Weekly Brief 22nd January

The week started with ‘blue Monday’, the apex of the dreaded January blues, and although an entirely baseless modern myth, its legacy as the most depressing day of the year continues to prevail.

The concept has far outlived the travel company that invented it as a PR stunt and you will be glad to know that the psychologist who came up with the ‘formula’ for the day confirmed it to be complete pseudoscience. The equation does however take into account some very real factors: the weather, accumulated festive debt, low motivation levels, time since Christmas and failing new year resolutions – and this year of course needs to be adjusted for pandemic induced blues. However, we have since made it past the infamous day and daylight hours are slowly but surely getting longer, and as we creep closer to the end of the month those January blues are soon to be replaced by blue skies. This year the day also coincided with author A. A. Milne’s birthday, which has been honoured as ‘Winnie-the-Pooh Day’ after his most famous story. Even though we might feel a bit more like gloomy Eeyore these days, Winnie the Pooh is probably the more relatable one during lockdown: “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day”. One thing that Pooh Bear and his Hundred Acre Wood friends can attest to is that with good friends and a pot of honey, nothing can’t be fixed – even Eeyore knows that: “It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine”.

Client News 

Dekel Agri-Vision Plc (AIM: DKL) secured a €15.2 million loan facility as part of a long-term refinance programme focused on extending the maturity of its debt profile, strengthening the balance sheet and facilitating the roll-out of its growth strategy as it looks to become a multi project, multi commodity agriculture company.  The new credit-rated loan facility comes with a three-year capital grace period which will enable a higher proportion of operating cash flows from Dekel’s producing palm oil project in Ivory Coast and soon to be producing cashew project to be retained and reinvested across its portfolio of agriculture projects. An initial €5 million tranche of the seven-year bond has been issued to replace short term debt and provide funding support for Dekel’s cashew project as it nears first production in Q2 2021.

Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc (AIM: EOG) has entered into a £225,000 unsecured loan facility with William Ahlefeldt, Non-Executive Director of the Company. The facility will increase Europa’s headroom to fund any potential cost overruns that may arise from the development of the Wressle field in North Lincolnshire.  Here operations are underway to bring the field into production at an initial gross rate of 500bopd.   At this rate Wressle will more than double Europa’s existing production to over 200bopd which will transform the Company’s financial profile and provide it with a stronger funding platform to pursue multiple growth opportunities across its portfolio.  Requiring a sub US$18 per barrel oil price to break even, production at Wressle, which is on course to come on line by the end of the month, will be highly profitable at today’s US$50 plus per barrel prices.

Cora Gold (AIM: CORA) announced further positive drill results on both the Tagan permit and Dako II permit, which neighbours its flagship Sanankoro Gold Project. The drilling at Dako II builds upon the discovery made in July 2020 and demonstrated a style of mineralisation similar to Zone A at Sanankoro, with the preliminary results including: 9m @ 2.74 g/t Au, 21m @ 1.48 g/t Au, and 21m @ 0.75 g/t Au. After completing the drilling programme at Dako II the rig moved to drill a short RAB style air core programme on the Tagan Permit at the Yanfolila North Project, following up on a small RAB programme in June 2019. Multiple parallel mineralised structures have been identified, and the results of the programme include: 9m @ 1.23 g/t Au and 24m @ 0.51 g/t Au. These promising results offer the potential for more surface mineralisation to be drilled and Cora hopes to see this discovery turn into part of the future resources and mine plan for the Project.

FastForward Innovations Ltd (AIM: FFWD) noted an announcement from its investee companies EMMAC Life Sciences and Yooma Corp., in which it holds a 2.3% interest in and a 10.65% interest, respectively. EMMAC is Europe’s largest independent cannabis company and has entered into a licensing agreement with Yooma, which is one of Asia’s leading CBD and wellness social commerce companies. Yooma will have exclusive rights for the distribution and sale of the EMMAC wellness brands in China, Japan, Taiwan and Australia as well as non-exclusive distribution rights in certain other global markets. The agreement is expected to result in improved unit economics for Yooma, and increased momentum in product sales and a build in momentum in Europe for EMMAC.

Tirupati Graphite Plc announced an update on its Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre, which is focused on graphene manufacturing and applications development and mineral processing technology development. TGMRC is developing as a strong, stand alone, revenue generative division in its overall business model that is designed to catalyse the commercialisation of graphene applications. An allotment of land in Bhubaneswar by the Government of Odisha for the research centre with detailed construction planning, equipment sourcing, and recruitment initiatives are advancing well, and Dr Matthiew Gresil, a leading researcher and expert on polymers and composites, has been appointed as advisor and consultant. The further optimisation of the material properties of Tirupati’s graphene products to consistently achieve specific surface areas is likely to further enhance the use and compatibility of the material in various graphene enhanced applications to be developed. Tirupati is confident that these achievements will contribute to building a commercial base across various industries that use advanced polymers and composites ahead of its commercial graphene production capabilities coming on stream and become a significant contributor to the growth of the global graphene market, forecasted to reach over $1 billion by 2023.

Vast Resources Plc (AIM: VAST) announced the appointment of Marcus Brewster as the new General Manager of its Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania, where the Company also reported that production and sales of concentrate continue in line with expectations. Marcus is a senior mining professional with 24 years of open pit and underground experience and will be invaluable to the team as Vast continue to make demonstrable progress in the ramp up to achieve peak production at Baita Plai in 2021 as well as continue to further confirm the Mine’s enlarged exploration target of up to 5.8M tonnes.

You may have missed…

CEO of Tirupati Graphite Shishir Poddar spoke to Proactive London about the progress made at its research centre TGMRC in India and Puruvi Poddar, head of corporate and business development also spoke to Proactive London providing further colour to the significance of the optimisation of graphene properties & the exciting appointment of Dr. Matthieu Gresil (Ph.D) to the team, listen here: https://youtu.be/-znCGFM6x9U

Oracle Power Plc (AIM: ORCP) CEO Naheem Memon answered shareholder questions with Proactive London.

Jubilee Metals Group Plc (AIM: JLP) hosted a webcast with BRRMedia discussing its new blue-chip shareholders on the share register, its six months operations update as well as answering shareholder questions.

In the news this week… 

New poll shows that less than half of the British public want to see reduced immigration rates, dropping 18% from 2015.

Fossilized bone fragments discovered in Patagonia could belong to a species of Titanosaur, the largest terrestrial animal in Earth’s history.

Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet this week, and overcame a speech impediment to perform her poetry.

The US national holiday of Martin Luther King Jr Day also fell this week – read more about the influential life.

Celebrate AA Milne’s birthday by taking a look at his other works.

The Telegraph’s tips on beating the January blues.

Read more about the origin of ‘blue Monday’ and a list of mental health resources.


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