• Tesla selects Piedmont Lithium as spodumene concentrate supplier for EV batteries
  • Emu takes off on WA gold exploration focus and picks up Gnows Nest project
  • EcoGraf secures WA site for new battery graphite processing plant

Here’s your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Monday, September 28.

The top gaining resources stock Monday was Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) which took off after a trading halt on its shares was lifted and the company released some market-moving news involving Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Investors piled into Piedmont which said it had struck a five-year supply agreement with EV maker Tesla for 53,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate from its North Carolina project.

The supply agreement is conditional on Tesla and Piedmont agreeing a start date for deliveries of between July 2022 and July 2023, and Tesla has the option of extending the supply agreement by another five years.

“We will now accelerate our mine/concentrator development to support Tesla’s plans, work to further expand our mineral resources, and potentially increase our planned annual spodumene concentrate production capacity,” president and chief executive, Keith Phillips, said.

At Tesla’s Battery Day event last week, Tesla chief Elon Musk stated a preference for US-supplied minerals such as lithium and nickel for his EV battery production.

Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) share price chart


Emu switches gold exploration to WA

Second-placed riser was Emu NL (ASX:EMU) which announced it had turned its focus toward WA for gold exploration to make the most of the Australian state’s COVID-free status.

Emu NL (ASX:EMU) has picked up the Gnows Nest gold project near the WA town of Yalgoo, after winding down its Elevado gold project in Chile.

“Following our exit from Chile and subsequent travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the board made the strategic decision to focus on WA, where it is expected our activities can continue largely unaffected by the pandemic,” chairman, Peter Thomas, said.

Gnows Nest’s former owner, Coruscant Minerals, undertook some recent drilling that outlined a small, shallow indicated and inferred JORC-compliant resource of 113,400 tonnes at 3.78 grams per tonne gold for 13,777 ounces.

The project is located in the same greenstone belt that hosts the Golden Grove copper-zinc mine, the focus of recent gold exploration success for Firefly Resources (ASX:FFR).

Emu NL (ASX:EMU) share price chart


Scorpion Minerals unveils drilling hits for gold

Scorpion Minerals (ASX:SCN) jumped 31 per cent Monday, on revealing drilling had hit high-grade, near surface gold mineralisation at its Lantern-Pharos project near Cue in WA.

Results for four drill holes included a hit at 11m at 5.39 g/t gold from surface drilling, and 3m at 18 g/t from 4m, and the project is immediately north of the company’s Mt Mulcahy copper-zinc-gold-silver project.

Scorpion Minerals (ASX:SCN) share price chart


EcoGraf finds favour with battery investors

Battery technology company EcoGraf (ASX:EGR) was buoyed by news it had secured a WA site for its battery graphite manufacturing facility, believed to be the first outside China.

The 20,000 tonnes per annum manufacturing facility at the Kwinana-Rockingham industrial area, 30km south of Perth, will cost $US72m and employ 275 construction workers.

EcoGraf said a site in WA was chosen because of strong European customer support including from EV makers, and it added there was an expectation that WA could attract a ‘gigafactory’ battery development similar to Tesla’s in Nevada.

EcoGraf has bathed in bullish sentiment since Tesla’s Battery Day event last week.

EcoGraf released some commentary around the company’s technology that allows battery manufacturers to recover carbon anode material from battery production waste.

EcoGraf (ASX:EGR) share price chart


HPA company FYI Resources lifts on no news

High purity alumina company FYI Resources (ASX:FYI) which is developing a project in WA saw its share price appreciate nearly 30 per cent without any news release today.

HPA has applications in the production of batteries for EVs and static power storage units.

The company has secured a production site near Fremantle port in the Kwinana industrial area, so-called ‘battery alley’, because of the proximity of other chemical and battery companies.

FYI Resources (ASX:FYI) share price chart