• Major gold miner Northern Star Resources now 10% shareholder in junior explorer PolarX
  • BBX Minerals cracks the code on its weird Brazilian precious metals projects
  • Meteoric Resources now up 170% since buying advanced REE project

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Monday December 19.



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MEI is now up ~170% since announcing a deal to purchase a ‘Tier 1’ ionic clay rare earth project called Caldeira in Brazil on Friday.

Thanks to the recent sale of the Juruena gold project — where a final payment of $US17.5m is due March 2023 — MEI is well placed to cover the $US20m acquisition cost and subsequent exploration.

More than 13,000m of previous drilling into Caldeira returned numerous very high-grade results up to 25,000ppm from surface. That is much higher than average grades from clay hosted deposits.

“The Caldeira project is a 15km scale, ultra-high-grade ionic clay deposit which is completely open at depth, and it has the potential to host large, high grade rare-earth element-ionic clays and represents an enormous opportunity for Meteoric,” MEI director Andrew Tunks says.

“Of the 1,311 holes drilled, over 85% finish with grades in excess of 1,000ppm TREO.

“The depth of the deposit is at this stage unknown and Meteoric is preparing to mobilise a diamond drilling team to site in January 2023 to commence further exploration to better understand the Caldeira Project’s scale and depth.”

A maiden resource is envisaged to be completed by the end of Q2 2023 to allow a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the project to begin.

All-important preliminary metallurgical test work has also been completed, Tunks says, with results pending.

“These studies are under review by experts, with results expected to be announced over the coming weeks,” he says.



Major gold miner Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) is now a 10% shareholder in junior explorer PXX.

While the ~$1m investment is the equivalent of finding a few bucks underneath the couch cushions for NST, PXX investors are rejoicing.

“Northern Star is an ASX-listed gold company with a current market capitalisation of ~A$12Bn,” the company says.

“A top 10 global gold producer, Northern Star own and operates mines in Western Australia and Alaska.

“PolarX welcomes Northern Star’s entry into the share register as a fellow Australian company operating in North America and looks forward to a mutually rewarding relationship.”

PolarX is looking for giant deposits. It has now raised ~$3.63 million since 30 November as drilling continues at Star Canyon, part of the Humboldt Range gold-silver project in Nevada.

A May 2022 drill program at Star Canyon returned a highlight 9.1m at 124.4g/t Au and 48.6g/t Ag.

PXX also owns most of the Alaska Range project in south-central Alaska.

That includes the Zackly skarn deposit, comprising 4Mt at 1.1% copper and 1.6g/t gold from surface, along with the Caribou Dome sedimentary copper deposit, which hosts a JORC2-12 compliant resource of 2.8Mt at 3.1% copper.

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There are interesting exploration results coming soon from LYK’s Sinjakovo polymetallic project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The first of five trenches at the Zekil-Erak prospect uncovered three zones of polymetallic mineralisation up to 60m wide.

Results are pending, according to its last exploration update released November 22.

This trench sits atop a rock chip which returned 7.77g/t gold, 2,070g/t silver, 15.85% copper, 4.53% antimony and 0.72% zinc (58g/t gold equivalent).

Meanwhile, the results of a 19-hole drilling program at the RDK copper-cobalt prospect are also pending.

“12 of 19 planned holes have been completed, identifying sulphide zones with 6m @ 0.022% cobalt, 3m @ 0.4% tungsten as well as low copper grades,” LYK said.

“Two drillholes (200m apart) intersected strong sulphide mineralisation west of the old copper mine (results pending), with a two-hole follow-up in progress.”

New drilling at Erak, Bag and Kovacevac could also kick off as early as this month, weather permitting.

The $8m market cap stock is down 60% year-to-date. It had $5m in the bank at the end of September.

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MNB’s focus is the near-term ‘Cabinda’ phosphate project in Angola, where it a recent definitive feasibility study (DFS) delivered “compelling economics”.

It now just needs $US40m to fund the thing. MNB is aiming for first production in Q4 next year.

With 1000MW of unutilised hydropower available in the region, the company also recently inked a deal with Angola’s electricity network to producing zero carbon green ammonia for nitrogen fertilisers, mining explosives and as a store of hydrogen energy.

Locally produced ammonia eliminates the cost of shipping, ports and thousands of kilometres of land transport, Minbos says.

“Initial desktop work undertaken by the company highlights the potential for the Capanda green ammonia project to produce ammonia nitrate at a cost competitive unit price vs. traditional grey (fossil fuel), blue (fossil fuel plus carbon capture) and turquoise (methane) hydrogen-ammonia projects, even factoring normalised energy prices,” the company said last week.

“Importantly, proximity to markets is now recognised as the gold standard for viable green hydrogen-ammonia projects.

“Recently, Rio Tinto chief scientist Nigel Steward was quoted as saying ‘shipping hydrogen long distances is potentially worse for the climate than burning natural gas’, highlighting the environmental and cost benefits of hydrogen-ammonia projects located close to their market.”

The $70m market cap stock is down 30% year-to-date. It had ~$23m in the bank at the end of September.

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This Brazilian gold play has struggled with “complex” mineralisation at its 590,300oz Tres Estados and Ema precious metals projects for years.

The gold + PGE mineralisation is weird, confusing and hard to assay and extract, leading to some tussles with the ASX.

The company recently approached a US company called EcoBiome Metals, to test how BBX’s mineralisation responds to its bioleaching tech.

Bioleaching is a simple and effective technology for metal extraction from low-grade ores and mineral concentrates, BBX says.

Initial and follow-up test results have been a success, showing a significant increase in gold, platinum, palladium, iridium and rhodium following the process, it says.

“Bioleach test results utilising a 36m interval (5kg sample from a homogenised 50.4kg composite) from drill hole TED-015 show a recovered grade of 95.38g/t 5E precious metals (14.13g/t Au, 79.27g/t Pd, 0.17g/t Pt, 0.72g/t Ir and 1.1g/t Rh),” BBX says.

“Test results show a significant increase in 5E precious metals following the bioleaching process, compared with previously reported assays for the same drill hole.”

There’s still a lot of work to do, the company says, with pilot plant testing to begin between Xmas and New Years.

“The material sent for this initial pilot plant test was from the altered portion of the resource; therefore, we still need to test both the oxidised material and the unaltered material at depth,” CEO Andre J Douchane says.

“As the other variations of the resource are tested through EcoBiome’s pilot plant, the sizing and engineering of an operating plant can begin.

“Believe me, even though there’s a lot of work to be done we’re very excited with the results.”

The $50m market cap stock is down 42% year-to-date. It had $840,000 in the bank at the end of September.