LAST ORDERS: A lightning-quick look at the news from the markets and elsewhere today
It’s Friday – and the collective sigh of relief being emitted around the country will shortly be replaced by a sharp intake of breath, as many of us realise that we’ve not done a shred of Christmas shopping yet, it’s too late to order stuff online and the shops are going to be murder this weekend.
That’s why we’re bringing you this chance to take a few moments to sit back and relax, while you learn about the news from the markets and elsewhere that you might have missed today, because you were too busy fretting about the impending Xmas Holiday madness.
Get it yourself, lazy bones
Another day, and another home delivery mob has shut its doors – this time it’s Melbourne’s YourGrocer, which had specialised in sourcing loads of grocery goodness from local suppliers and dropping them on the doorstep… because that’s how home delivery works.
Sadly, though, YourGrocer has joined the rapidly-lengthening list of delivery start-ups becoming stop-ups, as business models that made 150% sense while people were in the iron-fisted grasp of Covid lockdown orders ceased making sense when everyone was allowed to leave the house to do stuff.
Stuff like see their friends, visit the beach… and go to the shops, apparently – which means that demand for “bring things to my home, for I am hungry” services has dropped dramatically and taken quite a few players out of the game.
As news.com.au points out: “In June, the $75 million-backed grocery delivery start-up Milkrun scaled back its delivery promises as it reported a $13 loss per order.
“Victorian food delivery company Delivr, styled as a rival to UberEats and Deliveroo, collapsed in July after becoming unprofitable.
“And just weeks ago, delivery giant DoorDash laid off 1250 staff as challenging market conditions bit.”
Ghost Shark invades Sydney Harbour
But now,, in a slight change of pace, the people of Sydney might want to think twice about getting out on the water of Sydney Harbour, because the Royal Australian Navy has a new toy lurking around – and it’s proper terrifying.
The week, the RAN tore the covers of its latest, very sleek bringer of death – which they’ve called the Ghost Shark, because it obviously sounds super-cool and deadly.
It does look pretty neat, though.
The Ghost Shark is a “stealth autonomous underwater vehicle”, and it’s on the loose in the harbour as part of testing for the platform, which the Navy is developing in the hope that it won’t need to pack hundreds of people into even larger tubes and keep them underwater for months at a time.
The project is being funded by Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, and the Head of Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, seems quite keen on them as they “have the capacity to remain at sea undetected for very long periods, carry various military payloads and cover very long distances”.
There are reportedly plans to expand the progam to build bigger and better unmanned undersea killing machines – but the Ghost Shark needs to show that it’s capable of doing what it’s meant to before any of that will move ahead.
Sydney locals seem unphased by the Ghost Shark, mostly because it’s stealthy and they’ll never even know that it’s there – much like the current Bull Shark population in the harbour.
But while Ghost Shark can’t bite anyone, and Bull Sharks, obviously, aren’t capable of firing torpedoes (yet…), between the pair of them, Sydney Harbour’s probably about as safe from being invaded as it has been for quite some time.
Estrella Resources (ASX:ESR) has commenced the extraction of a bulk high grade nickel sulphide sample from its 5A nickel mine, which you’ll find ~20km west-south-west of Kambalda, WA.
Estrella says it will extract somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 tonnes of high grade nickel sulphide ore (which sounds oddly imprecise, but anyway…), which will then be mercilessly crushed, and screened before it’s sent to Glencore’s Murrin Murrin HPAL process facility.
Glencore will work its magic on the ore, and while the details of the contract between Estrella and Glenore is super-secret-business, ESR is pretty confident the exercise is going to turn a buck, because nickel prices are pretty good at the moment.
Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) has gone into a trading halt ahead of a placement – which isn’t the hugest of news, but I’m putting it in here because I will never not find the way these announcements are worded amusing.
LRL says the placement is to “strategic sophisticated and professional investors” – implying there’s gonna be a strict dress code or something.
I genuinely hope that there’s a sign in the ASX somewhere alluding to that, which simply reads: “No shoes, no shirt, no shares”.
And lastly, Far East Gold (ASX:FEG) has wrapped up its share purchase plan, raising a very tidy $4.4 million and exceeding the initial SPP target by nearly 200%. Under the SPP new fully paid ordinary shares were issued at $0.50 per share. Shares are expected to be allotted on Tuesday 20 December.
In addition to covering the cost of the offers, the funds raised in the SPP and Placement will be used for progressing exploration activities at the Woyla project, where the Phase 1 drill program has identified three separate Discovery Holes and returned bonanza grade gold and silver assays, the company says.
Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) – Strategic Placement.
Amani Gold (ASX:ANL) – Capital Raise.
Cobre (ASX:CBE) – Capital Raise.
Elmore (ASX:ELE) – Capital Raise.
Annnnd that’s it from us for the week. Join us next week, as the world goes completely mental in the run-up to Christmas…