• MQR and MinRes accelerate farm-in agreement over the lithium rights at MQR’s West Spargoville project
  • Buying continues for second straight day after Iceni Gold reports “spectacular” high grade gold in rock samples
  • Basin Energy prepping maiden 6-week drill program in the uranium-rich Athabasca district, Canada

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in morning trade, Friday, June 9.



MQR and $13.5bn capped miner MinRes (ASX:MIN) will accelerate the farm-in agreement over the lithium-only rights at MQR’s West Spargoville Project (WSP).

WSP is in the Southern Yilgarn of WA, which also hosts the 26Mt Bald Hill mine, MIN’s own 71Mt Mt Marion mine, Liontown Resources’ (ASX:LTR) 15Mt Buldania project and Essential Metals’ (ASX:ESS) 11.2Mt Pioneer Dome project.

MIN recently built a blocking stake in ESS to prevent the tiddler from being acquired by IGO (ASX:IGO) and its partner in arms, China’s Tianqi.

Chris Ellison’s firm has now acquired an initial 25% interest in the lithium rights at WSP by funding ~$4.8m on exploration in less than 12 months.

The companies will now form a Joint Venture (JV) with two options on the table; processing farm in, or a mining farm in.

Under the processing farm in, MIN can earn up to 70% in the lithium rights by funding the project until the point of a final investment decision on a mine development within 5 years.

The mining farm in option would see MIN earn 51% of the lithium rights by funding the project until the development, construction and commissioning of a mine within 5 years.

MIN would build, own and operate all plant, equipment and infrastructure for the mining operations and buy lithium ore for a mine gate sale price on commercial terms.

MIN will keep financing all  exploration/ development costs at WSP until it decides on either the processing or mining farm in option.

Seems like a great deal for MQR.

It’s still early days for the project though, much of which is covered by a layer of transported overburden.

That means lots of drilling — ~40,0000m so far for a peak result of 1m at 1.1% – just to dial in on the motherlode/s.

“Due to the nature and depth of the weathering profile, aircore drilling is required initially to target blind pegmatites for follow-up RC drilling,” the company says.

“As such, the AC drilling is considered reconnaissance in nature, however multiple pegmatites have been intersected with significant geochemical anomalism.”

MQR and MIN are currently reviewing all the data of last year’s exploration campaign and expect to announce 2023 exploration program details “in the near term”.

The $12m capped MQR is up 20% year-to-date. It had $4.6m in the bank at the end of March.



(Up on no news)

The buying has continued for a s second straight day after the explorer reported “spectacular” high grade gold in rock samples Thursday at the Everleigh Well target, part of the 14 Mile Well project in WA.

Just check this out:

Peak assays from the outcropping vein were between 14,700g/t and 18,207g/t, it says.

Prospecting activity has also recovered gold nuggets across the Everleigh Well tenure.

The nuggets found near the vein are angular and show little or no signs of transport, ICL says, which means the primary source may be close by.

“Assay results from the discovery of the second outcropping quartz vein with visible gold in the Everleigh target area are exciting, as they back up the initial field observations that reported visible gold in outcrop,” ICL technical director David Nixon says.

“The high-grade rock chip results from the vein are supported by the underlying UFF+ soil anomaly, prospectivity indicators (including gold nuggets, workings, and anomalous geochemical assays) and the multiple coincident targets generated by existing exploration work.

“The Everleigh Well target area continues to deliver in-situ gold bearing rock chips and significant numbers of various sized gold nuggets, where a number of key targets will be prepared for future exploration drilling.”

It’s not the first time ICL has picked up a bagful of nuggety gold.

The $20m capped stock is up 60% year-to-date. It had $2.1m in the bank at the end of March.



VRX is closer to receiving those all-important environmental approvals for development of the Arrowsmith North silica sand project, 270km north of Perth in WA.

The environmental review doc (ERD) has been accepted by the relevant government dept for publication and a 4-week public review (PER) and response period.

