• The ASX close higher as unemployment rate came in lower than expected
  • Miners rally, led by BHP as the giant released its Q3 report
  • Nimy Resources up 50pc after reporting promising intercepts


The ASX added 0.5% on Thursday as the unemployment rate came in just below market expectations. 

According to the ABS release today, Australia’s unemployment rate was up 0.1% to 3.8% in March, compared to 3.7% in February and forecast of 3.9%.

“The labour market remained relatively tight in March, with an employment-to-population ratio and participation rate still close to their record highs in November 2023,” said ABS head of labour statistics, Bjorn Jarvis.

On the ASX today, gainers were led by miners as sector leader BHP (ASX:BHP) lifted 2% after releasing its Q3 update (see more below). 

BHP’s rally came despite RBA’s warning today that China’s demand for Australia’s iron ore may have peaked due to its declining population. 

Banks and tech stocks rounded up the best performing stocks on the ASX today. 

In overnight trade, algo trading was blamed for the -3% crash in oil prices, as a band of algorithmic money managers trading on chart signals are thought to be behind the rapid selloff. 

Gold stocks meanwhile struggled after bullion eased half a percent. 


Elsewhere today…

Stocks markets in Asia mostly rose on Thursday. 

Japanese yen climbed against the USD after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notes “serious concerns” about the recent depreciation of the Yen as it slumped to its lowest since 1990.

“The US has effectively given the nod on [BoJ] intervention,” said Keiichi Iguchi, a senior strategist at Resona told Bloomberg. 

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has overnight tripled  US tariffs on imports of Chinese steel and aluminium.

“None of this amounted to a trade war with China,” Biden insisted.



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BHP (ASX:BHP) delivered ‘mixed result’ with copper and iron ore on track to hit guidance but met coal was in struggle town.  The miner’s nickel business mystery continues, as the company set an August deadline for decision on care and maintenance. Iron ore production meanwhile was down in March, but analysts expect seasonally strong June quarter.

Read more about BHP’s results here: BHP Results: The long, nervous wait to see if Nickel West survives continues



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Nimy Resources (ASX:NIM) reported promising intercepts, coming from its Block 3 prospect, a large 3km magnetic anomaly unexplored until this point in time. At Block 3 West, NIM pulled up elevated copper (0.20%), silver (2.2g/t) and sulphur (13%) values hosted by mafic rocks, highlighting potential for Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide (VMS) deposits – which often occur in clusters within a small area — are valuable sources of copper, zinc, lead, silver, and gold. Copper, rare-earth oxides and gallium (up to 495ppm) in ultramafic rocks (MgO to 28%) were also intersected at Block 3 East.

Burley Minerals (ASX:BUR) was continuing its good fortune from Wednesday, with investors impressed by a presentation outlining the company’s plans for maiden drilling planned at its Hamersley iron ore projects, and progress from its advanced lithium exploration in Quebec.

eLearning solutions provider Readcloud (ASX:RCL) was up after delivering its March quarterly, showing a record $5.22 million in cash receipts from customers (up 44% on the March 2023 quarter), and $1.94 million positive net cash from operations, up 52% on the March 2023 quarter.

New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE) has started the search for gold at its new Wagyu gold project in WA’s Central Pilbara, where promising intrusive and structural targets akin to the nearby ‘Hemi style’ gold deposit have been identified.

Castile Resources (ASX:CST) was up on news that its 100%-owned  Rover 1 iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) project located in the historically rich copper/gold fields of the Tennant Creek region has been awarded Major Project Status (MPS) by the Northern Territory Government.

Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) said that proceeds from $2.2m in surplus asset sales are to be used to fund ongoing exploration programs, including RC drilling at the Guyer Well, Everleigh Well, Goose Well, and Hages Bore Gold targets. Iceni also has a new managing director – successful gold hunter Wade Johnson – a veteran geologist with ~three decades experience in WA gold exploration, including 10 years as exploration manager with Newmont.

Lycaon Resources (ASX:LYN)after scoring land access to drill its Stansmore project in WA’s West Arunta region earlier this week. LYN is hoping to replicate some of that success at Stansmore, which is prospective for both niobium and rare earths. Technical director Thomas Langley says the approval is a pivotal step in its efforts to test the high order magnetic target at Stansmore

Next Science (ASX:NXS) has published a study showing that its product, XPERIENCE, can help prevent infections after joint replacement surgeries in knees, hips, and shoulders. In November 2023, leading orthopaedic surgeon Dr Robert Harris shared the results of a study on VuMedi. It showed that XPERIENCE is effective in preventing infections after joint replacement surgeries. The findings of this study have now been reviewed by other experts and published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Cancer and autoimmune diseases focused biotech, Immutep (ASX:IMM), has partnered with the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) in the Netherlands to study a new drug called IMP761 in humans for the first time. Under the agreement, CHDR – a world-class institute in Leiden, the Netherlands, specialising in cutting-edge early-stage clinical drug research – will perform a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study of IMP761.

