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Tirupati Graphite (TGR), the specialist Flake Graphite company, announced its response to the notice of requisition on behalf of a group of underlying shareholders representing c. 5.8% of the issued ordinary share capital of the Company. TGR said it recognises that its current board structure and composition needs addressing, to ensure it returns to QCA compliance with the appointment of wholly independent directors as soon as practically possible. The board is taking urgent steps to enhance this and is seeking the appointment of a new Non-Executive Chair, Non-Executive Directors, and a CFO.

Comment: Rather than all the negative excitement of a requisition, apparently representing too small an amount of shareholders, it would have been better for the requisitioners to have gone for an informal approach / discussion. This is especially the case given that if they were successful in their personnel demands the operational side of the business would be irreparably damaged, something which might be letting the cat out of the bag as far as their intentions.  TGR has already said it is addressing its board composition. And of course, if the requisitioners really want to change TGR there was / is nothing to stop them making an offer for the company and change it that way.

MediaZest (MDZ), the creative audio-visual solutions provider, provided an update to shareholders on a positive trading performance for the six months ended 31 March 2024, and continued strong trading momentum going into the second half of the financial year ended 30 September 2024. MDZ said new orders represent in aggregate additional revenues in excess of £350,000 relating to project work. These projects will also attract further revenues in the form of related ongoing support and maintenance revenues which will further contribute to the Company’s growing annual run rate for recurring revenues.

Comment: Alas these days the cost of being listed drowns out a few hundred grand of additional revenue. But perhaps the market will not notice / forget about this in the case of MDZ.

Bezant (BZT) announced that following on from the positive results obtained from the Phase 2 metallurgical test work at the Kanye battery manganese project in Botswana, it was providing information on the commencement of geophysical surveying to assist in extending the footprint of the deposit. BZT said it was encouraged by the results of the initial drilling programme and the metallurgical recovery test work which demonstrated that the Kanye mineralisation is potentially suitable for processing to high purity manganese and therefore of significant potential value. The new geophysical survey is designed to define the size and scope of the project prior to further drilling. It will advise the market on the outcome of the survey work and plans for the drilling programme that emerges, if appropriate.

Comment: BZT certainly keeps plugging away as far as Botswana is concerned, something which is all the more significant given the battery metal focus the company has there.

Cerillion (CER), the billing, charging and customer relationship management software solutions provider, announced it has agreed a major new contract, worth an initial $11.1 million, with a leading provider of connectivity solutions in Southern Africa. The contract is for an initial five years and has scope to develop further over time. CER said it was extremely pleased to have secured a major new contract with this leading Southern Africa solutions provider. Its solution was put through its paces in the evaluation stages, and it is delighted that the advantages of its productised approach and the quality and breadth of its offering were so clear to see.

Comment: Although CER has managed to keep itself under the radar rather skilfully, it is a c. £500m market cap company. Today’s new contract could be especially meaningful if there is further scope for scaling it up.

Kistos (KIST), the low carbon intensity energy production company, provided a summary of its audited full-year results for the year ended 31 December 2023. KIST said it has made significant progress in diversifying its asset base to mitigate against the barriers to further investment in the UK North Sea imposed by the UK Government. The acquisition of UK onshore gas storage assets is a demonstration of the Group’s ability to identify opportunities outside of its offshore production portfolio and broaden its sources of revenue.

Comment: Even with the flip in the lay of the land against the company on a fundamental basis after Ukraine, it is still the case that the market has been unduly harsh against KIST. This position is likely to revert to the mean in a more positive way for the rest of 2024.

Mining Minerals & Metals (MMM), the investment vehicle established to undertake an acquisition of one or more businesses ‎‎ that has operations involved in natural resource exploration, announced an update on the proposed all share acquisition of Georgina Energy Plc, a UK-domiciled company with highly prospective helium, hydrogen and natural gas development assets in Australia. MMM said this acquisition has huge potential to create a leading hydrogen and helium producer that will compete on the global scene. Georgina has done an excellent job advancing their highly prospective and low risk projects in Australia and it is now near the conclusion of the transaction at a highly opportune time in the market.  It sees huge global demand coming for hydrogen and already there is a supply squeeze in helium making this an ever more attractive deal for MMM.

Comment: After a rather long gestation period, we can delight in the prospect of the helium / hydrogen company coming to market, in the wake of both these commodities turning red hot of late. It was also pleasant to see the Daily Mail frontrunning the story yesterday, just like the good old days of the London stock market.

Brave Bison (BBSN), the digital advertising and technology services company, announced that it has made a formal approach to the Board of The Mission Group plc (TMG) regarding a possible offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Mission by way of an all-share offer. The combination of Brave Bison and Mission would create a scaled media, marketing and technology services company with pro-forma FY23 revenues of approximately £120 million and pro-forma FY23 adjusted EBITDA of approximately £14 million. Potential synergies derived from duplicate costs and efficiencies have not been included in the pro-forma.

