Castillo Copper soars as it reports a Big One in Queensland

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Verici Dx plc (LON:VRCI) shares jumped 8.5% to 64p in early afternoon trading as the clinical diagnostics firm said it has secured an additional patent licence relating to a blood-based test (liquid biopsy) designed to predict the risk of fibrosis and chronic damage rejection arising from kidney transplants.


The company said the patent will strengthen its patent portfolio across the entire kidney transplant diagnostic pathway while also complementing its two flagship diagnostic assays, Clarava and Tuteva, which test for the risk of early acute rejection and post-transplant acute cellular rejection respectively.


Verici said interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy is a “significant complication in 50-65% of transplants at 12-24 as well as a major cause of graft rejection in the first year after a transplant.


11.00am: AssetCo soars as Martin Gilbert and co takes 29.8% stake


Assetco PLC (LON:ASTO) shot up 72% to 812.5p after a consortium of investors took at 29.8% stake in the company, buying shares at 475p each.


The company said Martin Gilbert, Peter McKellar, various associates and funds managed by Toscafund Asset Management have bought into the company.


Martin Gilbert, the founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, and Peter McKellar are expected to join the board as non-executive directors of the company. The existing strategy of the business will remain and the board, when enlarged, will pursue additional investment opportunities, particularly in the financial services sector.


10.05am: GCM overhauls the board


GCM Resources PLC (LON:GCM) returned from suspension 41% higher at 10.75p after announcing several board changes.


Mohd. Najib Bin Abdul Aziz has moved from independent non-executive director to independent non-executive chairman. Datuk Michael Tang PJN will continue as chief executive officer.


The company has also appointed James Hobson to the board as a non-executive director. Hobson was the chief financial officer of GCM for three years.


9.10am: The Big One turns out to be appropriately named


Castillo Copper Limited (LON:CCZ) soared 51% higher to 4p in early trading on Monday after it confirmed a major coppery discovery at the appropriately named Big One deposit in Queensland, Australia.


Two 40-44 metre-wide potentially economic intercepts from the surface, with exceptional copper values up to 16.65%, significantly extend the known mineralisation at the high-grade Big One Deposit on the company’s wholly-owned Mount Oxide project.


There is compelling evidence that the Big One Deposit is a shallow, high-grade copper-cobalt system with the potential to scale further, Castillo said.


Sector peer Anglesey Mining PLC (LON:AYM) was 8.7% higher at 9.65p after it has released the results of its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Parys Mountain copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver project on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.


The assessment is based around an updated resource estimate of 5.2mln tonnes of indicated together with 11.7mln tonnes of inferred ore.


Financial modelling for the expanded case development scenario shows a pre-tax net present value at a 10% discount of US$120mln for Parys, with an internal rate of return running at 26% over a 12-year mine life.


Proactive news headlines:


Anglesey Mining PLC (LON:AYM) has released the results of its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the Parys Mountain copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver project on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. The assessment is based around an updated resource estimate of 5.2mln tonnes of indicated together with 11.7mln tonnes of inferred ore. Financial modelling for the expanded case development scenario shows a pre-tax net present value (NPV) at a 10% discount of US$120mln for Parys, with an internal rate of return running at 26% over a 12-year mine life.


88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) revealed it has struck a deal to acquire the Umiat oil field, which is located on Alaska’s North Slope. Umiat is located immediately adjacent to the southern boundary of the company’s Project Peregrine acreage. It is a historic oil discovery, dating back to 1945, in shallow Brookian (Nanushuk) sandstones. A well, Umiat-23H, was tested by a prior operator back in 2014. It achieved a sustained rate of 200 barrels per day with a maximum rate of 800 barrels measured.


Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA), the graphene nanoplatelets-based products supplier, has raised its full-year revenue guidance for 2020. The company has said it continued to trade strongly in the final weeks of 2020, with better-than-expected sales of G+ enhanced face masks and growth at Setcar SA, the company’s 51%-owned environmental remediation business. “To have finished 2020 with better revenues than expected even at the start of December is enormously satisfying. We saw a year of hard work, in difficult circumstances, by all of our employees culminate in this success,” said Giulio Cesareo, the founder and chief executive officer of Directa Plus in a trading update.


