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Continental Coal's Ongoing Success Draws Investor Attention, Shares Rise 33%

Continental Coal (ASX: CCC) has attracted increased investor interest of late which has resulted in a 33% increase in its share price to an intra-day high of A$0.06 yesterday.

The ASX has issued a price and volume query on the sudden jump from the company's share price of $0.045 a day earlier.

Around 22.6 million shares changed hands yesterday compared to the just over 2 million traded the previous day.

Continental said it is not aware of any material information that has not been disclosed to the market, which may explain the sudden investor interest.

However it did note a number of updates to shareholders over the past two months confirming the achievement of several major operational milestones at its three coal mining operations in South Africa, at its proposed fourth mine development and at its exploration projects in Botswana.

Continental is now operating three thermal coal mining operations with a combined run of mine production rate of 2.8 million tonnes per annum after it brought its Penumbra Mine into production in November.

This was closely followed by first export thermal coal sales from the mine.

Mine development costs at Penumbra are fully funded and on budget.

During the December quarter of 2012 Continental achieved financial settlement of the first Penumbra Mine hedge contracts, a program that was implemented earlier in 2012 to mitigate the company's exposure to a fall in US$ coal prices or appreciation if the ZAR:US$.

Continental has also previously confirmed forecast sales of around 200,000 tonnes of high quality export thermal coal from the Penumbra Mine in the 2013 financial year at total costs of around US$55 per tonne free on board.

Revenue is forecast to increase by about US$45 million in the 2014 financial year on full year export thermal coal sales of 500,000 tonnes generating between US$15 and US$20 million of forecast cashflow based on current export coal prices.

Meanwhile, optimisation work on the 2011 Feasibility Study on the De Wittekrans Coal Project, the proposed fourth mine development, showed the potential to enhance the project's technical and financial fundamentals.

The work shows proposed exports of 2.4 million tonnes per annum of export thermal coal product over an initial 30 year mine life generating an indicative equity project NPV in excess of US$110 million and an IRR of plus-20%.

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