On Stockhead today, five experts, 10 picks as EVs stir nickel demand, will platinum win gold in 2022, and is Kogan just a Bogan stock?

But first … the day ahead.

The last bit of tasty economic data ahead of Saturday’s election came with yesterday’s unemployment rate, which now sits at 50-year lows of 3.9%.

Today the ABS has counts of Australian businesses and livestock products on the card, the latter the quarterly statistics on livestock slaughtering meat production and wool receivals.

Delicious.

 

TRADING HALTS

The following companies entered a trading halt and are expected to exit with news in the coming days.

Locality Planning Energy (ASX:LPE) – trading halt, pending the release of an announcement in relation to a change in Queensland wholesale electricity market conditions

Austral Resources (ASX:AR1) – trading halt, pending the release of an announcement in relation to an ASX Price and Volume Query

Desert Metals (ASX:DM1) – trading halt in its securities pending the release of exploration results

Aston Minerals (ASX: ASO) – trading halt, pending an announcement regarding a metallurgical update for the Edleston Project

BikeExchange (ASX:BEX) – trading halt, pending the expected release of an announcement relating to a proposed material equity capital raise

Invictus Energy (ASX:IVZ; OTC:IVCTF) – trading halt, pending an update in relation to a capital raising

 

MARKETS

Gold: $US1,846.12 (+1.63%)

Silver: $US21.88 (+2.55%)

Nickel (3mth): $US26,159/t (-0.9%)

Copper (3mth): $US9,235.00/t (-1.4%)

Lithium Carbonate, China (Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, May 19): $US68,850/t (+0.1% weekly)

Lithium Hydroxide, China (Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, May 19): $US70,625/t (-0.2% weekly)

Oil (WTI): $US108.95 (-0.59%)

Oil (Brent): $US109.65 (+0.37%)

Iron 62pc Fe: $US122.20 (-4.19%)

AUD/USD: $US0.7050 (+1.36%)

Bitcoin: $US29,946.00 (+4.01%)

 

WHAT GOT YOU TALKING YESTERDAY?

The Feddy Election’s here. Scott Morrison tumbled haplessly into a Tasmanian (hasn’t he suffered enough?) child at a soccer club and the nation has been glued to Twitter for the past 24-plus hours on a hunt for Mememortality ever since.

And some of our stats of the mining boom still boggle the mind.

 

TODAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP WINNERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Near-term rare earths miner Arafura Resources (ASX:ARU) has signed a non-binding agreement to supply 1000–1500 tonnes per annum of neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) to car maker Hyundai over a seven-year term starting in 2025.

ARU’s deal with Hyundai potentially represents just over one-third of the estimated average annual production capacity of 4440 tonnes from the ‘Nolans’ project in the NT; that’s after an expected production ramp-up.

‘Nolans’ is a $1.05 billion capex NdPr project with the potential to supply 10% of the world’s rare earths magnet supply over a 35-year mine life.

ARU and Hyundai are working towards executing a definitive binding offtake agreement by September 2022.

Cannabis company Little Green Pharma (ASX:LGP) has signed a large-volume, take-or-pay contract with Four 20 Pharma for the exclusive supply of a new high-THC strain into Germany.

The agreement is LGP’s largest single-strain offtake quantity contract to date, with a minimum take or pay commitment of $7.5 million over 30 months.

The contract is for LGP’s recently-developed high-THC (25% THC) SMS strain, and will further expand LGP’s traction in Germany following the exclusive deal it signed with Demecan in April.

Australia’s only ASX-listed accounting software firm Reckon (ASX:RKN) reckons it has $100 million in the pocket after it agreed to sell Accountants Practice Management Group to the UK-based Access Group for $100 million in an all-cash deal.

The Reckon board has recommended the all-cash sale to shareholders and will return proceeds via a special dividend once the deal is complete.

The deal takes in Reckon’s APS Practice Management software for larger firms and Reckon Elite for smaller firms. Most of the proceeds are proposed to be returned to shareholders via a partially franked special dividend.

It’s day two as a listed concern for Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) and the newcomer is entirely unconcerned by the quasi-rout on the local bourse; its shares are up about 30% above its Wednesday IPO of 20 cents.

The $35 million mkt cap uranium and lithium play is exploring southeastern Oregon with the $8 million it raised and is traded about 7% higher on a tough Thursday. So yeah, well done.

 

YESTERDAY’S BIGGEST SMALL CAP LOSERS

(Stocks highlighted in yellow rose after making announcements during the trading day).

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.