• Pan Asia signs agreement with VinES to build lithium conversion facility in Vietnam
  • Rare earths play Venture Minerals is off to conduct two maiden drill programs
  • Kingsland stock price soars for a second day in a row on drilling news

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday May 19.


Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM)

Lithium junior PAM has signed an MOU with Vietnamese battery maker VinES Energy Solutions to evaluate the construction of a standalone lithium conversion facility in an industrial zone close to VinES’s battery plant.

The evaluation will consider an initial 20,000-25,000 tonne per annum capacity to produce LCE and lithium hydroxide, supported by PAM’s lithium projects in the region, including its Reung Kiet and Kata Thong lithium projects in Thailand.

The MOU covers an initial 36-month term, during which time PAM and VinES will establish a joint project team which to cover project ownership, feedstock supply and offtake provisions.

VinES has major backing for tackling such a project, as VinES is a subsidiary of Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate, Vingroup.

“We are thrilled to be working with VinES, an ESG-focused EV battery manufacturer, in the evaluation of a standalone Lithium Conversion Facility in Vietnam,” PAM boss Paul Lock said.

“This is a significant step towards achieving our strategy focused on developing an integrated supply chain to cost-effectively deliver relevant and in-demand products to the Li-ion battery market in South-East Asia.”

$37m market capped PAM’s share price has slid almost 50% since the start of the year, however has risen 33% on early trade today.


Great Western Exploration (ASX:GTE)

GTE is looking to completing its Phase 1 drilling at its Firebird gold project in WA less than two weeks since announcing the campaign to the market.

The explorer aircore drilled more than 3km, intersecting highly weathered Archean Greenstone volcanic sediments and mafic units within the Youanmi Greenstone Belt.

The Archean Greenstone hosts of the majority of WA’s gold deposits and gold in soil anomalies at Firebird had not been previously drilled.

The aircore drilling is a precursor to an upcoming RC drilling campaign which the company expects to return assay results from in the next four to eight weeks, funded in part from a successful $2.8 million cap raise in March.

$9.5m market capped GTE was up more than 26% this morning.


Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS)

News yesterday of VMS’s decision to start maiden drilling at its Iron Duke rare earths play has seen keen interest from the market in early trading today.

Iron Duke consists of two tenements across 151km2, with the company stating it would follow up on two shallow historic drillholes that have high grade intersects of total rare earth oxides (TREO).

VMS said it would also commence another maiden drill program to test numerous  REE targets at its recently acquired Brothers project north-adjacent to Iron Duke.

A further tenement package of 172km2 has also been pegged adjacent to the Brothers project, bringing the total project area to over 1,000km2.

VMS managing director Andrew Radonjic says the company looks forward to delivering a potential new discovery to shareholders in the very near future.

“The granting of drilling programs and the engagement of a drilling contractor has given Venture the chance to get on with follow-up work across impressive, near surface, high grade intersections of rare earths at Iron Duke and to test various targets at the Brothers project,” VMS MD Andrew Radonjic said.

Maiden drill programs at the Brothers and Iron Duke projects is set to begin before the end of the month.

VMS has a $30m market cap and was up 17.7% today at time of publishing.


Kingsland Minerals (ASX: KNG)

KNG is up markedly for a second day in a row off the back of announcing a maiden drilling program at its Leliyn graphite project in the NT.

The drilling consists of 2,000m of RC and 1,200m of diamond drilling, with the program targeting a 100m-wide graphitic schist unit which was delineated by surveys earlier this year.

KNG MD Richard Maddocks says the company believes Leliyn has the potential to be a very large graphite deposit, with electromagnetic results supporting its view of what could be a very large system.

“The potential scale of Leliyn easily qualifies as a globally significant tier one asset in a tier one location and the upcoming drill program marks the start of our strategy to establish a JORC resource,” Maddocks said.

“The outlook for graphite is very strong due to growing demand from the lithium battery industry and a large Australian deposit would be particularly valuable as the Western world looks to source graphite from outside China.”

With an $11.7m market cap, KNG stocks were up 17.3% by midday trading.


 Zeus Resources (ASX:ZEU)

We’re not quite sure why ZEU shares are on the up today, but it might have something to do with a new substantial shareholder confirmed to have thrown in a further $200,000 into the company, taking their voting power to 6%.

The lithium explorer came back to the ASX just this February after raising nearly $2.2 million to advance studies of its Mortimer Hills project.

Zeus is said it plans a reconnaissance RC drilling program next quarter to test mapped pegmatites for lithium and REEs.

It has also applied for two new tenements at the project, 130km northeast of  Gascoyne Junction in WA.

Shares in $10m market capped ZEU are up 13% so far today.

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Venture Minerals, Kingsland Minerals and Great Western Exploration are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.