Resources Top 5: Lefroy’s slow Burn, more lithium, and explorer bets big on vanadium battery breakout
Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday April 19.
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In March the WA exploration minnow hit a highlight 5m at 50g/t in maiden drilling at the Salmon Gums project.
“Exceptional,” it said, and punters agreed. The stock surged and then kept going to ~6-year highs.
The other arrow in AAJ’s proverbial quiver is ‘Mt Deans’, a small (at 1.44sqkm in size) lithium project in WA.
A recent maiden 3,000m drilling program was designed to confirm the presence of a thick pegmatite (lithium ore) pod and intersect an interpreted pegmatite chamber or ‘cauldron’.
Assays are pending.
The project sits within the lithium corridor in southeast WA, where it is interpreted to sit within the same host rocks and structures as the significant nearby Mt Marion, Bald Hill, and Buldania lithium projects.
$27m market cap AAJ is up ~120% year-to-date. It had $5m in the bank at the end of February.
Kalgoorlie explorer LEX hit more impressive copper-gold in drilling at the ‘Burns’ discovery, including 37m at 4.23g/t gold, 0.44% copper and 1.65 g/t silver from 118m.
That’s thick, high grade, and reasonably shallow. All good things.
Hole LEFR320 was part of a three-hole drilling program to evaluate extensions to the discovery hole LEFR260 (38m at 7.63g/t Au & 0.56% Cu from 134m downhole).
LEFR320, 20m north of LEFR260, reached 222m downhole and returned multiple significant intervals of Au-Cu mineralisation totalling 111m in thickness, including the one mentioned above.
While results from the other two holes — drilled 20m south of the discovery hole — were less impressive, Burns remains a potential company maker.
“The intersection in LEFR320 is outstanding by any measure and continues our excitement about the Burns area,” LEX chairman Gordon Galt says.
“LEX will follow up as soon as possible.”
“We will look north, south, east and deeper around the current excellent intersections to establish the size of what we already have to JORC resource status as soon as possible.”
Burns has been somewhat of an enigma so far.
In Feb last year a 22-hole drilling program, designed to test both length and depth of the ‘Burns’ system, appeared to hit the motherlode.
The highlight intercept was:
Gigantic. The stock rerated massively, but follow-up drilling initially failed to replicate those eyewatering grades, until now.
The $60m market cap stock is up 30% year to date. It had $6.3m in the bank at the end of December.
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The busy explorer is looking for gold, as well as and battery metals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper across its three main projects — ‘Mt Isa’ in Queensland, ‘Eyre’ in WA, and ‘Ohakuri’ in NZ.
In January exploration got underway at the Mt Isa copper-gold-cobalt project, which is directly along strike from Glencore’s (LSE:GLEN) large Mt Isa Mines operation.
Soil sampling and geophysics will be followed by drilling at advanced targets, LRV says.
In March, gold drilling kicked off in New Zealand. Results are pending.
A lithium and base metals focused auger soil geochemical sampling program at Eyre is now set to kick off soon as Native Title clearance is received.
LRV says historical exploration has identified broad anomalous zones of lithium that have never been followed up.
“Geology and geophysics tell us the host rocks for the Liontown (ASX:LTR) lithium resource extend into our ground,” managing director Ron Heeks says.
The $13m market cap stock is up 170% year-to-date. It had $4.6m in the bank at the end of December.
The explorer has today highlighted a focus on vanadium, which it calls “a strategic battery metal for a cleaner future”.
92% of vanadium consumption is used to strengthen steel. Of the remainder, most is used in aerospace alloys and chemical catalysts, and ~1-2% goes into vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs).
Unlike lithium-ion, VRFBs – a perfect fit for large stationary storage — are yet to have their ‘big battery’ moment.
SRN reckons its time is coming.
“The vanadium market is fast evolving as a critical element of the mass commercialisation of large-scale battery solutions in the fast-tracked renewables energy sector,” managing director Vladimir Nikolaenko says.
“With demand pressures increasing from specialty metals producers and threats to traditional pushing vanadium prices higher, Surefire’s vanadium outlook is very positive.”
SRN’s ‘Victory Bore / Unaly Hill’ project has an inferred resource of 237Mt @ 0.43% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), 24.9% Fe, and 5.9% TiO2, making it one of the largest contained V2O5 resources in WA.
Planning is currently underway for diamond drilling on the property, the company says.
The data will be used to undertake development studies, with consulting firm MinRizon Projects also engaged to update CAPEX and OPEX estimates as a prelude to initiating a prefeasibility study.
The $27m market cap stock is up 140% year-to-date. It had ~2m in the bank at the end of December.
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This battler emerged from voluntary administration December last year with two priority projects in Queensland – ‘Mount Jess’ (copper and iron ore) and ‘Gunnawarra’ (nickel and cobalt).
Gunnawarra borders Australian Mines’ (ASX:AUZ) ‘Sconi’, one of the most advanced cobalt-nickel scandium projects in Australia.
Last week AHK drilled into “extensive” nickel and cobalt in laterites at Gunnawarra down to 60m depth. This was deeper than anticipated and prompted the company to expand the drilling program.
Ark is also assessing opportunities to fast-track assay results from the lab.
“Intersecting extensive nickel cobalt mineralisation down to 60 metres in depth during our maiden drilling program at Gunnawarra is an outstanding result and validates our exploration strategy,” AHK exec director Ben Emergy says.
“Given the mineralization we have encountered we have expanded this first phase program to 2,000m of RC drilling.”
“With an expanded program now being undertaken, our focus is on securing assay results as fast as possible.”
The ~$20m market cap stock is now up +200% since re-listing. It had $4.5m in the bank at the end of December.