The ASX 200 posted a small 0.11 fall on Tuesday, outperformed by the small end of town as the microcap Emerging Companies index rose by 0.66%.

There were no clear catalysts as Asian markets struggled for direction after Wall Street was closed for a holiday to start the week.

The ASX 200 Energy index still posted a gain, as oil prices push back to their highest levels since 2014.

And there was still action at the smaller end of the market, as plenty of junior explorers posted strong gains amid a bullish outlook across the commodities spectrum — from bulks such as iron ore to gold to battery metals.


(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

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Most of the big resources winners in morning trade held most of their gains through to the closing bell.

The most notable leader was Zuleika Gold (ASX:ZAG), owing to the Mark Creasy effect following news that the mining billionaire had forked out $3m for a stake to fund ongoing drilling at ZAG’s WA-based gold projects.

Diamond hunter Odessa Minerals (ASX:ODE) (formerly known as Fargo Enterprises) also jumped sharply in percentage terms, in connection with a new capital raise which accompanied its reinstatement to the ASX following a period of suspension.

Elsewhere, pre-revenue AI chip technology company Brainchip (ASX:BRN) is mooning again — this time closing above $1.80 to take its post-COVID gains to around 6,000%.

For the most part it was junior explorers that populated the winner’s list from top to bottom, as bullish sentiment surrounding the commodity super-cycle looks to be in full effect to start the year.


(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

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Ecommerce play Redbubble stayed under pressure, after a trading update where the company confirmed it was struggling to maintain its post-COVID growth rates seen in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. Stockhead’s Eddy Sunarto has more here.


Carnavale Resources (ASX:CAV) ticked higher after the company announced it had struck ‘bonanaza’ gold grades at its Kookynie Gold project in Western Australia.

A new shallow high-grade gold lode was discovered at the Kookyne McTavish East prospect. New RC drilling results included a hit of 16m @ 20.92g/t from 161m (inc.10m @ 31.88g/t). Nice.

The latest discovery follows up strong shallow oxide gold intercepts identified in earlier aircore programs.

Even better news for investors was the McTavish East discovery shows similarities to the previously mined high-grade deposits like the Cosmopolitan and Altona mines, Carnavale said. More than 295,120 ounces were historically mined at Cosmopolitan at an average grade of 15.57g/t and more than 95,000 ounces were mined at Altona at an average grade of 30.01 g/t. 

Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE) announced further positive safety data from its phase-1 clinical trial evaluating healthy subjects intravenously dosed with RECCE 327 (R327). Based on clinical data readouts, an independent safety committee has approved a tenfold increase on the initial dosing of Cohort one (50mg) or threefold increase (from 150mg to 500mg) among 7-10 healthy subjects (cohort three).

Subjects are expected to be recruited this week and dosed at Adelaide’s CMAX clinical trial facility. Recce is tackling the problem of antibiotic resistant superbugs and emerging viral pathogens which are adding to the worries of COVID-19 pandemic-weary doctors and scientists worldwide.

Recce’s anti-infective pipeline includes three patented broad spectrum, synthetic polymer anti-infectives. R327 is an intravenous and topical therapy that is being developed for the treatment of serious and potentially life-threatening infections due to Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including their superbug forms.

Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI) has rolled out another tool for struggling boozemakers, (mostly winemakers) — a device that measures malic acid levels in their plonk.

First delivery and sales of the Sentia Malic Acid Test will drop in late January 2022 into USA, Australia and New Zealand markets. Malic acid is an indicator of fruit ripeness, and tests to determine levels – many, in the case of secondary fermentation – usually must be sent to a lab, which is expensive and inconvenient.

About 15 million such tests are performed each year, and along with free sulphur tests, cost the industry in the vicinity of $270 million. UBI reckons its device can achieve the same outcome in, ooh, about 60 seconds.

And aspiring nickel entrant NiCo Resources (ASX:NSX1) already has a significant investor before it even starts trading.

NiCo was admitted to the ASX yesterday, and debuts tomorrow, heading to market with Metals X’s former Central Musgrave project which straddles three licences across SA and WA.

Nickel miner Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) likes the cut of its jib, and late yesterday lobbed in $2.75m for a 15.11% holding in the debutante. Blackstone managing director Scott Williamson reckons the project is of “globally significant scale”. NiCo will trade under the ticker NC1 from 12pm AEDT tomorrow.


HeraMed (ASX:HMD) — Commercial licence agreement
Vanadium Resources (ASX:VR8) — Government application (South Africa)
Suvo Strategic Minerals (ASX:SUV) — Acquisition
PNX Metals (ASX:PNX) — Capital raising