Weekly Brief 28th February 2020

Given up on your new year resolutions already?

For those racked with the guilt, there is another chance to exercise some good old fashioned self discipline.  Wednesday of course marked the start of Lent, that time of the year when many go without their favourite treats or tipples.  Every cloud has a silver lining, at least Lent is time limited to ‘just’ 40 days – so no need to go sin-free the whole year.   And speaking of the year, 2020 is of course a leap year but it’s not any old leap year, more like a once in a 28 years phenomenon as the extra day falls on a Saturday, so make the most of that extra day of 2020 – our clients certainly will after such a busy week on the news front…


Client News

Jangada Mines PLC (AIM: JBL) announced initial results from the 2,500m drill programme underway at its Pitombeiras Vanadium Project in Brazil. With vanadium titanomagnetite mineralisation intersected in all three holes for which results have so far been received, the company is optimistic that the drill programme will support the definition of a JORC compliant Mineral Resource estimate to build upon the current JORC Exploration Target of 40Mt-60Mt at 0.3% to 0.6% V2O5, 40%-55% Fe2O3 and 8%-10% TiO2.

MGC Pharma (ASX: MXC) entered into an exclusive commercial wholesale supply agreement with the Polish NGCO Cannabis House Association and the Forensic Laboratory of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Lodz in Poland. MGC will supply its phytocannabinoid derived medicines and scientific support to a large-scale commercial research study on medicinal cannabis users and products in Poland. This has provided MGC immediate access to the large Polish market through the research project, further solidifying its position in the EU market.

Cora Gold (AIM: CORA) provided further drill results from the Sanankoro Gold Project in Mali, which confirm there is significant mineralised extensions beyond existing Resource footprint at Sanankoro.  Additionally, a further 500m of strike to the west of Zone C was also identified as a new mineralised zone.  Further drilling results to come!

Keras Resources PLC (AIM: KRS) announced the final results for the year ended 30 September 2019 and is delighted to have made such progress in a year, having now transformed into a cash generative mining company. The primary focus has been to progress the Nayega Manganese Project, Togo, which is now in a position to operate as a producing mine once the Exploitation Licence is finalised and commercial production should begin shortly., The company’s AGM will be held on Thursday 19 March 2020 at 2pm.

Kodal Minerals PLC (AIM: KOD) provided an update on the progress of the Mining Licence application for its primary focus, the Bougouni Lithium Project in Mali, which is proceeding quickly after the first technical meeting to review the application with the Direction Nationale de la Geologie et des Mines.

Emmerson PLC (AIM: EML) has completed the full cost estimate of the capex required to ensure electricity and gas supply at their 100% owned Khemisset Potash Project in Morocco, as the company continues to develop the potentially world class project. Significant capital expenditure can be saved following discussions with their gas supply partner, as well as reducing the overall carbon footprint of the mine through Morocco’s forward-thinking legislations. Emmerson is confident the Feasibility Study continues to be ahead of schedule and will be delivered towards the front end of Q2 2020.

Katoro Gold PLC (AIM: KAT) has provided a progress and financing update in respect of its Joint Venture agreement with Blyvoor to exploit potentially viable deposits of gold and any other minerals from six gold tailings dams owned by Blyvoor in South Africa.  The joint gold project is proceeding more rapidly than anticipated with good progress made in respect of the feasibility work, definitive plant design and related test work to update and optimise historical work.   The company has also drawn down a £400,000 convertible loan note that will enable it to fund the ongoing work programme.

Bluejay Mining PLC (AIM: JAY) has received confirmation that its Social Impact Assessment (‘SIA’) for the Dundas Ilmenite Project in Greenland is compliant.  As a result, the SIA together with the Environmental Impact Assessment will now be presented to the Government of Greenland for approval to start the public consultation period as part of the approval process for an exploitation licence.  Testament to the company’s growing profile in country, Bluejay will be presenting at the Greenland Day at the PDAC International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange to be held from 1-4 March 2020 at the Metro Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada.  This day will be hosted by the Government of Greenland.

Fast Forward Innovations Ltd (AIM: FFWD) noted an announcement from its investee company EMMAC Life Sciences Limited, in which the Company has a current equity interest totalling 2.4% in the stock. EMMAC has launched Medican, the UK’s first operational distance pharmacy dedicated to medical cannabis prescriptions, and with more than 100 prescriptions already processed continues to solidify its position as Europe’s leading independent cannabis company.

Harvest Minerals Limited (AIM: HMI) has been granted a full mining permit for its 100% owned Arapua Fertiliser Project in Brazil.  The company and project are now fully permitted to mine and process up to 400Ktpa of KPFértil at Arapua.  Mining first commenced in December 2916 following the grant of a trial mining licence and the focus is now on building production. Under the terms of the original sale and purchase agreement, Harvest will now pay US$1m to the original vendors of the asset from existing cash in hand.  On receipt of the full mining licence, the company was due to issue, in aggregate, 1.5 million performance shares to Management but the Board has decided not to issue these performance shares at this time as the share price has become disconnected from the success being achieved at Arapua.

