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Proactive news headlines: Asiamet Resources, Bahamas Petroleum, InnovaDerma, Westminster Group, Gfinity ...

A glance at some of the day's highlights from the Proactive Investors newswire

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Your daily round-up from the world of Proactive

Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) shares surged higher on Tuesday as the firm said investor Aeturnum has finalised all its due diligence workstreams and now intends to start further investment talks In March, Aeturnum took a 19.9% stake in Asiamet, via a placing, and entered a period of exclusivity for a project level investment in the KSK Contract of Work asset which kicked off technical and commercial due diligence work that is now complete. Aeturnum now intends to enter talks for a partial or full acquisition of KSK.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) said it has inked a rig contract for its hotly anticipated Perseverance-1 exploration well which is slated to start potentially as early as the fourth quarter. The contract sets a ‘firm window’ of drilling operations between December 15, 2020, and February 1, 2021, consistent with the project’s licence obligations which were extended amid force majeure. Significantly, the contract sees the estimated costs reduced by around 15% from previously estimated levels, reflecting changes in the global operating environment.

InnovaDerma PLC (LON:IDP) said the focus on its direct to consumer operation was bearing fruit after the coronavirus lockdown hit the bricks and mortar sales of its health and beauty lines. Online accounted for 60% of the company’s total revenues last financial year, so the group said that doubling down has enabled the business to perform “resiliently in a difficult market and significantly offset the weak in-store retail environment”. InnovaDerma said it expects full-year turnover to be at least in line with last year’s figure of £12.9mln.

Westminster Group PLC (LON: WSG) revealed it has been contracted to provide a range of fever screening and safety equipment to a global investment manager. The deployment covers the fund manager’s worldwide offices, the security and technology group added, and is part of a 'Return to Work' programme following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Worth around US$665,000, the contract covers the provision of a range of fever screening systems and sanitisation stations to 85 offices in 37 countries and should be completed with the next few weeks, Westminster said in a statement.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it has launched a new digital media group within the company as well as new eCommerce and rewards programmes to diversify its revenue streams. The esports firm said Gfinity Digital Media (GDM) will focus on three revenue streams; website takeovers and programmatic advertising delivered in partnership with advertising platforms Venatus and Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS), a non-exclusive relationship with global affiliate marketing network AWIN and analytics platform Trackonomics to drive eCommerce revenue, and content creation and community build product for partners, most recently a deal with YaLLa Esports in the Middle East region.

Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) has confirmed the launch of the clinical trial in a home setting of its inhaled interferon-beta-1a on people with coronavirus (COVID-19). An expansion of the original hospital-based SG016 study, an extra 120 people will receive Synairgen’s SNG001 medication at their homes. The idea is to treat sufferers earlier in the illness – within three days of developing symptoms.

Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) has published an updated assessment of the reserves and resources at the Singida gold mining project in Tanzania. It confirmed a JORC compliant reserve of 243,000 ounces of gold, with the mineralisation grading 3 grams per tonne gold. The company noted that more than 90% of the project’s contained gold reserve is located between surface to 120 metres, leaving further potential for additional reserves at depth. Shanta, meanwhile, told investors that financing talks for the development of Singida are at an advanced stage.

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) said its operational performance in 2020 has “held up relatively well” despite disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, the freight management specialist said it had “traded resiliently” during the year to date, and while activity levels were “slightly lower” as good demand in some sectors was offset by weakness in others, the impact on the company margins had been “less affected” as a result of cost reduction measures taken at the start of the pandemic. The company said while it was too early to provide definitive guidance for the full year, it believed that business was “performing well in extraordinary circumstances”. In a separate statement, Xpediator announced that all resolutions proposed to shareholders at its AGM were duly passed.

Clear Leisure PLC (LON:CLP) has noted that its investee company, ForCrowd successfully launched its first equity crowdfunding campaign on May 19 despite disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. The crowdfunding campaign is for B4TECH, a digital tech firm that has developed two application platforms; B-SMART 4.0, which provides installation, technical support and maintenance of household appliances and equipment to save consumers money, and CONCEPT STORE 4.0, a set of tools designed to help create new shopping experiences based on the merger of physical and digital shopping.

Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) noted that its portfolio company Exscientia Limited, a world leader in AI-driven drug discovery, has raised $60mln through a Series C financing round. The specialist in commercialising intellectual property said the new capital will be used to expand Exscientia's existing portfolio and pipeline and to accelerate international expansion, including in the USA.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) revealed it has been granted an Italian patent for its Planar Thermal Circuit invention. The patent covers the use of the G+ graphene circuit applied onto fabrics of any type. The fabric once treated is able to absorb body heat and move it from the hottest to the coldest point of the circuit, providing a significantly increased sense of comfort to the wearer or user. The graphene nanoplatelets-based products developer said the patent covers the main features of the circuit that make it effective.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) joint broker finnCap has initiated coverage of the contract research specialist with a sum-of-the-parts based 19p a share price target. That represents a 23% premium to the current stock valuation of 15.45p. finnCap's note follows Open Orphan’s recent fundraising effort which brought in a ‘gross’ £12.6mln that will be used to develop the world’s first coronavirus (COVID-19) challenge model.

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) has said its portfolio firm, EMMAC Life Sciences will manufacture a product for a coronavirus (COVID-19) clinical trial as part of a consortium led by the University of Valencia. EMMAC, in which FastForward holds a 2.3% stake, said the trail will use the T12 molecule to prevent the disease progressing to Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), believed to be the leading cause of death in coronavirus patients. In a separate announcement, FastForward said one of its other portfolio firms, Portage Biotech Inc (CSE:PBT.U) (OTCMKTS:PTGEF) will conduct a non-brokered private placement of post-consolidation shares to raise up to US$10mln at a price of US$10 per share, a 10% discount to the 20-day weighted moving average of the common shares price on the CSE. Portage said the proceeds will be used to further development of its immune-oncology portfolio towards clinical testing, as well as forming one to two new companies and enabling the firm to pursue an additional listing of its shares on a “senior stock exchange”.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures PLC (LON:BMV), the Korea-focused gold group, said due diligence has been completed by its prospective lender and finance terms should be confirmed shortly. In March, the AIM-listed junior entered into a legally binding agreement with the South Korean lender over a US$5mln loan to be repaid from future gold production. The financing, if successful, is expected to be received by the end of July, though Bluebird added that while it is optimistic there is still no guarantee it will receive the funding. If it does, Bluebird expects initial mining to commence in six months and gold production three months later.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) managing director Kerim Sener has said the average monthly production at the firm's Kiziltepe gold mine in Turkey is “currently running above target”. In a production update for the first quarter ended March 31, the AIM-listed firm said process gold recovery had remained high at 92.5% and added that Kiziltepe remained on track to deliver on its 2020 production target of 18,000 ounces of gold. During the quarter the firm reported gross income of US$8.84mln compared to US$12.78mln in the fourth quarter, while the project produced 5,129 ounces of gold compared to 7,318 in the prior three month period.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has said it is impressed by ongoing progress and results from Sandfire Resources’ Tshukudu project in Botswana. The AIM-quoted firm has 3.57% of Sandfire’s shares and holds a 2% net smelter royalty over the project. Sandfire on Monday released a project update including drill results showing copper grades up to 3.6% over a 20.5 metre section, plus a breadth of other drill results with grades of 1.1% to 2.5%. 

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has said it is impressed by ongoing progress and results from Sandfire Resources’ Tshukudu project in Botswana. The AIM-quoted firm has 3.57% of Sandfire’s shares and holds a 2% net smelter royalty over the project. Sandfire on Monday released a project update including drill results showing copper grades up to 3.6% over a 20.5 metre section, plus a breadth of other drill results with grades of 1.1% to 2.5%

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has updated on the Baita Plai polymetallic mine, in Romania, where progress is being made as incoming equipment deliveries continue. The company, in a statement, noted that the second shipment of equipment arrived at the mine this weekend. It included forty-two one cubic metre underground wagons and railway cutting & bending equipment. Vast said the latest arrival means it now has all essential equipment to achieve first production from the mine.

