Resources Top 5: Lithium deals the headliner in early trade
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• Sayona Mining and Piedmont Lithium clear major hurdles towards securing mothballed $400 million Canadian lithium operation
• Macarthur Minerals to lodge mining proposals for Ullaring Hematite Project for DSO in 2021
• MetalsTech secures cornerstone funding for Winsome Resources float after $18 million deal with North America’s Lithium Royalty Corporation.
Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday May 27.
The project administrator today confirmed that it will support the filing of a motion with the Court for the approval of Sayona’s joint bid for NAL with Piedmont (Sayona 75%, Piedmont 25%).
Sayona was up almost 35 per cent on the news at 11.30am after emerging from a trading halt.
“We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone, we look forward to progressing this process through to completion with the support of all stakeholders,” Sayona managing director Brett Lynch says.
NAL produced 114,000t of lithium concentrate in 2018, but low prices forced the company to halt production in February 2019.
Market conditions today are considerably more favourable for lithium miners, with producers reporting price climbs of up to 90 per cent over the past six months.
In addition to the approval of the Court, the transaction remains subject to completion of definitive agreements, shareholder approval and other necessary regulatory approvals.
Are iron ore prices due for a major correction on the back of Chinese crackdowns against “unreasonable” commodity prices?
Toronto and Australian-listed iron ore explorer Macarthur Minerals is not waiting around to find out, announcing it plans to prepare mining approvals for its Ullaring Hematite Project in Yilgarn iron ore province near Mineral Resources’ (ASX: MIN) Koolyanobbing operations in the third quarter.
Ullaring is one part of the Lake Giles project Macarthur has been poking around since the last mining boom along with the larger Moonshine Magnetite deposit.
One big impediment to develop the operation, alongside port access at its nearest port of Esperance to the south, has been its relatively lowly grade at 47 per cent. Macarthur had been considering a more expensive beneficiation process to bring the product to market.
Despite a retrace over the past couple weeks from records of more than $US230/t to $US191.65/t, the incentive is higher for miners of low-grade ore to get their product to market if they can find a buyer.
“The current market has presented both opportunities and challenges over the last several months as the company navigates an increase in competitive demand for transport infrastructure and port access,” Macarthur boss Andrew Bruton said.
“Early mining operations will also support the company’s aim of commencing high grade magnetite mining operations at its Moonshine and Moonshine North deposits following the completion of the current Feasibility Study process.”
Not strictly a gain this one, at least not in the traditional sense.
Ragnar has returned to the boards of the ASX after a troubling period that saw its shares suspended from trade since August last year.
On the back of a major recapitalisation, the Swedish-focused nickel tiddler has come back returned to the bourse at 2.9 cents a share, a 164 per cent premium on the price it traded at before it headed into hibernation.
It has returned in warmer climes as well, with project acquisitions announced in January seeing Ragnar shift its focus to the Leeds gold project near Gold Fields’ St Ives gold mine and the Kenya prospect south of AngloGold Ashanti’s big Sunrise Dam project.
Historic drilling at Leeds has given Ragnar some targets to work with, including a shallow hit of 17 metres at 5.7 g/t Au from 94m.
Aspiring gold miner MetalsTech has revealed the multi-million dollar deal that will back the spin-out of its North American lithium assets into the latest battery metals float, Winsome Resources.
North American-listed Lithium Royalty Corp, owner of royalties over Galaxy Resources’ (ASX: GXY) Mt Cattlin Lithium Mine and Core Lithium’s (ASX: CXO) Finniss Project, will pay $18 million in a multi-part deal to back the development.
That will include $6 million cash for MTC’s 3 per cent lithium royalty over the Cancet, Adina and Sirmac-Capier lithium assets, $9 million worth of shares in the Winsome spin-out and a further $3 million subscription in the Winsome IPO.
Winsome will have more cash to play with once it does list as well, with the LRC investment bumping its IPO target upwards to a maximum of $18 million (with a $12 million minimum).
The cash injection will also allow MTC to fund exploration at its Sturec gold mine in Slovakia.
Aspire Mining owns the Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia, a premium destination for the steelmaking input with China shunning Australian sources of the product as part of a suite of trade measures over the past 12 months.
Aspire was up on news Ovoot’s product is in the highest standard of fat coking coals.
“In my view and after reviewing all of the current and historical data, Ovoot would be expected to be classified at the highest category of fat coking coals available to the Chinese steel industry,” technical expert Ross Brims said.
It now plans to engage Chinese and Russian technical institutes and steel mills to confirm the products value in use.