Uru Metals Limited’s (LON:URU) shares sparkled 12.8% brighter, up at 220p after the company announced progress on a mining right application for its Zebediela nickel project in South Africa.
The company said a final scoping report will be reviewed by the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on Tuesday, with the next phase of the application to begin once approval is received for the scoping report, expected in the first quarter of 2020.
“We are delighted with the progress made on securing the mineral rights for a further 30 years and taking the project another step closer to development by systematically overcoming regulatory hurdles,” said chief executive officer John Zorbas.
The AIM-listed explorer said on Tuesday that the survey had delivered a “widespread geochemical response”, including for gold and copper, which it says will enhance the prospectivity of multiple targets at the site.
This included a “significant geochemical response” at the Goliath target and a similar signature at Havieron, while the company has also identified three new targets with “favourable geology and/or geophysical characteristics”.
Another small-capper, Anglo Pacific Group PLC, (LON:APF) saw its shares jump 7% higher to 13p after it was disclosed that investment firm Schroders’ stake in the royalties firm has risen to nearly 10.5%, up from around 7% previously.
Meanwhile, City broker Peel Hunt repeated its ‘buy’ rating and 245p price target on Anglo Pacific shares, noting that Labrador Iron Ore Royalty company (LIORC) recently reported a fourth quarter dividend of $1.05 per share versus its forecast of $0.90.
The broker’s analysts calculate that this translates into an additional $0.5mln of royalty cash flow to Anglo Pacific for the fiscal first half of 2020 fiscal, another 1% increase in its royalty cash flow forecasts for the group.
“Although only a modest bump to earnings, the dividend beat is a good sign that LIORC will continue to pass through a consistently high amount of earnings to the dividend, to which APG has 6% exposure,” the Peel Hunt analysts concluded.
1.30pm: Costain sells Spanish golf resort
Costain Group PLC’s (LON:COST) trickled down 1.34% to 192p as the smart infrastructure solutions company agreed to sell golf resort Alcaidesa to Millenium Hotels Real Estate for €15.2mln.
Alcaidesa and its subsidiary, Alcaidesa Golf, which includes two golf courses, and a club house in Spain, is being sold as part of Costain's strategy to divest its non-core business assets in Spain.
The completion of the sale is expected to take place this week, and if combined with the potential sale of the marina concession, would lead Costain to making a loss on the disposal and a £8.9mln fair value asset impairment.
Saatchi, an executive director at the AIM-listed firm, quit the company on Tuesday evening and was joined by three non-executive directors, Lord Dobbs, Michael Peat and Lorna Tilbian, all of which have stepped down with immediate effect.
The exits followed a trading update last week where the company revealed an £11.6mln black hole in its accounts while also saying its full-year profits will be “significantly below” prior expectations, sending the stock tumbling 46%.
Elsewhere, Riverstone Energy Limited (LON:RSE) shares sank 6% to 402.5p as it agreed to sell all of its offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico to Talos Energy Inc (NYSE:TALO) in return for shares in the US-listed firm.
Talos has existing operations in both the US part of the Gulf and offshore Mexico, where it aims to develop assets and “focus on safely and efficiently maximizing cash-flows and long-term value”, Riverstone said.
The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, includes the sale of assets owned by Castex Energy 2014, in which Riverstone owns a 25.1% stake, as well as undrilled primary term acreage and prospects controlled by ILX III Holdings, of which it owns 33.3%.
11am: Kromek Group impresses investors
Kromek Group PLC's (LON:KMK) shares bounced 13% to 19.5p after the developer and supplier of radiation detection products generated 43% revenue growth in the first half and entered the second with “increasing commercial momentum”.
The AIM-listed company said it “expects to deliver significant revenue growth and EBITDA profit for full year in line with market expectations”.
Revenues reached a record £5.3mln in the six months to 31 October, with EBITDA losses flat at £0.6mln and a loss before tax of £2.7mln compared to £2.1mln a year earlier.
Over at AA PLC (LON:AA.), shares shot 12% higher to 48.9p after the roadside recovery and insurance provider revealed its intention to buy back or tender for outstanding bonds, as business was said to be going well.
The transaction will take place “potentially imminently” as “positive” operational momentum reported in September's interim results is set to continue in the second half.
At the moment, underlying profits (EBITDA) and free cash flow in the full year are seen in line with market expectations.
Elsewhere, marketing software specialist Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO) surged 6.6% to 56.5p after announcing a contract win in Asia, where it was selected by an existing customers in Asia to provide business consultancy for campaign management at the telco.
The AIM-listed company said its prior work for the customer “demonstrated to the telco that relying on the domain expertise of Pelatro to analyse data, devise the campaigning strategy and design appropriate campaigns will enable them to further increase their revenue and reduce churn”.
It said the revenue potential to Pelatro is about US$ 1 million over three years.
10.20am: Wind taken out of Global Ports Holding's sails
Emre Sayin, chief executive officer said it expects to deliver for the full year “a decline in consolidated EBITDA in percentage terms of mid- single digit against 2018," as its commercial business suffered from macro-economic difficulties such as trade tariffs and barriers.
The cruise port operator also revealed third-quarter adjusted profits (EBITDA) had sunk 10.4% to US$26.2mln.
On the retail front, JD Sports PLC (LON:JD.) fell 8% to 737.4p on reports its largest shareholder, Pentland Group has sold off a stake in the sportswear retailer.
