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Small cap movers: Chamberlin rises as it rings the changes; Mkango on song at Songwe

Management changes at metal basher Chamberlin PLC (LON:CMH) appear to be going down well with the market.

The shares were up 42% this week after the company promoted its financial controller, Alan Tomlinson, to the post of finance director, replacing Neil Davies, who will step down at the end of May.

Last month it was reported that Kevin Price, operations director of the group’s foundry and machining facility, will replace Kevin Nolan as chief executive.

It’s all part of a restructuring of the company in the wake of the loss of a big contract at the end of last year.

Chamberlin said this week it was “continuing to reduce costs and streamline the organisation in line with revised levels of revenue”.

Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA, TSX-V:MKA) shares rocketed 46% to 30p after it said it is capable of producing significantly higher recoveries and concentrate grades from the 51%-owned Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi than previously expected.

The revised estimates came after it had analysed the results of a flotation pilot plant programme.

The programme demonstrated that the flotation process is robust and straightforward to scale up and the results supported a significant increase in both flotation recoveries and concentrate grade for the ongoing feasibility study versus a 2015 pre-feasibility study for Songwe, the company said.

Sector peer Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) advanced 47% to 0.18p after it received confirmation that the feasibility study and mining development plan have been ratified and approved by the Direction Nationale de la Geologie et des Mines (DNGM) committee, subject to some minor corrections that will bring the mining licence application in line with the new Mali Mining Code of 2019.

The company expects to receive a formal notification from the DNGM requesting payment of the Mining Licence fee before the formal production of the “Exploitation Decree” or mining licence, for the prime minister’s approval.

Shareholders in Tekcapital PLC (LON:TEK), the company that backs university spin-outs, partied like it was 2017 as one of its portfolio companies, Belluscura, revived plans to float on AIM.

Belluscura’s first crack at a stock market listing was back in November 2017 but that idea quickly died when it was announced the following month that “due to current market conditions and certain other Enterprise Investment Scheme/Venture Capital Trust requirements having not been met in the expected time-frame,” it was unable to proceed with the initial public offering.

It is hoping for better luck (or due diligence) this time.

“Our debut on the AIM market will see us well-positioned for commercial growth and well-financed to support the launch of our FDA cleared X-PLO₂R portable oxygen concentrator as well as advancing the other products within our portfolio to commercial launch,” said Robert Rauker, the chief executive of Belluscura.

Tekcapital shares climbed by around one-third on the week.

It was a tough week for InfraStrata PLC (LON:INFA), the strategic infrastructure projects and physical asset lifecycle management, which saw its shares plunge by 24% to 30.25p after it issued shares at 30p a pop to raise at least £9.0mln.

“The company is on the cusp of a transformational change following the award of the Saipem contract,” said John Wood, the chairman of InfraStrata, explaining why the company was tapping the market.

“We believe that this contract is the first of many that will flow through our yards over the forthcoming months and years. Key to winning and delivering on these large contracts is the ability to demonstrate a strong balance sheet and liquidity within the company’s operations. This placing will achieve both these objectives,” Wood claimed.

Another company issuing fresh capital was the bars operator Nightcap PLC (LON:NGHT), whose management is either very brave or foolhardy – or possibly both. The owner of the London Cocktail Club agreed this week to acquire the Adventure Bar Group (ABG), which it said will expand its operation to an additional nine bars.

The firm said the bars included in the purchase include seven established themed bars located in popular London locations, a large outdoor bar, a food and entertainment venue in Birmingham, a bar site opening in Birmingham on May 17 and a 50% interest in a central London roof-top bar.

After a year of lockdowns and with the reopening schedule for bars still a bit up in the air this is probably a good time to make an acquisition if you have the money; Nightcap didn’t, so it announced the issue of up to 11.9mln new shares at a price of 21p each, a 37% discount to the closing share price on the day before the £2.5mln acquisition was announced.

The shares ended the week at 26.5p, down 21% on the week.

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