Good morning everyone, and welcome to Wednesday, 1 November.

On Stockhead today…

If there’s one maxim that is true for resource explorers, it is that they live or die by the drill bit. Stockhead’s ‘On the Drill Bit’ column looks at the ASX explorers that have announced plans to start drilling in November. ‎

mRNA is set to be the new frontier in vaccines, but has serious side effects including inflammation. ASX listed Noxopharm has a program to tackle this problem, and Eddy Sunarto (that’s me) talks to its CEO, Gisela Mautner.

But first..



Gold: US$1,996.51(+0.04%)

Silver: US$23.15 (-0.65%)

Nickel (3mth): US$18,079/t (-1.30%)

Copper (3mth): US$7,985.50/t (-0.58%)

Oil (WTI): US$82.64 (+0.41%)

Oil (Brent): US$86.49 (+0.19%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$118.70/t (+0.13%)

AUD/USD: 0.6360 (-0.18%)

Bitcoin: US$34,120 (-0.11%)



Now Australia’s largest listed nickel producer, Indonesian-focused Nickel Industries (ASX:NIC) says it is talking to as many as 20 EV makers about battery nickel supply, saying Western automakers are recognising they need to deal with the world’s biggest nickel supplier to feed their businesses.

A widely anticipated scoping study shows Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL)’s 3.3Mt Solaroz lithium brine project comes with an impressive IRR of 41-44% and will take just 2-2.5 years to pay back development costs once in production.

And this…



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

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Yesterday’s Small Caps highlights:

Patriot Lithium (ASX:PAT) has been climbing happily all day, pleased as it was to announce the acquisition of “multiple claim packages” in the lithium rich “Electric Avenue” region in Ontario, Canada.

This region is already blowing minds for its reputedly very high-grade lithium deposits, containing the world-class PAK-Spark Project, owned by Frontier Lithium (TSXV: FL).

Patriot already has confirmed high grade lithium mineralisation at Gorman within a 5.2km trend of outcropping pegmatites (including rock chip samples up to 3.71% Li2O and sawn channel samples of 12.8 metres at 1.3% Li2O, 5.0 metres at 2.0% Li2O and 5.0 metres at 2.0% Li2O).

Shares in the Aussie flag-flyer for US giant Toys R Us (ASX:Toy) are way out in front on Tuesday, up 36% at the close.

All we’ve got for now is that the Aussie arm of the business entered voluntary administration in 2018, shuttering some 45 stores after it failed to find a local buyer.

In 2021, ASX-listed toy punter Funtastic rescued the stores and adopted the fateful Toys“R”Us branding. But they also recently were discussing a deal to distribute on Disney cruise ships too.

Easing back on the accelerator in afternoon play, Chimeric Therapeutics (ASX:CHM), is still doing well after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application of CHM 2101 – Chimeric’s first in class CDH17 CAR T cell therapy for gastrointestinal cancers.

The Australian firm, which says it’s among the leaders in cell therapy, plans to investigate CHM 2101 in a multi-centre, open label Phase 1A/B clinical trial for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, gastric cancer and neuroendocrine tumours.

Xianxin Hua, MD, PhD, and his team at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania called it “exciting to see the advancement from discovery of the CDH17 target and CAR T therapy in preclinical studies to the initiation of clinical trials in patients with GI-cancers and neuroendocrine tumors.”

Everyone hates cancer. Up 75%.

Finally a shout out to the copper, lithium and REEs explorer, Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR), which has made a close encounter of the third kind on that list – new niobium-REE carbonatites in the West Arunta region of WA.

ENR jumped about 20% when the news dropped before lunch.

At Emily, meanwhile, a magnetic low located 2km northwest of WA1 Resources’ (ASX:WA1) Luni discovery, has intersected carbonatites from ~50m depth which Encounter says were variably mineralised in niobium-REE to the end of the hole.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

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Pioneer Lithium (ASX:PLN) – Pending a response to an ASX price query

Jade Gas Holdings (ASX:JGH) – Pending an announcement to be made by the Company to the market in ‘connection with Jade’s financing initiatives’

Magnum Mining (ASX:MGU) – Pending “it releasing an announcement”

K2Fly (ASX:K2F)  – Pending an announcement regarding a capital raising pursuant to a placement and strategic review