- Red Rock Resources' [LON:RRR] shares were up in late trading after it agreed with Shoats Creek Development Corporation to acquire a 20% working interest (WI) in the Lutcher More 20 (LM20) well at the Shoats Creek Field, Louisiana.

The LM20 produced 24 hour test results of 260 barrels of oil and 500 mcf of natural gas per day (or 340 barrels of oil equivalent per day) as announced by Northcote Energy Ltd on 1 September 2015.

RRR previously entered into an agreement to participate in development activities at the Shoats Creek Field, notably the planned LM 21 and LM 22 wells, and has now agreed to acquire an equal interest in the recently drilled LM20 well. * * *

Hochschild Mining's [LON:HOC] operational performance during 2015 exceeded expectations as it once again beat its annual production target.

Hochschild reports full year production of 24.7 million attributable silver equivalent ounces exceeding 24.0 million target

- 14.8 million ounces of silver

- 166.0 thousand ounces of gold

- 27.0 million silver equivalent ounces using 2015 average gold/silver ratio

Inmaculada mine produced 7.1 million silver equivalent ounces exceeding 6-7 million ounce forecast

- 84.6 thousand ounces of gold

- 2.1 million ounces of silver

- 8.3 million silver equivalent ounces using 2015 average gold/silver ratio

2015 all-in sustaining costs per silver equivalent ounce on track to meet $13-14 guidance.

Chief executive Ignacio Bustamante said: "The operational performance during 2015 exceeded expectations as we once again beat our annual production target and are maintaining our guidance on full year costs. The mines delivered a very solid fourth quarter with our new low cost Inmaculada mine performing particularly strongly. We are building on this positive momentum by focusing on delivering low cost production from Pablo which we expect will further demonstrate our brownfield potential and ability to deliver strong cash flow generation from our existing assets. In addition, the recent regulatory and economic policy changes in Argentina offer a promising future for our high grade San Jose mine which, supported by the solid operational performance, is now in a good position to improve its cashflow contribution.

"We have also made substantial progress in strengthening our balance sheet through our own cash generation and the rights issue completed in the fourth quarter of last year. Following large debt repayments in the period, we have ended the year with net debt reduced by approximately 20% versus the half year position. The maturities of the bulk of the remaining debt are also adequately profiled.

"We enter 2016 with a renewed sense of excitement: a fourth consecutive year of production increases and reduced costs; a low risk organic project; a stronger balance sheet; and several brownfield exploration targets with the potential to continue improving the quality and quantity of our existing resources."

* * *

Pan African Resources [LON:PAF] has issued guidance to UK shareholders over the deduction of South African Dividends Tax from the dividend payment made on 24 December.

* * *

Fresnillo's [LON:FRES] full year silver production was at the top end of its guidance range, with 47 moz, a 4.4% increase on 2014.

This was mainly due to higher ore throughput at Saucito, more than offsetting the lower production at Fresnillo

Fourth quarter silver production increased 10.2% vs. 3Q15 due to higher ore grade and ore throughput at Saucito.

Full year gold production of 762 koz exceeded the revised gold production guidance of 715-730 koz, surpassing the 2018 gold production target of 750 koz; this was as a result of the dynamic leaching plant being fully operational following its start-up in March 2014 and Herradura being fully operational post the temporary explosives permit suspension which affected 2014 production.

Quarterly gold production increased 24.5% vs. 4Q14 mainly due to the start-up of the second Merrill Crowe plant at Herradura as well as higher overall average speed of recovery at the leaching pads. Increased volume of gold recovered, higher ore deposited and ore grade at Noche Buena also contributed to increase production.

Chief executive Octavio Alvidrez said: "I am pleased to report full year silver production at the top end of our guidance range, with 47 moz, a 4.4% increase on 2014. This was mainly driven by the ramp-up of Saucito II and a higher ore grade at Cienega, which more than offset lower production at Fresnillo.

"We continue to see the results of the measures we implemented to address the development delays at Fresnillo gradually come through, with grades and production levels increasing for a second consecutive quarter. The mine showed particular signs of improvement in the fourth quarter, and in 2016 I am confident of a turnaround, with a double digit increase in ore milled expected. In gold, production of 762 koz (+27.8%) not only exceeded our revised guidance of 715-730 koz (increased from 670-685 koz in July), but surpassed our long term 2018 target of 750 koz. This resulted from Herradura and its dynamic leaching plant being fully operational for the year, and achieving steady state as processing capacity increased following the installation of a second Merrill Crowe plant at the mine.

"In terms of our development pipeline, San Julian is on track for stage 1 commissioning in the second quarter of 2016 and stage 2 commissioning by year end, whilst detailed engineering works continue at the Pyrites plant. Looking ahead, we are expecting increases in both silver and gold production in 2016, with ranges of 49-51 moz and 775-790 koz respectively."

* * *

Trans-Siberian Gold [LON:TSG] reports that mine development at Asacha in Q4 2015 comprised about 868 metres, while ore extraction (including ore from stoping and mine development) amounted to 45,467 metric tonnes.

In the same period, 40,349 mt was processed through the Asacha plant, at an average gold grade of 7.39 g/t.

November's lower gold grade reflected the processing of lower grade ore from the mine's upper levels and from ore stockpiles as the stopes intended to be mined in that month were inaccessible due to flooding as a result of the cyclone which hit Kamchatka at the end of October.

Production from the flooded areas had resumed by the end of November.

Fourth quarter production comprised 9,030 oz. gold and 12,767 oz. silver. Total 2015 gold and silver production was, respectively, 3.5% and 9.2% higher than the 2014 results.

* * *

BHP Billiton [LON:BLT] has maintained its FY output guidance for petroleum, coal, and copper. Guidance at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) is held at 270 Mt (100% basis) as continued productivity is expected to offset one-off operational issues from the December quarter.

But total iron ore guidance is reduced by 10 Mt to 237 Mt due to the suspension of production at Samarco following the dam collapse.

It says four major projects under development are tracking to plan. The North West Shelf Greater Western Flank-A petroleum project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The Greater Western Flank-B project was approved during the period.

Underlying attributable profit in the December 2015 half year is expected to include additional charges in a range of approximately US$300 million to US$450 million.

Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said: "Our operated assets continued to perform well over the last six months. The strong performance of our conventional petroleum assets has offset lower shale volumes following a reduction in investment to preserve the value of our acreage in current market conditions. Increased throughput at Escondida helped mitigate the impact of expected grade decline and better productivity supported production at Queensland Coal. These efforts have allowed us to maintain production guidance for Petroleum, Copper, Coal and Western Australia Iron Ore.

"Commodity prices fell substantially in the first half of the 2016 financial year putting pressure on the whole resources sector. We continue to cut costs and remain focused on safely improving our operational performance to enhance the resilience of our business. In this environment, we are also committed to protecting our strong balance sheet so we have the financial flexibility to manage further volatility and take advantage of the expected recovery in copper and oil over the medium term."

At 4:10pm:

[LON:AQP] Aquarius Platinum Ltd share price was -0.12p at 12.38p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.2p at 5p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Resources Ltd share price was 0p at 24.5p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was -1.9p at 61.75p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was +0.88p at 19.75p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was 0p at 2.25p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 17.5p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was -29.25p at 635.25p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -4.75p at 97.75p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +1.63p at 41.13p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.02p at 0.57p

[LON:PAF] Pan African Resources PLC share price was +0.13p at 8.88p

[LON:RRR] Red Rock Resources PLC share price was +0.03p at 0.4p

[LON:TSG] TransSiberian Gold PLC share price was -1.13p at 18.5p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -3.1p at 211.3p

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