15 March 2021
The past month saw some significant moments that had Blytheweigh, and indeed the nation, gripped. The Government announced the roadmap outlining the steps that would ease us out of our current lockdown. Millions of people in the UK received their first, and in some cases their second, vaccination. There was snow and we saw images from Mars! It’s safe to say it’s been jam-packed few weeks.
This month also saw us celebrate International Women’s Day. Blytheweigh were fortunate enough to host a panel with Louise Wrathall, from Central Asia Metals, Lucy Crane, from Cornish Lithium, Claire Bay, from Oriole Resources, and Anne Oxley, from Brazilian Nickel, who shared their experiences of working in the historically male-dominated industry of mining. Our Partner, Megan Ray, hosted the discussion that resulted in some motivational advice for young women hoping to embark on a career in an industry that is becoming increasingly important. It also resulted in some entertaining anecdotes from the panel, ranging from glittering loch ness monsters to riding on the back of a motorbike, who all agreed that working in mining is not a conventional ‘desk job’. You can watch the discussion here.
In this month’s Big Picture, we will explore some other great achievements from women and look at how and why International Women’s Day came to be. We will look at two big announcements made this month by Brazilian Nickel, which included the Company’s partnership with Paradigm for Parity. As always, if there’s anything we share in the big picture that you’d like to know more about please get in touch by emailing or reach out to us on Twitter - @blytheweigh.
In the beginning of March, Nasa successfully landed a rover named Perseverance into a deep crater on Mars. The rover had travelled 300 million miles to arrive at the mysterious planet with the aim of finding evidence from any past or present life. Perseverance will be drilling over a two-year period exploring the surrounding rocks of the crater, searching for any signs of life.
Elsewhere, in the housing market, the Office of National Statistics revealed that the average house price surged by 8.5 per cent, reaching a record high of £252,000 in the lead up to December last year. This may have due, in part, to the stamp duty relief introduced last year to bolster the housing market. Research from the Centre for Policy Studies showed that this resulted in the price of houses rising from £132,090 between April and June to £316,300 between October and December. It is thought that the rise in house prices was also attributable to a change in housing preference during the pandemic (eg. the desire for a garden or needing more space).
Also, in the headlines this month, was a survey conducted by recruitment firm Adecco and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which highlighted how the majority of UK businesses are ready to start hiring again. In fact, of a poll of 2,006 businesses, more than half planned to recruit new staff members in the coming weeks – positive news for the UK job market after a year of bleak headlines!
The survey came out at a similar time to another survey carried out by Together, a coalition aiming for a more connected society, which showed that during a time where jobs have been scarce and redundancies rife, as many as 12.4 million people in the UK took up volunteer work – a figure which included 4.6 million first-time volunteers.
Blytheweigh zooms in… International Women's Day 2021
This month, to commemorate International Women’s Day, we thought we’d take a look at just some of the momentous achievements of women that have featured in the news recently. These triumphs have been success stories in and amongst themselves, but they’ve also provided inspiration to women around the world that gender is irrelevant when a person sets their mind to a cause or a goal.
In March, Jasmine Harrison, a 21-year-old from North Yorkshire, became the youngest woman to row solo across any of the worlds’ oceans. Jasmine completed the 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean, in a journey that took 70 days, raising money for a homeless charity. Jasmine said in her blog that she was undertaking the challenge - that would see her sail from the Canary Islands to Antigua - to prove that being young and female shouldn’t be a barrier to undertaking any challenge.
Four of the six directors nominated for a BAFTA this year are female, with the nominees including Shannon Murphy for Babyteeth, Jasmila Zbanic for Quo Vadis, Aida?, Sarah Gavron for Rocks and Chloe Zhao for Nomadland - marking a significant rise since last year when no female directors were nominated.
Kamala Harris recently made history becoming the first women, and the first Black and South Asian women, to be appointed as Vice-President to President Joe Biden.
One of the prominent leaders in the race to develop a vaccine was Kathrin Jansen, Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer.
Furthermore, across the world, countries lead by women (New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina and Finland’s Sanna Marin, to name a few) received praise for their handling of the pandemic, reacting more quickly and effectively resulting in fewer deaths than countries led by men. A survey published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum revealed that, of the 194 countries analysed, countries led by women had “systematically and significantly better” Covid-19 outcomes.
