• SPQ turns heads in NE Australia after the Queensland state government grants it a nice slice of critical minerals funding
  • Kuniko delivers a sizeable nickel-copper-cobalt MRE over in Norway
  • Lithium hopeful Lepidico up on director news regarding a $5.7m round of capital raising 


Here are some of the biggest resources winners in early trade, Monday April 8.


Superior Resources (ASX:SPQ)

Critical minerals hunter Superior, which focuses on copper, gold, nickel and tin, among other things, is offering superior gains this morning, with a +30% burst up the bourse at the time of writing. (Update: since cooled, still up about 15%.)

Reason? The Queensland government has done it a solid by materially backing the promising Bottletree Cu-Au-Mo prospect’s drilling with a Critical Minerals Funding Grant to the tune of $300,000.

Specifically, it’s called a Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI) grant and is approved by the Qld gov’s Department of Resources. 

The funding further validates and affirms the company’s belief it’s onto something significant in the Greenvale Terrane of northern Queensland – now considered a highly prospective, and notably previously unrecognised,  hunting ground for copper-gold mineralisation. Molybdenum, too.

What happens next? As soon as the volatile North Queensland weather settles down, the company will focus that fresh capital boon on the diamond drilling of two top targeted holes totalling a whopping 1,700m of drilling action.

The company notes the target is “supported by several coincident circular anomalies, including a broad magnetic low anomaly, extensive 2.0km x 2.5km Cu soil anomaly and a gravity high anomaly”.

Among other things, Superior’s MD Peter Hwang had this to say:

“The CEI program is a direct result of the Queensland Government’s commitment to building the foundation for a globally-leading critical minerals jurisdiction.

“The porphyry copper-gold discovery at Bottletree and our exploration work over the greater Greenvale Project are progressively unlocking the multi-porphyry potential of the newly recognised Greenvale porphyry belt.”

SPQ share price


Kuniko (ASX:KNI)

Kuniko, a $26m capped European-focused minerals explorer that sounds more like a Japanese camera brand, is trading very much in the correct direction at a quarter past 12 today, on its nickel, copper and cobalt resource potential at a key project for it over in Norway.

The company has just completed a JORC-guideline-navigated Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate for its Ertelien nickel-copper-cobalt project and it comes in at an impressive 23Mt, which, according to it, underlines potential for a new European source of sustainable, disseminated and high-grade mineralisation.

Very specifically, the MRE provides a total resource of 23.3Mt of Inferred resources at 0.31% NiEq (0.21% Ni, 0.16% Cu and 0.014% Co) containing 49.7kt of nickel, 37.3kt of copper and 3.3kt of cobalt, including high-grade sulphide resources of 4.59Mt at 0.64% NiEq and disseminated sulphide resources of 18.68Mt of at 0.22% NiEq.

Moreover, the geological setting, says Kuniko, is comparable to the Tier 1 nickel-copper deposits in Voisey’s Bay, Labrador, Canada.

And crucially, too, there is reportedly substantial potential for resource expansion at Ertelien along-strike, as well as at depth.

KNI share price


Lepidico (ASX:LPD)

Lithium hopeful Lepidico is up goodly (see below, but about 20% at time of writing) on some internal company news.

Directors and key management have revealed they will participate in a ~$5.7m entitlement offer in full and through respective super funds and trusts. Plus, all are applying for a shortfall allocation.

The company describes itself thusly:

“Lepidico is an innovative developer of sustainable lithium hydroxide and other critical minerals, and the global leader in lithium mica processing.”

From what we can quickly glean from its website, Lepidico has a brownfield open-mining op over in Namibia, where its ore is flotation-tech processed into lepidolite concentrate and sent over to the UAE for conversion.

Lithium hydroxide is then shipped off to global customers under a binding offtake agreement with a company called Traxys.

LPD share price


Evion Group (ASX:EVG)

Graphite minnow Evion is developing projects for the mineral in Madagascar, Europe and India.

It’s the latter that pulls focus of late, with the company announcing that production has now begun at an expandable graphite JV site dubbed Panthera Graphite Technologies.

That’s a newly constructed operation that’s a 50/50 arrangement between a company called Metachem Manfacturing and EVG.

Evion notes that “substantial graphite concentrate is now on site” to be delivered asap/short term, with ramp-up plans to swiftly follow.

There is considered to be a global shortage of expandable graphite ever since a ban by China on the export of its graphite materials in October last year.

The sort of graphite the company is producing is a key component in flame retardants, but also, more notably given the globally growing EV narrative, lithium-ion batteries. (Unless sodium-ion potential roils that plotline, in which case, graphite’s heavy involvement in those type of next-gen batteries is possibly doubtful.)

EVG share price


Alice Queen (ASX:AQX)

This tiny NSW/Torres Strait/Fiji-focused copper-gold explorer is up on some funding news with subsequent high trading volume kicking in.

The company revealed this morning that its largest shareholder, Gage Capital – currently with 18.67% – has agreed to fork out a further $3.6 million for the AQX treasure hunt.

If that all goes ahead as planned, Gage will have the right to bung a second director on the board – one Mr Wang Jianying.

The funds would go straight into advancing (“rapidly”) exploration at the company’s Sabeto and Viani projects in Fiji which is expected to include diamond core drilling and working capital expenses.

Commentary? There’s some in the mix, but to paraphrase, it’s generally about company excitement regarding Alice Queen’s Fijian exploits and project potential for becoming a significant gold resource base.

AQX share price