• ASX posts steady gains on Tuesday
  • Activity stays strong in the small cap resources space
  • US stocks futures pointing ~0.3% higher

Local stocks shrugged off the post-Easter food coma with solid gains on Tuesday — a calm session in what’s been a comparatively volatile year so far.

The microcap Emerging Companies index cruised to a gain of around 0.7%, after opening higher and trading steadily throughout the day.

There were junior resources stocks aplenty on today’s small cap winner’s list, with some strong drilling results and investor enthusiasm for speculative exploration and development projects within the commodities boom.

As a measure of activity in the space, six resources companies went into trading halts today (see below), including three separate capital raisings and a pending acquisition announcement.

While ASX mining juniors continue to find demand, iron ore markets stayed at the mercy of Chinese policy makers:

On global markets, US stock futures are pointing around 0.3% higher ahead of the Tuesday session on Wall Street, following a flat start to the week on low trading volumes as investors returned from the Easter holiday.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

In small caps, there was a large percentage move in AdRabbit (ASX:RAB), the B2B tech company previously known as AppsVillage.

The company raised $5m at 20c for its IPO in 2019, but the stock closed before Easter at 1.3c.

In late-March, AdRabbit flagged that it had sought to be removed from the ASX, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.

The stock ripped higher in Tuesday trade by more than 100% on no news.

Among companies with news, NiCo Resources (ASX:NC1) was a big mover in afternoon trade.

At today’s close above $1.60, NC1 is closing in on 10x gains since it raised $12m in January at 30c.

The company is focused on developing its Wingellina project — one of the largest undeveloped cobalt nickel projects in the world.

Today, a director’s interest notice showed NC1 director Rod Corps added to his holdings on April 13 via the acquisition of 700,000 shares in an on-market trade, for a consideration of $771,250.

In two days’ trading since then, that parcel is now worth more than $1.1m.

Elsewhere among small cap winners, Aruma Resources (ASX:AAJ) continued its strong year, ripping higher before going into a trading halt pending its response to an ASX price query.

AAJ has found strong momentum since a gold strike at its Salmon Gums project in WA, and the stock has more than doubled so far in 2022.

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

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

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ANNOUNCEMENTS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

Yandal Resources (ASX:YRL) has started a two-hole diamond drilling program to test high grade mineralisation intercepted at the Malone prospect in two reverse circulation drill holes at its 100%-owned Gordons gold project in Western Australia.

Managing director Tim Kennedy said the company will follow up the diamond drilling program by testing extents of mineralisation with a more comprehensive RC program.

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (ASX:C6C) has announced it has appointed mining veteran Jeane Hull to its board.

Hull has more than 35 years of operational leadership and engineering experience, including as executive vice president and CTO of Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) and COO for Kennecott Utah Copper Mine, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).

Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) will receive a ~$3.94 Federal Government grant to support development of an integrated graphite ore-to-battery anodes business based on its Munglinup Graphite Project in Western Australia.

The grant is part of the Federal Government’s Critical Mineral Acceleration Initiative (CMAI) and will directly support stage 1 of the project. Managing director Jacob Deysel said it was an important program for supporting value-adding and accelerated development of Australia’s critical mineral resources.

TRADING HALTS

Aruma Resources (ASX:AAJ) — Response to ASX price query
Xanada Mines (ASX:XAM) — Capital raising
MinRex Resources (ASX:MRR) — Capital raising
Petratherm (ASX:PTR) — Drilling results
Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) — Proposed acquisition
Adveritas Ltd (ASX:AV1) — Capital raising
Krakatoa Resources (ASX:KTA) — Capital raising
Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI) — Capital raising