Critical Metals (CRTM), a mining company in the critical and strategic metals sector, announced the commencement of copper production at the Molulu Project, an ex-producing copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Production follows the completion of preparation work on site and the arrival of several vital pieces of mining equipment. CRTM said this is a major landmark it moves towards securing further assets.
Comment: It is perhaps ironic that being a mining production company still puts many small caps in the space into a rather elite category in the London market. Critical is set to enter into this special club at pace, and on time. We await the results of the production with baited breath, especially after the recent very strong run up in the share price.
Fiinu (BANK), a fintech company and creator of the Plugin Overdraft®, provided an operational update. The company said significant progress has been made in building the capability of the Fiinu Bank in terms of hiring key personnel and building critical systems, technology and procedures. Attention is also focused on raising the previously announced funds required of approximately £35-40million, which is anticipated to be achieved on a staged basis commencing in the run-up to Easter through to completion by July 2023.
Comment: Given that we are in a cost of living crisis, and a Plugin Overdraft is a product on the zeitgeist, it is perhaps only right that the latest rebound in shares of Fiinu has legs. Perhaps the latest update from the group will remind investors of the addressable market that the company has in the current economic environment.
Xtract Resources (XTR) provided shareholders with an update on the Kakuyu copper joint venture project located approximately 53km north-west of the town of Mumbwa, Central Province of Zambia. The company said it was very pleased with progress to date on the Kakuyu project. On acquisition, it was confident that a relatively small operation could be sustained for two years or possibly more.
Comment: We are reminded that Xtract is not all about activities in Australia, with Bushranger et al. The stock has bounced off its lows in recent days, and the copper joint venture in Zambia may highlight to investors that the company is firing on several cylinders.
Stephen Sanderson, chief executive of UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) and its wholly owned subsidiary UK Energy Storage, enjoyed an encouraging meeting yesterday in Parliament with the Minister of State for Energy and Climate, the Rt. Hon. Graham Stuart MP and the MP for South Dorset, Mr Richard Drax, who facilitated the event. The meeting covered all areas of UKEn’s energy storage hub project at Portland Port in Dorset.
Comment: If nothing else Stephen Sanderson must be congratulated for getting anyone in the Government to do anything at the moment. The meeting underlines how serious the energy security crisis now is, after the efforts of the green lobby to close down UK supply, and the war in Ukraine.
PrimaryBid and Winterflood announced a collaboration to further advance UK retail investor participation in equity and debt capital markets, including IPOs and follow-on fundraises. Together the firms will offer API integration to any stockbroker or wealth manager wishing to distribute primary market deals to retail investor clients, leveraging the UK’s retail trading network which currently pools secondary market retail liquidity. This digitisation initiative aims to significantly lower the frictional barriers in the UK’s retail capital raising infrastructure, including simplifying participation from almost £300bn of uninvested ISA monies currently held as cash.
Comment: Although we are perhaps in a time when investors are more concerned with buying milk, eggs and bread, or paying their energy bills, rather than buying shares, the latest initiative from PrimaryBid / Winterflood is well timed. The liquidity crunch at the small end of the stock market over the past year has been noticeable, and although a fair chunk of it has been caused by regulatory overkill, tapping into ISA monies to revive the market is as good a strategy as any.
Futura Medical (FUM), a pharmaceutical company focused on sexual health and pain, announced that its partner, Cooper Consumer Health has initiated pre-launch activities ahead of the launch of MED3000 (Eroxon™), Futura’s breakthrough, topical gel formulation for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Comment: FUM is another life sciences group that is backed by positive sentiment in the space since the start of 2023, and therefore this may coincide well with the pre-launch run up for MED3000.
Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) announced that it has successfully raised £4,056,250 at 2.5p. The Placing was conducted by Peterhouse Capital Limited and SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP. The net proceeds from the Placing will be used to facilitate progression of the Company’s HEMO-CAR-T product candidate into clinical trials and to enable the company to continue development of product candidates for the treatment of viral infections based on its Chimeric Bait Receptor platform.
Comment: Hemogenyx has taken advantage of its own in house progress, as well as more positive sentiment towards the life sciences space to raise a meaningful amount of cash. Investors will be looking forward to the company now going down the road of monetizing its multi-faceted research.
