Lunchtime ASX small cap wrap: Who’s on the up escalator today
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Here are today’s notable ASX small cap gainers and decliners at 2pm AEDT Thursday.
The ASX Small Ords was down 4 points at 2,743 by 2.15pm AEDT.
Tando Resources (ASX:TNO) shares hit a record high today after the explorer got its hands on a high-grade vanadium project estimated to host a resource three times bigger than similar projects.
Vanadium is one of the hottest resources sectors at the moment. Its price has rocketed 550 per cent in the past three years driven by its role in making powerful batteries.
Investors have piled into Tando today, pushing the shares to an all-time high of 87.5c — more than four times their issue price of 20c in November.
The shares were trading at 75c — up 60 per cent — just before 2pm AEDT.
Hawkstone Mining (ASX:HWK) soared 50 per cent this morning after AVZ Minerals chairman and small cap talisman Klaus Eckhof joined the board.
Hawkstone also announced a deal to acquire USA Lithium which owns two lithium projects — the Big Sandy Lithium Clay project in Arizona and the Lordsburg Lithium Brine project in New Mexico.
Mr Eckhof said: “Both Big Sandy and Lordsburg have company-making potential and, with the guidance of our board and technical team, we look forward to aggressively advancing both projects.”
The shares jumped from 3.3c to 5.4c this morning before cooling to 4.4c by 2.15pm AEDT — up 33 per cent.
Minutes later Tyranna Resources (ASX:TYX) named Mr Eckhof as a strategic advisor, as part of a deal to get into American cobalt.
The share promptly surged 50 per cent to 3.1c, before settling back to 2.8c by 2.15pm AEDT.
Tyranna — which has until now been focused on gold — is buying US Cobalt, the owner of the Goodsprings Cobalt and Base Metals Project in Nevada, for $2.4 million.
Explorer Korab Resources (ASX:KOR) jumped 65 per cent on good news from a pre-feasibility study to develop its Winchester magnesite deposit 85km south of Darwin.
The shares were trading at 5.2c — up 53 per cent — at 2.15pm AEDT.
Magnesite is traditionally used in magnesia cements, building materials, flame retardants and animal feeds and fertilisers.
But it is now attracting attention for its use in magnesium-ion batteries.
“The potential game-changer is the recent development of magnesium-ion batteries which have eight to 12 times greater capacity than lithium-ion batteries and can be charged in as little as 36 minutes,” Korab told investors.
Magnesium batteries also function in lower tempertures than lithium-ion and do not require graphite.
Korab is planning to develop Winchester into a Direct Shipping Ore project, which means it would require only a simple crushing and screening process before being exported.
An expanded study showed the project had “attractive economics” and the potential for pre-tax earnings of about $614 million over the life of the project.
Development and production would get underway “as soon as practicable”, Korab said.
World production of magnesite is controlled by China but Korab says recent mine and plant closures there have been contributing to higher prices.
Elsewhere WA-focused gold explorer Classic Minerals (ASX:CLZ) put on 25 per cent to 0.5c after announcing favourable test results at its Lady Magdalene gold project in Western Australia.
Both drill holes “have returned encouraging gold intercepts”, the company said. Tests “comprehensively support previous structural observations” that high grade cross-cutting mineralisation exists within Lady Magdalene, the company said.
Vital Metals (ASX:VML) zoomed 22 per cent to 1.1c after reporting “ultra high-grade gold mineralisation” from further results of its maiden drilling program at its “Bella Tondi” prospect in Niger, West Africa.
Vitl had hit grade 4 metres at 157 grams per tonne of gold from 76m.
Anything above 5g/t is regarded as high-grade.
“This is an exceptional result that builds the grade profile of Bella Tondi from the previous best result which was 200 metres to the north that hit 2 metres at 36.5 g/t from 62m.
“We are planning to drill deeper and test the depth potential of these high‐grade shoots that have been shown to have a greater depth extent than their strike.
“These latest results from Bella Tondi indicate why so many artisanal miners were focused on chasing the gold mineralisation along the Bella Tondi Structure.”
Retailer Thorn Group (ASX:TGA) lost 16 per cent after issuing another profit warning as its appliance rental group Radio Rentals continues to decline.
Thorn told shareholders in November that the Radio Rentals consumer leasing business had posted a half-year loss on a weak retail environment.
That followed bad news in October, when Thorn shares lost a third of their value after initially forecasting a 30 per cent drop in year-on-year performance.
Trading conditions in the Radio Rentals business had continued to deteriotae and this would “materially affect the company’s future financial results”, Thorn said today.
Earlier guidance of a $17 million to $20 million full-year profit was now expected to “be around the lower end”.
The shares were down 11 per cent at 64c by 2.15pm AEDT Thursday.