• JV partner IGO hits a 410m-long sulphide zone at Matsa’s ‘Symons Hill’ nickel project in the Fraser Range
  • Okapi to acquire a portfolio of large, high-grade uranium assets in the US
  • Mithril hits bonanza grades like 80.3g/t gold and 705g/t silver at the ‘El Refugio’ project in Mexico

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Monday July 12.



Could this be the next Nova-type nickel discovery?

A deep 843.3m diamond hole drilled by JV partner and major miner IGO (ASX:IGO) hit a 410m-long zone (215m-625m) of blebby and semi massive sulphides at Matsa’s ‘Symons Hill’ nickel project in the Fraser Range of WA.

Assays are pending.

The project is 6km from the Nova nickel mine, a discovery which sent the share price of explorer Sirius up 4000%, from 5c to over $2.50.

When it was finally acquired by IGO in 2015, the former penny stock was valued at $4.38 per share, or $1.8 billion.

IGO is now in the first stage of a $7m earn-in agreement at Symons Hill, earning a 70% interest in the project over three years.

Importantly, $30m market cap Matsa is ‘free carried’ – doesn’t have to pay any exploration or development costs – all the way to a decision to mine.



Okapi Resources will jump into the budding uranium sector with a deal to acquire a portfolio of large, high-grade assets in the US.

The junior explorer will acquire Tallahassee Resources, which owns the Tallahassee uranium project in Colorado and holds an option to acquire the Rattler project in Utah.

Tallahassee has a non-JORC 2012 resource estimate of 26 million pounds of U3O8 at a grade of 540ppm U3O8, with significant exploration upside.

It was previously owned by former ASX listed company Black Range Minerals, which had a +$180 million market cap in 2007 before the existing resource was defined.

Okapi’s market capitalisation prior to announcing the transaction was just $11.7 million.



(Up on no news)

A beneficiary of Barry ‘Garimpeiro’ FitzGerald’s magic touch.

While the explorer’s enterprise value is pretty much covered by two promising gold exploration projects on Kalgoorlie’s doorstep, Garimpeiro reckons Essential’s lithium upside is significant.

“Garimpeiro’s interest is in the about-to-start drilling program at Essential’s Pioneer Dome lithium project, 150km from Kalgoorlie,” he writes.

“It already sports an 11.2 million lithium resource grading a handy 1.21% lithium oxide from limited drilling campaigns in 2019/2020.

“Essential makes the point in a presentation on the ASX platform that its lithium peers command a value of $US291/t for their lithium resources while on an EV basis, its valuation metric sits back at $US75/t.

“The upcoming drilling campaign could close the valuation gap in a hurry, such is the renewed interest in lithium exploration results.”



The $33m market cap gold explorer is pulling up bonanza grades like 80.3g/t gold and 705g/t silver over 8.26 metres at the ‘El Refugio’ project in Mexico.

This extremely high-grade intercept extends the high-grade ‘clavo’ at El Refugio a further 160m down dip, the company says.

“In this exceptional CDH-077 intercept we have observed mineralisation including abundant coarse gold and silver sulphides, consistent with having intercepted the ‘bonanza zone’ as predicted by the geologic model,” Mithril boss John Skeet says.

“Drilling at El Refugio has continued to consistently deliver excellent results establishing El Refugio as a significant deposit for gold and silver in the Copalquin district.”

Deep drilling is ongoing.



(Up on no news)

The ~$8m market cap tiddler will update a 2014 definitive feasibility study (DFS) for its Nowa Nowa iron project in Victoria.

The DFS — a detailed look at the economics of building a project – is due for completion in the current quarter.

Drilling in 2014 at the ‘Five Mile’ deposit outlined a small 9.05Mt resource averaging 50.8% iron.

Eastern Iron says a high-grade direct shipping ore (DSO) product strategy will reduce the timetable and capital requirements to start production.