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Panthera Resources (PAT), the gold exploration and development company with assets in India and West Africa, announced that it has conditionally raised an additional £150,000 by way of a subscription. This follows the completion of the equity capital fundraise for £785,000. PAT said the net proceeds of the Additional Equity Financing will be deployed for the same purposes as that of the Initial Equity Financing, namely, towards the Company’s activities in India and West Africa and meeting the Company’s working capital commitments.

Comment: PAT remains one of the more compelling risk/reward plays in the wake of the latest fundraise, given the shares being at the low end of the range, and the prospects of its fully financed claim in India.

First Class Metals (FCM) the UK listed metals exploration company, announced that spodumene-bearing pegmatites have been intersected in every targeted hole drilled at First Class Metals’ Zigzag lithium Property. The identified mineralization remains open along strike and down dip. FCM said the completion of the drilling at Zigzag has consolidated the undertaking to shareholders / investors that FCM would bring 4 properties to ‘drill ready status’ and drill one this season. It was extremely pleased with the (visual) indications of the drill core and the robust intersections that have been seen so far.

Comment: Although FCM has several strings to its bow, it is difficult not to regard Zigzag as top dog at the moment in terms of projects. Delivering on the promise of bringing 4 properties to drill ready status this season is something which adds further credibility to the company.

Alkemy Capital Investments (ALK) announced that it has raised £650,000 in an oversubscribed placing of 650,000 new ordinary shares at a placing price of  £1 per share, being the total amount available under the Company’s existing share authorities. This includes a subscription of £50,000 of shares at the placing price from director Sam Quinn. The net proceeds will be used to further the development of TVL’s lithium hydroxide processing facility in Teesside, UK and for general working capital purposes ahead of the company seeking to secure mezzanine financing for that facility, without diluting Alkemy’s shareholders. ALK said funds will be used to continue to advance FEED and for G&A ahead of securing a non-dilutive mezzanine facility for TVL which is targeted for early 2024.

Comment: The market is still not appreciative of the prospect of non dilutive mezzanine financing to come in early 2024. That said, as the date for its arrival approaches, one would expect the share price of ALK to respond in kind.

ECR Minerals (ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, confirmed that its subsidiary, Mercator Gold Australia Pty Limited, has agreed to effect the sale of two under-utilised non-core assets. ECR said finalising these two agreements before the end of 2023 exceeds its expectations on timing but the fact that the expected proceeds from these sales should exceed its G&A expenses for the coming year is particularly pleasing.  It is a little over three months since Mike Whitlow and I joined the Company.  In that time, we have recapitalised the Company, re-positioned our portfolio to be more cost-effective, commenced a drilling campaign and now realised funds from non-core assets.

Comment: The double advantage of the disposal of non core assets for ECR is that it give not only focus to the rejigged company, but also ensures that decent extra cash comes in, over and above the recapitalization we have already been treated to.

Valereum (VLRM), the Gibraltar technology group, announced the successful agreement to acquire the GSX Group, a Gibraltar based fintech company, seeking to unlock capital and create value in tokenised digital markets as a leading provider of technology solutions and as an exchange and marketplace operator. VLRM said it was excited about the synergies this fantastic deal brings, the opportunities it creates for sustained success, longevity and new potential market offerings. It believes that tokenisation is set to be a huge market over the next decade and will play a key role in delivering efficiencies in capital markets.

Comment: It is interesting that a news event for VLRM that has now come in with the new management team, something that the recent share price bump was already hinting to us. It would have been interesting to see how much the shares would have moved if the GSX itself had been acquired.

Synergia Energy (SYN), updated regarding the Cambay Farm Out and the status of the Cambay C-77H well. Synergia and a respected Indian operating company have executed a Heads of Terms to establish a joint venture on the Company’s Cambay field in which the Company currently holds a 100% working interest, to facilitate the full development of the Cambay field. SYN said it was confident of the synergy and alignment of objectives with the Farminee company and looks forward to the accelerated development of the Cambay field which is the primary objective for the joint venture.

Comment: While the timelines for SYN may not have been as prompt as some might have been looking for, it can be seen that the company is on track to deliver at Cambay.

