- Alexander Mining [LON:AXM] has signed a marketing agreement with Dr. Jadambaa Temuujin for the potential commercial adoption of its leaching technologies in Mongolia.

The agreement has an initial term of two years, with a rolling mutually agreeable six monthly extension thereafter.

Chief executive Martin Rosser said: "Mongolia, with its favourable location adjacent to China, is a noted mining country and is highly prospective for the discovery of new mineral deposits. We greatly look forward to working with Dr. Jadambaa Temuujin as our agent to capitalise on the country's growing mining industry."

Under the Agreement, if Temuujin introduces an opportunity which leads to Alexander executing a commercial technology licencing agreement and it receiving licencing revenue, then it will pay Temuujin a commission fee from the licensing revenue for the first three years of licence commercial use.

* * *

Caledonia Mining Corporation [LON:CMCL] reports record quarterly and annual gold production from its 49% owned subsidiary, the Blanket Gold Mine in Zimbabwe, for the quarter and year ended 31 December.

- Approximately 13,591 ounces of gold were produced during Q4 2016, a new quarterly production record representing an 18 per cent increase on the gold produced in Q4 2015 (11,515 ounces) and a 1.2 per cent increase on the gold produced in Q3 2016 (13,428 ounces).

- Total 2016 gold production was approximately 50,351 ounces, a new annual production record representing a 17.6 per cent increase over the annual gold production in 2015 of 42,804 ounces.

- The increase in production in 2016 was largely due to the start of production from below 750 meters, improvements in underground infrastructure and the commissioning of the new ball mill, in line with the Investment Plan at Blanket.

All production numbers are expressed on a 100% basis and are subject to adjustment following final assay at the refiners. Production includes work-in-progress of approximately 754 ounces as at 31 December.

Target gold production for 2017 is approximately 60,000 ounces at an estimated on-mine cost* in the range of $600 to $630 per ounce and an All-in Sustaining Cost* in the range of $810 to $850 per ounce. Blanket remains on-track to increase annual production to approximately 80,000 ounces of gold by 2021.

Chief executive Steve Curtis said: "2016 was a significant year for Caledonia as the continued investment at Blanket begins to bear fruit. Gold production in 2016 of 50,351 ounces surpassed the previous record from underground operations of 45,530 ounces, which was achieved in 2013. The record level of production was due to the commencement of production below 750 meters following the successful completion of the No. 6 Winze and other infrastructure projects; improved underground infrastructure and the installation of the new ball mill late in 2016.

"As well as achieving this record gold production level, the sinking of the new central shaft continued according to plan and reached a depth of 534 m by year end.

"We look forward to a further improvement in 2017 as we target 60,000 ounces of production from Blanket, being a 20 per cent increase on the production achieved in 2016. We continue our progress towards annual production of 80,000 ounces by 2021.

"As we increase production we expect earnings will continue to benefit from the increased sales volumes and from a lower average cost per ounce as fixed production costs and overheads are spread across higher production. This improvement makes us confident of achieving a significant improvement in earnings for 2017. Caledonia expects to publish its results for the year to December 31, 2016 on March 21, 2017."

* * *

Ariana Resources [LON:AAU] has provided its first operational update on the Kiziltepe mine within the Red Rabbit gold-silver project in Western Turkey. Kiziltepe is being advanced towards production through a 50:50 joint venture with Proccea Construction Co.


-Process CIL/CIC and ADR piping and electrical work fully completed, with the process plant ready for operational start-up; automation works are continuing.

- Commissioning of ball mill is complete and wet commissioning of the process plant is largely complete, with thickener tests due to be completed this week.

- Dry commissioning has been completed and the crushers and screens are now fully operational.

- Approximately 7,000 tonnes of ore ranging in grade from 2.7 to 0.5 g/t gold and representing two weeks of production, is stockpiled ready for the first full-scale tests and start-up.

- Dam wall complete and installation of geomembrane for Stage 1 Tailings Storage Facility is largely complete, though currently experiencing delays due to unprecedented weather conditions.

- Revisions to resource and reserve estimates are ongoing following recent drilling; an improved mining plan and associated scheduling is under way.

- Mine site laboratory is now operational with capability for routine Aqua Regia digests and fire assay.

Managing director Dr. Kerim Sener said: "Following a productive site visit conducted in the last few days, we are very encouraged to report that the Kiziltepe Mine is now largely operational, following the successful completion of major construction in December. Dry and wet commissioning of the process plant, including the CIL tanks and thickeners, is almost complete, although deteriorating and unprecedented weather conditions during the latter part of December and in to January have now delayed completion of the TSF.

"The conditions being encountered at site have ranged from very wet weather in late December to sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall in early January, which have negated the laying of the final geomembrane for the Stage One TSF, which comprises only another two weeks of work. Previous guidance provided by the Company had indicated that Kiziltepe was likely to become operational in late December but the timing of start-up has now been necessarily postponed due to the conditions at site.

"As the TSF completion is a critical path component of the project, we cannot provide further guidance on formal start-up until the weather clears and the conditions for laying geomembrane improve. In particular, the temperatures for laying geomembrane must exceed five degrees Centigrade. In the meantime, our teams are working on all other operational aspects to ensure a smooth transition in to production once the TSF is able to be completed. We will provide a further update on project progress before the end of January."

* * *

The sector's biggest risers were Coal of Africa Ltd [LON:CZA] and North River Resources [LON:NRRP] - up by more than 13.1% and 12.5% respectively in late trading. The biggest fallers were Anglo Asian Mining [LON:AAZ] and Hochschild Mining [LON:HOC] - down by more than 8.9% and 5.7% respectively.

At 4:13pm:

[LON:AAU] Ariana Resources PLC share price was -0.08p at 1.8p

[LON:AXM] Alexander Mining PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.19p

[LON:BEM] Beowulf Mining PLC share price was +0.13p at 8.13p

[LON:BKY] Berkeley Energia Ltd share price was +2.75p at 64.5p

[LON:CEY] Centamin PLC share price was +1.55p at 145.05p

[LON:CMCL] Caledonia Mining Corp share price was +2.5p at 116.5p

[LON:CZA] Coal of Africa Ltd share price was +0.42p at 3.54p

[LON:FDI] Firestone Diamonds PLC share price was +0.25p at 50.25p

[LON:FRES] Fresnillo PLC share price was -53.5p at 1378.5p

[LON:GEMD] Gem Diamonds Ltd share price was +7.13p at 114.13p

[LON:HOC] Hochschild Mining PLC share price was -12.75p at 223.15p

[LON:KMR] Kenmare Resources PLC share price was +7.38p at 277.38p

[LON:NRRP] North River Resources PLC share price was +1p at 9p

[LON:VED] Vedanta Resources PLC share price was +17p at 957p

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