Sentiment appears to be improving with a recent survey indicating that retail investors are starting to look at gold and precious metals, though analysts remain cautious.

In its survey for the week ending 14 July 2023, Kitco News found that 61% of respondents to its online polls expect gold to rise the following week while analysts were divided equally between those expecting gains and those expecting prices to remain stable.

As of 18 July 2023, spot gold is trading around US$1,955 per oz, continuing a trend that began at the beginning of this month, though this is still off from the peak it reached in early April.

However, most analysts surveyed believe that gold will have difficulty breaking past the US$1,980/oz mark.

The precious metal had rallied last week following a tamer than expected US inflation report, which saw the consumer price index for June rise 3% year-on-year, slightly lower than the expected 3.1% rise.

This has boosted expectations that the US Federal Reserve might be nearing the end of its interest rate hiking cycle.

Whether prices of the precious metal gain further or not, they remain elevated and that will undoubtedly continue to benefit ASX gold juniors.

ASX junior gold companies

Here are the ASX-listed companies with market capitalisations of less than $40m that have active gold exploration activities.

Asra Minerals (ASX:ASR)

In May, the company entered into an option agreement to double its exploration portfolio in Western Australia’s Leonora region.

The proposed acquisition of the Kookynie West tenure will take its exploration footprint from 170km2 at Mt Stirling to over 360km2 within the same, highly prospective Leonora mineral field.

Notably, the tenements adjoin Genesis Minerals’ Ulysses Gold Project area in Leonora, providing potential for new gold, lithium and rare earth mineralisation.

Asra intends to use handheld pXRF spectrometers to progress mapping and targeting of arsenic anomalies for gold.

Brightstar Resources (ASX:BTR)

With gold production just over the horizon, Brightstar recently added 12km2 of highly prospective tenure adjacent to its Menzies Gold Project (MGP) and divested non-core assets south of the MGP and at the Goongarrie Project in a tenure swap agreement with Ardea Resources.

Notably, it will retain all the gold rights to the exploration licences at the Goongarrie Project.

Brightstar will also acquire 10 prospecting licences immediately adjacent or along strike to existing Brightstar tenements in the Menzies Gold Project, in addition to the gold and lithium rights to exploration licence E29/981.

Production from the MGP is due to begin from the Selkirk open pit mine in August.

Dateline Resources (ASX:DTR)

Drilling at its Colosseum mine in California recently returned thick, high-grade hits such as 63.2m grading 10.28 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from just 91.15m that includes an even higher-grade section of 23.5m at 21.8g/t gold in hole CM23-08.

It follows on drilling in 2022, which also returned grades higher than the resource grade of 1.2g/t, and topped up at 100.6m at 4.16g/t gold from 79.24m in hole CM22-05.

Adding further interest, CM23-08 is just the first of eight holes, which has just now returned a 81.35m interval at 2.57g/t gold from 81.01m in the second hole, that will test targets within areas of the resource model that have low drill density and down to 75m below the base of the current resource.

Unsurprisingly, the company is confident that it will be able to grow both the resource tonnage and grade of the Colosseum project.

Falcon Metals (ASX:FAL)

In mid-June, follow-up aircore drilling at Falcon’s Pyramid Hill project outlined high-grade primary gold mineralisation along a strike length of 300m at the Wandoo prospect.

Drilling returned results such as 1m at 21.8g/t gold from 60m within a broader 8m intercept at 3.72g/t gold from 59m and 1m at 4.96g/t gold from 79m within a 11m zone at 1.14g/t gold from 75m.

The Banksia prospect has also been defined over 800m of strike with primary mineralisation intersected in multiple holes.

First pass reconnaissance drilling in the far north of the project area has also identified two new zones of interest near the towns of Kerang and Pyramid Hill.


Greenstone Resources (ASX:GSR)

Greenstone has kicked off its Phase 2 drilling campaign to deliver further resource growth barely a week after reporting a 68% increase to Indicated and Inferred Resources at its Burbanks project in Western Australia to 6.05Mt at 2.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold to 465,567oz of contained gold.

