• After a feeble start, the benchmark has rallied to close at +0.1%
  • Newcrest and Newmont shake hands on Australia’s biggest goldie takeover
  • Westar Resources shines bright with a 47% price hike


As far as days on the ASX go, that definitely was one – and from a somewhat tremulous start the market has managed to rally its way from deficit to gains, posting a 0.1% rise for the benchmark.

Decent gains across Real Estate (+0.85%) and Materials (+0.78%) led the market back into positive territory, with only Financials (-0.85%) doing any lasting damage to the day’s results.

It was the banks that caught the blame for the early morning dip today, thanks to two Big Names going ex-div to start the day – a half-year dividend for ANZ of $0.81, and a $4.50 per share payment from Macquarie was enough to knock the morning results around quite considerably.

Also op the fancy end of town, news of the Biggest Gold Merger in Australian History grabbed everyone’s attention, when the boards of Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and Newmont agreed that one head is better than two, and shook hands on a merger. A huge one.

As Josh Chiat reported, the Denver based gold giant will send 0.4 Newmont shares to NCM shareholders for each share of the Australian listed gold major they hold, while investors will walk away with a US$1.10 per share special franked dividend to be paid on the implementation of the scheme of arrangement.

No cash will be changing hands, but the overall deal gives NCM an implied equity value of $26.2b and enterprise value of $28.8b, with its investors walking away with 31% of the combined group at a 30.4% premium to its pre-bid closing price of $22.45 per share on February 3.

That news, and a small stack of happy gold miner news (and ongoing US bank fears and yada yada yada) help the goldies to win the day by a very handsome margin, with the XGS All Ords Gold index outperforming the market, up by +2.54%.



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The day’s winners in Small Caps land have performed rather well, with Westar Resources (ASX:WSR) garnering a ton of interest throughout the day which saw it up more than 120% at lunchtime.

However, after hitting that peak, quick profit takers made their hay and the trading price eased steadily to close at $0.052, a 53% gain on the back of news that it has intersected multiple thick pegmatites from the maiden drill program at the company’s Olga Rocks prospect.

It’s the first sub-surface exploration at the site, and has turned up results including 44m pegmatite from 17m, 38m pegmatite intercepted from 9m and 21m pegmatite intercepted from 57m.

The drill samples have been sent away to the lab for assays, which are expected back within 6 weeks.

Next best performer is WIA Gold (ASX:WIA), which has added 23% this morning and rose steadily to finish the day at +42% after the release of its maiden inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 1.3 million ounces at the Kokoseb Gold Project.

The MRE totals 41 million tonnes at 1.0 g/t Au, at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t Au within a US$1,800/oz pit shell, with the company boasting that the result is “one of the lowest resource discovery costs by industry standards, of US$2/oz of contained gold”.

And third among the gains worth of mentioning is the continued rise for Trek Metals (ASX:TKM) , which is still climbing on news that the company has inked an option for Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) to farm-in over Trek’s Jimblebar nickel-copper project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Trek closed out the day up 19%, leaving it at +37% for the past seven days.



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Mt Malcolm Mines (ASX:M2M) has announced a pro rata Non-Renounceable Rights Issue to Company Shareholders, under which eligible shareholders will be entitled to apply for one new share for every two (2) shares held on the record date.

The issue is attractively priced at $0.03 per new share (up to 42,426,001 new shares) to raise approximately $1,272,780 (before costs) based on a discount of 11.9% to the 5 day volume-weighted-average-price (VWAP) and a 16.2% discount to the 10 day VWAP prior to today’s announcement of the issue on 15 May 2023.

M2M says the funds raised will “enable the company to continue to underpin the next growth phase and systematically advance quality Gold (Au), Volcanic Hosted Massive Sulphide (VHMS) and Rare Earth Element (REE) exploration targets at its Malcolm gold project.”

Elsewhere, Omega Oil & Gas (ASX:OMA) has updated the market on how things are going at its Canyon 1 drill site, where intermediate casing has been successfully run-in-hole and cemented.

The rig has drilled out the cement shoe track, completed a leak-off test, and is currently drilling ahead from 2,888m towards the Kianga Formation and BackCreek Group basin centred gas targets.

“The team have continued to execute Omega’s plan to successfully drill a second deep well to intersect the Kianga Formation and upper Back Creek Group, Omega managing Ddirector Lauren Bennett said.

“These target formations are expected to be deeper than those encountered with Canyon 2 and should contribute to our understanding of the basin centred system. On completion of this drilling campaign, Omega will evaluate its resource classification and intends to engage a suitably reputable certifier with the aim of upgrading its Prospective Resource classification to Contingent Resources.”

NextDC (ASX:NXT) says that it has completed its capital raise successfully, bringing a massive $416 million into the company’s war chest through a fully underwritten 1 for 8 pro-rata accelerated non renounceable entitlement offer.

“We have received an exceptional level of support from our existing institutional shareholders in this Entitlement Offer. The announcement of our expansion into Malaysia and New Zealand, and acceleration of our development of S3, are important milestones for the Company,” NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie said.

“Having dedicated more than a decade building NextDC’s robust digital infrastructure platform across Australia, we are thrilled to undertake these new regional investments to kickstart our international operations.

“Regional expansion allows NextDC to strategically leverage our invaluable customer relationships, our development expertise, and our operating credentials. The blueprint for our next decade of accelerated growth is now set in motion, and we are excited to pursue the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead.”

And a final super-fast one for the day: EZZ Life Science (ASX:EZZ) has revealed that it is set to pay a dividend of $0.0098 per share to investors, with ex-div payment due out a week from today.



Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER) – Exploration asset divestment.

Urbanise.com (ASX:UBN) – Placement to be conducted through sophisticated investors.

Butn (ASX:BTN) – Capital raising.

Frugl Group (ASX:FGL) – Placement to sophisticated and professional investors.

Peregrine Gold (ASX:PGD) – Update from the Newman gold project.

Burley Minerals (ASX: BUR) – Capital raising.

Alloggio Group (ASX:ALO) – Earnings downgrade incoming.

Respiri (ASX:RSH) – Equity raising.

Middle Island Resources (ASX:MDI) – Acquisition of a parcel of exploration tenements in the Northern Territory.