Rise and Shine: Everything you need to know before the ASX opens
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Wednesday, 20 December – a date on the musical calendar worth noting because on this day in 1957, Uncle Sam came calling for Elvis Presley, and he was drafted into the US Army.
The King of Rock’n’Roll was paraded in front of the cameras as a Genuine American Patriot, had his signature pompadour shorn from his head, and he was shipped – along with his custom-made rubberised pelvis – off to Germany to serve two years in the armed forces.
It put a bit of a dent in his musical career, but even while he was technically doing whatever the hell America was doing in Germany in the 1950s – I assume guarding the world against another ill-fated attempt by Russia to visit Poland (and possibly France) for summer that year – he managed to put out a slew of singles that charted pretty well.
The King made it back from Germany in time to ring in the Swingin’ 60s, pump out some of his most memorable hits, before reinventing himself as a morbidly obese and dangerously unhinged drug addict, and dying a heroic – if undignified – death of a heart attack on the toilet.
RIP, you magnificent bastard… may you forever be Taking Care of Business.
Also taking care of business today are the stellar team of writers we’ve assembled here at Stockhead, who have brought their iron will to bear upon their keyboards to deliver the finest in fresh stories to get you all riled up for some hot stock-on-stock action today.
That includes Reuben and Josh’s dive into what’s been happening on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Rob Badman’s energetic look at the… erm… battery metals market (it’s late and I’m tired) and President Eddy Sunarto’s report on heart saver Artrya’s very, very positive FDA news.
Plus, you’ll find all the usual digits and data to jingle all your bells before the market opens today, down below.
As an aside, today is the start of my Christmas holidays, which will draw to a rapid end right around the time I’m burping the last of the leftover turkey into my beard while I hold everyone’s hand through the three days that the ASX is inexplicably open for business while the rest of the country is in a post-Christmas coma.
It’s been a wild, wild year for me – and writing dumb things about the stock market for your entertainment has brought me an incalculably large quantity of joy. I hope you all have an extremely happy, healthy and safe holiday period, and I look forward to tormenting those of you that think I don’t take my job seriously enough when I return in 2024. As always, I look forward to your angry emails.
Gold: US$2,040.10 (+0.65%)
Silver: US$24.05 (+1.13%)
Nickel (3mth): US$16,502/t (-3.78%)
Copper (3mth): US$8,482.50/t (-0.78%)
Oil (WTI): US$74.09 (+1.74%)
Oil (Brent): US$79.29 (+1.72%)
Iron 62pc Fe: US$134.65/t (+0.03%)
AUD/USD: 0.6764 (+0.85%)
Bitcoin: US$42,277 (-0.5%)
Josh Chiat came back from a well-earned holiday, and promptly started knocking it out of the park again… here’s his take on what’s happening with the collab to consumer Azure between Our Gina and SQM.
— Stockhead (@StockheadAU) December 19, 2023
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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A late charge on Tuesday saw MTM Critical Metals (ASX:MTM) launch into low orbit, up better than 160% mid-afternoon on news that the company has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% of Flash Metals.
Flash, for those not in the know, currently holds three granted exploration licences in Western Australia’s West Arunta region, immediately adjacent to ground held by WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) and Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) … it is, as MTM’s new neighbours suggest, a pretty ritzy neighbourhood.
Additionally, the deal also hands over Flash’s Mukinbudin Niobium-REE Project, comprising 2 granted exploration licences located 250km northeast of Perth in the South West Mineral Field of Western Australia.
But wait, there’s more… Flash also has an option to exclusively negotiate the licencing rights to an early-stage processing technology for REE and precious metals known as Flash Joule Heating, which has been developed by researchers at Rice University in the USA.
The big winner earlier in the day was Novo Resources (ASX:NVO), which slammed a 53.3% homer on news that SQM Australia has agreed to pay A$10 million for a 75% interest in five of Novo’s prospective lithium-nickel tenements in the West Pilbara. It’s since retreated to a still-respectable +36% gain.
SQM Australia, in case you missed all the other memos this year, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chilean giant Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile, which is 49% owned by China’s Tianqi Lithium Corporation, helmed by CEO Ricardo Ramos, and busily buying up everything it can get its lithium-stained hands on.
That deal will see the formation of the Harding Battery Metals Joint Venture, and also allows for an option over additional Novo Pilbara tenements down the track.
The Harding Battery Metals JV tenements are within neurological spitting distance of Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) Andover lithium–nickel project, so everyone’s pretty excited about what the new collab is going to produce.
Meanwhile, Culpeo Minerals (ASX:CPO) has revealed that it has hit “significant widths of visible copper mineralisation” at shallow depth during drilling at its El Quillay Prospect, Fortuna Project in Chile.
Culpeo’s not kidding when it says that the copper is visible, either… the company has posted several images along with the announcement that are quite striking, and – dare I say it – fittingly colourful for this festive time of year.
The company says the images are indicative of a 40m intercept from a depth of just 15m from drillhole CMEQD002, where the near surface mineralisation was dominated by malachite and chrysocolla while in the primary zone the main copper mineralisation was in the form of chalcopyrite and to a lesser extent bornite.
(That last bit’s just a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for all you hardcore rock nerds out there… Happy Xmas, rockhounds…)
Sarytogan Graphite (ASX:SGA) is busting out the Christmas bubbly this morning, with news that the first spheroidised graphite from the Sarytogan Graphite Deposit in Central Kazakhstan has been produced.
The company says that a high combined spheroidisation yield of 54% achieved ideal D50 sphere sizes of 32, 18, and 12μm after classification, with high tap densities ranging from 0.91 to 0.99g/cm.
“What a way to end the year!” said an obviously very happy Sarytogan managing director, Sean Gregory.
“This result allays all doubts of the giant and exceptionally high-grade Sarytogan Graphite deposit’s suitability to vie for a share of the rapidly growing lithium-ion battery market for electric vehicles and other uses, subject to customer qualification.”
Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks:
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Latrobe Magnesium (ASX:LMG) – pending an announcement to the market regarding a proposed capital raising.
Fatfish Group (ASX:FFG) – pending the release of an announcement concerning a capital raise.
Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS) – pending an announcement to the market regarding a proposed capital raising.
Argonaut Resources (ASX:ARE) – pending the release of an announcement regarding a capital raising.
Hiremii (ASX:HMI) – pending release of an announcement regarding a capital raising.