Kavango Resources PLC (LON:KAV) is putting the emphasis on desktop research while travel restrictions apply in Botswana during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The company, which is targeting the discovery of mineral deposits in Botswana, said the country had “dealt admirably” with COVID-19 and is already easing travel restrictions. Even so, the company’s plans to conduct exploration work in the field have been affected but its geologists will be poring over the data gathered during 2019 from drilling and surveying as well as data from third parties to identify future drilling targets at the Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ) project.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E), in a brief stock market statement, told investors it has now started to dispatch its ‘bidders statement’ to XCD Energy shareholders as the takeover process for the ASX-listed Alaska peer continues to progress.

Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX) has announced the appointment of Hans Peter Hasler as the company’s non-executive chairman with effect from its annual general meeting (AGM) to be held on June 18, 2020. The commercial-stage, pharmaceutical company, with a focus on addressing iron deficiency with its lead product Feraccru/Accrufer (ferric maltol) announced on May 21 that its current chairman, James Karis would not seek re-election and would be stepping down at the AGM. Haslar has prior executive experience including as chief

Symphony Environmental Technologies PLC (LON:SYM) has said it is seeing increased interest in its d2p anti-microbial technologies and products in the post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world. The biodegradable plastic specialist revealed in its full-year 2019 results statement that it received new orders in May this year for d2p-treated gloves totalling more than £500,000. As previously announced, the group saw revenues in total rise by 53% in the first quarter of 2020 to £2.45mln, up from £1.60mln the year before.

Providence Resources PLC (LON:PVR), the Irish based resource development company has provided an update on the second tranche of the proposed investment in the group by SpotOn Energy Limited. As announced on April 6, 2020, SpotOn Energy invested £0.3mln into Providence as part of a recent $3.3mln fundraising and committed to invest a further £0.2mln within six weeks of that announcement. However, the company said in a statement on Friday that SpotOn Energy has experienced some delays in closing out the necessary arrangements with its consortium because of current working and travel restrictions and has informed Providence that it will be necessary to delay the second tranche of its investment by approximately one week. The company added that it will provide an update to the market upon receipt of the funds.

Premier African Minerals Ltd (LON:PREM) provided an update to investors regarding a proposed increase in its stake in MN Holdings, the owner of the Otjozondu manganese mining project. In a statement, the company reaffirmed the basis for the proposed purchase of a 7% interest in MN Holdings for US$700,000. “Premier's proposed additional purchase is based exclusively on the independent valuation for further plant and equipment that MNH has purchased as set out in the announcement dated 4 December 2019,” the company said.

Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) chairman Peter Allen has relinquished his position as a member of the company’s audit and risk committee after consultation with institutional investors Following the shareholder meeting in November, when 31.6% of votes received were against his re-election, the board has been talking to its major investors and proxy companies to get their views on corporate governance and other issues Noting discussions of 'overboarding' in corporate governance circles in the past year, with shareholders becoming concerned if directors have too many competing commitments to other listed companies, the board of Clinigen said it recognises that it is best practice for the chairman not to be a member of the audit committee.

Chesnara PLC (LON:CSN) announced that the resolutions proposed at its annual general meeting held on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, were passed by a show of hands.

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR), the AIM-quoted exploration company focused on West Africa, announced that all of the resolutions that were put to shareholders at its annual general meeting held on Tuesday were duly passed.

KR1 PLC (LON:KR1) said its portfolio firm, Argent Labs, has successfully completed a ‘Series A’ fundraising round for US$12mln, giving it’s a post-money valuation of US$45mln.

Emmerson Plc (LON:EML), the Moroccan focused potash development company, announced that Align Research Limited has completed a comprehensive initiation equity research note on the company. To download the full note please visit the following link: http://www.alignresearch.co.uk/cpt-company/emmerson/

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