- Coal of Africa Limited's shares were up in late trading after it signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Group Co Ltd with respect to a proposed equity investment in Baobab Mining and Exploration, a subsidiary of CoAL.

Baobab is the legal owner of the mining rights for the Makhado project, a hard coking coal project located in the Soutpansberg Coalfield, 36km north of Makhado town in South Africa's Limpopo province.

* * *

Edenville Energy [LON:EDL] has signed a binding collaboration agreement with Runh Power Corporation Ltd.

They will work together to progress Edenville's Rukwa coal to power project in south-west Tanzania. Edenville said the achievement of project milestones including the definition of a sizeable coal resource, the award of the environmental impact assessment certificate and generation of a positive power plant feasibility study has enabled the company to engage in negotiations with a number of engineering, procurement and construction companies.

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Condor [LON:CNR] has completed an environmental impact assessment and has formally submitted an application for an environmental permit to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in Nicaragua for the construction and operation of an open pit mine, a CIL processing plant and associated infrastructure at La India Project, Nicaragua.

The EIA is a 700 page document which considers the environmental and social impacts of gold production from the La India Open Pit mine plan detailed in the NI 43-101 compliant Pre-Feasibility Study released in December 2014 and the recent Whittle Enterprise Optimisation study as announced on 20 October.

The EIA draws on data from 15 different environmental and social baseline studies, some of which commenced in 2013. In addition to describing the potential impacts of a future commercial mine on the environment, the EIA also contains detailed environmental management plans and social management plans to monitor and control any such impacts.

* * *

BHP Billiton [LON:BLT] plans to cut copper production costs to $1.08 per pound in the 2017 financial year to cope with lower selling prices.

The company said that the release of latent capacity across the portfolio will also help annual group copper production grow to approximately 1.7 Mt at very low cost.

It added: "This strong recovery will be supported by our differentiated water and power solutions in Chile which will provide us with a significant competitive advantage."

BHP Billiton president, copper, Daniel Malchuk also reinforced the group's commitment to sustainability saying: "We value safe, sustainable operations above all else. We are enhancing verification for critical controls across all our assets and have brought forward our regular review of our tailings facilities."

He said while near-term oversupply is weighing on current prices, attractive long-term fundamentals continue to support the group's positive outlook. "We see a number of factors creating the conditions for a significant supply deficit by the end of the decade. Grade decline, falling investment across the sector, the lack of greenfield projects and challenges accessing sustainable power and water are all likely to constrain industry supply. Meanwhile we expect robust demand from China and non-OECD countries to add to the deficit."

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KAZ Minerals [LON:KAZ] has produced its first copper cathode from oxide ore at the Aktogay project in the East of Kazakhstan.

The SX/EW plant is expected to swiftly reach an output level of 15 kt per annum. The sulphide concentrator remains on track for commissioning in 2017, which will result in the Aktogay project delivering a combined production from sulphide and oxide ore of 105 kt per annum on average for the first 10 years.

Chief executive Oleg Novachuk said: "I am delighted to announce the first copper from our major growth projects with the commencement of cathode output from oxide ore at Aktogay. Our other major growth project, Bozshakol, will start production of copper in concentrate in the first quarter of 2016 and the main sulphide concentrator at Aktogay will be commissioned in 2017. The completion of the Aktogay oxide project is an important step in delivering industry leading growth from our portfolio of large scale, low cost, open pit copper mines."

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Caledonia Mining [LON:CMCL] has confirmed details of last week's analyst site visit at its Blanket Gold Mine in Zimbabwe, which was aimed at showing analysts how the revised mine plan, announced on 3 November 2014, was progressing.

The Company says the new central shaft has almost completed its pre-sinking stage and is planned to reach a depth of 1,080 metres and hopes that this shaft will be fully operational by mid-2018.

It added that the new shaft will be much larger and more efficient than the existing main production shaft and will provide access to existing resources below 750 metres, where drilling is currently progressing well with the objective of upgrading the confidence level of existing resources and also identifying additional resources. The new shaft will also address Blanket's current single shaft status.

On the 750 metre level, the new Tramming Loop, which was completed in June 2015, is now fully operational and allows the transport of substantially more material. It says the benefits of the Tramming Loop are already apparent: in Q3 of 2015 approximately 120,000 tonnes of ore were mined, representing a new production record from underground operations.

Production is on track to commence from the newly constructed No.6 Winze in Q1 2016, ramping up to 500 tonnes per day by the end of 2017. This early production from below 750 metres via the No. 6 Winze, before the Central Shaft is completed in 2018, will contribute to the anticipated increase in production from 42,000 ounces in 2015, to 50,000 ounces in 2016 and 65,000 ounces in 2017.

Caledonia has built and continues to maintain the employee village which is immediately adjacent to the mine and metallurgical plant and houses the majority of Blanket's 1,150 workers and their families. The mine village has schools, shops and medical and recreational facilities. There is almost no turnover amongst the employees, who are paid approximately 15 per cent above the national average wage which is agreed between the Chamber of Mines and the mining unions.

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Ariana Resources [LON:AAU] has received positive results for drilling undertaken on its Kiziltepe project.

Kiziltepe is part of the Red Rabbit joint venture with Proccea Construction Co. and will be 50% owned by Ariana once mine construction is completed in the second half of 2016.

Highlights: · Deep drilling at Arzu South yields several positive intercepts, including 11m @ 4.07 g/t Gold equiv. and 7m at 2.96 g/t Gold equiv.

· Drilling increases confidence in the presence of several plunging shoots extending beyond the base of the current optimised pit.

· Results provide confidence in the potential for underground mining targets, which need to be tested in future drilling along strike and down dip.

· These results, in addition to further drilling, ongoing at the time of this release, will be undertaken to support revision to the mineral resource for Kiziltepe.

Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said: "This confirms our understanding that the Kiziltepe Sector contains the potential to host a significant mineral system that has only been partially tested, particularly at depth within the Arzu vein structure. The results of this drilling programme provide further confidence in our resource model and ensures that we will have access to high-grade ore even at the very end of our projected mine life at Arzu South. The intercepts reported are in line with our expectations for the lowermost parts of the current orebody and it is exceptionally encouraging to obtain such wide intercepts with good grades right at the bottom of the current pit design. There also remains scope for future drill testing beyond the limits of the current pit design, both along strike and down-dip."

At 4:03pm:

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was +0.13p at 11.13p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.25p at 5.48p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was +0.25p at 24.88p

[LON:BLT] BHP Billiton PLC share price was +15p at 811.9p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +1.25p at 63.1p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was +0.01p at 16.13p

[LON:CNR] Condor Gold PLC share price was +1p at 30.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.46p at 3.08p

[LON:EDL] Edenville Energy PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.06p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was +0.13p at 17.38p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +10p at 725p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +2.5p at 102.25p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +3.25p at 54.25p

[LON:KAZ] Kaz Minerals PLC share price was +1.25p at 102.15p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.07p at 0.55p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +3.2p at 380p

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