Earlier in the year, 18-year-old Greta Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Prize for the third consecutive year for her contributions to climate change activism.
Amanda Gorman took the world by storm when she became the first poet to ever perform at a Super Bowl in the 2021 event, having already shared one of her poems at President Biden’s inauguration.
Those are just a very few of the women who have made headlines so far this year. But its achievement’s big and small that are honoured on International Women’s Day to champion the progress of women in society, politics, economics, sport, media and so on while raising awareness of continued inequality.
The day began taking shape in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding better working conditions and the right to vote. The next year the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Women’s Day. In 1910, Clara Zetkin called for the day to be recognised internationally at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, where 100 women from 17 countries agreed. Things were made official in 1975 when the day gained recognition from the United Nations.
Since 1996, there has always been a theme International Women’s Day, with the first one being “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future". The theme for 2021 was: Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world", which tied in quite nicely with the panel Blytheweigh hosted!
A focus on... Brazilian Nickel partners with Paradigm for Parity to Achieve Gender Parity by 2030
The privately held company, Brazilian Nickel, that is currently developing its nickel laterite heap leach project in Brazil, announced on International Women’s Day that it had partnered with Paradigm for Parity. Paradigm for Parity is a union of business leaders, board members and academics addressing the corporate leadership gender gap by implementing a five-point action plan to accelerate its goal of creating gender parity by 2030 (view release).
The partnership signals Brazilian Nickel’s commitment to support the action plan and collective goal of the union to curb workplace inequality and achieve parity by 2030. This outcome is outlined in the Company’s announcement which can be achieved through: minimising unconscious bias in the workplace; significantly increasing the number of women in senior operating roles, with the near-term goal of at least 30% representation in all leadership groups; measuring targets and maintaining accountability by providing regular progress reports; basing career progress on business results and performance, rather than physical presence in the office; and providing sponsors, not just mentors, to women well positioned for long term success.
Anne Oxley, Technical Director at Brazilian Nickel, said on the partnership, “We are proud to be partners with Paradigm for Parity and its quite fitting that we announce this on International Women’s Day as we join and support the action plan and collective goal of curbing workplace inequality and achieving parity by 2030.” Anne highlighted how the objectives of the initiative mirrored those of the Company, which promote the creation of a more female friendly environment throughout the business. This is achieved in part due to its established mentor and sponsorship programmes, as well as developed female focused recruitment programmes.
This important step for the Company’s development happened a couple of weeks following another milestone for Brazilian Nickel when it announced the commencement of a Bankable Feasibility Study (“BFS”) at its 100% owned Piauí Nickel Project (view release). The Company announced that the study would be conducted by SNC Lavalin, a leading engineering and construction group and specialists in mining projects, from its offices in Brazil.
The Company stated that it expected the engineering work to take 12 months, with the Company aiming to publish the final BFS document in the first quarter of next year.
Within the announcement, Brazilian Nickel shared that it had selected SNS Lavalin as it is aligned with Brazilian Nickel’s dedication to the highest possible environmental, health and safety considerations. The Company said the BFS would have an inherently low carbon dioxide footprint, with further research underway to reduce or even fully eliminate CO2 emissions.
The following updates were released from Blytheweigh clients over the course of February and up until the day of writing in March.
Amur Minerals [AIM: AMC] announced that that the terms and conditions for the Company's Kun-Manie "Detailed Exploration and Mine Production Licence" have been amended and registered with Rosnedra, the State Licencing Agency (view release).
Anglo Asian Mining [AIM:AAZ] provided a summary of its H2 2020 geological exploration activities at its Gedabek, Gosha and Ordubad Contract Areas (view release).
The Company also announced a special dividend in respect of the year ending 31 December 2020 of US 1.5 cents per ordinary share (view release).
Apollon UK became a step closer to joining the Aquis Stock Exchange as AfriAg Global proposed to acquire the remaining share capital of Apollon as part of the RTO transaction. Alongside this, Apollon also completed a conditional equity raise of £2.5 million (view release).
Asiamet Resources [AIM: ARS] announced it had successfully raised £10 million by way of a share placings and subscription (view release).
There was an update in February that Griffin Mining [AIM:GFM] had established a share buyback programme of up to a value of $10 million to acquire up to five million ordinary shares over the next three years (view release).
