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Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP), the biotech company developing prescription cannabinoid medicines, shared the following update on the Company from Edison. The research outfit has rolled forward its model and adjusted it valuation for the latest cash figure, but have kept its underlying assumptions unchanged for now (100% valuation ascribed to OCT461201). Its plans to incorporate OCT130401 once it enters the clinic and note the potential upside from this inclusion. Its valuation excludes the impact of the proposed fund-raise and remains unchanged at £25.3m or 2.6p/share, with benefits from rolling forward offset by the lower cash position.

Comment: Anyone who caught globally known and respected Neil Shah, the Executive Director of Content and Strategy at Edison Group last week on “Investing Matters”, will be aware of the achievements the man has made. What has been noticeable since the recent OCTP fundraise is that the shares have looked as though they need a little TLC. It will be interesting to see whether the Edison note will move the dial for the bulls.

Bens Creek Group (BEN), the owner of a metallurgical coal mine in North America supplying the steel industry, provided a trading update and announced the intention for Adam Wilson to stand down from the board of Bens Creek and his position as CEO of the Company. BEN said the Company is  in advanced discussions to enter into a 12 month offtake agreement with Avani which it is anticipated would be a non-exclusive offtake arrangement for the delivery of a total of circa 400,000 short tons of coal commencing in the next couple of months.  Discussions on the proposed offtake agreement are advanced in nature and the commercial terms of the proposed offtake agreement are acceptable to the Company. The offtake agreement is in the process of being documented and once it is executed a further announcement will be made.

Comment: Adam Wilson leaving Bens Creek is almost as much of a shocker as Robbie Williams leaving Take That. But at least the company’s relationship with Avani and its bank rolling could steady the ship until a new CEO gets their feet under the desk.

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) announced that it has been informed by the FDA that it has lifted the clinical hold on the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for HEMO-CAR-T for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. The FDA confirmed that the Company had addressed all issues identified in its prior clinical hold letter satisfactorily and consents to the Company proceeding with its Phase I clinical study of HEMO-CAR-T. HEMO said it was extremely pleased with the FDA’s decision to lift the clinical hold. It now looks forward to accelerating clinical development of HEMO-CAR-T and to offering patients a potentially life-saving treatment. The removal of the clinical hold was made possible by the hard work and dedication of the entire Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals team and its Board of Directors and advisors.

Comment: HEMO has had its Man From Del Monte moment via the FDA, something which should add to the recent decent share price gains we have seen in recent weeks, that we anticipating this news.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) reported a new SAMREC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate on its wholly owned Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Project. The previous Mineral Resource Estimate issued on 6 June 2017 is simultaneously withdrawn. PREM said it was pleased to note the arrival at site of all plant components and in particular the arrival and installation of the new ball mill. Assembly is expected to complete within the next weeks. Optimisation of the sorters is ongoing, and we expect the overall plant to be back in production during February 2024.

Comment: PREM continues to be retail investor catnip, especially as we are in the run up to the promised production here by the end of the month. The question here is how much of a bump to the upside the stock can get ahead of this eventuality.

MetalNRG (MNRG), the natural resources and energy investment company, announced that is has raised £223,000 via the issue of convertible loan notes. The CLNs carry a 15% per annum coupon and are convertible upon the earlier of the Company completing a transaction classified as a reverse takeover. MNRG said the funds raised through the issue of the CLNs, together with an additional unsecured short-term loan of £150,000 that has been provided to the Company, will be used to undertake specific due diligence work on projects that have been identified as potential reverse takeover targets for the Company and for general corporate purposes.

Comment: Although MNRG will not be buying Rio Tinto with this quantum of CLN cash, it will be interesting to see whether the company can press the right kind of M&A button to continue the recent tentative share price recovery.

Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM), makes this further announcement following the judgment of the General Court of the European Union delivered on 31 January 2024. SYM said it firmly believes that it was right to challenge this amendment to the draft Directive, and maintain that it should have received compensation for the confusion caused. It will continue its communications programme to explain the value of d2w biodegradable technology to protect the environment around the world from persistent plastic litter.

Comment: One of the (few) correct reasons for the UK leaving EU is the type of legal / regulatory protection racket / vested interest based judgements that SYM has just been subject to. But as the company reminds us there are plenty of markets outside the EU’s grasp.

Kore Potash (KP2), the potash development company, announce that PowerChina International Group Limited delivered its EPC proposal and draft EPC contract on the 6th of February 2024. KP2 said In line with the expectations PowerChina has now delivered the EPC Proposal and draft EPC contract offer. The initial EPC contract price aligns with expectations and reconfirms the capital cost detailed in the Study. Kore Potash and SEPCO/PowerChina will now further negotiate the EPC proposal and draft the EPC contract, targeting signing full EPC documentation by the end of April 2024.

Comment: Shares of KP2 have bounced since November, something which one would hope will continue as the PowerChina deal progresses towards full documentation in April.

Bezant Resources (BZT) provide an update for Hope and Gorob copper-gold project situated within EPL 5796  in central Namibia. BZT holds a 70% interest in the Project. BZT said it has continued to advance the Project pending the anticipated award of the Mining Licence. Its time has been well-spent confirming the suitability of Hope & Gorob ore to dry sorting technologies together with the optimisation of various aspects of the future operation. In the interim it will continue with essential work largely linked to project development and keep shareholders informed of progress.

Comment: Although it might of course be too much to expect the market to positively re-rate BZT in the current stock market environment, at least the run up to the award of a mining license is a significant driver for the shares.

Blencowe (BRES) said it was pleased to report it has raised US$500,000 (£392,350) at 5 pence per share with a specialist African-based investor. BRES said it has already received US$2,000,000 in grant funding from the US International Development Finance Corporation out of their approved US$5,000,000 grant. A further US$1,000,000 is expected from the DFC in the near term as the next milestones have been met.

Comment: It can be said that if the latest funding news does not finally get shares of BRES to go up and stay up, it is difficult to know what will. The DFC funding is a company maker in its own right.

Panthera Resources (PAT), with assets in West Africa and India, announced that Moydow Holdings Limited has exercised its exclusive option to acquire the Wuo Land 2 exploration license that comprises part of the Cascades Project in Burkina Faso. PAT said more than 65,500m of historical drilling (541 holes) has been completed across multiple drilling campaigns by previous owners, High River Gold Mines Limited, later acquired by Nord Gold Plc, and Taurus Gold Limited, consisting of principally diamond and RC drilling (24,589m/39,339m, respectively).  Mineralisation has been intercepted by historical drilling and outlined by previous artisanal mining in three main zones over a 10 km strike length.

Comment: Once again PAT reminds us that it is more than just a well funded company looking to score a big win against India. Today it has done this via news of Moydow’s option exercise on the Wuo Land 2 license.