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Empire Metals (EEE), the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, announced the analytical lab results from an initial five of 40 Reverse Circulation drillholes at the Pitfield Project in Western Australia, which has identified additional shallow high-grade bedded TiO2 mineralisation. Mineralogical studies have now commenced to carry out a detailed assessment of rock chip samples collected from drilling. EEE said these exceptional drill results provide further evidence of the massive 40km long surface footprint of bedded titanium-rich mineralisation. These interim results also confirm that higher grade bedded zones of mineralisation can be traced from surface geochemical sampling anomalies which verifies its targeting approach towards identifying and delineating the higher-grade parts of this giant titanium-rich mineral system.

Comment: EEE continues to boost its credentials for being regarded as one of the small cap stocks of the year, with the cliché, “the gift that keeps on giving” certainly feeling appropriate for the shares of this company.

Union Jack Oil (UJO), a UK focused onshore hydrocarbon company, provided an update in respect of the UK onshore Wressle-1 well. UJO said the issue of the EA permit is welcome news and is instrumental in the optimisation of oil production rates at Wressle. It believes that the installation of the jet pump and additional surface facilities at Wressle provide significant scope for a material upgrade in oil and gas production, further supporting the Company’s strong balance sheet for many years to come.

Comment: It is all about production going forward for UJO, which we should be hearing about from Wressle from January onwards. Ideally, this will be the driver for the shares to get off recent lows below 20p during the autumn.

OTAQ (OTAQ), the technology company targeting the aquaculture, offshore markets and geotracking, provided a trading update in advance of the year ending 31 December 2023 (’FY23’). The Company expects to report revenues of approximately £4.4m for FY23 (FY22: £4.0m) exceeding management’s prior revenue expectations driven by a particularly strong second half to the year. Revenues in the second half of the year are expected to be not less than £2.5m, up 93% on the same period last year (FY22: £1.3m) and up by over 40% on the first half of FY23.  The Company expects to report a reduced adjusted EBITDA loss for the year of approximately £245k (FY22: loss £331k).

Comment: OTAQ shares have nudge up a tad in the run up to today’s announcement, hopefully encouraging those looking for recovery here yet further. The road to getting to EBITDA positive should be relatively swift.

Cyancannode (CYAN) reported interims to September, revenue of £5.8m, with a slightly reduced loss at  £2.3m and an improved gross profit margin of 31%. The mesmerizing  numbers from the Indian smart metering market gathers momentum with tenders for more than 220 million smart meters, so far. Cyan, has won orders for a total of 5.3 million Omnimesh modules with 4m, won in the last 18 months.  It is a leader in Narrowband Radio Frequency (RF) Smart Mesh Networks and is the primary vendor of smart meter connectivity technologies in several states across India while also targeting other countries. There are frequent fund raisings and the most recent was for £2.5m at 10p so net cash will be around £3.8m which buys a further cir. 8months to convert pipeline into profitable sales.

Comment:  At 9.75p with a Mkt cap of £31m the orders will eventually generate recurring revenue but its struggle to reach sustainable profitability makes it speculative.

Tertiary Minerals (TYM) announced that it’s 96% owned subsidiary, Tertiary Minerals (Zambia) Limited has now signed a definitive earn-in agreement with a subsidiary of KoBold Metals Company and TMZ’s local partner Mwashia Resources Ltd. The EIA provides for KoBold to earn into Exploration Licence 27067-HQ-LEL, known as the Konkola West Copper Project in Zambia. TYM said the signing of the EIA is an important development for the Company and it was delighted to team up with KoBold Metals for this exciting project. Konkola West is located in one of Zambia’s major copper mining areas where Vedanta has recently committed to invest over $1 billion in revamping the adjacent Konkola copper mine.  KoBold will bring a strong technical team and financing to the Konkola West project. It has been drilling with multiple rigs throughout the summer on its adjacent Mingomba Copper Deposit and is now committed to a deep drilling programme at Konkola West.

Comment: Shares of TYM have been stirring positively in recent days, something which should gather further momentum in the wake of the latest tie up with KoBold. Getting through the 0.15p zone would be a decent start by the end of the month.

Filtronic (FTC), the designer and manufacturer of products and sub-systems for the aerospace, defence, telecoms infrastructure and space markets, announced a new contract win for the development and manufacture of advanced RF electronic modules for a major UK Defence prime. The £4.5m contract win includes a product qualification phase starting in January 2024, with the delivery of final production units scheduled over 12 months starting Q4 CY2024. FTC said It is yet another example of Filtronic’s ability to support the UK Defence Industry with a sovereign supply chain for advanced semiconductor packaging solutions that are optimised for both thermal and radio frequency (RF) performance.

Comment: In the case of FTC over the course of the recent past it can be said that the technical of the share price have been flagging the fundamental boost that the company has been lining up. Today’s contract news provides a solid boost, even for the dire 2023 small cap market.

Pantheon Resources (PANR), the oil and gas company with a 100% working interest in the Kodiak and Ahpun projects, announced its results for the year ended 30 June 2023. Loss from continuing operations for the year after tax: $1.5 million (2022: $13.9 million). Reduction in convertible loan balance owed from $44.1 million at 1 July 2022 to $29.4 million as at the date of publication (i.e. after the December 2023 quarterly repayment). PANR said the period from 1 July 2022 until now has been one of immense progress and achievement for Pantheon. In fact, only last week it was the successful bidder for over 66,000 highly strategic acres, contiguous to the west and east of its existing leases.

Comment: It is right that shares of PANR have been on the front foot in the recent past ahead of today’s news, pushing back up from 17p. A move back up to October ranges in coming weeks towards 30p seems fair given the debt reduction moves here.

Touchstone Exploration (TXP) announced its annual 2024 capital budget, preliminary 2024 guidance and an operational update. TXP said it was in advanced discussions with its existing lender to increase its current debt capacity to facilitate the forecasted timing and amount of the 2024 capital budget presented herein. The 2024 budget contemplates increasing the Company’s revolving component of its credit facility from $7 million to $20 million in the first quarter of 2024. 2024 mid-point annual average production guidance of 9,400 boe/d represents an approximate 135 percent increase from its forecasted 2023 average production, with a budgeted exit average production rate of 14,500 boe/d.

Avacta Group (AVCT), a life sciences company, announced the appointment of Dr Simon Bennett as Chief Business Officer of the Therapeutics Division. AVCT said As Chief Business Officer, Simon will work closely with the senior management team and lead commercial strategy and business development activities at this exciting period in the Company’s development as compelling clinical data emerges from the AVA6000 phase 1 trial. These emerging data give it, for the first time, the opportunity to accelerate ongoing discussions as well as to generate new opportunities through our business development activities aimed at delivering licensing opportunities for the pre|CISIONTM and Affimer® platforms.

Comment: Given how much positive news has come from Avacta, in validating its cancer treatment, it is appropriate that it makes a hire to take the company to the next stage of commercialisation. The run up to this should given the shares the momentum to break back towards the best levels of 2023 early in 2024. Singer has a 154p price target for the next 12 months.