Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) has relayed communications by West Newton operator Rathlin Energy to the communities in the vicinity of the project in East Yorkshire relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “This update is to let you know that we are moving our programme of works forward, in line with the latest government and public health guidance on COVID-19. We continue to follow the advice closely,” Rathlin said in a letter. Rathlin detailed that, as from today, it is starting the construction of an access track to the West Newton B site. Union Jack also announced that an updated corporate presentation is now available on the company’s website although it contains no new material

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) has signed a new contract with a US biotechnology company for the provision of a respiratory syncytial virus human challenge study. The group said the contract is projected to deliver £3.5mln in revenue all of which is expected to be recognised in 2020. This new contract follows the signing in March of another respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) human challenge contract, now underway, for an initial £3.2mln. Open Orphan said the contract wins underscore its position as a world leader in the provision of viral challenge studies, vaccine and viral laboratory services, which is a particularly hot topic following the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19). Meanwhile, the company also revealed that Trevor Phillips is going to stand down as its chief executive officer.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) has revealed that is to run a second instalment of the ePremier League Invitational tournament that sees professional players and celebrities represent teams in electronic matches. Participants will play each other in a knock-out format using EA SPORTS FIFA 20 on a PlayStation 4 console. Among the players taking part are Phil Foden (Manchester City), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), James Maddison (Leicester City), John Egan (Sheffield United), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur) and Callum Wilson (Bournemouth). Games will be broadcast on SkySports, YouTube and Twitch with the final also to be shown on Sky Sports Premier League, Main Event and worldwide.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement for its SlimBiome trademark with Smart For Life, Inc. and related launch of cookies containing OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome proprietary weight management technology in the USA and Canada. The life sciences group, which is developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincare, said the license is contingent on an annual minimum order quantity and the first order within thirty days of signing the agreement. Smart For Life – https://www.smartforlife.com – is a US-based company that was founded in 2002 by Dr Sasson Moulavi, a bariatric doctor.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY) has said its liquid biopsy system provides a “straightforward and scalable approach” to analysing and assessing treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer. That was the conclusion of associate professor Amir Goldkorn, whose team at the University of Southern California, used ANGLE’s Parsortix device as part of its workflow to decide which drugs or drug combinations to give patients. Partsortix harvests the tell-tale signs of cancer called circulating tumour cells (CTCs) so that they can then be assessed. It offers an alternative to physical biopsies, which are invasive and painful, and antibody-based methods of capturing of cells.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has told investors it maintained production levels in the first quarter and it is to pay a 3.5p per share dividend for the period. In a trading update, the company said its production in the three months ended March 31, 2020, was marked at 94,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) – 564mln cubic feet equivalent per day – helped by the group’s well management programme which offset natural declines. Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) were reported at US$78mln for the period, in line with the prior period, with sales prices supported by a hedged price of US$2.73 per mln, the group added.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) has said it produced a net attributable 482.5 metric tons of vanadium (mtV) in the form of Nitrovan during the first quarter of 2020, marginally ahead of production in the corresponding period a year ago, with this quarter affected by shut-downs related to the coronavirus. In an operational update, the company also noted that it booked sales of 898 mtV, or 664.5 mtV 74% net attributable. Underlying production costs rang in at US$18.90 per kilogramme, an 8% decrease relative to the first quarter of 2019, supported by a weaker ZAR/USD exchange rate.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has commented on articles published in the Zimbabwean press, in the course of the week commencing April 27, 2020, regarding the Chiadzwa Community concession block joint venture in the Eastern Highlands of the country, for which it is currently awaiting finalisation. In a statement, the company noted that it, and its subsidiaries have, throughout the joint venture process, maintained constant dialogue and interaction with the community and all stakeholders who have formally written to the company maintaining their support. The company said it continues to act in good faith to the benefit of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the entire community, and always in accordance with the instructions and direction of the relevant governmental authorities.

IQ-Ai PLC (LON:IQAI) has said it expects automation of its brain tumour mapping technology to drive sales over the coming year as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning networks pave the way for widespread and rapid clinical adoption. In a statement accompanying its 2019 results, the company said: “At the close of 2019, four leading brain tumor centers from major metropolitan areas continued to explore the adoption of our tools and, in early 2020, one of those centers purchased our neuro-oncology platform. Fully automating our brain tumor monitoring platform will enable healthcare facilities of all sizes to take advantage of our solution.”

Cadogan Petroleum Plc (LON:CAD) has confirmed a 15% increase in year-on-year production during 2019, although losses in its gas trading and services divisions impacted profit for the year. In its annual financial report, the Ukraine-based producer said some 104,816 barrels oil equivalent flowed in 2019, up from 91,085 barrels the year before. Cadogan generated US$5.9mln of gross revenue, down from US$14.7mln in the comparative period of 2018. Average realised prices dropped to US$47.2 per barrel oil equivalent, versus US$51.3 in 2018.

