It’s starting to feel like spring, finally. Early mornings and evenings are getting lighter and our days are getting longer (in a good way). Further Covid-19 restrictions are being eased with Spain deciding to allow unvaccinated teens between 12 and 17 into the country with a negative test being the only requirement, and France, Greece and Portugal are all following suit by relaxing their travel restrictions as well, just in time for half term. Endangered species appear to be tentatively tiptoeing back into the world with the birth of a bonobo called Upendi, which means ‘love’ in Swahili, at Twycross Zoo making it the first to be born in the UK since 2019. Meanwhile, other endangered species are making strong comebacks in their natural habitats due to the success of conservation efforts: giraffe populations across Africa have rebounded 20% since 2015, an increase in tiger populations has been recorded for the first time in 12 years, and Australia is investing a record $35m to protect its resident koalas. Extra-terrestrial life is just as mysterious as ever with scientists continuing to wonder if there is life on Mars, due to recent findings suggesting “alien signatures”. Who knows, maybe we’ve found Major Tom?
However, the most worrying piece of information of all is that beer sales have dropped in favour of wine and spirits. It seemed inevitable during the lockdown as the population turned to their local shops instead of pubs for their booze. Although, it appears that people have decided to stick with this as beer tax is robbing pubs of all their customers, and the hybrid working style many businesses have adopted doesn’t appear to be helping either and our Beer Sommeliers are suffering. Thankfully, negotiations regarding the reduction of taxes on beer have begun. A call to action is in order: Save British Pub culture! Save our Brewers! We shall all simply have to make the grand sacrifice to go to the pub more often and buy more beer.
In other news, the FTSE has fallen by 0.77% this week due to the economy bouncing back post-pandemic, with the potential to be soon followed by ever-higher inflation rates. Tax rates are expected to rise as are energy bills. As a result, economists are forecasting a fall in consumer spending come April.
Mila Resources Plc (LSE: MILA) has confirmed that the project team have mobilised on-site and final preparations are now near complete as it prepares to recommence drilling at its Kathleen Valley Gold Project in Western Australia. Initial drilling has identified consistent, high-grade mineralisation with multiple +10g/t Au & Ag grades, which Mila is now looking to build upon to increase the current 21,000oz resource, deemed the “tip of the iceberg”. “We have so far only drilled circa 1,750m and we have identified consistent and exceptionally high-grade mineralisation, so we are incredibly excited to resume on-site activity and see what a further ~11,000m worth of drilling will generate,” said CEO Mark Stephenson.
Oracle Power PLC (AIM: ORCP) announced that the maiden drill programme is underway at its 100% owned Jundee East Gold Project in Western Australia. The reverse circulation programme is expected to take 4-5 weeks to complete with results expected 6-8 weeks thereafter and is focused on five target areas as identified in Oracle’s 2021 geochemical sampling campaign. The project has strong indications of a previously unrecognised greenstone belt and the drill programme aims to confirm its presence.
“It is fantastic to restart drilling again in Western Australia with this maiden drill programme at Jundee East,” said Naheed Memon, CEO of Oracle.
In addition, Oracle published a short Information Memorandum relating to its proposed green hydrogen project in Pakistan. This provides an overview of the project, which is targeting a globally competitive cost of approximately US$2 per kg of hydrogen.
The document is available to view on its website: http://www.oraclepower.co.uk/investor-relations/presentations/
Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA) has released a new corporate presentation which is available on its website: www.albamineralresources.com
Empire Metals Limited (AIM: EEE) announced the commencement of a strategic phase of exploratory drilling at the Eclipse Gold Project in Australia, in conjunction with an initial drilling campaign at its Gindalbie Gold Project. This significantly larger, newly combined Eclipse-Gindalbie project area provides Empire with an exciting, advanced-gold exploration opportunity. As a result, it has decided not to take up the option over the Central Menzies Gold Project, in order to focus its activities on the more promising Eclipse and Gindalbie Projects.
Caracal Gold plc (LSE: GCAT) provided an impressive progress update on its Q4 operations in East Africa – specifically at its producing Kilimapesa Gold Mining and Processing Operations in Kenya where it is accelerating its development plan and its recently acquired Nyakafuru and Simba advanced gold projects in Tanzania. Caracal also announced a major new addition to the company’s Board, with the appointment of Rachel Johnston as a Non-Executive Director, effective 1 March 2022.
Firering Strategic Minerals (AIM: FRG) announced that further mapping on and around the Spodumene Hill deposit at its flagship Atex Project in Côte d’Ivoire has identified additional pegmatite outcrops as well as more lithium-bearing pegmatite float, allowing for the fast-tracking of a diamond drilling programme in Q2. Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/3BeBWk5
In case you missed it…
Mark Routh CEO of Prospex was interviewed by VOX markets this week
PYX Resources CEO Oliver Hasler appeared on Australia’s Stockhead’s Rockyarns podcast to discuss the zircon maker’s recent production expansion into rutile and ilmenite
In the news this week…
The UK economy grew at the fastest rate since the second world war in 2021
King Crimson frontman Ian McDonald has died aged 75
Spain to relax Covid restrictions for UK teenagers
Is there life on Mars?
Upendi, the baby Bonobo brings new hope to an endangered species
Beer Vs. Spirits and Wine, why people have moved on to the latter and what beer tax means for our pubs