Resources Top 5: This monster 5.3mt copper, 19.3moz gold mine could get a new lease on life
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Here are biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday February 11.
BOC puts out the same sad announcement every quarter.
But things could be moving in the right direction. The Bougainville Government has reached an agreement with landowners to reopen BOC’s monstrous copper-gold mine, according to this news source.
Here’s the background, which is interesting.
Gold and copper were discovered in Bougainville’s central hinterland in the 1960s by prominent exploration geologist Ken Phillips. It was subsequently developed by BOC, then a subsidiary of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO).
‘Panguna’ was established in 1972 as the world’s largest open cut mine.
In the 17 years to 1988, Rio extracted a total of 3 million tonnes of copper, along with associated silver and gold.
It is still one of the world’s richest. Today, Panguna still holds an estimated 5.3 million tonnes of copper and 19.3 million ounces of gold – a veritable treasure trove.
But production stopped in 1989 after conflict between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and Papua New Guinea Defence Force escalated into a decade-long civil war.
In 2014 the company was stripped of its mining licence and handed a two-year exploration licence instead, which is under review.
Attempts to renew the licence have so far been unsuccessful, but the BOC remains hopeful. The company says it maintains an active local presence through the work of its engagement team.
$209m market cap BOC is currently in a pause pending a further announcement.
(Up on no news)
NKL listed in May last year.
Its soon-to-be-acquired ‘Cosmos South’ nickel project is 10km from Cosmos (Western Areas/IGO) and ~20km from Leinster (Nickel West – BHP), within the prolific Wiluna greenstone belt.
“NickelX has shifted its nickel exploration focus to the highly prospective Cosmos South Nickel Project located in a truly world class nickel producing district,” managing director Matt Gauci says in the latest quarterly report.
“Our Cosmos South project hosts a very large, highly conductive feature (CS1), modelled at less than 100m from surface and untested by drilling.
“NickelX will be one of the very few independently owned nickel explorers in the district.”
The company is progressing shareholder approval to approve the acquisition as well as a magnetic survey to refine drill targets.
Permitting to commence drilling four diamond holes in the March Quarter is also underway.
The $11m market cap stock is up 40% year-to-date. It had $4m in the bank at the end of December.
(Up on no news)
Delecta sells adult products online in Australia and New Zealand via its Calvista subsidiary. It also has a bunch of gold, copper, uranium, and vanadium exploration projects in the US.
In the December quarter Calvista sales were up 13% to +$4.5m, with margins falling slightly.
On the exploration front, DLC is undertaking early-stage work at its ‘Speedway’ (gold) and ‘Rex’ (uranium and vanadium) projects in Utah.
The company also has a copper-cobalt project called ‘Highline’ in Nevada.
The $13.5m market cap stock is up 10% year-to-date. It had $2.9m in the bank at the end of December.
Two major shareholders have lent the mineral sands explorer $2m, to be repaid in either cash or shares at the election of the funder.
Facility repayment in shares attracts a conversion price of A$0.041 which is a 71% premium to the last closing price, TSL says.
TSL’s main game is a project in Sri Lanka, where a drilling progam is underway to convert more of the resource in the 93Mt at 5.24%THM high grade zone from an inferred to indicated mineral resource category.
An updated resource estimate will follow allowing for a revision of the project’s scoping study.
“The support shown by the Company’s two largest shareholders is very encouraging given the conversion price of the facility being a 71% premium to Wednesday’s closing price,” TSL managing director Dr James Searle says.
“As the drilling program advances towards completion and release of updated results, the facility provided, particularly the pricing, indicates the level of faith and belief the funders have in the project.”
The $37m market cap stock is up 25% year to date.
Up on no news)
Earlier this week, the WA explorer began drilling its ‘Mt Deans’ lithium and rare earths project.
The project sits within the lithium corridor in southeast WA, where it is interpreted to sit within the same host rocks and structures as the significant nearby Mt Marion, Bald Hill, and Buldania lithium projects.
Fun fact: this project is just 1.44sqkm in size. A proverbial postage stamp.
A maiden 3,000m program is designed to confirm the presence of a thick pegmatite (lithium ore) pod and intersect an interpreted pegmatite chamber or ‘cauldron’.
The $16m market cap stock is up 56% year-to-date. It had $3.27m in the bank at the end of December.