Bidstack Group PLC (LON:BIDS) chief executive James Draper had highlighted higher demand from ad agencies for the group’s services amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the company posted its 2019 results. The demand increase comes at the same time as the native video game advertising firm also continues to make progress on the supply side, for example, with its recently announced involvement with Codemasters PLC (LON:CDM) which via a virtual eSports version of the Formula One tour has seen significant prominence. Financial results for 2019 reflected Bidstack’s prior strategic decision to focus on significant technology development work. It reported turnover for the year of £140,000 (2018: £316,00) and a loss before tax of £5.3mln (2018: £1.2mln).

G3 Exploration Limited (LON:G3E) has told investors that gas producing assets in the GSS field in China have been suspended at the direction of the receivers, acting as directors of associated company Greka Energy. It means that some 150,000 cubic metres of gas production is offline. This took place during the current Chinese Labour holidays and has impacted local villages and citizens who are now without gas and electricity supply.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) has said its IO#8 iodine plant in western Oklahoma is set to face a decline in its brine supply just weeks after coming online. Iofina’s brine supply partner for its number 8 plant is a saltwater disposal (SWD) operator that sources brine from multiple hydrocarbon producers. On May 1, the SWD operator informed Iofina that oil and gas operators have shut-in or intend to shut-in wells due to reduced operating margins at current oil prices; this is likely to materially affect the volumes of brine available for iodine isolation at IO#8.

Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP, NASDAQ: VRNA) said, after the London market close on Friday, that six abstracts presenting “clinically relevant” findings from its trials of ensifentrine for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been accepted by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference. The group said they have been published on the ATS website and in the peer-reviewed publication, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Included was a late-breaking abstract that expands on Phase IIb efficacy and symptom data released on January 31 covering nebulised ensifentrine added on to tiotropium demonstrated.

Red Rock Resources PLC (LON:RRR), the natural resource development company with interests in gold, manganese and minerals, has announced that Scott Kaintz, an executive director and COO and CFO of the company, who now has increased responsibilities at Regency Mines PLC where he has taken on the CEO role, is to become a non-executive director of Red Rock, effective from May 1, 2020. The group said he has agreed to remain in a non-executive role to oversee for a period a seamless transition of his responsibilities at the company as Red Rock brings in a new CFO. Red Rock chairman Andrew Bell commented: “Scott has been an important part of Red Rock’s history. We record our gratitude and appreciation for his hard work and fine qualities, and wish him well in his future career. His willingness to stay on for a time as a non-executive is much appreciated.”

Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH), the fund management and strategic investment group has announced that, further to its announcement on March 3, 2020, it has converted into equity the £60,000 of convertible loan it held in Kirkstall Limited and as a result, Braveheart’s shareholding has increased to 80%.

Curzon Energy PLC (LON:CZN) has said it continues to the advance the due diligence process with the Sun Seven Stars Investment Group regarding the potential acquisition of a 100% interest in London Critical Metals Market and good progress has been made to date. The company added that it will make further updates as appropriate. Curzon also announced that it has agreed to refinance its outstanding secured loan notes of £216,553 and its unsecured loan notes of US$200,000. As previously announced on February 13, 2020, the company has further agreed with the Secured Note lenders to capitalize the amounts due to date into a new principal amount of £263,265 as of April 1, 2020, with the interest rate to remain the same at 13% per annum, while the maturity date of the Secured Loan notes has been extended and is now the sooner of the completion of a reverse takeover, or 1 October 2020. And as previously announced on February 13, 2020, the company has agreed with the Unsecured Note lenders to refinance by extending the existing balance to October 1, 2020, with the interest rate remaining the same at 15% per annum, and the total outstanding principal and interest is approximately US$238,918. 

Amur Minerals Corporation )LON:AMUR), the nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and resource development company focused on the far east of Russia, announced that it has repaid in full the initial advance (£500,000) of the fixed term loan note instrument that was outstanding to Plena Global Opportunities LLC under the loan facility announced on March 12, 2020.

Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG) announced that at its general meeting held on Monday the resolution put to the meeting was duly passed satisfying the key condition for completion of the disposal of its Congo business of Zenith Energy, The group added that from completion, which is anticipated later today, Zenith will assume responsibility for all liabilities within and ongoing costs associated with the Congo business, and as a result, shareholders in AAOG will no longer have any exposure to the Tilapia asset or its liabilities or receivables.

Honye Financial Services Ltd (LON:HIYE), a special purpose acquisition company formed to undertake one or more acquisitions of businesses in the financial services and financial technology sector, announced that at its annual general meeting, held on Monday, all resolutions were duly passed.