of the Brazilian Real but this is countered by inflationary pressures and the inflation rate in Brazil for July 2015 had reached 9.6%, its highest level since 2003.

"We remain on target to meet our 2015 production guidance of approximately 35,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost of US$900 to US$950 per ounce."

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Highland Gold Mining (HGM) has maintained its output guidance for the year of gold and gold equivalents of 270,000 - 285,000 ounces.

The group says total H1 production of gold and gold equivalents at Mnogovershinnoye, Novoshirokinskoye and Belaya Gora was 121,242 oz - a 1% increase from 120,121 oz in H1 2014.

Other highlights:

- Continued optimisation of operations at the Belaya Gora processing plant, with gold recovery rates reaching 76% on average (21% higher than in H1 2014) and 80.9% in June. - Steady operations at Novo, with ore processing volumes set to rise to an annual rate of 630,000 - 650,000 tonnes by year-end. - Work on Kekura progressing as planned, including state approval of Russian-compliant reserves, finalisation of processing studies; and initiation of work on technical design documentation.

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Atlantic Coal (ATC) has announced the opening of a new rail loading facility at its Stockton mine in Pennsylvania.

Atlantic Coal, in partnership with the Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad, has constructed a new rail loading facility at the eastern end of its Stockton mining property.

This became operational on 11 August with the despatch of anthracite to a steel industry customer in Indiana and a sugar processing company in Idaho, 680 miles and 2,400 miles respectively from Stockton Mine.

Despatch of anthracite to customers in 100 tons capacity railcars compared with 20 tons capacity road trucks and no longer having to use third party rail loading facilities provides both a more efficient service to customers and reduced loading and transport costs.

Atlantic Coal's managing director Steve Best said: "From signing our agreement with RBMNR in June, our new rail loading facility became operational in only two months, an excellent achievement by our Stockton workforce and RBMNR. This facility now provides us with a significant commercial advantage in supplying our increased production of anthracite to customers across the US and potentially to Canada and to East Coast ports for export."

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Vast Resources (VAST) has conducted the first blasting of the open pit mine at the 1.8Mt Manaila polymetallic mine located in northern Romania and has started first production of concentrate at the Company's subsidiary's processing facility in Iacobeni.

The Company will shortly be uploading a selection of videos and photos from the first day of operation to the Company's website.

As announced on 22 July 2015, Vast has acquired a 50.1 per cent. interest in Sinarom Mining Group srl ("Sinarom"), the owner of the 1.8Mt polymetallic Manaila Mine, subject only to the requirements of Romanian law which provides that any company share sale be gazetted for a period of 30 days before the transfer can be registered at the Romanian Trade Registry ("Registration").

The sale of shares in Sinarom to Vast has already been gazetted and the Company is not aware of any valid grounds for objection. It is expected that Registration will become effective on or around 20 August 2015.

As announced on 17 July 2015, Vast has already taken over management of Sinarom under a power of attorney and will now seek to progress towards mining ore production at a rate of approximately 10,000 tonnes per month. Further information regarding operations and production volumes will be provided in due course.

Vast has, to date, invested in excess of USD 1,000,000 in paying outstanding creditors, cleaning and preparing the open pit mine and upgrading processing facilities moving over 50,000m3 of waste product from the mine.

Currently, Manaila Mine employs 107 staff plus the Vast management team of 20 senior mining experts.

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Churchill Mining (CHL) has issued an update on the international arbitration cases the company and its wholly owned subsidiary Planet Mining Pty are pursuing against Indonesia through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

The arbitration before the ICSID Tribunal arises from the revocation of the mining licences relating to the East Kutai coal project in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, in which Churchill and Planet held a 75% interest.

Indonesia's application for dismissal of the arbitration case on the grounds of document authenticity was heard in Singapore between 3 and 10 August. Churchill and Planet were represented by the international law firm Clifford Chance with members of the Churchill board and management also in attendance at the hearing.

The conduct of the hearing included fact witnesses, oral presentations and expert witnesses. All of the witnesses for Churchill/Planet whom Indonesia requested for cross-examination attended the hearing.

All of the witnesses for Indonesia whom Churchill/Planet requested for cross-examination attended the hearing, except Isran Noor who, until his recent resignation, held the office of Bupati or Regent of East Kutai. Noor declined to attend the proceedings.

In view of his non-attendance, the Tribunal ordered that Noor's witness statement be struck out and disregarded.

Churchill chairman David Quinlivan said: "We are pleased that the hearing of Indonesia's dismissal application has now been completed save for the presentation of post-hearing briefs by both sides. Overall, the hearing was a useful exercise but it is disappointing that Mr Noor, one of Indonesia's key witnesses, chose not to attend the hearing, as we had a number of questions we wished to put to him. We look forward to having this aspect of the case decided so we can move ahead with having our merits claims determined."

The specific questions to be addressed by the parties in post-hearing briefs will be set out in a procedural order to be issued by the Tribunal shortly. There is no fixed date for the Tribunal to deliver its decision on Indonesia's dismissal application, although the decision is unlikely to be handed down for some months.

