Industry updates

INDOCHINE Mining will upgrade its Mt Kare project resources this month, Goldminex Resources is restarting drilling at its Liamu project, ExxonMobil is tight-lipped on its talks with InterOil and new seismic will test a possible Triceratops field extension.
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Explorer Indochine has raised $A3.9 million through issuing 55 million shares at 7c each to fund drilling of high-grade gold zones at its Mt Kare project in Papua New Guinea.

"Indochine's major funds and smaller investors wanted this raising to be as small as possible and so it was closed at a slight premium, ahead of a resource upgrade this month," Indochine managing director Stephen Promnitz said.

Brazilian mining giant Vale can possibly earn majority stakes in seven of Goldminex's PNG tenements and the next wave of drilling will centre on the Kiki prospect of the Liamu project.

The 1200m drilling campaign will first test an aeromagnetic anomaly, with drilling expected to start in early June.

In PNG's Gulf province, InterOil is starting a three-month 2D seismic campaign in petroleum prospecting licence 338, which neighbours its Triceratops-hosting licence.

While PPL338 is shared by Oil Search and Kina Petroleum, this joint venture is getting Gulf expert InterOil to shoot up to 6 seismic lines over a 62km northern portion of PPL338.

In regards to the ongoing exclusive negotiations between PNG LNG operator ExxonMobil and InterOil, Exxon is not offering much insight through official channels.

"ExxonMobil Papua New Guinea, InterOil and Pacific LNG are in exclusive negotiations for the purpose of concluding a sales and purchase agreement," An Exxon spokesperson said.

"It is not ExxonMobil's practice to comment on the content of commercial negotiations."

ExxonMobil's Middle-East and Australia development head Mark Nolan recently confirmed that the talks were focused on securing enough of InterOil's Elk-Antelope gas to support a third or fourth train expansion of PNG LNG.

The 60-day period of exclusive negotiations means that an agreement may be reached before the end of July.

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