Woodbois (WBI), the Africa focussed, timber trading, and carbon credits group, announced the confirmation of conditional grant of 50,000 hectares received from Government of Gabon for first voluntary carbon credit afforestation project, veneer production of 1,400m3 in Q1 2023 vs 1,100m3 in Q1 2022, an increase of 27%, sawmill production of 1,800m3 in Q1 2023 vs 4,200m3 in Q1 2022, a decline of 57%. The company said its priorities for 2023 are to deliver a first-class service and superior product to its customers in order to generate consistent, positive cash-flow from its core business while completing the capex and works necessary to achieve full certification for its forests and factories.
Comment: The smart traders punting stock, WBI looks as though it is on the front foot in terms of making 2023 the year when it finally delivers. The grant of 50,000 hectares from the Government of Gabon is a real seal of approval for the company, and a turnaround event.
Block Energy (BLOE), the exploration and production company focused on Georgia, announced that it has entered into a MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. BLOE said this MoU reflects the strength of government support for the development of Block’s assets, which will be helped by the sharing of data and other cooperation initiatives. In particular, the MoU supports the concept of a long-term gas offtake agreement, which is an important part of delivering value associated with Project III and the 1 TCF contingent resource identified.
Comment: If BLOE was based in the U.S. or Australia in terms of its assets one would imagine the market cap would be multiples of what it is now. The latest backing from the Georgia government suggests that jurisdictional concerns are minimal when it comes to this company.
MGC Pharmaceuticals (MXC), a European based pharmaceutical company, announced that c.£1.2 million raised in a conditional Placing, CannEpil Phase 2b clinical trial funding secured up to c.£0.63 million and unveiled a UK Broker Option Share offer to raise up to £0.75 million. The company said this fundraise will provide it with the capital required to continue the “excellent” progress it has made advancing its clinical pipeline. It sees this as a vote of confidence in both its clinical pipeline and its strategy, which it continues to progress, most recently with the listing of ArtemiC as an OTC product by the FDA.
Comment: Cynics of MXC seem to have missed the acronym FDA with regard to the company. While there has been a modest re-rate, the potential of an OTC product in the U.S. speaks for itself.
Just when one or two shareholders may have thought they would not be hearing from the company again, All Active, the former (AAA) provided an update, giving an interim report on the results to date of the strategic review. The company said AAA is in regular dialogue with Sentiance and AAA director Colin McQuade has recently been appointed to the Sentiance Board. AAA said that a result, principally, of the failure of Mr Bonnier to repay his loan, AAA has very limited financial resources. It is therefore the Board’s intention in the next few weeks to undertake an open offer to all shareholders. Details of pricing and terms are being determined and will be announced in due course.
Comment: It will be interesting to see if Colin McQuade can do a “Red Adair” with AAA, and how the company can progress to fulfil its potential, should an open offer proceed successfully. Some may be surprised that the loan the company made has not (yet) been repaid?
Hercules Site Services (HERC), a technology enabled labour supply company for the UK infrastructure sector, confirmed that it has now taken delivery of all ten new suction excavators, expanding its fleet to 30 vehicles. The company said suction excavators provide a more efficient and safer way of removing debris for digging teams. When it listed in February 2022, Hercules owned nine suction excavators and the funds raised contributed in part towards a further eleven vehicles, which were ordered in 2021 for delivery by August 2022.
Comment: Recent weakness in the HERC share price provides an opportunity for a stock where the fundamentals remain as strong, if not stronger than when it listed last year. The infrastructure gravy train remains a feature of the UK economy, and this company is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunity.
NTF Investments (NFT) announced it is to purchase up to £30.5m in shares. The tender offer will be for a maximum of 857,142,857 shares. The Tender Offer price has not been set but will be a maximum of whichever is the greater of 3.5p per share and an amount equal to the NAV per share.
