15 April 2021
In this month’s Big Picture, we look at some of the biggest news stories that have caught the Blytheweigh team’s attention, which include the sale of the first ever tweet (for $2.9 million!?) as well as the rise in food waste apps that are great for preventing unnecessary food waste but also a brilliant way to grab a bargain for lunch.
As a firm, we were busy handling some big announcements from our clients over the past few weeks, which included Apollon Formularies listing onto the Aquis Exchange - a story which is the subject of our ‘focus on’ feature this month, as well as Thor Explorations announcing its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. Full details of all the announcements our clients made since the last Big Picture are available towards the end of this post.
This month we take a ‘dive’ into a hobby that has gained plenty of traction on social media and has been the subject of many thought-pieces across the media over the last few months: open-water swimming. The idea is that braving a cold dip in a wild body of water (or your local lido – it does have to be unheated to count though!) for up to 10 minutes could (and in many testaments has) resulted in a myriad of physical and mental benefits.
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 technology sector this month, the first ever tweet was sold for $2.9 million. The tweet was posted by Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey, back in 2006, and simply read ‘just setting up my twttr’. The purchase of the digital product was compared by the buyer, Sina Estavi, as tantamount to purchasing the Mona Lisa. Jack Dorsey has said the huge sum would first be converted to bitcoin and then donated to Give Directly's Africa Response fund.
Furthermore, in the tech sphere, it was reported that 3.4 million people worldwide have made use of apps, such as ‘Too Good To Go’, which aim to tackle food waste. These apps allow users to purchase food from popular restaurants, cafes, hotels and shops, that would have otherwise been discarded, for significantly reduced prices. The rise in popularity of apps such as these, which also includes similar initiatives run by Klarna and Olio, follows reports that around a third of all food produced globally goes to waste, a pattern which means that 30% of the worlds agricultural land is creating food that isn’t being eaten.
In mid-March, the Government announced it would be spending £1.5 billion to help boost the environmental efficiency of key public sector buildings such as schools and hospitals. It announced that the majority of the fund (£932 million) would be allocated to upgrading public sector buildings by installing heat pumps, solar power and increased insulation to make the buildings more energy efficient. A fraction of the sum would be spent on an industrial decarbonisation fund, which includes hydrogen gas and carbon capture, and storage technology projects that aim to cut emissions by two-thirds over the next 15 years.
Commentators have pointed out that the budget ignores much-needed improvements to private housing, which accounts for 14% of the UK’s total emissions.
History was made in sport this month when Rebecca Welch became the first female referee to take charge of a Football League match. The experienced referee was officially appointed to oversee Harrogate Town’s game against Port Vale on Easter Monday. Also this month, Rachael Blackmore, riding, Minella Times, became the first female jockey to win the Grand National after numerous victories at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year.
Blytheweigh zooms in… Open-water swimming
Perhaps due to our new-found thirst for experiencing new things, or simply ‘things’ to do whilst the pubs/shops/cinemas/theatres remain closed, various hobbies have cropped up in the headlines or in conversations among friends: pilates, baking, running, crochet, cycling, chess... the list goes on.
Another pursuit that has sparked the interest of a growing number of the British public is outdoor, or even wild, swimming. The notion can be divisive and viewed either with almost evangelical enthusiasm by its fans as a miraculous tool which alleviates or sooths pains and chronic conditions that medicines have been unable to resolve or is met with horror and responses along the lines of ‘why on earth would you?’. But having an (unheated) dip in the local lido, pond, lake or the big blue ocean – even during winter – is receiving an increasing number of votes from the pro camp.
In 2020, online sports retailer Wiggle reported an 80% increase in their sales of wetsuits; whilst the National Open Water Coaching Association noted the number of swimmers using its services was up by 323 per cent year on year. According to Sport England, 4.1 million people go outdoor swimming, and the genre has become a particular social media trend and headline favourite over the past months.
