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Empire Metals (EEE), the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, announced the analytical lab results from the second and third diamond core drillholes completed at the Pitfield Project in Western Australia, which confirms high-grade TiO2 mineralisation zones across thick bedded intervals to a vertical depth of circa 350m, confirming Pitfield as a world class, district-scale titanium mineral system. EEE said its plan is to carry out an additional, similarly sized RC drilling programme in early 2024, targeting the shallower areas of high-grade TiO2 beds which have been identified up-dip of the deeper diamond drillhole intercepts, and in additional higher grade target areas that it expects to be identified from the RC drilling currently underway.

Comment: One did not need to be a professor of geology to anticipate that today’s results from EEE would blow the lights out, given that the shares have already re-rated sharply in recent days. Easily one of the small cap stocks of the year.

GENinCode (GENI), the polygenics company, has agreed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create a new regulatory class for polygenic risk scores and transition its premarket notification 510(k) submission to a De Novo submission. The new regulatory class clearance of CARDIO inCode will enable GENinCode to commercially advance US national distribution of the CARDIO inCode-Score polygenic test kit (medical device) for the risk assessment and prevention of Coronary Heart Disease. GENI said it was delighted with FDA recognition of the advanced clinical position of CARDIO inCode-Score and their decision to create a new regulatory class for polygenic risk assessment. It expects the De Novo pathway to provide an improved route to gaining US regulatory approval of CARDIO inCode-Score for the polygenic risk assessment of Coronary Heart Disease.

Comment: Rubbing shoulders with the FDA is normally a good look, and shares of GENI have already responded in kind, and seem set to continue to do so.

88 Energy (88E) advised that it has successfully completed a bookbuild to domestic and international institutional and sophisticated investors to raise A$9.9 million (approx. £5.16 million). The company said it was fully funded for the upcoming Hickory-1 flow test program, including contingencies to cover financial exposure relating to the financial position of the Project Phoenix Joint Venture partner. Funds from the placement will also be directed towards initial exploration activities in Namibia.

Comment: The market has been not only very generous to 88E, but very forgiving. It will be interesting to see whether it can deliver this time.

Artemis Resources (ARV) advised that the lithium pegmatite focused maiden Diamond Drilling (DDH) program at the Osborne JV tenement E47/3719, a joint venture (51% GRE: 49% ARV) held with Greentech Metals Ltd (ASX: GRE) is continuing as planned with the first hole completed to a depth of 810.2m. ARV said several more diamond drill holes will be completed as part of this maiden drill program. These drill holes will be sited at both the Osborne and Kobe pegmatite trends within the Osborne JV tenement, aimed at providing stratigraphic/structural information and subsurface characteristics of these pegmatite zones. This data will assist with refining the detailed follow-up drill program scheduled for early next year.

Comment: While it may be overdoing it to say that ARV could be the next EEE, the company does appear to be making the right noises for those looking for such a rebound play.

Aura Energy (AURA) a company focused on the development of the 85% owned Tiris Uranium Project, Mauritania and the 100% owned Häggån Polymetallic Project in Sweden, announced that  the Company has applied for multiple highly prospective exploration tenements adjacent to and surrounding its existing Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania. AURA said combined with its recently announced Exploration Target, these tenement applications – if successful – will give it an opportunity to be a driving force to realise the full potential of this region, which it believes could be truly world-class in scale.

Comment: Shares of ARK have doubled since their June low. Off the back of today’s news, and uranium being a hot commodity, one would expect this recovery to continue.

Arkle (ARK) has completed an initial prospecting programme on its newly acquired Aughrim block of licences. The new block consists of four prospecting licences centred around Aughrim, County Wicklow. The main target is lithium bearing pegmatites which have been located in contiguous ground to the west held by International Lithium Corp – Gengfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. ARK said this discovery is very encouraging and provides impetus for its growing focus on Lithium. The exploration has found new pegmatites on our licences in an area that it knows is highly prospective for lithium. Samples are being analysed for lithium. Positive results will lead to an early-stage drilling programme. An added bonus was the discovery of rocks which have the potential for gold. These also are being analysed.

