Weekly Brief 13th November

Even if you are not paraskevidekatriaphobic, Friday the 13th in the year 2020 may be enough to put even the least superstitious on edge. 

But you’ll be glad to hear that the day’s infamous reputation has a very muddy history behind it and even less scientific basis, with no correlation found between it and more accidents occurring, and is even seen as lucky in other cultures. Superstitions aside, it marks the end of another week and the start of the weekend – and what can be so bad about that?! It shares today with World Kindness Day, spreading the importance of being kind not only to others, but to yourself and to the world as well – a message that is particularly pertinent this year as our single act of kindness may make the world of difference to another. This week also marked Remembrance Sunday and Armistice on Wednesday, with this year’s honours having to follow current lockdown restrictions and distancing guidelines. However, a special exemption was made to honour 100 years since the unknown warrior was laid to rest with a service held at Westminster Abbey, representing those who lost their lives and whose bodies were never recovered. As we remember those who have fallen to protect our lives and those who continue to do so today, the words from the archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at the event resonate: “Sacrifice is not only in a time of war…sacrifice is the virtue that smooths the rough roads over which our societies travel”. 



Client News: 


FastForward Innovations Ltd (AIM: FFWD) provided an update on Intensity Therapeutics, a subsidiary of FastForward’s investee company, Portage Biotech Inc., in which it holds a c.0.90% interest. Intensity Therapeutics reported favourable data from its ongoing phase 1/2 study of INT230-6 in patients with advanced solid tumours at SITC 2020. Kaplan Meier analysis showed a 79.1% survival probability estimate at 1 year when dosing a volume of INT230-6 of 50% of the baseline tumour burden. 


Jubilee Metals Group Plc (AIM: JLP) released its audited results for the year ended 30 June 2020. The period delivered impressive results in financial, operational and investment areas. Total revenue for the year increased by 132% to £54.8 million, adjusted group EBITDA increased by 132% to £22.6 million, and saw an earnings growth of 162% to £18.3 million whilst earnings per share were up 96% to 0.94 pence. The PGM Operations delivered a record production of 40,742 ounces to generate a revenue of £34.5 million, nearly doubling the previous year’s, and the Chrome Operations delivered 377,883 tonnes of chrome concentrate generating revenue of £17.2 million. The acquisition of the Sable Refinery was completed during the period and the rights to approximately 270 million tonnes of copper containing surface tailings have now been secured delivering on its Zambian copper strategy which will offer investors future positive sustained earnings. Despite the pandemic causing some unprecedented challenges during the period, the ‘Jubilee Way’ continued to successfully deliver excellent and record breaking results.  


Aberdeen based Plexus Holdings Plc (AIM: POS) entered into a non-exclusive licence agreement with Cameron International Limited, a group company of Schlumberger, the world’s leading oilfield services provider. The licence grants Cameron the right to use Plexus’ POS-GRIP and HG® metal-to-metal seal method of wellhead engineering for the development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas surface wellheads to supply a market that historically has consumed tens of thousands of production wellheads per annum. In return, Cameron will pay Plexus a capital licence fee payment of $500,000 and a royalty in the range of 3-6% based on the number of wellheads supplied in each calendar year.  The licence agreement comes at a time when the industry is looking for dependable technology to help it pivot away from coal and oil to natural gas, the preferred future hydrocarbon energy source which also has a role to play in the production of hydrogen. At the wellsite, POS-GRIP, which is capable of maintaining gas-tight integrity throughout the life of a well, is one such dependable technology.  


Dekel Agri-Vision Plc (AIM: DKL)expects to report a material improvement in its second half numbers compared to the equivalent period last year after issuinga strong production update for its 100% owned palm oil project in Ayenouan in Cote d’Ivoire for October 2020. Crude palm oil produced and sale prices achieved both posted double digit increases, rising 19% to 1,818 tonnes and 28% to €636 per tonne respectively. This follows a strong Q3 2020 performance compared to 2019. 


A busy week of news from Vast Resources Plc (AIM: VAST) includes a number of exciting operational updates from the company’s Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania.  Following a review of historical data the company has increased the exploration target for the producing mine to a range of 3.2M-5.8M tonnes (from 1.8M-3M tonnes).  This resource discovery creates a major opportunity to expand the production profile and significantly extend the life of mine plan.  Vast has also confirmed that it has copper concentrate prepared and ready for the first commercial delivery to the Port of Constanta in Romania, with formal completion of the first sale from Baita Plai due to take place the week commencing 16 November 2020. 


Empire Metals Limited (AIM: EEE) announced that the resolution approving the sale of the Bolnisi Gold and Copper Project to Candelaria Mining Corporation for an all-equity consideration of CAD7 million was duly passed at the company’s General Meeting this week. The final condition for closing of the transaction is the waiving of a right-of-first-refusal in favour of Empire’s Georgian partners, Caucasian Mining Group, which must be exercised by the 23 November 2020. 




In the news this week… 


Coconuts are being used in Northern Ireland to help restore a peat bog and combat climate change. 


The Poppies to Paddington operation involved nine trains travelling from 60 stations across the country to take poppy wreaths to be placed at a war memorial at Paddington station for the 11am remembrance service. 


Find out more about the centenary of the unknown warrior’s burial and read poet laureate Simon Armitage’s tribute ‘The Bed’. 


World Kindness Day 2020: a list of 25 ways to be kind. 


John Lewis’ annual Christmas advert is here! 


Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and keep updated with our latest news and insights