Proactive news summary: Fastnet Oil & Gas, ECR Minerals, Hayward Tyler, accesso Technology, Seeing Machines


There was plenty of news to keep so-called market makers happy on Tuesday, especially in the small-cap scene.

Fastnet Oil & Gas (LON:FAST), a favourite among AIM investors, pleased its fans with a project update, which put a fresh value-adding catalyst on the table.

Ahead of an onshore appraisal drilling programme in Morocco next year, Fastnet has unveiled a new resource estimate for the Tendara Lakbir licence.

The estimate, and accompanying competent persons report, supports the explorer’s plans to rapidly advance the onshore gas project.

The project is located in the north-eastern Morocco, up against the Algerian border, and it has a number of characteristics in common with the neighbouring country’s large gas fields.

An independent consultant has now put the ‘best’ estimate of Tendara’s gross recoverable gas resources at 310.5 billion cubic feet (bcf), of which 116.4bcf belongs to Fastnet. 

This is based on 65% of the in-place gas being recoverable.

And recoverability is the key to this project. The success of the project will hinge on Fastnet’s technical ability, to deploy modern drilling techniques to overcome challenges that have held back the asset in the past.

Prior wells, drilled by prior operators, have failed, however, according to Fastnet, a new well design and modern practices will avoid the problems that caused ‘formation damage’ and restricted the flow of gas in the past.

Almost 1.4mln shares changed hands on Tuesday, but the share price remained unmoved at 18p.

ECR Minerals (LON:ECR) shares nipped up after it revealed it is taking the down the ‘for sale’ sign at its Sierra de las Minas (SLM) gold mine in Argentina after reviewing exploration results.

The decision represents a reversal of its previous plan to sell the project or seek a partner to help develop it.

The company carried out a detailed review and reinterpretation of the exploration results obtained thus far at SLM, including underground sampling completed at the El Abra prospect, and was sufficiently encouraged to press on and develop the project alone.

Resurgent specialist engineering group Hayward Tyler (LON:HAYT) is to start paying dividends as its remarkable turnaround programme kicks into another gear.

The group has seen its shares soar from 17p to 67.5p this year on the back of strong order intake and shows no sign of taking its foot off the pedal, with orders taken in the in the six months ended 30 September adding up to £25.7mln; this is not only up 30% year-on-year but represents almost 1.8 times the revenue the company clocked up in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The company has set itself a target over the full-year of achieving an order intake that is at least 1.1 times historic revenue, so the first half performance certainly sees the company well ahead of schedule.

While the order intake situation means prospects on the road ahead look very good, the scene in the rear-view mirror is not looking too shabby either, with net trading profit after tax virtually doubling to £1.5mln from £800,000 the year before.

Profit before tax jumped 70% to £1.8mln from £1.1mln the year before on revenue that rose 39% to £20.3mln from £14.6mln.

Lo-Q, now known as accesso Technology (LON:ACSO), started life well with its new name as it upped its profit expectations for the year.

“I am delighted to report that the excellent momentum I highlighted earlier in the year has continued,” said Tom Burnet, chief executive.

Seeing Machines (LON:SEE) watched its stock rise 12% to 6.6p. On Monday, the company revealed that Mining giant Freeport-McMoRan ordered another A$800,000 worth of its driver safety units for its trucks in the DRC and the US.

The AIM-listed company’s Driver Safety System (DSS), which uses face and eye-tracking technology to monitor drowsiness and lapses in concentration, will be installed in over 44 of Freeport's trucks at the Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and over 22 trucks at the Tyrone mine in New Mexico.


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