This is the final step before the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia (EPA) prepares an assessment report including recommendations to the Western Australian Environment Minister on whether the mine should go ahead.

“VRX has proposed a unique method for rehabilitation of the mined area that provides for the best possible outcome for regeneration of native vegetation,” VRX MD Bruce Maluish says.

The method removes a 400mm-deep sod with topsoil, keeping most native flora and invertebrate fauna intact.

“The ERD seeks approval for 30 years of mining,” he says.

“The development area has the potential to underpin a project lasting up to 60 years (subject to further approvals), underscoring the enormous economic contribution that could flow to the Irwin Shire in particular and Western Australia more broadly.”

Arrowsmith North has a Proved and Probable Ore Reserve of 221Mt on granted mining leases. VRX reckons production could start this year.

VRX has already purchased some of the long-lead items for the sand processing plant and continues to engage with potential buyers. A DFS is also underway.



(up on no news)

The former NT uranium play changed focus – and location – buying “the world’s largest and only” cryolite mine in Greenland in January last year.

Just feast your eyes on this beautiful landscape:

Over 120 years between 1865 and 1985, the Ivittuut mine produced 3.8 million tonnes of high-grade cryolite, a rare mineral proven to reduce energy consumption in aluminium production.

Aluminium smelters use a huge amount of power as they run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Tomago smelter, for example, uses about 10 per cent of NSW’s total power supply each year.

The mothballed mine also contains rare earths (REE) and base metals.

There’s also lithium potential, and an additional REE target 10km away called ‘Gronnedal-lka’, which has not been properly tested.

Eclipse recently completed a maiden percussion drilling and trench sampling program across the Ivigtût and Grønnedal targets, with assay results due “before the end of the June quarter”.

That deadline is fast approaching.

Given the focus by previous operators on only delineating and mining the Ivigtût cryolite deposit, EPM is the first company to test the REE and multi-element potential at both Grønnedal and Ivigtût.

Once assays are received a comprehensive resource assessment will follow.

Upcoming field activities also include geological mapping, assessment of historical drill core, further drilling and trenching and base-line studies preparatory to dewatering of the historic cryolite open-cut mine.

The $30m capped stock is down 40% year-to-date. It had $1.3m in the bank at the end of March.



(Up on no news)

Following a $9m IPO, uranium explorer BSN listed on the ASX September 2022 with 3 projects in Canada’s world class Athabasca Basin.

BSN is surrounded by several world-class high grade uranium discoveries and operations at Athabasca, a top 3 global uranium mining district for over 45 years.

Cameco’s (TSX:CCO) McArthur River mine, for example, contains 674.9Mlbs at an eyewatering grade of 16.9%.

Topping even this is IsoEnergy’s (TSXV:ISO) new Hurricane discovery — 48.6 Mlbs U3O8 @ 34.5%, making it the world’s highest grade uranium resource.


BSN is now prepping for a maiden 6-week drill program – 8 holes for 2000m — at the Geikie project, due to kick off second week of June.

The initial 8 hole, 2000m program is testing some shallow, high priority prospects deemed favourable for high grade uranium discoveries.

“Our efforts to date have generated a compelling pipeline of regionally significant drill ready uranium targets at shallow depths,” MD Pete Moorhouse says.

“As this drilling commences, Basin continues to develop the secondary targets identified at Geikie, whilst bolstering is North Millennium and Marshall targeting criteria.

“We are seeing a very positive sentiment in the uranium space emerging, and Basin is extremely well positioned to capitalise on this through the exploration of its projects in the world-class Athabasca Basin.”

Today, the company reported that Moorhouse had picked up another 50,000 shares on market worth $6600. Probably pocket change for the big man, but still a good look for other BSN investors.

The $10m capped stock is flat year to date. It had a substantial $7.3m in the bank at the end of March.

READ: Uranium’s next upward move could be ‘particularly strong and chaotic’, experts say