• Uranium stocks Berkeley Energia and Energy Resources of Australia take off
  • Iron ore price spike sweeps Victoria-based Eastern Iron higher
  • Newcrest Mining withdraws from Encounter Resources’ WA gold project


Here are your top ASX small cap resources winners in morning trade Monday, December 14.


Uranium exploration company Berkeley Energia (ASX:BKY) advanced strongly in early trade after receiving a key approval for its Salamanca project.

Located in Spain, the project has an estimated net present value of $US532m and will be capable of producing 4.4 million pounds of uranium per year.

Madrid has granted a renewal of the company’s initial authorisation for a uranium concentrate plant at the Salamanca project.

Cash-basis production costs for the project are $US15.06 per pound, and about half of the current level of uranium market prices.

“With operating costs almost exclusively in Euros and a revenue stream in US dollars, the project is expected to continue to benefit from the effects of deflationary pressures in the European Union,” said the company on its website.



Another ASX uranium company, Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA), took off Monday, absent any news, as its Ranger mine continues to wind down.

Majority owned by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), ERA’s Ranger mine in the Northern Territory is scheduled to cease production in early January 2021.

Company production guidance for 2020 is 1,200 to 1,600 tonnes of uranium oxide, and remaining production is based on Ranger’s ore stockpile.

Ranger has been in operation for 35 years and during that time has produced 130,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.

Rio Tinto has a shareholding of 86.3 per cent in ERA, and the rehabilitation of Ranger is set for completion in 2026.




Current high iron ore prices have given a lift to Eastern Iron (ASX:EFE) which advanced 20 per cent in early Monday trading without releasing any news.

The company was formed in 2008 with the purpose of discovering and delineating iron ore projects on Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Eastern Iron is developing its Nowa Nowa iron project in eastern Victoria for which a feasibility study has been completed.

Nowa Nowa is located in East Gippsland and has a resource estimate of 9.05 million tonnes with an iron content of 50.8 per cent.

The feasibility study outlines an open cut mine operation for 1 million tonnes per year over a mine-life of seven years.

The operation has a free-on-board cost of $41.10 per tonne, and ore could be delivered to ships using a slurry line from a pumping facility on the coast.



Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) was a strong performer Monday on announcing it has gained 100 per cent control of the West Tanami gold project in WA.

Former joint venture partner Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) has withdrawn from the West Tanami joint venture in which equity was shared 50:50.

“Newcrest Mining has advised of its decision to withdraw from the Selby, Watts and Lewis joint ventures. Newcrest will hold no residual interest in West Tanami,” said Encounter Resources.

The explorer’s Aileron joint venture with Newcrest Mining in the West Arunta region of WA continues, and assay results are expected for this in early 2021.

Newcrest has completed 18,400km of airborne magnetic survey, and heritage clearances over the past 24 months for the West Tanami project.

Encounter Resources managing director, Will Robinson, said the company was ‘delighted to be back in control’ of West Tanami in a strong gold market.



Horizon Gold (ASX:HRN) soared in early trade, triggered by news of high grade intercepts for its Swift and Swan North deposits at its Gum Creek Gold project.

The hits included 29m at 9.1 grams per tonne gold from 70m for Swift North and South, and 17m at 3.7 g/t gold from 139m at Swan North.

Drilling was carried out at the Gum Creek gold project in the Mid-west region of WA in September and October.

The Swift and Swan North deposit areas drilled are host to historic gold production, and approximately 75 per cent of drill holes intersected targeted mineralisation.