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Proactive news headlines: Synairgen, Scancell, EQTEC, Great Western Mining, Trident Royalties …

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Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) has tweaked the Phase III trial design of its SNG001 coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment to speed up the study. Following discussions with the regulatory agencies, the trial – known as the SG018 trial – has been amended to remove the lower dose arm, which will reduce the number of patients required to complete the placebo-controlled trial from 900 patients to 610 patients. Changes have also made to the primary endpoints, which are now ‘time to hospital discharge’ and ‘time to recovery’.

Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) said it has selected a candidate for its coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, SN14, that it believes has several advantages over those already approved. In a statement, Scancell said SN14 targets both the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein and the key receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein, and is based on a modification of its ImmunoBody DNA vaccine technology.  Fifteen vaccine candidates containing different S and N components combined with a variety of targeting technologies were evaluated for the best T cell and antibody [immune] responses.

EQTEC PLC (LON:EQTEC) said it has signed a call option and exclusivity agreement relating to the purchase of land for the Billingham waste gasification and power plant project. The deadline for signing the agreement has previously been delayed three times as EQTEC and its development partner, Scott Bros Enterprises, did their due diligence. Under the terms of the option agreement, the purchase price for the project site will be £8.6mln, less the consideration of £260,000 for the grant of the option. The option may be taken up any time up to February 28, 2021.

Great Western Mining Corporation PLC (LON:GWMO) has said it expects to pour its first precious metal from a bulk sample at Mineral Jackpot in Nevada before the year-end. First concentrate should be recovered from the circuit within the next few days and smelting of the material within the next two weeks, the AIM-listed group said. Great Western noted that a magnetic survey over the northern part of the MJ area has also highlighted existing known structures together with potential new linking structures and extensions to the south-east. 

Trident Royalties PLC (LON:TRR) (FRA:5KV) said its wholly-owned subsidiary TRR Services UK Ltd has entered into a binding, conditional agreement with Bellatrix Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orion Resource Partners, to acquire a portfolio of three existing royalties over the Pukaqaqa Copper Project in Peru for a total consideration of approximately US$3.0mln worth of new Trident ordinary shares. The company said the acquisition is being made directly of two of the royalties and the via the purchase of Tiomin Peru S.A.C, a Peruvian company which owns the third. Pukaqaqa is majority-owned and operated by NYSE and TSX-listed Nexa Resources, an established South American mid-tier miner.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) has entered a long-term natural gas sales agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC), covering all future gas production from the Ortoire block. It will allow the recent discoveries at 80%-owned Ortoire to be delivered into production, starting with the Coho-1 well which was drilled successfully in 2019. Coho-1 when tested, this time last year, flowed at a rate of 46mln cubic feet of gas per day which is the equivalent of 7,671 barrels of oil per day. “This agreement provides a stable, multi-decade revenue stream for Touchstone to fully develop the world-class asset at Ortoire,” said Paul Baay, Touchstone chief executive in a statement.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it achieved operational profitability in October and November, the first time this has been done since its IPO in December 2014. The AIM-listed group also announced the sale of its holding in Esports Awards for £500,000, after acquiring it in 2017 for £138,000, with the proceeds to be used to boost growth in its strategy. In an update, Gfinity chairman Neville Upton will tell investors at the group’s annual general meeting on Friday that the positive momentum seen at the start of the current financial year has continued, and the esports media firm is also on track for a strong performance in December 2020. In a separate statement, Gfinity announced that, at its annual general meeting, all resolutions were duly passed.

Gfinity also announced the appointment of Len Rinaldi as a non-executive director with immediate effect. The group noted that Rinaldi spent the last twelve years with tech giant Apple, most recently as general manager for Apple Western Europe, a role he held for seven years. In this role, he was responsible for all partner relationships across all Apple products, software and services with $20bn portfolio under management. Rinaldi joined Apple in 2007, and served as Apple’s CFO EMEIA for five years, during which time he oversaw significant revenue growth at the division from $7bn to $40bn. He has held previous senior leadership roles at Alcatel Lucent SA and Lucent Technologies. Neville Upton, founder and chairman of Gfinity said: “The Board and I are delighted to welcome Len to Gfinity. He is a respected global operator with a proven track record of growing businesses. Len brings a wealth of insight and experience that will be invaluable to the company as it looks accelerate its growth strategy over the next two to three years. CEO John Clarke and his senior team will benefit greatly from Len’s leadership experience.”

