• The ASX 200 benchmark has posted a solid slab of gains, up 0.78% for the day
  • Energy and Materials have teamed up to bring the winnings, at +2.5% and +1.6% respectively
  • Creso Pharma’s buy-out of HHI delivers strong backing from investors, up 27.2%

 

Following a +0.9% open for the broader ASX today, things have been progressing quite nicely indeed throughout the rest of the day.

That’s despite early easing to +0.6% by lunchtime, and a dip down to +0.5% immediately post-lunch, the benchmark has recovered to a creditable +0.7% since 2:30pm and is on track to deliver some tidy gains.

Throughout the day, it was Energy and Materials piling up numbers on the happy side of the ledger, up 2.5% and 1.6% respectively – and it was the XJR ASX 200 Resources index running hottest on +1.8%, with the XBX ASX 200 Banks index second-warmest on +1.16%.

Struggling, however, was the market’s only negative sector Consumber Staples, which shed just over 1.0% since open, and even the goldies edged lower today, breaking its recent run of terrific form as the XGD All Ords Gold index ticked down 0.69% as the day drew to a close.

It’s been a solid day for some of the nation’s lithium miners, with a couple of lithium’s Large Cappers performing well enough to warrant inclusion in the winner’s circle for the day.

Lynas (ASX:LYC) has added more than 12% today on news that its wholly-owned subsidiary Lynas Malaysia has had its licence to import and process lanthanide concentrate made valid until 1 January, 2024.

It’s a bit of a lucky break for Lynas, which Stockhead’s Josh Chiat describes as “a six-month stay of execution” – one which will enable Lynas to begin the ramp up of a new $575 million plant in Kalgoorlie in WA, near its world class Mt Weld mine, before the end of the activity in Malaysia.

And Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) has jumped more than 7.0% today as well, riding an increase in market sentiment after Morgan Stanley went out on a limb (not really) to state its assessment that lithium prices have bottomed out, while forecasting tight supply for the rest of the year.

San Francisco-based “family app” Life360 (ASX:360) has also enjoyed a surge today, adding just over 8.0% despite not really having any market-shaking news for a number of months.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei has barely moved all day, lower by -0.61% as local markets drew to a close, while Shanghai added +1.83%, outperforming the Hang Seng on +0.77%.

 

TODAY’S ASX SMALL CAP LEADERS

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There’s been a changing of the guard at the top of the Small Caps winners list since lunchtime, with Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) taking line honours with a 27.2% gain following the announcement that its bid to acquire of Health House International (ASX:HHI) is now approved and has become effective.

The purchase of HHI has handed two hugely important benefits to CPH – firstly, a new already-functional revenue streams, and secondly an all-important tranche of import and sales licences covering psilocybin and MDMA.

Next best Small Caps champion is Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT), up 12.5% as interest in graphite diggers returns to the boil among local investors.

There’s not been any substantial company-specific news behind Black Rock’s climb today.

And slipping from second place this morning into third this afternoon – also on no news – is Brookside Energy (ASX:BRK).

It’s up more than 15.3% on no fresh news since revealing a buy-back on 28 April, but no doubt helped by a modest rise in crude prices after a fairly hectic sequence of falls last week.

 

TODAY’S ASX SMALL CAP LAGGARDS

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LAST ORDERS

Loyal Lithium (ASX:LLI) has revealed that the company is now around halfway through its drilling program at the 100% owned Scotty lithium project in Nevada, USA, where Loyal says it has been hitting “consistent large intervals of sedimentary clays intersected from near surface to 170m vertical depth”.

Of course, it’s still early doors as yet and there aren’t any concrete assay results to report, but the company seems confident that the project – from what it’s seen so far – is broadly in line with the pre-drilling MT interpretation that indicated a 3.6km2 sedimentary basin extending from near surface to around 150m depth in the north, which deepens to approximately 500m in the south.

Drilling at the site continues, with Loyal saying that this round of exploration will most likely wrap up in June 2023.

Meanwhile, Widgie Nickel (ASX: WIN) has announced that it has met a key project milestone for the Faraday project, with significant work swiftly undertaken to-date culminating in submission to the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) of the Mining Proposal and Mine Closure Plan.

The submission is in relation to a lithium DSO mining operation that Widgie is targeting to commence in the second half of 2023, whilst continuing exploration works on Faraday and the broader Mt Edwards project to develop a greater understanding of the overall lithium endowment across the Company’s tenure, only a few months since releasing its maiden resource estimate.

Lastly for this afternoon, Sunshine Gold (ASX:SHN) is all set to acquire 100% of Greater Liontown – including all 16 tenements totalling ~684km2 – for $3.25m in cash with a further $2m of cash payable on production milestones.

The acquisition delivers Sunshine a string of valuable assets, including a Zn-Cu-Pb-Au VMS Resource of 4.94Mt @ 12.0% ZnEq (32% Indicated) and 25 drill-ready Zn-Cu-Pb-Au IP geophysical targets.

That’s alongside the “under-drilled” Carrington Au Lode in the footwall of the Liontown VMS deposits with significant intersections including:

  • 2.0m @ 82.5 g/t Au from 344m (LTD0022)
  • 3.0m @ 46.2 g/t Au from 20m (LRC0018)
  • 2.0m @ 68.6 g/t Au from 24m (LRC0043)
  • 7.0m @ 13.0 g/t Au from 115m (LLRC184)

All up, Sunshine now controls about 80% of the highly prospective Mt Windsor Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) horizon, and ~1,760km2 of highly prospective Au/Cu-Au ground.

Greater Liontown is adjacent to Sunshine’s Ravenswood West project, located 35km WSW of Charters Towers and 135km from Sunshine’s head office in Townsville.

 

TRADING HALTS

Credit Clear (ASX:CCR) – Capital raising.

Proteomics International Laboratories (ASX:PIQ) – Announcement regarding an exclusive licence agreement with Sonic Healthcare USA for the use and commercialisation of the company’s PromarkerD test in the US market.

Infinity Lithium Corporation (ASX:INF) – Permitting update announcement from INF’s San José lithium project.

Entyr (ASX:ETR) – Capital raising.

Victory Metals (ASX:VTM) – Capital raising.

FYI Resources (ASX:FYI) – Material acquisition.

Echo IQ (ASX:EIQ) – Appointment of a sales agent in the US.