- Rio Tinto [LON:RIO] has contacted regulatory authorities in the US and UK over the discovery of contractual payments totalling $10.5m to a consultant providing "advisory services" on the Simandou project in Guinea.

The company said it had launched an investigation into the matter and that this was led by external counsel.

"Based on the investigation to date, Rio Tinto has today notified the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom and United States and is in the process of contacting the Australian authorities," it said.

Energy & Minerals chief executive Alan Davies, who had accountability for the Simandou project in 2011, has been suspended with immediate effect.

Legal & Regulatory Affairs group executive Debra Valentine, having previously notified the company of her intention to retire on 1 May 2017, has stepped down from her role.

Rio Tinto intends to co-operate fully with any subsequent inquiries from all of the relevant authorities. Further comment at this time is therefore not appropriate.

* * *

Sunrise Resources [LON:SRES] has announced the staking of an additional industrial mineral project in Nevada in line with its published strategy. Highlights - The Ridge Limestone project - New industrial mineral/base-metal project acquired by US subsidiary SR Minerals Inc.

- 18 claims staked to cover large surface area of high purity limestone.

- Potential for use in higher-value industrial applications.

- Favourably located adjacent to sealed highway and amenable to open-pit mining.

- Claims also cover prospector-scale mine workings with grab sampling results up to 15.8% zinc.

Executive chairman Patrick Cheetham said: "We are continuing to build our industrial minerals portfolio in the western USA at low cost and in line with our strategy to acquire projects with the potential to generate sustaining cash flow. The Ridge Limestone Project now sits alongside our County Line Diatomite Project, currently leased to EP Minerals, LLC and our Pozz Project, also in Nevada, where further evaluation work is in progress."

* * *

KEFI Minerals [LON:KEFI] has issued an update on the Tulu Kapi gold project provided to project financiers during their site visits this week. These visits follow far-reaching government actions recently.

Key points made during the site briefings include the following:

- Strong collaboration with and commitment from all levels of the Ethiopian Government:

* Recent Government actions are assisting domestic stability and improving governance whilst maintaining Ethiopia's position as one of the world's top 10 growth countries. Government actions over recent weeks indicate an even stronger resolve to proceed with Project development as soon as possible. The Prime Ministerial Committee established to fast-track the Project has reinforced its commitment to and collaboration with KEFI.

* The Shareholders' Agreement for the Government's partnership with KEFI has now been passed to the relevant Ministry for final review and execution.

* The Company has re-confirmed with the Government's legal office the calculations for determining the resettlement compensation in accordance with Ethiopian law. KEFI will not only comply with Ethiopian law but will also provide additional benefits in accordance with the Equator Principles and World Bank (IFC) principles.

* The Government has also encouraged KEFI to plan an ambitious exploration program in the district around Tulu Kapi and elsewhere in Ethiopia. Targets have been identified for both satellite gold deposits and stand-alone development projects.

* * *

Mine-to-Metals specialist Jubilee Platinum [LON:JLP] subsidiary Braemore Nickel tailings supply agreement with BHP Billiton dating back to 2005 relating to the Leinster operations in Western Australia has been terminated.

Braemore has informed BHP that it rejects the termination notice since it believes no factual or legal basis exists for such termination.

Braemore has been continuing with the internal review of the nickel tailings project with the aim of improving the viability of the project as part of the economic evaluation of the project.

This nickel tailings project does not form part of Jubilee's earnings nor has any influence on the execution of Jubilee's platinum and chrome projects. Jubilee continues to pursue further tailings opportunities to add to its existing platinum and chrome projects and looks forward to updating the market in due course.

Jubilee, through its tailings processing subsidiaries continues successfully to develop and implement innovative processing solutions for the recovery of metals and minerals from various tailings materials.

These innovations and progress offer significant opportunities across the tailings recovery spectrum.

* * *

Stellar Diamonds [LON:STEL] has signed joint venture agreements with Citigate Commodities Trading over the company's Baoule kimberlite project in Guinea and two earlier stage exploration licences in western Liberia.

The Company has a 75% interest in the Baoule Project and a 100% interest in the Liberia Project.

