15 July 2021
This month’s Big Picture is a sporting special, because, well it had to be, didn’t it? Tennis, football, cycling, boxing, cricket… whichever sport you’re into, or, indeed if you tend to ignore sport as much as you can ordinarily, you’ll have been hard pushed not to have been caught up in the excitement of at least one of the sporting highlights of the year so far. This season of summer sporting fixtures also saw the return of physical crowds to stadiums, watching sporting superstars at the top of their game. In this month’s blog, we look at some of the biggest headlines in sport over the last few weeks, a huge announcement from our client, Love Hemp, involving a sporting heavyweight, our take on the positive messages from this year’s men’s football European Championships, and a look at the recent news flow from our clients.
If there’s anything we share in the Big Picture that you’d like to know more about, please get in touch by emailing email@example.com or reach out to us on Twitter - @blytheweigh.
You won’t need us to remind you that sport has been well and truly ‘kicking’ off the summer. After 18 months of empty stadiums and cancelled fixtures, a bumper-packed few weeks consisting of the men’s football European Championship, the Wimbledon Championships, the build up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Tour de France, to name a few, have set the ball rolling for events to celebrate and unite not only avid sport fans, but a country that’s been separated by the walls of our homes for too long.
The forthcoming Tokyo Olympics has been the subject of numerous headlines over the past few weeks as organisers have been left scrambling for ways to plan the events amid a ‘state of emergency’ in Tokyo as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise. Despite impending pressure on Tokyo medical services and the fact that only 15% of the country is fully vaccinated, the international Olympic Committee President has insisted the games go ahead, with the country’s prime minster also promising the delivery of the games. The latest blow to proceedings, joining a series of setbacks and overrun budgets, is that over half of the venues hosting the events will bar spectators.
On a more positive Olympics related note, five new sporting events were added to the Tokyo programme in an attempt to attract a younger audience. These sports include karate, skateboarding (where Team GB will be represented by 13-year-old, and World Championship bronze medal winner, Sky Brown, who is considered a major contender), surfing, baseball and sport climbing.
In other sporting news, Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title on Sunday against Matteo Berrettini, meeting his rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the 20-grand-slam winning post. Djokovic said of his fellow champions: “They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career. They are the reason that I am where I am today.” The player will now be looking towards the Olympics, although has stated he is unsure whether or not he will compete. Another historic milestone was made in Djokovic’s triumphant final game, as Marija Cicak became the first female umpire to oversee a Wimbledon men’s singles final.
The previous day, Ashleigh Barty beat Karolina Pliskova and became the first Australian women’s champion in 41 years whilst securing her first Wimbledon title. The game, which was described by some as a rollercoaster to watch, was the first occasion since 1977 where the two players competing were making their debut in a Wimbledon final.
Blytheweigh zooms in… on the things that did come home
The aftermath of the final game of the men's 2020 European football championship between England and Italy hosted at Wembley Stadium is still being felt, for reasons beyond the disappointment that England’s letters weren’t the ones engraved onto the Henri Delaunay Trophy on Sunday night. The momentous evening - which saw the team reach its furthest point in the history of the tournament, and the furthest the team has gone in a major international tournament since winning the World Cup in 1966 – has been somewhat marred by vile racist abuse targeted towards members of the England team: Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
The reactions of a very small minority, whose voices are given an opportunity to be heard loud and far as a result of social media, have been the overriding focus this week, and have, rightly, been condemned by Gareth Southgate, the England manager, who called the abuse “unforgiveable”, as well as the Metropolitan Police who are investigating the abuse, stating that “it will not be tolerated". The UEFA issued a statement saying that it stood by the players and “FA’s call for the strongest possible punishments”.
These events have sparked disgust and outrage, and serious conversations about how abuse like this on social media can be stopped. Additionally, we believe it’s important to acknowledge the sentiment shared by Gareth Southgate during a press conference following the game, that the England team had ‘been a beacon of light in bringing people together, in people being able to relate to the national team’ and that they had ‘shown the power our country has when it does come together’. We therefore thought we’d take the opportunity to explore the hugely positive impact the England team and their performance over the summer has had for the country:
The final was watched by 30.95 million viewers, broadcast on both ITV and the BBC, with combined viewing figures making it the highest TV audience in recent history. It was the focal point for people coming together physically in gardens, pubs, living rooms; or in spirit, wearing the same shirts, with the same colours painted on faces up and down the country. It was an event that united a country that can so often feel disjointed and fractured, as we came together to cheer on a team that in itself highlights how success and strength comes about as a result of diversity and differences in age, background, religion and ethnicity.
England’s team was the second youngest in the tournament, with an average age of just 25, and the young team only have to wait one year until the next major tournament, the World Cup. This means there’s every chance the same team will come back stronger, more experienced and buoyed with this year’s success to give ‘bringing it home’ another good go – which is definitely something to get behind and look forward to.
