Botswana Diamonds boosted by Vast Resources’ acquisition of the Ghaghoo diamond mine

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Botswana Diamonds PLC (AIM:BOD) hardened 7.0% to 1.15p after a joint venture in which it has a 10% carried interest provisionally agreed on an acquisition.


Okwa Diamonds has conditionally agreed to acquire Gem Diamonds Botswana, the owner of the Ghaghoo diamond mine, from Gem Diamonds Ltd for US$4mln.


Botswana Diamonds has an initial free carried interest of 10% in Okwa Diamonds for the first US$15 million of expenditure by Okwa, which is being funded by Vast Resources PLC (AIM:VAST) (including the acquisition cash consideration). Thereafter, Botswana Diamonds will not be diluted below 2.5% of Okwa, the company revealed.


The company can also earn up to a further 20% interest in Okwa through funding 20% of expenditure. Under the terms of the joint venture with VAST, Botswana Diamonds will be the operator of the Ghaghoo mine until such time as an agreed management team is in place.


Shares in Vast were unchanged.


3.20pm: Altus Strategies rises as it buys first chunk of net smelter royalty at Caserones


Altus Strategies PLC (AIM:ALS, TSX-V:ALTS, OTCQX:ALTUF) jumped 16% to 71.9p after it started acquiring a net smelter return (NSR) royalty interest on the Caserones Copper Mine.


The company has previously announced its intention to acquire an NSR of 0.418% on the Caserones mine in Chile, and has now stumped up US$26.15mln for 76% of its target level of NSR; the remaining 24% will be paid on 1 September.


The NSR interest is expected to generate a cash flow of US$3.2mln (post-tax) per year to Altus.


2.35pm: Eve Sleep CFO puts his hand in his pocket


The market does like to see directors buy shares in the company they are directing and today it was the turn of Tim Parfitt, the chief financial officer of Eve Sleep PLC to get the warm glow of approval.


Parfitt bought 400,000 shares at 3.075p a share, at a total cost of GBP12,300.


Parfitt’s stake in the mattress maker is now 1.03mln, equivalent to 0.37% of the issued share capital.


Shares in Eve were up 10% at 3.3p.


1.40pm: Burford Capital dips as pandemic continues to slow progress of legal cases


Burford Capital Limited (LSE:BUR), the litigation finance specialist, slipped 3.3% to 819.5p as it said the pandemic continued to affect the progress on legal cases.


The company said the first half of the year saw record-breaking levels of new commitments and deployments, while portfolio returns rose and loss rates fell.


Non-cash accruals in the first half resulted in a net accounting loss for the period but the company’s performance was positive on a cash basis.


12.45pm: Sunrise … er … rises following Baker’s gold project update


Sunrise Resources PLC (AIM:SRES, FRA:S4D) shares advanced 12% to 0.28p as the Baker’s gold project in Western Australia returned high-grade results.


The company told investors that a routine re-analysis of high-grade samples returned better results than before.


As an example, Sunrise noted that in the new analysis drill hole 21SBRC002 on the DLR4 Target the results showed 14.4 grams per tonne gold across 2 metres, from 64 metres downhole, including 1 metre at 26.5 g/t – this compares with the prior analysis which showed 11.5 g/t and 20.4g/t over the 2 metres at the same depth.


11.50am: City of London Group dips after fundraising news


City of London Group PLC (LSE:CIN) slid 3.2% lower to 75p after announcing plans to raise fresh capital.


The company plans to raise GBP11.4mln through a share subscription and a further GBP6.9mln through an open offer of shares.


Two of the company’s major shareholders, Parasol V27 and Max Barney Investments have agreed to subscribe for 18.9 million new shares at a subscription price of 60p a pop. In addition, the subscribers will receive warrants to subscribe for 9.4 million shares at an exercise price of 69p a shot over the next three years.


10.55am: Abingdon Health higher after launch of COVID-19 self test


Abingdon Health PLC (AIM:ABDX) was London’s top riser with a 23% gain at 37.5p after the launch of the BioSURE COVID-19 IgG Antibody Self Test.


This new test, for which BioSure is the legal manufacturer, has been CE marked specifically for self-testing. The test uses a fraction of a drop of finger-prick blood (2.5uL) with results in 20 minutes. This allows individuals to know and monitor their own antibody status pre-vaccination, post-vaccination and following infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Abingdon said it will be particularly useful as populations worldwide continue to be vaccinated to monitor the effectiveness of an individual’s immunity status. This will have utility alongside potential booster vaccinations.


Abingdon will be the exclusive worldwide manufacturer for the product.


10.00am: Sainsbury’s on private equity’s radar?


Supermarket giant J Sainsbury PLC (LSE:SBRY) was 11% higher at 328.1p on the back of speculation that it could be the next among the big UK supermarket groups to face bid interest from private equity companies.


The US buyout firm Apollo is exploring the possibility of a bid for Sainsbury’s, according to the Sunday Times. The newspaper said Apollo has been scouring the industry for targets after being outbid for Asda by the billionaire Issa brothers last year.


According to the Guardian, one complication with Apollo looking at Sainsbury’s is that the buyout group, which was originally in the running to buy Morrisons, has said it is considering teaming up with Fortress. Any involvement in buying Morrisons would make a move on Sainsbury’s less likely, the report said.


Sainsbury’s was identified as a potential takeover target in early July by Proactive.


READ Morrisons is on private equity’s shopping list; could Sainsbury’s be next?


9.05am: Renold cranks higher after upbeat AGM statement


Renold PLC (AIM:RNO, FRA:7M5) cranked 18% higher to 23p after an upbeat trading statement ahead of today’s annual general meeting.


The supplier of industrial chains and related power transmission products said the strong momentum experienced in the fourth quarter of the last financial year has been maintained in the new financial year, resulting in the continued recovery of both revenues and order intake.


Sales revenue for the period, at GBP62.5mln, represents an increase of 13.6% on the prior year equivalent period or 19.9% at constant exchange rates.


Poolbeg Pharma PLC (AIM:POLB) jumped 21% to 10.625p after being tipped in the weekend press.


Joanne Hart in the Mail on Sunday’s Midas share tips column noted that the stock trades a penny below its flotation price of 10p – the company floated on AIM last month – but said the share price “should increase materially as the business makes progress on the flu front and expands into other areas”.


Poolbeg was spun out of Open Orphan and, in the process, gained access to vast amounts of data that shows how flu and other infectious diseases develop, Hart observed. The data items provide a rich seam of information that can be dissected using artificial intelligence to find common patterns and anomalies, she added.





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