Zephyr Energy PLC (LON:ZPHR) has announced the start of drilling for the State 16-2 well in Utah’s Paradox basin. Detailing the programme, Zephyr noted that the well will be drilled as a “mildly deviated” well (at a maximum inclination of 8 degrees) down to a vertical target depth of 9,815 feet. It aims to acquire up to 100 feet of continuous core from the targeted Cane Creek reservoir. Chief executive Colin Harrington described the start of drilling as “a watershed moment” for the company.

Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) said its investee company Paraytec’s work to develop a COVID-19 test is “proceeding at pace”. Paraytec, which is developing the test with the University of Sheffield, has acquired purified SARS-CoV2 virus, which Braveheart said will be used to optimise both the lower limit and speed of detection, with the aim of detecting virus in asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients. Approval has been obtained from the Sheffield Hospitals Trust to test up to 500 clinical samples using the PCR approach to “unambiguously demonstrate the performance characteristics of the COVID-19 test”, it said.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC’s (LON:GSF) said the capacity of its portfolio of battery assets had risen to 239Mw by the end of its latest half-year. Alex O’Cinneide, the fund’s manager, noted that the capacity has increased further since to 320Mw, of which 110 Mw was based at operational sites. The group also recently completed a £60mln fundraise to help fund a pipeline of developments that will potentially take capacity up to 1.3Gw out of which 80Mw is expected to executed shortly, said O’Cinneide. Over the six months to end September 2020, Gore Street’s net asset value (NAV) per share rose to 97.3p (2019: 94.6p) including an earlier £23.7mln fundraise.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) (CSE:XOP), an international oil and gas exploration and development company, has confirmed, in response to market rumours, that it does not anticipate any suspension in trading of its common shares as a result of its previously announced acquisition of Atomic Oil & Gas LLC. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority  (FCA) has confirmed to COPL that, although the completion of the acquisition of Atomic will be regarded as a reverse takeover for the purposes of the Listing Rules, no suspension of trading in its common shares will be required until such time as the acquisition becomes unconditional ie completion. Further, no suspension will be necessary at all if COPL can file an approved prospectus with the FCA by such time reflecting the acquisition. Having only recently filed an approved prospectus with the FCA and having already produced a current competent person report on Atomic’s assets, COPL said it does not anticipate having any trouble filing an approved prospectus reflecting the acquisition of Atomic prior to or concurrent with the completion of the acquisition and therefore no suspension should be necessary. The company also confirmed, in response to market rumours, that it is not considering any financing structure commonly referred to as an “equity sharing” arrangement in order to complete financing of the transaction.

4D pharma PLC (LON:DDDD) has joined the initiative to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease being sponsored by Hollywood legend Michael J Fox. In a statement, 4D pharma said its representatives will join the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) Scientific Advisory Board and be closely involved in the design and execution of the study. “The Michael J Fox Foundation has made considerable contributions to the development of therapeutic solutions for the millions of people with Parkinson’s disease,” said Alex Stevenson, 4D pharma’s chief scientific officer in a statement.

Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN), the AIM-quoted, integrated primary vanadium producer and energy storage provider, with ownership of high-grade assets in South Africa, has announced a partial repayment of the US$23mln unsecured convertible loan note held by Duferco Participations Holding S.A. On September 30, 2020, the company announced that Duferco, the previous owner of Vanchem, had agreed to accept the partial early repayment of US$11.5mln of their US$23mln convertible loan notes, originally issued in accordance with the terms of the acquisition of Bushveld Vanchem. As Bushveld has drawn down the funds under the US$30mln Production Financing Agreement and US$35mln Convertible Loan Notes with Orion Mine Finance, it has now repaid US$5mln of the Duferco loan notes, plus interest of US$1.28mln in cash and satisfied the balance of US$6.5mln by the issue of 37,115,210 new Bushveld shares, using a conversion price of 12.97p, which is a 5% discount to the prevailing 10-day volume-weighted average share price leading up to conversion. Duferco continues to hold a total of US$11.5mln convertible loan notes, which are due for repayment on November 8, 2021.