CEO Karl Smithson commented:

"Stellar is focussed on the proposed Tongo-Tonguma transaction in Sierra Leone, as previously announced. As such we are delighted to finalise these joint ventures on terms which are highly attractive to Stellar and our shareholders, who will retain an ongoing interest in the projects, including a proportion of any revenues commensurate with each parties' shareholding during each particular Phase.

"Stellar's experienced local teams will manage the programmes for at least the first Phase of work, for which the Company will receive a management fee. We expect the first phase of work to commence on each project towards the end of November.

"Importantly, these joint ventures will allow the key management of Stellar to focus on the proposed Tongo-Tonguma transaction in Sierra Leone, which we believe offers significant value potential.

"The combined Tongo-Tonguma project demonstrated robust economics in a Preliminary Economic Assessment, with an estimated pre-tax project NPV(10) of US$172 million, an IRR of 49%, and projected life of mine project revenues of US$1.5 billion. We therefore look forward to focussing our efforts on the advancement of Tongo-Tonguma, whilst retaining exposure to Baoule and the Liberian projects."

* * *

Finland-focused Karelian Diamond Resources [LON:KDR] has confirmed a new kimberlite boulder discovery 2.5km south-west of the Lahtojoki diamond deposit with a further six kimberlite boulders found 500m from the first discovery.

Karelian says it has received results and a report from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), commissioned by the company on a Kimberlite boulder discovery to the south-west of the company's Lahtojoki diamond deposit.

A further six kimberlite boulders were subsequently found in a pit excavated by the GTK about 500m up ice direction from the original boulder discovery.

Karelian said in Finland such a high number of kimberlite boulders are generally seen either directly over or in close proximity to the source in the bedrock i.e. the origin of the boulders found could be local.

Karelian says known ice-flow direction suggests that the boulders could not have been derived from the Lahtojoki diamond deposit. Also, evidence from initial petrographic and mineral chemistry suggests that the boulders represent a kimberlite type not known from the Lahtojoki kimberlite pipe. It is, therefore, likely that the boulders originate from an, as yet, undiscovered kimberlite body.

Both basal till samples and kimberlite samples were processed for indicator mineral studies.

Initial analysis indicates low heat flow geotherm, excellent regarding the size of the mantle diamond window.

The ilmenite composition resembles that of Lahtojoki but indicates even better diamond preservation index (redox conditions). The source for the boulders is possibly also diamondiferous.

A claim reservation over the area of interest has been applied for by Karelian. Further exploration, on behalf of Karelian, will be carried out by the GTK, with a view to locating the bedrock source.

Chairman Professor Richard Conroy said: "I am very pleased by the discovery of these kimberlite boulders and the results of subsequent analysis which raises the possibility of another diamondiferous kimberlite close to our Lahtojoki diamond deposit. If confirmed this would further increase the financial and technical attractiveness of the Lahtojoki diamond deposit."

* * *

DiamondCorp [LON:DCP] says the second tranche of the financing facility from Rasmala, in the gross amount of £300,000, is in the process of being drawn down by the company.

Lace mine production continues in line with expectations, with the balance of the 5,000 carats of the Company's diamond inventory, against which the Facility is collateralised, expected to be processed by the end of the day shift today.

Production in the current month is on schedule to exceed 15,000 tonnes and the grade for the month of November to date is 29 carats per hundred tonnes.

At 3:59pm:

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was -0.25p at 5.5p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was -1.37p at 44.88p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +10p at 164.5p

[LON:CHL] Churchill Mining PLC share price was -0.25p at 31p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.09p at 3.33p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was +0.13p at 56p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was +118.5p at 1718.5p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was -0.37p at 114.88p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was +11.7p at 275.7p

[LON:JLP] Jubilee Platinum PLC share price was 0p at 3.58p

[LON:KEFI] KEFI Minerals PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.39p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was -7.75p at 267.5p

[LON:RIO] Rio Tinto PLC share price was +156.5p at 3028.5p

[LON:SRES] Sunrise Resources PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.18p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +26p at 768.5p

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