Resources Top 5: Iron ore companies and Mongolian coal explorer benefit from bets on China
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Here are your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Tuesday, December 15.
Rising iron ore prices, which have touched a nine-year high this week of $US160 per tonne, lit a fuse under Legacy Iron Ore (ASX:LCY) in Tuesday trade.
Up nearly 40 per cent, the ASX iron ore explorer told the ASX in response to a query on its rising share price it was unaware of any explanation for this.
The company has been working on its Mt Celia gold project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields for which it published some test work results in early December.
The project is 40km south of the Sunrise Dam gold mine and contains several gold prospects including Blue Peter and Kangaroo Blue.
Mt Celia had a total inferred resource of 3.4 million tonnes at 1.68 grams per tonne for 184,100 ounces of gold.
Legacy Iron Ore also holds a magnetite iron ore project, Mt Bevan in WA, that has the potential for direct shipping ore discoveries.
The company is planning an exploration and resource definition program for the iron ore project with its 40 per cent partner Hawthorn Resources (ASX:HAW).
Another ASX explorer to benefit from higher iron ore prices in Tuesday trade is Shree Minerals (ASX:SHH) whose share price has doubled since Friday.
In an investor presentation Monday, the company outlined its development plans for its gold, base metals and iron ore assets.
Shree Minerals has nine projects in Australia, including copper-zinc assets in the Northern Territory, and its Nelson Bay River iron ore project in Tasmania.
Nelson Bay River sent five shipments of its 58 per cent iron ore direct shipping product to China before it was mothballed in mid-2014.
Now with iron ore prices at $210 per tonne in Australian currency, its all-in costs of $72 per tonne at Burnie Port look attractive.
The company is moving ahead with obtaining permits to restart mining operations at Nelson Bay River mine in the near future.
Madagascar-focused iron ore explorer Akora Resources (ASX:AKO) made a strong debut on the ASX Tuesday, with its share price rising nearly 100 per cent in early trading.
The company has begun drilling at its flagship Bekisopa iron ore project for direct shipping ore with an iron content of ~65 per cent.
“We look forward to progressing the Bekisopa iron ore project and delivering on the company strategy within a very strong iron ore pricing environment,” managing director, Paul Bibby, said.
Bekisopa is located in central Madagascar and is a distance of 220 km from the African country’s west coast and has a potential estimated resource of about 150 million tonnes.
Mongolia-focused metallurgical coal company Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM) went up in Tuesday’s morning session despite not putting out any fresh news.
The company owns the Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia for 4 million tonnes per year which is expected to start production in late 2021.
Large coking coal consumer China, which shares a border with land-locked Mongolia, has been taking delivery of more Mongolian metallurgical coal recently.
In September, China imported 3.9 million tonnes of Mongolian coking coal, representing 58 per cent of China’s imports of the product used to make steel.
“In October, news of curtailments to Australian coal imports was reported which should assist Mongolian exports going forward,” said Aspire Mining in a recent report.
The Ovoot coking coal project had a pre-tax net present value of $US586m and is expected to cost $US275m, according to a company presentation.
International trading company Noble Group has a 13 per cent stake in Aspire Mining, according to the report.
European Metals Holdings (ASX:EMH) soared in early trade as the company announced its shares will start trading on the US Nasdaq exchange’s international program.
The company said it has experienced increased investor interest from the US in its Cinovec project, the third largest lithium resource in Europe.
European Metals Holdings will join the Nasdaq platform under the code ERPNF on Tuesday US time, and said this will “accelerate exposure to US investors”, increase trading liquidity in its shares and heighten awareness of its brand.
Other Australian companies present on the Nasdaq international program are Qantas and Macquarie Group.
Cinovec is located 100km north-west of the Czech Republic’s capital of Prague and is on the border with Germany, a large manufacturer of EVs that use lithium in batteries.
“Cinovec is a near term development asset with the largest hard rock lithium resource in Europe that is also proximate to a number of battery manufacturers and end users such as automobile companies,” chairman, Keith Coughlan, said.