• Fed the ball by lithium player Allkem, NickelSearch bursts up the ASX with a +110% gain
  • James Bay Minerals has listed on the local bourse with a +30% arrival 
  • Perpetual Resources is trading up again on its Brazilian lithium

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday September 12.


NickelSearch (ASX:NIS)

Nickel hunter NickelSearch (it does what it says on the tin) is leading the small-capped resources pack this morning on news it’s collaborating with a much larger minerals hunter, Allkem (ASX:AKE), to assess lithium potential at the Carlingup nickel sulphide project near Ravensthorpe, Western Australia.

NickelSearch is a comparative minnow, with a market cap of just $3.63 million at the time of writing.

Allkem, meanwhile, has a company valuation of $8.5bn and is the owner and operator of the highly productive Mt Cattlin lithium mine, which is just a chunk of pegmatite’s throw (10km) from the Carlingup project.

It’s regarded as a “technical collaboration” in which Allkem will review lithium-related data for Carlingup and advise on target  prioritisation.

Note: it’s not an official joint venture, and this seems to be a toe in the water for both companies to see what both can gain from the collaboration, which will have Allkem’s lithium geologists guiding NickelSearch in its rock-chip and stream-sediment sampling.

NickelSearch Managing Director, Nicole Duncan, said:

“Given the similar geology between Mt Cattlin and Carlingup, the companies have agreed to work together to assess the lithium potential of our project.

“The exploration team at Mt Cattlin is sharing its vast technical expertise on greenfield lithium exploration and NickelSearch is sharing the data from the work completed to date. These discussions are based on the spirit of partnership, where success sets both companies up well to negotiate further steps in the relationship.”

NIS share price


James Bay Minerals (ASX:JBY)

Speaking of doing what it says on the tin, the new Perth-based, Canadian-focused lithium hunter James Bay Minerals makes its ASX debut today after a highly successful $6m initial public offering.

That IPO was oversubscribed at 20c per share and the company arrives with a big reputation as it has claim to one of the largest largest lithium exploration tenures in the world-class James Bay lithium hotspot in Quebec, at 224 km2.

The company’s projects are set in the heart of La Grande Greenstone Belt, which runs along strike from Patriot Battery Metals’ (ASX:PMT) Corvette and Winsome Resources’ (ASX:WR1) Cancet deposits, with similar geological characteristics.

Specifically, JBY’s Joule, Aero and Aqua properties are located directly along-trend from the Corvette lithium discovery, where Patriot recently reported a globally significant maiden Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 109.2Mt at 1.42% Li2O and 160ppm Ta2O5 (0.40% Li2O cut-off grade)

Meanwhile, the Troilus property is just 5km from Sayona Mining’s (ASX:SYA) Moblan lithium deposit, with Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources  of 51.4 million tonnes @ 1.31% Li2O.

Exploration activity is set to commence in the coming weeks.

James Bay Executive Director, Andrew Dornan, said: “This strong interest from investors reflects the exceptional outlook for the lithium market and the outstanding credentials of the James Bay region as a lithium exploration hotspot.

“We are starting our life as a Canadian-focused lithium explorer against the backdrop of unprecedented activity within the global lithium sector. Recent major news emanating from the James Bay district vindicates our strategy to focus on the James Bay area as the next major global frontier for hard rock lithium discoveries of scale.”

JBY share price


Perpetual Resources (ASX:PEC)

Silica sand stock PEC has provided an update on its period of due diligence regarding its Brazilian lithium move – a binding option deal over exploration ground in Minas Gerais, 20km from the Grota do Cirilo spodumene mine owned by C$4.92bn capped Sigma Lithium Corp (TSXV: SGML).

The due diligence period will finish this month, and on satisfactory completion Perpetual has five days to exercise options and take ownership and control of exploration permits for the site.

The good news is a reconnaissance site visit has confirmed pegmatite occurrences within and ‘proximal’ to all exploration permits under option.

The company also notes that artisanal workings on gemstone-rich pegmatites suggest potential for pegmatite associated spodumene.

Location of the various prospects under option, proximal to Sigma Lithium, in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Source: ASX announcement

Managing Director of Perpetual, Robert Benussi, said, regarding the due diligence work:

“Based on initial observations from our technical team, we are extremely encouraged by the results, which include confirmation of the presence of pegmatitic veining both within the areas we have under option and in surrounding areas.

This confirms our view that Perpetual has secured a low cost and potentially high value entry into the preeminent spodumene region of Brazil.

“Once we formally resolve to exercise the options, which looks likely, Perpetual aims to move rapidly into a structured exploration program across all the permits, with the hope of locating more significant pegmatite occurrences of commercial scale”.

PEC share price


Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR)

IXR is double-digits up after revealing partnership agreements with Ford Technologies Limited (Ford), Less Common Metals Limited (LCM), and British Geological Survey (BGS) to create a UK rare earth supply chain from recycled magnets.

The partnerships were executed through the company’s 100%-owned Belfast, UK subsidiary Ionic Technologies International Ltd.

As part of the partnership, Ionic Rare Earths and BGS will complete a feasibility study and supply chain analysis for a UK magnet recycling facility.

Meanwhile, regarding the agreement with Ford and LCM, IXR will use its recycling technology to produce high-purity, separated and traceable rare earths from end-of-life magnets and swarf (metal filings), for supply to LCM for alloy production to be converted to neodymium magnets for use by Ford in its electric vehicle (EV) production.

Both these ventures from Ionic Rare Eaths have been successful in obtaining UK government support through grant funding.

IXR share price


Hawsons Iron (ASX:HIO)

This iron ore explorer is up after pilot test work program confirmed its new Phase 1 mineral processing circuit design developed by by global engineering firm Stantec for HIO’s flagship Broken Hill ‘Hawsons Iron’ project.

The test work was put together as part of a strategic review to validate the effectiveness of the new design.

Executive Chairman Bryan Granzien said: “This pilot test work program has successfully de-risked Stantec’s proposed Phase 1 flowsheet design as a viable technical solution which can now be progressed to support a modified BFS for an 11 million tonne per annum project.”

The company also notes that the results support a further refinement of the circuit and improved magnetite recovery. More assessment for further potential capital and operating cost reductions are underway.

HIO, along with a host of other juniors, on the magnetite end of the market. We’re talking Macarthur Minerals (ASX:MIO)Magnetite Mines (ASX:MGT) and CZR Resources (ASX:CZR) as prime examples.

Recently, Hawsons announced its pursuit of the steel-manufacturing mineral turned up successful results, namely, mineable intersections of near-surface magnetite mineralisation.

HIO share price


Late breaker

Odin Metals’ (ASX:ODM) share price made a strong move as we were closing to hit publish on this article.

It’s currently up near 50% today, after announcing a non-executive chairman appointment yesterday. That happens to be Martin Donohue, the former boss of lithium success story Kidman Resources who cultivated the explorer ahead of its $776 million sale to Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) on the back of the Mt Holland lithium discovery.

Odin is, on our records, the first step the Victorian has taken back into resources since that money-spinning sale.

“Martin Donohue has over 20 years of experience in the natural resources sector where he has been directly involved in the evaluation and financing of mineral projects at various stages of development,” noted the company.

ODM share price


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While NickelSearch is a Stockhead advertiser at the time of writing, it did not sponsor this article.