The beginning of what will hopefully be the end: the strictest restrictions have started easing up this week.
With restaurants and pubs welcoming people to their terraces, the return of the rule of six, gyms reopening after their hiatus, and eager shoppers queuing to see the latest trends, it almost feels normal – or at least, the ‘new normal’ that we have grown accustomed to. The only major downside to only being able to meet others outdoors is having to rely on the infamously unpredictable British weather. However, this of course has not stopped people from taking the personal challenge of venturing outside. Table bookings have fast become a rare commodity and in quintessential British fashion, come rain or shine, or even snow as there was earlier this week, you will still see outdoor seating heaving with patrons. However, amidst the revelry of what is being dubbed the ‘great unlocking’ and joys of being reunited with our loved ones, the reality and grief of why we have been in lockdown is ever present. Out of this national grief, a moving piece of public artwork has appeared on London’s Southbank directly opposite the Houses of Parliament. Unveiled just over a week ago, the kilometre-long National Covid Memorial Wall is filled with around 150,000 hand drawn red hearts, each to represent someone lost to the virus in Britain. Started by Matt Fowler in honour of his late father, he placed the first heart that began the sea of hearts that has followed and there are now discussions of making the commemoration permanent. It serves as a place to reflect and pay respects now that we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel draw nearer, and as a reminder of the pockets of beauty that have come out of this difficult time.
Trident Royalties Plc (AIM: TRR) released its audited final results for the year ended 31 December 2020. Following Trident’s transition from a cash shell to a diversified mining royalty company and putting into motion its new business model and strategy, it has been a landmark year in the company’s development. During the period under review Trident has built a balanced, diversified portfolio to represent the exposure of the global mining sector, spanning copper, iron ore, gold and lithium. Since listing on AIM in May 2020 after a £16m fundraise as one of the largest equity placings in London Trident has made a total of thirteen royalty acquisitions, ending with 60% interest GRR in the largest lithium reserve and resource in the US of Thacker Pass and the acquisition of three royalties over the Pukaqaqa Copper Project in Peru. Trident has established critical mass during this time ahead of a period of rapid growth during 2021 as it enters a highly active phase to take advantage of this built momentum, and to capitalise on the forecasted commodities ‘supercycle’.
Oracle Power Plc (AIM: ORCP) provided a Q1 update from the CEO Naheed Memon. Significant progress has been made at its Thar Block VI Project as Pakistan increasingly places importance on its domestic the coal-to-gas and coal-to-liquids industries and Oracle is well placed to lead the way in these developments with its Consortium Partners. Most notably, a policy proposal for the technologies’ development was submitted to the Ministry of Energy by Oracle with CNCDC in February, which was followed by a consultative session. Preliminary feasibility work has been advanced by CNCDC in order to move this agenda forward. Oracle’s Western Australian gold interests have both seen active work programmes during the period under review. Work at the Northern Zone project has furthered the confidence in the asset’s prospectivity and results have provided a direct target model for further drilling with looks to defining a geological model. A substantial greenstone belt has been identified at the Jundee East project and provides further evidence for the asset to host a gold bearing greenstone belt, with further exploration planned upon confirmation. The first quarter of the year has been a period of increased activity for Oracle, setting a pace to be continued throughout the rest of the year. Additionally, CEO Naheed Memon will conduct a shareholder Q&A session which will be available on 21 April 2021. Questions may be submitted by 5pm on 19 April 2021 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights of Europa Oil & Gas’ (AIM: EOG) interim results include the commencement of oil flow at the UK onshore Wressle field. Europa’s 30% share of production from Wressle is expected to translate into 150bopd which will more than double the Company’s existing UK production to over 200boepd. Requiring just US$18 per barrel oil prices to breakeven, Wressle is set to transform the Company’s financial profile. Offshore Ireland, Europa is preparing to launch a farmout of its strategic position in the proven gas play of the Slyne Basin, once regulatory approval for the acquisition of a 100% interest in Frontier Exploration Licence 3/19 has been received. Offshore Morocco, a one year extension to the Inezgane licence was granted which will enable the completion of technical work focused on de-risking over 20 prospects that have the potential to hold a billion barrels of oil. The momentum behind the Company is expected to continue in the second half. The post period end £1.44m fundraise will be deployed to evaluate new work streams to increase UK onshore production as well as identify late stage appraisal/development projects.
