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First Class Metals (FCM) the UK listed metals exploration company, announced a further, significant, update on the progress on the Zigzag property which is currently focussed on the lithium and tantalum potential. FCM said the results from the channel samples have vindicated its enthusiasm to advance the potential of this property. The tenure of the spodumene and therefore the lithium reporting in the central sector of the property gives increased confidence in the prospectivity over the strike extensions. It is eagerly advancing the planning for drilling now the funds have been secured.

Comment: Another day, another RNS. It can be seen that FCM is certainly on the front foot, with Zigzag its star pupil in terms of properties currently. It is clear that the latest fundraise is driving the company’s timelines forward at pace.

IamFire (AQSE:FIRE) announce that it extended the Discounted Capital Bond with Hawk Investment Holdings Limited for a further 12 months to 24 November 2024. At the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 11 December 2023 the company will put a resolution to shareholders to change the name of the Company to WeCap plc.

Totally (TLY) Interims to September reported turnover down 20% to £55.8m with a fall into losses of £1.9m compared to a profit of £1m. The cash position declined to £1.7m from £6.5m and no interim dividend. TLY, have grown organically and by acquisition into being a leading provider of frontline healthcare services with a mission to reduce NHS waiting lists of non-critical patients. Winning contacts is not the main issue, although they did lose one in this period, the harder part is being able to fulfil the strict patient care obligations against the challenging financial headwinds and make a return to shareholders. A new NED and broker have been appointed as Bob Holt the chairman is stepping down. The management’s tone is optimistic of a return to profitability after the rationalisation of contracts, careful management of increasing costs and reduced support costs.  This may need investment in technology and there is likely to be a fund raise to support this.

Comment:  At 8.75p and a £17.2m mkt cap and just off a 5-year low, if  there is no improvement in the share price performance there could be a case for a private equity firm and delisting.

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), a life sciences business, announces it has signed an agreement with Ravenswood Ingredients Pty Ltd for the distribution of SlimBiome® in Australia and New Zealand. OPTI said it was pleased to announce this agreement with Ravenswood who bring specialised food ingredient expertise as part of the Brenntag group, a global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution. This agreement is another example of OptiBiotix working with large partners and extends access to the food and beverage markets within Australia and New Zealand with a company which is part of a group which is a global leader in the ingredients market.

Comment: A decent follow on RNS from OPTI, but it will be interesting to see, hopefully sooner rather than later, what sales the company will achieve off the back off deals such as that announced today.

Atlantic Lithium (ALL), the African-focused lithium exploration and development company, announced that multiple broad intervals of visible spodumene have been observed in drilling outside of the current Mineral Resource Estimate1 at the Company’s flagship Ewoyaa Lithium Project in Ghana, West Africa. ALL said in line with its aim of delivering an increased resource at the Ewoyaa Lithium Project, it is very pleased to report broad intervals of visible, coarse-grained spodumene in multiple drill holes near surface and outside of the current MRE footprint. These intervals further improve its confidence in delivering an updated MRE upon completion of the current drilling programme in Q2 2024.

Comment: Given the upgrade to the newsflow since the Assore offer, it is no surprise that ALL rejected it, strange that the offer price was so low, and even more strange that the shares remain below the 33p level of the offer.

Upland Resources (UPL) announced, through its joint venture company UBO, the completion of the Joint Technical Study on Block SK334 in Sarawak with its partner PETROS. The detailed Joint Technical Study report was successfully completed and submitted to PETROS today, on time, on cost and to a high standard of quality. UPL said this is a very busy period for the company. Having now successfully completed the Joint Technical Study and submitted its detailed report to PETROS the process naturally shifts into the Production Sharing Contract.

Comment: UPL is back in serious mode, rebuilding sentiment after the flash in the pan excitement earlier in the autumn. The 2-3p support level should be the base for a proper move higher in 2024.

Orosur Mining (OMI), provided an update on exploration progress at its new Lithium West Joint Venture. OMI said these outstanding results from its first field program in Nigeria are exciting but not surprising. It pegged these licences with a very clear understanding of the geological processes in play and so it expected to find lithium. To then confirm this confidence and to find so many lithium bearing pegmatites, some extremely thick, is very positive and bodes well for work on the next 5 licences that is underway now.

Comment: OMI seems to be finding its latest switch to lithium something of a walk in the park. Ideally, this win will start to be reflected in the share price.

Loungers (LGRS), an operator of all day café/bar/restaurants across the UK under the Lounge, Cosy Club and Brightside brands, announced its unaudited results for the 24 weeks ended 1 October 2023. Revenue growth of 22.3% versus H1 2023 reflects LFL sales growth of +7.7% and the addition of a net 32 new sites. The company said this has been another period of strong financial and operational growth for Loungers. The fact that we have delivered increases of 22.3% and 23.6% in its revenue and EBITDA respectively should be taken as yet another reminder that it is not all doom and gloom in the UK hospitality sector.

Comment: Although one might confess that one has not attended either the Cosy Club or Brightside, it would appear that Loungers is going great guns and is putting many in its sector to shame in these challenging times.