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NA Proactive news snapshot: MGX Minerals, Blackrock Gold, Exactus, Enertopia Corporation UPDATE …

A glance at some of the day's highlights from the Proactive Investors US and Canada newswires

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MGX Minerals Inc (CSE:XMG) (OTCPINK:MGXMF) said it has completed a collaborative project looking at the long-term stability of nanostructure silicon fabricated from low-cost metallurgical-grade silicon. The results showed that nanostructured silicon with a specialized surface coating maintained a reversible capacity of 607.5 mAh g-1 (milliampere hours per gram) at a current density of 2A g-1 for 1,000 battery cycles. Traditional lithium-ion batteries have a life expectancy of between 500 and 1,500 cycles.

Blackrock Gold Corp (CVE:BRC) (OTCPINK:BKRFF) has completed its lease option agreement for the Tonopah West project, the company said Thursday. The agreement with Ely Gold Royalties Inc gives Blackrock a four-year purchase option for the project, which lies in the historic Tonopah silver district. Vancouver-based Blackrock now has control over the largest claim package in the area and a major foothold in the Tonopah district, which has produced over 174 million ounces of silver and 1.8 million ounces of gold.

Exactus Inc (OTCMKTS:EXDI) shares rose Thursday as it unveiled plans to expand its partnership with cannabinoid hemp plant company Hemptown USA, which will include the ramping up of farming and supply chain development. The move represents an important milestone positioning Exactus for rapid growth through Hemptown, which is a mutually beneficial CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) partner, the Florida-based firm said in a statement.

Enertopia Corporation (OTCMKTS:ENRT) declared itself "very pleased" with its maiden resource for the Clayton Valley lithium project in Nevada, USA, as shares nudged higher. Using a 400 parts per million (ppm) lithium cut-off grade, the deposit has 81.7 million tonnes at 1,121 ppm lithium in the higher confidence indicated resources category. In the inferred (lower confidence) category, the NI-43 101 report has 18.1 million tonnes lithium at 1,131 ppm.

True Leaf Brands Inc (CSE:MJ) (OTCQX:TRLFF) said Thursday that the company has filed what’s called a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal (NOI) under Canada’s the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in order to seek protection from creditors and begin restructuring. The NOI imposes a 30-day stay on a default notice the cannabis-for-pets company received on March 23 from Lind Asset Management XV LLC, the firm managing its convertible security funding agreement. This shields True Leaf and its assets from creditors’ claims while it works to restructure its indebtedness and evaluate its options. The 30-day period can be extended with authorization from the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Gevo Inc (NASDAQ:GEVO) said Thursday that it has hired Citigroup Global Markets Inc to secure financing for its operations, especially the expansion of its production capabilities to supply renewable isooctane and sustainable aviation jet fuel to Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) and HCS Group GmbH. In December, Gevo announced that Delta Air Lines will purchase 10 million gallons of its advanced renewable biofuels per year once the company has completed expansions at its advanced biofuels production facility in Luverne, Minnesota. Gevo also produces renewable isooctane and sustainable aviation fuel at its South Hampton facility in Silsbee, Texas. 

American Battery Metals Corporation (OTCQB:ABML) announced the hiring of a former Tesla chemical engineer August Meng as its principal chemical engineer. In a statement, the company said Meng has the extremely desirable skillset of being both a talented chemical engineer and a skilled bench chemist. He has a PhD in chemical engineering and specializes in the ground-up design and development of thermochemical conversion based systems throughout the renewable energy and lithium-ion battery industries. 

Biocept Inc (NASDAQ:BIOC), a provider of liquid biopsy tests for doctors and their patients with cancer, revealed it has won a patent in Australia. The award provides intellectual property protection for Biocept's Primer-Switch technology that is useful for ctDNA analysis using real-time PCR and associated analysis methods, including next-generation sequencing (NGS).

GoviEx Uranium Inc (CVE:GXU) told shareholders Thursday that it remains focused on updating the prefeasibility study on its Madaouela project in Niger, even as the coronavirus pandemic has halted many businesses around the globe. The junior company said it continues to be optimistic that the study will be completed during the first half of 2020, but acknowledged its timeline may be affected in light of government-imposed lockdowns. The testwork is targeting areas that may have potential to reduce both operating and capital costs contained in Madaouela’s current technical report.

Humanigen Inc (OTCMKTS:HGEN) said Thursday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its key drug candidate lenzilumab being given to coronavirus (COVID-19) patients under individual patient emergency investigational new drug (IND) applications under the company's compassionate use program. The Burlingame, California-based company is planning to conduct a multicenter, Phase III, double-blinded clinical trial with lenzilumab to reduce, or prevent so-called cytokine storm, which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) resulting from the coronavirus infection.

GR Silver Mining Ltd (CVE:GRSL) (OTCQB:GLYXF) revealed high-grade silver and gold results from recent exploration at its Plomosas project in Mexico on Thursday. The Vancouver-based junior company said that underground channel sampling returned results of up to 6,128 grams per ton silver over 0.2 metres from the San Juan underground workings on the project. GR Silver recently rehabilitated the underground workings at San Juan, which had not yet been looked at by the project’s previous owners.

