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i3 Energy (I3E), an independent oil and gas company with assets and operations in the UK and Canada, announced an update regarding Serenity. The company said it has been working for some time to advance a solution for the Blake / Tain / Serenity area but this has made little progress whist the previous Tain licensees were unable to approve additional investment. With the acreage now unlicenced, additional options for the area may now come available and i3 and its partner in the Serenity field, Europa Oil and Gas are commencing discussions with the NSTA and other interested parties to explore the remaining potential of the wider area.

Comment: Hopefully after the Government’s recent Net Zero U-turn to avoid the country going bust, and with the approval of Rosebank, companies like i3 Energy will find themselves in a better position regarding licenses and projects.

Oracle Power (ORCP), the international natural resources project developer, announce that it has entered into a placing agreement to raise gross proceeds of £350,000 at a price of 0.035 pence per share. The net proceeds of the Placing will be primarily used to support the advancement of the Company’s green hydrogen project. ORCP said it continues to advance its green hydrogen strategy in Pakistan and today’s conditional fundraise will enable it to continue on this upward trajectory. The majority of the funds raised will be used to support the green hydrogen initiative, whilst also providing it with sufficient working capital to develop the other projects in Oracle’s portfolio.

Comment: The key as far as ORCP is concerned going forward is to be able to deliver liquidity events for shareholders on the projects it has been developing, be they in Pakistan or Australia.

Neometals (NMT) announce the results of trials on a new lithium recovery option for its Hub plant packages to be delivered under supply and technology licensing agreements to third-party customers. NMT said its original plant design now includes EV module discharging and dismantling, and has the flexibility to produce intermediate, cathode or electrolyte lithium products. In addition to meeting regulatory and customer requirements, greater efficiency translates into stronger economics for the owners of its recycling plants.

Comment: It would appear that NMT is going to be in town soon presenting to investors. Backed by this latest positive news regarding lithium recovery, the shares may receive rather more love than they have for quite some time.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to enter into an offtake agreement with NEXUS Intertrade (Pty) Ltd, under which NEXUS will acquire gypsum from the Phalaborwa project in South Africa and sell it to end users. RBW said this agreement is a real win-win for Rainbow, NEXUS and our stakeholders. The Phalaborwa process is founded on the principles of circularity as it is taking a waste product, cleaning it and extracting value from it – both via the recovery of the rare earth elements and then via the sale of the benign gypsum that is produced as the by-product of the process. This will also have a positive impact on its project economics with a lower level of long-term gypsum deposition from the project than anticipated in the PEA.

Comment: As the company says this is a win-win. But it also underlines that RBW is very much on the front foot as compared to analogous companies on the stock market, in terms of developing a project and then getting it over the line.

Actual Experience (ACT) with just a £1.3m Mkt Cap at 0.575p, the significance of the new CEO and the team topping up their holdings , could easily be ignored.  As yesterday afternoon further share scheme purchases which follow the recent granting of 8m options.  These options can only be exercised if the shares go to 5p over the next three years (10 bagger). A potentially significant announcement was made at end of June that a Letter of Intent was signed with Logicalis International Limited.  Logicalis is one of three main operating divisions of Datatec, a major technology and services group with annual revenues of $4.6bn, operating in over 50 countries and with more than 10,000 customers. If the LOE becomes a contract it’s the first customer for a new joint product  based on Actual’s Digital Workplace Management Platform.  The platform enables managed services customers a real-time view of digital infrastructure across cloud, security, workplace, and connectivity. Clients are expected to prioritise investment in technologies that optimise their digital infrastructure for the new era of hybrid working (workfromhome). The board believes that it is in a strong position to capitalise on this significant market opportunity. It had a debt-free balance sheet with cash and cash equivalents of £3m on 31 March but it is loss-making.

Comment: ACT is currently a classic penny share punt, which if you are reading this article should be right up your alley.

Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) an African focused mining and development company, announced that the Phase 1 drilling program at the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine in South Africa is over 90% complete, with 19 holes now completed in the Phase 1 drilling program, and the Phase 2 drilling program having already commenced ahead of schedule. MARU said the resource drilling program has been expanded to 41 holes and targeting the release of a maiden JORC Code 2012 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate. With logging, core cutting and sampling underway and samples to be delivered to ALS in South Africa for assays and analyses, it remains on schedule.

Comment: Events at Blesberg appear to be moving at pace, something which suggests that anything under 10p now represents a decent value point for those looking for MARU shares to resume their 2023 bull run.

Bens Creek Group (BEN), the owner of a metallurgical coal mine in North America supplying the steel industry, provided the following production update for the six month period to 30 September 2023. The company said with both HWMs now in full operation the Company expects to be able to continue the growth in production into the next quarter. This increased production is further enhanced by the reduction of costs per ton from June 2023, and the recent rebound in the met coal price from its lows of $191 in August 2023 to $238 at the current time.

Comment: Given the increased production and the HWMs going great guns, it would appear that there is quite a disconnect between the company’s share price and what is going on operationally.