• Oil companies 88 Energy and Brookside Energy make gains
  • Golden Mile Resources hits gold mineralisation at WA prospect
  • Vanadium company VR8 leaps on $2m capital raising and technology deal

Here’s your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Thursday, April 1.


88 Energy (ASX:88E)

The Alaska oil explorer has risen 700 per cent since mid-March including a 40 per cent gain in early trade Thursday as it gets ready to start drilling on its Northern Slope leases.

88 Energy consolidated its position in the Alaskan oil fields with the takeover last year of XCD Energy (ASX:XCD) with its Peregrine project for 1.6 billion barrels of oil.

The oil junior is close to completing another acquisition in Alaska of the Umiat oil field, a discovery made in 1945 that lies adjacent to its Peregrine project.

“The acquisition of the proven oil field at Umiat is a significant milestone for the company and its shareholders, particularly in the context of any discovery made at project Peregrine, where wireline logging is currently underway,” managing director, David Wall, said.

Wireline logging is a process to measure the geological features of a potential oil well prior to its drilling.

Oil prices have staged a strong recovery and are trading at $US60 per barrel this week after dropping below zero in May last year.



Vanadium Resources (ASX:VR8)

The South Africa-focused explorer soared Thursday, after a one-day trading halt with its announcement of a successful $2m capital raising and acquisition of key technology.

Vanadium Resources is to acquire a 74 per cent stake in extraction, processing and manufacturing technology that produces battery-grade vanadium pentoxide.

The technology, which can also produce high-end vanadium products, is for production from the company’s Steelpoortdrift ore that includes iron, titanium, silicon and aluminium.

The technology has hydrogen and power generation proficiencies that can convert waste carbon dioxide gases into saleable mineral carbonate products.

A pre-feasibility study for the Steelpoortdrift vanadium project in South Africa is on track for completion in the June quarter.



Golden Mile Resources (ASX:G88)

The WA gold explorer made some gains Thursday in the wake of announcing impressive drilling results at its Wanghi prospect in WA.

Assay results from its first drill hole at Wanghi include a hit of 33m at 1.6 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 48m, including 16m at 2.95 g/t gold from 61m.

“We intersected further wide zones of strong gold mineralisation in fresh rock at Wanghi, and the recognition of important structures controlling mineralisation provides an important new targeting tool for the follow up reverse circulation drilling planned next month,” managing director, James Merrillees, said.

The high-grade gold mineralisation is part of a previously unrecognised structural trend within the company’s Benalla project located 230km north of Kalgoorlie.



Brookside Energy (ASX:BRK)

The US-focused oil company with assets in the Anadarko basin in the US state of Oklahoma jumped as it updated investors on the start of drilling its high-impact Jewell well.

Brookside Energy said its Black Mesa Energy subsidiary has approved a drilling bid proposal from Oklahoma-based Latshaw Drilling for the drilling of Jewell well.

In an update last week, the company said it has advanced construction of an all-weather, multi-well pad and access road for the Jewell well.

The design of the pad will allow for the drilling of multiple oil wells in anticipation of the full development of the Jewell well.

In its 2020 year financial results, Brookside Energy recorded a loss of $2.4m on revenue of $366,000, compared with a post-tax profit of $918,000 on revenue of $2.1m in 2019.

The company said 2020 was one of the most challenging years for the oil sector since the 1970s oil crisis, with collapsing energy prices and crashing demand caused by COVID-19.

The sector’s outlook has since improved dramatically with higher commodity prices and better sentiment for oil and gas companies, said Brookside Energy.



Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV)

The Pilbara explorer performed well in early trade on the release of assay results for its Carlow Castle prospect for gold-copper-cobalt in WA.

One drill hole at the eastern end of Carlow Castle’s main zone produced outstanding results for gold and copper grades further growing the resource at depth.

Hits included 14m at 7.03 g/t gold, 2.6 per cent copper, 0.28 per cent cobalt from 123m, rising to 3m at 25.8 g/t gold, 5.25 per cent copper, 0.46 per cent cobalt from 129m.

“These results are defining discrete high-grade gold and copper mineralised shoots within the ore body, helping to expand the mineral resource potential and assisting the targeting of further drilling planned in Q2 2021,” executive director, Boyd Timler, said.