• Aussie shares slipped over 1pc after the King’s Birthday long weekend
  • Mining and Real Estate sectors were the biggest losers among all 11 sectors
  • Chinese EV stocks fell ahead of expected EU tariff hikes

 

Aussie shares slipped after the King’s Birthday long weekend, closing the day roughly 1.3% lower.

All 11 sectors were flashing red, with Mining and Real Estate the biggest losers. 

 

Source: MarketIndex

 

BHP, Rio Tinto, and Fortescue dipped around -2% each, mirroring the decline in iron ore prices in Asia.

Gold stocks were also weighed down as bullion prices shaved -3.5% in Asian hours, trading as low as US$2,290 an ounce this afternoon following reports that China’s central bank had ceased all gold purchases in May.

The People’s Bank of China had in recents months being buying bullion bars, aimed at diversifying its reserves and protecting against geopolitical risks.

Energy stocks also dipped today despite despite oil prices surging to a one-week high yesterday.

In single stock news, struggling automotive parts retailer Bapcor (ASX:BAP) was one of the best performers today, up +12%, after informing investors that it has received a $1.83 billion buyout proposal from Bain Capital.

Still in the large caps space, gold miner West African Resources (ASX:WAF) was one of the worst performers, down -9% on no specific news.

Read more on WAF here: West Africa: A tale of risk and reward

 

ELON TO BAN APPLE PHONES IF…

Elsewhere today, concerns over the struggling  Chinese property sector led to losses in Asian equities, with Chinese shares taking the biggest falls. 

Mainland stocks, represented by the CSI 300 Index, dropped over 1%, while Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong slid up to 2%.

Shares related to electric vehicles fell ahead of the European Commission’s expected decision on provisional duties.

Experts anticipate that the EU will increase tariffs on Chinese imported EVs from the current 10% to a range of 15% to 30%. 

This move poses a challenge for Chinese EV manufacturers like BYD and Zhejiang Geely, which are already facing restrictions in exporting directly to the US.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk said he will ban Apple devices from his companies if OpenAI’s AI software becomes integrated into Apple’s operating systems, citing security concerns. 

Musk’s comments came after Apple announced plans to incorporate OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot into its Siri digital assistant, scheduled for release later this year. 

Despite co-founding OpenAI, Musk has raised safety issues regarding rapid developments in AI technology.  He is currently developing his own competitor to ChatGPT.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Conico (ASX:CNJ) rose on news that it has extended the deadline for its non-renouncable rights offer. This is the seventh time the offer deadline has been extended since the rights offer was first announced on 09 April this year, with the new x7 deadline now set for 28 June, with the deadline to extend the offer again resting on 25 June.

Constellation Technologies (ASX:CT1) was also rising on Tuesday morning, thanks to a an agreement with leading facilities management company Compass Group which will see the deployment of Constellation’s Callisto Food Safety & Compliance product suite for an initial term of two years, with no minimum order quantities.

And medical data and tech company HeraMED (ASX:HMD) gained after revealing that the company has terminated “with immediate effect” its partnership with US-based Fembridge, following both parties being unable to agree on revised commercial terms. It comes after a corporate restructure at HeraMED led the company to approach Fembridge with plans to update the agreement, particularly in connection with provisions that gave Fembridge a broad exclusivity over the US market and payment to Fembridge of US$40,000 per calendar month for provision of business development, sales, and marketing services.

Orthocell (ASX:OCC) has taken a significant step forward in its efforts to introduce its SmrtGraft product to the Australian market. The company has submitted an application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) seeking approval to commence sales of SmrtGraft, which is designed for tendon repair and regeneration applications. This move comes on the heels of positive results from Orthocell’s tendon regeneration study, which demonstrated that SmrtGraft can reduce the rate of treatment failure and the need for revision surgeries.

Battery and renewables mineral exploration company Belararox’s (ASX:BRX) share price was up nicely after the company provided further evidence of a significant copper porphyry target. This is of “considerable size”, according to the company, and is located at the Malambo prospect at its Toro-Malambo-Toro (TMT) project in Argentina. It shows substantial exploration potential for a large porphyry copper deposit over 800m long, 600m wide, and a depth of about 600m.

Battery minerals company Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) was up a decent amount today after revealing it’s begun production trials for a precursor anode active material for use in EV batteries. Volt is largely focused on its 100% owned graphite and gold projects in Africa, but also has a 70% interest in the Zavalievsky Graphite business with an operating graphite mine and plant in Ukraine. The new chemical purification process is being developed to produce a “high purity active anode precursor material (pAAM)” for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Summit Minerals (ASX:SUM) was another battery mineral making a double-digit climb. Thanks to some high-grade assay results, the company has confirmed the strong niobium potential at its recently acquired Equador niobium and REE project in northeast Brazil. It’s talking rock samples grading as much as 40% niobium, as well as tantalum over a 1.2km strike length.

