• GTI Energy declares maiden 5.7Mlb uranium resource at Lo Herma project in Wyoming 
  • Hillgrove on track to start copper production in the first quarter of 2024
  • Maximus declares updated gold resource, inks lithium farm-in with Korean heavyweights
  • Magnetic records best ever drill hit at Lady Julie of 126m at 2.82 g/t gold

It’s a wrap for Q3, 2023 — here are the highlights from a few standout ASX junior explorers.


GTI Energy (ASX:GTR)

During the quarter, the company declared a maiden inferred resource estimate at its Lo Herma project in Wyoming of 4.12 million tonnes at an average grade of 630 ppm U3O8 for 5.71 million pounds (Mlbs) of U3O8.

The project is ~10 miles from the US’s largest ISU U3O8 production plant at Cameco’s Smith Ranch-Hyland, and ~60 miles from UEC’s Irigaray & Energy Fuels’ Reno Creek.

GTR also bumped up the project’s exploration target by 25% to between 5.3-6.7Mt grading between 500-700 ppm U3O8 containing an estimated 5.9-10.3 million pounds of U3O8.

Aerial geophysics data collection has been completed at Lo Herma, Green Mountain and Loki West projects, and permitting is progressing for a planned drill program in late 2023/early 2024 at Lo Herma, along with maiden drilling at Green Mountain.

The company also achieved Carbon Neutral certification under the Australian Government’s Climate Active Program during the quarter, which GTR regards as an important step in an ongoing effort to meet stakeholder expectations with regards to management of the environments and surroundings in which it operates.


Hillgrove Resources (ASX:HGO)

Hillgrove remains on track to start production of copper concentrate from its Kanmantoo underground development in the first quarter of 2024.

During the September quarter, the company announced an outstanding intersection of 45.2m grading 1.19% copper and 0.12 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from a step-out hole at the Spitfire target.

This hole is more than 100m from any other drilling, highlighting the potential for the Spitfire lode to extend both down dip and along strike to the north.

Infill 3D MT geophysical survey identified a large conductivity zone, which is coincident to strong gravity and magnetics, at Kanmantoo Deeps about 400m from the Kavanagh decline that is currently being developed.

Post quarter-end, it upgraded the project’s Exploration Target to between 60-100Mt with a grade range of 0.9-1.2% copper and 0.1-0.2g/t gold after identifying Kanmantoo Deeps as a potential repeat of the entire Kanmantoo copper-gold deposit.

“Forward looking activities include the completion of the primary ventilation circuit, which enables production to increase, as well as the installation of grid power at the portal, and continued development ahead of stoping,” managing director Lachlan Wallace said.

He added that three underground drill rigs continue to chase the northern and dip extensions of the Spitfire intersection as well as infill drill the initial stoping locations. Drilling is also planned to test the Kanmantoo Deeps target.


iTech Minerals’ (ASX:ITM)

Ongoing drilling at iTech’s Lacroma graphite prospect in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has extended mineralisation at Central Lacroma by 500m to the north.

Notable assays received during the September quarter are 90m at 6.1% total graphitic carbon (TGC) from 47m, 53m at 7.2% TGC from 70m and 63m at 6.5% TGC from 89m.

Mineralisation extends up to ~200m across strike, from surface to >150m deep and has a true thickness of up to 60m of 6-7% TGC with a 25m thick high-grade core of 8-9% TGC.

The company noted that while the drill assays demonstrate that mineralisation extends north over 500m and remains open, it appears that the three traverses have hit the thinner western zone of graphite mineralisation.

Projecting from the southern traverses, It expects mineralisation in the north to increase in grade and thickness to the east.

iTech plans to drill several infill holes in the northern part of the Lacroma Central resource before mobilising the rig to test the southern extension of mineralisation.


Magnetic Resources (ASX:MAU)

The company received a bunch of assay results from its Lady Julie North 4 (LJN4) September quarter, with its best intersection so far recording 126m at 2.82 g/t gold from 180m, 100m down dip of a previous 111m-long hit.