Gareth Southgate issuing the ‘Dear England’ letter prior to the tournament highlighted the team belonging to an ‘experience that lasts in the collective consciousness of our country’, and how, therefore, it is their duty to use the influence of their voices to raise awareness and educate on matters of equality, inclusion and racial injustice. We’ve seen evidence of this when Harry Kane wore a rainbow armband to mark pride month during one of the fixtures, in Marcus Rashford’s campaigns to tackle child food poverty and the way Raheem Sterling works to fight racial injustice, for which he was awarded an MBE, as well as the foundation he set up to improve the social mobility of disadvantaged young people.
The England team have said that a significant chunk of the second-place prize money (which is set to be around £21.4 million) will be donated to NHS charities as part of the #PlayersTogether initiative.
And lastly… men and boys up and down the country can now relate to the painstaking science that goes into the upkeep of bleached blonde hair as the Phil Foden ‘do’ became the latest look. Purple shampoo and deep-conditioner, people.
A focus on... Boxing Legend, Anthony Joshua, teams up with Love Hemp
In what has been an exciting month for sports, Bw client, Love Hemp Group announced a knock-out (pardon the pun) endorsement agreement with two-time Heavyweight Champion of the World and Olympic gold medallist, Anthony Joshua OBE.
As an amateur, Joshua represented England at the 2011 World Championships in the super-heavyweight division, winning a silver medal. He also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, winning gold.
As part of the agreement, Anthony Joshua is committed to becoming an ambassador of the Love Hemp brand and a key voice in the Company's mission to promote its wellness brand. In the longer term, Love Hemp and Anthony Joshua will also collaborate on a licenced range of CBD products for athletes, championing the company's development in its work to position CBD as an internationally recognised, certified products for athletes.
Commenting on the Agreement, Anthony Joshua OBE, said: "Love Hemp is a great brand with an amazing vision. The ability of CBD to improve people's everyday lives is undeniable. I have a passion for dynamic British businesses, and for wellness, making Love Hemp a perfect brand for me to endorse and become a shareholder in. My work with Love Hemp will allow me to be involved in the Company's aggressive growth strategy as well as developing my own branded wellness focused CBD products. Everyone should be able to experience and enjoy the many benefits CBD provides. I look forward to working with Love Hemp to achieve this goal."
This announcement follow’s Love Hemp string of high-profile partnerships, including the Group’s five year, multi-million-dollar global partnership agreement with the UFC, the world's premier mixed martial arts organisation and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world (view release). Love Hemp also re-signed UFC current Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman, otherwise known as the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’, as a brand ambassador for a further year (view release).
The following updates were released from Blytheweigh clients from 15th June – 14th July.
Amur Minerals [AIM: AMC] released its final yearly results for 2020, with work on TEO being continued (view release). Amur swiftly followed this announcement with a JORC Resource Update of the Kun-Manie Nickle-Copper Project, increasing the tonnage by 19.2 Million tonnes (Mt) to 174.3Mt of Resources, with Nickel increasing by 156,000 tonnes (t) and Copper by 53,000t (view release).
Following on from Apollon Formularies’ [AQSE: APOL] remarkable HER+2 breast cancer results, the Company also announced that its medical cannabis formulations, combined with AION’s medicinal mushrooms, were successful in killing triple-negative breast cancer cells in 3D cell cultures (view release).
Arkle Resources [AIM: ARK] provided an update on the Mine River, announcing the results from the second and third holes of the 12 hole drilling programme. The results showed five intersections (view release). Shortly after the Mine River results the company released the Final Year Results for 2020 (view release). The company then announced preliminary results from its fourth drillhole of the diamond drilling programme being undertaken at the Company's 100% owned Mine River Gold Project in Wicklow/Wexford (view release).
Beowulf Mining published its annual report and at the AGM all six resolutions were passed (view release).
An exciting month for Bluejay Mining [AIM: JAY] as the Greenland Government approved the Exploitation and Closure Plan for the Dundas Ilmenite Project (view release), alongside this the company held its AGM and had all resolutions duly passed (view release). The company later revealed that it had identified five initial drill targets at its Outokumpu Project in eastern Finland (view release).
Caledonia Mining [AIM: CMCL] announced record production of approximately 16,710 ounces of gold during the Quarter in the company’s Q2 results this month (view release). The company also announced an increased quarterly dividend (view release).
The gold producer also announced it would be commencing the process of pursuing a listing of depositary receipts representing the company's shares on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in Zimbabwe (view release).
Central Asia Metals [AIM: CAML] released its H1 operations update in the first half of July, providing an update on the Kounrad dump leach, solvent extraction and electro-winning copper recovery plant in Kazakhstan and the Sasa zinc-lead mine in North Macedonia (view release).
Since listing last month, Cloudbreak Discovery [LSE: CLD] has been busy, forming a strategic alliance with Alianza Minerals for the exploration of copper deposits in the US (view release). Cloudbreak has also teamed up with Temas Resources to jointly develop a boron project located in Serbia (view release). Alongside this, Imperial Helium, in which it owns a 1.25 per cent interest, commenced operations and spudded an initial well on its Steveville Property, in Alberta (view release).
