Barry FitzGerald: Five Julimar juniors hoping to choose as wisely as Chalice
Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) has not looked back since the March 2020 discovery hole at its Julimar PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt discovery on the doorstep of Perth.
What was a 15c stock now trades at $6.80 for a (diluted) market cap of $2.45 billion as the company works towards a first resource estimate by the end of the year.
Its magic mix of metals underpins expectations that Julimar will be one of Australia’s most profitable metals mines.
It could comfortably sit inside a BHP, or a Rio Tinto, such is the potential of the initial discovery and what could come from exploration to the north along a 26km long mafic-ultramafic intrusion Chalice controls.
A first hole discovery, Julimar stands as a prime example of what a junior company can achieve with the drill bit.
That’s got Garimpeiro thinking about the hunt by a bunch of juniors for the next big one in the broader and still lightly explored West Yilgarn province.
Investor interest in what they are up to is as strong as ever, such is allure of betting that the West Yilgarn will yield more big ones.
Wet weather messed them around in the June quarter, and the chronic delays in assay labs is not helping.
But activity levels of the “Julimar juniors’’ is stepping up again, and their numbers have increased, sort of anyway, with the addition of Minerals 260 to the hunt.
The tear-away lithium stock Liontown (ASX:LTR) – like Chalice, another company in the Tim Goyder stable – was an early mover into the West Yilgarn, taking up a big ground position in 2018.
Liontown’s Tier 1 Kathleen Valley lithium discovery has since turned it into a $1.78 billion company, meaning its West Yilgarn ground was getting lost in the wash.
So it is now being spun off to shareholders and new investors in a new listing – Minerals 260.
It is a neat name as it represents the combined atomic weight of the commodities it is searching for – platinum, palladium, nickel, copper and gold – not the combined age of the board as some have suggested.
It is raising up to $30 million at 50c a share and at the issue price, it will sport a market cap of $110m. Veteran geologist David Richards has made the switch from CEO of Liontown to become CEO of Minerals 260 as he is an explorationist at heart.
Minerals 260’s key project Moora is in the same geological terrain as Julimar, 95km to the south, and it has already delivered promising gold and copper/gold results at a number of prospects. More drilling come October is likely.
So what about the other Julimar juniors? The following provides a summary, and it has to be said that they might just be worth monitoring as they set about advancing their explorations programs.
Caspin (ASX:CPN, trading at 78.5c, market cap $52m): It has already created interest at its Yarawindah Brook project, 40km north of Julimar. It was also an early mover, enabling it pick up 400 sq km of prime ground prospective for PGE-nickel-copper mineralisation. Chalice is a shareholder.
Todd River (ASX:TRT, 5.8c, $32m): It is taking a systematic approach to working up drill targets at its Berkshire Valley PGE-copper-nickel project.
Devex (ASX:DEV, 29.5c, $90m): Another one in the Goyder stable, Devex has reported that reconnaissance drilling continues to define a 12km long layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion at its Sovereign project.
Pursuit (ASX:PUR, 5.9c, $53m): Has started a drilling program at the Phil’s Hill PGE-nickel-copper prospect at its Warrior project.
Mandrake (ASX:MAN, 6c, $29m): Its ground is 30km east of Julimar. Drilling started in June at the flagship Newleyine prospect.