There are probably quite a few people who are very, very glad that it’s Friday – including your humble (ha!) correspondent. It’s been a bit of a week.

Today, though, has been somewhat ponderous, with plenty of movement to keep us all amused – so allow us to offer you a chance to pamper you a little as we bring you the news from the markets and elsewhere as well, which you may have missed in all the commotion.



Researchers have made a disturbing link between Covid-19, and teenagers who think they’re old enough to vote and buy booze and all the other “adult” stuff that young people seem to think they’re capable of doing, but clearly aren’t.

Turns out, the pandemic has made them a bit older than their physical age would suggest – according to boffins from Stanford University, who did a bunch of brain scans to look for physical changes between pre- and post-pandemic adolescents.

“Brain age difference was about three years – we hadn’t expected that large an increase given that the lockdown was less than a year [long],” said Professor Ian Gotlib, lead author of the study.

They’ve got no idea why it’s happened, though – but we’re willing to bet that at some point in the next couple of months, video games will be the Number 1 culprit it’s getting blamed on.

And quickly to the US, where President Joe Biden has gone public with his desire to have a bit of a chat with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to try to bring the conflict to and end.

According to reports, Biden is quite willing to talk with Putin, but it appears that the offer is just a teensy bit lopsided – because as it stands, what Biden’s put on the table isn’t something that Putin’s likely to want to eat.

“I’m prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if in fact there is an interest in him deciding he’s looking for a way to end the war. He hasn’t done that yet,” President Biden said.

“If that’s the case, in consultation with my French and my NATO friends, I’ll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he has in mind. He hasn’t done that yet.”

“There’s one way for this war to end — the rational way. Putin to pull out of Ukraine, number one. But it appears he’s not.

“Bombing nurseries, hospitals, children’s homes. It’s sick what he’s doing,” Biden said. “The idea that Putin is ever going to defeat Ukraine is beyond comprehension.”

Obviously, it’s lovely that Biden would like the war to end, but offering an olive branch by selling increasingly massive quantities of weapons into the conflict, and throwing several dozen handfuls of backhanded shade at Putin is highly unlikely to be an enticing option.



Zenith Minerals (ASX:ZNC) has announced that the offer for shares in its spin-off Mackerel Metals has been withdrawn, with the gold and base metal projects that were to come under the remit of Mackerel to remain within the Zenith portfolio for the time being.

Citing “current market conditions”, the IPO has been mothballed and Zenith has instructed the share registry to refund everyone’s money – and pulled the pin on next week’s extraordinary general meeting as well, because without the IPO, there’d be nothing much to talk about and everyone would be left standing around awkwardly, which is never much fun.

Zenith says it plans on pushing ahead with proposed drilling activities across the projects that Mackerel would have covered – and has reserved the right to re-launch the IPO, with renewed shareholder approval, should market conditions turn favourable sometime down the track.

In other drilling news, Dundas Minerals (ASX:DUN) has announced that what looked like a cracker of an “accidental find” isn’t shaping up the way it was expected to.

In September, Dundas was the talk of Small Cap Explorer Town, when one of its bore water drills bit into a surprise.

“The drill rig has already completed three shallow holes, for drilling water, to a maximum depth of 37m,” the company said at the time.

“Unexpectedly, massive sulphides were intersected in hole 22CEWB003 (from 17m) and pyrite rich altered stockwork veins, also from 17m, in hole 22CEWB001.”

Since then, Dundas did some diamond drilling, which hasn’t panned out at all thus far, with the company announcing the assays have “not returned intervals of significant mineralisation”.

Needless to say, it’s a huge disappointment, but Dundas remains hopeful that they’ll get a bead on what the geology of the project is like, bringing independent geologist Grant “Rocky” Osborne to help figure it out.

Meanwhile Dundas, which shot up some 247% in September when their water hole spouted results, is down 29.1% for the day.



Advance Metals (ASX:AVM) – Cap raise.

Arafura Rare Earths (ASX:ARU) – Cap raise.

Antilles Gold (ASX:AAU) – Cap raise.

RPM Automotive Group (ASX:RPM) – Cap raise.

Payright (ASX:PYR) – Waiting on news about the outcome of the institutional component of the accelerated entitlement offer.