Weekly Brief 31st January 2020

It’s not me – it’s EU

With January finally drawing to a close, it cannot be said the first month of the year did not go by quietly: the Royal Family drama (worthy of a new season of ‘The Crown’), the threat of major conflict in the Middle East (thankfully avoided), a deadly virus (declared only yesterday as a global emergency), and devastating fires in Australia (now declared a state of climate emergency). This week has seen further shake ups: in the transport industry Northern rail has been brought under government control following countless delays and disruptions; the UK government umm-ed and ahh-ed before allowing China’s Huawei to get a piece of the 5G pie in Britain; and then of course there is today, BREXIT day, the last day of the UK’s membership of the EU (for now at least…).

Britain will be leaving the EU at precisely 11pm after a 47 year and 30 day relationship (not that anyone’s counting). Why 11pm and not midnight? Because it will be midnight on the Continent – anyone else surprised there were no arguments over that one? No Big Ben bong to mark the moment – instead a clock is to be projected onto the walls of Downing Street. In an apt departure from normal convention, the Prime Minister’s address will be published by Downing Street on social media.  Meanwhile, those who may wish to celebrate the occasion have been urged by the powers that be to do so quietly.

To escape all this drama, St Brides will be in South Africa next week to attend Mining Indaba – please feel free to get in contact! A few of our clients will also be attending, and others have news out as well…

Client News:

MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC) signed a distribution agreement with Anden Bio Naturals S.A., a leading Peruvian distributor, for exclusive distribution and commercialisation of their phytocannabinoid-derived medicines in Peru and Bolivia. Paired with the previously announced Joint Venture with BrazilInvest, MGC Pharma’s entry into the Latin American market is further solidified and establishes the Company as a leading international producer and supplier of phytocannabinoid based medicines.

Jubilee Metals Group PLC (AIM: JLP) released its six monthly operations update for H2 2019. The benefit of its multi-metal strategy through diversifying earnings across multiple metals and jurisdictions was clearly demonstrated, highlighted by a 74% increase in combined H2 revenue, and a 47% increase in operational earnings from H1 2019. Jubilee saw a strong period, with its Sable Refinery in Zambia producing first copper metal in November 2019; and the completion of two transformational acquisitions at its Inyoni Operations means Jubilee now has full control, and the economic benefit, of large-scale operations.

Kodal Minerals (AIM: KOD) has made significant steps this week on the path to development for its Bougouni Lithium Project in Mali. Alongside submitting a mining application, the company completed its Feasibility Study for the project which presented a very robust mining operation.  Continuing its busy week of news, Kodals share price surged up 89% after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mali Lithium Limited to explore synergies for the development of the Project.

Georgian Mining Corporation (AIM: GEO) announced that it had received confirmation of tenure from the National Agency of Mines for two key deposits in the Bolnisi Copper and Gold Project area in Georgia in which the Company holds a 50% interest. The company also announced that, David Ajemian, a prominent investor and entrepreneur, has been appointed as Non-Executive Director of the Company with immediate effect. Chairman Neil O’Brien remarked that, “GEO will benefit from David’s extensive network of natural resources orientated investors and professionals as we look to unlock the value of our Bolnisi Copper and Gold Project and expand our portfolio with additional high quality assets.”

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (AIM: BLD) announced its Q4 2019 and FY 2019 production update highlighting the continued success of the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in South Africa, which achieved the significant milestone of operating profitably for the first time in H2 2019 following the new management team’s production strategy with record results.

Bluejay Mining PLC (AIM: JAY) is confident that the Exploitation Licence application for the Dundas Ilmenite Project is nearing conclusion having been advised by the relevant Greenlandic authorities that it can expect a response for the EIA in the first week of February.  Alongside this, experienced finance professional Per Buhl Olsen has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Dundas Titanium A/S, which is 100% owned by Bluejay, following the strategic investment by Greenland Ventures and Danish Growth Fund.  Elsewhere in Greenland, Bluejay increased its landholding at the Kangerluarsuk zinc-lead-silver project by more than five-fold, which it intends to start drilling in summer 2020.

Prospex Oil and Gas PLC (AIM: PXOG) raised £720,000 gross to fund the acquisition of a 49.9% indirect stake in El Romeral, a gas production and power station operation in southern Spain. As part of the oversubscribed Placing, Edward Dawson (CEO), Bill Smith (non-executive Chairman) and James Smith (non-executive Director) acquired stock worth a combined £140,000 at the placing price of 0.12p.

