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Yesterday Xtract Resources (XTR) announce that the Company has agreed terms for the disposal of the Manica Gold Project. Xtract has agreed to sell Xtract’s 23% net profit share interest in the Manica Gold Project to the Buyers for a consideration of up to $15 million in cash in regular staged payments by the Buyers over the period to 1 March 2027. XTR said that viewing worldwide exploration activities, it is even more convinced that its southern African copper focus, and particularly on the Western Foreland, exploration and small mine opportunities, is the optimum strategy for its shareholders.

Comment: Striking a deal as big as its market cap should be a game changer for XTR, and underline the merits of its approach, something that the market has been hitherto reluctant to do.

Hummingbird (HUM) updated on operations at its Kouroussa Gold Mine, Guinea, and provide notice of the upcoming Q4-2023 Operational and Trading Update. Following delivery of fuel to the Kouroussa Gold Mine over the past few days, mining operations at the site are restarting shortly and are expected to ramp up to full capacity levels over the coming weeks. Hummingbird will release its Q4-2023 Operational and Trading Update for the period ending 31 December 2023, including FY-2024 production and AISC guidance, on Wednesday 31 January 2024.

Comment: A ramp up at Kouroussa and the run up to the operational and trading update at the end of this month should be more than enough to provide an opportunity for range traders in the stock to enter the frame under 10p.

Empresaria (EMR) December’s year-end Trading update reported a 12% fall in NFI (Net Fee Income) to £57.5m but after cost cutting profits are better than recent expectations at £3.5m, but still comparatively sharply down from £7.6m. Being an international Professional and IT staffing group is cyclical. Reflecting macro economic uncertainty its permanent placement NFI drop by 25% and Temporary and contract NFI fell 10%, as global IT sector and the US Healthcare sector reduce demand. The offshore Services operation continues to perform strongly, and the Board  belief  its worth significantly more than the value attributed to the entire Group. There has been a continuing and persistent company share buyback program over the years with the company recently paying 35p.  Net debt increased to £11.1m but there is £17.8m headroom to accommodate a pickup in temporary and permanent staff demand.

Comment: At 35.5p the £17.5m Mkt cap seems supported by the value of the offshore division additionally there is significant recovery potential.

Acuity (ACRM), the software group, announced that its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Acuity Risk Management Limited which supplies the award-winning STREAM® software platform has won its first contract with a North American state organisation, worth £103,000. ACRM said it was delighted that ARML has secured its first US state organisation and hopes this is one of many to come. This contract win provides credibility in a sector that it believes increasingly needs the solutions which STREAM® offers.  Most new clients won by ARML start with a relatively small contract which then expands over the next few years and often benefits from referrals.

Comment: ACRM’s entry into North America really is a big deal in terms of the potential the group is once again underlining, especially given the way that the shares are at the bottom of their trading range.

CleanTech Lithium (CTL) has hosted a leading international seminar entitled “Lithium: Global Challenges, Local Issues, Decarbonization, Sustainability and Participation”. The event, which took place on January 18th and 19th at the Universidad de Atacama, brought together renowned international academics and industry leaders to explore the crucial role lithium plays in global decarbonization and the transition to a green economy. CTL said collaboration between academia, industry and government is essential to developing sustainable solutions in lithium extraction and its integration into the global supply chain. The presence of international academics at its DLE pilot plant is a testament to its commitment to innovation and transparency in its operations.

Comment: With events like this latest one, CTL is underlining that it has a special and indeed leading position in Chile as far as being a lithium extraction leader.

Helium One Global (HE1), the primary helium explorer in Tanzania, updated on the drilling of the Itumbula West-1 well. HE1 said the initial results from the Itumbula West-1 well are very positive. It has encountered elevated helium shows, as the team had anticipated pre-drill, all the way to Basement. The wireline logs are the crucial next step in identifying which intervals it will test and sample for further evaluation.

Comment: While the latest update breaks HE1’s duck on helium, and perhaps gives it an angle of hydrogen, it will be interesting to see whether this is the company making announcement it needs to get the shares back to levels seen even as recently as the autumn.

