• White Cliff raises $912,000 to explore soon-to-be acquired lithium and rare earth element (REE) projects
  • Popular graphite/battery anode stock EcoGraf enters offtake discussions with Korean conglomerate POSCO
  • Struggling bauxite miner Metro inks improved supply deal

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Thursday November 25.



The company has raised $912,000 at 1.2c per share – equivalent to the last closing price – to hit the ground running at its soon-to-be acquired lithium and rare earth element (REE) projects.

At the ‘Yinnetharra’ project, sampling programs historically focused on uranium, but sampling by Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) showed the potential for lithium and REEs.

The ‘Preston River’ lithium project is 30km from the world-class Greenbushes lithium (+Sn/Ta) project and “situated in similar geological terrane”, WCN says.

After the acquisition completes, the company says it will hold over 4,000sqkm of lithium and REE tenure “within proven jurisdictions and nearby to operating mines and/or recent discoveries”.

Cash will also be used for ongoing exploration at the ‘Reedy South’ gold project.

Subject to shareholder approval, WCN company directors will apply for up to $60,000 worth of shares on the same terms as the placement.

The company already had $1.2m in the bank at the end of the September quarter. The $10m market cap stock is down 25% over the past month, and 50% year-to-date.



The popular graphite/ battery anode stock is in offtake discussions with Korean battery behemoth POSCO.

EGR calls it a “non-binding Memorandum of Understanding” which doesn’t mean a whole lot except negotiations have begun.

Under the agreement, EGR would supply POSCO with its environmentally friendly battery anode material products from the company’s new Australian Battery Anode Material Facility and its planned facility in Europe.

“EcoGraf and POSCO intend to enter into a formal offtake agreement for the proposed arrangements, containing terms and conditions customary for such contracts and they will also evaluate other opportunities for co-operation on product development, battery anode recycling and the development of EcoGraf’s battery anode material business,” EGR says.

EGR plans to fund the initial 5,000tpa phase ($US22.8m capex) of the Aussie development using cash reserves from a $54.6 million institutional placement completed in February 2021, with the 15,000tpa expansion phase ($US50m capex) to be financed through a combination of debt and equity.

The $340m market cap stock is up 19% over the past month, and 347% year-to-date. It had $51.4m in the bank at the end of the September quarter.



Meanwhile, small bauxite miner MMI has agreed to supply Xiamen Xiangsen Aluminium with ~5 Million Wet Metric Tonnes (WMT) of bauxite between 2022 and 2024.

This is a big step up from the initial 1 million tonne from 2021-2023 deal announced in July.

And unlike EGR’s MOU, this is a ‘binding offtake’, with terms to be announced in the next two weeks.

“This expanded agreement is a result of positive trial outcomes at 4 refineries in the Shanxi, Guangxi and Guizhou provinces in China which has been driven by significant effort of both Australian and Chinese technical and commercial teams,” MMI says.

“This agreement leverages Metro’s low risk jurisdiction environment, consistent and high-grade resource, its agile and competitive approach to contracting and its technical service capabilities.

“The parties are working on detailed binding terms and delivery details for the 2022 offtake season, intended to be announced within 2 weeks.”

Multiple potential supply disruptions have boosted the bauxite price in 2021. In September, the price reached its highest point in 18 months on supply concerns caused by a military coup in Guinea, the world’s biggest producer.

More recently, Indonesian president Joko Widodo said a bauxite export ban may be in the works.

“We have started with nickel. Maybe next year, we are calculating, we may stop exports of bauxite,” Widodo said, according to several media outlets.

“The next year we may be able to stop copper [exports] and the [following] year tin.”

$65m market cap Metro is up 10% over the past month, but down 56% year-to-date as escalating shipping costs put a dent in profits. It suffered a $5.29m loss in the September quarter.

It had $5.1m in the bank at the end of September.



GLA is prepping to drill its ‘Minjingu’ project in Tanzania, which is prospective for uranium and phosphate — two of the hottest commodities of 2021.

The 1000m RC drilling program is designed to evaluate historical drill hits reported by TSX listed Montero Mining and Exploration in 2007, GLA says.

The previous Montero drilling program was drilled randomly, with wide-spaced intervals and there was no further follow-up drilling conducted on the previous significant intercepts.

GLA plans to be more systematic.

“After completing a comprehensive database compilation and review, we are encouraged by the previously reported mineralisation that shows attractive levels of surface uranium and phosphate mineralisation at Minjingu with potential to generate further targets with our pending regional ground radiometric survey,” GLA chairman Ian Hastings says.

“The Tanzanian team is currently preparing for this maiden drilling program which is expected to start shortly.”

The $15.8m market cap stock is down 32% over the past month, but up 240% year-to-date. It had $1.4m in the bank at the end of September.



(Up on no news)

Earlier this month BAT received a mining licence for the 50,000tpa ‘Balama Central’ graphite project in Mozambique, which it intends to offload alongside the ‘Montepuez’ project to LSE-listed producer Tirupati Graphite.

Completion of this $12.5m sale agreement (cash and shares) is expected to occur in the coming months, BAT says.

BAT’s focus is the ‘Stavely-Stawell’ project, immediately adjacent to Stavely Minerals’ (ASX:SVY) ‘Thursday’s Gossan’ copper-gold discovery in Victoria.

The boundary of the exploration licence is also just 7km from the rich Stawell gold mine, which has produced ~5Moz of gold to date.

Last week, storied copper-gold geologist Peter Duerden joined the company as managing director, effective from January next year.

Duerden previously held managing director roles at Magmatic Resources (ASX:MAG) and Sky Metals (ASX:SKY), along with senior management positions within successful exploration teams at miners Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) and Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK).

The $44m market cap stock is up 60% over the past month, and down 20% year-to-date. It had $3.1m in the bank at the end of September.