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Eden Research (EDEN), the AIM-quoted company focused on sustainable biopesticides, announced that it has been named ESG Company of the Year at the prestigious 2024 Small Cap Network Awards in recognition commitment to environmental, social and governance matters and contribution to the green economy. EDEN said this accolade demonstrates its dedication to creating sustainable solutions that benefit not only its stakeholders but also contribute to the progression of sustainable agriculture and farming practices. This achievement is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our entire team, partners and investors as it continues to make progress on its business objectives and bring solutions to market.

Comment: Despite the cynics, virtue signalling still works. Getting a third party to virtue signal on your behalf, is even better.

Critical Metals (CRTM) which is currently developing a past producing copper cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo announced that Russell Fryer, Chief Executive Officer, has sold 975,000 ordinary shares of £0.01p through a nominee account, totalling £155,841 that should have been included in the announcement dated 19 April 2024.

Comment: Ideally, today’s announcement regarding share dealing by the CEO kitchen sinks the recent episode, and allows the company to get the market to focus on Molulu and production, sooner rather than later.

Corcel (CRCL), the pan Angola-Brazil focused exploration and production company announced that it has raised gross proceeds of £500,000 at £0.001 with high-net-worth investors.  The Company said intends to use the funds primarily to continue to build a stable financial foundation well into the second half of the year.

Comment: Given that it would appear that £500,000 lasts 6 months, it would appear that those high-net-worths will be tapped for cash early in the new year.

KEFI (KEFI), a gold and copper exploration and development company, announce its audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2023. KEFI said financial markets, and the AIM Market in particular, have recently shown some volatility and weakness flowing from global and UK political events. This continues to reinforce KEFI’s strategy of sourcing predominantly project-level and subsidiary-level project financing to develop our projects. Successful implementation of its plans will result in KEFI being a leader in the Arabian-Nubian Shield with holdings in three production assets coming on stream in sequence from 2026.

Comment: KEFI remains one of the finest jam tomorrow prospects amongst junior London explorers. After 6 years of waiting the outgoing NED must be somewhat worn out, especially as apparently KEFI is so close to getting over the line.

Acuity (ACRM), the software group announced its intention to raise approximately £1 million at 3.5 pence. The net proceeds of the Fundraise will be used to fund investment and expansion of the sales team, and increase marketing activities and new product development. The Company’s strategic aim is to increase revenues particularly recurring revenues, to generate cash, profits and generate shareholder value. The Company expects ARM’s trading to be cash generative by 31 December 2024.

Comment: Fans of ACRM would have been hoping that the pipeline of sales of £7.9m would have been enough to avoid a placing. Indeed, if this were not to be the case perhaps the placing should have been done earlier and at a higher share price.

Invinity Energy Systems (AQSE: IES), a global manufacturer of utility-grade energy storage, announced a 4 MWh sale to PowerFlex, part of EDF Renewables North America. The batteries will be used in a California Energy Commission-funded solar microgrid project being undertaken by the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians.

Comment: While it is commendable that the company has managed to deliver a deal Stateside, a steer regarding the financials may have been helpful. That said, given that the company has just raised £57m, perhaps it does not matter.

ValiRx (VAL), a life science company, updated from its wholly owned subsidiary Inaphaea BioLabs Limited. Inaphaea is pleased to confirm the execution of a revenue-bearing contract for the provision of Patient Derived Cell based services with a new client; a US-based biotech company.

Comment: After the recent typo regarding how much cash the company has in the bank, it is probably just as well that no numbers were included in today’s RNS.

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO), the clinical stage biopharmaceutical group developing treatments for cancers and viral diseases, is pleased to provide an update on its ongoing activities and progress. HEMO said it was excited about the progress it is making across its various programs. The addition of a world-renowned medical center to its HEMO-CAR-T clinical trial sites marks a significant step forward in its mission to develop life-saving therapies. Its expansion into pediatric indications for HEMO-CAR-T highlights its commitment to addressing unmet medical needs in both adult and pediatric populations.

Comment: Given that HEMO has been on the verge of greatness for so long, one would be expecting something along the lines of Alexander Fleming of Louis Pasteur to emanate from the HEMO labs. In the meantime we await just one winner from its various programs to qualify for that Nobel prize.

