Mexican madness adds spice to top ASX performers

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsThe West Australian
This week’s Bulls N’ Bears ASX Runner of the Week is … Schrole Group.
Camera IconThis week’s Bulls N’ Bears ASX Runner of the Week is … Schrole Group. Credit: File

Babies, buyouts, battery metals and … burritos?

The ASX can sometimes throw up a pretty mixed bag of movers and shakers, but this week was something else. That’s right, the latest edition of the Bulls N’ Bears ASX Runners of the Week column comes with a side of salsa – or pico de gallo, if you prefer a bit of spice.

But more on the headline-making ASX listing of Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez a little later.

Taking out the top spot this week is Schrole Group, which enjoyed a share price hike of more than 187 per cent from a previous close of 16c to soar up to 46c. The company has entered into a scheme implementation deed that will likely see it taken over by education technology platform TES.

For those not familiar with Schrole, the business targets the education sector and provides a human resources software-as-a-service (SaaS). Its major product – “Schrole HR” – combines recruitment, background checks, onboarding, relief teacher management and professional development.

TES fits the bill by supporting more than 19,000 schools globally with a variety of digital solutions and has offered to acquire 100 per cent of Schrole at 48.2c per share by the way of a scheme of arrangement. The cash consideration represents a massive 203 per cent premium to Schrole’s previous closing price of 16c.

While the proposed buyout deal is not set in stone (shareholders are expected to meet in September to vote on the scheme), the announcement caused a flurry on the ASX with more than 3.5 million shares changing hands to start the week, smashing the company’s previous daily record in the past year of just 315,000 units.

Schrole directors say they are all in and have recommended that shareholders follow suit, so this appears to be a done deal.

Taking out the silver this week is Terra Metals, which launched more than 134 per cent from a previous close of 4.1c to touch 9.6c after confirming the discovery of large copper-platinum group element (PGE) sulphide reefs at its Dante Reefs project.

The operation sits in the West Mulgrave region of Western Australia, within shouting distance of BHP’s $1.7 billion Nebo-Babel mine development. Well, maybe not quite shouting distance, but it is only 15km away and hosts 390 million tonnes at 0.3 per cent copper, 0.33 per cent nickel and 0.23 grams per tonne PGE.

Terra has returned some positive results from first-pass drilling at the site, with highlights showing a 6m intercept grading 0.4 per cent copper, 0.79g/t PGE, 0.66 per cent vanadium oxide and a very tidy 19.9 per cent titanium oxide from just 4m. It includes a 2m hit at 0.62 per cent copper, 0.85g/t PGE, 0.71 per cent vanadium oxide and a whopping 22.3 per cent titanium oxide from 6m.

The Dante Reefs are a series of gently-dipping, laterally-extensive mineralised layers that outcrop from surface and, in total, run for 42km.

Management says the discovery of similar-style reefs in the Bushveld Province of South Africa has resulted in some of the world’s biggest, longest-running and most profitable PGE, copper, nickel, gold, vanadium and titanium mining operations, with more than 100 years of ongoing production.

Earlier this month, the company extended the strike at Dante Reefs by 82 per cent following its maiden drill campaign that sunk 60 drillholes for 10.22km across four of its major targets. The company is currently working on an exploration target for the operation and still has assays from 16 holes outstanding – so, this seems just the beginning for Terra.

Looking further north takes us to our bronze medallist, which this week goes to Lithium Plus Minerals. The company’s share price jumped almost 90 per cent from a previous close of 13.5c to touch 25.5c after revelations it had lodged a mining lease application for its Lei lithium deposit near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

The area under application covers 295 hectares and includes the Lei mineral resource of 4.09 million tonnes going an impressive 1.43 per cent lithium oxide – making it one of the highest-grade lithium deposits in Australia. The proposed licence also covers additional areas of prospective lithium mineralisation next to the deposit, including a second pegmatite not currently included in the operation’s resource.

The company says the proposed initial development at Lei includes an underground mine, waste dump, crushing and screening facilities.

Mined spodumene ore is expected to be exported to China to feed Canmax’s processing and conversion plant to produce lithium hydroxide that can be sold globally to battery producers. The company has previously announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding for offtake at Lei and, sitting just 71km to the south of Darwin by road, the deposit is in a prime location for transport to the Asian market.

So, we have covered the buyout and battery metals parts of this week’s column and that now brings us to the babies … although Bulls N’ Bears may have taken a wee bit of poetic licence with this one.

Fourth place on this week’s list goes to HeraMED, which enjoyed a share price hike of almost 77 per cent from a previous close of 1.7c to touch 3c after it announced a record number of users – also known as mums – on its HeraCARE platform.

According to the company, HeraCARE allows hospitals, clinics and health providers to offer remote pregnancy monitoring for their patients for customised care plans across low-risk pregnancies, as well as mums with hypertension, gestational diabetes and mental health concerns.

The care plans address the three key areas of maternal challenges that affect a growing number of mums and the huge cost associated with them. Management says that in the United States alone, hypertensive disorders in mothers produces an annual cost of US$7.5 billion (AU$11.25 billion), while gestational diabetes costs US$4.8 billion (AU$7.2 billion) per year and maternal mental health equates to US$18.1 billion (AU$27.15 billion) annually.

Since the end of March, the number of mums on the platform recorded a sequential growth of 12 per cent. It means that to date, about 90,000 digital measurements have been recorded from the pregnancies managed through HeraCARE, including foetal heart rates, maternal heart rates, blood pressure, weight, temperature and mood tracking.

Management expects the accumulated data to provide early clinical intervention opportunities and a reduction of mortality and morbidity.

Any way we can support mums and the issues that can affect them during and after pregnancy is something we should all strive for, so here’s hoping HeraMED continues its good work.

Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez was a hit after its launch on the ASX yesterday.
Camera IconMexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez was a hit after its launch on the ASX yesterday. Credit: File

And finally, a special mention this week must go to the launch of Guzman y Gomez on the ASX – a move that dominated market headlines around the nation.

Proving that burritos are big business, more than 60 million of the 100 million shares on issue were sold within the first 10 minutes of trading after Thursday’s launch. Listing at $22 per share, the company enjoyed an initial surge of 38.41 per cent to touch $30.45 in one of the biggest floats recorded on the ASX in three years – raising $335 million from investors.

The freshly-listed company has 185 stores across Australia and 210 around the globe after opening its first store in Sydney back in 2006.

Trading under the ticker of GYG – which could stand for Go You Good thing – new shareholders will be looking to add Mexican Mondays, Salsa Saturdays and Spicy Sundays to the already well-established Taco Tuesdays.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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