Late on lithium? Here are some explorers with big battery dreams
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You’d need to live under a [non-lithium bearing] rock to be oblivious to the commodity’s dramatic ascent over the course of 2022.
A key component of the chemistry required to make the batteries charging the EV revolution, it feels like every other day that lithium prices scale new peaks – an ongoing rally seemingly without a plausible end in sight.
Stockhead’s resident lithium oracle Jess Cummins recently reported battery grade lithium carbonate prices had surged 115% since the start of 2022, breaking the US$74,000 per tonne mark for the first time in October.
Lithium carbonate prices saw in the New Year averaging US$39,250/t. That price was 485.8% higher than when the clock hit midnight a year prior.
Talk about delivering on resolutions.
It makes sense that lithium stocks have followed suit – those like Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), Core Lithium (ASX:CXO), Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA), Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) and Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) are among those to have drawn attention with projects at various stages of development or production.
Meanwhile, European Lithium (ASX:EUR) recently agreed to team up with NASDAQ-listed Sizzle Acquisition Corporation to form a new company – Critical Minerals Group – split 80/20 under a deal which implied the new entity had a market capitalisation of A$1.5 billion.
TL;DR – Lithium prices have gone up. That’s good for lithium explorers/developers/miners.
But the ship has not necessarily sailed for those seeking value in lithium stocks. As demand grows a number of low market cap ASX-listed companies are exploring for the commodity, with big ideas and significant growth potential should their plans come to fruition.
Stockhead casts an eye over a few explorers in the sub-$15 million market cap with standout ground and plans to pursue lithium leads in 2023 and beyond.
Market Cap: ~$11.7 million
A8G’s Barrow Creek lithium project in NT delivered the company some clues in July, when high grade tantalum and tin mineralisation was identified in samples.
The company said tantalum mineralisation at Barrow Creek was typically associated with highly anomalous lithium and caesium values (the L and C to Tantalum’s T in LCT) – a pathfinder for LCT pegmatites.
At the Mt Peake lithium project about 100km to the southwest of Barrow Creek, Australiasian defined a number of distinct areas of lithium anomalism in soils as part of a mobile metal ion geochemistry program.
A8G is using the data to refine its targeting tools ahead of planned maiden drilling.
Market Cap: ~$11.9 million
Flynn Gold made headlines at the end of October when it announced 11 lithium anomalies had been identified during soil sampling at the Mount Dove project – 25km northwest of the Wodgina lithium mine and 34km northwest of the Pilgangoora lithium mine in WA.
The anomalies were detected in FG1’s first exploration activity at Mount Dove and included a 1.2km long high priority target which Flynn said may represent a lithium pegmatite association.
Follow-up geophysical assessment and in-fill sampling will be undertaken with further exploration planned.
Market Cap: ~$12.3 million
Forrestania’s namesake flagship Goldfields project is prospective for lithium, gold and nickel discoveries, and having drilled at the Gem Mine and Bounty East prospects the company recently expanded its lithium drilling work to include the Bannon prospect.
Narrow pegmatites were intercepted at Bounty East – just 6km from Covalent Lithium’s Earl Grey resource – and sent with samples from Gem Mine to the lab for assay.
A second phase of lithium drilling is planned for Forrestania, with a focus on additional infill and follow-up drilling at Bounty East, Bannon and the Gemcutter prospects.
Market Cap: ~$4.8 million
The smallest by market capitalisation on the list but one with enormous upside potential and a busy schedule ahead, Golden State Mining’s Yule project shares the Pilbara’s Mallina Basin is prospective for both lithium and gold.
GSM’s recent exploration efforts at Yule have focused on lithium, with its latest campaign uncovering some juicy Li targets based on the presence of LCT pegmatite pathfinders reminiscent of some of the world’s great deposits.
GSM’s increasing confidence in its lithium potential at Yule led it to dub the target area Nomad – an upgrade from its previous moniker ‘Target 2A’.
Priority air-core and RC drilling programs are now in planning for Nomad. In the meantime, Golden State has turned its attention to the recently acquired and highly prospective Payne’s Find lithium project where regional geochemical work is underway.
Market Cap: ~$8.5 million
Tambourah is exploring for lithium and gold at a suite of early-stage projects in WA’s Pilbara. These include the namesake Tambourah gold-lithium project, the Nullagine gold-lithium project and the Russian Jack lithium project.
Extensive pegmatite swarms were identified in historic data from Russian Jack in September, after rock chip sampling indicated lithium up to 1420 parts per million earlier the same month.
The company continues to progress its work here.
Lithium indicators have also been detected at Nullagine and Tambourah, and TMB has nickel sulphide targets at its Julimar North project near Chalice’s Julimar discovery.
Market Cap: ~$9.2 million
Recently re-listed Voltaic is exploring for critical metals in WA’s Gascoyne region, where it has identified a 22km prospective lithium-caesium-tantalum corridor at the 212sqkm Ti Tree project.
Work is underway prioritising shallow drilling and geochemical vectoring programs for target definition, with the company buoyed by the project’s proximity to the Yinnietharra/Malinda lithium discovery 6km to the northwest of Ti Tree South.
Rock chip samples taken from Ti Tree and VSR’s Paddys Well projects are currently at the lab with assays pending.