• CuFe has today pushed the restart button on the small but high-grade JWD iron ore joint venture in the Pilbara
  • Cosmos Exploration has a lithium project 20km from Patriot Battery Metals sensational CV5 discovery
  • Graphite stock Lincoln Minerals is out of suspension and back trading on the ASX

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday january 20.



In 2022, plummeting iron ore prices forced a bunch of junior ASX miners to shutter high-cost operations.

With iron ore prices now on the recovery trail, these operations are viable again.

CuFe has today pushed the restart button on the small but high-grade JWD iron ore joint venture in the Pilbara, which shipped first ore in October 2021. Prices are now up ~50% from when mining activity was suspended, just one year later.

CUF says first product is expected to be ready for haulage to port by the end of January and, to protect itself from future price volatility, it is building a hedge book to cover future sales.

“To date positions have been taken, basis March quotation period, with 10,000t swapped at US$120.70 and 20,000t of collars entered with a floor price of US$110/t and ceiling price of US$129/t, basis 62% Fe,” the company says.

In addition to planning the restart of mining, the JWD site team has continued to recover high grade material from a waste stockpile on site, crushing and screening it for trucking to port.

A further 8-10,000t of this material priced at US$116.50/t is expected to be loaded next week on a vessel shared with the neighbouring C4 project.

CUF is also contributing a parcel of 20,000t of lower grade fines product to a joint ship with C4, which will load during February.

Th company has negotiated a US$2m prepayment facility with its JWD offtake partner Glencore to assist in funding the working capital associated with the ramp up.

“It’s pleasing to see the iron ore price back at levels that allow mining to recommence at JWD,” CUF executive director Mark Hancock says.

“With the relaxing of Covid related restrictions expected to drive economic activity in China and continued strong demand for our product from SE Asia we are optimistic that 2023 will offer a period of attractive pricing for JWD iron ore.

“This combined with an improved cost base arising from falling fuel prices lowering sea freight and road haulage cost and improved stripping ratios favourably impacting mining costs means Cufe is well placed as we move into the next phase of JWD operations.”

The $20m capped junior stock is up 140% so far this month. It had $4.1m in the bank at the end of September.



(Up on no news)

The Greenland-focused critical minerals explorer dual-listed on the Frankfurt Stock exchange earlier this month, 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.

Just feast your eyes on this beautiful landscape:

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 also lithium potential, and 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.



Some nearology love for C1X in early trade today.

In late December the junior explorer acquired a lithium project 20km from Patriot Battery Metals’ (ASX:PMT) CV5 discovery, part of the Corvette project in Canada.

Yesterday, PMT soared after announcing one of the best intercepts you’ll ever see –156.9m at 2.12% Li2O from 176m, including 25m of 5.04% Li2O.

It is the widest, highest grade lithium drill intercept returned to date at CV5, where mineralisation has been traced over a strike length of at least 2.2km, so far.

C1X believes that its nearby Corvette Far East project hosts a “dismembered” section of the same greenstone belt that hosts CV5.

Cosmos intends to start exploration activities at Corvette Far East in the New Year, “with a view to establishing drill targets for a maiden drill program commencing in the Spring”.

The $8m capped stock is up 50% year-to-date. It had $2.59m in the bank at the end of September and is currently undertaking a $2.14m placement (and the bargain price of 16c per share) to underpin the Corvette Far East acquisition.



(Up on no news)

The Chile-focused gold and copper explorer listed in 2021 with three projects including ‘Capote’, which had been untouched for almost 70 years and never explored by modern means.

It is home to the historic San Juan gold mine, where 500,000 ounces of gold was produced at an ore grade of 40 grams per tonne through to 1954.

Earlier this month BMO announced shallow, high grade gold drilling results from Capote, like 5m @ 2.06g/t gold from 42m (including 1.6m @ 5.6g/t).

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 an extensive 2,250sqkm Canadian lithium royalty and projects portfolio.

Pending exploration success on optioned properties, potential sales of NSR royalties could be up to C$46,750,000. 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 $7m capped stock is up 50% in 2023, on larger than normal volumes. It had $1.5m in the bank at the end of September and is currently undertaking a ~$1.6m cap raise.



Look who’s back from the dead!

The graphite explorer was suspended from trading on ASX in September 2020 due to non-compliance with Listing Rule 12.1 – “the level of an entity’s operations must, in ASX’s opinion, be sufficient to warrant the continued quotation of the entity’s securities and its continued listing”.

In other words, the company was doing f’all exploration due to a lack of cash and investor interest in the graphite space.

LML spent 2021 doing mostly nothing, but woke up in 2022 when it received an unsolicited takeover offer from Quantum Graphite (ASX:QGL).

That offer was rejected, and with the graphite market now going gangbusters, LML managed to raise a few million dollars to relist on the ASX. Which happened today.

Its flagship is the Kookaburra Gully graphite project in South Australia, where the cash raised will be expended in exploration and predevelopment drilling.

“Excitingly, the recent reinterpretation of airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data has confirmed and enhanced previous identified AEM anomalies that will be subject to further detailed ground geophysics to specifically target drill sites with drill testing to follow in the planned 2023 work program,” the company said in December.

“The Lincoln Minerals refreshed board and management team brings a new passion to our Company and the diverse set of skills needed to build LML into a premier graphite producer and generate value for all our stakeholders.

“Future graphite production from the Kookaburra Gully Project may also pave the way for LML to increase the scope of its business by exploring value-add opportunities for the graphite it produces.”

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While CuFe and Bastion are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.