There was decent follow through on the upside at precious metals trading and exploration company, Wishbone Gold (WSBN) after the announcement earlier in the week that Afzal Valli had taken a 3% stake. Indeed, at one stage the shares were up over 30% to reach a peak of 9.29p. They settled up 15%, and leaving a feeling that perhaps the new stakebuilder had been adding to his position.
The boom in mini miners continues apace, with the point being underlined by the daily “speeding ticket” RNS announcements – designed to cool share prices. In the spotlight today was Panthera Resources (PAT) with the stock peaking at 19.9p versus 5p a week ago. It finished up 69% after the gold exploration and development company confirmed that all material events as required under the AIM Rules had been announced. Panthera added that it “continues to work closely with its strategic partner in India, Galaxy Gold Mining Pvt Ltd, to unlock a favourable outcome to the protracted Prospecting License application process for its flagship Bhukia Joint Venture project in Rajasthan.” Clearly, ongoing market speculation regarding the outcome explains the massive rally in the stock.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there was a sharp initial surge in shares of fast growing pharma services group Open Orphan (ORPH), largely on the basis of the latest announcement from the company that it is set to become even more fast growing. This is in the wake of news it had signed a contract with the UK Government for the development of a COVID-19 Human Challenge Study Model. The contract was set to start immediately and be worth £10m to Open Orphan’s hVIVO subsidiary. Last week Open Orphan said that it was in advanced discussions with the UK Government regarding a Coronavirus Challenge Study.
Of course, since the pandemic started there have been plenty of small caps remaking and remodelling themselves as COVID-19 plays, with varying degrees of success. The latest entrant is Vela Technologies (VELA) which announced that it has acquired an economic interest in a late-stage Phase II therapeutic project to develop a potential coronavirus treatment for diabetics. Vela said that following completion of a £10.3 million investment in August 2020, the project is now fully funded with results of current Phase II trial expected in Q2 2021. To fulfil its part of the deal, a consideration of £2.35 million, Vela has raised £1.25 million via a placing of new ordinary shares at 0.065 pence per share. Shares of Vela peaked at just shy of 0.1p before closing just above 0.07p for a rise of 15%.
Speaking of remodelling, it could be that Trafalgar Property (TRAF) becomes the next company to follow in Vela’s footsteps in terms of injecting an asset into a shell situation, or as the bulletin boards are chasing, a RTO. In the meantime the shares bounced 14%, off recent consistent 0.14p zone support.
Late riser of the day was drug repurposing specialist, Nuformix (NFX), which managed to finish the session with a 23% rise. This came after a quite comprehensive update from the company a couple of weeks ago, where apparently investors were left waiting for quite a lot to happen. This includes a new CEO, board members, and on various drugs – a COVID-19 trial announcement, preclinical study announcement, royalties news, and collaboration / development updates.
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