• Estrella strikes ‘exceptional’ high-grade nickel in maiden hole
  • QX strikes high-grade lithium near Australia’s second-largest lithium mine
  • MRZ maiden drilling hits nickel-copper massive sulfides in Canada

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday June 30.



Assay results from the ‘Spargoville’ project in WA have returned “exceptional” thick, very high-grade nickel from the historical 5A resource.

The maiden hole returned 3.4m @ 8.2% nickel, 0.6% copper, 0.2% cobalt from 65.16m down hole.

ESR says more results like this are expected which could support its decision to fast-track 5A towards mining operations.

“With these initial results, indications for Estrella to be transitioning to producer status in the near-term from the 5A ore body look very positive,” ESR managing director Chris Daws says.

“The high grade of the massive sulphide is exceptional and is common in this type of nickel system, typical of Kambalda style komatiites.

“Our team is working double-time to put the 5A mine back into production, the first step towards unlocking the potential of the Spargoville near-mine portfolio that Estrella currently controls.”

The $25m market cap explorer is down 23% year-to-date. It had $3.2m in the bank at the end of March.

Approvals received for bulk 2,000-4,000 Tonne Transitional Metallurgical Sample to be extracted and sent to third party processing facility.



QXR has picked up rock chips grading up to 4.9% lithium at the Turner River project in the Pilbara.

Turner River is 15km from Wodgina, Australia’s second-largest lithium mine and one of the largest hard-rock lithium deposits in the world.

“The high-grade rock chip result at Turner River is exceptionally pleasing and confirms our belief that our Pilbara projects are highly prospective for lithium and more intensive follow-up in and around this area is our priority,” exec chair Maurice Feilich says.

“Given the project is only 15km south of Wodgina, we believe we are in the right location to identify further high-grade lithium mineralisation.

“The sampling program was the first phase of exploration across our tenements in the Pilbara lithium province, with the company undertaking a further two site visits to Turner River and Western Shaw over recent months.”

More assays are pending.

The $26m market cap stock is up 13% year-to-date. It had $3.7m in the bank at the end of March.



(Up on no news)

Another morning of gains on no news for this diamond explorer, which recently branched out into lithium and rare earths, acquiring the 606sqkm ‘Lyndon’ project near Carnarvon in WA.

There is also nickel and copper potential, ODE says, and a uranium project next door.

But girl’s best friends are still the focus for ODE, one of only three diamond companies on the ASX.

In May, the company started detailed planning for a drilling program over the Aries Kimberlite Complex in WA.

“There has been no significant exploration at Aries in nearly two decades and the diamond market has changed significantly in recent years making Aries a very attractive development project today,” CEO Alistair Stephens says.

The $4m market cap minnow is down 20% year-to-date. It had $5.5m in the bank at the end of March.



(Up on no news)

FRS is approved and ready to go on a drilling program at the “high priority” ‘South Iron Cap East’ lithium prospect, part of the ‘Forrestania’ project in WA.

Several other program of work (POW) applications to drill other prospects are pending.

South Iron Cap East is ~1km from a 2016 drill result reported by Western Areas of 50.6m @ 0.95% Li2O “which is a significant result and demonstrates the prospectivity of the area”, FRS says.

It has also been getting decent rock chip sampling results at the Black Prince gold prospect, including high grades of up to 6.1g/t.

The $4m market cap stock is down 57% year-to-date. It had $2.3m in the bank at the end of March.



Maiden drilling has uncovered nickel-copper massive sulfides – the best stuff — at the Wapatik project in the James Bay area of Quebec, Canada.

Highlights from the discovery hole include 3.3m at 2.68% Ni, 1.30% Cu, 0.09% Co from 110m vertical depth.

This high-grade hit is related to an ultramafic intrusion and corresponds to an electromagnetic conductor with strong potential for expansion with immediate follow-up drilling, MRZ says.

A second phase drill program is currently underway.

“Given the results from this initial discovery hole, we’ve immediately moved to follow up with a Phase 2 drill program to further delineate sulphide accumulation both along strike and down dip confirmed by downhole electromagnetic survey,” MRZ exec director Peter Ruse says.

“Following visual inspection of WAP22-003, assays were sent to ALS labs on an express order delivering excellent high-grade results and we aim to continue to expedite results for this exciting drill program.

“We look forward to updating the market with drilling updates over the coming weeks.”

The $21m market cap stock is flat year-to-date. It had $4.5m in the bank at the end of March.