StockMarketWire.com - Lonmin [LON:LMI] reports significant progress on its business plan in the six months to the end of March following a successful refinancing.

EBITDA for the period was $36 million against a loss of $6 million a year ago and was largely due to the beneficial impact of cost reductions.

The group says cost savings are well ahead of schedule with R469 million savings achieved in H1 2016 (in FY15 money terms). This represented 67.0% of the full-year target of R700 million.

Reorganisation and s189 process successfully completed with 5,433 people having left the Group by 31 March. A further 1,428 employees were reskilled and redeployed into vacant, more productive roles.

Chief executive Ben Magara said: "These results reflect the positive momentum in Lonmin, we have delivered on our promise to restructure and cut high cost production in this oversupplied market while simultaneously reducing costs and improving cashflows. Quarter on quarter, Lonmin has reduced unit costs to R10,390 per PGM ounce and improved the net cash to $114 million; thus delivering on our promise at the time of the Rights Issue to be cash positive after capital in this subdued PGM pricing environment. There is still a lot of hard work ahead as we squeeze out more costs and drive operational improvements and our key risks remain safety and its related stoppages and relationships. Lonmin has long life, shallow mining assets and unrivalled processing expertise and an invaluable mine to market business.

"Going forward, our investment in relationships and the concept of shared value will be extensively tested in the coming wage negotiations especially with the backdrop of local government elections. I am cautiously optimistic about wage negotiations as we have engaged continuously with our employees and unions on the economic realities that our Company has gone through, including the inevitable 5,433 colleagues that we had to sacrifice and lost their jobs."

The group said the rolling twelve month average Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate to 31 March 2016 was 5.10 incidents per million man hours and shows a steady improvement of 5.7% on September 2015 at 5.41. It adds: "Despite most safety indicators showing improvements, regrettably one of our colleagues, Mr Zilindile Ndumela, was fatally injured on 26 October 2015 at Rowland shaft. Subsequent to the period end two of our colleagues were fatally injured, Mr Goodman Mangisa at Pandora JV E3 Shaft on 6 April and Mr Fanelekile Giyama at Rowland shaft on 7 May."

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KEFI Minerals [LON:KEFI] has received formal confirmation from the government of Ethiopia of its commitment to invest US$20 million for equity in the Tulu Kapi gold project.

This investment will provide the government of Ethiopia with an equity interest in KEFI Minerals (Ethiopia) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KEFI Minerals plc that owns and operates the Project, of approximately 20% based on the projected enlarged paid-up share capital of KME (c. 25% including the Government's pre-existing 5% free carried-interest).

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Metminco Ltd [LON:MNC] is on track to complete the acquisition of Minera Seafield SAS (Minera Seafield) from RMB Resources Australia Limited by end-May.

It has appointed SRK Consulting (U.S.) Inc. (SRK) to provide an updated JORC 2012 compliant resource model/resource statement for the Miraflores Project.

In addition to the resource model, SRK will develop an updated underground only mining scenario with paste backfill.

The mining plan will be indicative of a Feasibility Study level design for the mining, with lower level estimates for backfill and will give Metminco confidence that this approach to mining is reasonable.

SRK has also been engaged to review and collate the original studies undertaken by individual consultants and perform a Gap Analysis of key information required to progress the project forward to completion of a Feasibility Study.

The Feasibility Study work previously undertaken by Minera Seafield was ended abruptly due to a receiver being appointed over its parent (Seafield Resources Limited) in late 2014.

Prior to entering receivership compilation and review of the work completed to that date had not been completed.

SRK were retained by Seafield Resources Limited as the engineers for the Feasibility Study which commenced in 2013.

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Caledonia Mining Corporation's [LON:CMCL] 49% owned Zimbabwean subsidiary, Blanket Mine, has sold treasury bills issued by the government of Zimbabwe for a gross value of approximately $3.2 million.

The bills were issued to Blanket in 2015 and replaced the special tradeable gold bonds which were issued to Blanket in 2009.

The bonds were issued as part consideration for gold sales that were made by Blanket in 2008 under the terms of the sales mechanism that existed at that time for Zimbabwean gold producers.

The bonds were fully written down in a previous accounting period, and the impairment value was applied as a deduction from Blanket's income tax liability. Accordingly, the gross sales proceeds will be subject to Zimbabwean income tax at 25.75%.

Caledonia's chief executive, Steve Curtis, said: "The Bills that were issued to Blanket Mine, and that have now been sold, date back to the commercial environment which prevailed in Zimbabwe in 2008. This bears no relationship to the existing commercial environment in the country. "Blanket Mine has sold all of its production to the government-owned refinery in Zimbabwe since January 2014, and it has always received payment in full and on time. The sale of the Bills is a continuation of the process to dispose of non-core assets."

Separately, the company said that a third party manager of discretionary funds of which chairman Leigh Wilson is a beneficiary has sold 75,200 Caledonia shares, representing entire shareholding in Caledonia.

The shares were sold by the manager between 26 February and 2 March at an average realized sale price of 63.24 US cents per share.

Wilson had no knowledge of the share sale until 13 May. Following the share sale, Wilson holds no Caledonia shares.

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The sector's biggest fallers were Nyota Minerals [LON:NYO] and GCM Resources [LON:GCM] - both down by 8.0% in late trading.




At 4:02pm:

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.13p at 4.13p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was 0p at 31.5p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was -0.5p at 115.2p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -0.63p at 17.63p

[LON:CMCL] Caledonia Mining Corp share price was 0p at 68.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.13p at 2.87p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 31.25p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +35.5p at 1150.5p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +1.88p at 134.38p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +3p at 147.25p

[LON:KEFI] KEFI Minerals PLC share price was +0.03p at 0.54p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -0.02p at 0.78p

[LON:LMI] Lonmin PLC share price was +31.25p at 194p

[LON:MNC] Metminco share price was 0p at 0.24p

[LON:NYO] Nyota Minerals Ltd share price was -0.01p at 0.12p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +14.7p at 383.2p



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