SourceBio International PLC (LON:SBI) said it has landed a supply agreement with an unnamed high street retail and pharmacy group to provide lab-based testing services to support the roll-out of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests across UK stores. The company has inked an initial 12-month deal with the offering being trialled initially across a limited number of sites before scaling up. SourceBio currently provides COVID-19 services to the NHS, the Department of Health & Social Care and private healthcare customers.


MaxCyte Inc (LON:MXCT) said it has signed a clinical and commercial licensing agreement with immunology firm Myeloid Therapeutics Inc to advance novel cell therapies to treat solid tumours, T-cell lymphoma and glioblastoma. The company said Myeloid will obtain non-exclusive clinical and commercial rights to use MaxCyte’s flow electroporation technology and ExPERT platform, which it will use to advance its pipeline of programs, while in return MaxCyte will receive undisclosed development and approval milestones, and sales-based payments, along with other licensing fees.


DeepVerge PLC (LON:DVRG) has confirmed its first profitable quarter as well as highlighting a 300% increase in revenues for 2020. The AIM-listed environmental and life science artificial intelligence (AI) company said in a year-end trading update for 2020 that strong sales in the fourth quarter had delivered its first EBITDA profitable three-month period, while revenues for the whole year rose to GBP4.4mln from GBP1.02mln in 2019. DeepVerge also forecast revenues of GBP10mln for 2021, adding that “several large projects, including two multi-million pound opportunities due for decision [this year], have the potential to drive higher growth”.


Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said the first volunteer has been dosed with a new needle-free, nasally-administered coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The phase I trial of the next-generation single-dose inoculation will take place at the company’s hVIVO’s facility, a specialist centre for human challenge studies. The advance has been developed by a US company called Codagenix and will be subject to a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-escalation assessment.


OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) said it has reached an agreement with Fondazione Edmund Mach – Centro Ricerca e Innovazione (FEM), based in Trento, Italy, and the University of Southampton, to jointly fund and carry out a research project examining the role of its microbiome products – LPLDL, SlimBiome/WellBiome – to improve sleep, stress, and anxiety. The life sciences company, which is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skin care, said the research includes the application of systems approaches to understand the far-reaching effects of microbiome modulators on the biomolecular system of the host and their implications for health and disease. The agreement funds a PhD studentship to explore the potential of prebiotics – SlimBiome/ WellBiome – and probiotics – LPLD – for their ability to manage sleep, stress and anxiety. The agreement includes a double-blind, placebo-controlled, human study carried out during a period of stress-induced sleep disruption.


[email protected] Capital PLC (LON:SYME) has entered into an agreement with Lenovo Financial Services META, a payments solutions provider. The London-listed fintech platform operator said its SYME platform will be positioned as an alternative solution to complement Lenovo Financial Services’ existing vendor programme offerings to their network of customers in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region (excluding South Africa). The purpose of the co-operation agreement, made with the strategic support of its funding specialist, iMASS, is to deliver a dedicated inventory monetisation programme to Lenovo Financial Services’ customers that could also allow them to evaluate the opportunity to adopt the upcoming Shari’a version of the platform.


Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) confirmed it is on track to have a fully operational proton beam therapy unit in 2021 with “good progress” being made at the assembly facility in Daresbury, Cheshire. The company has hit many key landmarks in recent weeks. In a technical update, investors were told the LIGHT system is now capable of supporting the delivery of a proton pulse every five milliseconds. This occurred following the conditioning of the high-power radio-frequency (RF) accelerating units with the optimal RF phase and amplitude stability reached.


Guild Esports PLC (LON:GILD) said it has signed a third top-ranked professional esports player to its Fortnite team. The developer of esports teams said it has signed a contract with Anas El-Abd, a Danish gamer currently ranked as the seventh-best Fortnite player in Europe, for one year to compete under the Guild banner in all upcoming European and international tournaments with an option to renew for another year.


Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIP), a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, has noted that its portfolio company Elute Intelligence Holdings Limited has successfully raised GBP250,000 through its first equity funding round. The investment, made by private investors in return for a 10% equity stake, values Elute at GBP2.5mln post-money, and Frontier IP’s holding of 41% at GBP1.0mln. Proceeds from the fundraising will be used to support Elute’s recently launched Patent Reader and development of an enterprise search tool based on the same underlying technology, which uses forensic linguistics to speed searches through unstructured document datasets


Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has updated on the Wressle oil field development project, in Lincolnshire, where a rig arrived last week and operations are now underway. Following the arrival of the rig and equipment on-site work to recomplete and reperforate began, to flow the Ashover Grit reservoir before the end of January.


Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) chief executive, Naheed Memon has provided an extensive update to the market in respect of developments during the fourth quarter of 2020. “The final quarter of the year was a significant period for the company, presenting considerable opportunities despite frustrations relating to certain delays in Pakistan,” said Memon in the update. “Despite the prolonged process which we have experienced over the past nine months with the Ministry of Energy, I can say unequivocally that our Thar Block VI Project has never featured more prominently in the minds of key decision-makers and government agencies in Pakistan, as the country looks to unlock the exceptional value of this strategic national asset.”


IronRidge Resources Ltd (LON:IRR) has completed the sale of its non-core May Queen gold project in Queensland to Australasian Gold Ltd (AGL). IronRidge will receive 4.5mln shares representing 28.1% of the enlarged share capital of Australasian Gold. IronRidge will also invest A$100,000 at A$0.10 per share to provide Australasian Gold with additional working capital, taking the total holding to 32.3%.


Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) has announced that 1,058 cryptocurrency mining machines will be delivered ahead of schedule. The shipment, comprising S19 and S19 pro miners, is part of the company’s order of 4,500 leased machines which were made in November. They will be fully installing and hashing by the week of January 25, 2021, which will be three weeks early.


Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) has updated on ongoing work being undertaken by Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration Pty Ltd at the Molopo Farms Complex, which is targeting prospective massive nickel sulphide and platinum-group metal mineralisation in Botswana. Following the successful drilling of the first two diamond drill holes to their initial target depth, an extensive technical review is currently underway at the Molopo Farms Complex project. Initial geological core-logging by KKME’s consulting geologist has identified 4.4 metres (m) of ultramafic rocks with finely disseminated sulphides at approximately 270m vertical depth in one hole.


W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) said it has drawn down a further GBP500,000 tranche from the GBP4mln convertible bond facility it has with Atlas Capital Markets. This is the second drawdown made from the facility which was secured on March 30, 2020. This convertible bond tranche has a 5% coupon and a 3-year term.


AdEPT Technology Group PLC (LON:ADT) has hailed its role in the migration of an NHS data network to an updated version that is expected to save the health service GBP75mln per year. The IT services provider said around 12,000 sites belonging to 950 NHS, social care, private sector and local authority organisations have moved from a legacy N3 network to the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) in the largest-known public sector data network transition programme, according to NHS Digital. Organisations that have moved to the HSCN are expected to get faster connectivity with improved security capabilities at a reduced cost.


InnovaDerma PLC (LON:IDP), the company behind the Skinny Tan product, is looking to bolster its balance sheet to capitalise on opportunities once the lockdowns end. The UK developer of beauty, personal care and life sciences products said the continued impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and tighter lockdown rules hit its trading performance over the important festive season. The company said it expects full-year revenue for 2020 to be around GBP4.1mln, versus revenue of GBP5.1mln in 2019.


Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW), the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said it has received notices to exercise warrants over 14,606,326 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 1.0p per ordinary share and 4,210,526 warrants at an exercise price of 0.75p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of GBP135,537 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.


Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR), the natural resource development company, with interests in gold, copper, cobalt, manganese and other minerals, has announced that its annual general meeting (AGM) is to be held at the company’s business address, We Work, 71-91 Aldwych House, London, WC2B 4HN on Friday, February 12, 2021, at 1.00pm. As a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), following the UK Government’s measures to restrict gatherings, physical attendance in person by shareholders of the company will not be possible and the AGM will be held as a closed meeting. Shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM in person and are strongly encouraged to submit their proxy vote, appointing the chairman of the meeting as their proxy, in advance of the meeting to ensure that their votes are registered

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