We’ve finally made it to the last month of this year and as we open up our advent calendars, put up our trees, and check off our Christmas shopping list, there is a palpable sense of yuletide joy with a determination to end this year on a high.
Although now a more secular tradition, advent has been around since at least the Middle Ages, whilst the calendar itself is rooted in a 19th century German Lutheran custom to light a candle every day. This was commercialised into an illustrated card version in 1946 for the US market, meanwhile in the UK, the first chocolate advent calendar was introduced by Cadbury in 1958. Both companies still produce the calendars to this day and ever since it has only grown in popularity and variety, with the little doors filled with almost anything you can think of from makeup to wine to cheese – even ones for pets! The word ‘advent’ itself comes from the Latin to mean ‘arrival’ so whether you are counting down the days with a daily chocolate or one of the many other options out there, it is definitely a time of anticipation (and self-control to not open it all at once!). Not only are we waiting for Father Christmas to come to town and the brief relaxing of household restrictions, but of the vaccine programme that is set to begin before the end of the year; the big man could be be somewhat outshined this year by this early Christmas present from Pfizer/BioNTech as the first vaccinations are set to take place next week for those most vulnerable, bringing us a much-needed ray of hope for 2021.
“Latha fèill Anndrais sona dhuibh!” It certainly was a happy St Andrew’s Day for Scotgold Resources Limited (AIM: SGZ) after the Scottish gold miner achieved first pour at its Cononish Gold & Silver Mine in the Grampian Mountains Area on the feast day of Scotland’s patron saint. Not only is this a major milestone in the commissioning and development of the Cononish gold mine but also for gold mining in Scotland. For once production is ramped up to design level early in the New Year, Cononish will be established as Scotland’s first commercial gold mine. The Company has an accelerated expansion plan in place to increase production at the mine to 23,500oz pa. The current Phase 1 is targeting an annual rate of ore production of 36,000 tonnes and total gold production of 9,910oz in 2021. Phase 2 will focus on doubling the annual rate of ore production to 72,000 tonnes and a more than doubling in average annual gold production to 23,500oz.
Tirupati Graphite Plc confirmed the exciting news this week that its Prospectus has been approved by the FCA and subsequently published. The Prospectus relates to the admission of its ordinary shares to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market, expected 11 December 2020 with £6million raised at an offer of 45p per share. In a first of its kind offer, retail investors are being given the opportunity to participate in this IPO through PrimaryBid – in order to participate, retail investors can apply through the www.PrimaryBid.com platform and the PrimaryBid mobile app available on the Apple App Store and Google Play (see PrimaryBid.com for further information) but should be quick as the offer is scheduled to close on 9 December 2020 at 12:00 hours. The graphite and graphene producer, which places ESG and sustainability at its core, also received the good news this week that it is expected to qualify for the London Stock Exchange’s prestigious Green Economy Mark upon admission. The Green Economy Mark recognises companies that derive 50% or more of their total annual revenues from products and services that contribute to the global green economy, and with an increasing number of investors and funds placing growing importance on ESG and sustainability this is a significant accreditation.
Katoro Gold Plc (AIM: KAT) has received strong expressions of funding interest for the Blyvoor Gold Tailings Project in South Africa. With funding interest significantly exceeding the project’s peak funding requirement of US$36.4 million, including one offer which if accepted would account for up to 40% of the peak funding requirement, the company, together with its Joint Venture partners, is focussed on fulfilling a number of conditions, as set by the prospective funders, in order to finalise project funding.
Cora Gold (AIM: CORA) commenced a new drilling programme at its Yanfolila Project Area in Mali, which is located within a 25km radius of the operating Yanfolila Gold Mine. Drilling is planned across three permits at the project area which has historically delivered very strong results, generally in shallow oxides.
FastForward Innovations Ltd (AIM: FFWD) announced that its CEO Ed McDermott has been appointed to the Board of Leap Gaming as Non-Executive Director. FastForward holds a 43.4% interest in Leap Gaming, which is currently exploring options to list during 2021. Leap has seen significant growth, expanding its list of partnerships and agreements with the addition of major gaming clients such as 888 and Every Matrix among others and Ed’s wealth of financial and London markets experience will prove invaluable to the team as they begin the IPO process next year.
BlueRock Diamonds Plc (AIM: BRD) recovered a 12.6 carat diamond from its Kareevlei Diamond Mine in South Africa, in line with its reporting policy to inform the market of diamonds recovered with an estimated value of over $50k. A diamond of this size is considered exceptional and is significantly more than the average UK engagement ring weight of 0.6 carats. This encouraging find is expected to mark the start of mining better quality diamonds.
Oracle Power Plc (AIM: ORCP) has commenced field based exploration work at the Northern Zone Gold Project in the Kalgoorie region of Australia, home of the second largest gold mine in Australia. Historical work has indicated both the gold and nickel potential of the project and the programme aims to provide the requisite data inputs required to plan a detailed drilling campaign in H1 2021. Starting exploration activities is a significant achievement only two weeks after acquiring the asset. Additionally, the Board of Oracle and HH Private Office continue to work closely on evaluating potential mining opportunities in Africa, following from the announcement on 29 July 2020. After completing the initial assessments on the iron ore asset in Guinea referred to in the announcement, an agreement has been reached to no longer pursue the project further and instead jointly focus on additional opportunities within the natural resources sector in Africa. They will continue to work closely to generate interesting opportunities and strengthen Oracle’s position as an international natural resources and power project developer.
Aberdeen based oil and gas engineer, Plexus Holdings Plc (AIM: POS), announced its preliminary results for the year ending 30 June 2020, a period dominated by COVID-19 and volatile oil and gas markets. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Plexus has continued to market its POS-GRIP technology which, having been used on over 400 wells worldwide by a blue chip list of majors, is proven to deliver leak proof solutions in high pressure / high temperature operating conditions. Management’s efforts have paid off as post period end the Company announced a licensing agreement with Cameron, a Schlumberger group company, as well as a follow up order from Spirit Energy for a production well in the North Sea. Plexus continues to focus on its goal to fully capitalise on the potential of its technology, improve the performance of pressure containing equipment, and develop a portfolio of POS-GRIP based products and partners.
You may have missed…
Read more about Scotgold Resources (AIM: SGZ) 35 year journey to becoming Scotland’s first commercial gold mine in BBC Scotland and have a listen to CEO Richard Gray speak to Jeremy Naylor of IGTV on this achievement.
Chairman of Tirupati Graphite, Shishir Poddar, spoke to StockBox and Proactive Investors on how private investors can get involved in its IPO following the launch of its PrimaryBid offer; check out PrimaryBid if you are interested in investing. Edison’s outlook for Tirupati also makes for an interesting read.
Have a read of Proactive Investor’s article on Oracle Power (AIM: ORCP)’s Thar project and its potential to double in size. CEO Naheed Memon also spoke with Share Talk on the exploration work that has started at the Northern Zone Gold Project.
Read about FastForward (AIM: FFWD)’s CEO Ed McDermott’s recent appointment to the Board of Leap Gaming in Proactive Investor.
In the news this week…
Edinburgh experienced the weather phenomenon of ‘thundersnow’ today whilst the Met Office are warning of snow in most parts of England.
Beavers have built a dam on Exmoor for the first time in more than 400 years.
An eight mile long wall of prehistoric paintings have been discovered in the Colombian Amazon.
Time magazine have announced its first ever Kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao, who has invented technologies including a device to identify lead in drinking water and an app that detects cyberbullying.
Find out more about the origins of the Advent Calendar.
From Christmas lights to art shows and socially distanced theatre, there are still plenty of Christmas events going ahead in London.