Resources Top 4: Revived explorer up 275pc in a week as tussle for South Australian graphite dominance continues
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday January 24.
The graphite explorer is all green after returning to trading on the ASX on January 20, up 275% on its pre-suspension price of 0.8c.
LML was placed in bourse purgatory way back in September 2020 because it has no cash and was doing f’all exploration.
LML spent 2021 doing mostly nothing, but woke up in 2022 when it received an unsolicited takeover offer from fellow South Australian project developer Quantum Graphite (ASX:QGL).
The initial all share offer (1 QGL share for every 40 LML Shares held, valuing the company at ~$6m) was rejected by the board and substantial shareholders in the company, but QGL has today extended its offer again for the third time.
What’s changed? The QGL share price, which is now ~70% higher since the offer was first made September last year (although well down on the high of 70c from earlier this month).
$167m market cap QML says LML’s Kookaburra Gully project has synergies with its own mothballed, century-old ‘Uley’ graphite mine in South Australia, one of the largest high-grade natural flake deposits in the world.
But like LML, QGL doesn’t have a great track record of success.
QGL first suspended operations at the struggling Uley mine in late 2015, before entering administration in July the following year.
The share price tumbled from highs of 70c to 11.5c prior to suspension.
It relisted on the ASX in late September 2018 after three years of ostensibly sorting out its debts and finances.
It was suspended again in 2020 after the ASX required further info relating to its Annual Report, and then reinstated in December the following year.
Project generator AQD has a longstanding strategic exploration alliance (since Feb 2017) with major miner South32.
AQD basically acts as S32’s informal exploration division — it finds projects, does the early work, and if S32 likes them an earn-in agreement is formed.
Under the JV terms, S32 must contribute $US4.5m to earn a 70% joint venture interest in each project. It can earn an 80% interest in each project by completing a pre-feasibility study.
One of these is the early stage Morrisey project in WA, where a recent drilling program (three holes) designed to test for base metals discovered magnetite iron instead.
Subsequent simple beneficiation test work has now produced a premium-grade iron concentrate (+70% fe) with minimal impurities.
AQD managing director Graeme Drew says the discovery of magnetite ironstone with the potential to be easily upgraded to a premium product, in the heart of the Midwest Mining District, was a significant development.
“Given the positive results from the Davis Tube test-work, shareholders can look forward to more detailed assessments of the magnetite potential of this project over the coming quarters,” he says.
“While we are planning to further test the iron potential of this project, we are also actively pursuing nickel-copper-PGE opportunities in this area – which was the prime reason for acquiring the tenements in the first place following the discovery of the Julimar nickel-copper-PGE deposit north of Perth.
“We plan to follow up on both opportunities over the coming months.”
(Up on no news)
The Chile-focused gold and copper explorer is now up ~110% on higher than normal volumes since announcing solid but unspectacular gold drilling results from its Capote project, like 5m @ 2.06g/t gold from 42m (including 1.6m @ 5.6g/t).
Capote is home to the historical San Juan gold mine, where 500,000 ounces of gold was produced at an ore grade of 40 grams per tonne through to 1954.
The company says many veins remain open laterally and are yet to be evaluated at depth, including the San Juan vein.
“Now that we have received all the results from our maiden drilling campaign, we will assess the future resource potential and sites for further drilling,” BMO exec chair Ross Landles says.
“This includes targeting future drilling on the high-grade San Juan vein system.”
In December, BMO also announced an option to acquire a big 2,250sqkm Canadian lithium royalty and projects portfolio.
If mine development occurs on optioned exploration properties, BMO says potential sales of net smelter royalties (NSR) could be up to C$46,750,000.
NSR is payment of a defined percentage of revenue from a mining operation to a previous property owner.
An additional 42 projects will be acquired within the portfolio to be owned 100% across commodities such as lithium, nickel, copper, gold, platinum and palladium.
The $10m capped minnow had $1.5m in the bank at the end of September.
(Up on no news)
CMD is focused on the advanced Soalara limestone project in Madagascar, the Chenene lithium project in Tanzania, and a legal brawl with the Ghanian government.
Assay are incoming for both its projects, the company said December 20.
At Chenene 68 rock/soil samples were collected from the Target 1 prospect, where multiple pegmatite swarms were identified and mapped.
Drillng results from Soalara – designed to upgrade the resource to JORC standards – are also pending.
Meanwhile, CMD’s tussle with the Ghanian government over its Gbane gold project is reaching a head.
CMD says its lawyers are now finalising the notice of dispute which will formally commence the arbitration against Ghana. It is anticipated that the legal action will commence early in 2023.