February 7, 2012 8:26 pm

Small caps: Aminex and Solo Oil plunge

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Aminex and Solo Oil plunged on Tuesday after an update from their joint-operated Ntorya-1 well in Tanzania, of which Aminex owns 56 per cent, sent investors running.

Aminex lost 37.8 per cent to 3p and Solo dropped 23.3 per cent to 0.6p after the companies said, in a much anticipated update, that sought-after oil or gas were not encountered at the depths expected.

The explorers are currently deciding whether deeper drilling will be attempted.

Davy Stockbrokers said: “The absence of the primary target is disappointing and while there is a chance that the well may encounter something at deeper levels, the primary purpose of the well has failed ... The outcome is particularly disappointing in that the absence of reservoir would appear to terminate the play in this specific location.”

Sterling Energy was up 8.5 per cent to 41½p after Peel Hunt started coverage of the Africa-focused explorer with a “buy” rating. The group’s share of a prospect in Madagascar has the potential to multiply the share price, it said.

Kibo Mining , the Tanzania focused gold and nickel explorer, advanced 50.8 per cent to 2.5p in heavy trading after announcing Mzuri Gold had agreed to buy 37.5m new shares in Kibo at a price of 2p per share.

The placing price represents a premium of near 23 per cent to the mid-market price, of 1.6p. Mzuri will own 29.4 per cent of the company after the shares are issued.

The £750,000 raised by Kibo will be used to finance continued exploration in Tanzania and for general working capital purposes.

“We are delighted with this fundraising as it allows us to complete Stage 1 of the field exploration now in progress on our Tanzanian projects. We believe there is significant potential, to discover new gold and nickel mineralisation on our favourably located licence portfolio within Tanzania’s established and newly emerging gold exploration regions and we anticipate having targets ready for drilling later in 2012,” said Louis Coetzee, Kibo’s chief executive.

Totally , an internet focused publishing company, jumped 172 per cent to 1.7p in heavy trading after confirming it had been awarded a £1.6m project by NHS Midlands and East. Totally had been awarded preferred bidder status in November.

Global manufacturing company Low & Bonar bounced 9.2 per cent to 59¼p after announcing strong results for the year ended November 2011, including a 13 per cent increase in revenues to £388.7m.

Numis advised its clients to buy with a target price of 78p arguing that although peer group valuation is difficult, “Low & Bonar’s current share price does not reflect the group’s good prospects given its current product and geographic reach, plus management initiatives taking place which underpin future growth.”

Aim-listed Firestone Diamonds slumped 6.8 per cent to 12p after announcing a mixed update from its mining operations in Lesotho and Botswana.

While Firestone said its first tender of 2012 had been successful, with all stock sold, the company also said it was suffering from technical faults at its mine in Botswana.

“We remain cautiously optimistic for the months ahead,” said Tim Wilkes, Firestone chief executive.

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