Resources Top 5: Iris Metals makes eye-popping US lithium find; Perpetual moves hard and fast in Brazil
Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Wednesday August 9.
Returning from a trading halt today, the Simon Lill-backed Iris Metals exploration company has uncovered multiple, wide, high-grade and shallow lithium intersections at its 100% owned Beecher Project in America’s South Dakota.
The Beecher pegmatite trend was mined sporadically between the 1920s and 1950s for lithium, beryllium, tantalum, mica and feldspar.
The results – assays from the first six drillholes of a 38-hole RC program – are significant, and show the project’s high potential, notes Iris.
Results from an additional 32 holes are pending assay results and are expected to be received in the coming weeks.
• 60m @ 1.21% Li₂O (true width) from 16m in BDH-23-001, including: 40m @ 1.40% Li₂O from 36m; and 22m @ 1.90% Li₂O from 46m.
• 54m @ 1.30% Li₂O (true width) from 1m in BDH-23-009, including: 35m @ 1.58% Li₂O from 4m and 13m @ 2.10% Li₂O from 24m.
• 40m @ 1.10% Li₂O (true width) from 48m in BDH-23-002, including: 11m @ 1.53% Li₂O from 48m, and
▪ 10m @ 1.97% Li₂O from 78m.
Perpetual Resources, already covering plenty of ground in the “Lithium Valley” of Brazil’s Minas Gerais, has just signed an additional binding option agreement with RTB Geologia E Mineração LTDA to acquire a further three highly prospective exploration permits.
These permits will cover about 5,000 more hectares in the lithium-rich region, comprising an area dubbed the Ponte Nova Prospects.
They expand on the area PEC acquired in mid-July, which is 20km from the Grota do Cirilo spodumene mine owned by C$5bn capped Sigma Lithium Corp (TSXV:SGML).
Latin Resources’ (ASX:LRS) advanced Colina project is also nearby, forming a pegmatite corridor between the projects, which potentially runs further northeast, about 40km, into these new permit areas.
LRS recently announced the intersection of multiple pegmatites in exploration drilling programs.
PEC notes that the location of its new permits has solid infrastructure with well-developed highways, access to hydroelectric power from the grid, water availability, and proximity to commercial ports.
On top of this big news, PEC has also revealed that it’s received firm commitments from professional and sophisticated investors to raise $1.5 million (before costs) through a placement of shares at $0.022 per share.
Robert Benussi, managing director of PEC, said: “We have moved quickly and decisively to build a commanding land position in what has become the premier spodumene area in Brazil, which boasts several Tier 1 deposits either adjacent or on trend from the tenements we have secured under option, and which have earned the region the label of the ‘Lithium Valley’ of Brazil.
“We also are forging a close working relationship with the permit vendor group and several other in-country specialists, which gives Perpetual significant capacity to quickly assess these compelling exploration ground positions and ultimately quickly add value through exploration activities”.
West Cobar Metals has clocked a major increase in the resource base of the Salazar clay-hosted rare earth element (REE) project, 120km northeast of Esperance in southern WA.
The company’s recent drilling and testwork builds on more than eight years of exploration, metallurgical and technical studies. The Salazar Project is one of the most advanced clay rare earth assets in Australia.
This latest increase of resource shows a high content of magnet rare earths, according to WC1.
Highlights, per company announcement:
• The Total Mineral Resource figure has been upgraded to 190Mt of 1172ppm TREO (total rare earth oxide) comprising Indicated + Inferred Resources.
• At the Newmont deposit, Mineral Resource increased to 83Mt of 1117ppm TREO (Indicated + Inferred Resource), including 39Mt of 1216ppm TREO upgraded to Indicated Mineral Resource classification
• At the O’Connor deposit, WC1 reports maiden Inferred Mineral Resource of 107Mt of 1216ppm TREO
• Plus, there has been a near 4X increase over previously reported Inferred Resource tonnage with high REE grades persisting.
West Cobar Metals’ MD, Matt Szwedzicki, noted: “Combined with the metallurgical testwork results at the Newmont deposit, the Salazar Project is an outstanding and substantial REE clay deposit with 190Mt at 1172ppm.”
Belying the geographical focus of its name, lithium hunter Balkan Mining has received an exploration permit for the Gorge Lithium Project in the Georgia Lake pegmatite district of northern Ontario, Canada.
In actual fact, BMM has been eyeing up its further expansion into Canada for some time, having recently entered into a binding purchase and sale agreement to acquire 100% of the Barbara Lithium exploration project located in Ontario’s Thunder Bay North Mining District.
The Gorge project is situated in the Georgia Lake pegmatite district of the province, roughly 200km northeast of Thunder Bay.
The exploration permit, granted by the Ontario Ministry of Mines, is effective for a period of three years and allows the company to begin siteworks for an extensive drill program.
“The award of this exploration permit allows us to implement a drill program across the exciting targets that our team have identified over the course of mapping, channelling and soil sampling over the past 12 months,” said BMM’s MD Ross Cotton.
The company also notes it will look to engage and collaborate with local First Nations communities throughout the course of the planned work.
(Up on no news)
Back in May, AGR noted it was close to production at its small, but potentially very profitable, Três Estradas phosphate (TEPP) and Andrade copper projects in southern Brazil.
As reported by Stockhead’s Reuben Adams a few months back, “construction at Três Estradas has been stymied by civil action after a Federal Public Prosecutor slapped the company with an emergency injunction in 2021 to put a stay on environmental licensing for the TEPP, granted 2019.”
At that time, AGR was pushing the line around positive settlement negotiations after also receiving a “first favourable decision in court”. Scouting around for an update on this, there appears to be no fresh news.
In a recent investor presentation, AGR noted:
“At full capacity, Tres Estradas can supply 10% of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) needs for phosphate. All other supply is imported to Brazil.
“Aguia is also now undertaking agricultural testing in multiple international settings in an effort to pave the way for additional demand in higher-margin retail and small-scale agricultural settings where certified organic products are paid a premium.”
Per Reuben’s May 1 article:
“The TEPP is expected to produce 306,000tpa over 18 years following a three-year ramp up. It will cost just $8m to build.
“A March 2021 early-stage project study at Andrade showed an impressive 67.1 per cent internal rate of return (IRR) on a 1mtpa copper sulphate (salt) operation over 14 years.
“Average earnings before tax would be almost $20m a year – and it would cost just $10m to build the thing.”