• Gold explorer Benz gains +110% on first day
  • Middle Island picks up some rocks containing high grade copper
  • Brockman (iron ore), Latrobe (magnesium) and African Energy (coal) gain on no news


Here’s your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Wednesday, December 23.

New listing Benz Mining (ASX:BNZ) flew out of the starting blocks to gain +110 per cent in early trade.

It continues a recent trend for companies to outperform in their first day on the bourse. Of the 28-odd listings in December, just five have failed to make gains on their first day:

Pic: 61financial

Benz’ main game is a gold project called Eastmain in Quebec, Canada which includes an existing resource of 375,800oz at an ore grade of 7.91g/t.

As a rule of thumb, anything above 5g/t is considered high grade.

Benz aims to spend $15m on exploration in 2021.


Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) has picked up rocks containing high grade copper at its 3,253sqkm Barkly copper-gold “super-project” in the Northern Territory.

These rocks on the surface at the Crosswinds prospect graded up to 76.2 per cent copper, with mineralisation exposed over an interval of 130m, the company says.

‘Super project’ is hyperbole, but Middle Island is hoping the project does contain a big iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposits.

Notable examples of IOCG deposits elsewhere including Olympic Dam, Oak Dam, Prominent Hill and Carrapateena.

But the company needs to punch in some actual drill holes before investors get too excited.

“While there is little doubt that more such surface occurrences will be identified by on-going exploration, the focus is the potential for significant primary copper deposits within the basement,” managing director Rick Yeates says.


Up on no news

Southern Africa is experiencing a major supply side energy crisis, which is “driving strong interest in the low‐cost baseload power that can be delivered by the [coal powered] Sese project”, says African Energy Resources (ASX:AFR)

The Sese JV (African Energy 33 per cent) is now talking with prospective financing and construction partners, the company says.

Low profile Pilbara iron ore play Brockman Mining (ASX:BCK) also jumped again on no news.

The stock is now up ~140 per cent over the past month.

The company’s main game is the Marillana iron ore project, a joint venture with Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN).

Brockman is aiming for first production in the second half of calendar year 2022.

Victoria-based Latrobe Magnesium (ASX:LMG) expects to be a very low cost magnesium producer – even lower than the Chinese.

LMG expects to start construction of 3,000tpa pilot plant (a smaller version of the real thing) in March 2021 and be in production by Q2 2022.

The timing is good – the company says magnesium demand is about to fly partially due to its increased use in cars and batteries.