• Mamba hits thick clay REEs in 20 of 22 drillholes, soars 90% at the open
  • Highfield now has all permits to begin construction of flagship Muga potash project in Spain
  • Spanish lithium stock Infinity also receives key exploration permit for San Jose

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Wednesday March 29.



The exploration minnow flew out of the gates after announcing wide zones of clay rare earths in 20 of 22 drill holes at its ‘Hyden’ project in the WA Wheatbelt.

Highlights include 54m at 758ppm from surface to end of hole. Each interval contained high grade zones (+1000ppm), with a peak of 3607ppm.

Clay REE orebodies often grade between 700ppm – 1500ppm.

“While we are surprised by the width and consistency of the mineralisation, it is also surprising that the mineralisation is so shallow, with little or no surficial cover over the clay mineralisation,” managing director Mike Dunbar says.

“It is also very encouraging that the mineralisation can be traced over the entire extent of the drilling, some 500m x 500m and remains open in all directions.”

Fourteen of the holes also end in mineralisation, suggesting “that there is potential for not only clay hosted mineralisation, but also bedrock mineralisation in the area”, Dunbar says.

M24 has previously said the source of the TREO in the clay could be a nearby hard rock system (either REE pegmatite or a carbonatite).

Additional drilling of another anomaly, 2.5km from the clay target, is now underway.

The $8m capped stock has clawed back much of its recent losses but is still down on its mid-January price of 24c per share.

It had $2.2m in the bank at the end of December.



(Up on no news)

OD6 briefly surged November last year after announcing “some of the highest grades and thickest clay-hosted rare earth intersections seen in Australia”.

The first 65 holes of a completed 179-hole program at ‘Splinter Rock’ in WA returned grades up to 6,729ppm total rare earths oxides (TREO) across four significant prospects, each 4-7km long and 10m-80m thick.

Splinter Rock could be a world class asset, OD6 managing director Brett Hazelden said at the time.

“The scale of these clays is hard to comprehend when you start talking multiple kilometres in one direction at a thickness of between 10 to 30m,” he says.

“The potential is massive.”

The stock just as quickly fell back but work has continued, with 4300m of second phase drilling at Splinter Rock wrapping up late last month.

Assay results, due in April, will be used to optimise drill spacing for estimation of a future JORC resource.

Samples are also being tested at the ANSTO lab to see if the rare earths can be extracted economically. These results are also due in April.

Meanwhile, maiden drilling results from nearby ‘Grass Patch’ project have uncovered high grade REEs up to 3340ppm, the company said last week.

The $11m capped stock is down 37% year-to-date. It had $5.8m in the bank at the end of December.



HFR now has all the required permits to begin full scale production of the 1Mtpa ‘Muga’ potash project in Spain, where it has been plugging away for well over a decade. This is a big deal.

“I do not think I am exaggerating by saying that we all feel this licence closes a long permitting chapter for Highfield,” CEO Ignacio Salazar says.

“I would like to thank all our stakeholders, staff and shareholders for their continued support. The company will now focus on building Muga as soon as possible.”

An updated feasibility study released November last year envisaged a two phase underground project producing 1Mtpa MOP at its peak.

Cumulative capex of €662m represent half the capex intensity of other global development projects (per $US/t of potash), the company says.

It boasts an NPV of €1.82bn, IRR 21% and EBITDA of €410m per annum at full production across a 30-year life.

It recently signed a finance deal worth €320.6m to help build Phase 1 (capex €436m) and is currently negotiating with other sources of capital and equity financing to make up the difference.

The $280m capped stock is up 26% year-to-date. It had $19.4m in the bank at the end of December.

READ: Barry FitzGerald — Fertiliser price spikes point to hunger games kick-off, and these 5 ASX stocks are primed to benefit



What are the chances?

Spain lithium play INF has also received a key exploration permit (PESE) over the flagship ‘San Jose’ project, suggesting the government department responsible for dolling out licences works one day a year.

“The granting of the Exploration Permit is a major milestone for the project, providing clarity on the permitting and administrative process for a fully integrated lithium project in the heart of Cáceres,” INF subsidiary Extremadura New Energies boss Ramón Jiménez says.

For miners/project developers, Spain is a notoriously hard jurisdiction to do business. INF knows that better than most.

The advanced project developer has missed out on the lithium boom thus far thanks to ongoing tussles around the cancellation of its project permit.

San José, which includes the second-largest JORC hard rock lithium deposit in the EU, was expected to produce 19,500 tonnes per annum lithium hydroxide over 30 years, according to a recent underground scoping study.

It would cost ~$US532m to build.

The $60m capped stock is up 8% year-to-date. It had $16m in the bank at the end of December.



It is all action stations at the Mongoose copper-gold project near Cloncurry in Queensland, the company said today.

A survey and other fieldwork is in progress, drilling results are imminent, and new drilling had been booked to start in 4-8 weeks.

Fairly innocuous stuff.

Trading of RNX shares then entered a pause after soaring +30%.

Mongoose was part of the 23%-owned Carpentaria Joint Venture (CJV) with mining major Glencore.

This year RNX inked a deal to excise Mongoose from the JV, making it sole operator and funder.

The $27m capped stock is up 110% year-to-date. It had $481,000 in the bank at the end of December.