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CleanTech Lithium (CTL), an exploration and development company advancing lithium projects in Chile, announced that it now expects to publish the PFS for the Laguna Verde Project in Q3 2024. In order to produce a more robust PFS, which will further support strategic partner discussions, the Board has decided to include data from the Company’s DLE pilot plant as well as from the current drilling and field programme at Laguna Verde. CTL said the PFS for the Laguna Verde project will be a significant milestone on its path to lithium production. It is the Company’s aim to produce the highest quality PFS to ensure the strongest possible platform for discussions with strategic partners. The addition of data from the Company’s DLE pilot plant will help achieve that aim.

Comment: The run up to the PFS later this year should be a sweet spot for CTL, given that its recent funding event is out of the way. The key now will also be how the lithium price recovers, as well as sentiment in the space.

Katoro Gold (KAT), the strategic and precious minerals exploration and development company, announced the formal appointment of Sean Wade as Non-executive Chairman of the Company with immediate effect. Wade said the significant financing announced earlier this month raising £825,000 before expenses has provided the Company with a robust financial position to move the business forward and he looks forward to Katoro announcing further developments as soon as possible.

Comment: The presence of Sean Wade of Power Metal (POW) fame, adds to the way KAT is a company of management heavyweights, helped along by the recent chunky fundraise.

Beacon Energy (BCE), the full-cycle oil and gas company, announced that it has successfully completed its oversubscribed Placing with new and existing institutional investors and the PrimaryBid Offer, both of which have now closed.  The Company has raised, in aggregate, approximately €3.0 million (approximately £2.6 million). BCE said having attempted various low-cost remedial works to bring the SCHB-2(2.) well into production at the volumes expected from the sub-surface results of that well, it became clear that the proposed side-track would be required. As previously guided, based on the excellent reservoir properties and light oil recovered by the well, and the higher rates of production achieved on historic wells in the area, management maintains belief that the well can produce at materially higher levels.

Comment: While the latest fundraise may have been necessary, it was not really what the doctor ordered as far as the share price, which may take a while to regroup.

Thor Energy (THR) provided an update on the uranium and vanadium assay results from the recently completed reverse circulation drilling program on the Company’s 100% owned Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain Projects, located in the uranium-vanadium mining district of the Uravan Mineral Belt, southwest Colorado, USA. THR said the high-grade uranium (up to 0.6%) and vanadium (1.8%) assay results confirm the high-grade nature of the Saltwash style sandstone uranium systems, within the prolific Uravan Mineral Belt. The assay results also confirm the presence of wide intervals of high-grade uranium mineralisation within a halo of vanadium mineralisation.

Comment: It is to be assumed that sooner or later given how much positive noise THR is making regarding uranium, this will soon filter into the share price.

Avacta Group (AVCT), a life sciences company, announce that, further to its announcement on 28 February 2024, the Company has successfully placed 51,269,609 Placing Shares at the Offer Price of 50 pence per Placing Share with new and existing investors, including a number of high quality institutions and a European specialist healthcare fund. In light of the strong demand received both from existing investors and potential new holders, the Board has decided to increase the size of the Placing from approximately £20 million to £25.7 million. AVCT said under very challenging market conditions it has raised financing that allows Avacta to progress at full speed its lead pre|CISION™ targeted chemotherapy, AVA6000, into the expansion and Phase 2 efficacy studies. The emerging clinical data from the Phase 1 safety study strongly supports its belief that pre|CISION™ can change the way in which cancer is treated and it was pleased that it is now in a position to also progress the broader pre|CISION™ pipeline.  Critically, this financing provides Avacta with 24 months of cash runway to focus on advancing AVA6000 through the clinic, as well as progressing other assets earlier in the development cycle to hit key commercial milestones.

Comment: Apparently everyone and their mother knew that AVCT had a massive funding requirement, and that existing funding was killing the share price. Most were clearly too polite to say anything. However, even if the company is sitting on the cure for cancer, the common cold and baldness, the latest news is a choking on one’s cornflakes event, and it will be interesting to see how its “strategic communications” team finesses this. The hope would be that the lowball fundraise is the equivalent of Helium One’s (HE1) at 0.25p, from which its shares have multi-bagged.

