• Berkeley Energia — which is battling to build its contentious 89.3Mlb Salamanca uranium mine in Spain — up 20% in early trade
  • Sprott-backed Sovereign Metals eyes spinout of graphite projects
  • Cosmos Exploration up +140% year to date on very strong volumes

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday January 27.



(Up on no news)

Project developer BKY is battling through the approvals process to build its contentious 89.3Mlb Salamanca uranium mine in Spain.

In November 2021, the government rejected the Authorisation for Construction for the uranium concentrate plant (NSC II) as a radioactive facility at Salamanca.

The company strongly refuted the assessment and, one year later, submitted a notification of investment dispute.

“The dispute notice is an initial step to request amicable negotiations to overturn the rejection of NSC II and does not currently comment on the size of any potential damages should the dispute not be resolved amicably,” the company said in November 2022.

“Berkeley will continue to update the market in relation to this matter as required.”

Meanwhile, the uranium market is looking stronger than ever. In Europe, which is experiencing a power crisis, new nuclear reactors are being built and existing ones are having their lives extended.

Oh, and one more thing – Spain’s general election will be held this year, and the main opposition party likes nuclear.

“Spain’s main opposition party, Partido Popular (PP), outlined its economic proposals to deal with the economic and energy crises that the country is currently experiencing,” BKY said late October.

“The actions include the resurrection of nuclear power in Spain and ‘extending the useful life of the reactors’ in line with what other European countries are doing.

“The PP believes that this technology must play a key role in the ecological transition as a support for renewable energies, since the opposite would imply greater gas consumption and therefore greater dependence on countries such as Russia.

“Security of supply concerns continued to be raised in Spain given that the country’s existing nuclear power and fuel fabrication facilities import approximately 39% (2020) of their required uranium from Russia.”

The $170m capped stock had a massive $83.5m in the bank at the end of October.



(Up on no news)

Legendary investor Eric Sprott has fingers in a bunch of different ASX companies, but his largest holding by percentage is African mineral sands-graphite play SVM.

The company’s main game is the Kasiya mineral sands and graphite project in Malawi.

The project now on a clear development pathway, with offtakes beginning to slide into place and a pre-feasibility study on the 18Mt monster due in the first half of 2023.

Meanwhile, SVM plans to spin out a bunch of standalone graphite projects in Malawi into a new ASX-listed graphite company called NGX.

1 NGX share will be issued for every 11 owned by SVM shareholders in an in-specie distribution, with an $8.6 million priority offer expected to follow for SVM investors to pick up 1 NGX share for each unit they pick up in the distribution.

A general offer of $1 million will help NGX satisfy its ASX listing requirements.

Importantly, SVM will retain its rights to all graphite co-product at the Kasiya mine, which an expanded scoping study in June showed would produce 265,000t of rutile and 170,000t of graphite over a 25-year mine life.

The company plans to host a meeting to approve the demerger in January, with a distribution date for NGX shares in February if it gets the green light.

The $250m capped stock is up ~35% year-to-date.



(Up on no news)

There’s a bunch of important news incoming for the North American gold-lithium explorer.

In October last year, BNZ uncovered 12 new pegmatite zones at the large, ‘dragon-like’ Ruby Hill West project in the James Bay area of Quebec.

It comes after solid maiden drill results like 26.4m at 1.01% Li2O at the RHW discovery, announced in August.

3,822 samples from 2022 exploration programs are currently pending, including half-core samples from historical hole RHW-08-003 where ~80m of pegmatite was historically intersected but not assayed.

Winter drilling at Ruby Hill West and the nearby Eastmain gold project – which contains a 376,000oz resource at 7.9gpt gold — was due to start in January, BNZ said.

The CAD$65m dual-listed stock is fully funded for exploration following a CAD$12m placement in September.



(Up on no news)

This junior explorer is up +140% year to date on very strong volumes, thanks to some nearology love.

In late December C1X acquired a lithium project 20km from Patriot Battery Metals’ (ASX:PMT) CV5 discovery, part of the Corvette project in Canada.

Earlier this month, PMT soared after announcing one of the best intercepts you’ll ever see –156.9m at 2.12% Li2O from 176m, including 25m of 5.04% Li2O.

It is the widest, highest grade lithium drill intercept returned to date at CV5, where mineralisation has been traced over a strike length of at least 2.2km, so far.

C1X believes that its nearby Corvette Far East project hosts a “dismembered” section of the same greenstone belt that hosts CV5.

Cosmos intends to start exploration activities at Corvette Far East in the New Year, “with a view to establishing drill targets for a maiden drill program commencing in the Spring”.



(Up on no news)

It looks like a bit of value discovery going on over at LML, which is up ~800% since relisting on the ASX late last week.

In 2022, LML received an unsolicited takeover offer from fellow South Australian project developer Quantum Graphite (ASX:QGL).

The initial all share offer (1 QGL share for every 40 LML Shares held) was rejected by the board and substantial shareholders in the company, but QGL recently extended its offer again for the third time.

The potential takeover target now has a market cap of $37m — well above QGL’s ~$6m valuation, even taking into account QGL’s substantial share price rise since October last year.

LML’s main game is the advanced Kookaburra Gully project in South Australia, which has a 3.88Mt resource grading 12.6% TGC for 489,360t of contained graphite.

The company is currently defining targets for drilling in 2023.

“The 2023 drilling program will be finalised over the coming weeks and high priority targets will be considered first for drilling, taking into consideration the logistics, planning and permitting lead times,” LML said 16 December.