Resources Top 5: ASX gold, copper stocks on the rebound as outlook brightens
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday January 10.
(Up on no news)
Some of the best-performing ASX gold mining stocks in 2022 were in West Africa, a region known for its monster deposits and low operating costs (with a splash of jurisdictional risk).
These are impressive results from the West African cohort, especially considering precious metals’ sentiment was anaemic last year.
With gold returning to form in 2023, quality explorers in the region could be exposed to serious upside.
“The cheapest stocks on the market look like the West African gold explorers [for] those brave punters who want to take a countercyclical investment,” Stockhead columnist Guy le Page said October last year.
One of these stocks is $16m market cap TSX-ASX listed SRR, which owns the 2.9Moz Sanutura project in southwest Burkina Faso.
Funds from a recent ASX IPO are being used for first major drill program in five years, with 50,000m of mostly extensional drilling kicking off in May.
The 12 month program is going very well so far. SRR has now made 6 discoveries of additional/extensional mineralisation, which bodes well for any resource upgrade.
Results continue to trickle in, and multiple high priority targets are set to be drilled in upcoming exploration season.
The gold explorer is led by MD Andrew Dinning, former COO at Moto Gold Mines, which outlined the 22Moz Kibali gold mine in the DRC and flipped it to Randgold (now Barrick) and AngloGold Ashanti for US$600 million in 2009.
Another West African explorer, another big gold hit — this time a highlight 26m @ 4.82g/t gold from 35m at the 2km-and-growing Satama discovery in Côte d’Ivoire.
The intercept above (one of several good ones, we might add) is the best to date at Satama, part of the 690km2 Eburnea gold project.
The latest results continue to confirm Satama as being a significant, multi-kilometre strike length greenfield gold discovery which is expected to continue to grow, TCG managing director Justin Tremain says.
“We look forward to receiving and reporting results from the reconnaissance, shallow auger drilling recently completed testing the western parallel structures which, if positive, would show substantial growth potential at Satama,” he says.
Following a short break over the Christmas period, exploration activities have now resumed with auger and soil geochemical sampling programs underway at the nearby Odienne project, also in Cote d’Ivoire.
Sprott-backed TCG is run by a team with a history of making money for shareholders.
Tremain himself led Exore Resources ahead of its ~$80m takeover by Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU). He also headed Renaissance Minerals before its takeover by Asian gold producer Emerald Resources (ASX:EMR).
(Up on no news)
The LME copper price is now up ~23% on its mid 2022 lows to $US8589.50/t, with some experts believing it could go a lot higher in the year ahead.
Fledgling and near-term copper producers are having a moment in the sun.
Yesterday it was fresh faced Queensland miner Austral Resources (ASX:AR1) on the rebound; today its CYM, which is working towards a restart of the mothballed 940,000t Nifty copper project in northern WA.
As part of a $240m to $260m debt funding package to finance the restart, CYM signed a prepaid $US35m copper cathode offtake deal with Transamine SA late last month.
“The restart project economics remain very robust, and we have continued to make further improvements to the Nifty Copper Project during the financing process,” managing director Barry Cahill says.
“As all of the required regulatory approvals able to be completed prior to finance have been received, we are looking forward to completing our total funding package so that we can commence executing our Nifty Copper Project restart development plans.”
Phase 1 of the project would produce 25,000tpa of copper over an initial 6.3 years, and would cost $134m to build. Commissioning is pencilled in for H1 2024.
Drilling has now clearly defined three wide, continuous, and consistent vanadium lodes at the Victory Bore project in WA, the explorer said yesterday.
Intersections include a highlight 70m @ 0.43% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), with 67% of assays from the 62-hole program now received.
The new drilling will be used to re-estimate the resource to JORC standards.
Meanwhile, SRN continues to compile data for the completion of a pre-feasibility study. An application for conversion of the Exploration Licence to a Mining Lease was also submitted to the West Australian Department of Mining Industry Resources and Safety (DMIRS) in 2022.
“Vanadium prices are predicted to increase in line with an increase in storage requirements with the uptake of electric vehicles to support the global push for decarbonisation,” SRN managing director Vladimir Nikolaenko says.
“The drilling results from Victory Bore continue to display huge true widths and exceptional continuity, both along strike and down dip.
“This represents an ideal bulk mining proposition. Based on these drilling results, Victory Bore is shaping up to be a world class vanadium deposit and certainly one of the largest in Australia.”
The explorer is now up +40% since yesterday after picking up a bagful of gold nuggets at Goose Well, part of the 14 Mile Well gold project in WA.
Here’s a selection of gold nuggets from the parcel of >150 nuggets picked up:
Very nice. The target area hosts a so-called ‘syenite’ intrusion, which ICL says are linked to major regional gold deposits.
In November, ICL rerated on strong vols after picking up gold nuggs like this over several kilometres at the Guyer and Everleigh prospects at 14 Mile Well.
This one from the Everleigh target contains is about 10g worth almost $1000, the company says:
The shape and composition of the nuggets suggest primary sources are nearby, says ICL technical director David Nixon.
Metal detecting and geological field work will continue through 2023 at Goose Well and other developing target areas within the 14 Mile Well project.