StockMarketWire.com - Herencia [LON:HER] was the sector's biggest faller in late trading after announcing that chief executive Graeme Sloan is to to step down and that it had received the first part of a loan from the Australian Special Opportunity Fund and Oriental Darius Co.

Herencia said that Sloan has confirmed he will not leave the company until 30 June so that a suitable replacement can be found and to ensure the company's current plans are not interrupted.

It is agreed that he may leave earlier if the handover to a new Chief Executive Officer is completed prior to 30 June

The company also said that the Australian Special Opportunity Fund and Oriental Darius Co. Ltd have advanced US$100,000 to the company. This is part 1 of tranche 1 of the loan of up to US$500,000, the details of which were announced on 5 April. It is anticipated that a further US$100,000 - part 2 of tranche 1 of the loan - will be drawn down shortly and a further announcement will be made at that time.

As previously stated, the directors believe that the funds from Part 1 of Tranche 1 will support the Company's working capital requirements for approximately a further week and the funds from Part 2 of Tranche 1 will support the Company's working capital requirements until end of April/early May.

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Patagonia Gold's [LON:PGD] pre-tax losses more than doubled to USD18.4m in the year to the end of December from USD6.4m as revenue fell to USD26.1m, from USD35.9m.

"The gold price remained relatively steady throughout 2015 and has been showing signs of improvement since the beginning of 2016," the company said in a statement.

"Given the current low commodity prices and expectations for an improvement in the mining industry in the mid to long term, we believe that there will be numerous joint ventures and acquisition opportunities for the Company to consider.

"In line with these prospects for an improvement in the markets, Patagonia Gold maintains its commitment to the region, particularly Argentina."

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Highland Gold Mining [LON:HGM] will release its results for the year ending 31 December on 20 April.

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Rio Tinto [LON:RIO] and Sinosteel Corp have extended their Channar Mining Joint Venture in Australia's Pilbara region.

The Channar joint venture extension, together with a separate agreement for Rio Tinto to supply iron ore from the Pilbara, will enable sales of up to 70 million tonnes of iron ore to Sinosteel Corporation over the next five years.

This extension will see 30 million tonnes of iron ore supplied into the joint venture, with Sinosteel making a one-off payment of USD45m to Rio Tinto and providing additional production royalties linked to the iron ore price.

In a separate agreement, Rio Tinto will sell up to 40m tonnes of iron ore to Sinosteel between 2016 and 2021.

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Metminco Limited [LON:MNC] will hold its annual general meeting on 17 May.

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GCM Resources [LON:GCM] was the sector's biggest riser, up more than 95.4% in late trading.





At 4:07pm:

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was 0p at 4.2p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was +2p at 29.25p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +0.3p at 101.2p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -1.38p at 21.13p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.01p at 2.01p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was -0.25p at 29.75p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +4.5p at 1014.5p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +2.88p at 137.63p

[LON:HER] Herencia Resources PLC share price was -0.01p at 0.04p

[LON:HGM] Highland Gold Mining Ltd share price was -3.37p at 77.88p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +2.38p at 127.88p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.03p at 0.96p

[LON:MNC] Metminco share price was +0.01p at 0.21p

[LON:PGD] Patagonia Gold PLC share price was -0.12p at 1.63p

[LON:RIO] Rio Tinto PLC share price was -22.5p at 2220p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was -2.9p at 386p



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