This week is the last week of Lent and soon you will be able to give in to your cravings and enjoy whatever you chose to give up once more (if you haven’t given in already!).
The oldest Christian tradition of Easter is this weekend, the celebration of rebirth symbolised by the start of spring which certainly is here in the UK with this beautiful sunshine and warm weather we are having. This year’s Easter celebrations will undoubtedly be different with church services going online, no mass taking to the roads for a quick getaway (#StayAtHome), and big family meals restricted to households only – but not to worry, we have it on good authority that the Easter bunny is considered an essential worker and will continue to work tirelessly to deliver your eggs!
Katoro Gold (AIM: KAT) has agreed the disposal of its Imweru gold project to Lake Victoria Gold Limited for a total staged consideration of $1million and a 1.5% Net Smelter Royalty on all future gold production from Imweru. LVG also holds the Imwelo gold project, which already has a mining licence and is adjacent to Imweru, and is therefore better positioned to bring Imweru into production by combining the two projects. Katoro can now focus its resources on the Blyvoor joint venture project, which is focused on the reprocessing of an existing c.1.34 million ounces of gold, and the Haneti nickel, platinum-group-elements, gold and lithium project, which the Board believes has substantial exploration upside potential.
Erris Resources (AIM: ERIS) released their final audited results for the year ended 31 December 2019, which was a challenging year for the natural resources industry. Due to this Erris proceeded cautiously by conserving resources whilst seeking new opportunities, leading to new exploration ground staked in Norway, and entering into a joint venture and option agreement for the Lock Tay Gold Project in Scotland. Encouraging results have been received from other projects with positive preliminary metallurgical test results from the Abbeytown Project, and good results from historic data review from the Galway Project, which are both in Ireland. Following their disciplined approach to expenditure, Erris is well funded for the remainder of 2020 with a €1.2million cash position as the team continues to actively evaluate new projects to fit their model, despite the impact of Covid-19 on operations.
Cora Gold’s (AIM: CORA) CEO sent his shareholder newsletter reviewing the achievements of this first quarter. The promising results of the scoping study on the flagship Sanankoro gold project confirmed its potential to be highly profitable with an annual average free cash flow of $19million and an 84% IRR, alongside the encouraging first set of results from the drilling campaign which identified a new 1,500m long gold structure. Despite the current focus being on growing Sanankoro’s resources, their wider exploration permits are also offering exciting opportunities with the drilling at Madina Foulbe Permit in Senegal, focusing on two priority targets. With the successful fundraising of £2.89million, Cora will be able to pursue their ambitious strategy to grow Sanankoro and move it into DFS to increase confidence in its existing resources. Due to the remote locations of their projects, Cora has been largely unaffected by the impact of Covid-19 as work programmes are able to continue.
Emmerson Plc’s (LSE: EML) CEO reviewed this year’s first quarter in his shareholder newsletter, outlining the outstanding progress the Khemisset Potash Project has made. The advancement of the Feasibility Study and the ESIA that started in January allows for a clear plan to further de-risk the project in the future, and the application for a mining permit is targeted for the second half of 2020. Fortunately, the current stage of the work programme can be completed remotely so Emmerson was able to restrict any unnecessary movement of their employees in light of Covid-19 and the original timelines will not be impacted. After managing budgets and cutting down expenditure where possible, Emmerson has maintained a strong cash position of over £1.6million (as of February 2020) which will allow operations to continue until late 2021, which can be extended if further cuts are made.
The first half of April typically sees Dekel Agri-Vision Plc (AIM: DKL) release a Q1 production update for its palm oil project in Cote d’Ivoire. This year the Q1 update covers the Company’s portfolio of projects, a testament to the progress Dekel is making towards building a multi-commodity agriculture business. The update covered the usual run through of the numbers at the Ayenouan Crude Palm Oil (‘CPO’) project – in Q1 12,081 tonnes of CPO were produced, a decrease on last year due to the peak harvest season starting later; 11,047 tonnes of CPO were sold at €664 per tonne, compared to €520 last year. Operations suffered minimal disruption from Covid-19 though the pandemic has led to lower demand and prices. At Tiebissou, where Dekel is developing a large-scale cashew processing operation, site work has continued however the manufacturing of milling equipment in Italy has been suspended. First production, originally targeted for Jan 2021, is now expected to be delayed. Elsewhere, discussions with the government regarding the development of a hybrid power project are ongoing, and a feasibility study into a fourth project is nearing completion.
BlueRock Diamonds Plc (AIM: BRD) announced their Q1 production update with great results despite the rainfall and the loss of eight days production at their Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Tonnes sorted were up 78% from the same period in 2019 to 74,011, carats produced were up 76% to 2,503 from the same period last year, and carats sold were up 77% to 3,267, all of which outperform last year’s results significantly. The expansion project had been making good progress after the successful capital raise in February 2020, as well as important mining being undertaken on the development of the KV1 and KV2 combined pit. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, future work has been postponed and Kareevlei will remain on care and maintenance until BlueRock can operate safely and on a positive monthly cash flow basis. The company will conserve as much of their cash resources as possible with a stringent strategy in place to ensure a strong return to target production levels and sales when operations can restart and the market has returned. In the meantime the company is assessing whether an arrangement can be made for its diamonds to be sold at international Tenders, which will reopen ahead of South African Tender houses.
And here are some egg-cellent Easter facts we hope will cheer up your day!
The first Easter eggs have their origins in the Anglo-Saxon festival to celebrate the goddess Eastre and spring, when eggs were buried in the ground to encourage fertility
Christians were not allowed to eat any animal products during Lent so eggs were hardboiled during the period so they could be stored and distributed to the poor
The first painted eggs in Britain were in 1290 when Edward I’s household bought 450 eggs to be coloured or covered in gold leaf to be gifted to the royal household for Easter
Coloured eggs were given to the church as a special offering on Good Friday during the 16th and 17th centuries
The Victorians shifted the celebrations to be more family friendly, so dyed eggs and egg painting became a gift for children instead of the church, then Easter egg hunts followed after Queen Victoria held them for her children
The Easter Bunny comes from a Germanic tale about the goddess of spring Ostara, who transformed a bird into a hare who then laid coloured eggs for her spring festival
The highest spending recorded for Easter in the United States is $18.4 billion in 2017, with $2.6 billion on candy alone and beating its competition on sweet spending against Halloween for that year (a meagre $2.1 billion!)
Despite Cadbury creme eggs only being available from January to April, annual sales in the UK are over £200 million!
500 million Cadbury creme eggs are made every year, which is 600,000 an hour, two thirds of that for the UK alone which means 3.5 eggs per person in the country – think about that before having your fourth this weekend!
All of the creme eggs piled on top of each other would be 10 times taller than Everest, and if you laid them all out end to end they would be able to go from Cadbury’s Birmingham factory to Sydney in Australia!
53% of people bite off the top then the cream then the chocolate, 20% bite straight through, and 6% scoop out the cream…how do you eat your creme egg?!
Eggs were toys and novelty gifts before becoming chocolate, which first appeared in France and Germany then Fry’s produced the first chocolate egg in the UK in 1873
76% of people eat the ears first of the chocolate bunny, 5% go feet first, and 4% start with the tail!
The largest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy in 2011 and was 10,39 metres tall and weighed 7,200kg!
In France church bells stop ringing on Easter in respect of Jesus’ death, and instead of a rabbit, the bells then ‘fly’ to be blessed by the Pope and on their return deliver treats for children to discover
The most expensive Faberge egg ever sold on the private market was priced at $33 million, and was created for the Russian Tsar Alexander III as an Easter gift for his wife!