• ASX closes lower, but Energy sector blinks green
  • Uranium mining stocks surged on Peter Dutton’s nuclear plans
  • VanEck to launch Australia’s first Bitcoin ETF tomorrow 


Local shares closed Wednesday -0.1% lower as gains in Energy were offset by losses across the Industrials, Telco and Financials sectors.


Source: MarketIndex


Energy heavyweights Woodside (ASX:WDS) and Santos (ASX:STO) climbed by +1% each.

Nuclear stocks got a boost after opposition leader Peter Dutton pledged to build seven nuclear plants by 2050.

The proposed locations include Gladstone and Callide in Queensland, the Liddell power station in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, Loy Yang in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley, Muja in Western Australia, and Port Augusta in South Australia.

These plants would be government-owned, similar to the Snowy Hydro scheme.

“I want to make sure that the Australian public understands today that we have a vision for our country to deliver cleaner electricity, cheaper electricity and consistent electricity,’’ Dutton said.

His comments led to a rise in uranium mining stocks, with Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) leading the way, up by more than 3%.

QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) slipped -4% after saying that it will gradually close its North America middle-market segment. This segment, which generated around $500m in premiums in 2023, has faced performance issues for several years.

Still in large caps, mortgage insurance underwriter Helia (ASX:HLI) was the worst of the pack today, down -18% after announcing the Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA)‘s intent to  potentially re-evaluate its current Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) arrangements with Helia.

Elsewhere, gold stocks rallied after bullion prices jumped on soft US data overnight.  According to the stats department, US retail sales increased by  just 0.1% last month after falling 0.1% in April. 


Countdown to first Bitcoin ETF on ASX

Across the region, most Asian stocks moved higher  following a strong performance on Wall Street, driven by gains in semiconductor and artificial intelligence sectors. 

Shares in Asia related to chips and AI  climbed, as the South Korean and Taiwanese markets surged 1% and 1.5% respectively.

However, mainland Chinese shares fell as investors processed speeches from key figures like the People’s Bank of China Governor, Pan Gongsheng.

Meanwhile, asset manager VanEck is set to launch Australia’s first-ever Bitcoin ETF on the ASX tomorrow, June 20. 

This ETF will be the lowest-cost option for Bitcoin in Australia, marking a milestone after VanEck’s initial application in 2021.

VanEck’s approval by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), alongside the ASX, paves the way for accessing a significant portion of Australia’s capital market. 

Despite this, ASIC has cautioned investors about the risks linked to cryptocurrency investments through funds like these.



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Health tech company HeraMED (ASX:HMD)  announced to the market that it has achieved a record number of active and accumulated users in June.

“The number of accumulated mums on the HeraCARE platform reached 3,553 registered mums (+365 accumulated users or 12% sequential growth since 31 March 2024), including 560 active mums (previously record was 517 active users as at 21 July 2022),” the company said.

Locality Planning Energy (ASX:LPE) climbed Wednesday with a takeover bid from River Capital on the table, which has upped its bid from $0.08 per share to $0.105 per share – however, the LPE board is currently recommending that shareholders take no action.

AustChina Holdings (ASX:AUH) says drilling has begun at AUH’s Chenene Lithium Project in Tanzania, targeting multiple high-priority lithium prospects. Initial diamond core drilling involves eight holes initially, with potential for expansion. The first hole has encountered pegmatite starting from a depth of six metres, near surface outcroppings.

Meanwhile, AUH has also signed an Exclusive Binding Heads of Agreement to conduct due diligence on acquiring four licences from Cassius Mining. Drill results will be available once analysis comes back from lab testing, notes AUH.

Chariot Corporation (ASX:CC9) has launched into its North American summer lithium hunt in Wyoming and investors are digging the news – CC9 is currently up about 20% intraday.

The company notes it’s appointed ERM Australia Consultants to assist with the design and implementation of the summer hunt. And that’s a group which reportedly has a good deal of experience when it comes to hard-rock lithium operations locally and globally. The exploration program will be focused on Chariot’s Black Mountain project, but will also extend to a hunt across its six other lithium-caesium-tantalite (LCT) pegmatite projects in Wyoming.

The plan is to drill some 3,000 to 4,000m using portable rigs, before a larger, truck-mounted drilling program.

The highest lithium values from rock-chip sampling to date at the Black Mountain project have been recorded as being between 1.09% and 6.38% Li2O.

Astute Metals (ASX:ASE) is talking about high-grade lithium clay mineralisation in assays returned from the first three holes, indicating the potential discovery of a significant lithium deposit.

Specific highlighted returns include: 59.4m at 1,300ppm Li from 73.2m; 15.2m at 810ppm Li from 15.2ml; and 6.10m at 1,050ppm Li from surface and 12.2m. The company notes that intersections span over 4.6km of strike at the project. With the drill campaign now complete, assay results from a further eight holes should be incoming by the end of July.

Dreadnought Resources (ASX:DRE) is bringing some non-lithium-based gains today.

The company has announced pleased to announced it’s extended the current Tarraji-Yampi drilling set-up to the Gifford Creek and Tiger targets at its Mangaroon project, which is in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia.

There’s a bit going on at Mangaroon – nickel, copper, PGE, gold, REEs. The company describes it as a “globally significant critical minerals complex” with a combined, independent Resource at the Yin Ironstones and the Gifford Creek carbonatite of 40.82Mt at 1.03% TREO. Dreadnought notes that a reverse circulation (RC) drill rig has been secured to begin the drilling at the Gifford Creek Nb-REE carbonatite targets in July 2024, immediately following the Tarraji-Yampi drill program.