Comment: For the Brave Bison / Mission Group story it was The Times which broke the news over, and once again we have a reminder of what the papers are for: stealing the thunder of RNS.

KEFI (KEFI), the gold and copper exploration and development company, provided an operational update covering the three months to 31 March 2024 and more recent developments. This update encompasses the activities of the Company, as well as wholly owned KEFI Minerals (Ethiopia) Ltd and majority-owned Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company in Ethiopia, and minority-owned Gold & Minerals Ltd in Saudi Arabia.

Comment: KEFI seems to be delivering a RNS of one kind or the other almost every other day, something which would ordinarily suggest that there was an imminent funding. However, given that it raised £5m in March, it could be the more mundane scenario of the company hoping to get the share price up so it can raise towards 0.8p plus during the summer.

Golden Metal Resources (GMET), a strategic development and mineral exploration company focused in Nevada, USA, announced an exploration update at the Company’s 100% owned flagship Pilot Mountain Project located within the prolific Walker Lake Mineral Belt in Nevada, USA. GMET said the goal of this programme is two-fold, 1) grow its confidence and increase the size of the resource at the Project’s main Desert Scheelite zone, which currently hosts the largest known tungsten resource on USA soil, and 2) make new brownfield discoveries to materially grow the amount of contained metal known about within the Project at present. While no outcomes are guaranteed when drilling, it has been very methodical throughout the preparation process and is excited to now be in position to finally drill test multiple of the Project’s exciting target areas.

Comment: Pilot Mountain has been and remains the jewel in the crown at GMET, with perhaps the icing on the cake being that the company would attract funding from the USA as part of its critical metals security in the run up to cutting China dependency. Tungsten would clearly be a key part of this.

Goldplat (GDP) the AIM listed Mining Services Group, announced an operational update for the 3rd quarter ended 31 March 2024 of the current financial year. GDP said the two recovery operations achieved a combined operating profit for the quarter of £1,618,000 (excluding listing and head office costs and foreign exchange losses) which represents a 10% increase against Q3 in the previous period (Q3 2023 – £1,470,000).

Comment: Today’s update helps understand the recent share price strength at GDP, and clearly bodes well for the company going forward too.

Amur Minerals (AMC), which has been reclassified as an AIM Rule 15 cash shell, said it has now executed a sale and purchase agreement to conditionally acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Extruded Pharmaceuticals Limited, a UK-based drug delivery technology company which is focused on improving the performance of cancer treatments for solid tumours through the local delivery of chemotherapy drugs.

Comment: There may be some who miss the heady days of the Kun Manie nickel-copper sulphide project in Russia. However, Extruded appears a decent deal, especially if this can be a well funded British biotech, just for a change.

NetScientific (NSCI), the deep tech and life sciences VC investment group, announce that it has been appointed as investment manager to Martlet Capital Limited to manage on a discretionary basis its c.£23.3 million portfolio of investments (Martlet Portfolio). In addition, EMV Capital has acquired the operational venture capital business of Martlet Capital (Martlet Business), excluding the Martlet Portfolio. NSCI said this non-dilutive transaction represents an important milestone for the NetScientific group, aligned with its objectives to become a leading deep tech and life sciences venture capital investor in the UK and Europe. Robert and his team have created a respected brand within the world-class Cambridge high-tech investment cluster. This is a logical next step in the deepening relationship between our organisations following its initial investment in 2021.

Comment: Although NSCI is almost certainly above the intellectual pay grade of most investors on the London market, most will understand the benefits of a non-dilutive deal.

Jersey Oil & Gas (JOG), an independent upstream oil and gas company, announced its audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2023. JOG said had an exceptional 2023 and we are delighted to have NEO and Serica as our partners on the Greater Buchan Area, which is one of the largest and most exciting developments of homegrown energy in the UK North Sea.  Together with its joint venture partners and support from its shareholders it has delivered an investment opportunity that is expected to support over 1,000 jobs across many parts of the UK supply chain, provide private investment of around £900 million into the UK economy and generate hundreds of millions in forecast UK tax receipts.

Comment: One is quite sure that the Just Stop Oil brigade would not appreciate the jobs, cash and tax receipts JOG is delivering to the nation.

Huddled Group (HUD), the group focused on building a portfolio of e-commerce brands, announced its audited full year results for the year to 31 December 2023, in which the group delivered a profit after tax from total operations of £13.0m. HUD said generating a profit of £13.0m in 2023 allowed it to return significant funds to shareholders as well as enabling it to transition into a group focused on developing high growth e-commerce brands, which is a market in which it sees great potential.

Comment: While e-commerce brands may not have been an area in focus on the stock market to date, it would appear that HUD is flourishing in this area, and will continue to do so.