To cut or not to cut? That was the burning question in the week that was. In the end, the UK Government opted to cut the 2-metre social distancing rule in half to 1-metre plus.
With a good ear and a fair wind, you could hear pub and restaurant owners across the land collectively sighing with relief. The move will, of course, require us all to recalibrate to the newly mandated distance, so we at St Brides thought we’d provide a few everyday examples of what 1 metre looks like to help the process along. For those of a musical disposition, a full-size guitar is one metre in length, give or take a few centimetres. For those with an average five-year-old in the household, toe to head ought to measure up to 1 metre with a handful of centimetres to spare. Not musical? Don’t have access to a five-year-old? Five steps of your staircase should do the trick. Live in a bungalow? The width of the large fridge in your kitchen is just shy of one metre.
And speaking of food, this week’s news suggests that we’ve all turned to comfort food and alcohol during the lockdown. Feasting in times of great change is not a new phenomenon; the Ancient Greeks were particularly well known for this with vast festivals held in honour of the god Dionysus. Not much has changed apparently. According to Just Eat, which has experienced a boom in recent months in line with Britons rising appetite for takeaways, orders for Greek food were up 116%, although Italian, Chinese and Indian foods remained the most popular.
The success of another takeaway provider, Deliveroo, hasn’t gone unnoticed with Amazon was given approval to take a $500m stake in the business. Other winners in the sector include Premier Foods; demand for its baking products have lifted its sales by a fifth during lockdown. And finally, online retailer Naked Wines has reported an 81% jump in revenues in April and May with volumes of English wine up over 100% against April and May last year.
And now that 1 metre is the new 2 metre, who’s to say that pubs and restaurants won’t soon be joining the ranks of food winners in the weeks and months ahead as punters choose to tuck into a plate of Moussaka in a newly re-opened pub garden, sitting the obligatory 1m apart from their friends, and drinking English wine. Speaking of lockdown winners, you’ll find a few more among companies in the St Brides’ stable, which reported this week…
Bluejay Mining Plc (AIM: JAY) is delighted to have announced that its Public Consultation period for the Dundas Ilmenite Project in Greenland has commenced. The Public Consultation period has been extended from eight to ten weeks in length and heralds the start of dialogue regarding the Impact Benefit Agreement as well as collating the ‘White Paper’, which manages Bluejay’s responses to questions that arise from the process. These requirements must be met prior to the finalisation of the Impact Benefit Agreement and the subsequent Governmental decision on an award or not of an Exploitation Licence for Dundas.
Oracle Resource Plc (AIM: ORCP) announced its final results to 31 December 2019. It was a year of significant progress for Oracle as it looks to develop one of the largest power projects in Pakistan at its Thar Block VI Project. With continued support from both the Pakistan and Chinese governments for development and financing, and the entering into a Joint Development Agreement with the private office of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum and China Coal in December 2019, the board of Oracle are looking forward to progressing key items on the path towards reaching definitive agreements with their partners in the Thar Block VI Project.
United Oil and Gas (AIM: UOG) provided an update on its Abu Sennan field in Egypt. Production is now up to 13,900 boepd, 3,060 boepd net to United’s 22% interest in the field, which represents a 69% increase on volumes recovered at the field as recently as April 2020. This follows recent drilling success with the El Salmiya-5 well. At the same time, the Company unveiled an upgrade in the field’s reserves to 13.5million barrels which, when one takes into account production to date, represents a 190% reserves replacement ratio. A further reserves upgrade can be expected as this latest report did not take into account the El-Salmiya well. Not bad going for an acquisition which only completed in February this year.
A triumph for BlueRock Diamonds (AIM:BRD) who released their final results earlier this week for the year ended 31 December 2019. The very encouraging results demonstrated that revenue generated from the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in South Africa was up 190% to £4.1 million (2018: £1.4 million), carats sold were up 124% to 12,675 (FY 2018: 5,657) and production volume was up 70% to 323,000 tonnes (FY 2018: 190,000 tonnes). But it doesn’t stop there, BlueRock’s new operating team headed up by Gus Simbanegavi, achieved their target to reach an annual run rate of 400,000 tonnes and operational profitability through enhanced production at the end of 2019. Not to mention improving the average grade which was up 32% to 4.34 cpht (FY 2018: 3.28 cpht) and the average price per carat was also up 24% to USD415 per carat (FY 2018: USD334). Looking ahead, BlueRock’s advanced strategy is to scale up the mine to a mid-sized mine, positioned for a material increase in production whilst reducing unit costs. These results follow the recent private sale of a parcel of diamonds completed in June 2020 at an average price of USD 290 per carat reflecting ongoing demand for Kareevlei diamonds.
Another set of positive results released from Cora Gold (CORA.LSE) this week from the bulk sample programme the Company completed in conjunction with Hummingbird Resources Plc (AIM. The test work explored the ability of the ore at Cora’s Sanankoro Gold Project to be concentrated by gravity separation to a level that would be viable to transport distances more than 100km which could support a lower capex and faster route to cash flow for the Company.
