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Panthera Resources (PAT), with gold assets in West Africa and India, announced that the Company’s Australian subsidiary, Indo Gold Pty Ltd has formally issued a Notice of Dispute to the Republic of India over the latter’s breaches of its obligations under the 1999 Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of India on the Promotion and Protection of Investments. Following the delivery of the NoD and in the absence of any meaningful correspondence in relation to this matter from the Government of India, IGPL will subsequently deliver a notice of arbitration to the Government of India. This is anticipated to be delivered to the Government of India in this first quarter of 2024.  Under the Treaty, an arbitral tribunal is to be constituted within two months of delivery of the notice of arbitration. PAT said it was aware that on 30 September 2023 the Times of India reported that, based on information from the Geological Survey of India and the Additional Chief Secretary of Mines, the gold deposit at the site could be worth over US$1 billion.

Comment: With a battle over a possible $1bn asset at stake, and fully underwritten on a no win – no fee basis, one would expect shares of PAT to resume their journey towards the top of the range, especially given today’s RNS firming up timelines.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI), a company specialising in converting non-recyclable mixed waste plastic into hydrogen, announced that HUI has exercised its option to acquire 49% of Ohrid Organics Ltd. HUI is also provided shareholders with an update on its pipeline projects for 2024. HUI said its key EU project is the Longford Project. However, other existing opportunities in the EU such as in Walbrzych and other locations in Poland, Estonia and Greece, remain in the pipeline. The transfer of shares in Ohrid Organics is anticipated in the first quarter of 2024. The Board expects the dividends which will follow this acquisition to provide HUI with the necessary cashflow in 2024 and beyond for working capital purposes and to fund the development of HUI’s first waste plastic to hydrogen facility.

Comment: Renewed focus on its roll out, and the run up to the revenues from Ohrid should make the start of 2024 a good quarter for HUI. This is especially the case given the way the shares are currently at the low end of their trading range.

Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM) Michael Kayser has joined  as an NED and has more than 40 years  business experience  in finance and in particular the biodegradable plastic market both internationally and for  large and smaller companies.  His, NED appointments over the last 10 years  include  Transport Research Foundation, Biome Technologies, and Stobart Group Limited. Before that , Michael  was at Accenture, Guinness (worldwide Finance Director for its beer division), HSBC, Lloyds Register (CFO and Chief Operating Officer), Royal Bank of Scotland (private equity) and Unilever. SYM supply and develop technologies that make plastic and rubber products smarter, safer, and sustainable. d2w is an additive that controls the shelf-life of plastic making it oxo-biodegradable (its rots like a leave) so reducing the impact of plastics on the environment.

Comment: It has  mostly been  loss which is reflected in the 3.5p price and £7m mkt cap. It recently raised a further £1m as a  non-dilutive CLN to buy time to close potentially  game changing contracts. This appointment  seems a step in the recovery direction.

hVIVO (HVO), the world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces that it has signed a £6.3m contract with a biotechnology client to test its antiviral candidate using the hVIVO Human Rhinovirus (HRV – common cold virus) Human Challenge Study Model. The company said there is renewed focus and capital available to biopharma companies with assets targeting respiratory disease indications. Its HRV Human Challenge Model offers its clients the opportunity to open up these markets.

Comment: After a bumper 2023, it can be seen that HVO is starting the new year on a high, backed by press coverage, and a chunky new contract. A return to pandemic highs through 40p seems conservative for Q1.

First Class Metals (FCM) the UK listed metals exploration company, announced that a Shareholder Letter has been uploaded to the Company’s website at The letter, is a review of the major developments for the Company during 2023 and the outlook for 2024. FCM said its focus for 2024 will entail a two-pronged approach. Firstly, it aims to enhance its geological understanding and the mineralisation of these properties to further increase their value. Simultaneously, it will explore opportunities to secure third-party investment through ‘earn-ins,’ joint ventures, or potentially even corporate transactions.

Comment: Those looking to FCM in 2024 will be very much inspired by the sound of third-party investment and even corporate transactions. The implication behind the third-party concept, is that FCM expects to prove up projects to such an extent that it will attract interest from significant mining sector operators.

Oriole Resources (ORR), the AIM-quoted gold exploration company focussed on West Africa, provided an update on its activities and investments, including the Bibemi and Mbe gold projects in Cameroon. The company said with its efforts to attract a project-level partner for two of its properties nearing completion, it hopes to see rapid and successful progress in 2024, with the expansion and enhancement of the Resource at Bibemi, and advancement of the definition of a new gold district within the Central Licence Package, starting with the Mbe project.

Comment: Interestingly enough shares of ORR have been on the front foot ahead of today’s announcement. Clearly, one or two in the market have an ability to see into the future.

ANGLE (AGL), a liquid biopsy company with innovative circulating tumour cell (CTC) diagnostic solutions for use in research, drug development and clinical oncology, is delighted to announce that it has signed a contract with the global pharmaceutical company, Eisai Inc. AGL said it was delighted that Eisai is utilising its new HER2 assay for this study and believes that a successful pilot study will lead the way to major expansion of this line of our business going forward.

Comment: A well flagged announcement – via social media, of the latest news today. Hopefully it feed through to the share price in coming days.

EDX Medical Group (AQSE:EDX), which develops digital diagnostic products and services for the personalised treatment for cancer, heart disease and infectious diseases, announced that Dr Michael Hudson, CEO, purchased a total of 350,000 ordinary shares in the Company on December 29, 2023, at an average price per share of 5.8071 pence.  Following these purchases, Dr Hudson owns 6.76% of the issued share capital.

Comment: The CEO leading from the front at EDX, highlights what could be one of the dark horse biotech winners of the year.

Zanaga Iron Ore (ZIOC), confirmed that the Company has agreed a loan repayment extension with Glencore. ZIOC said it was pleased with the ongoing progress being made in advancing discussions with potential partners, and as part of ZIOC’s strategic objectives has already recently concluded an MoU relating to power solutions for the Zanaga Project. It looks forward to progressing further strategic initiatives in early 2024.

Comment: One would expect today’s Glencore news will remind the market that ZIOC is one of the better mining sector growth plays on the London market.

United Oil & Gas (UOG), the full-cycle oil and gas company announce an update on the ASD S-1X exploration well on the ASD South prospect in the Abu Sennan licence, onshore Egypt. UOG said it was pleased with the successful drilling of the ASD S-1X exploration well and these promising initial well test results. Whilst the initial flow test rates are very encouraging, it awaits well pressure data from further, long-term testing before we can determine the expected longer-term flow rates from this well and we will provide a further update in due course. This discovery opens a new area of the licence.

Comment: Some better news from UOG to start the year. But we need much more of this to get the share price back up to acceptable levels.