Reach Resources (ASX:RR1) enjoyed a boost, in the wake of the company dropping an investor presentation about 30 minutes after the market opened outlining how things are progressing across its several projects.

And SciDev (ASX:SDV) has delivered a positive quarterly report, showing revenue of $29.1m, up 38% on Q3 FY23 and cash receipts of $31.3 million, while cashflow from operations of $3.8 million has delivered an underlying EBITDA of $3.6 million.



Today’s best performing small cap stocks:

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Bioxyne (ASX:BXN) has raised $1.45m through the issue of shares priced at 1c – a 3% premium to the 15-day volume weighted average price – to existing and new shareholders. Proceeds will fund further growth in the business following the award of a Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) license to manufacture medical cannabis. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Breathe Life Sciences was also recently granted an upgraded and amended wholesale licence for MDMA and Psilocybin finished products by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Brightstar Resources’ (ASX:BTR) non-priority geotechnical drilling has intersected gold mineralisation below the current pit shell design at its Cork Tree Well deposit, increasing the likelihood that there are potential extensions at depth.

Challenger Gold (ASX:CEL) has secured an additional $4m placement from a single investor under the same terms as the investment from prominent Argentinian businessman and entrepreneur Eduardo Elsztain’s affiliated asset group.

Litchfield Minerals (ASX:LMS) has been granted an exploration licence for its Lucy Creek tenement in the NT, while IP surveys near the historical Mount Irene copper mine at its Mount Doreen project have identified new targets for further investigation.

OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) has completed metallurgical test work at its flagship Splinter Rock project that demonstrates a significant increase in total rare earth oxide grades.

PharmAust (ASX:PAA) is progressing commercialisation of its lead drug monepantel to treat motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS) with the appointment of Dr Herbert Brinkman as head of manufacturing.

Viridis Mining & Minerals’ (ASX:VMM) initial metallurgical testwork across its Colossus rare earths (REE) project in Brazil has delivered remarkable recoveries that outperform every publicly known ionic adsorption clay-hosted (IAC) prospect and deposit globally.

Battery Age Minerals (ASX:BM8) has started summer field work at its Falcon Lake lithium project in Ontario, Canada, to build on successful field campaigns completed last year.

The previous work had confirmed the presence of high-grade spodumene mineralisation across a 5km prospective corridor.Prospecting teams will focus on mapping and prospecting under-explored tenure at Falcon West, Falcon East and the recently acquired “Falcon Extension” tenure.

Neurotech (ASX:NTI) Phase 2/3 NTIASD2 clinical trial into the use of its NTI164 drug to treat children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder has reported positive outcomes, demonstrating a statistically significant improvement in severity of illness.

Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR) is raising $80m through a fully underwritten placement and non-renounceable entitlement offer to accelerate exploration and development of its Dalgaranga gold project.The placement of shares priced at 58c to institutional, professional and sophisticated will raise ~$47m while the 1-for-17 pro rata entitlement offer for existing shareholders will raise a further ~$33m.Proceeds from the capital raising will be used to underpin a significantly expanded exploration campaign at Dalgaranga in 2024/25. 

Strickland Metals (ASX:STK) has started diamond drilling to test significant gold mineralisation at its Yandal project in WA.

The diamond rig has started drilling at the Palomino-Clydesdale prospect, where aircore drilling last year intersected up to 39m at 6.1g/t gold from 25m. It will then move to test Brono-Konik, where drilling last year highlighted the potential for substantial bulk-tonnage mineralisation. Additional RC drilling will also be scheduled to target gold mineralisation along strike at Great Western.



Lightning Minerals (ASX:L1M) – pending an announcement in relation to a proposed acquisition and capital raising.

Brazilian Critical Minerals (ASX:BCM) ) – pending release of a Mineral Resource Estimate statement for the Ema project.

Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN) – pending an announcement in connection with a material capital raising.

Viridis Mining and Minerals (ASX:VMM) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a capital raising.

Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR) – halt called for the purpose of considering, planning and executing a capital raising.

Aurora Labs (ASX:A3D) – pending an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising.

Larvotto Resources (ASX:LRV) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a proposed capital raising by way of a placement.

WIA Gold (ASX:WIA) – pending an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising.

Mighty Kingdom (ASX:MKL) –  pending an announcement regarding capital raising initiatives.

Orion Minerals (ASX:ORN) – pending a material announcement in relation to exploration results at its Okiep Copper Project.

Cyclone Metals (ASX:CLE) – pending an announcement regarding results of the pilot plant test work.

DroneShield (ASX:DRO) – pending an announcement in connection with a proposed capital raising.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Battery Age Minerals, Neurotech International, Spartan Resources, Strickland Metals, Bioxyne, Brightstar Resources, Challenger Gold, Litchfield Minerals, New Age Exploration, OD6 Metals, PharmAust and Viridis Mining & Minerals are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.