FastForward Innovations Ltd (AIM: FFWD) invested a further €117,647 in Leap Gaming as part of its pro rata allocation of a €250,000 loan being provided by all shareholders. Leap Gaming has delivered a 123% year-on-year increase in gross gaming and a 95% y-o-y increase in revenues with 30 new customers signed and/or partnerships agreed and an expanded geographic footprint including ATP, NASCAR and Carnoustie. The funds will support this rapid growth and provide a bridge through to profitability, which Leap expects to reach in Q3 2020 under the present circumstances. Following this, FastForward announced that 888Sport, one of the world’s leading online gaming and entertainment solutions providers, decided to extend its partnership with Leap Gaming which will see a variety of Leap Gaming titles become available through 888casino. The partnership will see 888sport host a selection of popular, ultra-realistic 3D virtual sports games from Leap Gaming.
Katoro Gold PLC (AIM: KAT) raised £1.1m, through an oversubscribed placing and subscription of new ordinary shares at 1.5 pence per share. With both the Blyvoor Gold Project and the Haneti Polymetallic Project at a pivotal point in their development / commercialisation, this bolstered financial strength now enables the company to accelerate the development strategies for all projects aggressively.
Kibo Energy PLC (AIM: KIBO) has signed a binding term sheet with an investment consortium consisting of several high net worth entities and individuals, including two of the company’s largest shareholders, for up to £1m. The funds will be used to continue the development of Kibo’s diverse energy project portfolio, comprising 1255 MW generation capacity approaching commercialisation. At its 65% owned Benga Project in Mozambique the company is on track to finalise a PPA with Baobab at the end of September this year and continues productive engagement with EDM with a PPA planned to be finalised before the end of 2020. In the UK Kibo is also making progress advancing various funding and commercial opportunities and anticipates bringing Bordesley into production before the end of 2020. The company also continues to make headway in Tanzania where it is awaiting further guidance from authorities regarding a new tender for coal fired power projects.
Dekel Agri-Vision (AIM: DKL) released its first set of finals this week. No need for an eye test, the West African focused palm oil producer changed its name from DekelOil during the year to reflect the diversified agriculture company it is set to become once the large scale cashew processing project it is developing at Tiebissou, Cote d’Ivoire comes on stream in H1 2021. Until then, Dekel’s sole producing project is its palm oil operation at Ayenouan which for the year ended 31 December 2019 reported a 14% increase in Crude Palm Oil (‘CPO’) production to 37,649 tonnes and a 15% increase in CPO sales to 37,713 tonnes. A second consecutive year of poor global CPO prices, which dropped another 9% in the year to €491 per tonne, pegged back the Company’s full year financial performance so that revenues and EBITDA came in at €20.9m (2018: €20.9m) and €0.2m (2018: €0.1m loss) respectively. Management expects to build on this in the coming year, as palm oil prices are currently trading at over US$600 per tonne and Tiebissou is due to come on stream.
You may have missed client videos and presentations…
Executive Director Carl Esprey spoke to Donald Leggatt from London South East on all things Contango Holdings plc. The Admission, the Lubu coal asset in Zimbabwe, future plans and funding were all discussed in this interview – https://bit.ly/2CyzTgG
CEO of Jubilee Metals Plc, Leon Coetzer, speaking to Crux Investor about its recently acquired 150 million tonnes copper tailings processing project in Zambia – a significant transaction which offers a long term sustainable earnings profile to Jubilee’s Zambian business
Jangada Mines has released an updated version of its corporate presentation, which can be found on its website: www.jangadamines.com
Savannah Resources held their virtual AGM this week, the presentation and recording from the AGM, given by CEO David Archer, can be found on their website here: www.savannahresources.com/
Amur tiger cubs Dmitri, Makari and Czar enjoy a blood lollipop to celebrate their second birthday in their enclosure at Whipsnade Zoo, yum.
For some, it is a refreshing and invigorating start to the morning, but for others, Joe Wickes’ P.E. session causes mayhem…
Happy 50th Birthday to Glastonbury! The iconic week-long music festival held on Worthy Farm in Somerset should have been in full swing by now but, as with most of the social calendar this year, has fallen victim to COVID-19, leaving numerous distraught partygoers only comforted by the fact their tickets are valid next year. Some footage from the very first two-day bash can be viewed here:
Thursday 25th June welcomed the UK’s hottest day of the year, coming in at a sticky 33.3 degrees Celsius, however, local councils and Dorset Police were horrified as eager beachgoers, some having driven as far as Birmingham to Bournemouth, crammed themselves into swimmers and enjoyed frolicking in the shallows. Fights, traffic gridlock, anti-social behaviour, overnight camping, and not to mention a blatant disregard for the 1 metre plus rule were the order of the day… www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk
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