Queensland business briefs: Your daily Sunshine State update

The latest news on Queensland companies. One-offs hit Avada profit, Aeris sinks, AJ Lucas writes down UK business, QMines buys Develin Creek, QPM’s pilot tests show the system works and True North excited by discovery.

May 17, 2022, updated Aug 31, 2023

Avada profit sinks

Traffic management company Avada has posted a bottom line loss of $5.6 million, an improvement on its 2022 result of a $12.5 million loss.

The red ink followed an increase in the fair value of contingencies from the financial liability of subsidiary companies and a write down in the intangible assets of $3.2 million. There was another $2.2 million in costs associated with M&A activity.

The underlying EBITDA was an increase of 16 per cent to $16.1 million.

Its guidance for the current year was an underlying EBITDA of between $20 million and $22 million.

 Aeris slumps

Aeris Resources has reported a $140 million loss for the financial year on the back of $612 million in revenue.

The company said it was well established with a $50 million debt facility from Washington H Soul to support its 2024 plans.

It recently decided to shut down the Jaguar mine while it conducts a feasibility on the option of re-opening. It said growth at its Tritton mine would offset lost production at Jaguar.

AJ Lucas profits

Drilling services company AJ Lucas lifted revenue by 28 per cent to $157 million in the June year but posted a bottom line loss of $153 million after writing down the value of its UK business in shale gas.

That business was hit by a change in policy from the UK Government following the political upheaval in the country when it had three prime ministers in the space of a few months. The result was that fracking was banned.

QMines buys Develin Creek

Brisbane-based QMines has bought the Develin Creek copper-zinc project from Zenith Minerals.

The project is about 90km west of the company’s Mt Chalmers copper-gold project and was described as “very complementary”.

Managing director Andrew Sparke said it would provide the scale needed to progress Mt Chalmers to sustainable copper production.

QPM finds success

QPM said nickel sulphate which meant the specifications from its offtake partners had been produced from its pilot project.

The pilot was being conducted at SGS Canada.

It said the piloting had also been successful in validating this section of the flowsheet which was essential in securing support from financiers.

Producing cobalt sulphate was the next step of the piloting.

True North’s “phenomenal” result

True North Copper said drilling at its Mt Oxide project in north Queensland had returned “phenomenal” results including 66 metres at 4.95 per cent of copper, 32.7 grams per tonne of silver.

The drilling was at the Vero resource, which is part of Mt Oxide.

Manging director Marty Costello said it was a tremendous outcome from the first drill hold at Vero.

“These drill results are simply stunning, not only returning superb grades but also showcasing the every-expanding nature of the Vero high grade ore body,” he said.

Greenwing poised for new growth

Greenwing Resources has had financial restructuring which meant it had no secured debt and about $9.5 million to progress its work in Argentina and Madagascar.

The restructure included an equity placement of $2.7 million and conversion of about 68 per cent of his convertible notes to equity. The remaining noteholders would have their notes redeemed.

Chair Rick Anthon has also provided an extra $1 million in debt.

Greenwing is undertaking a maiden drilling program at the San Jorge lithium brine project in Argentina.

Alliance profit up

Alliance Aviation said flying activity had increased in the first half of the year which had led to an increase in its profit guidance for the year.

The Queensland company, which focuses on charter flights and wet leases of aircraft, said its unaudited, underlying profit before tax was expected to be $56.9 million. Its previous guidance had been $50 million to $55 million.

Alliance also said it had struck a five-year deal with Incitec for the provision of eight weekly air services between Townsville and its Phosphate Hill operations in the north west of the state.

Alliance had been servicing the Phosphate Hill project since 2002, managing director Scott McMillan said.

SOCO improves

Brisbane tech company SOCO Corporation has produced 47 per cent revenue growth for the 2023 year.

In its preliminary, unaudited results, SOCO its operating earnings before interest and tax was $3.4 million, an increase of 34 per cent over the previous year. Its net profit was $1.5 million, which was $3.4 million ahead of its prospectus forecast.

Chief executive Simon Forth said the company was delighted with the record revenue.

In the second half, the company picked up four new State Government clients and three from the Federal Government.

It was now looking at expanding into the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth markets.

Forth said the sales pipeline was consistently strong across all categories.

Since listing, its share price has generally ranged around 25 cents, although it peaked at 35 cents in January, not long after listing.


Ballymore’s “exciting results”

Ballymore Resources said it has started a mining study at its Dittmer gold project after “exciting” drill results.

Technical director David A-Izzeddin said the identification of high-grade mineralisation within 20 metres of existing underground access was a terrific result and would greatly reduce development costs.

He said the more information it gathered, the more Dittmer looked like it had the potential to develop into a Ravenswood-style gold field.

CTP questions $3m non-payment

Central Petroleum said Peak Helium had a $3 million overdue payment in relation to a farmout which put at risk an exploration program at Mahlete, Dukas and Jacko More at risk, pending resolution.

It said it had been approached by Peak Helium and its financiers to restructure their broader arrangements with all joint venture partners to prioritise the Jacko Bore well, given its prospects of a discovery having already produced gas to the surface with relatively high helium and hydrogen concentrations.

CTP managing director Leon Davaney said the situation was “obviously disappointing” and it would look at options for the recovery of monies owed.

Sumitomo green lights Hillalong

Bowen Coking Coal said it had received approval from Sumitomo to proceed with phase 2B of the farm-in agreement at the Hillalong project.

Sumitomo would contribute $2.5 million, plus GST, for the work program and could exercise an option to buy an extra 5 per cent interest in the project which would lift its stake to 20 per cent.

Phase 2B includes additional exploration drilling, firming up the resource and moving to a feasibility study.

QEM gets more funds

Vanadium hopeful QEM has raised $2.72 million in a placement that would help progress its Julia Creek project.

The placement was oversubscribed and would be used to fund the pilot plant program and additional petrology and vanadium pentoxide processing flow sheet optimisation.

Major shareholder David Fitch invested another $765,000 in the placement to maintain his 28 per cent stake.

The nearby Richmond Vanadium has appointed DRG to do a bankable feasibility study for its project near Julia Creek. It would be funded by the $25 million raised in the IPO in December.

Funds for Mt Isa project

Coppermoly has raised $845,000 to help advance copper-gold exploration in the Mt Isa region.

The funds were raised through a placement to Hongkong Ausino Investment, which would now hold 19 per cent of the company. The company is owned by Perth-based explorer Dr Fu Minlu.

Terrain snaps up land

Terrain Minerals has submitted tenement applications totalling 2500 sq/km of what it said was highly prospective land next door to the Cracow gold mine in Queensland.

Included were two known, historic mines as well as numerous copper and gold targets first identified by Rio Tinto, Gold Fields and Newcrest.

Hypersonix gets patent

Space tech company Hypersonix has been awarded a US patent for the technology used in its Spartan scramjet design.

The patent provides protection for almost 20 years.

It’s the third patent for the company. It previously received two Australian patents.


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