Nextleaf Solutions Ltd (CSE:OILS) (OTCQB:OILFF) announced Thursday that its pending acquisition Nextleaf Labs has signed a cannabis extraction agreement with a well-known Ontario producer.  Under the terms of the deal, the client, which operates a 10-acre cannabis cultivation greenhouse will provide cannabis biomass, which Nextleaf Labs will process into refined and distilled THC and CBD oils using the company’s proprietary extraction technology. 

CytoDyn Inc (OTCQB:CYDY) announced Thursday that eight severe coronavirus (COVID-19) patients being treated with its drug leronlimab have shown a significant improvement after three days in several important biologic markers.  Initial patient test data has shown improvement in cytokines — proteins released by the immune system that can cause inflammation in high quantities  — and a more normal ratio of helper T cells to killer T cells in the immune system, known as the CD4/CD8 ratio. Leronlimab has been administered to 10 severely ill coronavirus patients in the New York City area under an emergency Investigational New Drug application granted by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

American Manganese Inc (CVE:AMY) (OTCMKTS:AMYZF) has hailed the work of its contractor, Kemetco Research, which has produced a nickel-cobalt sulfate product at 99.99% purity using the group's ground-breaking recycling process. The company said it will now ship this recycled product back to the tier-one company which originally supplied the cathode scrap used, for its own testing and independent analysis.

Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc (CSE:AGN) (OTCQB:AGNPF) said it has finalized the protocol for a Phase 2 clinical study of its drug NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in South Korea. All ethics submission documents related to the study are near completion, the company said, and submission of the study for approval is expected to occur soon. “We have been advised by our regulatory experts that submissions for ethics approval for COVID-19 related human trials are being reviewed on an expedited basis in most jurisdictions,” CEO Christopher Moreau said in a statement.

Pacton Gold Inc (CVE:PAC) (OTCMKTS:PACXF) told investors Thursday that it has now struck a definitive deal to become a joint venture partner in the Sidace Lake advanced gold property. The project is contiguous to the company's current claims in Red Lake, Ontario. Pacton will acquire all of TomaGold's 39.5% interest in the venture, which TomaGold currently holds with Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN) and Newmont Corporation.

Silvercorp Metals Inc (TSE:SVM) (NYSEAMERICAN:SVM) announced Thursday it had donated a batch of personal protective equipment to Vancouver-area hospitals fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s CEO Dr Rui Feng donated 17,000 3M N95 respirator masks, 100,000 pairs of medical gloves, 1,000 protective bodysuits, and 540 goggles shipped over from Silvercorp’s Beijing office.

ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd (OTCMKTS:IPATF) (CVE:IPA), the antibody discovery specialist, has appointed Dr Yasmina Noubia Abdiche as the group's chief scientific officer (CSO) with effect from April this year. Among other things, Abdiche, an Oxford graduate, will lead the company's global research and development teams. Most recently she was CSO at Utah-based biotech Carterra, where she helped transition its analytical antibody screening platform from concept through prototype to global commercialization.

Gold Resource Corporation (NYSEAMERICAN:GORO) said Thursday that the company’s Oaxaca mining operations in Mexico have been temporarily closed in line with a national health emergency declared by the country's government aimed at containing the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). On Monday, Mexico’s General Health Council ordered the suspension of non-essential activities until April 30. It also issued stricter rules banning people from congregating for public, private and social activities to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus after Mexico’s number of cases surged past 1,000 and the death toll rose sharply. The miner said it is in the process of furloughing its Oaxaca Mining Unit workforce, none of whom have been diagnosed with the virus.

American Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:AREC) announced Thursday it has entered into an initial closing of a $13.39 million credit facility. The financing is comprised of $12.19 million of existing term loan and payables which will refinance existing indebtedness from the balance sheet, plus an additional $1.2 million to be used for continued production growth of metallurgical carbon, the company said in a statement. The structure enables American Resources to raise up to a total of $25 million over the next 30 days unless expanded and or extended by the company.

Helix BioPharma Corp (TSX:HBP) (OTCMKTS:HBPCF) said Thursday it has taken various measures to protect the health and well-being of its staff while maintaining business continuity amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The company’s office and laboratory in Canada have been following the recommendations of federal, provincial and regional authorities. This includes operating a safe and clean working environment, providing means to work at home and observing latest public health guidance such as social distancing. 

Cenovus Energy Inc (TSE:CVE) revealed it has taken further steps to weather the slide in crude prices in the wake of the global economic downturn due to the coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic. "Cenovus has decided to reduce its planned 2020 capital spending by an additional C$150 million which, combined with the $450 million reduction announced March 9, 2020, is a $600 million decrease from the budget released in December," the Canadian oil and gas producer said in a statement on Thursday. The oil major is also suspending its dividend and forecasting operating cost reductions of about C$100 million and general and administrative (G&A) cost reductions of around C$50 million compared with the initial December budget.

Conscience Capital Inc. (CVE:DGTL.P), a capital pool company, and Hashoff LLC, a privately held company, said that they have filed a filing statement dated March 30, 2020 with the TSX Venture Exchange for the previously announced proposed business combination between the group and Hashoff. They added that transaction is expected to close on or about April 13, 2020.

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