Cornish Lithium raised £6 million via crowdfunding on Crowdcube to progress its geothermal and hardrock projects in Cornwall, reaching the £6 million target within 20 minutes (view release). It later announced that it would be sponsoring the Cornwall Heritage Trust’s School Transport Grants scheme for the next year (view release).
Cornish Metals [AIM: CUSN] released its interim financial statement and MD&A for the first quarter of 2021 (view release). It then announced it had approved certain amendments to its By-Law Number 1, which includes provisions relating to advance notice of shareholder nominees for election of directors and provisions expressly allowing for delivery of notices, communications and documents to shareholders by electronic means and other means permitted by applicable Canadian securities laws (view release).
The Cornish-based miner also shared the news that it would restructure the deferred consideration to be paid to the Sellers on the acquisition of the South Crofty tin project and associated mineral rights in 2016 (view release). Drill results from the company’s current diamond drilling programme at the United Downs copper - tin project, Cornwall UK, were also shared (view release).
Condor Gold [AIM: CNR] had a string of positive updates in relation to the development of its gold project, La India, starting with the news that it had selected Hannon Engineering as the Lead Engineer for a Feasibility Study Design for a new processing plant around the newly acquired SAG Mill at the La India Gold Project (view release). The company later announced a significant drill intercept of 14.9 meter (m) true width at 3.94g/t Gold after completing a 3,500m of a 5,000m diamond drilling programme at the Cacao Vein (view release). Then came the release of final assay results from the Southern Start Pit, just beneath the La India Starter Pits (view release).
Dando Drilling International, a historic UK-based drill rig manufacturer, hosted an Open Day in the presence of the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, to celebrate the launch of its Infinity Range. The following day, Nicolas Gibb, MP for Littlehampton and Bognor Regis also visited the Dando factory to visit the team and learn more about the new range (view article).
A significant step in America was made by European Metals Holdings [AIM: EMH] this month as the company appointed Deutsche Bank as the depositary bank for its American Depositary Shares (ADS) and is expected to start trading on the OTC Market as a member of the NASDAQ (view release).
Hummingbird Resources [AIM: HUM] started off the month by announcing that all resolutions at its AGM were duly passed (view release). Continuing a good month, Hummingbird released the updated Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Dugbe Gold Project in Liberia showing that the mine will produce 2.5 million ounces of gold over the 14-year life of mine with an average annual gold production of 188,000 ounces (view release). There was also an update on its exploration drilling programme at the Sanioumale East deposit at the Yanfolila gold mine, Mali (view release).
In the start of a busy month for Ionic Rare Earths [ASX:IXR] it announced Mincore Pty Ltd as the Engineer Manager Role for the completion of the Feasibility Study for the Makuutu Rare Earth’s Project in Uganda (view release). The company then notified the market that it had appointed Ms. Jill Kelley as an Executive Director to drive engagement with key stakeholders and potential end-users in the US (view release).
There was then an update on the progress of its drilling programme at Makuutu, with Ionic sharing it had initiated the Phase 4 drill program with the second drill rig now mobilised, and to date completed 55 drill holes (687 metres), as well as being on track for the mobilisation of the third rig to site at the end of July in what will be the largest program initiated at Makuutu (view release). The company also released a letter to shareholders providing a forecast of its plans for the coming months (view release).
The final Molybdenum assessment results were received for Los Andes Copper’s [TSX-V:LAC] Vizcachitas Copper Project in Chile as part of the Pre-Feasibility Study showing a recovery rate of 91.4% (view release).
Oriole Resources [AIM: ORR] announced that all resolutions were passed at its AGM (view release) and confirmed gold at all four prospects during the release of its final results at Bibemi (view release). Oriole provided an update on the Thani Stratex Gold Exploration Project in Djibouti, announcing the first £2.5 million tranche of funding was used to undertake drilling programme at Pandora and Hesdaba (view release).
Later in the month, it shared drill results from TSD's Phase 2 exploration programme at the Assaleyta project (view release). The company also announced that Claire Bay, VP Exploration and Development, had been appointed to the Board of Directors as Executive Director, Exploration and Business Development , with immediate effect (view release).
Pharma C Investments [AQSE: PCIL], an early-stage investor and venture builder in the medical cannabis industry with a particular focus on ancillary businesses, announced the appointment of Toby Shillito to the Board as Chief Business Development Officer (view release).
Phoenix Copper [AIM:PXC] announced the filing of the Plan of Operations with the Bureau of Land Management on 30 June 2021, for review and approval for the construction and operation of the Empire Mine Open Pit in Custer County, Idaho, USA (view release).
Phoenix also shared the update that it would be creating an Environmental, Social and Governance and Sustainability Committee that will enhance its social and environmental strategy as a responsible corporate citizen (view release).
This month Thor Explorations [TSX-V: THX] announced its admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange AIM (AIM:THX) on the 22nd June with a Market Capitalisation of £127 million (view release). Later in the month, the Company announced exercise of share options for 500,000 common shares (view release).