• Coal from AKM’s 281Mt Ovoot project in  Mongolia  designated super high quality
  • Maximus has multiple lithium soil anomalies at Lefroy project, next door to red hot IPO Kali Metals (ASX:KM1)
  • NickelX planning  sorta-spinout called Eyre Metals, a Euro-focused nickel-lithium explorer

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday January 11.



Coal from AKM’s 281Mt Ovoot project in China-adjacent Mongolia has been designated super high quality, or “fat”, making it ideal for steelmaking.

Premium quality coking/met coals are in great demand by steel producers, as good coke maximises blast furnace productivity.

“We are very excited by this confirmation which places our coal into the ‘fat coal’ market, which will attract a hard coking coal premium,” AKM’s Sam Bowles says.

“In recognition of the distinctly unique qualities of this coal, the company will be branding the coal produced from the OCCP as Toson Coal.

“In Mongolian, ‘Toson’ is an adjective meaning ‘fat’ or ‘fatty’.”

After a quiet few years $90m capped AKM has been ripping higher, now up 200% from November lows.

It is currently working through the approvals process and feasibility studies to move Ovoot towards production by the end of 2025.

In his November chairman’s address Michael Avery told shareholders coking coal demand wasn’t going away.

“On a world stage, our view is that there is currently minimal capital being invested in the development or expansion of coking coal projects, where green policies are not differentiating between coking and thermal coals,” he said.

“At the same time, the demand for coking coal continues to increase and remains an irreplaceable input into commercially viable processes of making steel, which is an essential material required to achieve many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“In such context, as a veteran of the coal industry, the prospect of developing the Ovoot Project excites me tremendously.

“In my view there are few, if any greenfield coking coal deposits equal or better in terms of size, quality, or proximity to market.”



Yesterday, the explorer said a project-wide soil sampling program showed multiple lithium soil anomalies at the Lefroy project, right next door to red hot IPO Kali Metals (ASX:KM1) in the eastern goldfields of WA.

There’s a strong correlation between these chunky soil anomalies and recent spodumene bearing pegmatite hits up to 6m @ 1.11% Li2O, MXR says.

“These initial results from the first phase of the project-wide soil sampling campaign have defined a significant anomalous lithium trend over 5km in length, allowing us to set high-priority drill targets at the Lefroy lithium project,” managing director Tim Wither says.

“The presence of a large 3km x 1.5km lithium-in-soil anomaly, extending from the recent discovery of spodumene bearing pegmatites, provides more encouraging signs that the lithium-in-soil anomalies may be associated with a very large mineralised system.”

Lefroy is on granted mining tenements in between Mineral Resources’ (ASX:MIN) Mt Marion lithium mine, Kali Metals, and Develop Global’s (ASX:DVP) Pioneer Dome project.

The project is under a joint venture partnership with the Korean Government mining agency KOMIR, whereby KOMIR can farm into a stake of up to 30% by spending up to US$3m.

The next round of drilling is awaiting final approvals and is expected to occur later in the current quarter.



(Up on no news)

PVT has been all quiet on the news front since completing a $2.5m placement late November to advance the Horden Lake nickel-copper-PGE project in Quebec, Canada.

The stock formerly known as Rafaella pivoted to Canadian battery metals after butting heads with Spanish authorities over its advanced Santa Comba tungsten and tin project, which it purchased early 2019 for an initial $3.5m in shares.

It was the flagship until mid 2022 when the company started buying up Canadian projects like Horden Lake, a big 27.8Mt at 1.49% copper equivalent resource.

In November, PVT said an 8000m drill program to increase Horden’s grade and tonnage was due to kick off in January.

It will be the first at the property in over a decade, the company says.



The 2021 IPO is already planning a sorta-spinout of its own called Eyre Metals, which will pursue a bunch of nickel and lithium projects in Europe.

These projects were originally part of an option agreement inked by NKL last year, which has now lapsed.

Instead, Eyre will pursue these projects on its own with NKL scoring a nice little finder’s fee worth 1m Eyre shares, subject to the explorer listing on the ASX.

NKL boss Matt Gauci will also be an Eyre non-executive director.

Meanwhile NKL will kick off a 1700m drilling program late January at the Dalwallinu project in WA, where it is seeking “Julimar style” nickel-copper-PGE deposits.



(Up on no news)

Assays are imminent from a maiden 5000m drill program at Estrela and Mina Vermelha, part of SLM’s large Borborema project in Brazil.

In December the company said one of the first four holes had intercepted a 48-75m true width peggie.

The Latin Resources (ASX:LRS) -backed stock has tumbled from a mid-2023 peak of $1.28/sh due to a string of poor drilling results from the much-hyped Jaguar project.

SLM has since dumped Jaguar, with its lithium landholding in Borborema and the Ilo Este porphyry copper project in Peru now the focus.