StockMarketWire.com - Botswana Diamonds [LON:BOD] was one of the sector's biggest risers after its 50:50 joint venture with Alrosa, Sunland Minerals, was awarded a new prospecting licence in the Orapa region of Botswana.

The licence, PL260/2015, covers ground which is the highest priority for the BOD/Alrosa joint venture. It contains three previously-discovered kimberlite bodies, AK21, AK22 and AK23.

As the joint venture exploration team is currently active in the area, work has commenced immediately on reviewing the block with a view to defining new anomalies and drill targets. The existing kimberlites are being reviewed as part of this work to verify if they warrant further evaluation. The new licence, PL 260/2015, covers 25 sq. km in the Orapa region of Botswana and is valid for three years from 1st October 2015.

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Vedanta [LON:VED] said oil and gas production were up 6% in Q2, and that H1 output was in line with guidance. Average daily total gross operated oil and gas production in Q2 was 214,247 boepd.

CEO Tom Albanese:

"Our diversified asset portfolio has delivered a strong operating performance during the quarter, including record production from our tier-1 Zinc mines and lower costs at Copper-Zambia.

"We are continuing to drive efficiency improvements and optimise opex and capex across the business. While the near-term market outlook is challenging, we believe we have the right mix of commodities to benefit from future demand in India and globally."

The company continued:

"In light of the current market conditions, we are focused on optimising our opex and capex, increasing free cash flow and reducing net debt.

"During the quarter, several initiatives and programmes to generate cash savings, including a reduction of working capital, have been implemented across our businesses.

"These initiatives have resulted in an improved cost performance and lower net debt at the end of the quarter. Net debt at the end of the quarter is expected to be below US$ 8bn and we are confident of meeting our covenants at Vedanta Resources plc as at 30 September 2015."

Q2 Highlights:

· Oil & Gas: Q2 production up 6% and H1 production in line with guidance; Rajasthan production 3% higher at 168,126 boepd; Ravva and Cambay production 19% higher at 37,236 boepd

· Zinc-India: Strong mined and refined metal production; integrated silver production up 64%

· Aluminium: Stable volumes from existing smelters; cost reduction initiatives in progress; further pots at Jharsuguda-II smelter to ramp up in Q3

· Iron Ore: Mining operations recommenced at Goa

· Copper-India: Stable operations at 94% capacity utilisation

· Copper-Zambia: 12% higher mined metal production; lower cost of production

· Power: Unit-1 of Talwandi Sabo achieved 86% availability

· Continued optimisation of opex and capex to maximise free cash flow and reduce net debt

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Jubilee Platinum [LON:JLP], the mine-to-metals company, has completed the disposal of 100% of the issued shares in Jubilee Smelting and Refining Proprietary ("JSR"), and 70% of the issued shares in Power Alt Proprietary ("PA") for a total cash consideration of £5.42m to Siyanda Resources Proprietary.

It has received 85% of the cash consideration. The remaining 15% is held in escrow pending release following two warranty periods.

Leon Coetzer, CEO, said: "Receipt of the cash payment for the transfer of ownership and related risks of the Middelburg operations now concludes the disposal. The proceeds from the disposal together with debt funding being concluded with a major institution and, for which credit committee approval has already been secured, will be used for the simultaneous execution of our two platinum surface projects.

"Jubilee is now set to becoming a fully operational platinum producer in 2016 on the back of two robust surface platinum projects offering significant earnings potential to the company.

"The company continues on its mission to seek further low cost platinum opportunities."

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Horizonte Minerals [LON:HZM] has received confirmation from the Toronto Stock Exchange that all conditions relating to its placing have now been satisfied. Accordingly, the company has applied for 42,500,000 shares to be admitted to trading on AIM as of 14 October. These shares represent the second tranche of the placing shares and have been issued at 1p apiece. Accordingly, the Company will, on admission, receive the remaining £425,000 due in respect of the placing. Following admission of this second tranche of the placing shares, there will be 647,427,105 HZM shares in issue.

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The sector's biggest risers were Orosur Mining [LON:OMI] and Forte Energy [LON:FTE] - both up by more than 17% in late trading. The biggest faller was SolGold [LON:SOLG] - down by more than 12%.





At 3:48pm:

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was +0.13p at 11.38p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.13p at 3.15p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was +0.5p at 22.5p

[LON:BOD] Botswana Diamonds PLC share price was +0.11p at 0.83p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +0.65p at 65.65p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was +0.26p at 16.13p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.16p at 3.41p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 22.75p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +27.5p at 732p

[LON:FTE] Forte Energy NL share price was +0p at 0.02p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +1.13p at 114.13p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +2.63p at 85.88p

[LON:HZM] Horizonte Minerals PLC share price was 0p at 1.5p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.02p at 1.97p

[LON:OMI] Orosur Mining Inc share price was +0.88p at 5.75p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +63p at 593p



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