Resources Top 5: Two battery metals acquisitions and one ‘heavily overbid’ $13.6m cap raise
Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Monday November 1.
The critical minerals explorer has secured a couple of WA rare earths and high purity alumina projects in an all-share deal, complementing the recent acquisition of the ‘Murraydium’ ionic clay (IAC) hosted rare earths project in South Australia.
The ‘Gascoyne’ rare earths project adjoins the Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) world-class ‘Yangibana’ deposit, which is set to be the next REE producer outside of China by 2023.
The project area is also in the same neighbourhood as recent discoveries made by Dreadnought Resources (ASX:DRE) at its ‘Mangaroon’ project.
Very limited exploration has been undertaken at the Gascoyne project, FNT says.
The ‘Koolya’ High Purity Alumina (HPA) project is prospective for bright white kaolin. Kaolin deposits with low impurities are an optimal feedstock for HPA, a market which is witnessing dramatic consumer driven growth, FNT says.
“HPA growth has been invigorated in response to global investment in new applications and technologies such as electric vehicles, static energy storage sector and LED lighting have created increased demand and market opportunities,” the company says.
Koolya is a “drill ready project” with reconnaissance drilling to be undertaken immediately on a tenement grant to investigate the depth, thickness, ISO brightness, mineralogy, and alumina content over the project area.
$15.5m market cap FNT is up 10% over the past month.
The former gold explorer has now completed the pivot to battery metals, pegging a lithium project near its manganese assets in the Pilbara region of WA.
The newly acquired ground is “near existing lithium occurrences and areas active in lithium exploration”, the company says.
Early-stage field reconnaissance is planned in the coming months in conjunction with activity on the company’s East Pilbara manganese projects.
“These exciting new opportunities add to the company’s current critical mineral strategy in a low-cost way,” AX8 managing director Yaxi Zhan says.
“The new areas are prospective for lithium, tin and tantalite and are highly complementary to the company’s strategy and exploration program in the Pilbara region.”
The $10m market cap minnow is 40% up over the past month, and down 6% year-to-date.
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The copper-gold porphyry hunter has struggled for traction in 2021, with the share price down a substantial 63% year-to-date.
AQX has stayed busy, though. The explorer is currently completing a scoping study on the ~500,000oz ‘Horn Island’ gold project, which should be released shortly.
AQX is also targeting a ‘Cadia Valley’ like copper-gold porphyry complex at the ‘Mendooran’ project in the Lachlan Fold of NSW.
The company’s exploration strategy in this project area is led by John Holliday, former chief geoscientist at Newcrest and principal discoverer of its giant ~50Moz gold, 9mt copper Cadia Valley deposit.
Drilling at two sites — co-funded by the NSW New Frontiers Co-Operative Drilling grant – was due to commence in Q3 2021 “subject to sufficiently dry ground conditions”.
ASN has its fingers in several pies – nickel-copper-PGEs near Julimar, newly acquired uranium-vanadium ground – but its focus is the ‘Paradox’ lithium-bromine project in southern Utah, which is nearing a development decision.
ASN’s lithium carbonate has now performed “slightly better” than existing commercial products in 300 cycle test work programs over three months completed by battery tester Novonix (ASX:NVX).
Its lithium hydroxide demonstrated similar performance to existing commercial products in the long-term cycle experiments.
These test results are to be shared with potential off-take partners and end-users, ASN says. The company recently appointed a financial adviser “to secure an attractive, flexible funding package” for the development of Paradox.
The $109m market cap stock is up 22% over the past month, and 267% year-to-date.
A “heavily overbid” $13.6m cap rise will fast-track exploration at the Marble Bar Lithium Project (MBLP) in 2022, the Pilbara-based company says.
As part of the placement, Yibin Tianyi — the lithium chemical arm of world’s largest EV battery producers Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) – will invest $6.2 million for a 9.9% interest in GL1.
Yibin Tianyi operates a 20ktpa lithium hydroxide plant and plans to commission a further 25ktpa of capacity by the end of 2021.
A further Stage 3 expansion for 110ktpa by the end of 2024 would make Yibin Tianyi one of the largest lithium chemical suppliers in China.
“To be able to secure support from a lithium industry participant with the credibility of Yibin Tianyi is a strong vote of confidence in our company and we look forward to developing our relationship with them over time,” GL1 managing director Jamie Wright says.
“The capital raising funds provide us with the ability to ramp up our activities on site as we seek to grow our project and we are looking forward to a busy 2022 period.
“Drilling is continuing at our MBLP and we will update the market as we start to receive results.”
The $49m market cap stock is up 180% on it May listing price of 20c per share.