The numbers don’t require too much head-scratching; over the past year reflections cast by the general public have predominantly consisted of one half sharing their awareness of how fortunate they’ve been to have had access to outside space, with the other half yearning for grass to lounge on in a way they never have in the past. Both parties have also undoubtedly, at one point, been asked, about adopting a new hobby during lockdown.
So, our desire to engage with the natural world and the shock-factor of submerging oneself into waters that can be as low as 12°C, seems to be neatly packaged up in heading to the local outdoor swimming pool or braving the wild waters of a (safe) lake. However, people haven’t only taken it up in the past year; it’s had legions of hardcore fans for years. Although there’s a lack of substantive evidence, there have been many anecdotal claims made by wild swimming fans that they’ve experienced significant health benefits from the cold waters. As well as the ‘euphoria’ people claim they feel after pushing past the initial shock and pain of the cold, people have also witnessed improvements in musculoskeletal issues (such as arthritis), depression, migraines and chronic pain. At the very basic level, people liken it to a more extreme version of splashing one’s face with cold water to get some focus, perspective, and energy. It’s that feeling but multiplied.
If this sounds up your street, here are some great spots if you live in or close to London, or you can check out for some outdoor swimming locations around the country. The general consensus is to always buddy up, to take it slow at first (only stay in for 10 minutes on your first try), and to not enter water that’s below 10°C.
- Brockwell park lido
- Hampstead Heath swimming ponds
- Tooting Bec lido
- Serpentine lido
- Beckenham Place Park
Slightly further afield options if you want to give wild swimming a whirl:
- River Thames, Pangbourne Meadow
- River Thames, Marlow (halfway between Marlow station and Cock Marsh)
- Wey Navigation, Shalford
- River Cam, Cambridge
A focus on... Apollon Formularies joins the London Market
After two years in the making, medical cannabis company, Apollon Formularies officially joined the Aquis Exchange on 13 April 2021 (view release). Apollon is based in Negril, Jamaica, where it holds a suite of licences and is fully regulated, allowing the Company to work with full spectrum oils inclusive of THC.
The Company holds a unique position as one of the few listed European companies able to undertake medically supervised treatments, inclusive of utilising THC, to allow for drug discovery and the development of additional formulations.
Dr. Stephen Barnhill, CEO, and Founder of Apollon Formularies said on the listing, “We achieved an important milestone, and I am proud of the team and the work that has been done to get us here. With a full listing on the AQSE Growth Market, we will now set about to scale up our already impressive operation.”
Apollon’s state-of-the-art large scale processing laboratory in Negril is fitted to produce high volume, high quality, full spectrum medical cannabis oil with both high and low THC content. The Company currently produces a range of pharmaceutical & nutraceutical medicines as well as a range of other medical cannabis-related products. Many of these formulations were created using Apollon’s proprietary artificial intelligence techniques.
Apollon is also partnered with Doc’s Wellness Centre in Negril, Jamaica, an in-patient treatment facility for use by patients needing access to prescribed medical cannabis. Here, Apollon is licenced to dispense its medical cannabis formulations, which are inclusive of THC, via prescriptions.
Now with the momentum of a London listing, Apollon will set about using the £2.5 million raised as part of Admission (view release) to scale up operations, identify international customers for its high-quality oils, commercialise the development of its 3D printer for production of medical cannabis sublingual, oral and suppository products and continue its R&D to develop the Apollon product line.
The following updates were released from Blytheweigh clients from 15th March – 15th April.
The month kicked off with news from Phoenix Copper [AIM: PXC] that it had appointed Zachary J. Black as General Manager responsible for the Idaho operations (view release).
The Company also reported that all of the resolutions put to shareholders relating to the conditional Placing and Subscription to raise £16.45 million and Open Offer to raise up to an additional £1.95 million, at the General Meeting were duly passed. It also announced that the Open Offer was 15.63 per cent oversubscribed and accordingly it raised £1.95 million via the Open Offer and total gross proceeds of approximately £18.40 million through the Fundraise (view release).
