Resources Top 5: Copper-zinc explorer soars on drill results, gas play floats higher
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Here’s your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Friday, February 5.
Drilling confirmed the presence of a near-surface mineralisation at the company’s Whim Creek copper-zinc project in WA’s Pilbara region.
There were multiple zones of high-grade mineralisation for a range of metals including, copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver in ‘tens of metres in thickness’, said the company.
Whim Creek is 115km southwest of Port Hedland in WA, and Anax Metals only recently completed its 80 per cent earn-in interest for the project from VentureX Resources (ASX:VXR).
The explorer also has results of recent X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology scans of its project which detected substantial zones of high-grade mineralisation for base metals.
This included 11m at 5 per cent zinc, 5.22 per cent lead and 0.87 per cent copper from 32m, and 42m at 2.34 per cent copper from 43m.
In addition, analysis of bulk composites from the project showed significant gold and silver grades of up to 2.08 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, and up to 89 g/t silver, respectively.
The oil and gas exploration company with tenements offshore Victoria and WA had a strong rally in its share price Friday in the absence of any new information released to the market.
In response to a share price enquiry from the ASX this week, Emperor Energy said it was unaware of any company information that could explain recent trading in its shares.
“The company believes that the rising global LNG gas price may be a contributing factor to the price change and increase in volume in the securities of the company,” it stated.
Emperor Energy also pointed to its decision to defer drilling at its project in Victoria’s offshore Judith gas field as a possible reason for trading in its shares this week.
The company secured approval from the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Regular (NOPTA) to extend the timing of its proposed drilling for its Judith 2 well by 30 months to 2023.
“The additional time will allow Emperor Energy to accurately assess the new seismic data, further develop planning of the well, and progress securing an exploration and development partner for the project without the threat of a pending permit deadline,” director, Phil McNamara, said.
The Judith 2 well is 2km north of the BHP/ExxonMobil Kipper field that recently went into production. The Judith prospect is estimated to have 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Investors flocked to the base metals explorer after it announced this week its plan to acquire the Okiep copper complex (OCC) in South Africa with historic production of 2 million tonnes.
The acquisition fits well with Orion Minerals’ flagship Prieska copper-zinc project in South Africa for which a bankable feasibility study has been completed.
The company is carrying out due diligence to buy a 56.25 per cent interest in Southern African Tantalum Mining, alongside the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa with a 43.75 per cent shareholding, plus 100 per cent of Nababeep Copper Company and 100 per cent of Bulletrap Copper Company.
“This is a unique opportunity to acquire a dominant position in a historic world-class copper mining district – an exceptional growth and diversification opportunity,” managing director and chief executive, Errol Smart, said.
Orion Minerals said it believes there is an opportunity to restore mining at OCC to historical production levels when it was operated by Newmont Mining.
The owner of the Santa Comba tungsten project in Spain and McCleery cobalt and copper exploration project in Canada was a solid performer in Friday early trade.
Rafaella Resources said in an update that its Santa Comba project was ‘advancing rapidly to early cashflow’ after releasing in December a pre-feasiblity study for the project.
Both tungsten companies were the target of investor interest this week, as King Island Scheelite qualified for a $10m loan from the Tasmanian government to develop its Dolphin project.
Rafaella Resources noted King Island Scheelite’s $10m of financial support which it said was ‘in recognition of the global market’s over-dependence on Chinese supply for this critical metal’.
The explorer’s shares rose after it announced new high-grade copper-silver targets had been identified at its Khusib Springs mine in the southern African country of Namibia.
The project was a copper-silver mine from which 300,000 tonnes of ore grading 10 per cent copper, 1.8 per cent lead and 584 g/t silver was mined up until 2003.
A study identified remnant zones of copper-silver mineralisation on the margins of mined slopes as well as at depth, it said.