Resources Top 5: ASX project developer stirs as volatile tin threatens breakout
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday February 9.
Volatile LME tin prices – which soared and then slumped in 2022 — are bouncing back again in 2023, up almost $US10,000/t from early November lows.
Recent price recovery has been attributed to a reopening of China from COVID lockdowns and “the rampant demand for electronic infrastructure”, ELE said late last year.
Meanwhile, global supply has been in deficit for some years, with global visible stockpiles near all-time lows.
ELE’s flagship is the Oropesa tin project in Andalucia, Spain where it is currently undertaking a DFS — the most advanced of all project studies.
A recent optimisation study envisaged production of 3350t tin metal per year across an initial 13-year mine life for $US56m in annual EBITDA, based on a $US32,500/t tin price.
It would cost $US86m to build.
The DFS is due in Q2 this year. ELE then aims to lock in offtake, financing, and approvals ahead of construction and first production in 2025.
Interaction with governmental agencies “has been regular, robust and positive”, with the company hoping key approvals will be locked away late 2023, early 2024.
In January, ELE appointed debt advisors to engage with global debt providers and assist the company proceeding into project finance.
Meanwhile, “robust” offtake discussions are being had with traders and smelters in Europe and Asia.
The $55m capped stock is up 7% year-to-date. It had ~$4m in the bank at the end of December.
(Up on no news)
The exploration stock formerly known as Pacific Bauxite is now looking for PGEs, gold, lithium, rare earths, and nickel across a portfolio of six early-stage projects in WA.
With most of the boring land access agreements now finalised, WYX is looking to crack on with sampling programs to dial in on targets for drilling.
“The Board is pleased with the continued development of exploration activities by Western Yilgarn at its leases,” chairman Peter Lewis says.
“We have solid cash reserves, low overheads, and exciting projects that are ripe for exploration in a rapidly developing resource region.
“Combined with a market actively looking for solutions in the REE, PGE, Ni, LI, Cu, and Ni segments, we are excited to see what 2023 will deliver for shareholders.”
The $5m capped stock has underperformed since it was reinstated to the ASX in May following a $4.5m, 20c per share recapitalisation process.
It had ~$3.4m in the bank at the end of December.
(Up on no news)
The busy WA explorer is a Chalice nearology play, amongst other things.
Last quarter, ASQ’s 50-50 JV partner at the Julimar project, DevEx (ASX:DVX), defined “thick and extensive differentiated mafic-ultramafic intrusive rocks” over a 12km length between Chalice Mining’s (ASX:CHN) Julimar discovery and Caspin Resources’ (ASX:CPN) Yarawindah Brook project.
A moving loop electromagnetic (EM) survey has re-commenced and is ongoing, ASQ says.
“The extent of the mafic/ultramafic intrusion, together with confirmation of Fe-Ni-Cu sulphide mineralisation, supports the potential for the intrusion to host significant concentrations of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation,” it says.
Meanwhile, preliminary target generation work at the wholly owned Koolyanobbing project has been completed, identifying numerous gold, nickel and copper targets for follow-up.
Planning is underway to complete infill soil sampling and more detailed regolith and landform mapping in the anomalous areas early in 2023 with drilling to follow.
A Scoping Study on the more advanced 11.6Mt Albany White Hill silica sand project in southern WA is progressing.
“Preliminary assessment of metallurgy and process plant design, environmental assessment, water supply, the sand market and port access has given the Company confidence that these aspects of the project are achievable within the expected economic and regulatory constraints,” ASQ says.
The $17m capped company is up 22% year-to-date. It had $3.9m in the bank at the end of the December quarter, plus a couple of rural properties valued at $2.26m.
KAI says “outstanding” drilling intersections at the flagship Mt York gold project in the Pilbara pave the way for further increases to the 1.1Moz resource.
Kairos completed 46 drill holes for ~11,000m between September and December with the aim of 1) drilling beyond the current resource model, especially at depth to increase resources and 2) infill drilling within the resources to increase confidence.
This new drilling has now returned consistent high-grade intersections over significant widths below current resource, including 5m at 4.25g/t, 7m at 3.35g/t and 8m at 3.67g/t.
13 holes remain outstanding and should be back from the lab in March.
The results support KAI’s view that Mt York is a big system in a Tier-1 location with consistent mineralisation, managing director Dr Peter Turner says.
“More assays are pending and we are confident that the resource will continue to grow,” he says.
“In parallel with our strategy to increase the inventory, we are progressing preparations for project development with Mining Lease Applications already submitted.”
KAI also recently discovered spodumene-bearing pegmatites adjacent to the Mt York project – which is a stone’s throw from some major hard rock lithium operations — and is evaluating their potential.
The $50m capped stock is up 15% year-to-date. It had $2.6m in the bank at the end of December.
A survey has identified multiple thorium targets at WCN’s Yinnetharra rare earths-lithium project in WA.
Thorium anomalies are often associated with rare earths, the early-stage explorer says, which makes this new data “a game-changer”.
“The clarity of data we have received from the new 50 metre lined spaced magnetics and radiometrics survey is a game-changer and shows significant structural force has been directed at the project rocks over the course of time,” technical director Ed Mead says.
“A first pass review has highlighted multiple significant and discrete thorium anomalies over the project, which require field checking this quarter.
“Thorium anomalies are well documented in the region to potentially be associated with rare earth minerals and sampling at Yinnetharra up to now has been driven by 400m magnetic and radiometric data, which means that we have not targeted these new thorium anomalies.
“Our knowledge of Yinnetharra continues to grow at an exponential rate, and I hope that 2023 field programs this quarter further unlock the project potential.”
~100 rockchip assays are due from a sampling program completed in late November.
The company is also planning more field reconnaissance work over a bunch of these new targets in the first quarter of this year.
$12m capped WCN has struggled for momentum over the past year, despite the recent pivot to battery metals, and is currently down 70% from its April 2022 highs.
It had $848,000 in the bank at the end of December.