Here are the key ASX small cap winners and losers at lunchtime Thursday July 12.

The ASX Small Ords index was up 13 points or 0.48 per cent to 2,850.6 at 1pm AEST.

Lithium producer Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) soared 27 per cent this morning after producing the first lithium carbonate from its Paradox project in Utah.

About $3.5 million worth of shares changed hands by midday, pushing the price as high as 18.5c.

The junior explorer is up 1700 per cent since mid-August.

Anson told investors it had produced its first lithium carbonate product from the Cane Creek 32-1 brine during early test work.

Battery-grade lithium carbonate is used to make cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.

The latest data would help fine-tune the process to produce a battery grade product and ultimately the production of a final pilot plant design.

Drone engine maker Orbital (ASX:OEC) is back in the black, announcing a $1.8 million net profit after tax as part of its preliminary 2018 results.

Investors loved the news, pushing the shares up 34 per cent to 47c by midday.

The stock, which is capped at $27 million, has traded between 33c and 68c in the past year.

Perth-based Orbital performs engine development and testing for tactical drone units and has offices in Australia and the US.

It set up a drone facility at Hood River in the US state of Oregon last year.

Its clients include Boeing subsidiary Insitu, for which Orbital designed N20 drone engine to be used in the US military’s ScanEagle drones.

According to the company’s preliminary unaudited results for the 2018 financial year, Orbital has delivered on guidance to hit the $22 million revenue mark.

Lithium explorer Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) continued its recent upward journey after telling investors this week that drilling would start in August at its 1818 sq km project in the Pilgangoora district of Western Australia.

Government permits had been granted and the project had won a government grant of up to $150,000 on drilling costs.

The stock was up 16 per cent to 4.3c just before 1pm AEST.

That’s up from 2.4c a week ago.

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12.15pm AEST Thursday, July 12. 

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ASX code Company Today's change (12.20pm) Price (12.20pm) Volume Market Cap
QTG Q TECHNOLOGY 0.5 0.03 1k 924.3k
PGI PANTERRA GOLD 0.466666666667 0.044 16k 3.9M
CEL CHALLENGER ENERG 0.375 0.011 300k 3.1M
OEC ORBITAL CORP 0.342857142857 0.47 71k 27.1M
SMA SMARTTRANS 0.333333333333 0.004 200k 19.7M
SBR SABRE RES 0.307692307692 0.017 945k 4.8M
TKF TIKFORCE 0.25 0.005 3M 775.5k
HDY HARDEY RESOURCES 0.25 0.005 3M 6.1M
CUX CROSSLAND STRATE 0.25 0.005 140k 4.0M
MSE METALSEARCH 0.25 0.015 155k 4.7M
EM1 EMERGE GAMING 0.230769230769 0.016 100k 7.6M
SPB SOUTH PACIFIC RE 0.2 0.006 85k 827.6k
PCL PANCONTINENTAL 0.2 0.006 2M 26.3M
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA 0.2 0.006 924k 11.7M
BKP BARAKA ENERGY 0.2 0.006 3M 13.5M
AZI ALTA ZINC 0.2 0.006 250k 6.8M
AUL AUSTAR GOLD 0.2 0.006 620k 9.5M
SMD SYNDICATED METAL 0.166666666667 0.007 70k 3.8M
SYA SAYONA MINING 0.162162162162 0.043 11M 63.5M
AAP AUSTRALIAN AGRIC 0.16 0.029 2M 3.8M
ASN ANSON RESOURCES 0.158620689655 0.168 19M 60.7M
HCO HYLEA METALS 0.142857142857 0.008 218k 19.6M
MEB MEDIBIO 0.142857142857 0.16 227k 28.4M
VIC VICTORY MINES 0.125 0.009 2M 9.8M
SPX SPECTRUM RARE EARTHS 0.125 0.009 250k 5.7M

GOING DOWN

Papua New Guinea-focused gold explorer Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN) fell 21 per cent after a disappointing update from its Crown Ridge site in the country’s central Enga province.

“The anticipated quartz-pyrite veins were rarely seen” in drill holes, the company said.

Testing of drill cores “were mostly” less than 0.10 gram of gold per tonne. The highest grade was 0.66 g/t.

High-grade gold is usually considered to be 5g/t or higher.

“These results, and the lack of significant veining seen in the drill core, have downgraded the potential of a structurally-controlled high grade style of mineralisation at Crown Ridge,” the company said.

Further lab tests were underway.

Take-over target Sino Gas and Energy (ASX:SEH) was sold down this morning after telling investors it had decreased its estimates of resources and reserves.

Typically “reserves” refer to oil or gas discoveries that are commercially recoverable using existing technology, while “resources” are not yet commercially viable or are mere speculation.

The shares fell 20 per cent to an intraday low of 18c.

China-focused Sino has agreed to be taken over by US private equity giant Lone Star at 25c a share. The proposed acquisition was on track with a shareholder meeting due in September.

Sino said resources had decreased between 4 per cent and 28 per cent. Reserves were down 56 per cent.

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12.15pm AEST Wednesday, July 12. 

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ASX code Company Today's change (12.20pm) Price (12.20pm) Volume Market Cap
RRS RANGE RESOURCES -0.25 0.003 646k 30.4M
GMN GOLD MOUNTAIN -0.210526315789 0.075 100k 48.9M
SER STRATEGIC ENERGY -0.2 0.004 1M 4.2M
OAR OAKDALE RESOURCES -0.190476190476 0.017 24k 1.4M
VLS VITA LIFE SCIENC -0.182389937107 0.65 171 43.6M
WOF WOLF PETROLEUM -0.181818181818 0.009 390k 7.9M
TAR TARUGA MINERALS -0.142857142857 0.21 390k 33.4M
CZL CONSOLIDATED ZINC -0.142857142857 0.006 1k 6.4M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN -0.125 0.007 1M 5.4M
MRQ MRG METALS -0.125 0.007 4M 5.3M
MED MERLIN DIAMONDS -0.125 0.007 4M 24.9M
CTM CENTAURUS METALS -0.125 0.007 1M 18.4M
SPQ SUPERIOR RESOURC -0.111111111111 0.008 20k 6.2M
CZN CORAZON MINING -0.111111111111 0.008 2M 11.4M
CIO CONNECTED IO -0.111111111111 0.008 1M 8.0M
VML VITAL METALS -0.1 0.009 100k 17.4M
RBR RBR GROUP -0.1 0.009 90k 7.0M
PIL PEPPERMINT INNOV -0.0952380952381 0.019 1M 20.0M
WRM WHITE ROCK MINER -0.0909090909091 0.01 5M 16.1M
FEI FE INVESTMENTS -0.0869565217391 0.105 302k 17.2M
RES RESOURCE GENERAT -0.0833333333333 0.044 222k 27.9M
AZM AZUMAH RES -0.0833333333333 0.022 1M 18.8M
AFR AFRICAN ENERGY -0.0833333333333 0.022 131k 15.0M
TOU TLOU ENERGY -0.0833333333333 0.11 300k 43.6M
HAS HASTINGS TECH -0.078431372549 0.235 8k 181.4M