- Tanzania-focussed Kibo Mining [LON:KIBO] is delighted with the results of the completed mining definitive feasibility study of the Mbeya coal to power project.

The MDFS comprised the optimisation of the mine design, a detailed mine design based on the results from the restated Mbeya coal resource and the final coal requirement for the Mbeya Power Station as stated in the power definitive feasibility study.

Kibo says results from the MDFS correlate accurately with those of the mining pre-feasibility study in August 2015 and have reconfirmed the Mbeya coal mine as a robust project with strong financial and commercial indicators.

Key results from the MDFS are:

- IRR 69.2% (up from 53.9% stated in the MPFS);

- Payback period 2.4 years (compared with 2.6 years stated in the MPFS);

- Peak funding requirement USD 17 Million (reduced by 54% from that identified in MPFS);

- Power station coal requirement over the life of the plant was reduced by 23% from that identified in the MPFS, bringing about significant environmental and cost benefits. NOTE: The mining method developed for the Mbeya coal mine ensures that all coal seams can be mined with great accuracy, which guarantees that coal is delivered to the power plant at a reliable and consistent calorific value ("CV"). The reliability in receiving coal at a consistent CV was critical for the power plant design to ensure optimal fuel efficiencies. The MDFS mining method made it possible to design a power station that required significantly less coal for the same output i.e. 1 840 GWh per annum. Although this will result in a linear reduction of revenue for the coal mine, this is more than recovered in cost savings for the power plant which is most sensitive to fuel costs. The most important gain from the efficiencies and effectiveness of the mining method is however in the notably reduced overall environmental impact of both the mine and the power station;

- Mining method selected during MPFS confirmed as most accurate and cost-effective mining method for the Mbeya Coal Mine. NOTE: The mining method developed for the Mbeya coal mine confirmed that mining will be conducted by modified terrace mining, with over burden removal by means of a free dig (truck and shovel) method and coal seam and inter burden mining by means of mechanised continuous surface mining.

- All in cost margin 39% (reduced from 49% in the MPFS due to greater accuracy in modelling key cost drivers).

Chief executive Louis Coetzee said: "We are delighted with the results of the MDFS, which have confirmed, and in various areas improved on the positive pre-feasibility study results. Figures from the MDFS report confirm that the Mbeya Coal Mine (as the mining component of the MCPP) is a robust project in every aspect. Project fundamentals are significantly better than originally at the end of the Concept Study in 2014.

"We are particularly pleased with the improved IRR of 69.2% and the significantly improved environmental impact. The significance of the mining method that was developed for the Mbeya coal mine cannot be underestimated. This method not only eliminated one of the two biggest environmental risks for the MCPP, i.e. eliminating the need to wash the coal, but also reduced the coal requirement by 23%, which means substantial cost savings for both the mine and the power plant. It will also result in a corresponding reduction in emissions.

"Considering that these two elements are fundamental to the fundability of the MCPP, we could not have hoped for better results from the MDFS.

"The total coal requirement of the Mbeya power plant over the life of plant is stated as a probable reserve in the MDFS, meaning that the power plant can rely on an upfront guaranteed fuel supply for its entire life span.

"The two key work streams required for the completion of the MCPP Integrated Bankable Feasibility Study ("IBFS") are now complete and we are now focussed on completion of the final work on the IBFS."

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Vedanta [LON:VED], India's leading diversified natural resources company with interests in oil and gas, zinc-lead-silver, copper, iron ore, aluminium and power, is set to expand its footprint in Africa.

Vedanta has a long-standing presence in Africa and has invested more than US$4 billion in its African operations since 2004. Currently, the company mines copper in Zambia, produces zinc and lead concentrate at Black Mountain Mining (BMM) in South Africa, and zinc metal at Skorpion Zinc in Namibia.

Recently, Vedanta kick-started its Gamsberg zinc project at BMM with a capital investment of US$400 million. Gamsberg, which is in the Northern Cape, holds one of the world's largest undeveloped zinc sulphide deposits, with approximately 160Mt of defined ore resources.

* * *

Petra Diamonds [LON:PDL] and Ekapa Mining have agreed to combine their respective operations in the Kimberley area into an unincorporated JV named the Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM JV).

"These assets fit well with the Group portfolio, given Petra's existing Kimberley Underground operations in the area," said CEO Johan Dippenaar.

"Importantly, the transaction demonstrates our commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for the diamond mining industry in Kimberley, which will benefit the Kimberley Mines workforce and local community.

"The KEM JV is expected to bring significant synergies to the operations at Kimberley, including the ability to increase throughput and reduce operating costs, thereby extending the operation's mine life.

"Further production guidance will be included in the Company's FY 2016 Trading Update and FY 2017 Market Guidance announcement, to be released on 25 July 2016."

The respective operations comprise:

1. Petra's Kimberley Underground mines (via its subsidiary Crown Resources (Pty) Ltd);

2. Ekapa Mining's tailings operations (via its subsidiaries Super Stone Mining (Pty) Ltd ("Super Stone Mining"), and Kimberley Miners Forum (Pty) Ltd); and

3. Kimberley Mines tailings operations (via Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd owned 50.1% Ekapa Mining and 49.9% Petra).

* * *

The sector's biggest riser was SolGold [LON:SOLG] - up by more than 44.7% in late trading - while the biggest faller was Coal of Africa Ltd [LON:CZA] down by more than 14%.

At 4:18pm:

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.18p at 4.55p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was -0.5p at 40p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +1.95p at 159.75p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was +0.75p at 22.63p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was -0.55p at 3.35p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was 0p at 30.75p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was -53p at 1863p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +0.63p at 125.63p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +12p at 216.7p

[LON:KIBO] Kibo Mining share price was +0.5p at 6p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was 0p at 1.1p

[LON:PDL] Petra Diamonds Ltd share price was -0.12p at 113.13p

[LON:SOLG] SolGold PLC share price was +1.35p at 4.43p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +16p at 472.8p

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