Small cap movers: Investors take a shine to Scotgold after explorer gets planning approval for gold mine

A look back at some of the more interesting stories from the junior market this week

Scotgold wants to construct an underground mine producing 12,000 ounces of gold per year initially

Despite the snow, Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) saw its shares shine this week after the group finally received planning approval for the first commercial gold mine in Scotland's history.

On Tuesday the AIM-listed firm announced that the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority had unanimously approved the company's application for the development of the Cononish Goldmine at a special board meeting.

Scotgold wants to construct an underground mine producing 12,000 ounces of gold per year initially.

Richard Gray, CEO of Scotgold, commented: "We are delighted with this decision which paves the way for the development of the mine which will result in full production of the Cononish Deposit." 

Shares in the prospective gold miner advanced nearly 16% higher over the week to 33p.

Another explorer, Conroy Gold & Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR) also found gains this week after reporting the discovery of an extensive gold zone from the first drill hole completed on the company's wholly-owned Clontibret gold deposit in County Monaghan, Ireland

Conroy Gold shares took on nearly 5% to 22p over the week.

Asiamet gets triple-boost

There was also a batch of good news from miner Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) which helped its shares gain 23% over the week to 11.5p.

The company revealed that it has kicked off a new drill programme at the Beutong copper-gold project in Indonesia, in which it is in the process of doubling its stake to 80%.

Asiamet also announced positive results from the column leach test work being undertaken as part of the Bankable Feasibility study on the Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper deposit in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

On top of all that, City broker Liberum Capital called Asiamet ‘the best kept secret in copper’ in a note initiating coverage on the miner with a ‘buy’ rating and a target price of 20p.

Away from the resources minnows, Croma Security Solutions Group PLC (LON:CSSG) saw its shares rise nearly 16% this week to 87.96p after the firm reported a four-fold increase in half-year profit and double digit growth in revenue, and said it was on course for a record full-year performance.

Croma said its strong performance was driven by high demand for security from the private and public sector, in particular with the awarding of the largest manned guarding contract in the company's history, worth £27mln over six years.

Elsewhere, some director shareholding news, announced after-hours at the end of the previous week, gave a lift to PCG Entertainment PLC (LON:PCGE).

Its shares rose 10% to 0.22p over the week after it was revealed that chairman, Richard Poulden holds roughly 90mln shares in the company, which is equivalent to 9.2% of issued share capital.

Things have been looking up for the Asia-Pacific-focused gaming and media distribution company since it settled with its former chief executive officer, Nick Bryant, over the termination last year of his management contract.

Overall it was a painful week for the FTSE 100 index, which dropped 1.8% to 7,105 as fears over US interest rate hikes took hold again, but the FTSE AIM-All Share index managed to outperform, albeit with a 1.4% fall to 1,028.

Nothing Safestyle

Among the week’s biggest fallers, Safestyle UK PLC (LON:SFE) might want to consider a name change after yet another profit warning from the retailer and manufacturer of PVCu replacement windows and doors

Safetyle shares dropped by nearly 40% to 96.4p after it said there had been a continuing deterioration in trading conditions in its market and, as a result, the group's order intake to date in 2018 has been disappointing and below expectations.

The stock has not been a safe-style investment over the last year, shedding three-fifths of its value in that time following two previous  disappointing trading updates.

A profit warning also knackered Nakama Group PLC's (LON:NAK) shares this week, with the recruitment firm shedding 32% to 1.0p.

When it released its interims at the end of November, Nakama had said it expected an improvement in trading in the second half of the year but that improvement has not materialised and the business has continued to make a loss in Australia, Singapore and London.

With a new chief executive and non-executive chairman on board it is little surprise that a strategic review is in progress and investors can only hope that will bring a turnaround.

A downbeat trading update blighted cyber-security software firm Defenx plc (LON:DFX), which also revealed it is exploring funding options.

The company warned that its consolidated revenues for 2017 will be materially below those in 2016, and said its board is now looking to implement a strategic plan, “defenx 2020”, which will see the group build on its existing cloud backup product with a focus on corporate customers.

Fund-raising blights Phontonstar

The week’s biggest loser, however, was PhotonStar LED Group PLC (LON:PSL) after it unveiled a deeply-discounted fund-raising which also led to a sub-division of shares.

The firm said it had raised £430,000 via a share placing with new and existing investors and directors of the company to fund the roll-out of its cloud-based Internet of Things lighting solution for buildings.

The shares were placed at a price of 0.15p per each, and over the week shed nearly 59% to settle at the placing price.

The AIM-listed group said the halcyon system has already been installed in several sites in the company's target markets of housing associations, hospitality, student accommodation and offices.

In addition, the firm said, there are 3 trials for cloudBMS v2 which are currently ongoing and a further 5 trials are planned for installation before the end of the first-half of 2018.


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