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Good morning everyone, and welcome to 28 February, 2024 – an important day in the world of Being an Excellent Christian, because it was on this day in 1646 that a fella named Roger Scott from Lynn, Massachusetts, was tried and found guilty of the grave sin of falling asleep in church.

Back in those days, church services were lengthy and tedious. They still are, but back then it was worse – especially for a congregation that spent every other waking hour working, fighting off angry bears and even angrier Native Americans, or dying of things like a broken toe, or an infected cut on their finger.

Because the Puritans had absolutely zero chill, and the only thing that fell asleep faster than the congregation’s minds were their backsides on the hard, wooden church pews, there were guys employed by the church called Tithingmen.

Elected annually by the congregation, the main role of the Tithingmen was twofold: Keeping order in the church during services, and enforcing observance of the Sabbath.

Both of those tasks involved the use of a large, knobbled staff – long enough so that the Tithingman could vigorously and righteously ensure that a member of the congregation wasn’t asleep (or working on the Sabbath), by piously and reverently beating them on the head and shoulders.

In the name of The Lord, of course.

The man in today’s history lesson, Roger Scott, was enjoying a snooze in church when he was spotted and – as instructed by God – awoken by several blows to the head with the Tithingman’s rod.

As you’d expect, this assault came as something of a surprise to the sleeping gentleman, who – again, as you’d expect – reacted by returning the favour before he was quickly subdued by officials, neighbours and friends.

He was quickly tried and found guilty, and sentenced immediately to his punishment – an excruciatingly painful and humiliating public flogging in the town square, just as Jesus would have wanted.

The good news is this: To help you avoid being soundly beaten this morning, the Stockhead team have put together some fabulous stories, including a piece from the raging talent that is Bevis Yeo on what Pantera’s been up to at its mighty Smackover brine lithium play.

And Earlybird Eddy Sunarto has had a look at Brainchip, which yesterday revealed it needed to sell some of those AI brain, er, chips… and soon.

And, as always there’s words and numbers down below for you to scour now and then get unhappy about on talk-back radio before the market opens later on this morning.



Gold: US$2,030.22 (-0.02%)

Silver: US$22.45 (-0.27%)

Nickel (3mth): US$17,169/t (-1.86%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,466/t (-1.18%)

Oil (WTI): US$78.55 (+1.25%)

Oil (Brent): US$83.20 (+0.82%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$125.84/t (-0.21%)

AUD/USD: 0.6543 (+0.12%)

Bitcoin: US$56,690 (+3.88%)



The nickel world’s taken a beating in recent months, but Indonesia’s grip on that market looks like it might not last… at least, that’s according to one local private equity firm…



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Yesterday’s Small Cap Winners included:

Up circa 90% was the Aussie “global hearing health leader specialising in innovative listening solutions for people with hearing challenges”, Audeara (ASX:AUA)) which made a groundbreaking, milestone-making maiden sale –  to mass manufacture AUA audio tech for Avedis Zildjian.

The maiden third party purchase order of $2.1m is also the largest single order Audeara has received since inception.

AUA co-founder and CTO Alex Afflick said the purchase  is “expected to have a significant positive impact on the Company’s cashflow and its push toward breakeven and profitability.”

First announced early last year, the project AUA says, is nearing mass production, ahead of a commercial launch anticipated in H1 FY25.

OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) said it’s just pumped about the quality of the metallurgical recoveries from samples tested at the Australian Nuclear Science Organisation (ANSTO), including – apparently – up to 90% of Magnet Rare Earth Elements (MagREE) in multiple Prospect areas, across 60 new samples.

Lots and lots happening out of these samples from Splinter Rock with OD6 claiming that recoveries for all MagREO are inclusive of Nd, Pr, Dy, Tb similar.

This is the key to overall project economics for any clay-hosted rare earth project.

Meanwhile, battery metals stocks have been crunched lately, but one brave US-based ASX battery metals player was taking care of Tuesday with a startlingly comprehensive update on progress at the 5E Boron Americas Complex in California.

Word is it remains on track to kickstart commercial operations at the new boron and lithium mine in California in the second quarter of this year.

5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5EA) is planning to open what will be only the second major boric acid operation in America. The other is a non-core asset owned and operated by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) which has been in business since 1927.

5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5EA) CEO Susan Brennan said the company remains on track to start commercial ops in CY Q2 2024, with all mining operations and related activities on track as it moves closer to initial boron and lithium production.

Just how big a deal is it, Ms Brennan?

“I cannot emphasise enough the importance 5E will represent in the US in the coming months as a new and secure producer of critical materials needed for clean energy economies.”

That’s how much.

And new sources of the ‘supermaterial’ — used alongside rare earths metals in permanent magnets, fire retardants, ceramics, fertiliser, detergent and more — are essential given the concentrated nature of the market.

Finally, a shout out to Elixinol Wellness (ASX:EXL), which was up about 88%. It could be the Germans. or it could be that it’s about to deliver a stunner of a prospectus… time will tell.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Dubber Corp (ASX:DUB) ) – Dubber is investigating accounting issues that have come to light in connection with the audit review of the Company’s 31 December 2023 half-year account.

Frontier Energy (ASX:FHE) –  pending an announcement regarding the results of a Definitive Feasibility Study.

New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE) – pending an announcement to be made by the Company to the market in connection with the execution of a Mineral Rights and Tenement Acquisition Agreement.

WhiteHawk (ASX:WHK) – pending an announcement concerning a capital raising.

Xstate Resources (ASX:XST) – pending an announcement to the market regarding a material asset divestment.