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CleanTech Lithium (CTL), an exploration and development company advancing sustainable lithium projects in Chile for the clean energy transition, announced a ground-breaking agreement for the first co-created mining model for lithium extraction in Chile. The alliance, which has been formed from early consultation, will initially focus on the development of the Laguna Verde project. CTL said the alliance between CleanTech Lithium and the local communities represents a significant step forward in the co-design of its projects, providing data for its environmental baselines and the creation of long-term socio-economic benefits for the region in which it operates. This agreement demonstrates how seriously it takes the agenda set in the Government’s National Lithium Strategy, proving that goals can be achieved and project development can be done in a more considerate way.

Comment: CTL continues to prove that its approach in Chile is the one to beat, especially given that it is in harmony with the country’s strategy in this area. Near 20p in the wake of the fundraise news appears far too cheap given the progress made.

Jubilee (JLP), a diversified and leading metals recovery business, announced that it has secured one of the largest copper waste rock assets on surface in Zambia and has formed a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi based International Resources Holding RSC Limited. JLP said the Transaction marks a significant milestone on its journey in Zambia, catapulting its copper expansion in the region. The Waste Rock Project, anchored by this substantial resource, will fast-track the rollout of its modular copper processing units in the country with the potential to far exceed its goal of reaching 25, 000 tonnes of copper per annum.

Comment: One would expect that a company which is delivering significant production numbers and is set to deliver much more after today’s news, will soon underline the way that the share price disconnect of the recent past is too much of an anomaly.

Bushveld Minerals (BMN), the AIM quoted, integrated primary vanadium producer, announced the successful completion of the PrimaryBid Offer that was announced on 5 December 2023. BMN raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately £14.7 million.

Comment: Crisis, What Liquidity Crisis? Nearly £15m in the coffers just before Christmas. BMN is almost shouting out to us that there is cash in the stock market. Or that PrimaryBid is a winning platform. Or both.

Mkango Resources (MKA) announced the first production of recycled rare earth magnets in the United Kingdom on commercial scale magnet manufacturing equipment in over 20 years, a major milestone in securing critical raw materials for the energy transition. MKA said this is a major milestone for the Company, HyProMag and for the UK, creating a strong platform to advance to commercial production and for the scale-up and roll-out of HPMS technology into Germany, United States and other jurisdictions.

Comment: One would imagine / hope that the early autumn lows for MKA are well behind the company, and the market will regard today’s news as the major milestone the company clearly does.

East Star Resources (EST), which is defining mineral resources in Kazakhstan for the energy revolution, updated on the assays from drilling at the Verkhuba Copper Deposit on the Rudny Altai VMS belt, which confirm the potential for resource development by way of open pit mining. EST said it was delighted with the results of high-grade assays from its recent Verkhuba drilling campaign. We can now definitively demonstrate that the Verkhuba Deposit has multiple copper-rich ore grade intervals at mineable depths. Grades are relatively consistent with the 1.4 – 1.8% copper grade range derived from the 5-6Mt open-pit resource calculated from the independent resource model.

Comment: EST has yet to make the market understand the magnitude of what it is sitting on in Kazakhstan, perhaps largely because most in the market are unable to point to where the country lies on a map. Nevertheless, newsflow like today’s should eventually deliver the right message.

Powerhouse Energy Group (PHE), a company pioneering integrated technology that converts non-recyclable waste into low carbon energy, announces that Ben Brier, Chief Financial Officer of the Company, acquired 3,748,275 shares on 8 December 2023 and 2,784,732 shares on 11 December 2023. Further to this transaction, Mr Brier is beneficially interested in 6,533,007 Ordinary Shares, which represents 0.16% of the Company’s issued ordinary share capital.

Comment: One could almost feel the director buying going through in recent sessions, triggering a massive rebound in PHE shares, from a ridiculously low level. News that the new CFO is buying should further push the shares up to where they were as recently as August near 0.8p early in the new year.

Vianet Group (VNET) report Interims to September. A move into profits of £29k from losses of £107k are the highlight as revenue is virtually unchanged at £7.19m. Vnet collect and process client’s external information from devices using its smart IOT cloud-based server connected via a single (3/4G) communication hub. The Smart Machines divisions operational estate grew at 5.9% which now totals 55,575 devices, these customers typically sign 3–5-year agreements. Its recurring income was reported at 87%.   reflecting the fundamental need for stability for cloud-based business intelligence services. Its growth, however, is contained as clients Mobile Network Operators are switching off 3G as they transfer to 4G. This is likely to be a sales catalyst for  H2 and beyond. The other division, Smart Zones is the solid cash cow providing robust bar management systems to the hospitality industry. Strong cash flow reduced net debt to a manageable £2m and banking facilities are in place.

