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I’ve been a bit preoccupied in recent weeks with a certain fund manager so thought I should catch up with a few old friends on AIM this weekend but it transpires that not a lot has actually happened. It made me realise more than ever that AIM is much more about the travelling I hope than the arriving. Accordingly, I thought it was more appropriate to write a piece heralding the 7 Mythical Wonders of the AIM Casino instead.
First up is the MCPP Financial Close at Kibo Mining (KIBO). Louis Coetzee has been talking about this treasure at the end of the rainbow for as long as I can remember but it feels closer than ever right now. There was an announcement pre-Christmas that the MOU would be signed within 10-12 “working days” and then an RNS on Friday stating that an all-party meeting has been called for Monday. How exciting; apparently the PPA will follow in Q1 and then the financial close could be upon us imminently after that.
Obviously, that’s exactly what one would do if was just going to sign an MOU - call an all-party meeting to discuss it rather than just sign the bloody thing, but we shall see. If nothing else, the countdown clock of “10-12 working days” over Christmas provided a good share price tick-up and nice liquidity should a HNWI or a Darwin have been interested in forward selling some stock prior to another funding round #justsayin’.
Second up is the Loch Ness Monster that is the Baita Plai mining licence at Vast Resources (VAST). Every now and then there is a rare apparent sighting of the beast which leads to great excitement and a fund-raising as $1.6 million always seems to be required as part of the licensing process and then it all goes quiet again. It reminds me of the Nessie hunters spending months out at sea with expensive sonar equipment searching in vain to verify the sighting before heading home disappointed and disillusioned.…until the next time that is.
An old favourite of mine is the Mysterious Cities of Gold at Xtract Resources (XTR), more specifically the prospect of ever being cashflow positive. Jan Nelson used to talk about Chepica trading profitably and generating cash way back at the start of 2015, which was utter tosh but it helped to get the Manica acquisition placing away if nothing else (at 60p in current money if memory serves me correct). However, I thought this was getting close recently with the low risk alluvials mining operation underway and the first announcement of about $90,000 received was encouraging; however, the last RNS stating that Xtract was lending money to the contractors has confused me somewhat as that doesn’t seem to be the low-risk approach I was expecting.
Lending money to a contractor so that it can then pay that back to you hardly sounds like an absolute money-spinner but I expect we will learn more with the next announcement. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw more dilution and share issuance from Esteban aka Colin Bird as he raises further money to fund his travels on the Golden Condor.
The Melody VR launch at EVR Holdings (EVRH) is a good old-fashioned unicorn or a “soonicorn” as it was laughably mis-named about a year or so ago on Twitter. This app was originally meant to launch in 2016 and then in 2017 and now, apparently, it will be launched in 2018 although the business seems to have gone awfully quiet on the actual details of the app and the timing of the launch recently but I guess as the founders have got £5 million in their back pockets now, they’ve had other things to focus on such as whether to go for a bottle of the Veuve Clicquot, the Dom Perignon or the Cristal.
The launch of Worthington Newco / Whetstone Capital was a true potential Phoenix from the Ashes and although there were various delays with the listing moving last year from March to May to June to September to November, I actually thought that the listing was going to happen last Friday only for hopes to be cruelly dashed at the last minute.
All I will say is that I for one know and appreciate, Aidan, that you have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that small Worthington shareholders receive a gifted mirror image shareholding in Whetstone Capital and although that commitment appears to have been the cause for the latest issue, I have no doubt that you will continue to pursue this relentlessly until you succeed as it is the right thing to do. Good luck with your efforts!
Proving up and selling the Zebediela nickel mine at URU Metals (URU) has been on John Zorbas’ to-do list for about four years now and it doesn’t ever seem to get much closer - it’s his very own search for the Holy Grail. I note from the interim results released at Christmas that some more drilling has taken place apparently and results are due soon. I imagine that the news will really pick up as and when more funding is required later this year. The good news on that front though is that URU’s largest shareholder, the Zorbas investment vehicle Captor Capital, has recently raised a whole load of cash principally to invest in a cannabis play but there should be a bit left over to keep this quest ticking along for a good while yet.
I’ll finish with a Shareprophets favourite, our very own Father Christmas, always expected around this festive time of the year but very difficult to spot, even if you’ve been an extremely good boy – it’s the 100p share price at Optibiotix (OPTI).
All joking aside, I’ve resolved to be a bit less cynical in 2018 so I do actually hope that all seven of these come to fruition this year…..although I’d be amazed if more than three of them did.
Damn – must try harder!
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