Greatland Gold (GGP) updated on activities and developments at Havieron, the world class gold-copper project located in the Paterson Province, for the December 2023 quarter. GGP said The December 2023 Quarter was another busy and productive period for Greatland. The updated Mineral Resource Estimate is a particular highlight, further demonstrating the quality and scale of Havieron. In addition, important work has been progressed to optimise and safeguard development through the lower confined aquifer, which is a key milestone and de-risking event in the underground decline development.

Comment: De-risking the company is one thing, but it may be that the real sizzle today in terms of the updated MRE is what gives the stock the chance to get on the right side of 10p once again.

Kromek Group (KMK), a developer of radiation and bio-detection technology solutions, announced that it has received an order in excess of £1.4m to supply D3M detectors and associated networkable solutions. The revenues are expected to be received within the current financial year. KMK said this latest order for Kromek’s D3M line of detectors is another endorsement of its world-leading technology, which is amongst the most versatile and sensitive available, offering real time data of any potential nuclear threat so that decision making can be rapid and responses can be co-ordinated effectively.

Comment: It would appear that the current geopolitical environment is spot on for the likes of KMK, especially in terms of driving momentum in contract wins such as the one announced today.

Atlantic Lithium (ALL), the African-focused lithium exploration and development company, announced the completion of Stage 1 of the Company’s competitive offtake partnering process to secure funding for a portion of the remaining 50% available feedstock from the Company’s Ewoyaa Lithium Project in Ghana. ALL said it looks forward to concluding the offtake partnering process in the coming months, which represents a major milestone in securing funding to cover the Company’s allocation of development expenditure for the Project and advancing Ewoyaa towards construction and production.

Comment: While the latest stakebuilding may be the main event for some at ALL, continuing to focus on offtake reminds us that the company is advancing its timelines well.

Blencowe Resources (BRES) announced it has received its second tranche US$1 million funding payment from the United States International Development Finance Corporation.  This represents a further 20% of the full US$5 million DFC grant to be utilised for Orom-Cross Definitive Feasibility Study costs, with US$2 million received in total to date since this agreement was signed in 2023. BRES said following successful completion of key feasibility study milestones this latest tranche of grant funding we have received from DFC is valuable to Blencowe and it extended its sincere appreciation to the DFC for their ongoing support.

Comment: It is a shame that hitherto BRES has not been able to communicate the merits of Orom-Cross, even though investment from DFC is just about the best thing that can happen to a junior miner.

Aquis Exchange (AQX), a creator and facilitator of next-generation financial markets, provided an unaudited trading update for the year ended 31 December 2023. Aquis is pleased to confirm that it expects to report performance for FY23 in line with Board expectations. Expected Group financial highlights: Net revenue up 12% to £22.6m (FY22 £20.1m). AQX said that in a a year marked by uncertainty and difficult market conditions, it was really pleased to report another year of double-digit revenue growth for Aquis Exchange, alongside many successful strategic developments for the Group for which we expect to see the benefits in both near and long term. It is well positioned for the future and look forward to delivering throughout 2024 and beyond.

Comment: Presumably companies listed on Aquis will be looking for the exchange to invest its soaring revenues on driving liquidity to this market.

Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ), the AIM listed gold, copper and silver producer focused in Azerbaijan, announced that drill results confirm a significant quantity of copper mineralisation at Xarxar. The drill results will form part of a forthcoming JORC mineral resource estimate for the Xarxar deposit. AAZ said it was delighted to announce the findings of its recent drilling campaign at Xarxar, confirming internal estimates regarding the presence of significant quantities of copper at the deposit. This reaffirms the potential size of the mineral deposit that can be brought into production.

Comment: Given the recent surprisingly dull share price performance at AAZ, one would hope this discovery at Xarxar will change sentiment in a positive way.

Tissue Regenix (TRX), the regenerative medical device company, provided a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2023, reflecting another strong year of trading. The Company delivered over 20% revenue growth, resulting in a positive adjusted EBITDA for the full year of 2023. This performance marks the sixth consecutive period of half-on-half, double-digit revenue growth (averaging over 20% for the last three years). TRX said 2023 represents the third consecutive year of execution on its 4S strategy – a four-pronged approach designed to drive supply, sales revenue, sustainability and scale.

Comment: One would hope that with the strong trading TRX is once again reporting, we can expect shares of the company to rally off the 50p zone and stay up for good.