Good morning everyone, and welcome to Tuesday, 21 November – a date on the calendar worth noting, thanks to recent geopolitical events that could turn out to get a little ugly.

For it was on this day in 1906 that China officially prohibited all trade in opium – a decision with a gruesome background that included not one, but two wars with Britain over Her Majesty’s right to sell drugs.

Opium was a massive problem in China, causing untold social upheaval in the mid 1800s, with supply of the drug to the Chinese population largely under the control of British merchants importing it – illegally, of course – from India.

Around 1840, China – tired of the West bringing drugs into the country – set fire to a 1,400 tonne pile of British-owned opium in Canton, ratcheting up hostilities that sparked the first Opium War.

The British won that one (it’s why Hong Kong was technically British until the end of last century) – and another war a few years later, with the help of the French, again over the opium trade.


Fast forward to modern times, and China is still battling with the West over opiates – only this time, the tide has turned and it’s the US bleating about all the fentanyl flowing from China to its shores, and turning the American population into shambling zombies.

That looked set for change in recent days, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping sitting down with US President Joe Biden specifically to address the problem – and, it seemed, some major headway in the fight over the international drug trade had been made.

But then this happened:



That visible wince from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says it all, really…

International diplomacy at its absolute finest, that is.

In more local news, however, there’s plenty of action waiting for investors on local markets – and to get you up to speed, the Stockhead team has been hard at work (most of us, anyway…) to gather insights and information to help you make the most of your day.

The inimitable Josh Chiat has scoured the Canadian stock exchange for his weekly look at liffium Over There, and Cam Drummond’s been taking a long, hard look at what’s happening in the mineral sands scene as well.

Plus, as always, here’s all the fiddly data and digits to get you up to speed this morning as well.



Gold: US$1,977.95 (-0.10%)

Silver: US$23.42 (-1.27%)

Nickel (3mth): US$16,904/t (-0.68%)

Copper (3mth): US$8,267/t (+0.57%)

Oil (WTI): US$77.63 (+2.10%)

Oil (Brent): US$81.91 (+1.62%)

Iron 62pc Fe: US$129.31/t (+0.28%)

AUD/USD: 0.6561 (+0.65%)

Bitcoin: US$37,536 (+1.5%)



Earnings season us upon us once more, which is always an interesting window into how everything’s travelling on the bourse… but somehow, I suspect that the image on this story had as much to do with its popularity as the content yesterday…




Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Yesterday’s Small Caps highlights were:

Diverse minerals hunter Viridis Mining and Minerals (ASX:VMM) came out of a trading halt with some big assay-result news from its newly acquired Colossus rare earths (REE) project in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The company recently entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% of the rights to the REEs comprising the Colossus project, consisting of 41 licences (including two mining licences) covering 56km2 “within South America’s largest known alkaline complex”.

The company has announced ‘major ionic clay rare earth discoveries’ at Colossus, with 46.0m at 3,285 ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) from surface making the headline.

The VMM share price subsequently shot up more than 69%.

Nyrada is a locally-listed US biotech with a focus on ‘small molecule drugs in non-oncology fields, and it also had a great AGM yesterday, apparently. The mini pharma/medtech/small cap went up about 30%.

Lithium, nickel and gold exploration junior TG Metals (ASX:TG6) continued to rise on Monday, having most recently intercepted high-grade lithium at its Lake Johnston Li-Ni-Au project in the Lake Johnston Greenstone Belt of WA.

The company had nothing fresh to report that we could see specifically, however, there’s certainly some action going on in the Lake Johnston area with some other projects of note, which could be helping to move neighbouring junior explorer share prices.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:

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Genesis Resources (ASX:GES) – Pending a material announcement to the market in relation to the results of a drilling program.

Norfolk Metals (ASX:NFL) – Pending the release of an announcement in relation to a capital raising.

Great Northern Minerals (ASX:GNM) – Pending an announcement regarding a proposed divestment of certain assets by the Company.

Alterity Therapeutics (ASX:ATH) – Pending an announcement in relation to a capital raise.

WT Financial Group (ASX:WTL) – Pending an announcement by the Company regarding a corporate acquisition.

Healius (ASX:HLS) – Pending an announcement to ASX in connection with its debt financing and related capital structure initiatives.

ADX Energy (ASX:ADX) – Pending an announcement regarding a capital raising.

Firebird Metals (ASX:FRB) – Pending release of an announcement by the Company in relation to the results of an updated Manganese Sulphate scoping study.