This week’s brief is dedicated to the inspiring Captain Tom Moore: the 99-year old captured the nation’s hearts after raising an incredible £17 million for the NHS by completing a sponsored walk of 100 laps around his garden.
And if that is not enough to banish any lockdown-induced blues then how about the comforting words of assurance the WWII veteran gave to the country after finishing the final lap: “The sun will shine on you again, and the clouds will go away”. Hmm looking out of the window on this wet and overcast Friday, Captain Moore’s words could equally be used to banish any miserable weather-induced blues too…
FastForward Innovations (AIM: FFWD) has had a busy week, releasing a corporate update in respect of its portfolio of investee companies, as it continues to focus on providing investors with exposure to disruptive growth opportunities with near term re-rating potential. The company also provided two updates on its investee company Portage Biotech Inc.. Portage’s portfolio company, Intensity Therapeutics Inc., which is pioneering a new immune-based approach to treat solid cancer tumours, has entered into a clinical trial collaboration agreement with New York Stock Exchange listed Bristol Myers Squibb Company. The agreement builds upon its other partnerships to evaluate the potential of its leading product, INT230-6, in combination with immunotherapy. FastForward also announced that effective April 15, 2020, the Ontario Securities Commission revoked its Failure-to-File Cease Trade Order issued against Portage on August 2, 2019, and trading of Portage’s common shares on CSE has now resumed.
Kodal Minerals (AIM: KOD) has been awarded a further three year term on two of their 100% owned concessions in Cote d’Ivoire, securing the Company’s exploration interests in these gold assets. Kodal also provided an update on its Joint Venture with ASX and LSE listed Resolute Mining Ltd; following gold mineralisation defined in previous drilling, exploration drilling had been planned for their Nielle but unfortunately has been postponed due to COVID-19 and is expected to re-commence after the wet season at the end of the year. Kodal continues to report a strong increase in interest in gold assets due to the strong potential value of their portfolio.
MGC Pharma (ASX: MXC) signed a Manufacturing and Distribution Agreement with Micelle Technology AG, the parent company of Swiss PharmaCan AG for research support, commercial manufacturing and distribution of a natural anti-infective based formulation to treat human patients with serious viral infections with inflammatory complications, based on the MyCell Enhanced delivery system technology. In addition to this, MGC has been granted Human Research Ethics Committee approval from Nazareth Hospital EMMS in Israel to conduct a Phase II placebo controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the formulation on patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
Highlights of Europa Oil & Gas’ (AIM: EOG) interims results this week included the granting of planning consent for the development of the Wressle oil field in the East Midlands, and the award of the Inezgane permit offshore Morocco. Wressle is expected to come on stream in H2 at a gross rate of 500bopd which will more than double Europa’s own net production to around 240 barrels a day. Meanwhile, initial technical work on the Inezgane permit has identified multiple large prospects, a number of which have the potential to hold up to 250million barrels. The licence is already attracting serious interest from operators. In Ireland, where Europa is rebalancing its portfolio towards gas, talks with prospective partners to drill the 1.5tcf Inishkea gas prospect will continue.
Bluejay Mining (AIM: JAY) has signed a memorandum of understanding with a major international ilmenite market participant to place nearly half of the planned production of the Dundas Ilmenite Project alongside potential project financing. The first bulk sample batch of heavy minerals concentrate has also been produced at the Contrecoeur pilot plant in Quebec for Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT), however in light of the COVID-19 pandemic the plant is now on care and maintenance and RTIT have delayed the smelter test until 2021. In support of commercialisation, Bluejay continues to work towards completing the Exploitation Licence requirements for Dundas alongside the Greenlandic authorities by finding alternative ways of conducting the Public Consultation process in light of COVID-19 restrictions. In response to the current pandemic, a cost saving programme has also been successfully implemented and licence waivers have been received from the government. The new budget demonstrates up to four years of working capital if necessary, putting Bluejay in a robust position during this time. These waivers apply to Bluejay’s portfolio in Greenland, which includes two newly awarded licences prospective for gold, base metals and uranium covering a total of 2,025 km2 to be known as the Thunderstone Project.
Harvest Minerals Limited (AIM: HMI) is expanding the mining area and product storage facility at its 100% owned Arapua Fertiliser Project in Brazil. Expansion of the mining area will allow for increased production and provide additional run of mine (ROM) storage capacity, which should further reduce operating costs per tonne as production increases, whilst expansion of the product storage facility will triple current storage capacity and increase production and loading flexibility. These developments will allow Harvest to stock pile dry material during the rainy season and meet forecasted demand. The company also announced board and management changes as part of its previously announced cost saving initiatives, with Mr Frank Moon stepping down as Non-Executive Director and CFO Mr David Edghill leaving the company.
Empyrean Energy (AIM: EME) revealed a substantial 79% increase in the 2C resources estimate for its Mako gas discovery offshore Indonesia to 493Bcf. The internal resource upgrade follows last year’s successful appraisal drilling campaign which confirmed the presence of a thicker and better quality reservoir, with a gas water contact 5ft deeper than previously assumed. The drilling results have also had a positive impact on potential development plans for Mako, with up to a 150MMscf/d plateau production rate now being modelled. Separately, Empyrean also announced that it raised £410,950 via a subscription through existing investors and directors. The Company also intends to launch an open offer to enable all qualifying existing shareholders to subscribe for shares in the Company at the same price after receiving indications of interest from a number of potential investors. The funds raised will be used to satisfy the Company’s share of the final costs in relation to the drilling of the successful Tambak-1 and Tambak-2 appraisal wells, in Mako gas field, offshore Indonesia, including post drilling resource updates, as well as for working capital purposes.
Jubilee Metals Group (AIM: JLP) has recommenced operations at the Inyoni Surface PGM and Chrome Operation, and Windsor JV PGM Operation is preparing to recommence shortly in strict adherence to the updated lock down Rules and Regulations as set out by the South African authorities. Operations were shutdown temporarily in line with the 21 day lock down enforced in South Africa due to the current pandemic. Strict health and security measures have been enforced to ensure their employees and team are well protected during this period.
CEO of Ferro-Alloy Resources (AIM: FAR), Nick Bridgen, caught up with Proactive Investor to discuss its world-class vanadium project in Kazakhstan and the Company’s attractive value proposition – thanks to extremely simple extraction process, with far lower capital and operating costs than normal, the Company can still be profitable, even with the current stabilised vanadium prices.
And some news you may have missed this week…
Here is Captain Tom Moore’s inspiring story.
Inspired by Mr Moore, 90 year-old Margaret Payne is aiming to claim her stairs 282 times – the equivalent of Highland mountain Suilven which she climbed when she was 15 in 1944. She has already reached her target of £10,000 for the NHS!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge voice Public Health England’s film with mental health advice for getting through lockdown.
Lego are making 13,000 face visors a day for healthcare workers.
Now no longer being able to paint the streets, Banksy has had to resort to his own home…
The Guardian’s good news roundup.
Want to thank your local supermarket workers but don’t know how? Here’s a website where you can send them a thank you!
After the puppies from the Atlanta Humane centre went on a field trip to the Georgia Aquarium, the kittens got jealous – so they got a trip of their own!