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Good morning everyone, and welcome to 31 May, 2024 – an important day in history for learning about the perils of gold exploration.

That’s because it was on this day in 1578 that an English fella by the name of Martin Frobisher set sail on his third attempt to find the fabled “northwest passage”, that could provide a bit of a shortcut to Asia, but came home to become the laughing stock of Britain.

Frobisher had already had two stabs at find the northwest passage – the first was a total flop, and Frobisher came home pretty much empty handed, aside from a mysterious chunk of “black ore” found on Hall’s Island.

He had it assayed by experts in London, who declared it worthless, but Frobisher didn’t let that deter him from his belief that he had found something of value. So he took it to an Italian alchemist called Giovanni Battista Agnello, who proclaimed the ore to be rich in gold.

Frobisher needed no further prompting, and on the basis of the find he organised a second fleet to journey west, promising to look for the northwest passage – but mostly to load up on the ore that lay about in great quantities on Hall’s Island.

The crew spent several weeks loading up the boats with ore, stopping occasionally to brawl with the local Inuits, who were cranky because Frobisher kept trying to abduct them as souvenirs of his travels.

The second fleet returned to England, the ore was assayed and – to Frobisher’s dismay – some claimed it to be gold, and others claimed it was junk.

Even so, Frobisher talked several wealthy businessmen into financing his largest fleet yet for another run at Hall’s Island, and in 1578 he set sail with more than 400 men in tow, including 147 miners, four blacksmiths, and five assayers in the crew.

After failing to establish a colony at the site, and getting shot in the arse with an arrow by yet another irate Inuit who was cross about being abducted, Frobisher eventually managed to bring the fleet home – along with more than 1,000 tonnes of black ore.

He had it taken to specially constructed smelter at Powder Mill Lane in Dartford, where people who one would assume knew what they were doing spent five years failing to smelt even trace quantities of gold from the ore.

Eventually, Frobisher was convinced that he had wasted his time – and the ore that he had brought home junk, and any ‘gold’ it might have contained was actually iron pyrite… better known as Fool’s Gold.

Frobisher was embarassed into becoming a virtual recluse, and the 1,000 tonnes of useless stone was taken to London, where it was crushed and used for metalling in the surface of the city’s streets, leaving the streets of London officially paved with (fool’s) gold.

Luckily for you, assayers these days are better equipped at getting their readings correct – and the number of obviously “special” Italian alchemists convincing explorers to go on wild goose chases has dwindled significantly.

And that’s good news for you, because we all know how important it is that when we’re talking about precious metals, and all the other aspects of the ASX we cover, we’re bringing you the best information we can.

To help you this morning, Christian’s done his best to make sense of the Wonderful World of Elon Musk, Cam’s all about our relationship with lithium and China, and I’ve put together lots of fiddly little things below, so you can don’t need to go ferreting all over the internet for your ASX info this morning.



Gold: US$2,336.40 (-0.13%)

Silver: US$31.69 (-0.88%)

Nickel (3mth): US$20,252/t (+0.96%)

Copper (3mth): US$10,293/t (-0.84%)

Zinc: US$3,040.89/t (+0.09%)

Oil (WTI): US$79.22 (-0.03%)

Oil (Brent): US$83.55 (+0.02%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$117.68/t (+0.00%)

AUD/USD: 0.6605 (-0.10%)

Bitcoin: US$68,112.00 (+0.80%)



If you haven’t had a breakdown yet this week, here’s your chance to watch us Break It Down, as host Sarah Hughan delivers the goss on Latin Resources in under 90 seconds, or your pizza is free.




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Yesterday’s Small Cap Winners included:

Nanoveu (ASX:NVU) climbed on news that the company has signed a binding deal giving Rahum Nanotech exclusive distribution rights in South Korea for the EyeFly3D product, which “allows users to experience 3D without the need for glasses on everyday handheld devices”. NVU says Rahum must receive orders of ~$30 million by the end of 2026 to maintain exclusivity.

Big news for Ora Gold (ASX:OAU), after the explorer revealed that it is set to team up with miner Westgold (ASX:WGX) to bring OAU’s high grade 240,000oz Crown Prince deposit into production, with WGX signing on to snap up $6 million worth of shares in the junior for a cornerstone stake of around 15%.

Merchant House (ASX:MHI)  announced that it’s set to sell off its 33% shareholding in Tianjin Tianxing Kesheng Leather Products Company to Tianjin Wuxi International Trading Company, for the equivalent of a cool $8.3 million Aussie dollars.

Sports data and analytics company, Catapult Group (ASX:CAT) was up +9% after the company hit a milestone revenue mark of US$100m for FY24, up 20% on pcp.

Ark Mines (ASX:AHK) surged due to a significant increase in mineral estimates at its Sandy Mitchell rare earth and heavy mineral project in northern Queensland. The company has announced a Maiden Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 21.7 million tonnes, surpassing expectations.

And, Clarity Pharmaceuticals (ASX:CU6)  has signed a Supply Agreement with SpectronRx for Cu-64 production. This adds a new Cu-64 manufacturer to Clarity’s network, addressing supply constraints and benefiting patients, especially in the US oncology market. Cu-64’s longer half-life overcomes limitations of other isotopes, providing broader access to PET imaging for cancer diagnosis.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Mount Burgess Mining (ASX:MTB) – pending an announcement in respect of a capital raising.

Generation Development Group (ASX:GDG) – pending a release about a potential acquisition and associated capital raising.

Argent Minerals (ASX:ARD) – pending an announcement regarding a capital raising.

Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL) – pending the release of an announcement in relation to a Farm-in and Joint Venture Agreement over lithium rights at the Norseman Project.

Javelin Minerals (ASX:JAV) – pending a capital raising.

Thunderbird Resources (ASX:THB) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a Capital Raising.

Iondrive (ASX:ION) – pending an announcement to the market in relation to a capital raising.