• Maiden drill program planned at Auroch’s Nevada lithium project
  • Caspin hits high grade rhodium, which sells for $US15,000oz
  • Gold-lithium explorer Kairos now up 50% in 5 days on no news

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday September 15.



A maiden 1,000m drilling program has been planned at AOU’s 80% owned Nevada sedimentary lithium project, USA.

This region is home to some very large sedimentary-hosted lithium deposits including Ioneer Resources’ (ASX:INR) Rhyolite Ridge project and American Lithium Corporation’s TLC project.

Permitting for the maiden drill programme has commenced and the approvals process is expected to be completed within four to six weeks, AOU says.

“Having an experienced local team is critical to the success of the Project, and since establishing our team they have been very busy reviewing all historic data and completing detailed field mapping of our key prospect areas, as we work towards a maiden drill programme,” AOU MD Aiden Platel says.

“After reviewing this work to-date and seeing the geology first-hand, we are very excited by the potential of the NLP to host significant lithium mineralisation, especially when looking at the success of our neighbours in the region, most notably American Lithium Corporation’s large TLC Lithium deposit which is very close to our project area.”

A soil sampling program at the Kanyaka and Hawker rare earth element (REE) prospects, part of the Arden Project in South Australia, is also planned to commence next week.



The group of six platinum group metals (PGM) are highly valued.

But the most highly valued of all is famously rare rhodium, which touched $US22,000/oz earlier in the year and currently fetches around $US15,000/oz.

CPN has uncovered significant rhodium in multiple re-assayed holes at the new Serradella discovery, part of the Yarawindah Brook project near Perth, WA.

This includes a highlight 17m at 1.73g/t platinum, 0.39g/t palladium, 0.22g/t rhodium, 0.01g/t gold (2.33g/t 4E), 0.17% nickel from 131m.

The peak rhodium grade returned was 0.69g/t. That’s $US10,350/t dirt, based on the rhodium value alone.

This demonstrates the enormous value small additions of rhodium (as little as 100ppb, or 0.1g/t in South African PGE mines) can potentially make to project economics, CPN says.

“This is an outstanding result that clearly celebrates Serradella as a major PGE discovery,” CPN boss Greg Miles says.

“Our best drill result just got better.

“When we discovered rhodium in our initial discovery hole, YARC0022, we commenced a large re-assay program in the hope that further mineralisation would be found.

“This exercise has surpassed our expectations and with such high-grade results, clearly differentiates Yarawindah Brook from other PGE projects.

“The results of the past few months have proven to be a breakthrough for the project and provide us confidence to embark on an aggressive drill campaign through the summer season.”

A large number of assays are still pending.

The $52m market cap stock is down 36% year-to-date.



After gaining 30% over the previous few days, the gold-lithium explorer was sent a ‘please explain’ from the ASX on Wednesday, to which it replied:

“The company is currently actively exploring at its Mt York Project, Pilbara WA, where high-grade lithium assays have confirmed the significance of spodumene-bearing pegmatite at the Company’s Lucky Sump prospect (see ASX announcement dated 1 August 2022).

“Drilling is set to start at the Lucky Sump spodumene prospect aimed at following up the high-grade pegmatite samples discovered just 4km from Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum mine (see ASX announcement dated 8 September 2022).

“The Company has also recently increased its gold resources at the Mt York Project by 26% (see ASX announcement dated 30 August 2022) demonstrating that Mt York is a top-shelf WA gold project with genuine scale and ongoing growth potential.”

KAI subsequently jumped another +20% in early trade today — to its highest point since late 2020 — giving in a five-day gain of over 50%.



The near-term producer has been awarded an all-important Mining Lease for the Kolosori nickel project in the Solomon Islands.

PNM is now focused on finalisation of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), the most advanced look at the economics of building a project.

“The timing of the DFS relies on a LiDAR survey and the construction of a second trial stockpile to assess moisture content,” CEO Geoff Hiller says.

“We are pleased to report that the initial LiDAR survey has been completed and that the second trial stockpile is under construction.

“I look forward to updating shareholders in the coming the weeks, as we begin to fast-track the Kolosori Nickel Project into development.”

Meanwhile, PNM will now look to expedite the wharf and haul road construction, together with the establishment of a construction camp, “as soon as practicable”.

This should allow the project to ramp up to full production (around 1.3 million wet metric tonnes per annum of direct shipping nickel ore) during 2023, it says.

A scoping study released last year envisaged a production target of 6.23m tonnes at 1.5% Ni for 93,450t of contained nickel.

The project would cost just US$20m to build.

Nickel laterite ores from DSO operations – a low-cost way to get into production — provide feedstock for nickel pig iron production suitable for Chinese stainless-steel producers, PNM says.

Few alternative sources of nickel laterite ore globally exist outside Indonesia (higher jurisdictional risk) and the Philippines (lower grade) to satisfy demand from the domestic Chinese producers.

The $30m market cap stock is up 22% year-to-date.



Iron ore is edging higher, which is good news for the fledgling producer.

On August 25, the company said its maiden 66,000t shipment from Paulsens East mine in the Pilbara region of WA would also be its last for a while, with operations mothballed until market conditions improved.

“The Company has structured its Paulsens mining operations in such a manner that further shipments can be made on relatively short notice,” it says.

“Strike continues to review market conditions and in particular the forward benchmark pricing for iron ore and will make further shipments to Utah Point if iron ore pricing and market conditions meet the Company’s internal thresholds.”

The $33m market cap stock is flat year-to-date.