Small Talk: Sparkling Richland plans Australian adventures

 

Investors in Richland Resources are set to receive some good news this morning, with the coloured~gemstone miner, which until very recently was known as TanzaniteOne, due to announce that its net profits rose by nearly 130 per cent in the first half of the year as revenues climbed by 21 per cent.

The jump in profits, to $1.6m, some 146 per cent ahead of the total for last year, is accompanied by an expansion in the gross margin, which widened to 73 per cent in the six months to June, against 66 per cent in the first half of 2010. In keeping with the recent trend in the mining sector, however, operating costs were also up, rising to $5.4m over the period, against $4.9m in the first half of last year.

"The company has once again achieved significant growth inrevenue over the period, reflective of the continued recovery in tanzanite prices," Richland's chief executive, Bernard Olivier, said.

The first half also saw operational progress, with the miner's tanzanite production levels increasing by more than 200,000 carats to 1.25 million carats. Thatcompares well to the 1.05 million carats produced last year. The grades were also better, and the company commissioned a new cutting and polishing facility in Tanzania, where its projects are based.

"The increase in the average grade, total production and sales of tanzanite compared to the parallel period last year is testament to the company's margin enhancement programme," Mr Olivier added.

If you've been keeping track, you'll know that the name changed earlier this month. The reason was the group's decision to diversify and expand beyond its focus on tanzanite. The expansion began with the move into tsavorite, abrilliant green gemstone, last year and, more recently, with the group's decision to enter into an option to buy an established sapphire project in Australia in June.

Under the option, the company has up to six months to conduct due diligence on the project, which has been partially mined in the past. Xcap analyst AustinMcKelvie welcomed the move, nothing that "not only will a successful outcome to the due diligence study and ultimate acquisition result in diversification out of Africa, but critically [it] will position [the company] further up the gemstone value curve" relative to London listed peer Gemfields.



Stratex eyes new Altintepe partner

It is becoming harder and harder to keep up with the rising price of gold. Record highs have regular occurrences as investors search for safe haven amid the economic and market turmoil.

Signs of resource nationalism notwithstanding, this backdrop bodes well for gold prospectors. Take Stratex International, for example. Drawing steam from the growing interest safe-haven commodity, the Turkey and East Africa focused gold explorer has seen its shares rally by more than 150 per cent since the beginning of 2010.

But that figure masks a recent pullback. The surge would have been higher had it not been for a sharp fall in recent days. Part of may well be down to the news last week that its joint venture partner NTF, the Turkish civil engineering company that it helping take Stratex's Incline gold project to production by the first half of next year, was unwilling to commit to a planned feasibility study at theAltintepe project before Incline begins producing next year. (It is important to note here that Stratex is not looking to become a producer – the business is focused on extracting value out of its projects by partnering with companies interested in production, and is focused on remaining an explorer.)

Although Stratex said that it had opened discussions with another Turkish company which in the past had expressed in Altintepe, the market didn't seem best pleased with the news, even if the weakness came amid general turmoil both here and on the other side of the Atlantic.

But if analysts are right, then the reaction, whatever its cause, is likely to have been overdone. First, NTF's move is not believed to be connected to the promise of the project. Indeed, the company recently upped its resource estimate for the Altintepe.

Second, in light of the potential, "Stratex will be able to find another interested party without too much slippage," according to Westhouse Securities. Also reassuring were the comments by the Stratex chief executive Bob Foster, who said that the new company "has indicated that its objective would be to fast track the project into gold production by 2013," subject, of course, to agreement on terms and permitting.

To put it another way, Incline is on track for next year, and the signs are that Altintepe should be on course for production shortly thereafter.

The business has also beenmaking progress in East Africa, according to Westhouse. "Recent work at the Afar project, held in a joint venture with Thani Ashanti, has suggested that the Megenta project is host to widespread gold mineralisation," the broker said. "With a number of projects insimilar geological locations, including 14 kilometres of identifiedveining at the highly prospective 95 per cent-owned Blackrock project, the positive results at Megentacontinue to build excitement around Stratex's numerous East African assets."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk