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Bushveld Minerals (BMN), the integrated primary vanadium producer, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by Southern Point Resources – Fund 1 SA L.P., for an acquisition price of up to US$21.3 million. The purchase by SPR of Bushveld’s 64% equity interest in a subsidiary that owns the Mokopane Vanadium project for $3.7 million remains on track. BMN said it was pleased to be announcing a definitive agreement on another piece of the overall $69.5-$77.5 million funding package first announced in September. It looks forward to working closely with its new partners at Vanchem to unlock value in this significant asset. It hopes to announce further progress on the overall funding package in the coming weeks and months.

Comment: There has already been a noticeable recovery in shares of BMN, and today’s update is likely to keep this momentum going, especially with regard to funding prospects.

First Class Metals (FCM) the UK metals exploration company, announced that its 100% owned subsidiary First Class Metals Canada Inc. has received notification from the Ontario Province of the granting of two further Exploration Permits. The permits are effective for a period of three years until expiry on the 16th November 2026. FCM said these permits will enable it to conduct focused exploration efforts, with the ultimate aim of further refining delineating drill targets and commencing drilling operations. The mutual respect and collaboration it has fostered with the First Nations is of utmost importance to us, and it is honoured to have made such significant progress across the majority of its portfolio.

Comment: It looks as though with a little help from its First Nations friends, CEO Marc Sale will be even more busy going forward, as he looks to prove up two further exploration projects.

MTI Wireless (MWE) trading for Q3 shows  incremental growth with revenue 1% ahead to $34.8m but with PBT 6% better to $3.4m. After constant share buy backs, the EPS improved 9% to 3.35cents (2.6p).  MWE delivers comprehensive communications and radio frequency solutions across multiple sectors.   Its solutions support the next generation of 5G networks, alleviate global water scarcity and are used in defence. Timing and size of orders can be difficult to predict, at the beginning of November, it received an incremental $1m contract for service and maintenance of surveillance platforms for the Israeli Ministry of Defence.  There is net cash of around $6.4m (£5.1m) and a full year dividend will be paid  which currently yields 6.6% on a P/E of 9x.

Comment: At 32p with a £28m Mkt Cap  it seems good medium-term value.

Oriole Resources (ORR), the AIM-quoted exploration company focussed on West Africa, has signed a non-binding HoT with Ghana-based BCM International Limited to fast-track exploration at the Company’s 90%-owned Mbe gold licence in central Cameroon. Following the HoT, the conditional Earn-in Agreement is expected to be executed before the end of the year. ORR said as a partner to Oriole, BCM brings a wealth of experience in mining in Africa and it looks to capitalise on this alliance across its projects. Mbe is just one licence in the prospective Eastern CLP and so it’s worth noting that it has four other, neighbouring licences ripe for similar deals or indeed ‘go-it-alone’ exploration.

Comment: With companies all over the place finding it tough to get appropriate funding, especially in the resources space, ORR’s recent rally stands out, with the latest RNS almost smug in terms of how it can go forward with BCM.

ECR Minerals (ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, announced the latest gold exploration developments at its Lolworth Project, North Queensland, Australia. The results from the latest pan concentrate stream samples, whilst still early stage, are considered significant by the Directors as they suggest an extension in the size of the gold footprint south of the Reedy Creek area into Butterfly Creek. ECR said its Lolworth project is progressing nicely and it is consistently seeing visible gold, which supports the historical evidence, but more importantly validates its own thesis. It is collating the data into its work plan to conclude the reconnaissance work and prepare for the target generation stage.

Comment: With ECR shares still near the low end of the range, it is clear that the company is keen to prove up / extend its resources footprint.

Alkemy Capital (ALK) announced the appointment of Vikki Jeckell, a supply chain expert in the battery materials industry, as a Non-Executive Director of Alkemy and of its wholly-owned subsidiary Tees Valley Lithium Limited. ALK said Vikki’s deep understanding of the complexities of the supply chain in the battery materials sector makes her an invaluable addition to its board. As it navigates the challenges and opportunities of this dynamic industry, her insights and strategic guidance will be essential to its continued success and growth.

Comment: This is a good time for Alkemy to be beefing up its board, just in time to turbo charge the story for its chosen battery material sector speciality. The shares also seem poised for recovery through the 140p -150p recent resistance zone.

Vinanz (AQSE: BTC), the London-listed Bitcoin mining company, announced its strategic partnership with US-based Luxor Technology Corporation to increase Vinanz Limited’s Bitcoin miner’s operational efficiencies, mining hashrate, and operating margins on its North American mining fleet. BTC said that it is starting to get more miners into its Bitcoin mining fleet, it is time to start looking to the performance of its miners. There are a number of leaders in this field of boosting ASIC miner performance and its preferred supplier of hardware, Luxor, have developed a brilliant way of optimising the processing power of ASIC miners to produce more Bitcoin from existing installed hardware and making them run at lower operating costs.

Comment: It would appear that the ducks are in a row for Vinanz, in the form of a strong Bitcoin price, relatively tight share register, and decent operational progress. It may be that Mr Lenigas has once again hit the big one.

Velocys (VLS), the sustainable fuels technology company, said active discussions remained ongoing with potential strategic. As part of these ongoing funding discussions, the Company has received a non-binding indicative all-cash offer of 0.25p a share, for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of the Company by a consortium led by Lightrock LLP  and Carbon Direct Capital Management LLC.

Comment: Unlike say, Upland, where the share price never got near the alleged offer, in this case the stock managed to climb to over 3x what was potentially being tabled. It is now a battle between financing and a potential (higher) offer for the company.

Helium One Global (HE1), the primary helium explorer in Tanzania, announce that the Company has successfully completed wireline logging and downhole sampling at the Tai-3 well. HE1 said these results are very encouraging indeed and it was delighted to have completed the Tai-3 well safely and to have been able to acquire a full set of wireline logs and downhole samples.  This is an excellent result for the Company and a huge testament to the team’s performance, especially given the challenges it has faced along the way.

Comment: This may be an excellent result for the company, but perhaps the real issue here is whether the market is happy with the updates we have been delivered over the past couple of months? This is especially with HE1 already throwing Itumbula into the mix.

Empire Metals (EEE), the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, announced the lab results from geochemical analysis of samples from the first of three diamond core drillholes completed at the Pitfield Project in Western Australia which confirm strong TiO2 mineralisation throughout the hole to a vertical depth of circa 350m. The next phase of drilling, an extensive Reverse Circulation programme targeting higher grade mineralisation, has now commenced. The company said extensive and higher-grade titanium mineralisation extends well below the 150m depth first discovered during our maiden RC drill campaign, with this particular diamond drillhole ending with higher grade TiO2 values at 350m below surface, indicating that the mineralisation continues to remain open at depth. It expects to see similar lab results for diamond drillholes #2 and #3, which are due out over the next few weeks.

Comment: EEE reminds us once again, as if we needed it, that Pitfield is an incredible prospect, and that those thinking that it could still surprise on the upside may still prove to be correct.

Ondo Insurtech (ONDO), the prevention technology group for home insurers, announced its unaudited results for the six-month period ended 30 September 2023. The company said unit sales grew by 61% in the period and Registered customers grew by 77% which resulted in the 50% growth in revenue from Ongoing Software, Services and Repairs. This growth was primarily driven by further penetration into its existing partners in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

Comment: ONDO has been able to deliver a decent update, even though such releases are of course relatively backwards looking. One would expect plenty of fresh sizzle, especially Stateside to emerge for the company going into the new year.

Power Metal Resources (POW), the London listed exploration company, announced key developments to its currently 100% owned uranium business, in Saskatchewan, Canada. The company said the 2023 Athabasca uranium exploration work continues to deliver exceptional results, with today’s news confirming and refining significant uranium prospective targets at the Tait Hill and Soaring Bay properties. Added to the results announced in September at Perch River and Badger Lake, so far, four of the nine Athabasca properties it has explored in the 2023 programme have delivered major tangible results.

Comment: Despite its efforts in the currently hot uranium area, and the Rick Rule factor, POW has yet to get investors to bid the shares up to the 1p zone where they arguably below. Hopefully, the company will tweak its message appropriately as we approach the end of 2023.

Bradda Head Lithium (BHL), the North America-focused lithium development group, announced positive metallurgical heavy liquid separation results from test work undertaken by the SGS Metallurgical Process Facility in Lakefield, Canada on quartered drill core samples taken from its Jumbo Exploration Target at San Domingo District, Arizona, USA. The company said these results were highly encouraging, and quite simply better than expected from what can only be described as preliminary non-detailed scoping test work. To produce an ‘in spec’ sellable gravity concentrate reflecting over 50% recovery to the concentrate from a sample grading 1.03% Li2O on first pass test work is simply mouth watering. Gravity Concentration, in this case, otherwise referred to as dense media separation, is a standard, low cost, simple process with a small, relatively non-invasive foot print.

Comment: While this is a helpful update, it is still probably the case that the market is looking at share price and funding prospects, as much as anything metallurgical currently.

Phoenix Copper (PXC), the AIM-quoted USA-focused base and precious metals company confirmed that the Initial Term of the short-term $2,000,000 loan facility, first announced on 24 March 2023, has been extended by approximately two weeks until 8 December 2023.

Comment: PXC extends the waiting game a little longer, with investors no doubt still thinking it will prevail in its overall funding mission.