88 Energy (88E) reported that the Hickory-1 wireline logging suite and sidewall coring programme has been successfully completed. This programme has confirmed the preliminary petrophysical interpretation from LWD (logging while drilling) data of the presence of multiple hydrocarbon bearing zones across all pre-drill targets, as well as the new Upper SFS reservoir. The company said it was excited about the results to date from the Hickory-1 well, and particularly encouraged by the identification of multiple pay zones across the primary and secondary targets.
Comment: 88 Energy continues its long road to rehabilitation, and perhaps it is the case that given its recent history the market is treading rather more gingerly than it should.
Edenville Energy (EDL) provide a production update regarding its Rukwa Coal Project. A total of 594 tonnes of coal were washed at Rukwa in March 2023. Of this, 512.5 tonnes of coal were washed from 20 to 31 March 2023, due to improved weather conditions and operational performance of the wash plant. The company said the performance at Rukwa during the second half of March was much improved and suggested it has the potential to achieve its initial and contracted base case production target of 2,500 tonnes per month once the rainy season concludes. Confirmation that when the plant is able to operate it is doing so at a rate that will achieve these levels of production is very encouraging.
Comment: Not wanting to mention any names, but EDL does illustrate how much can be achieved once a wash plant is up and running.
UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) announced that Pinarova-1 drilling operations commenced at 0800 local time on Friday 7th April, 2023. Drilling of 12¼ inch diameter hole down to the first casing point at a depth of around 300 metres below surface is underway and is expected to take around 8-10 days. Following setting of 9⅝ inch casing, the well will then drill through the target Hoya section and ultimately down to a total depth of approximately 500-550 metres below surface. A UKOG geologist is on site to assist in recording geology and identifying any mobile oil to surface in drilling cuttings and or mud.
Comment: UKOG seems to be firing on multiple cylinders in the recent past, something which has so far not been reflected in the share price. It could very well be the case that today’s news starts to build momentum in the stock.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL), the West African agriculture company, provided a March production update for its Ayenouan palm oil project in Côte d’Ivoire. March monthly like for like production increased significantly compared to last year with Fresh Fruit Bunch volumes and Crude Palm Oil production increasing 56.4% and 48.6% respectively. The company said It has been fantastic to see the return of a more typical peak harvesting month following last year’s flat FFB high season harvest. With CPO prices remaining strong, it is currently capitalising on this period of strong production. FFB quantities in early April have continued to look promising setting the Palm Oil Operation up for a potentially strong Q2 2023 performance compared to last year. It also looks forward to providing its first quarterly production report for the Cashew Operation which will be released in the coming days.
Comment: DKL is one of a growing number of small cap companies for whom 2023 seems to mark a sharp positive inflection point for the business. Being in the run up to the Cashew Operation update should support the recent share price recovery still further.
GSTechnologies (GST), the fintech company, noted the recent rise in the company’s share price and confirms that the Company’s stablecoin application for admission to the UK FCA Regulatory Sandbox, as announced on 20 February 2023, continues to progress as anticipated. The Sandbox Application has been assessed by the FCA who have verbally indicated that it is eligible for, and undergoing, FCA panel review and further assessment. The company expects to receive the decision on the Sandbox Application in mid-May 2023 and in the meantime the Company continues to assist the FCA with their panel review of the Sandbox Application.
Comment: At least the speeding ticket RNS for GST came after the stock has already delivered great near term gains for shareholders. Of course, there may be some who question why there should be such RNS updates, when the market should be able to decide, is another matter.
SEED Innovations (SEED), the AIM quoted company focusing on making investments in the medical cannabis, health and wellness space, announced the sale of portfolio company Fralis LLC (trading as Leap Gaming, ‘Leap’), is now unconditional and completion has occurred. The company said it was pleased to be able to confirm to shareholders that the sale of Leap to IMG Arena has been declared unconditional and has concluded in line with the anticipated timelines. The initial cash proceeds, and the balance paid on the 12-month anniversary of Completion, provides it with liquidity at a time where we are seeing some very promising investment opportunities.
Comment: A decent liquidity event for SEED, which should ensure sentiment returns to a stock which has to date traded at a discount event to current depressed stock market valuations.
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