It later announced that Magee Geophysical Services had been appointed to conduct geophysical surveys at the Company's Red Star silver-lead project and Navarre Creek gold project (view release).
Also confirmed was the news that Alford Drilling had been awarded the contracts for the 2021 Navarre Creek reverse circulation and the Red Star and Horseshoe diamond core drilling programmes. Drillrite LLC was awarded the contracts for the 2021 Empire deep sulphide drilling and for the drilling and construction of hydrological monitoring wells (view release).
To round off a busy month, Phoenix announced it had added 1,160-acres of unpatented claims to the Empire claim group (view release).
Amur Minerals [AIM:AMC] announced that it had received its Q1 2021 interest payment of US$161,206 based on the US$4.67 million Convertible Loan Note investment for the resumption of production at the Northern Territories, Australia Roper Bar Iron Ore Project operated by Nathan River Resources (view release).
Anglo Asian Mining [AIM:AAZ] provided a production, sales and operations review for its Gedabek asset for the three months to 31 March 2021 together with its production guidance for the full year to 31 December 2021 (view release).
Meanwhile, Botswana Diamonds [AIM: BOD] announced that 11 diamonds and abundant kimberlitic indicators were recovered from drill samples at the recently discovered River Kimberlite pipe at its Thorny River asset in the Limpopo Province of South Africa (view release).
The Company also released its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2020 during which time the Company had made significant progress on its diamond development projects in both Botswana and South Africa (view release).
On 15th April, Botswana advised that a further drilling programme on its Thorny River diamond prospect in the Limpopo Province of South Africa will begin Monday, 19 April 2021 (view release).
Caledonia Mining [AIM: CMCL] celebrate being included in the MVIS Global Junior Gold Miners Index for the first time following the GDXJ Index's first quarter 2021 review (view release).
The Company also released its operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020 (view release). As well as announcing that its Central Shaft has been brought in to operation (view release), and announced an increased quarterly dividend of 12 United States cents (US$0.12) on each of the Company's shares (view release). Its fifth increase in the quarterly dividend since October 2019.
Central Asia Metals [AIM: CAML] announced its full year results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2020 (view release), declaring a 2020 full year dividend of 14 pence per share and full year 2021 guidance of 23,000 and 25,000 tonnes zinc in concentrate, 30,000 and 32,000 tonnes lead in concentrate and 12,500 and 13,500 tonnes copper.
The Company also announced that Mike Prentis had joined the CAML Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director (view release).
CAML later released a Q1 2021 operations update for its Kounrad and Sasa operations (view release).
Condor Gold [AIM: CNR], announced that the first 40 drill holes for a combined 2,170 metres of diamond drill core had been completed on the La India Starter Pit infill drilling programme (view release).
Later in the month, the Company announced its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020 and details of its Annual General Meeting (view release).
Cornish Metals [AIM: CUSN] announced it had commenced diamond drilling at its United Downs copper-tin project in Cornwall UK (view release).
Historic drill rig manufacturer, Dando Drilling International, announced the launch of its Infinity Range which uses an innovative modular rig design (view release).
European Metals [AIM: EMH] released its six months interim results ending 31st December 2020 (view release).
Griffin Mining announced its results for the three months to 31st March 2021 (view release), reporting production of 8,231 tonnes zinc in concentrate and 3,504 ounces of gold in concentrate.
Hummingbird Resources [AIM: HUM] announced an internal Mineral Resource Estimate update for its Yanfolila Mine in Mali (view release), where it discovered a total of 255,600 ounces of gold during the 2020 exploration programme across three key deposits. Reporting total project mineral resources (Indicated and Inferred) as at 31 December 2020 of 1,929,000 ounces of gold.
It also shared an update on its 2021 exploration drilling programme also at Yanfolila (view release) which it has doubled its budget to $10 million.
Imperial X [AQSE: IMPP] announced its intention to join the Official List of the London Stock Exchange, upon which the Company will become Cloudbreak Discovery, a project generator and natural resource business (view release).
