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Versarien surges after deepening its collaboration with MAS Holdings

A look at the day's major movers, including Base Resources, Blackbird, Thor Mining, Pressure Technologies, STM and Future

Guilty verdict
MAS is one of South Asia’s largest clothing and textile manufacturers

Materials group Versarien PLC’s (LON:VRS) shares surged 5.4% to 97p after it upgraded its graphene inks collaboration with MAS Holdings to a full commercial agreement.

MAS is one of South Asia’s largest clothing and textile manufacturers and has been collaborating for almost two years with Versarien.

This new agreement sets out the basis for commercial orders and contracts for garments using graphene inks and follows a letter of intent signed in July.

1.130pm: Base Resources compiles maiden reserve estimate for Madagascar heavy mineral deposit

Shares in Base Resources PLC (LON:BSE) (ASX:BSE) advanced 4.3% to 12.25p after the company released an ore reserve for the area that will form the “foundation” of its Toliara Project in Madagascar.

Ranobe is estimated to be host to 586mln tonnes (Mt) of ore grading 6.5% heavy mineral, or 38Mt in situ. Included in the count were ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene and zircon.

A total of 347Mt of ore was in the higher confidence 'proved' category.

12.15pm: Blackbird to derive "significant" revenues from Bloomberg deal

Blackbird PLC (LON:BIRD) shares flew 4.25p higher to 17p after the cloud-based video editing technology company secured a contract with Bloomberg Media.

The company formerly known as Forbidden Technologies said the annual revenues from this multi-year deal will be significant for Blackbird.

Bloomberg Media will use Blackbird’s platform for fast turnaround news editing and social publishing.

11.00am: Thor Mining delighted with in-situ results from copper deposit at Kapunda

Thor Mining PLC’s (LON:THR) put the hammer down on Wednesday morning, rising by one-sixth to 0.28p on the back of encouraging drilling results.

The first results from hydrogeological drilling at the Kapunda ISR (in-situ recovery) copper project in Australia show that the water table is quite shallow, said Thor, while the fracture zone contains significant copper mineralisation that should be amenable to in-situ recovery in all three holes thus far drilled.

Early-stage results indicated copper up to 0.72% in all three holes though these need confirmation by geochemical analysis said the junior.

10.15am: Pressure drops after company loses trial case

Shares in Pressure Technologies PLC (LON:PRES) fell 7.3% to 96p after a trial verdict went the wrong way.

In a court case relating to a fatal accident at the company’s Chesterfield Special Cylinders unit in June 2015, the jury delivered a guilty verdict pursuant to Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 9 December, at which time the company the penalty will be determined.

9.30am: STM quartered after profit warning

Problems at its recently-acquired Carey Group business wiped a quarter of the stock market value off financial services provider STM Group Plc (LON:STM) in early trade on Wednesday.

The shares, which closed at 43.3p yesterday, collapsed to 32.5p after the company said rebranding at Carey has taken longer than expected while the application of the Carey Master Trust to The Pensions Regulator was more lengthy and time-consuming than anticipated, delaying new business flows and incurring an increase in one-off professional costs.

As a result of the above, the board now expects revenue in 2019 to be roughly £23.0mln (consensus forecast: £24.2mln), reported profit before tax (PBT) to be about £3.8mln while underlying PBT should be in the region of £2.5mln (consensus forecast: £4.4mln).

Shares in high-flying media group Future PLC (LON:FUTR) fell 10% to 1,408p after broker Numis placed 3.1mln shares in the company at 1,400p a throw.

The shares were previously owned by various members of the senior management team and certain other senior managers and employees who had left with "good leaver" status.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, Future’s chief executive officer, and Penny Ladkin-Brand, the chief financial officer, sold 1,045,344 and 550,000 shares respectively, in part to satisfy certain tax obligations and other costs associated with the vesting of the options.

Proactive news headlines:

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) told investors it has finalised its farm-out deal with Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) and said that plans for the Charlie-1 appraisal well have now been approved by the new partners. “The plan of operations is one of the key major permits required for drilling,” the company said in a statement. “The final major permit is scheduled for submission in December, with approval expected in January ahead of the scheduled February spud date.”

Base Resources PLC (LON:BSE) (ASX:BSE) has compiled an ore reserve for the area that will form the “foundation” of its Toliara Project in Madagascar. Ranobe is estimated to be host to 586mln tonnes (Mt) of ore grading 6.5% heavy mineral, or 38Mt in situ. Included in the count were ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene and zircon. A total of 347Mt of ore was in the higher confidence 'proved' category

Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) has flagged progress by digital payments specialist SatoshiPay, a company in which the tech investor has a 27.9% holding. Back at the end of January SatoshiPay announced it would work with German digital media giant Axel Springer on a product driven by blockchain technology that would enable users to pay for content with the digital SatoshiPay Wallet. SatoshiPay has now launched its first service with Axel Springer; it is the Tatorte website, which provides a real-time map with police reports in Germany.

VR Education Holdings PLC (LON:VRE) has said it will launch its latest showcase experience, physics-based flight simulator Shuttle Commander on PlayStation on 3 December. Shuttle Commander will offer users the chance to take control of NASA's Discovery space shuttle in virtual reality (VR) and land it at several real-world sites such as Kennedy Space Centre, White Sands Air Force Base and Edwards Air Force Base.

Investors in Alba Mineral Resources PLC (LON:ALBA) can now look forward to the start of production testing for the new horizontal well at the Horse Hill project. In a statement today it was revealed that the horizontal well is now completed. The well has accessed exposure to 2,500 feet in the conventional Portland oil reservoir. It has now been suspended as a future oil production well, starting with an extended well testing programme.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) is handing back the UK and EU licensing rights to Xonvea, a treatment for pregnant women with nausea. Some £2mln in milestone payments made to Duchesnay of Canada will be returned, starting with £250,000 before the end of the year. Inventory provisions and “associated restructuring costs” will amount to £1.9mln.

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has raised £5mln in a share placing as the company seeks to focus attention on its flagship West Newton project. In the equity fund raise, arranged by broker SP Angel, the company is selling 3.3bn new shares at a price of 0.15p each. The proceeds are earmarked for West Newton which Union Jack describes as a “highly accretive project”.

Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB) said that, further to the announcement yesterday of the company's intention to voluntarily delist its American Depository Shares (ADSs), it has given notice on November 26, 2019 to The Bank of New York Mellon to terminate its American Depositary Shares Program and Warrant Agent Agreement.  The Depositary will contact ADS holders in due course with additional information on this process, including those necessary and proper actions to be executed.

Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP) (NASDAQ:VRNA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on respiratory diseases, announced that, on November 26, 2019, it granted 500,000 options to purchase ordinary shares of £0.05 each to its CEO, Dr. Jan-Anders Karlsson, under and in accordance with its 2017 Incentive Award Plan. The group said the options have an exercise price of £0.445 per ordinary share, and will vest over two different periods following the grant date.

Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF), a global natural resources royalty company listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange, was a joint winner of the Best Alternative Finance Provider of the Year award at the Mines and Money gala dinner held on Tuesday evening.

Impax Asset Management Group PLC (LON:IPX) expects to announce its results for the year ended 30 September 2019 on Wednesday 4 December 2019.

Rockfire Resources PLC (LON:ROCK), the gold and base metal-focused resource company, announced that an updated version of its corporate presentation is now available on the company's website.

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