Resources Top 5: Another explorer joins the rare earths game
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Monday September 27.
The newly listed Strike Resources (ASX:SRK) spinout has two key projects: the ‘Solaroz’ lithium brines project in Argentina and the Burke Graphite Project in Queensland.
The graphite at Burke – one of the world’s highest grade graphite deposits – will be optimised by the CSIRO for lithium-ion battery applications over four months.
Lithium Energy will re-engage with potential Chinese and Japanese customers after the testing is complete, it says.
“Based upon the positive reception and strong interest in the Burke project, and with the benefit of the further test work, Lithium Energy will pursue discussions with these previous parties (and other interested parties) with a view to eventually forming binding commercial off-take and development agreements,” the company says.
“Lithium Energy notes that China itself is the world’s largest producer and consumer of graphite.
“However, average graphite grades in China are typically much lower than that of the Burke Deposit and increasing environmental concerns in China are causing companies to look outside of China for stable supplies of high-quality graphite concentrate.”
The $47m market cap explorer is up 245% on its IPO price of 20c per share.
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This fresh-faced copper play is now up +90% since listing last week.
The focus is two advanced copper projects in Queensland – Dianne, which is a near-term production prospect near Cairns; and Osprey, which consists of six exploration permits north of Mt Isa.
Historically, Dianne produced 63,578 tonnes of copper at an eyewatering average ore grade of 22.7% copper.
“World markets need new copper supply and demand is forecast to grow up to 600 percent, so we have come to the market to fast-track the development of our copper projects in North Queensland,” managing director Pat Williams says.
“We look forward to updating the market with our upcoming programs in the coming weeks.”
The cashed-up company – which raised ~$12m in its IPO — aims to kick off drilling at Dianne in preparation for a maiden JORC resource.
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Some exciting news from the rare earths project developer:
“We have engagement with European manufacturers to directly supply them with material,” Arafura Resources Chief Financial Officer Peter Sherrington said in an interview with @ElisBehrmann from @BloombergTV #ASX #ARU https://t.co/lvbF9OqJvZ
— Arafura Resources (@ARULtd) September 23, 2021
Arafura is targeting final investment decision at the “shovel ready” Nolans NdPr rare earths project in the NT by the second half of 2022 to meet growing demand from the battery sector.
First projection will ideally follow in late 2024, the company says.
The newly listed explorer has now joined the rare earths game, acquiring 1,380sqkm of ground in the Murray Basin prospective for ionic clay hosted Rare Earth Elements (REE).
IAC deposits – like the ones exploited in southern China — are commonly considered to be some of the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of heavy rare earths.
The ‘Mitre Hill’ project is located either side of Australian Rare Earths’ (ASX:AR3) ‘Red Tail’ and ‘Yellow Tail’ deposits which contain a JORC 2012 Inferred Mineral Resource of 39.9Mt @ 725ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO).
$47m market cap AR3 is currently up 250% on its June IPO price of 30c per share.
“We are very excited to have secured multiple applications with prospectivity for ionic clay hosted rare earths mineralisation in such prospective parts of Victoria and South Australia,” RBX exec chairman Shannon Green says.
“The recent announcements of significant ionic clay hosted Rare Earths by AR3 has highlighted the potential of this region.”
RBX is up 30% on its IPO price of 20c per share.
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On Friday the gold explorer revealed more high-grade drilling results at the ‘Alicia’ prospect, part of the ‘Mulgabbie North’ project near Kalgoorlie.
Highlight results from the company’s large-scale 20,000 metre drilling campaign included 33m @ 1.24g/t gold from 93m, including 8m @ 3.29g/t gold.
Mineralisation remains ‘open’ in multiple directions, the company says.
“The new wide zones of gold mineralisation intercepted at the Alicia Prospect, 1km to the south of current RC drilling at Mulgabbie North, highlights the sheer magnitude of gold mineralisation over the project area,” managing director chief exec Andrew Pumphrey said.
“These results, together with previously announced widespread gold mineralisation, further demonstrate the potential of Mulgabbie North to develop into a significant gold project.”
Additional RC drilling at Alicia will kick off in the coming weeks, Pumphrey says.
Aircore drilling will also commence later this month to test the 1km gap in drilling between the Alicia and ‘Ben’ prospects.