CityAM said Pentland has allegedly sold around 24mln shares in a placing, at a price of 740p per share.
“Despite the sale Pentland still remains a majority shareholder in the business owning 55% of the share capital, and the shares are still up over 100% year to date, which doesn’t seem too bad a return,” noted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Although December has historically been a busy month where the enterprise software specialist would expect to close a material number of deals, it said “we would caution that our ability to execute on this is dependent on customers signing orders consistent with their plans as communicated to us, without unexpected internal delays”, which seems reliant on the result of this week’s UK general election.
However, out of the US$10mln opportunities that have shifted into next year, some customers have already selected Sopheon as a preferred vendor and are expected to sign in the first half of next year.
9.30am: Edenville Energy fires up
Edenville Energy PLC (LON:EDL) saw its shares heat up in early trade on Wednesday, jumping 31% higher to 0.0425p on news it has signed two significant new contracts to supply washed coal from its flagship Rukwa Coal Project in Tanzania.
Together, the new deals represent the supply of up to 9,000 tonnes per month, which is roughly 75% of the current capacity of the recently refurbished wash plant.
Edenville expects to be in a position to supply coal on an ongoing basis under these contracts before the end of the first quarter of 2020, and anticipates reaching cashflow breakeven at Rukwa by May 2020.
The competent persons report, a staple for any producing oil company, assessed the potential of the Uquo and Stubb Creek fields as well as the Accugas midstream business.
Carried out by CGG Services, it estimated that the Nigerian assets are host to proved and probable reserves (2P) of just under a ‘gross’ 100mln barrels of oil equivalent, giving a net 71mln barrels.
Zanaga Iron Ore Company Limited (LON:ZIOC) also surged 12% higher to 12p as the miner inked a framework agreement with China Overseas Infrastructure Development And Investment Corporation Limited (COIDIC) to explore ways to progress its project in the Republic of Congo.
The agreement between COIDIC and Jamelles, the joint venture between Zanaga and Glencore that owns the project, will assess mining and transport infrastructure alternatives.
In particular, the priority is to assess the option for iron ore production at Zanaga of 2mln tonnes per annum (2Mtpa) to be delivered to the Pointe Noire special economic zone (SEZ) for a steel production facility.
Proactive news headlines:
Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN) (FIRSTNORTH:FARON) said it was “very encouraged” to discover a drug it is developing to tackle solid tumours can ‘down’ regulate a range of checkpoints that affect the immune system. The data has emerged from the company’s phase I/II MATINS trial of Clevegen, a precision immunotherapy targeting Clever-1 positive tumour associated macrophages (TAMs), which are a class of immune cells present in high numbers in solid tumours.
Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) generated revenue growth of 43% in the first half and entered the second with “increasing commercial momentum”. The AIM-listed developer and supplier of radiation detection products said it “expects to deliver significant revenue growth and EBITDA profit for full year in line with market expectations”.
Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) announced that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy in Mozambique has issued Mining Licence 9229C to Mutamba Mineral Sands S.A., the second mining license issued for the project in Mozambique, which is held in a joint venture with mining major Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO). David Archer, Savannah's chief executive officer said: "Having received a second Mining Licence, we're now waiting on a third, which has already been conditionally awarded; together, the three concessions contain an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 4.4Bt at 3.9% total heavy minerals."
Zanaga Iron Ore Company Limited (LON:ZIOC) has signed a framework agreement with China Overseas Infrastructure Development And Investment Corporation Limited (COIDIC) to explore ways to progress its project in the Republic of Congo. The agreement between COIDIC and Jamelles, the joint venture between Zanaga and Glencore that owns the project, will assess mining and transport infrastructure alternatives.
Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT) expects results this year to hit market expectations even with a slow start to the year for the big data specialist and some order deferrals in its professional services division. A new contract with a rail rolling stock maker and worth £410,000 over a three-year term has started to contribute, while customs planning for Brexit is giving a boost to the Langdons supply chain data business acquired last September.
Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC (LON:EOG) is predicting its UK production profile will “more than double” if its Wressle project is approved for development by the next UK government. In a statement to be delivered at its AGM, the AIM-listed oiler, which holds a 30% interest in the East Lincolnshire project, said if the government ruling on the development, expected once the election is out of the way, was positive, it will have a “clear line of sight” towards bringing it into production next year.
Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX), a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies, today noted that its portfolio company, Iterum Therapeutics Plc (NASDAQ:ITRM) announced topline results from one of its three Phase 3 trials for sulopenem, Iterum’s lead compound and novel antibiotic for the treatment of gram-negative, multi-drug resistant infections.
BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) has confirmed new chief executive Tom Sumner took up his post at the restaurant booking service at the start of December, with former CEO Sanj Naha now a consultant. The yield management platform developer also clarified the reasons behind its £2.1mln fundraise on 6 June having said in May it was funded to execute its strategy.
Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS), the technology commercialisation company focused solely on cybersecurity and risk, announced that - at its GM held on Tuesday - the special resolution put to the meeting was passed unanimously. As a result, the borrowing limits in the articles have been raised to the greater of £1.5mln and 20% of the Adjusted Capital and Reserves. The company said it will now conclude the loan agreements of £1.275mln, as announced on 21 November 2019, for which it now has binding commitments.