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Yesterday Critical Metals (CRTM), operator of Molulu copper/cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, provided an update on the delivery of ore to the buyer OM Metals SARL. CRTM said the outcomes from its 24-drill-hole campaign have been tremendously encouraging, revealing high-grade copper mineralization that underscores the remarkable promise of the Molulu project. As it prepares for the next drilling phase in Q1 2024, extending into Phase 3, its goal is to deepen its understanding of the mineralization’s grade, mineralogy, thickness, and spread. This will be crucial in fulfilling off-take commitments and driving sustainable growth.

Comment: It may be said that there has been an autumn disconnect between the share price of CRTM and what is happening operationally at CRTM. Presumably, the run up to next year’s drilling will correct the valuation gap.

URA Holdings (URAH), the emerald and strategic minerals company with assets in both the Republic of South Africa and Zambia whose shares are traded on the Standard List of the London Stock Exchange, announce an operational update for its Gravelotte Emerald Mine. URAH said it was  extremely pleased to say that it is now on its planned run-in to commence production. The emerald resource is a sizeable and exciting one and it is confident of getting started and proving its value. It is disappointing that market conditions forced us to raise the necessary funds at a price well below the levels at which it was trading earlier in the year but this round of finance does enable it to take the Company to a position where its potential value can begin to be realised.

Comment: It is difficult to work out which part of either being funded to production, or the 29Mct JORC resource the company is sitting on that the market does not yet fully appreciate. Nevertheless, at 1.2p and £3m market cap, this gives the chance for newcomers in the stock.

Chill Brands Group (CHLL), the consumer packaged-goods distribution company, announced the sale of its Chill ZERO nicotine-free vapour products into a top five UK supermarket. The Company has received a substantial initial purchase order which will see the listing of its Chill ZERO products in 1,500 of the leading supermarket chain’s UK stores. Chill ZERO products will enter these stores during Q1 2024. CHLL said it was thrilled and immensely proud to announce that it has reached agreement to sell its Chill ZERO vape products into a major UK supermarket. This milestone not only signifies a major leap forward for Chill Brands in terms of revenues, but also serves as a resounding validation of its product’s appeal and the strength of its brand.

Comment: CHLL continues to roar in terms of getting distribution, one would imagine that its products will be on every street corner imminently. It is now all about sales.

Belluscura (BELL), a medical device developer focused on lightweight and portable oxygen enrichment technology, announced that it has received approval from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to distribute the X-PLOR® portable oxygen concentrator (POC) in China. BELL said it was delighted to have received approval in China which has taken over approximately 10 months. This enables it to launch sales into China with immediate effect. With its arrangement with InnoMax in place, it was confident that it can now deliver on the significant potential for its products in this large and growing market.

Comment: BELL cracking the China market is clearly a big win, especially given that it was (possibly) the home of Covid, and the smoking centre of the world.

Poolbeg Pharma (POLB), a biopharmaceutical company, announced the positive outputs from the lab-based analysis and successful prioritisation of the Respiratory Syncytial Virus drug targets and treatments identified as part of its artificial intelligence led programme. POLB said the positive outputs from this analysis, and the successful prioritisation of its RSV drug candidates, is a testament to the power of its AI-led drug discovery programme. As it engages in partnering discussions, these results position Poolbeg as a key player in the evolving landscape of AI-driven drug discovery.

Comment: The market is yet to appreciate the AI backed work that POLB is delivering, something which should perhaps become more apparent once the company offers news on partners.

RUA Life Sciences (RUA), the holding company of a group of medical device businesses focused on the exploitation of the world’s leading long-term implantable biostable polymer (Elast-Eon™), updated on recent developments of the RUA leaflet composite. RUA said combining RUA’s expertise in implantable textile materials with the clinically proven properties of ElastEon has created a novel material that appears to meet the key properties required of heart valve leaflets and it is pleasing that the business is now transitioning from a R&D phase into early stages of commercialisation.

Comment: There has been quite a volte face in shares of RUA, perhaps even more than the stock price deserved. The RNS today may settle nerves, and bring back a few bargain hunters.

Filtronic (FTC), the designer and manufacturer of products for the aerospace, defence, telecoms infrastructure and space markets, announced a new contract win with a leading global provider of low earth orbit satellite communications equipment. FTC said it was delighted to continue its partnership with the leading global provider of LEO satellites and was pleased  to supply production volumes of the Cerus32 SSPA module for deployment in its ground station antenna network. The customer has always valued the flexibility of the Cerus32 design, and with this new contract is keen to take advantage of the scalable form factor and the additional power our second-generation E-band product provides”.

Comment: Another day, another £4m contract at Filtronic. One can see a pattern here, and one that even the dirge like stock market in 2023 cannot fail to be impressed by.