It had been a quiet year so far the Mkango Resources share price, but the stock jumped into action this week.
Investors poured money into the junior explorer after it inked a “transformational” deal which will fund the development of its Songwe Hill rare earth minerals project in Malawi.
Talaxis – a subsidiary of Noble Group – has agreed to plough in £12mln to fund a bankable feasibility study at Songwe in return for a 49% stake in the project.
It also has the option to acquire a further 26% interest, if it arranges funding for the project’s development.
Assuming Talaxis takes all of the potential stake, the deal means Mkango will retain a 25% holding in Songwe and is free-carried to production.
Talaxis’ investment might not just be limited to Songwe either.
Mkango recently announced a new venture with Metalysis focused on alloy powders and magnet technologies, which Talaxis can take a 49% stake in by investing £2mln in two tranches.
Shares gained 151.9% across the week to 9p.
Aukett Swanke Group was another big riser on the junior market this week – up 37.3% to 2.8p – as it unveiled a “significant” new project win which will see it design and deliver a ‘swanky’ new mall in Dubai.
The Lesso Mall – named after the Chinese client which commissioned Aukett – will provide more than 1.2mln square feet of retail space plus various car parks on a “prominent site” in the country.
To give you an idea of the size, the Westfield White City shopping centre in London and Bluewater in Kent are only slightly larger so it’s safe to say it will be a big undertaking.
The mall is expected to be completed by mid-2020 which, along with other confirmed work, will give Aukett’s Dubai operation decent revenue visibility over the medium term, the firm said.
There was nothing particularly majestic about Regal Petroleum’s performance this week after the junior oiler told investors its offices in Ukraine had been raided by the country’s tax authorities.
Regal said its offices and warehouses in Kiev and Yakhnyky – where its MEX-GOL and SV gas projects are located – were searched last week, with officials removing documents and impounding some equipment.
The company said it is getting its legal team on the case, claiming the raids were “entirely unjustified” and against Ukrainian law in a “significant number of areas”.
Regal tried to reassure investors saying that business is continuing as normal, but that wasn’t enough to stop some selling up with shares down 16.3% to 6.1p.
Elsewhere it looks like posh wallpaper maker Walker Greenbank might have spoken a little too soon in last month’s bullish interim results statement.
Back then, the company said order intake was growing ahead of last year and was “on an improving trend” in the run-up to its key autumn selling period.
However since that announcement, order intake has not been sustained and brand sales in the UK having “weakened significantly” against management expectations. Sod’s law some might say.
Given that this is supposed to be a prime sales period for the company, Walker now expects full-year profits to be 10% lower than previously forecast. Shares plunged 36.6% to 137.1p.
It’s been a fairly poor week for the global markets as a whole, and both the junior and blue chip indices reflected that.
The AIM All Share shed 1.3%, or 13.3 points, to sit at 1,023.5 come Friday afternoon, while the FTSE 100 fell 0.6%, or 42 points, to 7,390.9.
Fishing Republic was one of the junior market’s biggest fallers this week as it launched a strategic review alongside a wholesale board shake-up after a sharp downturn in trading from October sparked a big profit warning.
Chris Griffin – formerly e-commerce director at SuperGroup – has been appointed acting chief executive and will undertake the review of the sport fishing retailer.
Like-for-like store sales dropped by 13% last month compared to growth of 16% in the nine months up to the end of September, while the group’s online business has also been affected.
The company – which sells fishing tackle, rods and clothing – said it would likely slump to a loss this year as it blamed an intense price war and rising competition for the drop-off in performance. Shares sunk 49.2% to 20.5p.
BOS Global also headed lower as it warned investors that administration is a possibility unless it can sort out its finances.
The business software firm is in urgent discussions with lender Innovation Corporation and its broker over its financial position.
Unsurprisingly the uncertainty has weighed on the share price, which dived 44.3% to 0.83p over the past few days.