Resources Top 5: Performance of ASX lithium stocks is impressive, but uranium is stealing the show
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday, August 25.
Two bits of exciting news has sent global uranium stocks running hard.
One: Japan will not only restart idled nuclear plants – it will consider building new ones.
That’s a MASSIVE policy reversal for Japan, which mothballed a bunch of nuclear power plants after the Fukushima incident in 2011.
The country now relies on imported coal and gas for much of its energy, which is looking less tenable as prices soar worldwide.
Furthermore, the country wants to be carbon neutral by 2050 – something many experts say won’t be possible without nuclear.
The second piece of news comes from India, where India’s largest power producer, NTPC is looking to develop another big nuclear project just weeks after announcing its entry into the sector, according to Bloomberg.
Prime Minister and big nuclear proponent Narendra Modi wants to triple India’s nuclear fleet over the next decade to meet its net zero goals by 2070.
Yee-Haw!🤠🐂 Did U ride today’s humongous #Uranium wave?🌊🏄
17 #Japan restarts, life extensions & NEW BUILDS!🤯#India & #China.. EVERYONE is Going #Nuclear!🌞⚛️🏗️ #SPUT ATM open again🏧💵 raised $3.5M! Stacked 100k lbs. Spot Up 63c to $48.63/lb #U3O8⬆️.
What a vacation!😎🍹🏕️ pic.twitter.com/lJeTPavOBi
— John Quakes (@quakes99) August 25, 2022
Its all good news for ASX uranium stocks, which are overwhelmingly in the green today.
The big boys are all bouncing back from recent losses, but leading the pack is a bunch of small caps, including:
This lithium play is on a hot streak.
On Monday, ASN increased resources at the Paradox lithium brine project in southern Utah by 324% to 788,300t of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), paving the way for development.
Today, the share price hit all-time highs after a non-binding deal was inked with global direct lithium extraction (DLE) leader Sunresin to develop a full-scale commercial lithium plant at Paradox.
DLE tech promises to produce cheaper, higher quality, and more environmentally friendly lithium than incumbent processes.
ASN says Sunresin’s DLE technology works — it has already been commercialised at four operating projects. A further six are under construction or under contract in China and South America.
Since November 2021, Sunresin has worked with global engineering firm, Worley, on the Paradox Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), which will be released soon.
ASN is targeting stage 1 production of 10,000tpa battery grade carbonate.
The $308m market cap stock is up 110% over the past week, and 120% year-to-date.
(Up on no news)
RAS acquired the early-stage Northern Territory lithium project back in May.
A couple of weeks ago, initial desktop review works indicated there was high-grade lithium-gold across the site with rock chip samples returning 5.46% Li20, 2.27g/t gold, and 4.59g/t gold.
RAS has completed planning of an initial drilling program and, since then, the share price has gone wild.
It attracted a speeding ticket from the ASX earlier this week.
“Given the results announced on this date, with drilling preparation works progressing, there has been a significant level of interest of upcoming works and results from the project,” the company said in response.
The $43m market cap stock is now trading at 7-year highs. It had ~$2.6m in the bank at the end of June.
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 says.
“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 $16m market cap stock is up 40% year-to-date. It had $1.95m in the bank at the end of June.
This smol battery metals/critical minerals explorer is on the ground at the early stage Yinnetharra rare earths and lithium project in WA, where a new batch of “expedited” rock chip samples returned results up to 780ppm rare earths.
That’s positive, the company says, as it works to dial in on the primary source of mineralisation.
More sample results are on their way.
“Our knowledge of Yinnetharra is growing at an exponential rate, with a small batch of positive rock chip results returned for REEs, and with regional success from pairs for Thorium anomalies adding to our exploration model, we are starting to grasp the exploration potential from a project area that has had in essence, no exploration,” technical director Ed Mead says.
“With positive REEs responses in assays from strongly altered rocks, on the periphery of thorium responses from recently reprocessed coarse data, our understanding and targeting is improving.”
WCN also has an NT uranium project in the portfolio called Garder Range.
The $12.5m market cap stock is down 20% year to date. It had ~$1m in the bank at the end of June.