St Brides Partners Weekly Brief, Saturday 20th March 2021

Blue skies ahead, daffodils carpeting the parks, and the inexplicable urge to suddenly clean: it must be Spring. After the last few months of bleak weather and days cut short, the changing of the seasons certainly puts a ‘spring’ in our step.

With almost all soon-to-be-lifted lockdown measures relying heavily on good weather, it could not be better timing – not that bad weather has ever stopped Brits from stubbornly enjoying a beer garden in sub-zero temperatures or desperately trying to cover the BBQ during a downpour. Following these last few gruelling months of lockdown and some well-developed cabin fever, the start of Spring is definitely offering some much-needed respite along with the promise of being able to meet people not from your household outside.

The beginning of the new season is, however, up for debate: according to the meteorological calendar, it begins at the start of March without question, whilst the astronomical calendar changes annually according to the position of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. So, despite already being a few weeks into Spring meteorologically, the astronomical calendar places the start of the new season tomorrow. Marked by the equinox when the length of day and night are equal, we can now expect our daylight hours to get blissfully longer and hopefully see some warmer weather come our way to join the sun’s recent appearances.

As we go on our walks and potential picnics, joined by a friend or family member we have missed dearly, and surrounded by dashes of lively colour poking their way through the grass, the final line of Wordsworth’s ever popular poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ comes to mind as our hearts too fill with pleasure and ‘dances with the daffodils’ at the little moments we will undoubtedly not soon take for granted again.

Client News: 

Contango Holdings Plc (LSE: CGO) received the results of the NI 43-101 Independent Technical Report produced on the Garalo Gold Project, which confirmed a new model for gold formation and highlights its potential for up to 2Moz. The gold structures confirmed are identical to structures that control the nearby Kalana gold deposit operated by Endeavour Mining, and therefore confirming the potential Garalo holds to host high grade deposits. Additionally, various other clusters of anomalous zones with the potential for gold discovery were identified. An accelerated development schedule is underway to target first gold in Q4 2021 alongside expansion drilling. Furthermore, upside from the neighbouring Ntiela Gold Project with the extension of at least two target zones has been identified. Garalo is already surpassing expectations after only being acquired less than six months ago and has quickly turned into something far larger than predicted initially.

BlueRock Diamonds Plc (AIM: BRD) has recovered three gem quality stones of 10.6 carats, 9.8 carats and 8.4 carats. This follows on from the excellent average price received in the first two months of this year of $423 per carat.

Empire Metals Limited (AIM: EEE) announced that it is commencing with the next phase of work at its Eclipse Gold Project in Australia. This next phase, which is fully funded, is expected to be completed in an estimated two to three months and will allow Empire to map out the path to an initial open pit operation, along with improved definition of possible extensions to resources and the scope for additional future open pits.

FastForward Innovations (AIM: FFWD) announced that its investee company, Yooma Wellness Inc., in which it holds an 8.95% interest, is launching its MYO Plant Nutrition brand in leading UK retailer, Holland & Barrett. MYO Plant Nutrition combines high-quality plant-based ingredients with carefully selected key active ingredients to form functional nutrition products including plant proteins, branched-chain amino acids, essential amino acids and CBD oils.

Ferro-Alloy Resources (LSE: FAR) announced a multi-stage strategic investment for up to $12.6m with Vision Blue Resources, which is led and founded by ex-Xstrata CEO Sir Mick Davis.  The proceeds from the funding package will be used to complete the planned expansion of the existing processing facilities and complete the bankable feasibility study on the Balasausqandiq Vanadium Project in Kazakhstan; rapid progress is now expected on all fronts. Furthermore, Sir Mick Davis has joined the Board. Vision Blue is looking to identify and capture opportunities in battery and technology minerals linked to growing demand for Electric Vehicles & Energy Storage Systems. The use of Vanadium in this is key and their investment into FAR endorses the quality and scale of the opportunity Ferro-Alloy’s asset offers.

Jangada Mines (AIM: JAN) announced that it has submitted an application to the Brazilian National Mining Agency to obtain a trial mining licence for its 100%-owned Pitombeiras Vanadium Project, located in Ceará State, Brazil. Once approved, the licence will allow for the extraction of 300,000 tonnes of Ferrovanadium bearing material per year from Jangada’s exploration licenses with the purpose of continuing to evaluate the technical aspects and economic benefits of the Pitombeiras Project. The application for the trial mining licence is another key step for Jangada in ensuring the transition from developer to producer with the aim to start production in 2022. 
Non-Executive Director, Chris Thomas, made a further investment buying 965,000 shares.

Vast Resources Plc (AIM: VAST) advised that the full executive management team are on site at its Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania to accelerate and facilitate the various aspects and workstreams involved in the development of its revised mine plan. The synchronised visit of senior members of the team enables the coordination of the various technical, financial and commercial aspects of the revised mine plan. The following two weeks are expected to be a highly constructive period for Vast as the key elements responsible for delivering the mine plan at Baita Plai will be physically assembled.

Trident Royalties Plc (AIM: TRR) announced the proposed acquisition of a 60% interest in an exisiting gross revenue royalty over the Thacker Pass Lithium Project, operated by Lithium Americas Corp for a total consideration of $28m. Thacker Pass contains the largest defined lithium mineral reserve in the USA, making it a strategic asset and, on successful completion of the acquisition, will provide exposure to the growing lithium market. This would mark Trident’s twelfth and largest acquisition since listing in London, and is one of the largest fundraisings in the London mining sector this year. In order to finance the cash component of the consideration, £20.2m has been raised by way of a placing of new ordinary shares and was oversubscribed. Additionally, an offer was made on the PrimaryBid platform for up to 1.5m new ordinary shares at the placing price through which an additional £0.5m was successfully raised.

You may have missed… 

Trident Royalties Plc (AIM: TRR) CEO Adam Davidson spoke with Proactive London on its 12th and largest acquisition.

Catch up on BlueRock Diamonds (AIM: BRD) InvestorMeet presentation.

Watch Crux Investor interview Shishir Poddar, executive chairman of Tirupati Graphite Plc (AIM: TGR).

Ferro Alloy Resources (AIM: FAR) CEO Nick Bridgen spoke with Proactive London on future expansion plans following the Vision Blue deal.

In the news this week… 

Britain’s largest independent chain of petrol stations is to spend £400m on installing 3,000 fast electric chargers nationwide.

English Heritage share some of their top traditional techniques for spring cleaning.

Feeding cows seaweed could cut their methane emissions by 82%.

The National Trust is planting dozens of blossoming trees across the UK, with a circle of 33 trees across London – each representing a different borough.

A UK national day of reflection for the anniversary of the first Covid lockdown is to be held next Tuesday.

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