Emmerson Plc (LSE: EML) provided an update on the conceptual, phased development plan for its wholly owned Khemisset Potash Project aimed at reducing upfront capital costs and incorporating expansion options. A concept study to examine the potential to develop the project using a four phased approach has been completed. The plan will result in major value enhancing opportunities including a significantly reduced up front capex of $254.6m, an estimated NPV8 of $2.37b, a forecasted EBITDA of $491.4m, and the potential for following phases to be funded from internal cash flows. This demonstrates the flexibility of the project and its additional potential. Emmerson are to continue its development as identified in the FS by utilising the outputs identified in the study on the phased approach.
Tirupati Graphite Plc (AIM: TGR) announced an oversubscribed £10million placing at £0.90 per share, double the price it listed at in December 2020. The proceeds will be primarily used to accelerate the roll-out of Tirupati’s development plans for its specialist graphite and graphene operations in Madagascar and India. The Company had intended to fund the expansion out of cash flow, however increased demand for Tirupati’s graphite products led management to bring forward its plans. Directors Christian Dennis, Lincoln Moore and Rajesh Kedia are each subscribing for placing shares at the placing price.
Harvest Minerals Limited (LSE: HMI) announced a strong Q1 2021 sales performance for its organic, multi-nutrient, direct application remineraliser product, KP Fertil, which is produced at its 100% owned Arapua Fertiliser Project. A total of 8,872 tonnes were sold, representing a 166% increase compared to Q1 2020 and more than 10% higher than what management had budgeted for. The sales performance puts Harvest on track to meet its 2021 sales target. A further step-up in KP Fertil’s sales is being targeted, with an expansion of the sales team and regional exposure planned for Q2 2021 as well as the launch of marketing campaigns for KP Fertil’s use on other crops in May 2021.
Vast Resources Plc (AIM: VAST) has welcomed Edward Hollings as Processing Manager at its Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine. Starting 10 May 2021, he will form a key part of the new full-time expert management team on site at the mine as the new upgraded mine plan is implemented. Edward brings 15 years of experience in the base and precious metals industry, specialising in metallurgy and processing. His proficiency in managing expert teams and introducing new programmes at high performing mines will be invaluable to Baita Plai’s development over the course of this year.
Kibo Energy (AIM: KIBO) has made further advancements with the Benga Power Project in Mozambique following a successful meeting with the Mozambique Utility EDM. The technical and business workshop to negotiate and agree the next steps in the process of finalising a PPA was successful, and an advanced technical and commercial information pack has been formally submitted. The productive workshop has furthered the existing momentum in the BPPP’s ongoing development.
You may have missed…
CEO of Emmerson Plc (LSE: EML) Graham Clarke spoke with Proactive Investors on the phased development approach at the Khemisset Potash Project.
In the news this week…
Marks & Spencer is taking legal action against Aldi over Colin the Caterpillar.
Following the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking this week, a documentary highlights the mystery of the ‘missing’ six Chinese survivors.
Lyrid’s meteor shower begins this week, with its peak on Wednesday/Thursday of next week.
Out of things to watch? Find inspiration from the winners of the 2021 Bafta Film Awards.
The Telegraph’s collection of photos from ‘the great unlocking’.
See more about the National Covid Memorial.
Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday will be a celebration of his life – find out more about the details to be included. One of his many lasting legacies is that of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, which has positively impacted millions of teenagers and young adults in the UK. Read more about its impact.