With the last resource update happening on the back of an additional 10,000m of drilling that was completed during the first phase, the company is now targeting high-grade trends beneath the historical mining centre.

It will drill an initial 10 holes as part of a broader 15,000m campaign to test down dip and along strike extensions to known high-grade gold lodes in largely the upper 500m.

The high-grade trends are largely underexplored with further extensions at depth supported by limited drilling and underground sampling.

Mako Gold (ASX:MKG)

Over in Côte d’lvoire, recent reverse circulation at the company’s flagship Napié project has returned high-grade gold intersections from three of the four high priority targets it tested.

Wide-spaced drilling to the north and west of the existing 868,000oz resource returned notable results such as 1m grading 44.86 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from just 6m in hole NARC819 at the Tchaga North prospect and 6m at 6.03g/t gold from 91m in hole NARC830 at Tchaga West.

Adding further interest, the RC drilling only tested four of the 15 targets identified by the 25,000m auger program.

Assays are also pending from gold and manganese drilling at the company’s Korhogo project.

Manhattan Corp (ASX:MHC)

Drilling at the company’s Clone prospect within its Tibooburra project has made a new gold discovery with all 10 drill holes intersecting significant mineralisation over a strike length of 250m.

Notable intercepts were hole CL0010 with a 9m intercept grading 6.03g/t gold from a down-hole depth of just 16m and hole CL0007 with 7m at 7.23g/t gold from 81m including 3m at 16.1g/t gold.

Clone is located 7km north-northwest of and within a similar geological setting to the “Main Zone” of the company’s advanced New Bendigo prospect.

The discovery highlights the potential for Manhattan to discover a ‘district-scale’ gold play as the 25km geological structure includes the Hot Soils and Pioneer prospects that returned a 5m intercept at 6.96g/t gold from limited reverse circulation drilling in 2022.

Mt Malcolm Mines (ASX:M2M)

The company recently raised funds for the next phase of exploration for gold, volcanic-hosted massive sulphide and rare earths at its Malcolm gold project.

Malcolm covers 274km2 and exhibits a documented record of significant gold production with the Malcolm Mining Centre having historically produced 47,200 ounces from high-grade occurrences, most of which are located in the company’s tenure.

Proposed exploration targets include the flagship Calypso “Constance Lode” new gold system discovery.


Tesoro Resources (ASX:TSO)

Chile-focused Tesoro recently increased its ownership interest in the El Zorro gold project from 85% to about 93.8%.

This follows surface mapping and sampling results confirming that continuous gold anomalism is present within a highly prospective fault corridor extending about 10km north of the 1.3Moz Ternera deposit within the project.

It includes the Kitsune target where drilling is underway and continues on to Calderillas.

Extensional drilling has also confirmed the continuity of a shallow, high-grade southern extension to the Ternera mineralisation along the Dorado Fault Zone.

Warriedar Resources (ASX:WA8)

A 2,300m RC drill program is currently underway at the company’s Stone Hut target within its Fields Find project in WA’s Murchison province to test underexplored targets that share similar characteristics to the Rothschild deposit.

Stone Hut has several historical workings of pits and shallow shafts, though only very limited modern exploration has been undertaken, which is broadly limited to soil, rock chip sampling and shallow reconnaissance drilling.

However, evidence of shallow, high-tenor mineralisation was confirmed by a previous owner in 1990, whose drilling returned 9m at 5.21g/t gold from 26m.

Drilling at Stone Hut was brought forward due to excellent recent results from drilling at Rothschild, another prospect within a larger camp-scale play on the eastern side of the Fields Find project.

Notable extensional drilling results at Rothschild are 18m at 2.43g/t gold from 191m, including 1m at 7.00g/t gold and 15m at 2.16g/t gold from 180m, including 1m at 15.30g/t gold.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Asra Minerals, Brightstar Resources, Dateline Resources, Greenstone Resources, Mako Gold, Manhattan Corporation, Mt Malcolm Mines and Warriedar Resources are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.