Here are the key ASX small cap gainers and losers at 1pm AEDT Tuesday.

The ASX Small Ords was up 34 points to 2722 at 12.45pm AEDT.


Acquisition interest has seen junior miner Avanco (ASX:AVB) as much as double its share price this morning.

The stock hit an intraday high of 16c before cooling slightly to 15.5c at lunch — up 101 per cent.

It comes after OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) inked a $444 million deal to acquire all of the issued shares in the company for 8.5c per share cash plus 0.009 OZ Minerals shares per Avanco share.

The deal values Avanco at more than double its current market cap of around $189 million. But for OZ Minerals it is just 16 per cent of its market cap.

A move into lithium has spurred Kazakhstan Potash Company (ASX:KPC) shares to double in price.

The stock hit a high of 4c this morning compared to yesterday’s close of 1.9c. The shares were trading at 3.5c at 1pm AEDT — up 84 per cent.

The company told investors it was diversifying by acquiring a 60 per cent interest in a lithium-tantalum-tin project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In return, it will pay $1.2 million and 100 million KPC shares at 6c.

But that’s not all — Kazakhstan also announced a joint venture with Simon Cong to look for lithium and cobalt in the DRC.

Oil flows have spurred Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY) to an intraday high of 1.5c before settling to 1.4c at 1pm AEDT — up 27 per cent.

The company told shareholders the initial flow rate at its onshore Pukatea-1 oil well in New Zealand had exceeded expectations at up to 600bbls day.

Oil produced has already been trucked locally for processing and sale.

Chief Robert Zammit told investors it provided a basis for the next stage of the project’s development and potential restart of production from the currently suspended Puka field.

Hexagon Resources (ASX:HXG) is cashed up and investors can’t get enough.

The company today announced its Stage 1 McIntosh graphite development was fully funded through a deal with Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), sending its shares as high as 27c.

The stock was trading at 24c by 1pm AEDT — up 26 per cent.

Under the agreement, Hexagon and MinRes will establish a joint venture — of which HXG will hold 49 per cent.

That leaves MinRes with the task of building the entire pit — and Hexagon with focusing on downstream opportunities.

A review of its assets has seen Korab Resources (ASX:KOR) jump 32 per cent to 5.8c in morning trade.

The shares were trading at 5.7c at 1pm AEDT.

The company said it was looking at divesting its Western Australian and Ukrainian assets to focus on its magnesite project in the Northern Territory.

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.

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.

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Uranium extractor Marenica Energy (ASX:MEY) has taken a 36 per cent hit this morning to trade at 8c at 1pm AEDT.

The company recently raised $1.1 million at 10c a share, to fund development activities of its uranium beneficiation process and acquire mining assets to develop in its own right.

Today was the stock’s first day of trade in almost three weeks — it last traded at 12.5c on March 7.

Lead and silver play Surefire Resources (ASX:SRN) fell 22 per cent on no news to trade at 1.4c.

The WA company consolidated its shares by 1 for 20 last week in conjunction with a recent capital raising.

Medical services group Quantum Energy (ASX:QTM) took a 17 per cent tumble to trade at 2.3c again on no news.

Recently reported half year figures showed a $270,000 profit for the period, with $30 million in revenue recorded.

News of a potential capital raise has spooked investors of Lanka Graphite (ASX:LGR) –– the stock trading down 15 per cent to 6c at 1pm AEDT.

Last week Lanka told investors it would conduct a raise for working capital to fund core drilling and production at its mining sites but was yet to finalise the terms.