• Carnaby’s ‘Nil Desperandum’ copper-gold discovery could be an absolute beast
  • Orange Minerals chairman John Smyth shells out $63,760 for almost 400,000 shares
  • Copper mine builder Alara up 240% since early December

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday February 4.



CNB and JV partner DCX (free carried 17.5% stake) say “major discovery confirmed!” at the ‘Nil Desperandum’ prospect, part of the ‘Greater Duchess’ copper-gold project in Queensland.

In December last year CNB announced a 41m long intercept at 4.1% copper — which included a 9m chunk grading 10.3% — at this “major Iron Oxide Copper Gold discovery which is rapidly getting bigger and better at depth”.

The share price took off in response.

Iron oxide copper gold ore (IOCG) deposits, like BHP’s (ASX:BHP) Olympic Dam, can be tremendously large, simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and other economic minerals. In FY21 Olympic Dam produced a record-breaking 205,000t of copper and 146,000oz gold.

Today, CNB said that a new drill hole had pulled up a strong 50m zone of copper sulphide mineralisation from 250m to bottom of hole containing up to 30% chalcopyrite (copper ore) “based on visual estimates”. Assays are pending.

Importantly, the visual intercept in this hole has confirmed that the copper mineralisation in the older adjacent drill hole mentioned above  (41m @ 4.1% copper) “has a similar dip to shallower parts of the deposit and therefore downhole widths are close to true width intersections for both”. The true width is always the width of the vein/shoot etc at its narrowest point.

Extensive drilling and IP surveys are ongoing, the company says.

“It is highly encouraging and exciting to confirm that the high-grade copper gold mineralisation intersected in NLDD044 and now in NLRC066 are over exceptional true widths,” MD Rob Watkins says.

“This gives us great confidence in the plunge extension potential of the high-grade Nil Desperandum breccia shoot.

“This is especially significant given that the results from the first three extensional lines of IP all show strong and continuous chargeability anomalies, which we know is vectoring us to high grade copper gold mineralisation as seen in NLDD044.

“We look forward with incredible anticipation to the next drill hole and IP results.”

$265m market cap CNB is up +675% since early December, with $31m MC DCX gaining 212% over the same period.



Non-exec chairman John Smyth is putting his money where his mouth is, shelling out $63,760 for almost 400,000 shares in the recently listed explorer.

This follows a $24,373 on-market purchase mid-January, and another +30,000 purchase back in December. Smyth now owns a million shares.

Smyth has over 25 years of experience in the fund management, capital markets and corporate finance of the venture capital and resource sectors. He is currently director of Nubian Resources (TSXV), Amani Gold (ASX:ANL), Allied Copper Corporation (TSXV), Allup Silica Limited and chairman of Norseman Silver (TSXV).

OMX is hunting for copper-gold in two major regions: Lachlan Fold Belt (NSW) and Eastern Goldfields (WA).

The NSW assets are close to major gold mines like Cadia (43.4Moz).

In WA, it has ground within 25km of Lefroy’s (ASX:LEX) ‘Burns’ copper gold discovery (38m @ 7.63g/t gold, 0.56% copper).

On December 16, a maiden 10-hole drilling campaign was completed at the ‘Calarie’ gold project in NSW. Assays are expected back this month, OMX says.

Following the receipt of assay results the company will start planning the Phase 2 Calarie drill program.

The $7.1m market cap stock is down 10% on its IPO price of 20c per share.



(Up on no news)

Construction is well underway the 51%-owned Al Wash-hi–Majaza copper-gold Joint Venture (JV) in Oman.

These are exciting times for the company, which has been plugging away at this project for well over a decade.

Now production is finally in sight, with first concentrates scheduled for late 2022/early 2023.

A revised DFS envisaged a smallish open pit operation producing 35,000tpa concentrate a year for ~80,000t copper and 21,800oz gold over 10 years. It will cost about US$60m to build, the company says.

“Good progress has been made in developing the Al Wash-hi–Majaza Copper-Gold Project over the previous quarter and to date highlights the Company’s determination to accelerate construction and capitalise on increasing world copper prices,” AUQ managing director Atmavireshwar Sthapak says.

At $US7,000/t copper earnings before tax (EBITBA) was $US208m. At a $US9,500/t copper price, project EBITDA increases to $US370m, AUQ says.

The $50m market cap stock is now up 240% year-to-date.



The rare earths-gold-HPA explorer has appointed David Frances as non-executive chairman.

Frances “has been a key figure in the transformation of several companies including Province Resources (ASX:PRL) and their proposed 8GW green hydrogen project in Western Australia”, FNT says.

PRL is up +550% since Frances pivoted the company into green hydrogen Feb last year.

Last year, FNT secured a couple of WA rare earths and high purity alumina projects to complement the recent acquisition of the ‘Murraydium’ ionic clay (IAC) hosted rare earths project in South Australia.

The ‘Gascoyne’ rare earths project adjoins the Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) world-class ‘Yangibana’ deposit, which is set to be the next REE producer outside of China by 2023.

The ‘Koolya’ High Purity Alumina (HPA) project is prospective for bright white kaolin. Kaolin deposits with low impurities are an optimal feedstock for HPA, a market which is witnessing dramatic consumer driven growth, FNT says.

$20m market cap FNT is up 45% year-to-date.