• Vulcan Energy Resources rakes in ~$65m from Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, CIMIC, and Victor Smorgon Group
  • MinRes’ (ASX:MIN) bid for WA lithium domination continues with new $7.5m exploration farm-in
  • Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers tells five Chinese shareholders to divest a total of 10.4% in rare earths stock Northern Minerals

Here is the the important ASX large cap mining news for Monday, June 3.


Today’s Best Miners 🏆

Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN) (coal) +4.93%

Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) (coal) +2.5%

IGO (ASX:IGO) (lithium, nickel) +2.15%


Today’s Worst Miners 💩

WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) (niobium, rare earths) -14.25%

Red 5 (ASX:RED) (gold) -5.56%

Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) (gold) -5.54%


The ‘smart’ money continues to pour into lithium.

Geothermal lithium play Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) has raked in ~$65m via placements to Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, mining construction firm CIMIC, and Victor Smorgon Group, one of Australia’s most successful family offices.

The placements were done ~$4.08/sh, a small 9% discount to the 30 day VWAP.

CIMIC’s €25 million investment gives it a 6% stake, while long time holder Hancock paid €12.5 million to increase its shareholding to 7.5%.

“Today’s investments into Vulcan by CIMIC Group and Hancock Prospecting come at a particularly exciting time for Vulcan as we make significant headway towards developing Phase One of our flagship integrated renewable energy and ZERO CARBON LITHIUM project,” VUL MD and CEO Cris Moreno says.

“The substantial investments by both parties will enable the early commencement of important validation works ahead of the formal EPCM contract, maintaining momentum on the project timeline and optimising the overall execution program as we move towards final funding and construction.”

It is currently looking to finance the ~€1,399m project via a 65%/35% mix of debt and equity.

Once Phase One commercial production kicks off VUL will aim to produce renewable energy and enough lithium for ~500,000 EVs from the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field.

The lithium developer has rebounded strongly from January lows of $1.98/sh. It is currently paying $5.09 after a strong gain in Monday trade.



Meanwhile, MinRes’ (ASX:MIN) bid for WA lithium domination continues with a $7.5m purchase of 30% of the lithium rights at Galileo Mining’s (ASX:GAL) Norseman exploration project.

MIN can sole fund $15m of expenditure over four years to increase its stake in the JV to 55%, and then boost that to 70% by sole funding through to decision to mine.

There are no lithium resources on the project yet, but MIN must like what it sees.

It ostensibly looks a great deal for nickel-copper hunter GAL, which retains control over all the other minerals on the property.

The agreement is the latest in a series of WA land grabs by Ellison-led mining conglomerate MIN, which spent $840 million last year to build stakes across several junior lithium stocks and acquire the Bald Hill mine near Kambalda.

This splurge on early stage lithium investments shows no signs of abating in 2024, with farm in/JV deals already inked with  Dynamic Metals’ (ASX:DYM), as well as Voltaic Strategic Resources (ASX:VSR) and Reach Resources (ASX:RR1) (via MIN controlled Delta Lithium (ASX:DLI)).



Government orders Chinese shareholders to sell Northern Mineral stakes.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has told five Chinese shareholders to divest a total of 613,573,632 shares in rare earths stock Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU) acquired late 2023.

That’s 10.4% of the entire issued stock to be sold within 60 days, according to the notice, which indicates a desire to keep local critical minerals out of China’s grasp.

By being ahead of the curve China has been able to establish a dominance in the rare earths sphere; it controls 65% of the world’s mining, 85% of the processing, and 92% of its rare earth magnet production.

Now the West, belatedly realising that minerals are critical when you don’t control them, is moving to protect its assets.

$200m capped NTU has been plugging away at its Browns Range rare earths project in the East Kimberley region of WA since late 2009.

The focus for the company is on producing dysprosium and terbium, which are critical to the manufacturing of permanent magnets used in things like electric vehicles and wind turbines.

There were a few bumps in the road for NTU, but Argonaut says Northern Minerals now has a lower risk development pathway having inked a partnership for Iluka Resources to process its xenotime ore at a new rare earths refinery at Eneabba in WA.

That will avoid development costs and risks associated with a previous strategy to deliver a more expensive integrated mine and refinery for Browns Range.