Earlier in the month, Griffin Mining announced the new Global Mineral Resource estimate for its Caijiaying Zinc-Gold Mine, which amounted to a total of 101.5 million tonne Global Mineral Resource (view release).
Beowulf Mining [AIM: BEM] shared the update that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Epsilon Advanced Materials Private Limited which will enable Beowulf's 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Fennoscandian, to build its downstream capability, collaborating with a strong and innovative technology/processing partner (view release).
Beowulf also released its end of year financial results for 2020, providing an update on all of its projects across Sweden, Finland and Kosovo (view release).
The Company also shared its decision to invest £200,000 in Vardar Minerals Ltd. The funds will be used for preparatory works, building access roads and drilling platforms, across the Mitrovica licence in northern Kosovo, lead-zinc targets at Wolf Mountain and gold targets at Majdan Peak (view release).
Botswana Diamonds [AIM: BOD] entered into a cooperation agreement to fund exploration of its prospecting licence assets in Botswana with Diamexstrat Botswana Pty Ltd (view release).
Caledonia Mining [AIM: CMCL] announced that it had appointed Mrs Geralda Wildschutt to its Board of Directors of the Company as an independent Non-Executive Director with immediate effect (view release).
Condor Gold [AIM: CNR] announced in March that the first 26 drill holes for a combined 1,296 metres of diamond drill core have been completed on the La India Starter Pit infill drilling programme (view release).
It also updated the market in February that it had commenced a 5,000 metre diamond drill programme at the Cacao prospect at La India Project, Nicaragua. Cacao is a potential satellite deposit to the already permitted La India, America and Mestiza open pits (view release).
Earlier in February, the Company announced a placing of 9,523,810 new ordinary shares in the Company, including a Directors & CFO subscription of 4,871,414 Placing Shares, to raise in aggregate gross proceeds of £4,000,000 before expenses (view release).
European Metals Holdings [AIM: EMH] shared initial results from its current nineteen hole resource drilling programme at the Cinovec Project in which it holds a 49% interest (view release).
The Company also provided its Q4 update (view release).
At the beginning of February, Hummingbird Resources [AIM: HUM] announced a corporate and trading update for the fourth quarter of 2020 and its 2021 outlook (view release).
Imperial X [AQSE:IMPP] entered into acquisition agreements to acquire a platform of mineral assets. The acquisition is conditional on admission to the London Stock Exchange and will establish Imperial as a growth-focused, diversified project generator and natural resource business (view release).
Newly named Love Hemp Group [AQSE:LIFE] underwent a series of changes, including the appointment of Tony Calamita as CEO as part of the Company’s re-branding and initiation of its global marketing strategy (view release). These changes are backed by a strong performance in Q2 where Love Hemp saw revenues increase by 97% compared to Q1 (view release).
Mkango [AIM: MKA] kicked off March with the announcement that it had successfully completed the flotation pilot plant programme for its Songwe Hill Rare Earths project in Malawi (view release).
The Company also announced that it had issued 325,000 shares to Bacchus Capital Advisors Limited in connection with the financial advisory services provided by Bacchus Capital to the Company (view release).
Some great news for Oriole Resources [AIM: ORR] as it provided an update on its 90 per cent owned district-scale licence package, awarded in February (view release), in Central Cameroon where an independent desktop remote sensing study had been completed over the entire 3,592km2 Licence Package. This work identified 12 initial priority gold targets, which will be given particular attention during the Company's planned mapping and stream sediment sampling programmes later in H1-2021 (view release).
With target depth reached for Pantheon Resources’ [AIM:PANR] Talitha #A well, testing commenced earlier this month. Although technical issues were encountered, the results were encouraging, with the Kapruak being better than expected and warranting a change to the testing plans (view release).
Pantheon also announced that five distinct oil-bearing zones have been encountered, an increase from four as predicted. Any of which are potential company makers for Pantheon, if successful (view release).
There was a big announcement from Phoenix Copper [AIM: PXC] in March who announced that it had raised £16.45 million through a Placing and Subscription. The fundraise will go towards funding the development of the Empire Mine (view release).
The Company also announced in February that it had drawn down on a £2 million debt facility to accelerate development of the Empire Mine open pit copper mine (view release).
Phoenix Copper also shared a new economic model for the Empire Mine open pit project in Idaho, USA that will recover copper, zinc, gold and silver (view release).