Keras Resources PLC (AIM: KRS) has raised £310,000 through the placing of 206,666,660 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each at a price of 0.15p per Ordinary Share. These funds will be used to fast track infrastructure development at the Nayega Manganese Project, which is held through the Keras’s 85% owned subsidiary. The company looks to start production in the first quarter of 2020 following the completion of the permitting process. Shard Capital has been welcomed on board as Joint Broker after their immediate appointment.

Ultimate Sports Group PLC (AIM: USG) is looking to change its name to Catena Group Plc (subject to shareholder approval) to reflect their new strategic focus. They are in discussions regarding a potential investment into an AI company which provides machine learning solutions to asset managers and other financial services companies. USG reported that their Sports in Schools Limited subsidiary has continued its strong performance in the second half of 2019.

You may have missed…

Leon Coetzer of Jubilee Metals Plc met with Proactive London’s Andrew Scott after the Company’s six monthly update.

Executive chairman of BlueRock Diamonds Mike Houston gave an interview with Value The Markets’ Ben Turney, answering questions, outlining the ambitious future growth plans and taking a detailed look at the Company’s progress since the new management team joined.

Europa Oil and Gas Plc’s Simon Oddie spoke with Proactive London’s Andrew Scott to discuss the Company’s onshore UK Wressle development.

Ferro-Alloy’s CEO Nick Bridgen discussed the Company’s world-class Balasausqandiq Vanadium deposit with Crux Investor.


In the news this week…

Palladium continues to be on the rise, but will supply be able to keep up? This is set to be one of key questions up for discussion at Indaba next week.

Gold rush! Negative-yielding debt, amongst other uncertainties, are sending investors to gold-backed exchange traded funds, which have risen to their highest levels in seven years.

Apple is the latest retailer to release their record sales and profits over the Christmas period, which the company is crediting to the surge in demand for the iPhone 11.

To commemorate Brexit day, take a brief trip down memory lane at the funniest moments of Brexit.

Mo-by Dick – record breaking Mo O’Brien becomes the first deaf person to row an ocean by finishing the journey across the Atlantic with her two team mates, becoming the fastest female trio to complete the challenge.

The world lost one of its brightest sporting stars earlier this week when Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others died tragically in a helicopter crash. Bryant had retired three years ago from his 20 year career in the NBA, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and will forever live on as a sporting legend. Read his full obituary here.


In honour of the 75th Anniversary of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, here are some stories of the brave and inspiring people that risked their lives to save others whose legacy should be remembered and have been given the honour of Righteous Among The Nations:

Oskar Schindler: immortalised in the Spielberg’s movie ‘Schindler’s List’ and novel by Thomas Keneally, Schindler is now a household name. Through insisting he needed Jewish prisoners to work in his factory and having his assistant draw up what is now known as Schindler’s List, he and his wife Emelie managed to save 1,200 people from the concentration camps, who now have an estimated 7,000 descendants. Read more about their incredible story here.

Irena Sendler: Irena managed to gain access to the Warsaw ghetto as a social worker under the guise of inspecting sanitary conditions in order to help smuggle Jews out of the ghetto and hide them and in particular children, which she would hide in orphanages and religious institutions. She falsified documents for the approximated 2,500 Jews she saved, but buried the lists of their names and locations in jars in the hope of reuniting them with their families after the war.  Read about her amazing work here.

Sir Nicholas Winton: born to Jewish parents, Winton was a British stockbroker and travelled to Prague on behalf of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia. Upon seeing the over crowded refugee camps and the suffering, he was determined to evacuate young refugees and children to England. He and his team obtained or forged British paperwork to transport 669 children through Nazi Germany to safety and placed each refugee with a foster family. Read about his remarkable story here.

Varian Fry: Fry was an American journalist and had travelled to Nazi Germany as a reporter and founded the Emergency Rescue Committee after Germany invaded France, and volunteered as the representative to stay in France and guide the rescue efforts. Fry and his committee used legal and illegal methods to help around 2,000 people escape to the United States, including some well known writers and artists, through using an escape route across the mountains into Spain. Read about his life here.

Charles Fawcett: mostly known as a film star, Fawcett was a member of the French resistance and worked with Varian Fry by marrying six Jewish women in order to obtain them an exit visa and American citizenship. He flew in the RAF and fought with the French Foreign Legion after having to flee France due to the Gestapo. Watch an interview with him here.


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