In the past fortnight a couple of founders have sunk more cash into their companies as they fight COVID-19.

Mitchell Services’ (ASX:MSV) Nathan Mitchell, who began the company in 1989, bought $102,875 of shares on market.

The mining services firm admitted the interstate border restrictions and the impact on the FIFO market had been a challenge. But earlier this month Mitchell Services reported strong quarterly results including $51.8m in revenue and earnings of $10.1m.

Travel agent Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) however has been decimated, dropping over 75 per cent since the start of 2020.

Travel demand drying up has been bad enough but in recent days it has come under fire for its cancellation policies. The crisis has forced it to raise $700m, with founder Graham Turner chipping in $10m.

David Dicker, founder of IT services provider Dicker Data (ASX:DDR), put his hand into his pocket for his company too, buying $238,169 on market. The company has since told Stockhead it believes the shares represented strong value.

Code Company Director Change Date Volume $
VVA Viva Leisure Susan Forrester Buy 8 April 130,000 $167,405
CPU Computershare Christopher Morris Sell 9 April 1,000,000 $10,772,549
LSH Lifespot Health Andreas Empl Sell 6 April 4,957,126 $247,856
FLT Flight Centre Graham Turner Buy 16 April 1,388,889 $10,000,001
PPC Peet Brendan Gore Sell 17 April 800,000 $616,000
WEC White Energy Company Brian Flannery Buy 20 April 3,000,000 $180,000
WEC White Energy Company Travers Duncan Buy 20 April 78,980,737 $4,738,844
CEL Challenger Exploration Fletcher Quinn Buy 17 April 13,000,000 $1,300,000
AMA AMA Group Simon Moore Buy 17 April 650,000 $271,400
LTR Liontown Resources Timothy Goyder Buy 16 April 1,000,000 $100,000
SKY Sky Metals Norman Seckold Buy 20 April 2,000,000 $440,000
DDR Dicker Data David Dicker Buy 1 April 50,000 $238,165
DCN Dacian Gold Barry Patterson Buy 20 April 8,954,987 $2,686,496
DCN Dacian Gold Robert Reynolds Buy 20 April 333,333 $100,000
DGO DGO Gold Bruce Parncutt Buy 21 April 350,000 $525,000
MSV Mitchell Services Nathan Mitchell Buy 22 April 225,000 $102,875
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Big hits indicate there’s money to be made

But one sector that is going well is the junior explorer space and there were quite a few directors trades here as well.

New South Wales-focused explorer Sky Metals (ASX:SKY) is one of the few companies in a better state than it was 12 months ago. It pivoted from tin to gold last year and in February made one of the strongest gold hits of the year sending it from 10c in early February to 29c on Friday.

The company did a $10.5m capital raising and Norman Seckold chipped in $440,000. Last week Sky Metals also announced it would fast-track a new drilling campaign over the next quarter.

One of last year’s success stories was lithium explorer Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) and while it took a hit due to COVID-19 it has recouped much of its losses in recent weeks. Director Timothy Goyder put another $100,000 into the company.

Goyder also sits on the board of Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN), which has rocketed due to its Julimar nickel discovery in Western Australia. And since then, Liontown has ramped up work at its own nickel project located 95km to the south of Julimar.

But the biggest trade in the explorer space was made by Fletcher Quinn, who bought $1.3m in Ecuador-focused Challenger Exploration (ASX:CEL).

In the gold producer space, Dacian Gold (ASX:DCN) finally recapitalised and relisted earlier this month.

Putting money into the company were directors Barry Patterson, who tipped in $2.69m, and Robert Reynolds, who bought $100,000 worth of shares.

Brian Flannery and Travers Duncan from White Energy Company (ASX:WEC) put $180,000 and $4.7m respectively into the Queensland-focused coal company.