Resources Top 5: Will uranium’s ‘lithium-like’ breakout happen in 2023?
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Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday January 31.
After a frustrating 2022, uranium sentiment is rising once again. The question everyone is now asking – when will the ‘lithium-like’ breakout happen?
— Ronnie Stoeferle (@RonStoeferle) January 30, 2023
AKN is one junior explorer looking get ahead of the pack with a well-timed acquisition.
The company says it will take “an aggressive approach to exploration” after completing the all-share $6m purchase of four uranium and two copper projects in Tanzania.
“Already this year, we have seen uranium prices push past US$50 per pound and demand is set to increase,” AKN CEO Paul Williams says.
“AuKing’s strategic pivot into this important energy sector commodity is a tremendous value-add for our company and its shareholders.
“We expect investor interest to grow as we work up these prospective uranium projects in coming weeks and months with plenty of news flow on the horizon.”
The four uranium projects — Mkuju, Manyoni, Itigi and Magaga — are either nearby or include areas subject to significant prior exploration and development up until 2012/2013, the company says.
The projects were purchased from mysterious tenement merchant and new AKN co-chair Asimwe Kabunga.
AKN will hand over a bunch of shares which will give Kabunga a 19.69% stake in the company.
He also sits on the board of all three companies.
$15m capped AKN is up 30% year-to-date.
There are silver linings emerging for BKY, which is battling through the approvals process to build its contentious 89.3Mlb Salamanca uranium mine in Spain.
In November 2021, the government rejected the Authorisation for Construction for the uranium concentrate plant (NSC II) as a radioactive facility at Salamanca.
The company strongly refuted the assessment and, one year later, submitted a notification of investment dispute.
“The dispute notice is an initial step to request amicable negotiations to overturn the rejection of NSC II and does not currently comment on the size of any potential damages should the dispute not be resolved amicably,” the company said in November 2022.
“Berkeley will continue to update the market in relation to this matter as required.”
It has now set up an advisory committee comprised of “prominent, highly experienced, and well-regarded Spanish businessmen with extensive networks”.
BKY says the committee has substantially strengthened its position in Spain, “with the committee members’ collective corporate, commercial and operating expertise plus extensive business and government networks greatly assisting the company as it continues to focus on resolving the current permitting situation, and ultimately advancing the Project towards production”.
Oh, and one more thing – Spain’s general election will be held this year, and the main opposition party likes nuclear.
“Spain’s main opposition party, Partido Popular (PP), outlined its economic proposals to deal with the economic and energy crises that the country is currently experiencing,” BKY said late October.
“The actions include the resurrection of nuclear power in Spain and ‘extending the useful life of the reactors’ in line with what other European countries are doing.
“The PP believes that this technology must play a key role in the ecological transition as a support for renewable energies, since the opposite would imply greater gas consumption and therefore greater dependence on countries such as Russia.
“Security of supply concerns continued to be raised in Spain given that the country’s existing nuclear power and fuel fabrication facilities import approximately 39% (2020) of their required uranium from Russia.”
The $185m capped stock is up 50% year-to-date. It had a massive $83.5m in the bank at the end of October.
HRE listed August last year with its reasonably advanced Cowalinya clay REE project in WA, which came to market with an existing 28Mt at 625ppm (parts per million) resource from just 1% of the tenement area.
Assays from a subsequent resource-building drill program are now trickling in with the highest grades to date – up to 7222ppm (0.72%) total rare earths (TREO) over 2m.
That’s high grade for a clay deposit, which usually range between 0.08% to 0.2%.
This hole is 900m away from the current resource, HRE says, with the deposit remaining ‘open’ all over the joint, HRE says.
Other drilling highlights include 14m @ 3217ppm TREO (32.5% magnet REOs) from 16m, including 6m @ 5848ppm TREO from 24m.
A bunch of assays from the 438-hole program remain outstanding.
$10m capped HRE is down 20% on its listing price of 20c per share. It had $3.5m in the bank at the end of December.
He is off to a good start at his new gig with DES, where rock sampling at the Fenix lithium-gold-copper project in the NT is returning results up to 4.1g/t gold and 6.5% copper.
Two targets called Copperfield and Emerald Springs are expected to be drill tested as part of the larger gold drilling program following the wet season.
Results are also imminent from a regional-scale stream sampling program targeting lithium, the company says.
Meanwhile, DES is hunting for greenfields (untouched) high grade (DSO) manganese projects in the tropics – more specifically South America and West Africa — “with a specific focus on battery feedstock”.
The $10m capped stock is currently trading at its IPO price of 20c per share. It had $9.5m in the bank at the end of December.
More clay REE hits, this time from drilling at the Chalice West Project in WA.
Highlights from the recent maiden drilling program include 6m at 1,583ppm TREO (30.6% MREO) from 56m, including 1m @ 3,323ppm.
These latest results confirm three zones of REE enrichment, the largest ~7km-long.
There is also a prominent magnetic feature (~3.5 x 2.5 km) in the centre of Chalice West yet to be drilled.
These results present a fantastic opportunity, managing director Mark English says.
“There is a lot more work to be done, particularly to close the spacings in the 7km system, drill the prominent magnetic feature at the centre of the project, expand the drilling in the NW and southern parts of the project.
“This drilling program represents a very small proportion of the 408km2 project area.”
The explorer has a few more strings to its bow, including the development-ready 47,900oz Jeffery’s Find gold deposit.
AWJ has inked a deal to mine Jeffreys Find with mining contractor BML Ventures, who will be responsible for all mining-related costs.
Once all BML costs have been paid, surplus cash will be split 50/50 between BML and AWJ. There will be no cost to AWJ once a decision to mine is made.
The $6m capped stock is flat year-to-date. It had ~$3m in the bank at the end of December.