Good morning everyone, and welcome to 08 January, 2024 – an important date on the  calendar, as it marks the 22nd Anniversary of US President George Dubya Bush signing a landmark piece of legislation into law – called No Child Left Behind.

It turned out, like most things from Dubya’s presidency, to be little more than a sick joke, despite promising sweeping changes to lift the performance of US students, and – perhaps more importantly – schools across America, by bringing in standardised testing and educational benchmarks.

Those benchmarks were meant to provide The Powers That Be with enough data to figure out which schools were underperforming, and which ones were just full of students whose passions and career goals involved as little maths, spelling or literature as possible.

Failure to meet the required goals exposed schools to an escalating series of punishments – ranging from “allowing students to change to a better school if they wanted”, through to having each and every building on campus reduced to pea-sized rubble by a specially trained team of bulldozer-driving former students, whose passions and career goals involved as little maths, spelling or literature as possible.

Twenty-two years later, and the current state of the US school system has made it abundantly clear that the policy was an abject failure, leaving American school students having to make their way through life with criminally poor education.

Which isn’t at all surprising, given that there are entire states where the kids are being taught out of textbooks that are replacing things like “verifiable scientific fact” with ideas like “Planet Earth is only 6,000 years old”.

That leaves us here in Australia with a lot of heavy lifting to do – which is why the Stockhead team has been pushing themselves to breaking point to bring you stories like Jess Cummins’ enlightening chat with Shaw and Partners director of corporate finance and WA state manager, Davide Bosio, and whatever it is that Christian’s written for the morning, which promises to be informative, brilliant and utterly chaotic, in roughly equal measures.

Plus, down below, there’s all the data and digits that the number nerds seem to love – the compilation of which is the highlight of my working day – because Rise and Shine just wouldn’t be the same without it.



Gold: US$2,045.44 (+0.11%)

Silver: US$23.18 (+0.82%)

Nickel (3mth): US$15,700/t (-1.95%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,346.00/t (-0.26%)

Oil (WTI): US$73.81 (+2.26%)

Oil (Brent): US$78.90 (+1.59%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$141.45/t (+1.06%)

AUD/USD: 0.6712 (-0.32%)

Bitcoin: US$44,012.21 (+0.05%)



If you were sensible and didn’t turn up at work last week, you missed a thoroughly disappointing run for most of the ASX. So here’s a blow-by-tedious-blow recap of everything you missed, because misery loves company.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Friday’s Small Caps highlights were:

Friday’s big winner was Calima Energy (ASX:CE1), which popped a very healthy 61.5% gain in the AM after it struck a ‘definitive agreement’ for flogging its Canadian subsidiary Blackspur Oil Corp to Astara Energy, for the princely sum of C$75 million – roughly 83.3 million of our puny Australian dollarydoos.

Which is, of course, big news – but the major reason why Calima’s gone absolutely gangbusters is this little nugget in the announcement:

“It is the Company’s objective to distribute no less than 85% of the funds received from the Blackspur Sale to Calima shareholders in the most tax effective form and the Company will seek an ATO ruling on this matter in a timely fashion.”

Calima is currently trading at $0.105, which comes with a free hit at a slice of just under $71 million, depending on how the ATO decides to rule on the offer.

International bookie Michael Sullivan’s Bluebet (ASX:BBT) was up more than 25% this morning, after releasing a boilerplate non-denial of media speculation about a possible merger between it and rival Matt Tripp’s BetR.

“BlueBet is regularly involved in discussions with third parties regarding strategic initiatives, including Betr, aimed at maximising value for its shareholders,” the company said.

So that’s a very firm “possibly”, which was enough to get the more punt-friendly investors away from the pokies for a few minutes.

And MTM Critical Metals (ASX:MTM) continued making the most of its recent news about rare earth element (REE) and niobium (Nb) mineralisation over broad intervals in previously untested parts of the Pomme carbonatite complex – the same news that saw the company shed 27% to $0.07 the day it dropped has since seen the company’s price climb 85.7% to $0.13… What a time to be alive.

Later in the day, BPH Energy (ASX:BPH) saw a flurry of activity for no particular reason that I was able to spot during a slightly-more-than-perfunctory look at the headlines, climbing around 22% to close out the week up by more than 43%.

Havilah Resources (ASX:HAV) made a late play for the headlines, dropping an announcement that it has found graphite at its Birksgate prospect in the Curnamona Province of northeastern South Australia, located approximately 50km north-northwest of Kalkaroo.

But… it looks like it missed the mark, hardly surprising since the announcement came mid-afternoon on a very slow Friday, with results from a single drillhole, with a peak graphite interception of 4.9% over 21m from 36m – which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a show-stopper.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Kingsrose Mining (ASX:KRM) regarding government approval to commence drilling at the Porsanger Project in Norway