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News from some interesting small-cap companies this month

The small-cap sector on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has seen some strong news flow in the past month.

Here is an update of the positive announcements for some of the more impressive companies. These companies are also traded in Germany on either Frankfurt Stock Exchange or Tradegate.

International Graphite (ASX: IG6; FSE: H99)

The Company had an exciting month. Scanning Electron Microscopy has shown high quality spheroidised graphite from the Western Australian Collie plant. This is key part of IG’s strategy to produce battery anode material from natural graphite for the growing Lithium-ion battery market in Australia and overseas.

Benchmark Minerals Intelligence recently released some statistics on the opportunity for companies working in the Battery Anode Material (BAM) Space.

The supply of natural graphite-based BAM is expected to grow by 95% for the period from 2022 to 2030 whilst the demand is expected to surge by 415%.

The Pilot plant in Collie is one of the first operations of its size in Australia to produce micronized and spheroidised materials for battery anodes in Australia.

The Executive Chairman, Phil Hearse, commented “these outcomes are the beginning of downstream graphite anode technology being applied in the Australian battery industry”

Also announced was finalisation of a A$2 million Financial Assistance Agreement with the Western Australian State Government.

Graphite is essential for global decarbonisation and International Graphite will be a major stakeholder as Australia establishes a new sovereign supply for Australia. The company will also be a new source for international battery manufacturers as they seek new sustainable and ethical supply chains outside China.

Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL; FSE: 6S3)

Piedmont Lithium announced it has been selected for a US $141.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This is one of the first set of projects funded by the President’s Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.

The funding will support the construction of the Company’s approximately US$ 600 million Tennessee Lithium Project. The project when completed will seek to supply 30,000 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide.

With over 80% of the global lithium hydroxide production originating in China, countries are scrambling to secure sustainable long-term supply for domestic markets.

Construction of the Tennessee Lithium project is expected to begin in 2023 and production is expected to commence in 2025.

Piedmont lithium is experiencing regulatory delays in with its North Carolina Lithium project and has refocused attention on securing supplies from its projects in Quebec and Ghana.

The president and CEO of Piedmont Lithium, Mr. Keith Phillips, said the Company was “honoured” to be selected for the US Government funding and “The US Government is putting investment dollars behind its policies to support energy independence and national security and we are grateful to be selected to help spur critical domestic development of the EV battery supply chain”.

The lithium plant will treat spodumene concentrate supplied from various Piedmont projects using the Metso: Outotec process eliminating acid-leaching of the spodumene and production of sodium sulphate waste.

Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX: RCE; FSE: R9Q)

Recce recently announced an acceleration of clinical programs. A successful Phase 1 safety and tolerability study was completed, where its lead drug, R327 was demonstrated to be safe and well tolerated in over 60 healthy adults. The Company is now moving onto a Phase IIb/III multi-dose and early-stage sepsis study with expected first dosing in late 2022.

The Company also announced a new Phase II Clinical Study of R327 for treatment of Urinary Tract Infections and a Phase II Study on Diabetic Foot Ulcer infections.

In October Recce Pharmaceuticals announced R327 was shown to significantly reduce SARS-CoV-2 in hamsters – the gold standard in COVID studies.

Recce Pharmaceuticals is a global leader in the development of a new class of synthetic anti-infectives to combat bacteria and viruses such as sepsis and superbugs.

In 2020 The World Health Organisation released a report on sepsis noting it was responsible for around 11 million deaths worldwide and approximately 20% of annual global deaths.

Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA; FSE: 2WO)

Wide Open Agriculture, one of the few publicly traded regenerative agriculture companies globally, announced their first quarter results. Impressively, the Company delivered 13 quarters of revenue growth.

Sales for the September quarter were A$ 2.6 million – a 60% increase over Q1 2022 sales.

Wide Open Agriculture has developed patented plant-based protein “Buntine Protein” using Lupins grown using regenerative agriculture in Western Australia. Ealy in the year, The Company unveiled the opening of its first pilot plant to produce the Buntine Protein.

The Company is pivoting towards a food-tech company and the Buntine Protein will be the primary focus as it has the potential to deliver more value than all current food and drink products combined. It is expected Buntine Protein will create multiple commercial opportunities from farm to store for a crop core to regenerative systems in Western Australia.

Wide Open Agriculture also recently confirmed a non-exclusive agreement with food giant Monde Nissin Australia to supply it with protein powder to be used in food and drink products.

The Company also announced its carbon neutral Oat Milk – grown from oats farmed with regenerative agriculture – was now being sold in over 1,500 cafes and retail outlets.

Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX: TLX; WKN: A2H7JK)

Telix Pharmaceuticals released a very strong quarterly update with sales of its prostate cancer imaging agent, Illuccix, at US $53.7 million. Sales for the quarter were up 178% since the launch. The Company advised 179 pharmacies are dispensing the drug across the United States.

Telix is a global, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on development of diagnostic and therapeutic products using targeted radiation.

Telix technology treatment delivers radiation directly to the tumours by placing radiopharmaceuticals into the bloodstream and target the cancers.

Illuccix works to detect prostate cancers in high-risk men prior to surgery.

The Company also announced data from Phase III clinical trial into efficacy for TLX250-CDx for renal cancer is imminent.

There is a global unmet need here that could involve a significant positive re-valuation of the company: 400,000 renal cancer cases worldwide in 2020 and Telix’s TLX250-CDx may be able to reduce the need for invasive biopsies.

ClearVue Technologies (ASX: CPV; FSE: CKJ)

In October it was announced ClearVue Technologies had received an order and deposit for its first residential installation into a new luxury residence in Australian Capital Territory.

The project will use eight patented ClearVue photovoltaic skylights. It is expected this project will be reference site for future residential and skylight projects in Australian and globally.

Construction has commenced on the project which is valued at $160,000 for the Company and should be completed by 2023.

The skylight market is anticipated to grow to US $5.5 billion by 2030 with a significant increase in customers looking to panels that increase energy efficiency and reduce heating and electricity bills.

The Company has previously deployed solar glass products into various projects across the Asia-Pacific region, including a park in Sydney, a shopping centre in Perth and greenhouses in Japan and Perth.

ClearVue is ideally placed to assist reduce the energy consumption of homes and buildings.

According to the European Commission buildings in the EU are responsible for about 40% of the block’s energy consumption and 36% of the greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission has further proposed that as of 2030 all new buildings must be zero-emission and new public buildings zero emission by 2027.

This will require a massive effort to ensure energy is harnessed, renewable power is utilised and reduction of use in fossil fuels for light, power, and heating.

Little wonder then the solar photovoltaic glass market is expected to grow by a CAGR of around 31% to US $84 billion by 2029 from its present levels of US $4.4 billion.


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