Renalytix (RENX) announced the launch of PRIME-CKD, that aims to validate and implement in clinical practice, novel biomarker-based tests that predict response to existing drugs used by patients with chronic kidney disease. PRIME-CKD is funded by Horizon Europe, the European Union’s key funding program for research and innovation. The total budget of the project is $10 million over a projected five-year period with approximately 10% of the budget targeted for commercial translation activities to be undertaken by Renalytix.
Comment: We now know why the share price of RENX has been on the front foot in recent weeks, with the chunky $10m funding a decent announcement. Given the shares are still relatively low in the range, this news could be enough to deliver a re-rate for the company, boosting confidence.
Bradda Head Lithium (BHL), the North America-focused lithium development group, announced results from the Company’s drilling programme at its San Domingo pegmatite district. Due to exceptionally high levels of demand at the assay labs are now expected to be received this quarter. Assay labs in North America are stretched in their capacity and the holiday period has further added to the existing delays. Bradda Head is looking forward to releasing results from the first drill programme at its San Domingo pegmatite district as soon as viable. The company said 2023 is going to be a busy year for the Bradda Head team with many material catalysts on the way. An updated presentation will shortly be available detailing the proposed timeline for the year-ahead.
Comment: It is perhaps surprising that shares of Bradda are back at main 6p support, and it is evident that the company is keen on making positive noises given the surprising weakness. We await the “material catalysts” and trust that the new TSX listing will add a fresh pool of liquidity to the stock.
First Class Metals (FCM), the UK metals exploration company, provided an update on activities in respect to the North Hemlo property. The company said it was delighted to report on what has been a highly successful first field season for FCM across the North Hemlo property. The newly defined extension of the Dead Otter Lake occurrence into a trend of over 3km is a significant event. This trend with several gold assays over 1g/t and the incredible +19 g/t. Furthermore the associated molybdenum as a key pathfinder is very positive, given the Mo associated at Hemlo, only 20km to the south on a similar structural trend.
Comment: Given the proliferation of FCM’s fanatical supporters, it is a relief to see some real news to get our teeth into. It will be interesting to see whether the share price momentum from listing continues after this upbeat update.
Velocys (VLS), the sustainable fuels technology company, provided a business and post close update for the 12 months ending 31 December 2022. The company said it has the here-and-now technology to enable SAF production close to sustainable feedstock sources to decarbonise the aviation industry at scale. In order for SAF production plants to be successful, several threads need to be in place, such as government regulatory support, abundant and sustainable feedstock, carbon capture and sequestration, supply of renewable power, and most of all, a technology that works. Velocys provides a uniquely integrated package with its IP-protected technology at its core.
Comment: With the shares stubbornly near the low of the range in the 4p zone, it is timely that the company has reminded the market that it is in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the current green hysteria we have in all aspects of life. The aviation industry is one of the key guilty parties in the eyes of the tree huggers, and Velocys is well placed to take advantage of the opportunity here, especially given there is still £13m in the bank. That said, anyone who is relying on government support of any kind may be asking too much.
United Oil & Gas (UOG), the full-cycle oil and gas company, provided trading guidance in respect of the financial year to 31 December 2022, and initial guidance for 2023. Group revenue for full year 2022 is expected to be approx.$16m (FY 2021 : $19.2m). Cash capital expenditure was approx. $7m (FY 2021 : $5.5m). The company said “In line, with our continued focus on good capital allocation and the recognition of the value disconnect between the business valuation and the share price, United intends to seek the requisite approvals from shareholders at our 2023 AGM to allow for a limited buyback programme, should this be the best use of capital at the time.”
Comment: Despite the operational progress made by the company, and the tailwind of a bump in energy prices, the market has not thus far embraced UOG in terms of its share price / valuation. A buyback is one of the long awaited answers to the UOG “disconnect” and it will be worth noting whether just the prospect of this happening is enough to scare the bears out of the stock.
Mkango Resources (MKA) announced that the Malawi Environmental Protection Agency has approved the Environmental Social Health Impact Assesment for Mkango’s flagship Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project in the Phalombe district of Malawi.
Comment: Shares of MKA have dipped towards the 10p support zone on three occasions since the start of the autumn, despite a positive backdrop in the rare earths space. The prospect of a thumbs up for Songwe has already led to a small rally in the shares, it should be the case that getting over this hurdle gets the stock to at least where it was in the summer at 20p plus.
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