Barry FitzGerald

“We could be drilling here for five years and 100 million tonnes. (But) that is not going to help us. What we need to do here is to get stuff out of the ground as fast as we can and create a mine.”

With those words, Red Dirt Metals (ASX: RDT) managing director Matthew Boyes put junior lithium explorers on notice. When you’ve got potentially 10 million tonnes in the ground, and a ridiculous run up in spodumene prices (Pilbara Minerals hit yet another record auction price last week), it’s probably time to stop drilling and start digging.

Garimpeiro can’t find much to argue with there, after catching Boyes at the Melbourne leg of an eastern states roadshow. Sure, spod prices might run up from now to forever, but with an initial resource estimate just weeks away (looking substantial) and talk of an offtake deal, Boyes wants Red Dirt on an “accelerated pathway to market”.

It’s trading around the 61c mark for a market cap of $185m. The stock it is most compared to is the $2.5 billion Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) trading at $1.40 for a market of $2.44 billion. And Core’s ready to hit first production from its Finniss project in the Northern Territory in the December quarter.

Guy Le Page

Terrible name, tiny explorer… but kicking some freak potential match-winners from the boundary is E-Metals (ASX:EMT). The startup holds several projects across WA, but it’s the 100pc owned Willi Creek project that looks like EMT’s best bet right now.

EMT has identified some 50 square kilometres of highly radiometric granites. That’s geo speak for “good chance of rare earth mineralisation”. Enough to get excited about on its own, but Willi Creek is also located in WA’s Gascoyne region; specifically, from a punter’s POV, about 70km west of Yangibana.

Yangibana is hot for the hottest metals right now (that’s REEs). Its owner Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) just landed a $110 million raise recently at $4.40 a share to mine it.

HAS currently sits on a market cap around $490 million. EMT? $14 million, at just 1.7 cents a share. And wait, there’s more – E-Metals’ prospects are promising enough to lure former HAS geologist Simon Cohell over as technical consultant to lead the charge.

Warwick Grigor

Far East Capital

Of the 224 significant copper deposits discovered globally over the past 30 years, only 16 have been found in the past decade — and just one since 2015. Couple that with growing EV demand (nutshell – we need a lot more copper, soon) and surely the future looks bright for any company with a decent deposit on its hands.

Grigor likes the look of Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA) – but not only because it’s eyeing the development of a 22,000tpa copper, 27,000ozpa gold copper-gold operation in the Philippines with a 25-year mine life.

This is a story about how some perfectly good companies fail to ignite shareholder interest for two reasons, according to Grigor – lack of leadership, and lack of promotion.

Celsius is currently valued at $19.54m, yet initial capital expenditure of its Philippines project was estimated to be US$253m… with a payback period of ~2.7 years. Sounds like a case of “lack of promotion”.

That’s the only reason Grigor can think of that’s keeping Celsius as “an institutional-sized project in a penny dreadful shell”.

Quick shots

Newly listed Terra Uranium (ASX: T92) has a new substantial shareholder in Peak Asset Management founder and executive director Niv Dagan. Terra Uranium is drilling this coming winter in Canada’s Athabasca Basin, which has the largest uranium deposits in the world and highest grade. Dagan said since the latest change in substantial holding he has added another 900,000 shares.

It doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on who’s racking up a bit more skin in their own game, and the past fortnight has seen several ASX directors make $1 million commitments to their own companies.

Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) owns a diversified portfolio of Australian agricultural assets predominantly leased to corporate agricultural operators. There’s been a lot of talk about “food crisis” lately, but the RFF share price has fallen ~19% year-to-date. Good enough for managing director David Bryant to tip in for $998,407.40 worth.

And founder and chairman of listed investment group Thorney Technologies (ASX:TEK), billionaire investor Alex Waislitz, continued to top up his holdings with four trades worth $1,057,426. The stock is down more than 50% over the past 12 months.
The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interviews in this article are solely those of the interviewees and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead does not provide, endorse or otherwise assume responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.