Exploration IPOs Forrestania, Mitre Mining start at a canter on opening day
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It was a great day to be in resources floats, as two new entrants to the ASX boards listed at a canter.
Forrestania Resources (ASX:FRS) was the best performer, with investors who missed out on the junior explorer’s $5 million IPO piling in.
It rose by 45% to 29c after charging to a 67.5% gain on its 20c offer price earlier in the afternoon.
It has a series of gold, lithium and nickel interests around the Forrestania and Southern Cross regions of WA, near Western Areas’ (ASX:WSA) Spotted Quoll nickel mine and Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) and SQM’s giant Mt Holland lithium project. More on that later.
Lachlan fold belt explorer Mitre Mining (ASX:MMC), which says it is taking a multi-commodity and multi-deposit approach to the discovery of gold, lithium and base metals in New South Wales, also listed.
It was up 27.5% to 25.5c at 3.50pm AEST.
Who remembers the court stoush over a billion dollar lithium mine?
In 2017, Kidman Resources was on a tear after the shock discovery of one of the world’s biggest lithium bearing pegmatites at the Mt Holland project, which it initially picked up to explore old gold mines including the historic Bounty deposit.
It emerged there’d been some minor discussions between Kidman and its neighbour Marindi Metals about the lithium rights.
Kidman went off, drilled and hit the motherlode. Marindi sued, claiming it had been traded the lithium rights in an email chain and silks were brought in to duke it out in a hotly contested Supreme Court battle.
Kidman won, paving the way for its joint venture with SQM and subsequent $776 million takeover by Wesfarmers.
To be clear, the old Marindi ground Forrestania now holds was not subject to the Mt Holland court case, but it is rich in pegmatites and prospective for gold and nickel.
Marindi found some pretty decent lithium prospectsbefore becoming gold explorer Firefly Resources (ASX:FFR). The tenement package’s sale into the FRS IPO gives Firefly shareholders a 12% stake in the company.
Historical drilling at Forrestania includes a hit of 33 metres grading 3.2% Li2O from 69m, including 13m at 4% Li2O from 81m.
Forrestania also owns the Southern Cross and Leonora projects in WA.
The Lachlan Fold Belt is well known for its bountiful reserves of gold, silver and copper.
But newly-listed Mitre Mining says it is taking a ‘multi-commodity’ approach to exploration at its Mitre project.
That includes looking for new types of mineralisation and commodities that have previously been alien to explorers in the area, including rare earths and lithium.
“What’s never been tested is the evidence and availability of rare earths — tungsten, lithium and those type of battery elements,” Mitre’s Clinton Carey told Stockhead’s Sam Jacobs this week.
“No one’s carried out the assay work or actually looked closely. And given we know they’re in our exploration licence, we’re going to have a look and see if there’s anything worth developing.”