Deltic Energy PLC (LON:DELT), the AIM-quoted natural resources investing company progressing its high impact exploration and appraisal portfolio focused on the Southern and Central North Sea, said it has noted the contents of a recent press release issued by Rystad Energy, the independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry. The release stated that Deltic Energy had “picked up substantial acreage in Sierra Leone” in 2020 as a result of licencing awards in that country.  This statement is incorrect, the group said, Deltic’s focus remains entirely on its portfolio in the Southern and Central North Sea.

Quadrise Fuels International PLC (LON:QFI) has announced a new collaboration which will see it further develop its bioMSAR fuels venture. The company said it has teamed up with Aquafuel Research, a British specialist in renewable power innovation using biofuels and glycerine. Its partnership with Aquafuel will aim to promote commercial glycerine supply, Aquafuel power solutions and bioMSAR projects. Quadrise revealed bioMSAR earlier this week. It is a synthetic alternative to heavy fuel oil (HFO) with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

TomCo Energy PLC (LON:TOM) has told investors that the start-up of the POSP project, in Utah, USA, will now happen in the New Year following changes to coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols at the mining permitting authority. In a project update, TomCo noted that work to upgrade the capacity and improve the reliability of the POSP facility had been completed earlier this month, with all systems tested and operational resources delivered to the site. A full restart remained subject to permitting and was due to get underway this week, it added. But now, due to the COVID-19 related disruption, the company said that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) operating plan won’t be released before December 21, 2020.

Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM) said its customer, Halo Autocare has launched a car wax that uses the company’s Genable graphene dispersion technology. It is the second graphene-enhanced wax polish product launched by Halo Autocare that uses the Genable technology. Adrian Potts, the chief executive officer of Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) waxed lyrical about its collaboration with Halo Autocare. “Our graphene products have demonstrated exceptional performance in an increasingly broad range of applications and our focus on delivering graphene nanoplatelets in a format that makes them easy to adopt in practical applications is supporting continued product momentum,” Potts said in a statement.

Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX), a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies has announced the completion of the previously announced sale of its portfolio company VelosBio Inc. to Merck & Co (MSD) for a final all-cash consideration of $2.75bn. The trade sale of VelosBio generates gross proceeds of $187.0mln (£138.5mln) to Arix, representing a 12.5-times return on its original investment of $15.0mln (£11.8mln) and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 328%. The tax treatment of this transaction will be detailed within Arix’s 2020 Annual Report and Accounts, to be published in March 2021.

Powerhouse Energy Group plc (LON:PHE), the sustainable hydrogen company, has announced the appointment of Mark Berry to its board as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect. Berry, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, specialises in the project financing of energy, infrastructure and process engineering projects. He has particular expertise in the waste to energy (including materials recovery and fuel recovery from waste), transport and mining sectors. Tim Yeo, chairman of Powerhouse, said: “We are pleased to be strengthening our Board as we approach the most important year in Powerhouse’s history, with the commercialisation of our clean technology. Mark’s experience in waste and waste to energy schemes will help to strengthen our Board and we look forward to working with Mark over what is set to be, an exciting number of years for Powerhouse.”

Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS), the Clinical AI company, has announced the appointment of Tony Bourne to its board as independent non-executive director with effect from January 1, 2021. The group noted that Bourne has considerable experience and knowledge of the healthcare and financial services industries. He was Chief Executive of the British Medical Association between 2005 and 2013.  Prior to this he was in investment banking for over 25 years, including as a partner of independent corporate finance advisory firm Hawkpoint, as global head of the equities division and a member of the managing board of Paribas and held senior roles at Merrill Lynch, European Banking Company and James Capel & Co. Bourne currently serves as Chair of CW+ ( the official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust), and is additionally an Independent Non-Executive Director to the Boards of Barchester Healthcare, Spire Healthcare Group PLC and Totally PLC. Sir Bruce Keogh, non-executive chairman of Sensyne, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Tony to the Board at a time of tremendous progress for Sensyne.  His track record and deep expertise in the healthcare space, as well as a distinguished career in the financial services industry, will be invaluable to us as we embark on the next phase of our growth – building an innovative world class clinical data and artificial intelligence company.”

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ), the AIM-listed gold, copper and silver producer focused in Azerbaijan, has announced the appointment of Michael Charles Sununu, as a non-executive director with immediate effect. The group noted that Sununu – the son of Governor John Sununu, a director of Anglo Asian – is a founder and manager of Sununu Enterprises LLC and Sununu Holdings LLC, which specialise in planning and project development for major corporations and medium-sized firms, as well as providing strategic advisory services. Previously, he has worked for JP Morgan’s Oil and Mining group and his experience there included debt restructuring and the Initial Public Offering for Consol Energy. Anglo Asian’s chairman, Khosrow Zamani, commented: “I would like to warmly welcome Michael to Anglo Asian. He is an accomplished businessman with deep knowledge and experience in finance, project development and natural resources. This will prove an invaluable asset to the board as we continue to focus on growing the business. Michael has been appointed following the departure from the board of Richard Round. I would also like to thank Richard for his work and commitment to the Company over the years.”

Gaming Realms PLC (LON:GMR) has said it was notified by Michael Buckley, its executive chairman, that he sold 1,000,000 ordinary shares of 10p each in the company at an average price of 20.50p. The sale was for financial planning purposes. The sale represented 3.6% of Buckley’s holding prior to the sale. Following this sale, Buckley has a beneficial interest in 26,500,000 Gaming Realms ordinary shares representing 9.2% of the company’s issued share capital.

MBH Corporation Plc (FRA:M8H; OTCQX:MBHCF), the UK-based small cap acquisition specialist, has qualified to trade on the OTCQX Best Market. Trading began today symbol under the symbol “MBHCF”. MBH already has a listing on the Frankfurt exchange. Callum Laing, CEO, MBH Corporation, commented: “We see great opportunities arising from trading on OTCQX. It brings us closer to the many great small businesses in the US looking to join MBH and makes it easier for the many US investors to find and join us on this journey.”

AEX Gold Inc (LON:AEXG) (CVE:AEX) said it has increased the size of the exploration licence at its Anoritooq project to 1,889 square kilometres (sq km), bringing its total ground in south Greenland now to 3,870 sq km. The newly granted area is underexplored and prospective for gold, with several historic stream sediment and heavy mineral concentrate gold anomalies indicating discovery potential.

Corcel PLC (LON:CRCL), the natural resource exploration and development company with interests in battery metals and flexible grid solutions, has announced that Dr Nigel Burton will step down as a non-executive director of the company with immediate effect to focus on a new commitment. The group said its board will shortly initiate a search for a new non-executive director. James Parsons, Corcel chairman, commented: “2020 has been a period of transformation for the Company and I should like to thank Nigel for his leadership during 2019 and contributions in 2020.   We have now established a sound financial platform and strategically refocused the business to be at the heart of the core processes underpinning the energy transition.  We wish Nigel well for the future and at Corcel we look forward to 2021 and updating shareholders on our continued progress.”