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Horizonte Minerals (HZM) posts a pre-tax loss of £1.16m for the six months to the end of June - up from £304,054 last time.

Revenues were nil - unchanged from a year ago - and administrative expenses fell to £415,968 from £654,545. But foreign exchange losses rose to £196,620 from £31,960 and the group booked an impairment of available for sale assets of £253,006 (2014: nil).

Overview

· Good progress made in first half of 2015 on advancement of the 100%-owned Araguaia Nickel Project in Para State, north central Brazil ('Araguaia')

· Successfully completed 10,255 metre infill resource drilling programme designed to convert initial 7-8 years of the 25 year modelled mine life to Measured Resource category

· High grade nickel intersections from infill resource drilling on the Pequizeiro deposit include 11.30 meters grading 2.95% Ni; 9.21 meters grading 2.50% Ni; and 11.82 meters grading 2.39% Ni

· Continued de-risking of Araguaia with positive initial results from 1st stage testing of Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace ('RKEF') Pilot Plant, ahead of next stage of testing with a further circa 200 tonne continuous, full scale RKEF pilot plant campaign, which aims to produce ferro-nickel to a commercial specification

· Positive outcome from Public Hearing for Araguaia, held on 30 January 2015, attended by over 1,000 people to consider the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment submitted to Brazilian authorities in Q3 2014

· Cost reduction plan completed to lower the overall operating costs and preserve funds while advancing the project

· Strong cash position of £2.4 million

Chairman David Hall said: "The first half of 2015 has seen Horizonte achieve a number of key milestones in the advancement of the Araguaia Nickel Project in Brazil. These include a positive outcome of the Public Hearing, reiterating the support we have gained from the local community and government authorities in Brazil; strong results from the agglomeration tests, part of the first phase of the Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace pilot plant testwork; and the successful completion of the final phase of infill drilling which demonstrated the consistently high grade nature of the core resource areas. All of these are components of the various studies that will ultimately be fed into the Feasibility Study and we are delighted to have made such progress despite very challenging market conditions and negative sentiment towards the mineral resource sector."

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BHP Billiton (BLT) has announced changes to its board with Anita Frew being appointed an independent non-executive director from 15 September and Carlos Cordeiro's retirement as a non-executive director at the annual general meeting in November.

Frew has over 18 years' experience as a director and chairman on public company boards across a range of global sectors, including chemicals, engineering and finance. She is currently chairman designate of Croda International Plc, the speciality chemicals group and deputy chairman of Lloyds Banking Group.

BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser said her appointment reflected the structured and rigorous approach taken by BHP Billiton to Board succession planning, having regard to the skills, experience and attributes required to effectively govern and manage risk within the business.

"Anita's depth of experience in strategic and risk management, marketing and governance across a broad range of sectors will enable her to make a significant contribution to the board," he said.

Nasser thanked Cordeiro for his valuable contribution to the board and development of BHP Billiton during his 10 year tenure.

The group also said that following the death of Sir John Buchanan last month, Baroness Shriti Vadera has been appointed as the senior independent director and member of the nomination and governance committee, effective immediately. Baroness Vadera has been a non-executive director of BHP Billiton since 2011.

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Bushveld Minerals (BMN) has noted a release by Lemur Resources on the Australian Stock Exchange of the announcement in respect of the acquisition of vanadium assets in South Africa.

Bushveld has a controlling interest in Lemur.

The ASX announcement is further to the Lemur announcement of 23 July, and advises that Lemur has signed a binding term sheet with Sable Metals and Minerals Limited (Sable) with respect to the proposed acquisition of a vanadium project in South Africa.

The project comprises three greenfields properties in the North West province of South Africa which are prospective for vanadium and are located in close proximity to the Vametco operations owned by Evraz Group Limited and less than 150km from Evraz Highveld Steel & Vanadium.

Bushveld chief executive Fortune Mojapelo said: "We are pleased with this development, which is in line with the increasing focus of the Bushveld Group on developing a globally significant vanadium platform. The acquisition adds an important foothold on the Western limb of the Bushveld Complex, close to substantial, existing brownfield vanadium processing infrastructure. We look forward to developing this asset, along with our primary Mokopane-based project."

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At 3:54pm:

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was +0.12p at 7.01p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.23p at 2.53p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was 0p at 17.25p

[LON:BLT] BHP Billiton PLC share price was -3p at 1149p

[LON:BMN] Bushveld Minerals share price was +0.01p at 3.88p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +0.48p at 60.93p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -3.5p at 34.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.03p at 4.53p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 26.5p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +2.5p at 672p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +1p at 128.5p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -1.25p at 83.5p

[LON:HZM] Horizonte Minerals PLC share price was +0.05p at 2.05p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +0.01p at 2.66p

[LON:SRB] Serabi Mining PLC share price was -0.13p at 3.75p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +0.3p at 480.3p



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