Comment.  Reviewed at 70p last month after Stella Panu brought shares at 69p, the shares at 79p with a £24m mkt seem set for a stronger H2.

Acuity’s (ACRM) wholly owned operating subsidiary, Acuity Risk Management Limited, has won its largest contract worth £561,000, for the use of Acuity’s software platform, STREAM® over the next five years.  The client is a major organisation within the British Government. This is one of three orders from the same customer won so far in 2023, the aggregate value of which is in excess of £1 million. ACRM said the seven months since the readmission and particularly the four months since Kerry Chambers’ appointment as Chief Executive of Acuity in late June, has been a period of material progress towards achieving the objectives set out in the readmission document: Accelerated revenue growth both organically in existing and other global markets. Further penetrating existing markets by forging stronger customer and partner relationships. Major steps have been made towards cash generative and profitable trading.

Comment: The market has been ridiculously reticent as far as pricing shares of ACRM fairly, even by the mean standards of 2023. Today’s chunky contract news should finally correct this state of affairs, proving that the company can be a consistent cash cow.

Iamfire (AQSE:FIRE) announced that it has raised £1,000,000 before expenses through a placing and subscription at 1.5 pence per share. In connection with the Placing, the Company has entered into a Placing Agreement with Tennyson Securities pursuant to which Tennyson has placed 60,496,667 New Ordinary Shares with institutional and other investors. In addition, the Company has received applications to subscribe for a further 6,170,000 New Ordinary Shares from a range of investors.

Comment: Apart from of course Tennyson doing a great job, it can be seen that there clearly is demand for FIRE shares / its WeShop investment, something we should see reach a positive conclusion in 2024.

Sosandar (SOS), one of the fastest growing fashion brands in the UK, announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 September 2023 and a post period trading update covering October and November. SOS said over the past six months, it has made significant steps on its journey to become a multi-channel retailer whilst also expanding the reach of the Sosandar brand. It was delighted to have launched new partnerships with Sainsbury’s and Freemans, signed its first agreements with two large prestigious international third-party partners and announced that it intends to open its first own stores in Spring 2024.

Comment: Upbeat musings from SOS, but with a strong cash position, and the prospect of its first stores next year suggest that the recent probe for the shares below 11p was an overshoot to the downside.

Firering (FRG), an exploration company focusing on critical minerals, announced that it has signed the Reverse Circulation drilling contract with FTE Drilling for an initial total of c.3000m of drilling.  The RC campaign, which is expected to commence in mid-January 2024, is carried in conjunction with its JV partner Ricca Resources. FRG said it estimates that the RC drilling campaign will be completed during February 2024 and that assay results will be available towards the end of Q1 2024 when it will provide the results of the RC campaign to the market.

Comment: After a quiet period for FRG shares, we should see the stock rebound well in the closing weeks of 2023, in the run up to the completion of the drilling campaign in February.

Atlantic Lithium (ALL), the African-focused lithium exploration and development company, announced a maiden JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of 15.7Mt at 40.2% feldspar for the Company’s flagship Ewoyaa Lithium Project in Ghana, West Africa. ALL said it looks forward to delivering the results of the Feldspar Study in Q1 2024 and, later in the year, a revised feldspar resource estimate considering the life of the mine. These represent, respectively, just two of the major milestones in its sights in 2024 before we break ground at Ewoyaa.

Comment: One can see why ALL rejected the recent puny M&A offer earlier this autumn, as the newsflow has been coming in thick and fast. A proper re-rate seems imminent.

Oracle Power (ORCP), reported that its potential farm-in partner, Riversgold Ltd, has received the assay results from a diamond drilling programme at the Northern Zone Intrusive Hosted Gold Project, which is located 26km east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. ORCP said with the Australian dollar gold price now pushing through A$3,100 an ounce, the commerciality of these types of large-scale lower grade gold deposits becomes significantly more viable. The potential scale of this project linked to its good indicative conventional gold recoveries and its great location, being so close to Kalgoorlie, makes Northern Zone a highly attractive project to drill out.

Comment: Today’s announcement from ORCP should be more than enough to deliver proof to the company’s detractors that it can deliver a significant result in terms of its project development handle. This is especially true given the recent gold price rally.