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC), the leading global immunodiagnostics group, said it has been notified that Adam Hill, the group’s chief executive officer, purchased 5,764 ordinary shares of £0.01 each in the company for £1.7348 per share on December 17, 2020. Following this transaction, the group added, Hill has a total interest in the company of 3,537,539 ordinary shares, representing approximately 5.6% of the company’s issued ordinary share capital.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd’s (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) (FRA:W1D) A$5 million share purchase plan, which forms part of its equity financing to raise up to A$57 million, has opened today. The SPP will enable existing eligible shareholders, irrespective of the size of their holdings, to participate in the capital raising at the same issue price as the A$52 million placement, and not incur any brokerage or transaction costs.  Eligible shareholders who have a registered address in Australia, New Zealand or the UK can apply for up to A$30,000 worth of new shares in the company.  The issue price of A$0.40 (£0.226) per share is equal to the price of the placement shares offered to institutional, sophisticated and professional investors.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR), the AIM listed investor in natural resource opportunities, has announced that, in line with its planned secondary compliance listing – as announced on August 21, 2020 – on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), it has lodged its application for admission to ASX, together with an Information Memorandum. The group said its board believes that, should Metal Tiger’s application be successful, it should obtain the secondary listing status during Q1 2021. It added that the board believes that the secondary listing will expand the profile of the company and its shares, create improved price discovery in the shares, provide access to new potential investors, and improve deal flow in Australia. Shareholders should note though that there is no guarantee that Metal Tiger will be admitted to the official list of the ASX.

Remote Monitored Systems PLC (LON:RMS) has conditionally raised £5mln through an oversubscribed placing with the funds set to support subsidiary Pharm2Farm (P2F) which is rolling out a new anti-viral face mask product. The company is issuing 400mln new shares at a price of 1.25p each. It was arranged by brokers Peterhouse Capital and SP Angel. Investors in the placing have also been issued share warrants – one warrant for every new share – which are exercisable at a price of 2p per share.

Red Rock Resources PPC (LON:RRR) announced that it has received notice of conversion of £205,880.27 of Convertible Loan Notes into 34,313,378 ordinary shares at a price of 0.6p per share This follows the conversion of £254,960 into 42,493,333 shares announced on December 14, 2020. Andrew Bell, Red Rock’s chairman, commented: “With this further conversion of Convertible Loan Notes the great bulk of the holders have now chose to convert their debt instruments into Shares. We welcome our new shareholders and thank them for their confidence in the Company and its prospects.”

European Metals Holdings Limited (LON:EMH) announced that all resolutions were passed at the Annual General Meeting of the company held on December 17, 2020. All resolutions were passed by way of a poll called to determine the outcome of each resolution put before the meeting. Resolution 4, Approval of 10% Placement Facility, was a special resolution and was passed with the requisite 75% majority, it added.

IQGeo Group Plc (LON:IQG), a provider of geospatial collaboration and productivity software to the telecommunications and utilities industries, announced that at its general meeting held on Friday, all resolutions were duly passed.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) has said its annual general meeting (AGM) will be held via remote meeting platform Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 10.00am SA time (UTC +2), to transact business as stated in the Notice of AGM. The Notice of AGM is available on the company’s website www.tharisa.com

Zaim Credit Systems PLC (LON:ZAIM), the Russian focused fintech group providing financial inclusion for those consumers who are not well served by mainstream lenders, announced the launch of the new group website available at the existing address www.zaimcreditsystemsplc.com. “The launch of the new website is another step aimed to increase transparency for our existing and potential investors. Our primary goal during the redesign process was to create a more valuable, user-centric and responsive resource across all platforms and devices” – noted Siro Cicconi, Zaim’s CEO in a statement.

Bacanora Lithium PLC (LON:BCN), a lithium development company, has reminded former shareholders of Bacanora Minerals Ltd of the deadline of March 23, 2021, to exchange their old shares in Bacanora Minerals Ltd (BML) for new shares in Bacanora Lithium PLC.  As notified in the circular sent to shareholders on 19 February 2018, all BML shareholders were required to complete a Letter of Transmittal in order to exchange their BML shares for new shares in the company as part of the redomicile process. A number of BML shareholders have not yet completed their letters and new shares in the company which would have been issued to them have been held in a Trust.  This Trust will expire on March 23, 2021, after which any remaining shares may be sold by the company in accordance with the company’s Articles of Association.

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