It’s getting harder and harder to find potential bargains in the white-hot battery metal sector.

But that’s what we’re here for.


 

MITRE MINING (ASX:MMC)

Market Cap: $7m

Cash: $4.5m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Lithium, Rare Earths

The newly listed stock is focused on lithium, rare earths, gold, and base metals in the mineral rich Lachlan Fold Belt of NSW.

The company is taking a “multi-commodity, multi-deposit style approach to exploration” at the flagship ‘Bateman’ project, MMC chief exec Clinton Carey says, starting with the important — but relatively boring – early stage stuff.

Surveying for lithium/rare earths/everything else is under way, with over 420 portable XRF readings acquired to date. A second portable XRF has been ordered to accelerate the program of work.

While XRF tech is not as reliable as lab assays in reflecting what and how much mineralisation is in a sample, it still gives a solid indicator. It is also quick, unlike assays which can take months to get back from the lab.

Next up: geological mapping, geophysics and then a systematic program of reverse circulation and diamond drilling to test newly discovered anomalies/targets.

 

NICKELX (ASX:NKL)

Market Cap: $7m

Cash: $5.6m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Nickel, Copper

NKL listed in May with a swag of nickel and gold prospects in WA.

It hit the ground running with a maiden first pass six-hole, 2400m diamond drilling program designed to test for semi-massive to massive sulphides at the ‘Fire Dragon’ and ‘Silver Dragon’ nickel targets.

Assays are pending, but planning for the next stage of drilling is already underway.

“Once assays are received and downhole Electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys are completed in the December Quarter we will incorporate those results into our geological model for planning of the next stage of drilling,” NickelX managing director Matt Gauci says.

 

 

MOHO RESOURCES (ASX:MOH)

Market Cap: $7.5m

Cash: $1.7m (early Oct)

Battery Metal Focus: Nickel, Lithium

MOH has identified three high-quality nickel targets at the ‘Silver Swan’ project in WA called Omrah, Wise and Dukes.

It intends to conduct RC and diamond drilling at Omrah, RC drilling at Wise, and aircore drilling at the Dukes target, possibly in combination with ground EM surveys.

An RC rig was scheduled to arrive on site in early November, with a diamond rig shortly thereafter.

MOH has also been on the acquisition trail over the past month, first picking up a strategic nickel interest in 20 mining tenements from gold play Yandal Resources (ASX:YRL), and then more ground prospective for nickel-copper-PGEs in a deal with private company Whistlepipe Exploration.

The ‘Peak Charles’ project – part of the Whistlepipe deal – is also prospective for lithium.

 

RESOURCE BASE (ASX:RBX)

Market Cap: $7.9m

Cash: $4.8m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Rare Earths, Copper

In late September this newly listed copper-gold explorer joined the rare earths game, acquiring 1,380sqkm of ground in the Murray Basin (Victoria-South Australia border) prospective for ionic clay (IAC) hosted rare earths.

IAC deposits – like the ones exploited in southern China — are commonly considered to be some of the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of heavy rare earths.

The ‘Mitre Hill’ project is either side of Australian Rare Earths’ (ASX:AR3) ‘Red Tail’ and ‘Yellow Tail’ deposits which contain a JORC 2012 Inferred Mineral Resource of 39.9Mt @ 725ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO).

$42m market cap AR3 is currently up 210% on its June IPO price of 30c per share.

A low-cost exploration and drilling program is being planned to investigate areas prospective for shallow rare earth mineralisation at Mitre Hill, RBX says.

 

GOLDEN MILE RESOURCES (ASX:G88)

Market Cap: $8.2m

Cash: $2m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Nickel, Copper

G88 got a nice – but brief – share price kick in March from early-stage drilling at its ‘Benalla’ gold project but follow-up assays failed to impress.

Now the focus seems to be the ‘Yarrambee’ nickel-copper-zinc project, a regionally significant landholding covering prospective portions of the Narndee Igneous Complex (NIC) ~500km northeast of Perth.

With more than 800sqkm under tenure, G88 is the largest landholder across the NIC, prospective for Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation (e.g. Voisey’s Bay, Nova, Julimar), and volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) copper-zinc mineralisation (e.g. Golden Grove, DeGrussa).

