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Good morning everyone, and welcome to 15 May, 2024 – an important day in history of not agreeing with the Catholic Church.

That’s because on this day in 1252, Pope Innocent IV issued the Papal Bull entitled Ad extirpanda, which authorised the use of torture by Inquisitors against anyone accused of heresy, because that’s what Jesus would do.

Pope Innocent IV, as an aside, was born Sinibaldo Fieschi, and was a member of the prominent Fieschi family of Genoa that claimed direct descendence from the the counts of Lavagna.

The counts of Lavagna rose to fame as early celebrity chefs, whose gift to Italian cuisine has been overshadowed by that of the counts of Lasagna.

The latter took the original dish, known as Lavagna, and improved upon it by layering their creation horizontally, rather than the far less consumer-friendly vertical version which was, and still is, a culinary sh-tshow.

But I digress.

Pope Innocent IV’s Ad extirpanda contains a well thought out treatise on the manner in which heretics could be tortured, summarised as three basic rules, with a late hastily-scribbled note in the margin that baffled scholars for centuries.

The three rules said:

  1. The torture method used must not cause loss of life or limb;
  2. Any method employed must only be used once per person; and
  3. The Inquisitor needed to be really certain of the evidence before any torture began.

The scrawled note in the margin, which reads “Cruciatus numquam musicam Caelinii Dyonisi comprehendere debet!” had papal scholars utterly confounded for hundreds of years, until it was finally decoded by a Cistercian monk in 1998.

While investigating the apparent suicide of a fellow monk at the famous cliffside Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro, Brother Armand Jean le Bouthillier found a turntable hidden beneath the floorboards of the dead man’s room.

On it was a 12-inch single of I Will Always Love You and – upon seeing “Celine Dion” named as the artist responsible, everything “clicked into place”, and Pope Innocent IV’s remarkably prescient papal decree outlining the use of the French Canadian songstress’ bleatings and warblings have since been lauded as “divinely inspired” by believers and heretics alike.

Luckily for you, we’re not going to make you listen to a single note of Celine Dion’s work this morning. Instead, we are politely inviting you to read our own divinely inspired wisdom this morning, as penned by the oracles that haunt the hallowed Stockhead halls.

That includes Part 1 of Christian “Chedward” Edwards’ deep dive into why the ASX’s bloodsucking pathology stocks are grossly undervalued, and Cam Drummond’s look into who’s movin’ and shakin’ like a Carnivale dancer in Brazil’s blistering lithium scene.

And obviously we’ve got all the good news for miners out of last night’s Budget. There was some.

Plus, because – and I’m as shocked as you are about this – I have nothing better to do on a Tuesday evening, I’m sat here at my laptop furiously pasting in all the data and digits and highlights listed below to help prep you for the day ahead.



Gold: US$2,339.10 (+0.11%)

Silver: US$28.35 (+0.51%)

Nickel (3mth): US$19,142.30/t (+1.25%)

Copper (3mth): US$10,161.26/t (+0.64%)

Zinc: US$2,929.75/t (+0.58%)

Oil (WTI): US$78.58 (-0.67%)

Oil (Brent): US$83.31 (-0.05%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$117.31/t (+0.32%)

AUD/USD: 0.6604 (+0.01%)

Bitcoin: US$61,860.70 (-1.71%)



Our resident expert on all things China, the inimitable Christian Edwards, posits the question of whether there’s actually a bull on the loose in the Great China Shop… read it now, if you missed it yesterday.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Yesterday’s Small Cap Winners included:

TechGen Metals (ASX:TG1) was up on news that the company has expanded its portfolio to include “a highly prospective copper and gold project in Western Australia”. Techgen has snapped up the Blue Devil project, located 45km east northeast of Halls Creek in Western Australia and accessible through station and exploration tracks, for “minimal outlay”, after previous exploration at the site by Spartan Exploration returned some promising rock chip samples, above 1% Cu with a peak of 50.5% Cu.

It’s a timely purchase, as copper prices ticked back over US$10,000 a tonne overnight – which was also great news for Castillo Copper (ASX:CCZ) , which was up on news of plans to develop its Big One deposit in the Mt Isa copper belt. Located within CCZ’s prime NWQ Copper Project, the Big One Deposit has a JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of 2.1Mt @ 1.1% Cu for 21,886t contained metal2, including 40m @ 1.64% from surface incl: 11m @ 4.40% from 24m, 5m @ 7.34% from 28m & 1m @ 16.65% from 29m, and 44m @ 1.19% Cu from surface incl: 14m @ 3.55% from 27m, 3m @ 10.88% from 37m & 1m @ 12.6% from 37m.

In more copper news, Stavely Minerals (ASX:SVY) was up after announcing that re-interpretation of historic and more recent drilling at the company’s Junction prospect has identified an immediate shallow discovery opportunity. Stavely says copper-gold-silver lode-style mineralisation intersected previously at Junction includes chalcopyrite, bornite and covellite and is very similar to the mineralisation at its 9.3Mt at 1.23% Cu, 0.23g/t Au, 7g/t Ag Cayley Lode.

Rincon Resources (ASX:RCR) was on the rise again after dramatically peaking and selling off about a week or so ago. The critical metals (REEs, niobium, copper, gold) junior was up today after revealing that a Heritage clearance survey over its high-priority ‘Avalon’ Nb-REE/IOCG target has now been completed. The survey encompassed the Avalon, Sheoak, K1 and K2 target areas, with 32 drilling traverses surveyed, allowing Rincon to fast-track additional drilling programs in the event of early success.

Junior gold explorer, First Au (ASX:FAU), has made a solid gain amid high trading volume. Something’s going on – investors might know, but here’s what we know. It’s a management/boardroom shuffle situation. Why that’s got investors frothing, though, is as yet not entirely clear. The company has announced the resignation of its current CEO and MD Ryan Skeen, which will take effect at the conclusion of FAU’s AGM on Thursday this week.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Maronan Metals (ASX:MMA)pending an announcement regarding a capital raising.

AML3D (ASX:AL3) – pending an announcement regarding a capital raising.