• Junior lithium stock Riversgold up ~240% year-to-date
  • Advanced nickel-cobalt developer Ardea Resources up 214% year-to-date
  • Panther Metals returns “highest nickel and cobalt grades” from WA project

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Wednesday March 23.



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Going all-in on lithium continues to pay off handsomely for this tiny explorer.

The proposed acquisition of four lithium-prospective tenements in the Pilbara earlier this month has sent the share price to 10-month highs.

‘Tambourah’ is the project RGL seems most excited about. Yesterday, the explorer picked up rock chips grading up to 2% lithium during an initial site visit.

Ore grade for hard rock mines is usually around 1-1.5% lithium.

It’s a solid start — these rock chips are from one 200m section of what is potentially a 26km-long mineralised corridor at Tambourah, RGL CEO Julian Ford says.

A follow up reconnaissance trip will kick off next week, targeting along strike extension and additional priority target areas.

The $20m market cap stock is up ~240% year-to-date. It had $469,000 in the bank at the end of December, and recently launched a ~$2m cap raise at 1.7c per share.

Riversgold (ASX:RGL) share price today:



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In the lead up to, and post the release of, a feasibility study on the ‘Lake Giles’ iron project in WA the company has posted an impressive 85% gain.

A small nudge past 62.5c per share would put it at 12-month highs.

Lake Giles will produce 3mpta of high-grade concentrate over a 25-year life, according to a feasibility study released 21 March.

The giant magnetite project will cost~$800m to build.

MIO is forecasting a post-tax NPV of $US315m and IRR of 13%, based on a long-term China sales price of $US131.40/t for its 66.1% Fe concentrate product.

Both NPV and IRR are metrics used to assess the profitability of a project – the higher they are above zero, the better.

‘Magnetite’ ore is lower grade in-situ than hematite – the stuff the Pilbara miners produce — but unlike standard Pilbara ores can be upgraded to a super-rich 66% product or above.

This gets ultra-high premiums from steel factories.

MIO will now proceed with post study optimisation work, project development approvals and advancing project finance.

The $120m market cap stock is up 75% year-to-date.

MacArthur Minerals (ASX:MIO) share price today:



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Another multi-day runner.

Yesterday the explorer said a drilling program at the ‘Frewena’ IOCG-SEDEX project in the NT was due to start “imminently”.

Iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (IOCG), like Olympic Dam, can be tremendously large and simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold, and other economic minerals.

Sedimentary exhalative deposits (SEDEX) are monstrous accumulations of zinc and lead, accounting for 25% of global zinc and lead production, and six of the 10 largest active zinc mines globally.

They are also an important source of silver and copper.

ICG says the first of two rigs will mobilised to commence drilling by the end of the week in the Mount Lamb area, where multiple highly ranked IOCG and SEDEX targets have been defined.

Rig Two will commence in the south at ‘Jumping Spider’, which is a very large and highly rated IOCG and SEDEX target.

The entire Frewena reconnaissance drill program comprises 20,600m of drilling.

“The use of two rigs for our maiden reconnaissance drilling program at Frewena is transformational in terms of delivery and operational efficiency,” ICG managing director Ross Brown says.

“It not only doubles drilling rates and halves program completion times but is also provides flexibility in target coverage and drill-hole sequencing.

If strong visible mineralisation is intersected, we have the option to immediately follow-up with step-out drilling. The second rig is still available to continue testing the other targets.

“The targets, which have been independently recognised and defined, are ready as the drill rigs approach.”

The $69m market cap stock is up 25% in 2022. It had $9.4m in the bank at the end of December.

Inca Minerals (ASX:ICG) share price today:



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The advanced project developer is up 214% year-to-date.

ARL listed in 2017 on the back of its Kalgoorlie Nickel-Cobalt Project (KNP), back when when cobalt stocks were running super-hot.

Which, as we know, didn’t last.

As the heat came out of battery metals over the ensuing years ARL spread its wings into more agreeable metals like gold, while KNP lurked in the wings, waiting for the market to turn good.

Which it has, massively. Now the KNP is one of the more advanced nickel-cobalt projects on the ASX, ready to take advance of a bullish demand thematic.

The KNP hosts 5.9Mt of contained nickel and 380kt of contained cobalt, making it the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world.

That’s enough to power 147m electric vehicles, ARL says.

The $1.165 billion project would mine cobalt-nickel laterite ore which will undergo a process to produce Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate for the growing international battery market.

Earlier this week it received Major Project Status from the Aussie Government, which helps streamline the approvals process and provides access to additional sources of potential project funding.

A DFS – a detailed look at the economics of building a project — is underway.

Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL) share price today:



The explorer returned “highest nickel and cobalt grades to date” from drilling at the ‘Coglia’ project in WA, including a peak intercept of 3.77% nickel.

WA-based PNT, a subsidiary of London-listed Panther Metals PLC, listed in December after a $5m IPO.

Maiden drilling soon kicked off at the ‘Coglia’ nickel-cobalt project, where a JORC exploration target of 30-50 million tonnes at 0.6-0.8% nickel and 400-600 parts per million cobalt was already defined by previous explorers.

Initial drilling assays were released today, with 33 holes still to come.

Highlights include 21m at 1.34% Ni from 72m (including a peak intercept of 1m at 3.77% Ni) and 8m at 833ppm Co from 78m (with a peak of 1m at 1,200pm Co).

The intercepts of 1m at 3.77% nickel and 1m at 3,160ppm cobalt are the highest grades received to date, PNT managing director Daniel Tuffin says.

“We have almost completed our maiden 6,000m RC program at Coglia, with about half of the holes assayed,” he says.

“During this time, we have discovered an extension to the historic nickel and cobalt mineralisation zone and encountered significantly high grades of nickel and cobalt within thick zones of lateritic mineralisation both inside and outside of the current Exploration Target.”

“The Company will look to create a maiden Mineral Resource estimate to JORC guidelines at Coglia once all outstanding assays have been received.”

Drilling is due to be complete at Coglia by the end of the month, at which point the rig and crews will move to the ‘Eight Foot Well’ gold project to begin a 2,500m drilling program.

The $7m market cap stock is up 35% year-to-date. It had $4.3m in the bank at the end of December.

Panther Metals (ASX:PNT) share price today: