• Petratherm unearths major new rare earth discovery in SA’s Northern Grawler Craton
  • Aura Minerals sets out to take over Big River Gold 
  • Volt Resources signs a joint agreement for development of  techn to improve alkaline battery performance



Shares in PTR went ballistic this morning on a major rare earth discovery at the Comet Project within the Northern Grawler Craton of South Australia.

Shallow RAB drilling tested the top three metres of the prospective clay horizon where mineralisation encountered “impressive concentrations of high-value REEs”.

All 44 holes returned strong results with 23 holes hitting TREO > 1,000ppm, with PTR describing these intersections as similar in characteristics and grades to ion-absorption rare earth deposits of China – a major world supplier.

PTR says deeper RC drilling into crystalline basement rock below REE enriched clays at the Target 14 prospect intersected zones of primary REE mineralisation, which may represent a potential source rock for the mineralisation.

“These are highly encouraging early results and a validation of the company’s long-standing frontier exploration approach, working in under-explored terrains and trialling new exploration methods,” PTR exploration manager Peter Reid said.

“This provides evidence that the Northern Grawler Craton is fertile for ionic clay hosted rare earth mineralisation.”

Petrological analysis of the REE enriched basement rock is now underway with a 10,000m RAB drilling program set to begin in three weeks.


Petratherm (ASX:PTR) share price today



Gold-focused BRV is scoring its own goals today after executing a binding scheme implementation deed (SID) with Aura Minerals for the 100% acquisition of Big River by way of a scheme arrangement.

Under the proposed scheme, BRV shareholders will receive a cash consideration of A$0.36 per BRV share.

If the scheme proceeds, Big River will become a subsidiary of Aura and will be held under a joint venture between Aura and Dundee and will be delisted from the ASX.

The company says the scheme consideration of A$0.36 in cash per Big River share values Big River’s diluted equity at roughly A$91.7 million and represents attractive premiums to Big River’s share price.


Big River Gold (ASX:BRV) share price today



Graphite producer and battery anode material developer VRC has signed a joint development agreement with alkaline battery producer, Urban Electric Power, and Volt’s tech partner in the US – American Energy Technologies Co.

Under the agreement, the two parties will use non-spherical purified graphite for conductivity enhancement and ultra-high purity graphite-based coatings to improve alkaline battery performance.

VRC managing director Trevor Matthews said the agreement provides a clear pathway for the development of commercially based technologies to improve alkaline battery performance and lower costs.

“The collaboration with UEP in alkaline battery technology combined with previously announced programs in lead-acid battery technology with Apollo and two lithium-ion battery anode material developments, including the Energy Supply Developer’s Super Site, positions Volt to become a battery materials manufacturer for the US battery market,” he said.

Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) share price today



AQC is making headlines this morning on news that it has now entered into conditional binding agreements with Trepang Services after receiving an offer for the purchase of the Dartbrook Coal Project in New South Wales Hunter Valley region.

The binding agreements remain subject to certain conditions such as shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Conditions must be satisfied by June 27 unless the date is extended by the parties.

AQC says it has also received interest from other parties in relation to the Dartbrook mine but all other approaches have been highly conditional and therefore the board has agreed that this transaction should be considered by shareholders.


Australian Pacific Coal (ASX:AQC) share price today



‘Outstanding’ results have been returned from a pre-feasibility study at ATC’s development of a 10,000tpa silicon/graphite alumina coating plant in Saxony, Germany.

With a capital investment of US$95 million, Altech estimates a project net present value of US$507 million (NPV8), with net cash of US$63 million per annum generated from operations.

The internal rate of return is estimated at 40%, with investment capital paid back in around three years and total annual revenue at the 10,000tpa full rate of production is estimated US$185 million per annum.

ATC managing director Iggy Tan said the Silumina Anodes Project represents an exciting downstream opportunity to utilise its HPA coating technology in silicon/graphite battery materials.

“Due to the attractive economics of the study, a decision has been made by the AIG board to immediately progress to a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project,” he said.

As it stands, the plant will be constructed by Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG) and would produce high-capacity silicon/graphite battery anode materials “Silumina Anodes” under exclusive licence from Altech.

These silumina anodes products are targeted to supply the burgeoning European electric vehicle market.

“AIG has already purchased land in Germany suitable for the project and the plan is for the AIG team in Saxony to immediately commence DFS work,” Tan added.


Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) share price today