The ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) Index was trading 0.6% higher after lunch to the exact degree the ASX200 (XJO) was not, 0.6% weaker.

At the close the small cap index closed 0.5% ahead, the ASX200 about 1% below.

After a stellar run on Monday and no Wall Street lead to follow the top 200 listed companies appeared happily aimless at 2.30pm Sydenham time.

Equity markets across the EU however, followed our strong showing with an almost wholesale rise in Asian-Pacific markets driven by an enthusiasm for commodities in the wake some 50 stimulatory measures rolled out as Shanghai eyes Covid-19 relaxations from Wednesday.

Oil and commodities rose on the prospect of a reinvigorated Chinese activity.

At home, there’s a fair bit of attention being soaked up by the ASX’s latest major lithium play with Firefinch announcing the completion of a $100 million IPO to spawn Leo Lithium, owner of its share in the Goulamina lithium project in Mali.

Goulamina is expected to be one of the largest hard rock lithium mines in the world once it enters production in 2024, with Leo formed to separate Firefinch’s (ASX:FFX) share from its successful Morila gold mine venture also in the West African nation.

The sole condition remaining is a shareholder vote at a general meeting today, with the Leo shares to eligible FFX shareholders to be issued via a pro-rata in-specie distribution of 1 Leo share for every 1.4 Firefinch shares held on Thursday, June 9.

Those shares will be issued on June 16 ahead of Leo’s expected admission to the ASX and likely first day of trade on June 23.

FFX managing director Mike Anderson saying the demerger will allow Firefinch to focus its attention on the development of the heroic multi-million-ounce Morila gold project “while providing our shareholders with exposure to the future development of Goulamina through our 20% retained stake”.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

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

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As our Gregor reported at lunch, Belararox (ASX:BRX) jumped out of the blocks this morning circa 25% on the back of an expansion of its resource and development area at the flagship Belara project.

The company says it’s identified 34 new exploration targets outside the Belara and Native Bee resource areas, including 11 new high priority targets with a combined strike of 8 kilometres, which is about eight times the length of currently known mineralisation.

And Tyranna Resources’ (ASX:TYX) lithium news out of Angola has kept investors on the boil again this morning, adding further gains to Monday’s impressive results.

Up around 20% is a stock Reuben’s been keeping a close eye on in Pinnacle Minerals (ASX:PIM).

The newly listed kaolin explorer is fairly advanced compared to its ASX peers, according to Mr Adams.

Its main game is ‘Bobalong’ near Albany in southern WA, where recently completed drilling will be used to deliver a maiden resource.

PIM is targeting ~10Mt: enough to support a 350,000tpa operation over 30 years.

A scoping study – the first proper look at the economics of building a project – is already underway, alongside offtake discussions.

 

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’VE MISSED

OzAurum Resources (ASX:OZM) has launched an Underwritten Share Purchase Plan, to raise $2 million (before costs) at $0.16 per share, representing a 20% discount on the weighted average price of shares traded during the five ASX trading days prior to 30 May 2022. Company CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Pumphrey, says the money will go towards drilling and other exploration across a range of OzAurum’s interests, including at its flagship Mulgabbie North Project.

Elsewhere, Cooper Metals Limited (ASX:CPM) has rung the bell to alert the village that its maiden RC drilling at King Solomon prospect in the Mt Isa East Copper Gold Project is done, and the on-site rock boffins have spotted visual sulphides. Portable X-ray fluorescence testing is showing copper in the sulphides, which is great news for Cooper, because that’s what they were looking for!

Nelson Resources (ASX:NES) has alerted the ref to some movements in the boardroom, following Warren Hallam’s departure today to pursue other business interests. On top of that news, Nelson says that its recent addition to the team, Jonathan Shellabear, will be stepping into the role of Chairman of Directors’ for the Company effective 1 June 2022.

And an ultra-last-minute attention-grabber for the month has landed on our desks from Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF), alerting us that its wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary Extremadura New Energies is throwing an information session for the Chamber of Commerce of Cáceres. The session is set provide the company with the opportunity to inform the people of Cáceres – and local dignitaries, such as president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cáceres, Gabriel Álvarez Arroyo – of how CEO Ramón Jiméne’s team has shaped the project to ensure it delivers the maximum benefit back to the community.

 

TODAY’S TRADING HALTS

Marquee Resources Limited (ASX:MQR) – considering and finalising a proposed lithium development partnership at the West Spargoville project

Diatreme Resources Limited (ASX:DRX) – response to the ASX price query

ResApp Health Limited (ASX:RAP)  – proposed acquisition by Pfizer Australia of 100% of shares in the company

Walkabout Resources (ASX:WKT) –  drawdown of the CRDB project debt