• Summit Minerals’ hits potential rare earths paydirt in maiden drilling at Stallion project
  • Evolution Energy Minerals inks agreements with Tanzania government in major step toward Chilalo graphite project development
  • Early-stage met testing indicates Tyranna Resources’ Muvero lithium prospect could be a source of high-grade direct shipping ore

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Wednesday, March 8.



The recently listed explorer hit potential rare earths paydirt in maiden drilling at the Stallion project.

The program pulled up REE mineralisation in all 10 holes, ranging between 555.42ppm (parts per million) and an eyewatering 15,223ppm.

For reference, established clay deposits are far lower grade than their hard rock counterparts (2-10%) and usually range between 800ppm (0.08%) and 1500ppm (0.15%).

All up, the company has defined a broad mineralised zone 1km by 1.25km, with a thickness averaging 18m and grade averaging ~1,750ppm TREO.

It also remains open in all directions, with the mineralised trend pushing into SUM’s adjacent ground.

Importantly, there are “inconsequential levels” of impurities like uranium and phosphorus and the amount of magnet REEs neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) averages 23.63% — substantially above the industry average of ~16%.

“It is early days, but the company may have identified a significant ion adsorption deposit,” managing director Jon King says.

“This is a fantastic result for the company in its maiden drilling program since IPO, and we are looking forward to Stage 2 of the drilling campaign.”

China, which dominates global REE mining and processing, gets most of its supply from ion absorption clay deposits in Southern China and neighbouring Myanmar.

They often contain a higher proportion of magnet earths, and crucially the heavy rare earths; the type critical for use in wind turbines and electric vehicles.

Clay hosted deposits are also easier to explore, drill and mine. Processing is also ostensibly cheaper, which can more than offset the far lower grades.

However, not all clay deposits have an economic ionic component, which you can read more about here.

While the ionic clay industry is still in its nascent stages ex-China, more advanced companies like Australian Rare Earths (ASX:AR3), ABx (ASX:ABX) and Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) reckon early stage met testing is the key to finding out if the clay deposit is economic or not.

Which is exactly what SUM is doing. The company says it will “undertake accelerated metallurgical and mineralogical programs” while also drilling to establish a maiden resource.

The $5m capped stock had $3.4m in the bank at the end of December.



EV1 has inked “landmark” agreements with the government of Tanzania over the Chilalo graphite project in major step toward mine development.

They include confirming the government’s 16% stake in the future mine and the establishment of a new JV company, Kudu Graphite (EV1 84%, Tanzania 16%). A public signing ceremony before the President of Tanzania is expected to be held in March 2023.

This is a critical step towards financing and development, EV1 managing director Phil Hoskins says.

“Financiers require certainty around the operation of the Tanzanian Government’s free carried interest and the completion of these agreements provides that certainty,” he says.

“Together with the updated DFS, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, we believe Evolution is well placed to advance the development of Chilalo.”

Like many of its peers EV1 wants to be vertically integrated, using Chilalo graphite to produce value-added products.

In December, the company said it “anticipates that the updated DFS will confirm the Chilalo project as a high-margin project, that is well positioned to secure finance for development”.

The pre-optimised 2020 DFS envisaged 50,000tpa concentrate production over an initial 18-year life. Post tax NPV and IIR were estimated at US$323m and 34%, respectively, with annual average earnings before tax of US$73m.

The operation would cost US$87m to build.

The $54m capped stock is up 40% in 2023. It had $10m in the bank at the end of December.



Early-stage metallurgical testing indicates TYX’s Muvero lithium prospect could be a source of high-grade direct shipping ore (DSO).

Testing of a bulk sample from Muvero, part of the Namibe project in Angola, returned high spodumene concentrate grades (+6% lithium), low impurities and an 80-82% recovery using dense media separation (DMS).

Assuming utilisation of a very coarse crush and DMS, processing costs will be less expensive than other operations where a fine crush and flotation separation is required, the company says.

“Results such as these are exemplary and demonstrate the potential of the Namibe lithium project to be a source of high quality spodumene concentrate and highlights the potential for direct shipping ore,” TYX technical director Peter Spitalny says.

“The remainder of the year will be dedicated to finding and testing additional prospects, follow-up work at the Muvero prospect and moving towards resource definition.”

A short maiden drill program at Muvero hit an exceptional 22.75m @ 2.02% Li2O from 20.25m.

TYX says the May/June drilling program will include deeper drilling at Muvero along with drilling of at least two additional prospects.

The $55m capped stock is up 15% year-to-date. It had $1.9m in the bank at the end of December.



(Up on no news)

Earlier this month the lithium-IOCG explorer stacked the board with Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) alumni and expanded its landholding in Nevada.

Tony Leibowitz, the founding chairman of ASX-50 lithium producer PLS, has been appointed to executive chairman in a role which will see him “take a hands-on approach”.

Meanwhile, geologist John Young has been appointed to non-executive director. Young held several key roles at PLS between 2014-2018.

“John is a talented and highly experienced geologist who, together with Neil Biddle, helped implement the exploration strategy which saw the rapid growth of the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project to become one of the world’s foremost hard rock lithium projects,” Leibowitz says.

The company also nabbed two new early-stage lithium-in-clay projects named Polaris and Altair, where drill planning is well advanced.

Meanwhile, assays indicate that ARO may have hit the edge of a mineralised IOCG system at the 80%-owned Georgina project in the NT.

Iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (IOCG) — like BHP’s Olympic Dam mine or more recent Oak Dam discovery  — can be deep but tremendously large, simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and other economic minerals.

The $20m capped stock is flat year-to-date. It had $2.5m in the bank at the end of December.



(Up on no news)

The iron ore-gold explorer is now up 100% since emerging from a year-long suspension March 1.

It’s not even the first time MDX has sat in bourse purgatory for an extended period.

In June 2019 it was suspended for having no money left and only returned to trading 23 months later in May 2021.

That means since June 2019, MDX has been untradeable for ~3 years.

(It did make up for lost time in 2021, spiking as much as 7,500%, before settling at a slightly less mental ~2,430% for its first week back.)

Its main game is the 80% owned Mt Forrest iron project, but drilling of five targets at the Meekatharra gold project should kick off some time this month, the company said January.

It also has an early stage project, Mt Lucky, which is next door to Great Southern Mining’s (ASX:GSN) 59,000oz Mon Ami deposit.