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Atlantic Lithium (ALL), the African-focused lithium exploration and development company targeting to deliver Ghana’s first lithium mine, announced that Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has granted a Mining Lease in respect of the Company’s flagship Ewoyaa Lithium Project, comprising the proposed Ewoyaa Lithium Mine and Processing Plant, enabling the advancement of the Project towards commercial production. ALL said as the first to be granted for lithium in the country, the award of the Mining Lease for the Ewoyaa Lithium Project is auspicious for both Ghana and Atlantic Lithium. It serves as Ghana’s statement of intent to establish itself as a leading hub in Africa in the EV supply chain through the long-term production of lithium, with Atlantic Lithium as its partner of choice in this objective.

Comment: Shares of ALL are now well up on August’s 16p floor, but today’s announcement suggests the stock should be rather nearer to the pre-March rug pull / bear attack share price of around 40p.

Harland & Wolff Group (HARL), the UK quoted company focused on strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management, announced that Cenovus Energy Inc. has awarded the mid-life upgrade contract of the SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel to Harland & Wolff (Belfast) Limited. This contract follows from the Letter of Intent that was previously announced by the Company on 31 July 2023. Cenovus Energy is an international integrated oil and natural gas company headquartered in Calgary, Canada, with a market capitalisation of circa CA$54bn. The base contract value is approximately £61 million. HARL said this is a significant win within its non-defence portfolio from a global, blue-chip energy group and it was pleased that it is gaining a reputation as a go-to yard for large and complex programmes. With an estimated 1,000 personnel on-site, this project will allow for further synergies in its execution, leveraging off of personnel, skill sets and supply chains that will support the upcoming FSS Programme.

Comment: While we know that we are not exactly in a bull market as small caps are concerned, there does appear to be quite a disconnect between the arrival of today’s news and a 11p share price for HARL, and the chunky £61m contract announced day.

Oracle Power (ORCP), the international project developer, updated on activities during Q3 2023, as it advances the development of a portfolio of projects. The company said its focus during the period has been on the continued demonstration of its green hydrogen project as a strategically important and commercially attractive new project of internationally significant proportions.  The successful completion of both the topography study, and most importantly, the green hydrogen and green ammonia feasibility study by renowned construction engineering group thyssenkrupp Uhde, provides significant encouragement as it looks to now conclude firm offtake agreements and develop FEED work for the plant. Equally pleasing was the successful progress made by Riversgold at Northern Zone, which it sees as an endorsement of its project developer strategy.

Comment: The project developer strategy at ORCP is one that it has proved, and in the green hydrogen project it has the ability to punch well above its weight in terms of scale.

Autins Group (AUTG), the UK and European specialist in the design, manufacture, and supply of acoustic and thermal insulation solutions, provided a trading update for the year ended 30 September 2023. The unaudited results for FY23 show Group sales increased by 20% to £22.5m (FY22: £18.8m).  Sales in H2 23 continued to gain momentum, increasing by 7.5% to £11.7m (H1 23:  £10.8m). Gross Profit in the year improved by c.55% to c.£6.5m (FY22: £4.2m). The company said it has continued to win new business in the latter part of the year including thermal applications in electric vehicles. It expects a continued recovery in the Automotive market and therefore anticipates further growth in sales and EBITDA in FY24.

Comment: In current stock market conditions, where most companies and their share prices are struggling, it seems appropriate to highlight the few corporates that are actually flourishing such as Autins. The EV angle is clearly a winning factor here.

Upland Resources (UPL) announced that further to the update on 15 September 2023 in relation to the Sarawak Block SK334 Joint Technical Study (JTS) Technical Workshop that the current monthly shareholder progress report is now accessible on the Company’s website. UPL said this has been and is a busy period for the Company across a number of fronts. Having successfully completed its geological and geophysical works, its focus is now firmly on the SK334 Production Sharing Contract with PETROS. The fact that our PSC application has been positively received by the regulator is welcomed as it continues on a precise pathway. In addition, it looks forward to the final JTS Technical workshop in November.

Comment: Shares of UPL have done well to retain the bulk of a massive rally from the 0.5p zone in the summer, to well over 3p now. It would appear that the ongoing newsflow like today’s mention of the PSC application from the company should maintain the bull run.

Scancell Holdings (SCLP), the developer of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease, provided the following update in relation to the publication of its results for the year ended 30 April 2023. The Company’s auditor, BDO LLP, has requested additional time to complete their standard audit due to unforeseen circumstances impacting the audit engagement team. Scancell’s Board has been advised that the audit is substantially complete and has not been advised of any material audit issues. Accordingly, the Company is targeting the publication of its audited financial results as soon as the auditor completes their final processes.

Comment: We are reminded what a Kafkaesque nightmare life is for listed companies as far as service provider costs, bureaucracy, red tape et al.