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Cadence Minerals (KDNC) reported the successful completion of its capital expenditure optimisation program at the Amapá Iron Ore Project. KDNC said program has identified significant savings in processing plant recommissioning and increased production. The optimisation study was conducted at a pre-feasibility level and marks an important milestone in the company’s progress towards achieving cost-efficient and sustainable operations.

Comment: KDNC’s finessing of the Amapá project in terms of cost and timelines has of late improved the share price of the company. One would expect today’s announcement to help the cause too.

S-Ventures plc (AQSE: SVEN), the Company investing in and growing exciting brands, announced that it has agreed new loans amounting in aggregate to £2m from Riverfort Global Opportunities plc (RGO) (£1m) and Sherwood International Holdings Ltd (£1m), an existing shareholder. SVEN said it was delighted to announce this funding facility and proposed transaction. Against the background of a very challenging environment over the past twelve months within capital markets, it was pleased to further secure this significant new funding. The combination with RGO would provide it with a quotation on AIM and better access to new capital to support the growth and development of the SVEN businesses.   The commitment of its shareholders and directors to this process is testament its belief in the businesses.

Comment: At first glance the pairing of S-Ventures and Riverfort is as strange as David Bowie teaming up with Bing Crosby. But at least it finally gives SVEN the support it has needed, with the added AIM kicker.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR), the specialist flake graphite company, announced the appointment of CMC Markets UK (CMCX) as the Company’s joint broker, with immediate effect. TGR said appointment of CMC as joint broker is aligned with its focus on enhancing liquidity and growing its investor base, to enable it to continue the great progress it is making across its current graphite production assets and future development portfolio. With a significant presence in both London and internationally, particularly in natural resource investment hubs such as Australia, it believes they are a great fit to work alongside the company and support our growth objectives.

Comment: TGR’s rehabilitation continues with director share buying being added to by the company shifting up a gear in terms of its new broker. One would expect this to aid in getting the group up to its production goals.

Zephyr Energy (ZPHR), the Rocky Mountain oil and gas company focused on responsible resource development from carbon-neutral operations, is pleased to announce that initial drilling operations have commenced on the State 36-2R well at the Company’s flagship project in the Paradox Basin, Utah, U.S. ZPHR said it continues to make good progress at the well-site and it is well prepared for the next phase of drilling which is expected to commence in mid-April.

Comment: ZPHR looks literally well positioned as we go into Q2 2024, with improved sentiment coming into the share price in the run up to next month’s drilling campaign. The shares are already up 20% year to date.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX), the life science business focused on skin health, announced the consolidated unaudited results for the six months to 31 December 2023. Revenues were up 38% to £106.6k (HY2023: £77.0k); majority of sales from the UK, but sales starting to be recognised from European territories. SBTX said this has been an exciting half year and post period end for SkinBioTherapeutics. The underlying consumer business has continued its steady progress, including the scaling-up of manufacturing by Croda/Sederma and the commencement in January of the clinical trials for SkinBiotix before commercialisation starts.

Comment: Any biotech being able to deliver significant revenues is a win, and indeed to do this in a significant way even more of an achievement.  The Croda / Sederma connection appears encouraging.

Light Science Technologies Holdings (LST), announce that it is participating in a 12 month £299,748 collaboration, funded by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Innovate UK’s Transforming Food Production Challenge. Light Science Technologies Ltd will receive a grant worth £188,251 over the duration of the programme. LST said it was extremely excited to be part of this consortium. There is growing need for innovative solutions that will help increase food security and crop yields and it was delighted to be working with a range of partners that are at the forefront of change and providing welcome solutions to global cultivation challenges.

Comment: Given how cash strapped HM Government is supposed to be, managing to skim nearly 200 grand in grants is quite a result for LST. One hopes it continues to ride the public purse gravy train.

CAP-XX Limited (CPX), a company involved in the design and manufacture of supercapacitors and energy management systems, said it has conditionally raised £2.0 million. The Retail Offer through the REX platform is expected to remain open until 3.00 p.m. today. Thereafter, a further announcement will be made in due course in relation to the result of the Retail Offer.

Comment: Perhaps hurry while stocks last is not the most appropriate of descriptions in the wake of the recent rocky ride in CAP-XX. But at least it has put the company on the map, via being in the same RNS as Tesla.

Billington Holdings (BILN), one of the UK’s leading structural steel and construction safety solutions specialists, announced that the Group has recently been awarded six new contracts with a combined value of circa £90 million. BILN said the award of these significant contracts is great news for Billington. They are a testament to its Group offering in a challenging trading environment and demonstrates that Billington is a steelwork contractor of choice. The Group currently has a record orderbook and these contracts provide further confidence that Billington will continue to perform well in 2024 and into 2025, further underpinning current market expectations.

Comment: What the company has not said in its RNS is that it has won £90m of contracts, as compared to its £51m market cap: the message is always ham things up a bit.

Zinnwald Lithium (ZNWD), the European focused lithium company developing the integrated Zinnwald Lithium Project in Germany, announced its final audited results for the year ended 31 December 2023. ZNWD said that post period end in February, it revealed a 445% increase in the mineral resource estimate at its core license area. This expansion takes the total lithium content of the Project to 2.7Mt LCE.

Comment: Even though of late lithium has not been flavour of the month, the massive MRE boost to ZNWD was too big to ignore, and sets the company up well for the rest of 2024.

KR1 plc (AQSE: KR1), a digital asset investment company, said it has invested a total of US$600,000 into Moondance Labs. The investment took place as part of Moondance Labs’ strategic funding round, with participation from other prominent digital asset investors such as Scytale Digital and Arrington Capital. KR1 said the entire Moondance Labs team has made great progress over the past year, delivering on Tanssi’s roadmap to become the go-to tool for appchain developers. The project will play a critical role for appchains by allowing developers to easily leverage Tanssi’s efficiency and scalability benefits.

Comment: Presumably KR1 knows the market well enough not to be paying too much for Moondance, and obvious after the recent stellar digital asset run, has more than enough cash.