Elsewhere, Ionic Rare Earths [ASX: IXR] announced it had commenced with the next phase of its drilling programme at the Makuutu Rare Earths Project (view release). It later announced that a Rotary Air Blast drilling programme was also underway (view release). Ionic also announced that metallurgical testing associated with increasing the knowledge of key inputs to be applied to the Feasibility Study to be completed at Makuutu had also begun (view release). First stage approval from Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority for the project was also received this month (view release).
On the 7th April, Ionic announced it had signed a milestone non-binding MOU with global rare earth giant, Chinalco (view release).
Ironveld [AIM: IRON] also released its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2020 at the close of March (view release).
Over the past month Love Hemp Group [AQSE: LIFE] set about implementing its global growth strategy through a strategic partnership with the UFC (view release), successfully raising £7 million (view release) and announcing its intention to move to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange later this year (view release).
Nussir ASA announced it had signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Hammerfest Municipality which confirms that Nussir has received support for the Project from local political parties (view release).
Oriole Resources [AIM: ORR] had a busy few weeks. It shared news from Thani Stratex Resources, of whom the Company has an interest in, that it signed a binding Heads of Terms agreement with private investment company Red Sea Resources with respect to earning up to an 85% interest in Hodine, the Company’s exploration licence in Egypt (view release).
Oriole also shared an update on its ongoing maiden diamond drilling programme at the Bibemi gold project in Cameroon, sharing that it was a third of the way through the planned programme (view release).
Later in March, it provided results from the first hole of a planned 28-hole programme, showing returned best grades of 1 metre grading 4.09 grammes per tonne gold and 1 metre grading 0.67 grammes per tonne gold, confirming the continuity of the orogenic gold system to more than 90 metres below surface (view release).
On the 12th April, another update on the programme was announced that visible free gold mineralisation has been identified in multiple holes; at the Lawa West prospect (hole BBDD019) and the Lawa East prospect (holes BBDD014 and BBDD020), both located towards the southern extent of the system (view release).
Also this month, the Company reported drilling surface grab sampling results from Phase 1 exploration at the Hesdaba project, owned by Thani Stratex Djibouti of whom ORR has an interest in where AMED Fund III is managing and funding a multi-million dollar exploration programme (view release).
Oriole also released news on its Senala project in Senegal, where joint venture partner IAMGOLD Corporation has the option to spend up to US$8 million to earn a 70 per cent. The Company reported that an agreement has been reached with IAMGOLD in respect of carrying forward an underspend of US$172,000 into Year 4 (view release).
The Company then released its final results for the year ended 31 December 2020 (view release).
Towards the beginning of April, it also confirmed it secured a controlling position in Reservoir Minerals Cameroon Sarl, a former subsidiary of Bureau d'Etudes et d'Investigations Géologico-minières, Géotechniques et Géophysiques SARL, for its early-stage exploration licences in Cameroon (view release).
Testing continues at Pantheon Resource’s [AIM: PANR] Talitha #A well on the North Slope of Alaska. The Company engaged the use of Volatile Analysis Service to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the Kapurak zone, the deepest of five oil-bearing horizons encountered (view release).
Thor Explorations [TSXV: THX] had a very significant few weeks that begun with the announcement of materially positive results for the updated Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimate and improved Life Of Mine plan for its Segilola Gold Project in Nigeria (view release).
At the end of March, it announced its intention to seek admission to trading of its common shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, targeting Admission during Q2 2021. This listing would be supplementary to the Company’s listing on the TSX-V in Canada (view release).
The Company later confirmed it had signed an agreement with Barrick Gold Corporation which terminates the 2015 Earn-In Agreement between Thor and Acacia Mining PLC (Acacia Mining PLC has subsequently been acquired by Barrick), on the Central Houndé Project in south-western Burkina Faso (view release).
Australian listed, Walkabout Resources [ASX:WKT] earlier this week announced it had secured US$20 million project finance facility for the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Project in Tanzania (view release). The Company signed an agreement for a debt facility with Tanzania Bank CRDB.