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Live Verdure surge shows there is money in wellbeing

Updated: Mar 12

Live Verdure’s stock rocketed up the ASX boards last week. Credit: File

Through glossy mags and flashy television advertisements, modern life is being bombarded with a veritable conga-line of cosmetic companies promising baby-bottom smoothness for even the crustiest of skin.

And while ESG (environment, social and governance) is the current buzz-phrase in mining, HWS (health, wellness and skincare) seems to be an almost omnipresent acronym used to tell society what not to forget while belting through today’s fast-paced existence.

With the epic number of competing products flooding the HWS market – not to mention supermarket shelves – it is nigh on impossible to make a confident choice. But the ASX market clearly did last week when it sent Australian HWS company Live Verdure’s stock on a wild ride – seemingly all on the back of a $1.68m capital raise to fund new product development, retail growth and partnership opportunities.

The fact that the Oxford Dictionary describes the word “verdure” as “the fresh green colour of lush vegetation” clearly does not mean the company wants its customers to come out looking a bit like Shrek after using its products. But regardless, the fundraising revelation hit a chord with investors as Live Verdure’s share price jumped from the previous week’s close of just 9.2 cents to a sudden high of 20c last Thursday, within just hours of the fundraising announcement.

It was not the highest ASX runner of the week (more on that later), but it was certainly the most intriguing.

After acquiring the Edible Beauty brand last year, Live Verdure’s marketing boffins have been shouting from the rooftops that they have, “Beauty products good enough to eat”. And there are some alluring product titles that include a Broccoli Blue Light Revitalise Booster Serum, an Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum and even some Eco Enchantress Make-Up Remover Puffs – which are possibly not fit for consumption.

The company’s hemp-based “13seeds” products also seem to have disciples raving in salutation. Some even border on tear-jerker status.

“I have found that I have got a great deal of relief from the pain in my right leg that comes from arthritis, nerve damage and soft tissue damage,” a customer by the name of Wayne explained on the company’s website. “Had a bad motor bike accident some thirty five years ago, didn’t walk for two years.”

The company’s 13seeds brand offers a wide variety of hemp-based health food, nutraceuticals and supplements, while the 8seeds skincare products harness the power of hemp seed oil in combination with other powerful ingredients to soothe, plump and revitalise skin.

Edible Beauty was founded in 2014 by experienced, Sydney-based naturopath and nutritionist, Anna Mitsios. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 18, which inspired her search for natural solutions, nutrition and herbal remedies to help manage her auto-immune condition. The company says it has a naturopathically-formulated range providing pure, active and sustainable skincare and wellness products targeting the health and environmentally conscious demographic.

The wellness industry is big business. According to Grand View Research, the Australia and New Zealand corporate wellness market was valued at US$1.4 billion (AU$2.2 billion) in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent from 2023 to 2030.

The skin care market is also a lucrative industry. According to Statista, revenue in the market amounts to US$1.67 billion (AU$2.62 billion) and is also expected to grow annually by about 3.34 per cent from this year until 2028.

Seems like it pays to look after yourself ­– both in your health and wellbeing and into the tills of those providing the products.

Last week’s biggest mover was Torque Metals, which soared a massive 248 per cent to touch 43.5c. The company picked up a promising lithium and gold project called New Dawn, just 600m along strike from the impressive Bald Hill lithium-tantalum operation.

Torque Metals’ New Dawn project. Credit: File

The newly-acquired tenements are adjacent to Torque’s Paris gold camp, with the company dubbing its aggregate holdings as the “Penzance” project, in what is likely a reference to the famous Gilbert and Sullivan production The Pirates of Penzance.

Several outcropping spodumene-bearing pegmatites have already been identified at New Dawn, with rock-chip samples grading up to 6 per cent lithium oxide. Torque is already planning on getting a diamond drill rig on-site this month, with a 20-hole campaign for about 2000m to test for tantalum and spodumene in the pegmatites.

The latest acquisition brings the company’s landholding in Western Australia’s Goldfields region to more than 500 square kilometres.

Lithium Plus Minerals jumped 87 per cent to touch 45cs. The explorer’s first completed diamond hole sunk at its Lei prospect hit 127m of strongly-mineralised pegmatite from 609m, with assays still to come. Lei forms part of the company’s Bynoe lithium project in the Northern Territory, just south of Darwin.

Lithium Plus believes the exceptional hit represents one of the biggest mineralised intersections ever recorded from the Bynoe pegmatite field, putting the Lei pegmatite in the same class as Core Lithium’s previously-reported 119m intercept at its BP33 deposit. The company still has four more diamond holes to drill, in addition to seven infill holes as it looks to unveil a maiden lithium resource at the operation as soon as next quarter.

The final runner of last week was Southern Cross Gold, which shot up 82 per cent to hit 91c after drilling its best hole yet in Victoria. Its spectacularly-wide 404m high-grade gold intersection was packed with almost three times more gold than its previous best hole. The impressive hit was sunk at the company’s Sunday Creek project, which it describes as a “significant Australian gold discovery”.

The 404m hit also contained some eye-watering grades with a 0.8m section grading 1736.4 grams per tonne gold from 739.9m, including 0.4m going a whopping 2670g/t gold from 740.3m. Following laboratory analysis, the wide intercept was also shown to contain seven separate sections of more than 100g/t gold and 20 intervals of more than 5 per cent antimony.

With four diamond drill rigs operating at site, Southern Cross has stated it will drill an additional 26,000m by April next year, with 19,626m drilled to date this year.

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