MAU is on the hunt for +1Moz deposits on its 179km2 footprint in the heart of WA’s Laverton district, an established gold mining province with world-class deposits like Wallaby, Sunrise Dam, and Granny Smith.

“With the Australian gold price at record levels of $3070 the Laverton project resources encompassing Lady Julie Central, Lady Julie North 4, HN9, Mt Jumbo and Homeward Bound South, are shaping up and have potential for large-scale shallow open-cuttable deposits and now after our recent drilling with strong depth potential greater than 200m depth at LJN4,” managing director George Sakalidis said.

Notably, many intersections at LJN4 to date are outside the current resource (3.2Mt at 1.93g/t gold for 204,900oz) which could bode well for the company’s next resource upgrade.

The company is now planning further deeper drilling off the back of a $4.8m capital raising at $0.72 per share during the quarter.

GTR, HGO, ITM and MAU share price charts


Maximus Resources (ASX:MXR)

The company completed a resource estimate for the Wattle Dam gold project of 5.4Mt at 1.45 g/t gold for 251,500 oz gold – a 250% increase in contained gold.

And MXR is confident there’s some solid upside remains at the mine, which hosts a high grade lode that Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS) mined between 2006 and 2012 to produce 267,000 ounces at 10.6 g/t of gold.

Drilling was also completed at the Hilditch gold project during the quarter, with assays and a resource update pending and on the nickel front, assays are also pending from drilling completed at the Kandui prospect.

Subsequent to the end of quarter, the company also executed a farm-in agreement with the Korea Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation (KOMIR) and a Non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KOMIR and LG Energy Solutions (LGES) for its Lefroy lithium project.

The strategic partnership will see KOMIR fund USD$3 million (~A$4.8 million) of lithium exploration to earn 30% interest.

MXR had a cash position of ~$2.5m at the end of the quarter.


New Age Exploration (ASX:NAE)

During the September quarter this explorer was focused on its Central Pilbara lithium projects in WA where the second phase of UltraFine+ geochemical sampling to infill and extend high priority lithium, caesium, tantalum (LCT) pegmatite targets is underway  in the lead up to drilling.

NAE is targeting LCT pegmatites similar to other Central Pilbara spodumene-rich deposits of Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Wodgina and Pilgangoora operations, and Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) Andover discovery.

The company raised $1.96m via a placement at $0.0055 per share, with directors to subscribe for another $550,000 worth of shares in order to accelerate the planned drilling program, and appointed a new chief geological consultant in Greg Hudson to drive exploration.

Hudson was previously general manager of Neometals (ASX:NMT) during which time the company divested the Mt Marion lithium mine and spun out Widgie Nickel (ASX:WIN).

NAE had cash reserves of $3m as at September 30 2023.


Torque Metals (ASX:TOR)

During the quarter ended 30 September 2023, the company expanded its asset portfolio through the option to acquire known lithium, nickel and gold exposures surrounding the flagship Paris gold project in WA’s Goldfields region.

This included New Dawn, a known lithium occurrence, on a mining lease, ~600m from the Bald Hill mine.

Drilling commenced  during the quarter at New Dawn for an initial 22 drill holes for approximately 2,700m to test known pegmatitic bodies for lithium and tantalum.

Drilling at the Paris and Observation gold prospects also uncovered high-grade mineralised zones after returning intercepts such as 2.49m at 40.6g/t gold from 167.8m and 4.44m at 20.82g/t gold.

Further reverse circulation and diamond drilling assays have also extended the mineralisation boundaries of the Paris gold systems and uncovered two new mineralised zones with hits including 27m at 3.96g/t gold from surface, 7m at 8.04g/t gold from 132m and 3.54m at 6.38g/t gold from 241m.

Metallurgical test work has also exceeded expectations for both conventional cyanide leaching and gravity processes, with Paris composite gold recovery of 96.79% and Observation composite gold recovery of 99.7%.

MXR, NAE, TOR, share price charts

GTI Energy, Hillgrove Resources, iTech Minerals, Magnetic Resources, Maximus Resources, New Age Exploration and Torque Metals are Stockhead advertisers.