In July, a helicopter electromagnetic survey identified 48 conductors interpreted to be related to sulphide accumulations. A subsequent ground EM survey has confirmed high priority targets for drilling.

Golden Mile’s field crew is now on site in preparation for a 2-3,000m reverse circulation (RC) drill program to test these targets later this month.

“Although it’s still early days for Golden Mile at Yarrambee, we continue to be excited by the quality of the targets identified so far and look forward to the drill rig testing these over the coming month,” managing director James Merrillees said on November 8.

 

SABRE RESOURCES (ASX:SBR)

Market Cap: $9.3m

Cash: $4.6m

Battery Metal Focus: Nickel, Copper, Cobalt

Initial drilling results from the Bonanza gold project in March were disappointing, but – like G88 — this WA explorer has other cards to play.

A scoping study (the first proper look at the economics of a project) at the ‘Sherlock Bay’ nickel-copper-cobalt sulphide project in the Pilbara is nearing completion.

The deposit contains ~99,200 tonnes of nickel metal, 21,700 tonnes of copper metal and 5,400 tonnes of cobalt metal “which has the potential to be increased by further drilling”, SBR says.

The resource is increasing in grade with depth, and EM anomalies along strike are inadequately tested. The company will develop these targets for drill testing during the current quarter, it says.

 

FORRESTANIA RESOURCES (ASX:FRS)

Market Cap: $10m

Cash: $4m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Lithium, Nickel

Another explorer focused on the methodical, some say unsexy, early-stage exploration work.

The freshly listed stock has uncovered new lithium targets at its namesake project in WA, including one neighbouring the world class Wesfarmers/SQM ‘Mt Holland’ lithium mine called ‘Cohn’.

Cohn, ~6km southeast of Mt Holland, covers a previously defined lithium and caesium soil anomaly that is ~ 14km long. It is one of many walk-up lithium and gold drill targets emerging, FRS says.

“Given the Forrestania Project’s proximity to a world-class lithium mine, a plus one-million-ounce gold camp and several outstanding nickel mines, the exciting challenge for the company’s exploration team was always going to be ‘where to start?’” FRS chief executive officer, Melanie Sutterby says.

“We have been systematically assessing and validating the available historical data and advancing modern techniques across previously unexplored ground at the Forrestania Project.

“We are now looking to this data to recalibrate and level regional datasets as a foundation for lithium, gold, and nickel discoveries.”

 

ARUMA RESOURCES (ASX:AAJ)

Market Cap: $10.2m

Cash: $3.67m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Lithium

AJJ has a couple of gold projects (NSW, WA) and a lithium project in WA called ‘Mt Deans’.

The project sits within the lithium corridor in southeast WA, where it is interpreted to sit within the same host rocks and structures as the significant nearby Mt Marion, Bald Hill, and Buldania lithium projects.

The explorer also reckons Mt Deans is “high prospective” for tantalum and rare earth element (REE) minerals.

A 12-hole RC drilling campaign – designed to intersect an interpreted pegmatite chamber or ‘cauldron’ at Mt Deans – will start in the current quarter, AAJ says.

 

CORAZON (ASX:CZN)

Market Cap: $10.2m

Cash: $1.5m

Battery Metal Focus: Nickel, Cobalt

This micro-cap already has a significant 116,800t nickel, 54,300t copper, and 5,300t cobalt resource at the historic ‘Lynn Lake’ project in Canada.

It will probably get bigger. A new phase of exploration drilling is presently underway at Lynn Lake, targeting new DHEM conductors defined at the ‘Fraser Lake Complex’ prospect.

The initial priority target is a significant, large geophysical conductor, similar in size and character to nickel sulphide deposits within the existing Mining Centre, CZN says.

This phase of drilling is expected to be continuous for at least the next two months, with results released as they become available, the company said late October.

 

SIPA RESOURCES (ASX:SRI)

Market Cap: $10.8m

Cash: $4.8m (Sept 30)

Battery Metal Focus: Nickel, Lithium, Copper

The busy explorer is, amongst other things, targeting gold and lithium deposits at the ‘Warralong’ project in the Pilbara.

Two programs of shallow aircore drilling have tested first round targets “and will assist in building a robust geological framework”, SRI says.

Assays awaited from both drill programs, and from an extensive soil sampling campaign recently completed.

 


 
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