Zenova Group (ZED), the fire suppression and interdiction solutions company, following its recent announcement of an initial order with a new client in Germany, announced pre-orders in the UK for its market leading Zenova FX fire extinguisher range, with Bells and Two Tones Fire and Rescue Ltd, a leading provider of fire safety solutions for TV, Film and industrial sites. ZED said this latest European market success for its Group is the result of executing on its ‘top-down’ strategy of reaching influential advisors and consultants such as Bells and Two Tones. It was confident that this is just the first step in gaining market traction of our range of Zenova FX extinguishers.

Comment: ZED has certainly done enough to prove the model, a top-down one, in terms of getting the market traction its offering deserves. We should see the shares start to demonstrate the momentum the company is building.

Acuity RM Group (ACRM) announced that its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Acuity Risk Management Limited has won a new contract worth £88,000, over two years for the use of Acuity’s software platform, STREAM®  from a new client which itself designs, implements and runs cyber security programmes for a wide range of clients.  STREAM® will enable them to better manage risk assessments and so improve their service. ACRM said it was delighted that a leading cyber security consultancy has chosen STREAM® as a key tool for its own business and looked forward to working with them and potentially many of their clients in the future.

Comment: Coming in so soon after last week’s chunky contract announcement, it can be seen the ACRM is now building up its SaaS model in an impressive way, something which should take the shares back towards double figures early in the new year.

Good Life Plus (AQSE: GDLF), a specialist in the luxury prize draw and rewards sector, announced the admission of its Ordinary Shares to trading on the Access Segment of the AQSE Growth Market, having raised gross proceeds of £1.4 million by way of a subscription for 70,000,000 New Ordinary Shares in the Company at a price of 2.0 pence per share, from a combination of existing and new investors including the family office of Mark Blandford, the founder of Sportingbet plc, subsequently acquired by GVC Holdings (now renamed Entain plc). GDLF said its admission to AQSE and fundraising will enable it to scale its business and leverage this potential with its distinctive model, attracting a growing base of subscribers and establishing a strong foothold in this lucrative market.

Comment: Any new IPO on Aquis must be regarded as impressive at the current time. With its business model right on the zeitgeist, and certainly scalable, there should be plenty of interest in the market.

Eco Buildings Group Limited (ECOB), the UK-listed green tech housing company, commenced early production at its recently completed facility at Dürres, Albania with the manufacture and assessment of its first walls. This follows the successful relocation of the production line from Dubai and an extensive programme of refurbishment and technical upgrades to the plant at the Company’s custom built 2,440 sqm facility at Dürres. This will improve production capacity, reliability and quality as the Group begins fulfilling an order book of up to €114 million in Albania, as previously disclosed. An additional production line is expected to be installed during  2024. ECOB said The scale and scope of its target market continues to grow, and the team at Eco Buildings is building capacity to address this opportunity. Its factory-based construction technology is as little as half the cost, a third of the weight, and a fifth of the installation time as conventional construction, and with a significantly reduced impact on the environment.

Comment: As the company says, its cost effective, green and fast construction formula, is perfect for the current housing crisis worldwide, and this is yet to be priced into the stock.

Metals One (MET1), listed in July at 5p when it raised £2.2m to develop brownfield battery metals projects in Finland and Norway. Today it reports the completions of 1,548m of diamond drilling across eight holes at the R1 Hook target, in Finland. This target is a highly prospective extension to the R1 target in the Rauta 9-11 next to Europe’s largest operating nickel mine, Talvivaara. MET1 expects to report drilling assay results in early 2024, alongside structural interpretations and details of the work programme aimed at materially increasing the Black Schist Project’s existing Resource. The focus is  on significantly increasing the Black Schist Project’s existing Inferred Mineral Resource of 28.1 Mt of Talvivaara-type mineralised material at a grade of 0.19% Ni (53,800t), 0.10% Cu (27,900t), 0.01% Co (3,400t) and 0.38% Zn (180,000t). It also has around £9m of exploration carry exposure through farm-in agreements.

Comment: At 2.6p and a market cap of £5.2m the potential for a major discovery remains intact. It is a show of confidence that since the IPO directors have been buying shares at 3p.