Empire Metals Limited (LON:EEE) hardened 7.4% at 2.9p after it finalised the sale of its 50% holding in Georgian Copper & Gold JSC.

The resource exploration and development company sold the interest for US$3.3mln in cash.

The proceeds will put Empire in a strong financial position to continue to create shareholder value principally from its Eclipse and Central Menzies Gold Projects in Western Australia, the company said in a stock market announcement.

12.45pm: Scancell perks up following share purchase

Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) advanced 8.9% to 21.5p after non-executive director Martin Diggle bought 400,000 shares in the company.

Technically, it was Vulpes Life Sciences Fund – a fund “closely associated with Martin Diggle” – that did the purchasing, at an average price of 19.25p a share.

The purchase takes Vulpes’s interest to 14.4% of the company.

11.50am: Oxford Tech 4 VCT higher after Arecor flotation increases its NAV

It is not often a venture capital trust (VCT) makes it to the upper reaches of the stock market gainers list but Oxford Tech 4 VCT (LON:OXF) has managed it.

The shares rose 13% to 25p after the trust said the successful flotation of one of its portfolio companies, Arecor Therapeutics, had added 5.8p to its net asset value per share.

Arecor floated on June 3 at 226p a share.

10.55am: Steppe Cement drops like a stone

Steppe Cement Limited (LON:STCM) shares dropped like … well, cement in early dealings after a disappointing set of full-year results.

Steppe Cement posted a net profit of US$11.1mln for 2020, up from US$9.7mln in 2019.

Steppe Cement‘s underlying earnings (EBITDA) increased to US$24.2mln from US$23.9mln in 2019 as higher prices (in local currency), lower cost of production and the implementation of IFRS 16 were balanced by a currency devaluation of 8%.

10.00am: Directa Plus on a charge

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) shares, up 9.6%, were on a charge on Tuesday morning after a progress update on its partnership with NexTech Batteries.

The AIM-listed firm said the new subsidiary, NextTech Italia, has been established to evaluate the feasibility of producing cathode active materials in Italy using Directa Plus’s G+ graphene nanoplatelets, for the manufacture of Lithium-Sulphur (Li-S) batteries throughout Europe to accelerate the commercialisation of the technology.

The formation of the subsidiary follows a memorandum of understanding between Directa Plus and NextTech in October 2020 to test G+ products in the synthesis of cathode active materials for NexTech’s first generation of Li-S batteries. In February 2021, the two firms entered a three year exclusive supply agreement and opened a joint laboratory to conduct research and development for the development of next-generation battery cathode active material and to support the growth of current and future applications.

9.05am: NetScientific tops the risers after deal with AstraZeneca

NetScientific PLC‘s (LON:NSCI), up 235 at 92p, was the top riser after striking a licensing deal with AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN).

Its ProAxsis subsidiary is to work with AstraZeneca over the validation and global commercialisation of an assay associated with coronavirus vaccines.

The subsidiary of the AIM-listed company will take responsibility for completing the validation and global commercialisation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed by an internal research team at AstraZeneca for vaccines associated with SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus associated with COVID-19.

Tungsten Group Corporation PLC (LON::TUNG) advanced 12% to 41p on the back of a customer win.

The provider of digital financial management and software solutions has been selected by a global personnel software company to support a new e-invoicing initiative in Europe and the US.

The customer’s 16 European entities will use Tungsten’s Total AR solution to streamline and digitise its accounts receivable processes.

Proactive news headlines

Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) said there has been “additional momentum” in the US market for mandatory driver monitoring system technology following the introduction of the 21st Century Smart Cars Act to the US Congress.

Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA, TSX-V:MKA) and Grupa Azoty PULAWY have agreed to develop a rare earth separation plant in Poland, strengthen Europe’s security of supply for rare earths, used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and other green technology.

Imperial Corporate Capital PLC has concluded its first limited partnership offering after repaying all investors with interest.

Clipper Logistics PLC (LON:CLG) said it now expects its earnings for its 2022 and 2023 financial year’s to be “ahead of company-compiled consensus” by mid-single-digit percentages following what it said was a strong performance in its current year as well as new acquisitions and extensions of existing contracts.

Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO) said final results from the maiden drilling program on its Hancock iron ore project, part of the Hamersley iron ore project in Western Australia, confirmed four high-grade Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) mineralisation prospects.

One Media IP Group PLC (LON:OMIP) has acquired a percentage of the producer royalties to more than 100 tracks produced by Steve Levine, including music performed by Culture Club, Louise, 911 and the Honeyz.

Arecor Therapeutics PLC (LON:AREC) has signed an additional agreement with an existing client to develop a new ready-to-use (RTU) product formulation for a product that is currently administered intravenously.

AEX Gold Inc (AIM:AEXG)(TSXV:AEX) said a team of geologists and drilling engineers have arrived on site at its Nalunaq property in South Greenland.

Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) has highlighted progress in its partnership with NexTech Batteries Inc after the latter formed an Italian subsidiary.

88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) has agreed to buy out its partner, the Alaska Peregrine Development Company, on Project Peregrine in Alaska. The decision will enable 88 Energy to press on with the exploration programme.

Great Western Mining Corp PLC (LON:GWMO) said it completed its first-phase drilling programme for gold and silver at the Olympic gold project in Mineral County, Nevada ahead of schedule and within budget. 

RedX Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) chief executive Lisa Anson has hailed “strong progress” with the company’s pipeline of drug candidates in the first half of its current year.

Silence Therapeutics PLC (AIM:SLN)(NASDAQ:SLN) announced that it will present data showing the potential for SLN124 to address a range of hematological diseases by targeting the liver-expressed gene TMPRSS6 during two poster sessions at the European Hematology Association (EHA) Virtual Congress to be held on June 9-17, 2021.

Sirius Real Estate (LON:SRE), the German business park specialist, increased its final dividend by 10% for the year to 31 March 2021 as assets and profits rose in spite of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.

Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) notified that Vulpes Life Sciences Fund, a vehicle closely associated with non-executive director Martin Diggle, has purchased 400,000 company shares at an aggregate price of 19.25p apiece. Following the purchase, Vulpes has a total interest of almost 117mln shares, representing 14.4% of the total voting rights of the company.

Zephyr Energy PLC (LON:ZPHR) said it expects to receive substantial cash flows over the next twelve months from the Williston basin, South Dakota, while also targeting the first production from the Paradox Basin in Utah.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) said that its assets in Africa are seeing renewed interest with the price of Brent rising to more than US$70 per barrel again.

Destiny Pharma PLC (LON:DEST) welcomed the communique from the G7 health ministers’ meeting on 4 June that conveyed a strong message highlighting the global threat of the “silent pandemic” of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) announced “excellent” initial assay results from a pre-feasibility study drilling programme at its Toral lead, zinc and silver project in Spain.

Westmount Energy Limited (LON:WTE) (OTCQB:WMELF) shares moved higher on Monday as the company highlighted an announcement from the Guyanese Maritime Administration Department that the Stena Carron drillship re-commenced exploration drilling operations at the Jabillo-1 wellsite on the Canje Block, offshore Guyana on June 5.

Landore Resources Limited (LON:LND) revealed results from a drilling programme at its BAM gold deposit at the Junior Lake Property in Ontario, Canada, including wide zones of ore-grade gold mineralisation within the gabbro ‘hanging wall’ unit, including 13.14 metres at 2.99 grams of gold per tonne.

DeepVerge (LON:DVRG) has conditionally raised £10mln through a placing and subscription at 30p. 

Nuformix PLC (LON:NFX) said it has received a notice of allowance for a US National Phase Patent Application No 17/051,592 entitled “Crystalline Tranilast Salts And Their Pharmaceutical Use”. Anne Brindley, chief executive, said the allowance notice means the patent will proceed to be issued and is an “important endorsement” of the company’s discoveries while also strengthening the patent estate for its lead asset, NXP002.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR, ASX:MTR), a natural resources investor, said it bought 3.0mln shares in Southern Gold Ltd (ASX:SAU) for about A$225,000 (£123,000), taking its stake in the South Korea-focused gold explorer to 19.1%.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) was informed that David Archer, chief executive, acquired a total of 150,000 shares at a price of 3.7p each. This took his total beneficial interest to 40.16mln ordinary shares, representing 2.38% of the company’s issued share capital.

Panther Metals PLC (LON:PALM) said it has applied for two further exploration tenements, E39/2249 and E39/2250, as part of an expansion program at its Red Flag Nickel-Cobalt project in Western Australia.

Afarak Group PLC (LON:AFRK) will hold its annual general meeting on 29 June in Helsinki, Finland. Shareholders may participate only by voting in advance by way of proxy and asking questions in advance as it will not possible to attend the meeting in person. 

Advanced Material Development‘s graphene-based electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding technology was featured in the lastest issue of Racecar Engineering magazine. AMD’s EMI Shielding solutions were mentioned in the setting of the “exceptionally harsh” conditions in contemporary Formula One cars, where many sources of EMI can otherwise decrease sensor accuracy and skew transmission and receipt of readings. 

Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) will host an online ‘teach in’ on its solid oxide electrolyser (SOEC) technology for analysts and investors at 3pm BST on 1 July, 2021. No new financial information will be disclosed at this event, which is being held on the InvestorMeetCompany platform.

Samarkand Group PLC (LON:SMK) will present an overview of the company and its current opportunities and strategy at the London South East, Aquis Stock Exchange Special webinar, which is taking place on 8 June 2021 at 6-8pm BST.