Empire Metals Limited (AIM:EEE) has raised £600,000 by way of a placing and subscription of 60,000,000 new ordinary shares with new and existing shareholders. This will be used to advance the evaluation of high quality and complementary new exploration and development opportunities, and unlock further value in their Bolnisi Copper and Gold joint venture, as they looks to expand and diversify their project portfolio.

Mila Resources PLC has entered into a non-binding heads of terms for the possible acquisition of 100% of E-Tech Metals Ltd, a private company developing projects in the critical and strategic metals industry, its primary asset being the high-grade Eureka Rare Earth Project in Namibia. The transaction constitutes a reverse takeover and remains subject to due diligence.

Plexus Holdings PLC (AIM: POS) announced that its Russian licensee, LLC Gusar, has placed an order for an additional set of POS-GRIP jack-up exploration wellhead equipment.  The order was prompted by encouraging discussions between Gusar and its customers following the successful installation of a first wellhead in Russia for energy giant Gazprom. As one of the three largest gas producers in the world with significant reserves, Russia represents a major market opportunity for Plexus via the Licence Agreement with Gusar.

United Oil and Gas PLC (AIM: UOG) has completed the acquisition of Rockhopper Egypt Pty Ltd from Rockhopper Exploration plc. The Acquisition, which includes a 22% non operating interest in the producing Abu Sennan concession in Egypt, transforms United into a full cycle E and P company. An ongoing drilling programme targeting production growth is underway at Abu Sennan which currently produces c. 8000 boepd or 1700 net to United.  The US$16m acquisition is being funded by an US$8million facility from BP, the issue of new shares to Rockhopper Exploration plc and to new and existing shareholders.


In the news this week…

Jubilee Metal Plc’s chief executive Leon Coetzer spoke with Proactive London, and also spoke with DirectorsTalk.

Oracle Power Plc’s CEO, Naheed Memon, spoke to Proactive London.

Cora Gold’s CEO Bert Monro spoke with the Mining Journal.


You may have missed…

Itsu boss https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51626523

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Casual dining takes a hit, as high street restaurants close down.

The big fromage of the House of Mouse steps down

Fly me to the moon, on a Virgin galactic

Amazon opens its cashier-less grocery store

Confessions of an online shopaholic

100,000 ducks are sent to Pakistan to have quacking time to battle locust infestations

Sir John Tenniel, who illustrated the Alice in Wonderland books, would have turned 200 years old today.

Shrove Tuesday is a Christian tradition, from the past tense of shrive which means to absolve one’s sins as it is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Traditionally, no animal products are eaten in the 40 day period until Easter, so to get rid of rich animal based foods like eggs and milk, pancakes were made. The French therefore called it Mardi Gras, ie Fat Tuesday, after an old ritual of parading an ox through Paris as a reminder that meat should not be eaten during Lent. This celebration then travelled to the United States, and turned into the infamous New Orleans carnival, the first parade taking place in 1837 after French settlers brought the celebration with them. The British then just kept things simple and named it Pancake Day – and this year, Surrey police put a pancake inspired twist on wanted posters.


So this year we have an extra day to enjoy, which happens to be tomorrow. But have you ever wondered why we have it?

Although there are numerous urban myths and traditions on leap days, it is actually rooted in science: we have an extra day every four years to keep our calendar tuned with our movement around the Sun. The Earth takes 365.2421 days to orbit the Sun and that extra 0.2421 of a day adds up over years and will eventually make a mess of our calendars, so the extra day keeps us in sync and makes up for lost time.

The Romans would add in an entire leap month to keep up with the solar year, and the chosen position for this month was made by the consuls for political gains. However, Caesar didn’t think much of this system and altered it to something fairly similar to what we use now. Inspired by the Egyptian solar calendar, which had 365 days and an extra month added when astronomers decided the stars lined up correctly, but Caesar decided to add an extra day every fourth year in February. The first Leap Year then occurred in 45 BC.

The Gregorian calendar, which we currently use, was born after the Catholic church revised Caesar’s because Easter Sunday had moved ten days away from its traditional place due to Caesar’s 11 minute overestimation. The Gregorian calendar isn’t perfect either, as it is off by a day every 3,030 years so there is still some time to change things around until then.

And here are some of the less serious parts of Leap Year:

The chances of being born on February 29th are 1 of 1,461 and those that are, are called leaplings

February 30th occurred in Sweden and Finland in 1712 so their Julian calendar could catch up with the Gregorian calendar

The Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien have twelve 30 day months a year so have a 30th February

The Leap Day cocktail was created by Harry Craddock of the Savoy Hotel, London. So for the perfect leap day tipple add 1 dash lemon juice, 2/3 gin, 1/g Grand Marnier, and 1/6 sweet vermouth, then shake and serve garnished with a lemon peel.

There was a leap second on June 30th 2015 at 11:59:60pm to fill the gap created by the imperfect math of the Leap Day.

The Irish tradition of women proposing on leap day dates back to the 5th century and was started for women whose boyfriends were just taking too long to get round to it, after St Brigid had complained about it to St Patrick who started the tradition. It then travelled to Scotland in the 13th century and even became law to allow women to propose, and if the man refused he would be subject to a fine!


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