• Copper hunter Celsius hops into bed with Filipino government with production sharing agreement
  • Meanwhile Culpeo has decent copper-toned assay results over in Chile
  • Price check: Metarock, Mitre and Arrow are hitting targets, too

Here are some of the biggest resources winners in early trade, Monday March 18.


Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA)

Copper-gold explorer and developer Celsius stands out on the bourse as a little bit different, as its flagship project is in the Philippines.

It’s also standing out today, surging to a 38% gain over the past 24 hours.

Why? There’s a decent reason, and it’s because the government of the Philippines has signed off on a mining permit for the company to get things cracking at the Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog copper mining project (aka MCB).

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources has approved MCB’s mining permit, in the form of a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) declaring it valid for 25 years and renewable for another 25 years.

That’s a potential half century of copper-toned goodness for CLA, if it can consistently dig up quality stuff, of course.

“The issuance of the mining permit will enable the company to undertake the necessary work streams to proceed with MCB mine development,” wrote Celsius in its ASX release this morn.

Other points of interest:

• This is the first copper project to be approved in the Philippines in the past 15 years, and grants CLA’s subsidiary Makilala Mining the exclusive right to undertake “rational exploration, development, and commercial production of copper and associated minerals”.

• And that’s within a contract area covering approximately 2,500 hectares.

Celsius MD Peter Hume said this:

“The grant of the MCB mining permit marks the progression of Celsius from being known as an exploration company to a mineral resource developer, and eventually a mine operator…

“The in-country team has commenced planning for the next exciting phase in the development of the Project.”

CLA share price


Culpeo Minerals (ASX:CPO)

Still on copper, but a fair way further down the ASX, we see minnow Culpeo Minerals also having a decent day so far on trading volume, and news.

Well, it was having a great day, earlier. It’s since dipped a tad but still in the green.

Culpeo is a copper exploration and development company with assets in Chile, the world’s number one copper producer. The company is exploring and developing high-grade copper systems in the coastal Cordillera region of the country.

The news is, CPO has some assay results it’s pleased with from ongoing regional mapping and sampling programs at its Fortuna project, which has led to the discovery of new mineralisation at the El Quillay East prospect.

The company says it intends to “quickly delineate the full extent of this new target prior to drill testing”.

It’ll want to delineate pronto, really, because El Quillay East has shown to host high-grade copper and gold mineralisation 500m to the east of the main El Quillay Fault.

Rock chip samples have so far returned assay grades up to 3.29% Cu and 1.32g/t Au, with all samples being greater than 1.0% Cu.

And the samples collected have occurred in an initial area of 250m x 150m with potential to extend in all directions.

Source: Culpeo Minerals

Culpeo Minerals’ MD Max Tuesley is highly encouraged:

“We are highly encouraged by these promising initial results from our target generation programs,” he said.

“The newly defined and well mineralised El Quillay East Prospect illustrates an abundance of copper mineralisation at surface within the structural corridor. Given this prospect has never been drilled, we see good potential for a second mineralised trend to be discovered, parallel to the 3km long El Quillay Fault.”

CPO share price


Metarock Group (ASX:MYE)

It might sound like a nu metal band Mark Zuckerberg could be into, but Metarock Group is a $67m market capped Aussie coal mining contractor, largely supporting industry in the coalfields of Queensland and New South Wales.

It’s double digits to the good on the news its entered into a a binding Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) to sell its PYBAR Mining Services business for a cool $65m in total to Thiess.

Theiss is set to keep the PYBAR name and will continue with the enterprise’s underground hard-rock operations retaining all PYBAR employees.

The sale of PYBAR to Thiess occurs on an enterprise value basis, and the estimated net proceeds to Metarock will actually end up being approximately $36.3 million, once the deduction of PYBAR’s outstanding debt and estimated transaction costs are factored in.

“Board and management believe the transaction represents compelling value for shareholders relative to the current market capitalisation of Metarock,” reads the MYE announcement on the ASX this morning.

Metarock’s group executive chair, Jon Romcke, said:

“The transaction significantly strengthens Metarock’s balance sheet and is expected to return the company to a net cash position, allowing it to focus on the Mastermyne, Wilson Mining and MyneSight businesses.

MYE share price


Mitre Mining (ASX:MMC)

(Up on no news)

Gold, base metals and lithium exploration in our wide, brown land. That’s the go for $35m market capper Mitre Mining Corporation.

It’s surging to the top of the daily gainers as we type, although on not nearly as much volume froth as Arrow Minerals, below.

The explorer delivered its half-yearly reporting last week. Some positives highlighted were:

• The fact Mitre agreed to acquire 100% of the Cerro Bayo Silver-Gold Project in Chile, including the existing JORC 2012 Inferred Resource Estimate of 3.82Mt at a grade of 206g/t AgEq for 24.7Moz of contained AgEq.

• The acquisition, says Mitre, transforms it into a “significant silver-gold exploration company with significant scope for short term Resource growth potential.”

• The Cerro Bayo project includes the 500,000tpa Cerro Bayo flotation plant and mining infrastructure and +300km2 mining claim package previously operated by Equus Mining (ASX:EQE).

MMC share price


Arrow Minerals (ASX:AMD)

(Up on no news)

Arrow is hunting for iron over in West Africa. Its Simandou North Iron Project is its main game, at the northern end of the Simandou Range, host to one of the largest undeveloped high-grade iron deposits in the world.

That’s all well and good, but why is this $41m market capper standing out with a double-digit gain and eye-popping volume on the ASX at the time of writing of close to $7m?

It’s a good question, and we don’t have a great answer just at this time.

We can tell you that last week AMD was on the rise because of its Share Purchase Plan (SPP) being heavily oversubscribed and closing early.

The company reportedly received in excess of its targeted $500,000 in subscription funds and closed the offer early at 5pm on Friday.

Extensive diamond drilling is currently underway at the Dalabatini target the Simandou North Iron Project. Previous drilling there produced results such as 12m at 60.1% Fe.

This bout of drilling aims to confirm strike, dip and true thickness of the target’s mineralisation, while other high-priority targets at the project will also be drilled as part of the campaign.

AMD share price