You made it through another week of daily grind.

Or you might be the type who lives for work. Nothing wrong with that, we salute you from our beach chairs, bar stools and sports stadiums.

But in all the hurry, you might have missed some quality information this week. We’re here for you with the 10 biggest stories on Stockhead this week.

In your own time – we’re here all weekend.


1 – A minerals expert’s guide to how investors should evaluate battery metals projects

Still keen to jump on the battery metals bandwagon? Bringing your gold A-game to the party?

Don’t. You’re in a space marked by “innovative exploration approaches” and “creative” way to describe exploration success, according to Dr Andrew Scogings of minerals consultancy KlipStone.

At the Paydirt 2019 Battery Minerals conference this week, he gave out this expert’s guide to how investors should evaluate battery metals projects.

You might want to think twice about sticking your arm down that drain.



2 – Five red flags banks look for before they invest in a mining project

And again with the investing tips. It’s almost like Stockhead readers are interested in this kind of stuff.

And who better to trust with where to put your moneys than banks, right?

Also at the Paydirt 2019 Battery Minerals conference was METS Engineering principal consulting engineer Damien Connelly, who gave a popular talk on what banks look for before they throw a chunk of cash at mineral development projects.

First of all, they use expert consultants like METS Engineering.

And among the red flags they look for are any project history, unrealistic timelines, and proper processing plant test work.

“We have seen a number of [lithium] projects struggle to get the recovery to start with,” Mr Connelly says. “I’ve even had the banks say to me ‘this is bad! It’s not working!'”

That’s not good. And if it’s a warning sign for a bank, it’s probably worth considering before you chuck your money at it too.

Here are five of those red flags.


3 – Winners circle: Five of the most notable crowdfunding raises in Australia

This week in Not Stocks news on Stockhead, we launched our Private-i section.

Yep, from now on, we’ll be bringing you “the latest news and views on the unlisted capital market – everything from pre-IPO raises and equity crowdfunding to venture capital and more”.

And to make sure we don’t stuff it up, we’ve got industry experts Dr Nigel Finch and Tim Knapton keeping an eye on things, because private raises are a bigger deal every day.

Dr Finch kicked thing off with his look at all the big projects getting off the ground in Australia right now, Sam Jacobs gave us a look at how unlisted companies raise funds and we’ve already profiled five platforms that are kicking equity crowdfunding along in Australia since it all became legal last year.

It’s all in the new section right here.


4 – Blockchain stocks guide: Here’s everything you need to know

Let’s talk about blockchain, said no one ever expecting an audience to gather round.

No wait, really, this will be good.

Forget the crypto fails, there are around 40 ASX stocks that either use the technology in their products or offer blockchain-related services.

They’ve taken a pounding in the past year, losing an average of 54 per cent across the board.

But it’s equally not hard to find a couple that are doing well out of their blockchain pivots, and this is the ultimate guide to maybe understanding why that is so.

It’s even legible.


5 – Yowie says a $20m takeover bid is rubbish, but let us look at it first

Yowies just refuse to go away.

For example, here’s one watching some guy recently:

And the struggling chocolatier version (ASX: YOW) won’t roll over without a fight either. It’s got itself in the sights of a takeover offer from one of its shareholders, Keybridge Capital (ASX:KBC).

Keybridge is offering 9.2c a share for Yowie. That’s a 31.4 per cent premium to the Tuesday closing price of 7c.

Yowie described the offer as “opportunistic”, but… maybe let’s keep talking.


6 – Winx-1 owners are punished after their oil well turns out to be a dud

Oh no.

88Energy’s (ASX:88E) much-anticipated Winx-1 oil and gas well in Alaska turned out to be a dud.

There’s dispersed clay in the matrix at the Nanushuk Topsets apparently, which means the oil is somewhat less than freeflowing.

That’s an ouch big enough to get its own Ouch subhead. As Rachel Williamson reported under it:

“88Energy, the operator, dropped as much as 48 per cent to 1.3c.

“Red Emperor Resources (ASX:RMP) suffered the most with an 82 per cent plunge to 1.8c.”


7 – Medlab’s Sean Hall on why marijuana is a better bet than hemp

Marijuana is better than hemp, hmmkay? But don’t take our word for it. Here’s Sean Hall, from Medlab Clinical:

Make that Dr Sean Hall.

He cites a 2015 study that showed marijuana has the genes to make psychoactive THC while hemp has the genes to make cannabidiol (CBD).

Stoners, take a bow. You actually did achieve something.

By selectively breeding hoona for the high, you created a plant that may have a completely unique set of health benefits to that being shopped around by the hemp producers.

Here’s why Dr Hall is banking on it.


8 – Barry FitzGerald: Blackstone Minerals heats up as ‘licence to print money’ beckons

We have our first “licence to print money” reference for 2019.

Legendary Garimpeiro columnist Barry FitzGerald rolled it out, but not for a specific small cap… yet.

The licence is for mining operations known as block cave operations. Expensive to set up but once they are established, they can run for up to 30 years at all-in sustaining cost margins of $US1,114 an oz. Like Newcrest’s Cadia mine in NSW.

And now Newcrest has a 70% stake in the Red Chris mine in British Columbia now, having paid $1.14 billion for it. The scale of that resource makes it amenable to block cave mining.

And ASX-listed junior Blackstone Minerals (BSX) has its flagship Little Gem cobalt prospect within the broader BC Cobalt project area.

Now, no one’s saying Blackstone is anywhere near to having a Red Chris or Cadia porphyry system amenable to block cave mining on its hands.

But, FitzGerald notes, its small market value (9.5 cents) does give it “extreme leverage to exploration success“.


9 – No, this is a ‘bonanza’ gold hit – check out what Gina Rinehart’s Catalyst just found

Gina Rinehart probably has more gold lying around in her fishbowl than this:

Visible gold panned from 89m depth grading 1380g/t . Pic: Catalyst
Visible gold panned from 89m depth grading 1380g/t. Pic: Catalyst

But it’s still living the dream type stuff for the normal people among us.

It is what miners call a “bonanza” hit – a real term used to describe gold well above the 5g/t level considered high-grade.

And it’s the kind of hit the Rinehart-backed Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL) has walked in on at its Four Eagles project north of Bendigo in Victoria.

Above 5g/t much? About a massive 1380 grams per tonne above it.

There are more pics for you to jealously curse the Rinehart name over here.


10 – The Explorers: Matt Morgan on how Ausmex plans to hit those deep, company-making IOCG targets

“These two sub blocks are bloody amazing – we call it the Golden Mile. There’s surface high grade mineralisation everywhere.”

That’s how Ausmex (ASX: AMG) managing director Matt Morgan described a couple of blocks the company scored off Round Oak Minerals in an exchange deal for a gold ore stockpile. Sounds like he’s pretty happy with it.

Mr Morgan jumped on a call with Reuben Adams for another chat in Reueben’s in-depth look at the people behind some of Australia’s most innovative and courageous junior mining companies.

They’re mostly from WA, so they know how to tell a story. And Mr Morgan didn’t disappoint, in a wide-ranging interview that covered picking gold up off the ground, Newcrest’s bonkers diamond drilling budget, and historic assays that “scream IOCG”.

Captain’s Call: Really good boys are experts at taking PharmAust’s cancer drug

Dogs are finally loving the taste of PharmAust’s cancer-fighting pill. That’s a big deal, for sure.

But it’s nowhere near as important as knowing how important being called a good boy is to this doggo:

Who’s a good boy?

That’ll do. Thanks for tuning in to Stockhead this week.

Enjoy your weekend.