Resources Top 5: Graphite could have its own ‘lithium moment’, and this recent IPO is angling for a piece of the action
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday December 6.
SGA’s namesake project in Central Kazakhstan currently contains 209 Mt @ 28.5% TGC (containing 60Mt of graphite), making it the highest grade and second largest graphite deposit of its ASX peers.
Now the company has hit “breakthrough” 99.87% graphite purity in metallurgical test work — a significant step towards battery anode specification, managing director Sean Gregory says.
“Sarytogan’s giant high grade mineral resource is now complemented by its premium micro-crystalline high-purity product, credentials that now elevate the project to be a potential answer to the world’s projected battery anode material shortage,” he says.
The product to support this strategy will be Uncoated Spherical Graphite (USpG), which trades at more than US$3,000/t.
That’s about triple the price of traditional flake graphite products.
To achieve USpG, the Sarytogan concentrates will require milling to make spherical graphite balls of 5-20 micron in size (that’s tiny) and further purification to 99.95% TGC.
Testing continues to find the most economical way to hit these size/purification targets.
Meanwhile, a bunch of drilling assays are pending ahead of a resource upgrade, due for release in Q1 next year. A scoping study is also planned for 2023.
The $23m market cap stock is up 65% over the past week, and 90% on its mid-year IPO price of 20c per share.
This Jerko Zuvela-backed explorer has its hands full with a bundle of Australian critical minerals projects, including Lichfield and Daly River in the NT (lithium) and Burracoppin in WA (kaolin-halloysite).
Today’s mini share price rocket came courtesy of Burracoppin, where drilling pulled up high grade kaolin and rare earths.
Results received to date indicate Burracoppin contains exceptionally high-grade alumina in kaolin averaging 33.73% Al2O3 – with a peak grade of 38.3% Al2O3.
In addition, 40% of the samples returned total rare earth oxide levels (TREO) above a 500ppm cut-off, with an average of 1,493ppm TREO and a peak value of 6,285ppm TREO.
“Compared to other similar projects, these results are exceptional and often exceed quality metrics for both bright white kaolinite with very high alumina levels, and TREO levels with elevated magnetic rare earth oxide (MREO) components,” the company says.
(Scroll down the announcement to see how Burracoppin compares against similar projects for REO and kaolinite-halloysite.)
“The company is excited with the initial results from the maiden drilling program and the significant discovery of rare earth elements at our Burracoppin project,” Zuvela says.
“This is a positive result for the potential multi-commodity development of our project – with upcoming laboratory analysis results used to delineate a JORC mineral resource.”
The $23m market cap stock’s share price is well down on its September peak but remains +125% year to date.
This diversified explorer has embarked on 2000m worth of aircore drilling at a “compelling” 2km by 1km lead-zinc-silver target at Browns, part of the Lyons River project in WA.
In July, first pass drilling at Browns – one of six juicy base metals targets at Lyon River – hit promising grades, like 8m @ 1.1% lead and 2.50g/t silver.
“First pass AC drill program had only tested the northern part of the 2km x 1km zone of Pb-Zn soil/rock chip anomalism at Browns,” DAL says.
“Early geological interpretation of the recent drilling results and the available gravity and magnetics data outline an interpreted sub-basin fold or trough structure south of current drilling.
“Such a structure may represent a deeper portion of the paleo-basin architecture and a favourable environment for formation of prospective host stratigraphy.
“Significantly, this interpreted structure spatially coincides with elevated lead and zinc in soil and high-grade ironstone/gossanous subcrops.”
In other words, the early signs are positive, and DAL reckons there is potential for defining high-grade Pb-Zn-Ag mineralisation at depth.
Earlier this month DAL caught a small rocket after identifying “robust” rare earth and lithium anomalies at Marloo River, also part of the Lyons River project.
(Up on no news)
The $120m capped nickel-cobalt-gold explorer backed by storied small cap investor Tolga Kumova is now up 50% over the past month.
Late last month it said drilling at the Edleston project in Canada was uncovering a nickel-cobalt sulphide system “of tremendous scale”.
New hits across the Bardwell prospect include a highlight 217.35m at 0.28% Ni and 0.012% Co starting from 288.5m and ending in mineralisation.
The system has been defined to a strike length of 6.5km, to a depth of 650m below surface and appears to average around 100m to 300m in thickness, ASO says.
“We are awaiting the results of the final six drill holes in order to complete the maiden mineral resource estimation across Bardwell,” managing director Dale Ginn says.
“In conjunction with the release of the maiden mineral resource estimation across Bardwell, an exploration target will also be released to assist in the quantification of the overall potential of the system.
“To discover such a large, mineralised unit with such a considerable step out from the areas of known mineralisation provides a high degree of confidence towards the scale potential of this project.”
Meanwhile, modelling of a gold resource at Edleston Main and Sirola is well underway.
Both appear to be on track for delivery in mid-December.
(Up on no news)
KGL’s main game is the Jervois copper project in NT, where the plan is to produce 30,000 tonnes of copper per year, plus silver and gold.
A feasibility study (FS) released last month outlined “one of the highest-grade copper developments in Australia”, which KGL hopes to bring into production from 2025.
This will coincide with the forecast critical copper undersupply situation being forecast by independent market analysts:
Here are some of the key FS takeaways:
Those metrics are based on a long-term copper price of $US9,326/t.
If prices hit +$US13,000/t, as some experts predict, NPV and IRR jump to $701m and 40.1%, respectively.
The focus in 2023 will be project financing and growing the high-grade 23.8 million tonnes at 2.02% copper, 25.3g/t silver and 0.25g/t gold resource, KGL says.
“We are looking forward to making the necessary progress to start construction in 2023, subject to achieving some normalisation in market conditions – more specifically, the availability of labour, pricing of key inputs and supportive macroeconomic conditions,” it says.
“Regardless, KGL will continue to increase the value of the project by focusing on its exciting exploration campaign for 2023 with the goal of expanding the resource and extending the mine life of this high-grade deposit.
“I’m looking forward to our future and I hope you are too. I am very confident our patience will be rewarded.”