Resources Top 5: ASX mine developers bounce on big gold hits and promising precious metals prices
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Monday November 14.
Rock chip sampling has uncovered pegmatites swarms up to 8m high and 500m long at RJ 101, part of the early-stage Russian Jack lithium project in the Pilbara region of WA.
The explorer will kick off a heritage survey at RJ and review hyperspectral data from the whole Russian Jack project to dial in on more targets.
“We are planning to identify and field test newly recognised pegmatite swarms at several locations within this large project area,” managing director Paul Araujo says.
“There is no record of previous exploration for LCT bearing pegmatites within the granted exploration licences and we look forward to working with the Palyku people, Traditional Owners, to commence heritage surveys within this large project prior to exploration commencing.”
TMB is also expanding the project with an acquisition called Tambina for $5000. Bargain.
Historic stream sediment sampling at Tambina by FMG returned elevated Li assay grades, TMB says. First pass sampling and mapping at Tambina will begin soon.
TMB acquired the Russian Jack tin-tantalum-lithium project in the Pilbara in September last year.
The recently listed $9m market cap stock is up 60% over the past month.
TG1 says old rock chips from the Mt Boggola project in WA – previously taken for base metals – are returning highly anomalous rare earths.
Other old data has highlighted a “robust” but previously untouched thorium anomaly in the southwestern project area, which represents a key REE target for immediate follow-up work.
There are also a bunch of potential uranium targets which have only ever been tested for base metals.
Field mapping and ground truthing (walking around taking notes in a pad) is currently being planned to assess areas of anomalous REE rock chip samples, visit thorium and uranium target areas and airborne EM conductors.
In September, the $7m market cap tiddler inked a significant (for them) farm in and JV deal with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).
Rio can elect to pick up an 80% stake in TG1’s Harbutt Range copper project by spending $3m over five years including a minimum of 3000m of drilling.
The project is in the Paterson Province, the same domain as Rio’s massive Winu copper-gold discovery which is slated for development sometime in the middle of this decade.
This Brazilian gold play has struggled with “complex” mineralisation at its Tres Estados and Ema precious metals projects for years.
The gold + PGEs mineralisation is weird, confusing and hard to assay and extract, leading to some tussles with the ASX.
The company recently approached a US company called EcoBiome Metals, to test how BBX’s mineralisation responds to its bioleaching tech.
Bioleaching is a simple and effective technology for metal extraction from low-grade ores and mineral concentrates, BBX says.
Initial test results were a success, showing a significant increase in gold, platinum, palladium, iridium and rhodium following the process, it says. Follow-up testing using a larger sample size is being developed.
“We are very pleased to see these initial results and while bioleaching of precious metal ores has been used successfully in many applications for many years this is only the first step,” BBX CEO Andre J Douchane says.
“Additionally, because surface samples from the same location as EMB-007 are known to have very high assays from time to time we don’t consider the grades very important, but what we do consider important is the ability of EcoBiome’s proprietary microbes to consolidate and concentrate the precious metals.
“There is a lot of work to be done going forward and to that effect we have sent 50kg of material from the Tres Estados project to EcoBiome.
“The material from a known drill hole will be used to further define and optimise leaching parameters and conditions after which, if successful, laboratory pilot plant testing could begin.”
The 4th drillhole of an 11-hole program at the 80,000oz Red Hill deposit – part of the historic, well-trod Hill End project — has returned multiple high grade gold zones near surface.
The aim of this drilling, the first phase of a multistage program, is to increase this resource within 75m of surface so the company can build a small open pit mine.
Initial results are promising, with today’s hits comprising:
The previously reported holes also returned good grades and widths.
The Red Hill resource forms ~1km of the 14km strike length at the Hill End Gold project, previously owned by Peak Minerals (ASX:PUA).
The project also has an existing 100% owned and permitted processing plant. Bonus.
“Access to this existing plant and high metallurgical recovery presents Vertex with the opportunity to develop a low-cost gold mine with a small environmental footprint,” the company says.
The fellow near term producer has just hit visible gold in drilling at the mothballed Paulsens mine, which it acquired from Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) earlier this year.
Paulsens in the Pilbara was the mine Northern Star made its name on, and Black Cat boss Gareth Solly is confident the old NST assets can provide a launchpad for a second junior.
Mineralisation in the so-called Gabbro Veins at Paulsens has been intersected in historical drilling along ~1km of strike length “and this mineralised system represents a potential long-term feed source”, BC8 says.
Drilling will continue infilling the Gabbro Veins over a ~600m strike length before moving to the first holes testing the Paulsens Repeat target later in November 2022.
“Our first holes at Paulsens are targeting potential production areas adjacent to existing workings,” Solly says.
“The Gabbro Veins are an overlooked opportunity that we believe have the potential to lead a restart scenario while we undertake the hunt for another Paulsens in both offset and repeat target positions.
“We are excited by what we see in these first holes given they intersect our interpreted structures and contain visible gold.
“Drilling will be ongoing at Paulsens to delineate near-term mining opportunities throughout the December 2022 quarter.”