Welcome to the end of the day, where we recognise that your day has been just as hectic as ours, so we spend some time trawling through the news to bring you the bits and bobs from the ASX and elsewhere that keep you informed and looking super-smart down the pub later tonight.

Let’s dig straight in, shall we?



Killing in the name of… progress?

Elon Musk’s lesser-talked-about baby, Neurolink, is in the news today following reports that it is being investigated for animal welfare violations, because of the absurd number of animals the company has killed on its way to figuring out how to make paralysed people walk again.

According to Mashable, it’s alleged that a culture of “pressure from CEO Elon Musk to accelerate development has resulted in botched experiments”, which is horrifying when you consider that they’re working on ways to reconnect brains and nerves to legs that don’t work anymore.

It certainly sounds very Musk-ish – and has allegedly led to a huge death toll among the animals being experimented on… which is estimated to be around the 1,500 mark.

But that is just an estimate, because “ the company does not keep precise statistics on the number of animals tested and killed”, which sounds like something they should be doing, but aren’t.

The old adage about breaking eggs to make omelettes certainly springs to mind – but that’s probably small comfort to the animals (and the scientists) at what is sounding increasingly like an evil scientist’s lab, the more complaints come to light.


Why women won’t sleep with slobs, according to science

Also on the sciency side of things today, a recent study into why wives won’t doink their husbands when they won’t do housework has potentially found out why.

According to PsyPost, researchers have spoken to a bunch of wives who’ve stopped putting out and determined that when hubby won’t push the hoover round, women start to view them as ‘dependents’ rather than spouses, which makes a lot of sense.

So it also makes sense that the sex dries up in that kind of marriage, because with wives essentially infantilising their fellas when they won’t wash up, it’s a power demotivator in the bedroom.

So… if that sounds like your household and you want the action between the bedsheets to heat up, wash the bedsheets and clean the toilet to get your lady hot to trot. Possibly.


Qatar World Cup death toll continues to rise

And lastly, the news from the World Cup in Qatar is that it’s really not a great place to be a journalist, following the death of a second member of the press pack on the weekend.

According to news.com.au, Qatari photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam passed away “suddenly” – which, in Qatar, is a phrase that could be interpreted to mean anything from “was hit by a falling Skylink satellite” to “was bundled into a government van and shot”.

But in al-Misslam’s case, the exact circumstances of his death are unclear – but he is the second journalist to perish during the tournament, following the death of US soccer journalist Grant Wahl died of a suspected heart attack.

Wahl’s death is taking on some murky undertones, with his brother suggesting that “somebody” (code for the Qatari government)  had got to Wahl after he was detained for wearing a t-shirt with a rainbow on it, and was highly critical of the host nation in his popular newsletter.

The death of two journalists, alongside the careers of at least six international team coaches’ careers (and the lamentable end to superstar Ronaldo’s dream of winning the tournament single-handedly) shows that FIFA’s decision to let Qatar host the tournament might not have been the best decision the governing body has ever made.



Righto… this one’s a bit complex, so bear with me – but St Barbara (ASX:SBM) and Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD) have announced that they’re planning on merging.

The goal of the merger is to create “one of Australia’s leading gold houses, with a long-life, high quality asset base and substantial potential for organic growth”, according to the ASX announcement.

The new company formed will be called “Hoover House”, for reasons that nobody here at the Stockhead newsroom has been able to independently figure out – is it a vacuum cleaner reference? Do the companies hold a fascination for the late and venerable former head of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover? Is there a massive dam project on the horizon? #What’sInAName?

UPDATE: The riddle has been answered, thanks to super-journo Josh Chiat, who tells me: “The former Saracen management team which now leads Genesis, also including CFO Morgan Ball and corporate development officer Troy Irvin, will become the key men at the renamed Hoover House — a nod to the bed and breakfast overlooking the Gwalia mine established as the mine manager’s headquarters in the late 1800s and named for its first mine manager, 31st US President Herbert Hoover.” #TheMoreYouKnow.

What we also know is that the newly-formed Hoover House will be aiming at a production target of +300kozpa, which is a lot of gold by any measure.

Just to complicate matters for everyone in Head Office, St Barbara is set to  undertake demerger of Atlantic, Simberi and other assets (including St Barbara’s shares in various ASX-listed entities) to St Barbara shareholders as part of the merger plans, which will be held in a company to be known as Phoenician Metals, with the intention to list on the ASX some time down the road.

The announcement also says that Genesis must raise A$275 million to fund the merged entity and facilitate the transaction, conditional on the scheme and demerger becoming effective.

Sounds like someone’s got a monstrously huge stack of paperwork to wade through over the course of the next few weeks…

And the Battle for Warrego seems like it might be over, according to The Australian, which has saved me several minutes of writing this afternoon with this wonderfully succinct timeline of events thus far:

“Kerry Stokes-backed Beach Energy pitched its first bid at 20c per share on November 11 – a day after Strike Energy’s scrip offer – negotiated up from 17c a share by the Warrego board.

“Hancock Energy topped that with a 23c bid, which Beach soon countered with a 25c a share offer, with Hancock then returning serve with a 28c per share bid.

“Beach had until Monday to match or better that offer under a clause in its scheme implementation deed with Warrego, but on Friday said it was pulling out, citing a “disciplined approach to inorganic growth’’.”

But… the fight for Warrego might not be over yet, according to the AFR, pointing out that Strike Energy is well-placed to complicate things further.

“Strike Energy has increased its stake in Warrego to 19.9 per cent and shapes as a potential kingmaker in the fight,” The AFR reports.

“Strike boosted its stake through a one-for-one exchange of shares with various Warrego shareholders that strengthens its hand in the takeover tussle and increases its say in the future of West Erregulla.”

So – while Beach Energy has dropped a “too rich for my blood” on the table, Rinehart’s bid to own Warrego outright could still face a few more hurdles – and could well just be a harbinger of energy company consolidations over the coming months as well.



Investigator Resources (ASX:IVR) – capital raising.

Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD) – capital raising.

St Barbara (ASX:SBM) – acquisition including an associated capital raising (see above).

Genmin (ASX:GEN) – capital raising.

DW8 (ASX:DW8) – capital raising.

Mayfield Childcare (ASX:MFD) – announcement pending in relation to the Non‐Binding Indicative Proposal previously announced by the Company on 1 December.

Frugl Group (ASX:FGL) – announcement pending in connection with a strategic partnership and capital raising.

Pursuit Minerals (ASX:PUR) – acquisition and a capital raising.

Terrain Minerals (ASX:TMX) – Clarification after the initial trading halt request from 09 December was signed off by Justin Virgin (no, really) from European Lithium, instead of Terrain Minerals.