• Minnow TAO Commodities inks deal for massive US minerals sands project
  • Encounter teams up with BHP on Northern Territory copper exploration
  • Macquarie is now joint developer of Iron Road’s $250m Cape Hardy development

Here’s your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Thursday, September 24.

Tao Commodities (ASX:TAO) is no longer on Stockhead’s list of sub $5m market cap battlers after inking an option to buy the ‘Titan’ titanium and zircon mineral sands project in the US.

This is an opportunity to establish a major US titanium and zircon project ahead of large, post-COVID government infrastructure and military stimulus programs, the company says.

“We are very excited to secure a large-scale project on the doorstep of the US titanium industry, in a nation which currently imports almost all their titanium requirements,” TAO managing director Patrick Glovac says.

“Most exciting is the fact that some of our potential customers are only a short truck, barge or rail distance from the project with the largest titanium consuming plant in the U.S. being only 15km from the Titan project.”

TAO Commodities (ASX:TAO) share price chart


Macquarie will become joint developer of the $250m Cape Hardy Stage I port project in South Australia alongside iron ore developer Iron Road (ASX:IRD) and Eyre Peninsula Co-operative Bulk Handling (EPCBH).

The partners are now targeting financial close of the project by Q3 2021.

“Iron Road has been working closely with key stakeholders on the Cape Hardy port development since 2012 as part of the wider Central Eyre Iron Project,” Iron Road chief exec Larry Ingle says.

“We are pleased that Macquarie Capital shares our vision of the near-term benefits and future opportunities this vital infrastructure unlocks for Eyre Peninsula communities.

“A major partnership milestone with Macquarie Capital and EPCBH represents a key step forward in de-risking this important project for South Australia.”

Iron Road (ASX:IRD) share price chart


Explorer Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) has just partnered with BHP (ASX:BHP) to explore the 4,500sqkm Elliott copper project in the Northern Territory.

The global miner could earn up to 75 per cent of the project by spending $22m over 10 years.

Encounter – a so-called ‘prospect generator’ — also has lucrative joint venture deals with long-term partner and major shareholder Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and gold miner Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM).

Encounter (ASX:ENR) share price chart


Up on no news:

Potash player Trigg Mining (ASX:TMG) is up 125 per cent year-to-date on some solid exploration success at the flagship Lake Throssell project in WA.

Lachlan Fold gold explorer Krakatoa Resources (ASX:KTA) is also running red hot, gaining 200 per cent over the same period.

Trigg (ASX:TMG) and Krakatoa (ASX:KTA) share price chart