• South Aussie graphite explorer Renascor the latest to surge on strong battery metals sentiment
  • Ionic hits more rare earths outside existing resource at flagship Makuutu project
  • Building a $60m treatment plant could boost profits of small gold miner Matsa

Here’s your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Thursday, January 21.



(Up on no news)

No news, but a large amount of pre-market $RNU chatter on Twitter/elsewhere this morning.

In September, the South Aussie graphite explorer inked a non-binding offtake deal with one of China’s biggest battery material suppliers.

This memorandum of understanding (MOU) — a non-binding agreement that generally comes before a legally binding one — covers up to 10,000 tonnes a year of Purified Spherical Graphite (PSG) from the Siviour project over 10 years.

The PSG market will grow from~ 200,000 tonnes in 2019 to 2.4 million tonnes by 2029, Renascor says.



It’s all good news from Ionic’s flagship Makuutu project in Uganda.

‘Infill drilling’ (designed to increase confidence in the known resource) confirmed rare earths continuity and grade, with numerous high-grade zones intersected.

Drilling results also extended and identified additional near surface REE immediately west of the existing resource.

The resource update will kick off once results come in from the final 34 holes of the program, expected before the end of the month.



(Up on no news)

The copper explorer has been hit hard by Botswana’s hard COVID-19 lockdowns, which have been extended into March this year.

“The company is regularly assessing the re-commencement of exploration activities in Botswana as that country removes a number of COVID-19 related restrictions,” it said November last year.

“Timing and nature of future exploration work in Botswana will be released to the market in due course.”



Building a $60m gold treatment plant for the Lake Carey gold project could increase ore treatment capacity to 1m tonnes a year, according to a new study.

It would also make the small gold miner a tonne more cash.

Projected positive cashflow from mining operations substantially increases to $55.4m compared to $21.8m (at A$2,500/oz gold), Matsa says.


Hitting shallow high grade nickel-copper in drilling at the new VC23 target highlights the Andover project’s potential to host “multiple nickel-copper sulphide deposits”, Azure says.

The explorer has surged ~185 per cent since it potentially hit the big one in its very first drillhole at the Andover nickel-copper project in WA in October.

The VC7 nickel-copper discovery – 1km-long, ~ 200m thick and strongly mineralised – is currently being drilled ahead of a maiden resource.

But there is at least 10 other targets.

The first of these to be tested, VC-23, has just come back with the goods in the first three drill holes.

Testing of the drill core by hand-held pXRF indicates the presence of high nickel grades “within the massive sulphide bands”. A fourth hole is in progress.