Comment: Shares of ARK have apparently been on the verge of a turnaround for the past couple of months. Today’s update could be the trigger to get this in motion.

LifeSafe (LIFS), a fire safety technology business, provided a trading update for the eleven months to date. The Group has continued to generate considerable sales growth through its consumer channels in the period, with revenue of approximately £5.4 million, 62 per cent ahead of the same period last year, with one month of trading to go for the 2023 full year. LIFS said while it is disappointed with the impact of the unexpected increased costs within its digital sales channel, the Company continues to show strong sales growth this year, which is already 62 per cent ahead of 2022. This performance has come during a time where its focus was to establish its brand in the market and drive further top line growth in its digital channel, both of which it has delivered.

Comment: The stock market continues to value LIFS on the low side, even taking 2023 valuations into account. The £5m plus revenue figure should be enough to deliver a change in sentiment and grudging share price improvement as we near the finishing line of this year.

GSTechnologies (GST), the fintech company, announced that it has entered into an option to purchase agreement to acquire 60% of the share capital of EasySend Ltd, a Northern Ireland incorporated company operating a cross-border payments business. GST said it was very pleased to have reached an agreement with EasySend to acquire a majority stake in the business. This acquisition will provide additional customers and technology to assist with the growth of its Angra Global business.  It continues to rapidly progress the role out of its GS Money offerings.

Comment: It is to be hoped that in the wake of the latest acquisition news, GST shares will continue the spike we saw earlier this month.

Mosman Oil and Gas (MSMN) the hydrocarbon, helium and hydrogen exploration, development, and production company, provided a project update on its US and Australian projects and confirmed it has today raised £250,000. MSMN said the business plan for the US is to focus management time on the significant upside at Cinnabar, and monetise producing assets by cash flow or sale. In Australia, it looks forward to the completion of the Greenvalue farm in at EP145 which will put it in the position of funding for both permit/permit application being managed by farm in agreement.

Comment: It would appear that with just £250,000 MSMN is going to be able to go a long way in terms of getting upside at Cinnabar and beyond.

Synectics (SNX) the advanced security and surveillance group announces a £1m contract for its proprietary software platform.  The significance is that software is higher margin, and this is the largest single UK commercial deployment.  When the platform is running next year, it will help a major UK financial institution control multi-sites for data, cash, alarm receiving, and its disaster recovery centres.  As the platform combines CCTV and any input device into one simple interface allow operational efficiencies and its analytics include AI capabilities. SNX’s core business is Oil and Gas market surveillance is  performing well  and the November year-end could report EPS of 11p giving a prospective P/E of less than 10x, while yielding 2% and net cash is around £4m.

Comment: The shares at 103p and a mkt cap of £18.2m, medium term investors may well be onto a winner.

The Aquis Stock Exchange, a subsidiary of Aquis Exchange (AQX), announced it has become the first recognised investment exchange (RIE) to run a cloud-based matching engine. Effective from November 27, 2023, all trades on the Aquis Stock Exchange are being matched and executed on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company said this latest development further highlights the focus on innovation within the Group and represents an additional step in the execution of the Aquis Technologies strategy. The cloud-based matching engine enables the business to deliver transformation across the exchange space globally through the application of its cutting-edge, institutional-grade technology.

Comment: Any initiative that improves liquidity, and the perception of Aquis amongst investors and corporates should be welcomed. Today’s news is also worth noting.

Arrow Exploration (AXL), the high-growth operator with a portfolio of assets across key Colombian hydrocarbon basins, announced the filing of its Interim Condensed (unaudited) Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023. The company recorded $13.9 million of total oil and natural gas revenue, net of royalties, almost double compared to the same period in 2022 (Q3 2022: $7.6 million). Net income of $7.1 million and adjusted EBITDA(1) of $9.8 million, more than double compared to 2022 (Q3 2022: $2 million and $4.6 million, respectively).

Comment: It beggars belief that after knock out production figures and hitting all its fundamental targets, shares of AXL remain where they were at the beginning of the year. We look forward to the company delivering its message more successfully in 2024.