Resources Top 4: One of 2022’s most popular ASX lithium explorers just went up another level
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade.
WR1 was one of the hottest exploration stocks on the ASX late last year, gaining 305% – from 37c to $1.50 – between October 27 and December 8.
After a short dip over the Xmas period the explorer is now back at all-time highs, thanks to some impressive maiden assays from the flagship Adina lithium project in Quebec, Canada.
Hole AD-22-055 returned a monstrous 107.6m intercept grading 1.34%, which includes an “exceptionally high-grade” intersection of 2.21% Li2O over 30m.
Hard rock lithium mines usually grade between 0.8% and 1.5%.
More assays are expected to flow through over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, WR1 has decided to significantly expand the current drilling program, from 5,000m to 20,000m.
“Having an average of 1.34% Li2O for over 100m of pegmatite from surface speaks of a world-class lithium project and paves the way for the much-expanded drill program we now have planned at Adina,” WR1 managing director Chris Evans says.
“It is also very encouraging for the other impressive pegmatite intersections and visual estimates from drilling of subsequent holes up until the Christmas break.
“We look forward to releasing these assays to the market as soon as they become available.”
A second drill rig is currently being mobilised to site to assist with the expanded drilling program, which will culminate in a maiden resource sometime in 2023.
The company also expects to provide an update very soon on its drilling campaign at the Cancet lithium project, which is running concurrently with the Adina campaign.
(Up on no news)
Some of the best-performing ASX gold mining stocks in 2022 were in West Africa, a region known for its monster deposits and low operating costs (with a splash of jurisdictional risk).
These are impressive results from the West African cohort, especially considering precious metals’ sentiment was anaemic last year.
With gold returning to form in 2023, quality explorers in the region could be exposed to serious upside.
Enter $15m capped African Gold, nominated by the esteemed Barry Fitz late last year as “one to watch”.
It has two main projects: Didievi in Cote d’Ivoire and Walia in Mali, as well as a joint venture over the Syama project in Mali with Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG).
There’s potential for multi-million-ounce discoveries here, it says.
At Didievi, A1G has announced a 596,000oz – 1.45Moz exploration target (at a 1g/t cutoff) following some sensational wide, high-grade gold intercepts that are open in all directions.
Highlights include 10m at 123g/t gold from 66m, and 80m at 3g/t gold from surface.
Walia, which abuts the 14Moz Au Loulo mine, includes several obvious drill targets based on extensive artisanal workings and drill intercepts.
Recent drilling highlights include 6.6m at 115.5g/t.
(Up on no news)
In March last year TEM spiked hard on a potentially very large copper discovery.
The first 709m-long hole of a two-hole diamond drilling program at ‘Orion’, part of the flagship ‘Meleya’ project in WA, pulled up three mineralised copper sections.
The second, 1,021m-long hole hit more of the same, but initial assays failed to set the world on fire. The stock subsequently flagged in the second half of the year.
TEM still believes there is something lurking here though, with its latest drilling campaign at Meleya wrapping mid-December.
Results from the 91 hole, 7,336m program are due out in the current quarter.
Meanwhile, TEM want to demerge its lithium projects into a new $10m IPO, Electra Metals.
The new IPO will combine TEM’s underexplored WA hard rock lithium exploration projects with the Smith Creek lithium brine property in Nevada, USA.
“[An] immediate value increase is anticipated for TEM shareholders who will receive an in-specie distribution of Electra shares [to] provide increased exposure to the current vigorous lithium market,” the company said in November.
Earlier this week, the Greenland-focused critical minerals explorer dual listed on the Frankfurt Stock exchange, giving it easier access to European and Scandinavian capital markets.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is the largest of Germany’s trading exchanges and the second largest stock exchange in Europe.
“Eclipse Metals has attracted considerable interest from investors outside Australia and in particular Scandinavian regions where there is an awareness of the company’s projects,” exec chair Carl Popal says.
“Greenland hosts a quarter of the world’s rare earth minerals in a favourable mining jurisdiction, and we expect increased interest from European investors, stakeholders and OEMs as project development work continues.”
The former NT uranium play changed focus – and location – buying “the world’s largest and only” cryolite mine in Greenland in January last year.
Over 120 years between 1865 and 1985, the Ivittuut mine produced 3.8 million tonnes of high-grade cryolite, a rare mineral proven to reduce energy consumption in aluminium production.
Aluminium smelters use a huge amount of power as they run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Tomago smelter, for example, uses about 10 per cent of NSW’s total power supply each year.
The mothballed mine also contains rare earths (REE) and base metals.
There’s an additional REE target 10km away called ‘Gronnedal-lka’, which has not been properly tested.
Eclipse recently completed a maiden percussion drilling and trench sampling program across the Ivigtût and Grønnedal targets, with results due in the current quarter.