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Poolbeg Pharma (POLB), a biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has received notification that on 21 February 2024, Jeremy Skillington, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, purchased 154,764 ordinary shares at a price of 10.8 pence per share.

Comment: With the big re-rate and share price breakout in POLB underway, it is logical that the company’s CEO is stepping up to the plate in terms of buying the shares in what is an increasingly exciting fundamental situation, with the arrival of the former Amyrt board and stock market supremo Cathal Friel.

Angus Energy (ANGS) announced that terms had been agreed with a subsidiary of Trafigura Group PTE Ltd for a refinancing of its existing debt. The Company has today signed definitive loan documentation which allows it to draw down in full on the £20 million loan facility with Trafigura. It also announced a MOU with Trafigura Group Pte Ltd. with regard to gas storage at the Company’s Saltfleetby Gas Field in Lincolnshire. ANGS said it was very pleased to have closed the new facility with Trafigura and now have a new level of financial stability which allows it to plan for the future and to maximise the value of our assets for the benefit of all our shareholders.

Comment: With today’s news one would expect ANGS to resume the type of solid PR that previous Managing Director George Lucan served up during his tenure. The deal with Trafigura has a very good look for the company.

Bens Creek Group (BEN), the owner of a metallurgical coal mine in North America, announced that Chris Walker has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Bens Creek Operations LLC Operations, a wholly owned operating subsidiary of the Group. Adam Wilson, current CEO Bens Creek, said it has been my absolute pleasure to be involved in Bens Creek right from the very start. I am confident with the full remediation of the business and that with the start-up problems now behind us, Chris will be able to take the business to the next level and I look forward to warmly welcoming him into the Company.

Comment: It is difficult to imagine anyone filling the shoes of outgoing CEO Adam Wilson, as in many ways he was Mr Bens Creek. The new CEO inherits a company at the bottom of the range, and there is significant work to do to re-establish confidence in BEN.

88 Energy (88E) announced the successful WI Transfer by Monitor Exploration Limited (Monitor) to 88 Energy in relation to Petroleum Exploration Licence 93 (PEL 93), located in the Owambo Basin, Republic of Namibia (Namibia) following receipt of the approval of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. 88E said 88EN may earn up to a total 45% working interest in PEL 93 by funding its share of agreed costs under the 2024 work program and budget as defined in the Farm-In Agreement and any future work program budgets yet to be agreed. The maximum total investment costs are anticipated to be $18.7 million.

Comment: It was clear that there were a number of clairvoyant investors looking forward to today’s announcement, something which has been evident on the share price chart for the past few days. Above the 200 day line at 0.32p the top of a November trend channel at 0.45p could be seen near term.

Great Southern Copper (GSCU), the company focused on copper-gold-lithium exploration in Chile, announced that it has signed two binding LOI’s which further consolidate the Company’s Especularita project and include two high priority prospects, Cerro Negro and Artemisa. GSCU said It has taken years of patient work to bring these strategic concessions into GSC’s Especularita project and it was very excited to commence exploration of these compelling targets in conjunction with its existing target pipe-line.

Comment: Shares of GCSU have been in a holding pattern in recent months. However, it would only take a break of recent resistance at 3p to unleash a potential retest of the top of a trend channel from last year at 4.5p over the next couple of months. This seems more likely after the kind of news served up today.

Metals One (MET1), which is advancing critical minerals projects in Finland and Norway, announced an update to its Black Schist Ni-Zn-Cu-Co Project strategy. MET1 said its strategy for the Black Schist Project, recently updated and outlined today, unlocks the potential to provide high-quality sources of critical minerals. The European market is seeking to secure such critical minerals from within the security of its own shores, and at the lowest economic and environmental cost. Recent European legislation enhances these considerations, such as the Critical Raw Materials Act, which pursues indigenous supply, and the Battery Regulation, a directive requiring passports for large batteries, stating their material provenance and carbon footprint.

Comment: It seems rather frustrating that after MET1 delivering decent newsflow such as today, the attractions of its assets, its funding, and geographical location are still being missed by the market.

IQAI (IQAI), which is focused on delivering quantitative imaging platforms and therapeutics, announced a placing via its broker Peterhouse Capital to raise £300,000 at 1.5p. IQAI said the net proceeds will be used further the development of oral gallium maltolate, the oral anti-tumour agent currently under study in the phase 1 trial, via an intermediate-sized expanded access program and other commercialization initiatives necessary to fully leverage the Fast Track Designation granted by the US FDA.

Comment: Given the recent share price sell off, it would appear that everything now rests on progressing its Fast Track with the FDA. Clearly, the market saw the latest placing coming.

Technology Minerals (TM1), the first listed UK company focused on creating a sustainable circular economy for battery metals, noted media reports regarding Chris Cleverly’s involvement in the Company or its 48.35% owned subsidiary, Recyclus Group and makes the following comment. Robin Brundle, Chairman of Technology Minerals, stated: “I can confirm that Chris Cleverly or any of his associated businesses are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the Company or Recyclus. Additionally, Mr Cleverly and any of his associated businesses do not hold any shares in either Technology Minerals or Recyclus.

Comment: Responding to “media reports” may be appropriate. Responding to malicious click bait, shock jock tactics to help shorters, or those who enjoy undermining small cap companies and their investors after having failed themselves, not so much.

Powerhouse Energy Group (PHE), a company pioneering integrated technology that converts non-recyclable waste into low carbon energy, announces the signing of an initial 5-year framework agreement with Australian based, National Hydrogen Ltd. The Agreement sets out the terms on which the Company’s technology and engineering expertise would be provided, on a project-by-project exclusivity basis, to National H2 for its intended roll out of multiple hydrogen-based projects across Australia, Italy, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. PHE said this is the culmination of several years of work, discussion and negotiation between Richard Allen, Chairman of National Hydrogen. It was very pleased that it has finally concluded today’s agreement and it looks forward to a long and prosperous relationship with National Hydrogen. This a major milestone, delivers a significant endorsement for its technology and know-how and provides it with both a platform for growth and a potential long-term income stream.

Comment: It will be interesting to see whether the market embraces today’s news which marks the first significant manifestation of the new CEO’s new strategy, and direction for PHE. It does appear likely that this will be the case, given how low the shares are in the range.