Galileo Resources (GLR) said that further to its announcement of 03 October 2022 all conditions have been met in relation to the agreement to acquire an additional 51% shareholding in BC Ventures Limited. GLR said it was pleased that it has completed all the necessary work to complete on its 51% earn-in and with its existing 29% shareholding, it now has an 80% beneficial shareholding in BC Ventures Ltd.  The projects in Zimbabwe all show significant interest and it was delighted with its initial progress at the Kamativi Lithium/Tin project, which has huge potential for the discovery of lithium and/or tin.  The Bulawayo project also has indicated good potential for near surface and deeper gold discoveries.

Comment: GLR has certainly provided enough significant positive newsflow to deliver a break for the shares through recent 1.30p resistance. One would assume that we will be treated to the big move higher as spring 2024 progresses.

First Class Metals (FCM) the UK listed metals exploration company, announced the results of an inaugural drilling programme on the Company’s Zigzag Property, located in the Seymour-Falcon corridor in northwestern Ontario, Canada. FCM said the results from its first drill programme at Zigzag are first class and have not only confirmed its belief in the potential of the ‘core zone’, but have also significantly exceeded our expectations for the Property. The associated critical metals identified have added another dimension to the Property’s potential.  Obviously more work is required specifically along strike and further exploration of the southern structure, hence it is to initiate discussion regarding a new Exploration Permit. Zigzag is growing as a significant lithium and critical metal play in this rapidly emerging pegmatite district.

Comment: FCM reminds us, as if we needed it, of the massive potential of Zigag, and in turn, how the share price reflects little of the ongoing significant work the company is carrying out.

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO), the biopharmaceutical group announce that it has successfully raised US$4.2 million (£3.325 million) before expenses through the allotment and issue of 166,250,000 new ordinary shares at 2p. HEMO said the net proceeds from the Placing will be used to facilitate the development of the Company’s Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia. As announced on 9 February 2024, the Company was informed by the U.S. FDA that it had lifted the clinical hold on the IND application for HEMO-CAR-T for the treatment of AML. The funds have been raised to allow the Company to progress HEMO-CAR-T to phase 1 clinical trials.

Comment: HEMO does an Avacta, and it will be interesting to see whether this latest in a long line of fundraises will finally leave shareholders with something significant from the FDA to hang their hats on.

Oncimmune Holding (ONC)  report a complex set of finals to August 2023. To simplify… the operating loss from continuing operations reduced to £6.1m on revenue of £2.1m . The new senior management team, which has been in place for nearly six months, will focus of business on ImmunoINSIGHTS following sale of Oncimmune Limited  for total of £13m. After debts, losses tax etc  there is  around £1m left.  The Insights service helps its  partners to discover novel biomarkers, drug targets and predict treatment efficacy through the application of their platform.  The new strategy  has won  seven new projects since the beginning of FY 2024, three of which were with existing customers who are major pharmaceutical companies, and  2024 Revenue is expected to be £4m.

Comment: Three years ago, ONC was 250p now its 20p with a £15.2m mkt cap and needs more funding. It seems best to leave it to sector specialists.

Aminex (AEX), the oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Tanzania, is pleased to announce that the interpretation of the recently acquired 338 km2 3D seismic dataset over the Ruvuma PSA has improved the in-place volumetrics for the Ntorya gas discovery and revealed a significantly higher resource potential in the wider licence area than previously identified on the existing sparse 2D database. AEX said the completion of the 3D seismic data interpretation is another important milestone for the Ntorya gas field development, and I am delighted that the results are so positive. The quality of the new 3D seismic dataset was excellent giving the JV partners the ability to map in detail the Ntorya gas discovery, refine volumetric estimates and provide the basis to locate future appraisal and development drilling targets.

Comment: AEX has managed to keep itself under the radar in the past couple of years. It may be the case that Q1 2024 onwards sees rather more action for its shareholders, at least in terms of newsflow.

Silverbullet (SBDS), a provider of AI driven digital transformation services and products, is pleased to provide a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2023 (unaudited). Total Group revenue increased by 42% to £8.3m (FY22: £5.8m) and revenue from 4D AI increased 85% to £2.8m (FY22: £1.5m). SBDS said its results show strong, sustained growth on the backdrop of a once in a generation shift to data and AI driven marketing transformation.

Comment: SBDS’s share price has certainly been telling us how well the company is doing, and one would expect this UK AI play will garner increasingly more backing as the year progresses.