• IDA assays confirm high-grade ionic rare earths TREO up to 15,486 ppm at Central Gawler
  • AR1 hits 14m at 2.23% copper from its Flying Horse copper sulphide resource at Mt Kelly
  • VRC recommences production at the Zavalievsky graphite mine in Ukraine 

Here are the biggest small-cap resource winners in early trade, Tuesday August 2.



This ~$31.19m market cap has released some assays confirming high-grade ionic rare earths TREO up to 15,486 ppm (1.55%) at its Central Gawler Project in South Australia.

IDA recently carried out a review of previous drilling results within its Central Gawler project database, which were focused on gold.

What makes these results so promising is the frequency with which rare earths accumulations were interested.

The zone of TREO enrichment on Section 11900mE, for instance, is sub-horizontal, roughly 20m below surface and ranges on average from 15 to 25m in thickness.

IDA now plans to collect additional data to define the distribution of the different rare earths in the weathering profile and identify any underlying potential bedrock lithological or structural controls on the distribution of the mineralisation.



Austral is a copper cathode producer operating in Queensland’s Mt Isa region with plans to produce 40,000t of copper cathode over a four-year period from mid-2022.

Recent diamond drilling has returned 14m at 2.23% copper from its Flying Horse copper sulphide resource at Mt Kelly.

Other drilling highlights include 11m at 2.30% copper and 19m at 1.69% copper.

The Mt Kelly deposit consists of a cluster of mined copper pits (Flying Horse and Mt Clarke), an un-mined resource at Lady Colleen as well as copper occurrences such as Dividend, Swagman and McLeod to the south.

AR1 designed the three-hole drilling program for a total of 712m to provide fresh ore samples for a metallurgical test work program which will evaluate the suitability of Mt Kelly sulphide mineralisation for an emerging sulphide heap leach SX-EW technology.

If the evaluation is positive, there is exciting potential for Austral to have an additional processing solution relative to conventional flotation for its sulphide resource base of 26.5Mt at 0.8% copper.

AR1 has a market cap of ~$128.38m.



Graphite producer and battery anode material developer VRC has recommenced production at the Zavalievsky graphite mine and processing plant in Ukraine ahead of the export of graphite products to central and eastern Europe.

The company says the export of graphite products will take place later in August with sales revenue planned to be received not too long after.

Over the past few months Volt has been working with ZG management to finalise the operating plan and budget for the next 17 months through to the December 2023 calendar year end.

Based on past operating performance and improvements to operations, ZG is forecast to produce between 8,000 and 9,000 tonnes of graphite products for the year ending 30 June 2023.

The production forecast for ZG’s unique high value purified graphite product will be provided once operations are ramped up and stabilised.

This forecast will include a provision of two months lost production during the winter months due to the water and tailings pipeline issue previously disclosed.

But Volt says it will be looking for solutions to implement to mitigate this lost production in the winter months.

Sales prices are also being negotiated but are expected to be in the range of US$750 to US$850 per tonne CIF for the fine flake product grading 94% TGC.

ZG’s high purity product grading between 99% and 99.5% TGC is expected to achieve a sales price between US$1,500 to US$2,000 per tonne CIF.



(Up on no news)

Blaze holds a portfolio of exploration licences in Western Australia prospective for nickel and base metals.

Exploration activities have been progressing across the nickel projects in the southwest of Western Australia, where the company completed heritage and archaeological surveys over drill targets within E69/3815 during the quarter.

After the end of the June quarter, approvals for drilling had been provided by the Native Title party.

At the Earaheedy Basin Project, tenement E69/3842 was granted and E69/3889 was granted after the end of the quarter, bringing the total number of granted tenements in the Earaheedy Basin to five, covering some 650sqkm.



Lithium explorer XTC has appointed Juan Manuel Santos as director of the company’s Catamarca Operations in Argentina.

XTC is progressing its project from exploration to development through its close working relationships with two prominent Argentine business families, the Arecco and Santos families.

The company says in line with the strategy of strengthening its local team and connection in Argentina, having the strength of the Santos family – in particular, the management expertise of Juan Manuel Santos to lead the project – gives the business a competitive advantage.

Santos says the land was staked by his father some 20 years ago with many groups approaching the family to sell their land for lithium prospects.

“We resisted those approaches in recent years for various reasons until we decided to partner with Xantippe due to their capital markets accessibility and technical and organisational expertise.

“We were introduced to them originally by the Arecco family whom we highly respect and with whom we have longstanding business relationships.”