Biotron (ASX:BIT)  jumped after announcing successful results from its Phase 2 trial of BIT225, its lead antiviral drug. The trial, involving 20 HIV-1 infected participants, evaluated the drug’s safety, tolerability, and impact on immune markers over 12 weeks. Preliminary results showed that BIT225 was safe and well tolerated at a 200mg daily dose, with no serious adverse events.

The study also noted significant improvements in key immune markers and maintained viral suppression throughout the treatment period.

Kingsland Minerals (ASX:KNG)’s Leliyn Graphite Project has unveiled a globally significant exploration target, underscoring its potential scale. Recent updates include a substantial graphite resource of 194.6 million tonnes at 7.3% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC), containing 14.2 million tonnes of graphite. Initial metallurgical tests have yielded a concentrate with over 94% TGC, with ongoing studies optimising flotation for fine flake concentrate.

Future work aims to evaluate the production of spherical graphite as a precursor for Electric Vehicle battery anode material.

Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) has successfully repaid a convertible note, reducing its debt to only 2,590 ounces remaining in the form of a gold loan. Over the past year, the company has made significant strides in repairing its balance sheet by repaying $28 million of debt, which originated from the acquisition of Vango Mining and the Plutonic Gold Belt consolidation in July 2023.

The remaining gold loan will be settled in seven monthly instalments and represents just 2.5% of Catalyst’s annual gold production. Currently, Catalyst maintains $22 million in available cash and $30 million in liquidity.

And… Kuniko (ASX:KNI) says geophysical surveys conducted at the Ertelien Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project in Southern Norway have revealed five new electromagnetic conductors. These surveys, conducted in April and May, targeted areas previously unexplored within the Ertelien intrusion. KNI says the newly identified conductive horizons suggest potential extensions of high-grade sulphide mineralisation. The next steps involve ground truthing these findings through surface mapping and sampling starting in July.

This data, combined with drill results, will guide the identification of new drilling targets aimed at expanding the existing 23 million tonnes inferred Mineral Resource Estimate and potentially upgrading resources from inferred to indicated categories.



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Chariot Corporation (ASX:CC9) has resumed hard rock lithium exploration at its Black Mountain project in Wyoming as the 2024 North American summer season kicks off.

Classic Minerals’ (ASX:CLZ) US$60m funding agreement with AuResources is still in force with the latter having just met certain KYC and compliance requirements. The first round of funding will advance development of production capacity at the Kat Gap gold deposit.

D3 Energy (ASX:D3E) is preparing to drill the RBD12 well to test for helium and natural gas in South Africa’s Free State. It follows on the successful RBD 10 and RBD 11 wells that returned world-class helium concentrations of 5% and 5.1% respectively.

Impact Minerals’ (ASX:IPT) plan to produce high purity alumina from its Lake Hope project will have Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions that are on par with or lower than competing processes.

Kingsland Minerals (ASX:KNG) has outlined a new exploration target of 700Mt to 1.1Bt with a grade range of 7-8% TGC encompassing the 12km strike of graphitic schists north of its existing 194.6Mt at 7.3% TGC resource at its Leliyn project in the Northern Territory.

Melodiol (ASX:ME1) has received two independent appraisals valuing land and building held by its Canadian subsidiary Mernova at between $10.4 million and $12 million as it moves to simplify and improve its balance sheet.

Miramar Resources’ (ASX:M2R) modelling of geophysical data, geological logging and assay results from historical drilling has defined a magnetite exploration target of 411Mt-2,353Mt at 25-30% iron at its Whaleshark project in WA.

Strickland Metals’ (ASX:STK) first drilling has struck thick gold mineralisation of up to 352.1m grading 2.1g/t gold at the Medenovac prospect within its newly purchased 5.4Moz Rogozna project in Serbia.

Sunshine Metals (ASX:SHN) will start the next phase of resource extension and infill drilling at its Liontown gold-copper project in Queensland this month, targeting the Gap Zone and Liontown West.

Sprintex (ASX:SIX) has named Airtech Vacuum as the leading US manufacturer of vacuum pumps and blowers that is evaluating its G-15 commercial blowers. Should the evaluation be successful, it could lead to significant annual purchases. The company is also designing custom compressors for Mest Water in the Netherlands for reducing ammonia emissions from agriculture.

European Lithium (ASX:EUR) has noted that Critical Minerals Corp. (CRML) has acquired an initial 5.55% equity interest in the Tanbreez Greenland rare earths deposit for a cash consideration of US$5m.CRML, in which EUR holds a 83.03% interest in, completed the initial investment as part of its recently announced plans to acquire a 92.5% controlling interest in Tanbreez.“

By acquiring Tanbreez, Critical Metals Corp will be strategically positioned to become a reliable and sustainable supplier of both light and heavy rare earth elements to meet the growing demand of these materials from the technology and defense industries in western countries,” CRML chief executive officer and EUR chairman Tony Sage said.



PharmAust (ASX:PAA) – pending an announcement by the Company to the market regarding a capital raising.

Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) – pending release of an announcement regarding FDA-approval for Sofdra.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While European Lithium, Chariot Corporation, Classic Minerals, D3 Energy, Impact Minerals, Kingsland Minerals, Melodiol, Miramar Resources, Strickland Metals and Sunshine Metals is a Stockhead advertiser, they did not sponsor this article.