On Stockhead today, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence did the math and reckon the world needs more than 300 new graphite mines to nourish a 500% increase in battery demand over the next decade.

Our Jessica Cummins says that for for graphite specifically, that means another 97 56,000tpa natural flake graphite mines will need to be built.

She has the names and the numbers of eight primed and prepped ASX players ready to partake.

But first, the day ahead.



The following stocks went into trading halts Thursday and are expected out in the coming days:

Spenda (ASX:SPX) – Proposed private placement. No, that’s not a code for something.

Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) – Capital Raising.

Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) – Capital raising and liability management exercise.

Si6 Metals (ASX:SI6) – Potential acquisition.

Gratifii (ASX:GTI) – Material contract announce, plus a capital raise.



Gold: $US1972.23 (-0.19%)

Silver: $US23.650 (-0.72%)

Nickel (3mth): $US24,025/t (+2.02%)

Copper (3mth): $US9002.50/t (+0.27%)

Oil (WTI): $US72.01(-0.41%)

Oil (Brent): $US79.81 (+0.49%)

Iron 62pc Fe: $US106.50/t (+3.9%)

AUD/USD: 0.6650 (-0.0%)

Bitcoin: $US26,854 (+0.01%)



International Graphite’s going local.

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Also, be sure to check in preopen each day for ‘Market highlights and 5 ASX small caps to watch’, and 10.30am for our daily ‘10 at 10’ column — a live summary of winners & losers at the opening bell.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks on Thursday:

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At lunchtime, Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) is still at the top of the ladder after surging on news that further exploration at the company’s Everleigh Well target area has led to the discovery of a second gold-bearing outcrop.

“Assay results from the discovery of the second outcropping quartz vein with visible gold in the Everleigh target area are exciting, as they back up the initial field observations that reported visible gold in outcrop,” ICL technical director David Nixon said.

“The Everleigh Well target area continues to deliver in-situ gold bearing rock chips and significant numbers of various sized gold nuggets, where a number of key targets will be prepared for future exploration drilling.”

The rock chip analysis has turned up results ranging between 14,780g/t and 18,207g/t of gold.

Stockhead’s best prospect Reuben Adams says prospecting has also recovered gold nuggets across Everleigh Well, and the fact that the nuggets found near the vein are angular and show little or no signs of transport suggests the primary source may be close by.

The advanced iron ore project developer Macarthur Minerals (ASX:MIO), added 39%  (up +61.3% for the week), despite not making a market-moving sound on the ASX announcements board for nearly an entire calendar month.

So… is there something in the works and word’s leaked out? Stay tuned, or ask your nearest professional.

And lithium explorer Nimy Resources (ASX:NIM), which gained 32% on news it’s intersected lithium-bearing pegmatites in eight holes, over 1.3km of strike, at the South Lake and Royale prospects within the Mons project in Western Australia.

NIM geological consultant Fergus Jockel says to intersect such extensive pegmatites below a strong lithium soil anomaly is highly promising.

“Favourable assays would confirm that the soil sampling is an effective lithium exploration tool at Mons and in this event we will move quickly to expand the anomaly, which remains open”.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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