The weekend. As a badly miscast actor once said:

And there’s been a lot to think about this week. The possibility of another five years of Donald Trump in the White House for starters.

Collingwood winning. That MAFS bitch messing with Dan’s fragile heart.

But it wasn’t all bad. Pauline Hanson lifted everyone’s spirits by admitting she’d read a book… about the Port Arthur conspiracy. When asked which one, she replied: “It was a blue book.”

So if you were distracted, we understand. But here’s what you missed in ASX Small Cap land.

1 – ‘The fundamentals are there’: Three factors which make Australia’s tech scene unique

A shock No 1 for the week. You actually, really think there’s such a thing as Australia’s tech scene.

Well, according to global VC fund Antler, there is, and here are three things which make it unique. Starting with, Australia’s tech scene is, well, “underdeveloped”.

Maybe these past few federal governments were actually onto something…

2 – High Voltage: Even the International Space Station is now powered by lithium-ion

True story, because space footage is never faked:

So if it’s good enough for one of the most advanced scientific experiments humans have undertaken, it’s good enough for cars.

GM and Ford think so – they’re setting up EV manufacturing plants in Michigan. And Tesla has enough data now to be able to confidently tell its customers they don’t need to worry about annual services.

You might also be interested in thermal batteries – what they are and could they steal market share from lithium-ion?


3 – Check-up: What’s happening with the ASX small cap health stocks?


Clinician software tech 1st Group (ASX:1ST) scored a pilot deal with $7.5 billion health insurers Medibank (shares up 85 per cent); Skin Elements (ASX:SKN) announced a big Chinese distribution deal (up 50 per cent); and Australia’s most successful pot stock Elixinol (ASX:EXL) just rose because pot stock (up 46 per cent).

The biggest loser? OncoSil Medical (ASX:OSL) got a big red cross (down 69 per cent) for its pancreatic cancer-fighting device from the British Standards Institute (BSI).

The British have standards. Huh.

Here are all the major health winners and losers right now.

4 – EVs, asteroids and automation – 6 mining trends that are set to sort the winners from the losers

More than just an epic game, asteroids are the real deal when it comes to future mining. Get your kids into mechatronics, folks, and they’ll look after you well into retirement.

To be honest, figuring out how to mine a space rock is probably the least difficult challenge on this list for future operators.

Insert not-so subliminal GIF here:


5 – VIDEO: How to spot a true ‘turnaround’ stock

You like our videos!

That’s great news, because we can just roll the tape and don’t have to spend precious Friday afternoon minutes writing about how it’s all in the headline.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t cut yourself on that falling knife:


6 – Director Trades: Who’s backing property and who’s backing out to buy property?

The ASX might have plenty of questions about why Uniti Wireless (ASX:UWL) really fired the cofounders a day after listing, but their replacement has none whatsoever about the company’s value.

New CEO Vaughan Bowen bought $951,560 of stock on market within two weeks of taking on the job.

On the leaver’s side of things, “factoring service” provider CML (ASX:CGR) managing director Daniel Riley had to sell $800K in stock to buy a family property.

7 – Global giant Albemarle has begun its $1bn build of Australia’s biggest lithium plant in WA

Albemarle is not only difficult to spell correctly in headlines (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ it’s also a proper big deal in global lithium.

So when it plumps down $1 billion to build a giant lithium processing plant in Kemerton, WA, the future starts to look a little more solid for everyone involved.

At full production, the plant will deliver up to 100,000 tonnes each year of premium battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Yes, Australia can actually do processing!

8 – Expert view: Here are 3 key trends in private markets for the Australian tech and media landscape

You don’t need to know stuff.

As a principal at corporate advisory firm TMT Partners, Hugh Richards has had a front row seat to many of the key trends in local tech and media. So if you want to know how things are heading, it’s much easier to just ask him.

Sam Jacobs did, and Hugh kept the trend list down to three big ones:

  • The rise of private equity investment
  • The death of digital advertising, and
  • Flavour of the month in fintech

Here’s why TMT Partners are watching them closely.

9 – It’s too hard to sell hydrogen cars in Australia yet… but they’re coming

The Australian Hydrogen Energy Summit was held this week, and Rachel Williamson got to listen in on what the future of fuel might look like in Australia, about 20 years after the rest of the world rolls it out.

This is promising though – Toyota has brought in 13 hydrogen fuel cell cars to tempt government officials, and got a $3.1m grant to turn its former Altona carmaking factory into a refuelling station where they make hydrogen for vehicular use.

Not so interesting – Hyundai’s Nexo can do about 750km on an $88 tank.


Wasn’t the hydrogen dream all about filling our cars up with water?

Apparently, the cost is all in the electrolysis.

10 – Women are naturally drawn to medical marijuana, says Elixinol Global MD

And finally, back to Elixinol. Australia’s most successful pot stock, remember? Shares up 165 per cent year-on-year.

Maybe this is what happens when you let women run things, like Elixinol MD Linda McLeod.

Angela East took a closer look at the 30 small cap ASX-listed cannabis companies to see how many had women in either senior management or on their boards.

Of the total, 60 per cent had women in either a management position, on the board or both.

Here’s why, maybe.

That’s all folks, thanks for being a Stockhead. Have a great weekend.