Contango Holdings (CGO), a company focused on the development of the +2 billion tonne Muchesu coal project in Zimbabwe, announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Investor, a prominent Zimbabwe-based Chinese national with extensive mining and business investments in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region. CGO said it was delighted to announce it has entered into a Term Sheet with the Investor, providing the framework for the final Definitive Agreements. Muchesu is a world class coal deposit and it has focused its efforts on unlocking the value, whilst minimising dilution to shareholders.

Comment: If there is to be the long awaited inflection point for CGO and its share price this is the day. Clearly Esprey and the team were going for the slow burn approach.

MetalNRG (MNRG), the natural resources and energy investment company, is pleased to announce that the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan has approved a bill lifting the ban on prospecting, exploration, development and  mining uranium and thorium in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Comment: Given that shares of MNRG have already been on the front foot of late, the latest news should really be a shot in the arm – provided some bright sparks did not already anticipate it.

Fulcrum Metals (FMET), a company focused on mineral exploration and development in Canada, is announce the initiation of the phased sampling, testing and study programme at the Sylvanite Gold Tailings project in the Kirkland Lake area of Ontario, in Canada. FMET said that earlier this it announced the results from initial leach testing  at the Teck-Hughes tailings project. The testing, which used Extrakt’s technology, recovered up to 59.4% of gold, which is an incredible achievement, especially when one consider that recovery rates from refractory gold, without the use of toxic cyanide and pre-treatment, usually recovers less than 40%. It believes that with further optimisation recovery rates have the potential to increase to beyond 60%.

Comment: It is a shame that many in the market do not fully appreciate the merits of tailings, and this is the challenge for FMET in the near term. But if it does get the message out we could be treated to a decent re-rate for the shares.

Panthera Resources (PAT), the gold exploration and development company with assets in India and West Africa, announced that it has arranged a conditional equity capital fundraise with new and existing investors for approximately £1.04 million at a price of 5.5p. PAT said it was delighted to receive this support from existing shareholders as well as welcoming new institutional shareholders to the shareholder register.  The Equity Financing will support its business while it pursues international arbitration against the Government of India, an unusual situation where the Company seeks to realise the fair value of the Bhukia project.  The arbitration is financed by LCM Funding SG Pty Ltd, an international leader in this field.

Comment: It is impressive that PAT has managed to raise a decent chunk of change, slightly higher than the 5p level it raised £745,000 in December. The implication is that the India arbitration may be heating up as far as prospects there are concerned.

Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ), the UK based diagnostics developer, is pleased to announce that as a result of its early collaboration with its planned strategic and exclusive licensing partner in the USA, Cizzle Bio Inc, its proprietary test for the CIZ1B biomarker has been selected as part of a major study being conducted at a leading cancer centre in the USA. Minimum advance royalty payments of US$2.3 million, as part of the 10% royalty to be paid on gross revenues minus taxes, are due over a period of 30 months following signing of a binding agreement.

Comment: At least the $2.3m over 30 months should cover most / all of the listing costs here, something which may finally allow the shares to rebound.

Nuformix  (NFX), a pharmaceutical development company targeting unmet medical needs in fibrosis and oncology via drug repurposing, announced a patent update. NFX said it was delighted it has received these multiple grants of key patents underpinning both our NXP002 and NXP004 programmes. The European patent grant represents the last major territory to confirm protection of the novel drug forms enabling NXP002’s development as a potential novel IPF treatment.

Comment: It is perhaps a shame that many in the market would regard what NFX is doing as rocket science, and therefore not fully appreciate the step forward announced today.

Lexington Gold (LEX), the gold exploration and development company with projects in South Africa and the USA, announced assay results from the recent gold exploration drill programme at its Jennings-Pioneer Project, located in South Carolina, USA. LEX said these positive results reinforce its commitment to advancing the Jennings-Pioneer Project and its broader USA exploration portfolio alongside its South African projects. It  will continue to build on this momentum, leveraging its updated geological models to guide future drill programmes and exploration activities.

Comment: Given the progress LEX is making and the ongoing strength of the gold price, one would have thought shares of the company would be rather higher in the range than they are currently.