• Minnow Classic Minerals raises $10m to take 90,000oz Kat Gap gold project to production
  • Graphite play Black Rock inks deal to supply US-based battery anode company Urbix, looks to double initial production
  • Wildcat (gold, lithium), Industrial Minerals (silica sand), Variscan (zinc) up on no news

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday September 9.



$10m market cap minnow CLZ has raised $10m to take its 90,000oz Kat Gap gold project to production.

Gold Valley — a Chinese conglomerate with interests in mining, agriculture (vineyards) and energy — will provide up to $10 million funding for the mining and processing of Kat Gap ore and will receive 30% of net profits in return.

CLZ also expects its Project Management Plan to be approved by the DMIRS “imminently”, which will allow for mining operations to start following execution of the financing agreement.

“We have begun the transition from explorer to producer and shareholder patience will be rewarded,” CLZ chairman John Lester says.

“With Gold Valley as a partner, funding the extraction and processing of ore, Classic is provided with a low capital way forward whilst retaining a solid proportion of the profits and avoiding dilution.

“Classic’s development finance strategy is to reach earliest possible production at a low capex whilst minimising dilution and maximising shareholder value,” he said.



The near-term graphite miner has inked a deal to supply concentrates from its Mahenge project in Tanzania to US-based battery anode company Urbix.

This is potentially transformational to BKT’s project development plan.

The company’s original strategy was to build the 83,000tpa Module 1 ($US116m capex) first.

HOWEVER, because ~90% of Module 1 production is under binding offtake or option, the Urbix deal would require Module 2 production to come online concurrently.

That’s a doubling of capacity straight up.

The deal is conditional upon Urbix providing “substantial prepayment or equity support” to secure offtake for Mahenge Module 2, the company says.

“The potential to concurrently execute Module 1 and Module 2 provides significant leverage to Black Rock through securing economics of scale early in the project’s life,” BKT CEO John de Vries says.

“Doubling the size of the initial project also approximately doubles our debt capacity and combined with a substantial prepayment and/or equity support through Urbix, is expected to mean a similar company equity funding requirement to building Module 1 only.

“This agreement is complementary to our existing agreement with POSCO for Module 1 in that it supports access to funding directed at supply chain diversity not previously available.”

BKT already has an offtake deal in place with steel giant POSCO, which is also one of the world’s biggest battery anode material producers and a key participant in the battery supply chain.

First production is pencilled in for the end of 2023.

The $169m market cap stock is down 30% year-to-date.



(Up on no news)

The junior lithium-gold explorer is due to start drilling the Mt Adrah gold project in the Lachlan Fold Belt, NSW, any day now.

The 3,300m program will test several intrusion-related gold system (IRGS) style targets near the 770,000oz Hobbs Pipe gold deposit.

Like porphyry copper-gold systems, IRGS often form in “camps” of multiple mineralised bodies, WC8 CEO Sam Elkins says.

“Exploration success requires a sustained and systematic approach, but the prize can be large such as the porphyry Endeavour lodes at Northparkes which now exceed 300Mt,” he says.

“Wildcat is confident that the gold system surrounding Hobbs Pipe is much larger than the 20Mt currently defined, and the proposed drilling is the first step in properly exploring the potential of the system.”

Sampling has also been completed at the Bolt Cutter East lithium project in the Pilbara, with assays to come.

The $20m market cap stock is down 30% year-to-date.



(Up on no news)

IND’s portfolio of silica (high purity) sand projects in WA has grown substantially since it listed on the ASX mid last year.

The most advanced is ‘Stockyard’, where a mining lease was granted at the end of last month.

Environmental Studies have also been completed for inclusion in the upcoming scoping study, while a heritage survey has been planned for this month.


“Development of the Stockyard Project will form a blueprint for IND’s strategy going forward, with a further 11 HPSS projects set to feature in upcoming exploration campaigns,” IND said earlier this year.

The $12m market cap stock is up 120% year-to-date.



(Up on no news)

VAR owns two zinc projects in Spain – its flagship ‘Novales-Udias’, where the historical San Jose Mine resides, and ‘Guarjaraz’.

Both projects are former producing assets.

The ambitious tiddler is currently drilling at San Jose to grow the resource and, eventually, hopefully, restart the mine.

The latest batch of drilling results released today includes a bunch of thick, high-grade hits, like 33.0m @ 4.1% Zn + 0.1% Pb.

“The success of the drilling at San Jose has now allowed us to focus on drill testing new regional target prospects in the Buenahora Exploration Licence which has already commenced,” VAR boss Stewart Dickson said late August.

“This work is aimed at demonstrating the value embodied in the overall Novales-Udias Project, as the San Jose Mine covers just 15% of the entire strike length of the mineralised structure of the Novales Trend and the recently published JORC Exploration Target confirms the mid-large-scale, high-grade potential of the project.”

Late last month, VAR estimated an exploration target of between 16.5Mt and 34Mt at grades of 6.3% to 9.1% zinc and 1.1% to 1.8% lead for the project.

More drilling at the San Jose mine is anticipated as VAR kicks on with mineral resource definition and a Mine Re-Start Concept Study.

The study will look at “the potential economics and work-streams to support a re-start of initial, small-scale mining at San Jose”.

The $8m market cap tiddler is down 20% year-to-date.