It’s the quarterly season again as the ASX market announcements page becomes increasingly flooded with update lodgements.

To save you the trouble of trudging through it all, we’ve wrapped up the highlights from some of the reports that caught our eye.


It’s been a busy quarter for VAR – and no, we’re not talking in terms of football decisions on the field. These ones have far wider-reaching implications for our energy transition.

The explorer completed a $1.85m cap raising and completed a comprehensive review of its San Jose zinc mine in northern Spain and is now drilling until the end of the year to expand known mineralised zones.

On the back of high-grade zinc results from step-out drilling in March this year, the review showed promising exploration targets and confirmed significant strike potential at the project.

Looking ahead, a 1,000m Phase 3 underground infill and resource definition drilling program will become part of a maiden mineral resource estimate in tandem with progressing permit and licensing applications.

“An eventual restart of zinc production at the San Jose mine would provide a local supply of critical raw material at a time when the European Union is seeking to secure its supply of such metals required for the energy transition process and move to net-zero,” the company stated in its quarterly report.



In April, Ionic kicked off the commissioning of its magnet recycling demonstration plant facility in Belfast, UK and it’s now entered first production.

During the quarter, maiden production of high-grade magnet REOs from the plant produced 4.2kg of neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) grading @ 99.7%, and ~0.3% dysprosium (Dy2O3) at 99.99%, as well as 0.6kg of Dy2O3 grading @ 99.8%.

Meanwhile, developments at its advanced 60%-owned Makuutu REE project are accelerating as it commenced a Phase 5 drilling program, where 29 holes have already been drilled for 4.38km.

Assays from recon rotary air blast (RAB) drilling are pending and pre-mine work construction is underway.



Peel is making headway its 3,400km2 South Cobar project, nestled in the highly-prospective Cobar Basin in NSW where the CSA copper mine, once owned by Glencore and now in the hands of Metals Acquisition Corp for a cool US$1.1bn, resides.

The South Cobar base metals project has a current MRE containing 216kt copper, 322kt zinc, 22Moz silver, 151Kt Lead and 204koz gold within ~50km of the Mallee Bull deposit.

Soil sampling at regional exploration targets is ongoing at the project, and with $12.5m cash on hand by the end of June, the junior has lined up plenty of work to prove up resources across its tenements.

“Peel has continued to progress its pre-development and pre-feasibility study work for South Cobar, with underground mine studies and mining schedules being completed during Q3 this year,” PEX CEO Jim Simpson said.

“GR Engineering has commenced processing study work on a stand alone processing plant and the exploration Ddcline REF at Mallee Bull is awaiting regulatory approval.”



What a highlight quarter for Alma Metals. It brought in a new MRE for its Briggs and Mannersley copper project in SE QLD which has catapulted it into the top 10 largest undeveloped copper projects in Australia.

The MRE is currently an inferred 415Mt @ 0.25% Cu + 31ppm Mo, @ a 0.20% Cu cut-off grade.

The estimate contains ~1m tonnes of copper metal and over 28.6m/lbs of molybdenum extending down 650m below surface.

Not only that, the MRE only includes the Northern Porphyry and Briggs Central target areas and there’s still more to prove up at the Southern Porphyry area.

Alma says a 2,500m, 11-hole drilling program is resuming shortly to target potential mineralisation extensions and assess higher-grade zones within the MRE area.


VAR, ALM, IXR, PEX share prices today:


Peregrine Gold (ASX:PGD)

During the quarter, Peregrine carried out diamond drilling as a follow-up to spectacular visible gold encountered in handheld core drilling and infill RC drilling at the Peninsula, Birdsnest and Tin Can prospect at its Newman gold project.

This program returned abundant visible gold in three holes and assays will be released once they have been received, collated and interpreted.

Mineralogical and textural analysis of samples collected from the Peninsula and Birdsnest prospects provided valuable information about the area, which has seen limited historical exploration, and also revealed that the observed gold is mainly primary in compositions and consists of electrum – an alloy of gold and silver.

Peregrine also raised over $3m during the quarter through a fully underwritten entitlement issue to fund exploration at its Pilbara projects, including Newman and Mallina.

Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE)

Manganese was the focus of Pantera’s exploration during the June 2023 quarter with its Phase 2 drill program of 90 RC holes totalling 2,184m and 20 rock chip samples confirming the presence of widespread mineralisation across its Weelarrana project.

Notable results include 1m at 22.6% manganese from surface and 3m at 10.9% manganese from 5m in Mn Area 1 as well as 2m at 14.9% manganese from surface in Mn Area 4.

This program also confirmed that widespread channel iron is present at the project with drilling at the Central CID returning a 2m intercept grading 53.7% iron from surface.

Pantera also carried out ongoing business development, project evaluation and related project due diligence.


During the quarter, the company’s pilot Hydromet plant successfully converted rare earth mineral concentrate (REMC) sourced from its Goschen rare earths and mineral sands project into a high purity mixed rare earth carbonate product (MREC) with low levels of uranium and thorium that meets criteria for potential European, North American and Asian offtake partners .

Notably, the plant also achieved 97% recoveries of valuable neodymium and praseodymium as well as recoveries of 92% and 94% respectively for the critical rare earths dysprosium and terbium.

VHM also defined a maiden resource of 192Mt at the Cannie project, increasing its total resource inventory tonnage by 30% to 820Mt and lifting its total rare earth oxide + yttrium resource by 43% to 589,000t.

Detailed design engineering for Goschen Phase 1 reached 30% completion and the final land acquistion agreement secures 100% of the proposed Goschen project mine footprint area.

PGD, PFE and VHM share prices today:

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Variscan Mines, Ionic Rare Earths, Peel Mining, Alma Metals, Peregrine Gold, Pantera Minerals and VHM Limited are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.