Resources Top 5: A rare earths discovery ‘confirmed’, Australia’s largest nickel resource gets Major Project Status
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Monday March 21.
FNT says “high grade rare earths discoveries confirmed!” after picking up rocks containing up to 8% total rare earth oxides (TREO) across multiple targets at the Gascoyne project.
134 samples were sent to the lab, with 31 of them returning grades over 1% TREO.
The footprint of known REE mineralisation at Gascoyne is now 2.5km long, FNT says.
Samples also included high (up to 58%) amounts of magnet rare earths neodymium and praseodymium, which are used in the manufacture of electric vehicles.
Exploration companies often play fast and loose when it comes to defining what a “mineral discovery” is.
Successful geochemical programs (rock, soil sampling) like this one are usually a precursor to drilling, which is the only real way to prove if an economic discovery has been made.
This drilling is set to kick off Q2, the company says.
The early signs are promising. Gascoyne adjoins the Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) world-class ‘Yangibana’ deposit, which is set to be the next REE producer outside of China by 2023.
“These high tenor REE results are extremely exciting and again vindicates our early mover advantage in the Gascoyne Region securing such a highly prospective land package adjacent to Hastings’ world class Yangibana project,” FNT technical director Brian Thomas says.
“We are now part of an emerging REE province with multiple new discoveries being made between Dreadnought Resources and ourselves, culminating in a very exciting time for our company and the region.”
$23m market cap FNT is up 60% year-to-date. It had $4.9m in the bank at the end of December.
(Up on no news)
A solid March continues for this busy explorer/project developer, which is up 250% from the start of the month.
On 8 March its Algerian joint venture partners agreed to proceed with the development of the ‘Tala Hamza’ zinc project, paving the way for a mining permit to be issued.
Tala Hamza is one of the largest undeveloped zinc and lead deposits in the world, TZN says, containing 3.5 million tonnes of zinc with a resource of 53.0 million tonnes at 6.6% zinc, plus lead.
On 15 March, Japanese giant JOGMEC agreed to spend $7.5m on exploration to earn 70% in TZN’s ‘South Gawler Ranges’ project in South Australia.
TZN retains a 24% interest in any discovery made without having to spend a cent over the initial six years.
South Gawler Ranges is 185km from OZ Minerals’ (ASX:OZL) tier 1 ‘Carrapateena’ copper-gold mine (950Mt at 0.75% copper and 0.25g/t gold).
“The Terramin Exploration team is excited that JOGMEC shares our vision on the potential of the South Gawler Ranges Project where geochemically anomalous epithermal alteration, veins, and breccia outcrops, and associated geophysical features, indicate the potential for near-surface large tonnage IOCG deposits comparable in size to Carrapateena,” TZN exec officer Martin Janes says.
“The increased exploration funding enables an accelerated exploration program on the Project, thereby maximising the chances of a significant return to Terramin from this non-core asset.
“The ability for Terramin to attract a quality partner such as JOGMEC supports Terramin’s approach to early-stage exploration and prospect generation.”
The $105m market cap stock is up 130% year-to-date. It had $331,000 in the bank at the end of December.
ARL’s ‘Kalgoorlie Nickel Project’ (KNP) has received Major Project Status from the Aussie Government, which helps streamline the approvals process and provides access to additional sources of potential project funding.
The KNP hosts 5.9Mt of contained nickel and 380kt of contained cobalt, making it the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world.
That’s enough to power 147m electric vehicles, ARL says.
The $1.165 billion project would mine cobalt-nickel laterite ore which will undergo a process to produce Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate for the growing international battery market.
A DFS – a detailed look at the economics of building a project — is underway.
The $172m market cap stock is up 183% year-to-date. It had $6.1m in the bank at the end of December.
MIO’s ‘Lake Giles’ iron project in WA will produce 3mpta of high-grade concentrate over a 25-year life, according to a feasibility study released today.
The giant magnetite project will cost~$800m to build.
MIO is forecasting a post-tax NPV of $US315m and IRR of 13%, based on a long-term China sales price of $US131.40/t for its 66.1% Fe concentrate product.
Both NPV and IRR are metrics used to assess the profitability of a project – the higher they are above zero, the better.
‘Magnetite’ ore is lower grade in-situ than hematite – the stuff the Pilbara miners produce — but unlike standard Pilbara ores can be upgraded to a super-rich 66% product or above.
This gets ultra-high premiums from steel factories.
MIO will now proceed with post study optimisation work, project development approvals and advancing project finance.
The $60m market cap stock is up 40% year-to-date.
Shallow augur drilling has kicked off at AS2’s ‘Burracoppin’ gold project in WA.
Results will provide more high priority targets for deeper drill testing during the upcoming Phase 3 drilling program in April.
“The current soil augur program is designed to extend our knowledge over a four-kilometre area we consider to be very prospective and validate an area east of the historical ‘Benbur’ workings, which has a fascinating magnetic signature and some historic surface anomalisms,” AS2’s Johan Lambrechts says.
“If this augur program validates the interpreted eastern zone, it will result in a completely new target and increase the potential of the project significantly.”
AS2 has charged 110% higher in 2022, mostly on the back of its lithium projects in the NT and WA.