RareX (ASX:REE) is back in the news, and gains, after announcing an update regarding its “district-scale” Khaleesi niobium and REE project in the East Yilgarn region of Western Australia. The company has found that its geophysical data analysis of “high-quality historical exploration data” from the recently acquired Khaleesi has delivered encouraging early results, highlighting several gravity anomalies and confirming strong potential for niobium mineralisation. RareX is currently reviewing more than 65,000 metres of gold-focused historical air core drilling data from across the project area. The few historical holes assayed for niobium show up to 1,000ppm.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) has received approval from the US Bureau of Land Management to start drilling at the Big Sandy Lithium Project in Arizona.

Cosmo Metals (ASX:CMO) has started drilling at its Kanowna Gold Project (KGP) in WA’s Eastern Goldfields region to test intriguing gold targets as well as extend and infill historical drilling.

Everest Metals Corporation (ASX:EMC) has secured commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors for a $2.2m raising to support its Revere (gold) and Mt Edon (rubidium) projects.

Green Technology Metals (ASX:GT1) is drilling to extend resources at its flagship Seymour project in Ontario, Canada.

Copper production at Hillgrove Resources’ (ASX:HGO) Kanmantoo underground mine has increased by 17% in May to 840t while all operational metrics such as throughput, mined grade and copper recovery have also increased.

Inaugural exploration has started at Koba Resources’ (ASX:KOB) high-grade Harrier uranium project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, to test high-priority targets.

Race Oncology’s (ASX:RAC) re-formulated RC220 bisantrene drug product has received from the US FDA an extension of its orphan drug designation for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Spartan Resources’ (ASX:SPR) drilling at its Dalgaranga project has returned ~20m thick intercepts up to 19.43g/t at the Never Never gold deposit. Drilling has also returned a 20.79m at 12.12g/t gold intersection at the Pepper target.

Strickland Metals (ASX:STK) has kicked off a huge 60,000m drilling campaign at its newly acquired 5.4Moz Rogozna gold project in Serbia.

Terra Metals’ (ASX:TM1) maiden drilling at its Onslow project has delivered high-grade results of up to 1060g/t silver and 0.99% tungsten.

Zeotech (ASX:ZEO) will be able to scale up production of metakaolin after mining 35t of kaolin from a test pit at its Toondoon project near Mundubbera, Queensland.

DY6 Metals (ASX:DY6) has received the formal grant of the Tundulu project licence from Malawi’s Department of Mines.

The project in southern Malawi is enriched in rare earths and niobium with historical drilling returning results of up to 101m grading 1.02% total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 3.6% niobium pentoxide from surface.

DY6 has engaged Perth-based consulting metallurgists Met Chem Consulting to review historical testwork work programs and assess the findings from the 2017 metallurgical report.

The company plans to initially focus on validating the beneficiation results achieved by previous laboratory test work before carrying out work to maximise both grade and recovery of rare earth and phosphate host minerals.

Future Battery Minerals (ASX:FBM) has agreed to defer part of the first deferred consideration payment from the sale of certain Nepean nickel project tenements to Rocktivity Nepean.

The company has agreed to receive $265,000 on 13 June as part payment of this payment with the remaining $2,435,000 to be paid by 13 September. Interest will also be paid on the balance of this payment from 14 June.

Other payments due to FBM are $2.5m payable 18 months from completion and $2m payable 24 months from completion.

Greenvale Energy (ASX:GRV) has secured a $100,000 co-funding grant under Round 17 of the Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations program administered by the Northern Territory Geological Survey for the acquisition of seismic at its EP145 helium project.

The 2D seismic line will be acquired in the central southeastern part of the permit as part of the extensive Wild Horse 2D seismic program that is scheduled to begin in August this year.

It is designed to optimally image the basement reflectors, thought to be as deep as 5km below sea-level, to de-risk any future exploration activities that target the Neoproterozoic sediments and basement structures.

This will help with the generation of prospective targets, resource evaluation and act as a guide to identification of valid drill targets in EP145.

Titanium Sands (ASX:TSL) has been granted the retention of key licence EL70 at its heavy mineral sands project in Sri Lanka.

All five of the company’s key exploration licences are now current, allowing it to continue with the environmental impact assessment process, which will be finalised on the issue of Terms of Reference from the Director General of the Central Environment Authority.

Once the EIA process is completed, the company will be able to advance to the issue of a mining licence for the project

 

TRADING HALTS

Brazilian Rare Earths (ASX:BRE) – pending the announcement of exploration results from Pele Project.

Aurum Resources (ASX:AUE) – pending the announcement of a capital raising.

Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX:EV1) – pending an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raise.

 

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While DY6 Metals, Future Battery Minerals, Greenvale Energy, Titanium Sands, Arizona Lithium, Belararox, Cosmo Metals, Everest Metals Corporation, Green Technology Metals, Hillgrove Resources, Koba Resources, Race Oncology, Spartan Resources, Strickland Metals, Summit Mineals, Terra Metals and Zeotech are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.