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Blencowe Resources (BRES) announced it has signed a $5 million agreement with the DFC in order to provide substantial funding for the Orom Cross DFS programme, via a Technical Assistance Grant.  The DFC is a proxy for the US Government which funds the organisation and ultimately sets its vision, parameters and funding distribution. BRES said this funding relationship with the DFC is a unique and game-changing event for Blencowe. To the best of its knowledge there has been no other graphite project worldwide that has received a similar type grant to date from the DFC.

Comment: Shares of BRES have been in a rather frustrating range over the past year. One would like to believe that this hugely significant agreement with the US Government will finally move the dial for the bulls and the share price.

Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) an African focused mining and development company, provided an update on the sale of high-grade lithium ore from the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine in South Africa. MARU said the negotiations with the global commodity trading groups for an offtake agreement are ongoing for all or part of the future production from Blesberg and the receipt shortly of the results from the metallurgical process and flotation testwork and assay and analysis work undertaken on high-grade spodumene material from Blesberg will allow it to move ahead and finalise these agreements.

Comment: Marula is clearly reaching a decent denouement in terms of offtake, something which would clear signal a new phase in the company’s life cycle, to being a fully fledge producer.

Kodal Minerals (KOD), the mineral exploration and development company focused on lithium and gold assets in West Africa, provided an update on project development activities and general progress at its Bougouni Lithium Project in southern Mali. The company said Kodal and Hainan continue to work closely together to finalise the major funding package as announced 19 January 2023 and significant progress is being made towards completion.  Kodal and key Hainan representatives have met in Mali to meet with government officials and undertake site visits in preparation for the commencement of development.

Comment: We have a decent placeholder RNS from KOD, something which should not only be enough to maintain the rebound in the stock, but also reminds the market that completion of the funding package is effectively a done deal.

OptiBiotix Health (OPTI), a life sciences business announced that it has reached agreement to launch its own brands of SlimBiome®, GoFigure®, and Snacksmart® products online with Boots in Q1 2024 with a potential store launch in May 2024, subject to Boots instore category rebuild. OPTI said it was pleased to report the planned launch of our SlimBiome®, GoFigure®, and Snacksmart® products online with Boots in Q1 2024. This is a first step in building its brand presence with major retailers to support brand awareness and sales growth. OptiBiotix is now building a multichannel presence with major online (Amazon) and in store retailers both nationally (Holland and Barrett, Boots) and internationally.

Comment: OPTI delivers a punchy RNS, reminding us that as far as its brands are concerned, we are looking at world domination, over and above the deal with Boots. All of this might make some question why the shares are now trading at just half their July peak.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) finals from Aquas based active property investment company dealing in commercial property investment opportunities across the UK. It has over the years quietly gone about building value and even in a backdrop of economic turmoil to the year to April 2023 managed to increase its assets by 2.1% to £78.1m. Last year there was an open offer that raised £4.3m an 25p a share which is deep discount then as to the current 57.5p where the mkt Cap is £41m which is a premium net asset of  £34.2m. The Directors are focused on developing a portfolio of geographically diverse, low-risk assets with a secure tenant base and there are significant cash reserves to put then in a strong position to explore any opportunities that may arise.

Comment:   Those astute enough to have brought at the open offer, well done but a property company at a 20% premium to net asset value suggests better value elsewhere.