Resources Top 5: This cashed up explorer aims to drill untouched lithium targets ‘as soon as possible’
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday February 17.
The gold-lithium explorer today announced high grade lithium assays up to 8.21% Li2O in rock chips from ‘Big Pegmatite’, part of the ‘Ravensthorpe’ project in WA.
Hard rock lithium operations usually produce at grades of ~1% lithium.
Successful geochemical programs (rock, soil sampling) like this one can be a precursor to drilling.
Big Peggie (700m by 500m) is part of the 4km-long Eastern Pegmatite Trend, which remains unexplored and ‘open’ to the north.
Furthermore, another large and flat-lying outcropping pegmatite swarm has also been mapped 700m further south of Big Pegmatite, BNR says.
It is very early days, but the significant size of these pegmatites is a good sign prior to drilling.
This is even more significant when considering the very close location to AllKem’s (ASX:AKE) Mt Cattlin lithium mine, CEO Mark Csar says.
“The exciting prospectivity of the Eastern Pegmatite Trend is now confirmed by the presence of these very high grade spodumene results at Big pegmatite,” he says.
“The proximity of these excellent results to spodumene bearing pegmatites at Deep Purple and Creek, 2.5km along strike to the north demonstrates that this discovery could be significant.”
“Such strong results at this early stage in our exploration makes us highly motivated to rapidly progress our Ravensthorpe project and be drilling as quickly as possible.”
BNR is all cashed up with $12m on hand at the end of December after selling its shareholding in Apollo Consolidated (ASX:AOP).
The $44m market cap stock is up almost 100% year-to-date.
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Drilling of five priority targets at the ‘Skeleton Rocks’ gold-lithium-cobalt-base metals project in the WA goldfields is due to kick off this week.
An aeromag survey and shallow augur drilling has defined five key targets “where no previous drilling is known to have occurred”.
Portable XRF analysis of the auger samples highlighted zones of elevated copper-nickel-cobalt occurring the same spots as greenstones interpreted from the aeromagnetics.
That’s a good sign.
The interpreted zone of newly identified greenstone is almost parallel to the highly mineralised Southern Cross greenstone belt, which hosts significant gold and lithium deposits.
A program of ~4,000m of aircore (hammer) drilling commencing this week will sample the basement rocks across the initial target areas, SRI says.
The WA explorer is also targeting gold and lithium deposits at the ‘Warralong’ project in the Pilbara, and has a free carried $12m exploration JV with major Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) in the Paterson province.
SRI – which will be partially subsidised by government funding for this drill program – had $3.9m in the bank at the end of December.
The $11m market cap stock is up 10% year-to-date.
GL1 has announced a maiden 9.9Mt resource grading 1.14% lithium and 49ppm tantalum for the ‘Manna’ lithium project in the goldfields of WA.
It almost doubles the company’s attributable resource base (Marble Bar project 100%, Manna project 80%) to 18.4Mt lithium.
A pretty big achievement for a company which only listed on the ASX in May last year.
Importantly, GL1 says there is scope for significant growth at Manna, where the resource was defined by just 3,636m drilling at relatively shallow depths “with mineralisation open in all directions”.
A drilling program of at least 20,000m is being planned to further grow the resource and to upgrade the classification.
“This highly encouraging result supports GL1’s decision to acquire an 80% stake in the Manna Lithium Project in December 2021, giving the company its second asset in a Tier 1 jurisdiction,” GL1 chair Warrick Hazeldine says.
“The ability to declare this mineral resource estimate at such an early stage in the company’s ownership grows our confidence in the project ahead of a major targeting and drilling program, which is currently being planned.”
A 380 hole, 60,000m RC drilling program kicked off at the Marble Bar project in the Pilbara earlier this month, targeting the area south of the Archer resource. It is expected to take 4-5 months to complete.
The $208m market cap stock is up 34% year-to-date, and 665% on its 2021 IPO price of 20c per share. It had $11m in the bank at the end of December.
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This aspiring graphite miner is steadily progressing its ‘Mahenge’ project in Tanzania towards production.
At the end of 2021 it signed a framework development agreement with the government and completed a massive 500t pilot plant run – the largest ever, it says — to send product off for qualification (testing) to potential customers in North America, Asia and Europe.
A term sheet was also signed with giant Korean conglomerate POSCO for offtake and a US$10m prepayment.
All this will ultimately support project financing which is “in train” BKT said last month.
BKT says Mahenge hosts the 2nd largest graphite ore reserve, and the 4th largest JORC-compliant graphite mineral resource globally.
Phase 1 of the project costing US$116m to build would produce 83,000tpa.
This would eventually be scaled up to phase 4 output of up to 350,000tpa.
The ~$240m market cap stock is up 7% year-to-date. It had $8.6m in the bank at the end of December.
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Finding the money to build BRV’s 2.43moz Borborema Gold project in Brazil has been tough.
A DFS released in 2019 envisaged a $US99m ($144m) capex, stage 1 mine life of 10.2 years, producing an average 71,250oz of gold a year from a single open pit.
Based on a $US1,400/oz gold price (currently $US1,870/oz), BRV estimated a decent post-tax net present value (NPV) of $US203m and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 41.8 per cent.
Still, a decent financing deal was not forthcoming.
The company is now looking to double planned production to improve project economics.
Part of this work includes an extensional drilling program targeting the high-grade down plunge and below pit extensions to about 400m.
BRV is confident this drilling — which kicked off late December — will extend mineralisation down dip at least 100m and across 1.2km of strike.
The $65m market cap stock is up 30% year-to-date. It had a massive $16.6m in the bank at the end of December.