Small cap gold hopefuls Barra, Torian, Fraser Range Metals and Tao Commodities are leading the winners pack in morning trade.

The share price of Tao Commodities (ASX:TAO) was up +90 per cent after early stage rock sampling returned high grades like 17.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 8.760g/t silver at the Milford project in Utah.

The explorer listed in 2018 with the Milford project as its flagship, but previous exploration by the company had primarily focused on zinc, copper and lead.

Due to this no assaying for gold was completed – until now.

Further exploration will be planned once all geochemical (soil/rock sampling) results have been received “but will initially include detailed prospect scale mapping and sampling together with additional reconnaissance prospecting work”, the company says.


Barra Resources (ASX:BAR) could become a miner sooner rather than later after entering into a exploration and mining JV over the Burbanks project with privately owned miner and processor FMR Investments. Again.

In 2011, Barra entered an agreement with FMR to advance Burbanks to production, but this deal loitered in purgatory for a few years before it was terminated in 2013.

According to its website, FMR has various mining and milling projects, including the Eloise copper mine near Cloncurry, the Gordon Sirdar gold mine near Kalgoorlie, and the Greenfield Mill at Coolgardie.

As part of the deal, FMR will fund initial drilling and mining costs at the shallow ‘Mainlode’ gold deposit.

The first $8m in profits will go into a future fund for deep exploration drilling below historical workings “and where high-grade mineralisation is known to continue”, Barra says.

Any additional profits will be distributed 80/20, with Barra having a 20 per cent free carried interest. Barra can increase its interest to a max 50 per cent by tipping in additional cash at various stages.

With access to mills in the Eastern Goldfields becoming increasing scarce, the ability to utilise FMR’s nearby Greenfields Mill is considered a significant opportunity to monetise ore from Burbanks at current gold price highs, Barra says.

Drilling will commence immediately. Mining proposals for Burbanks North and Main Lode are “in advance preparation” and will shortly be lodged with the WA Mines Department for approval.


‘Nearology’ plays continue to be popular. Fraser Range Metals (ASX:FRN) is up about 20 per cent today after picking up exploration tenements nearish to De Grey’s (ASX:DEG) Hemi discovery in the Pilbara.

“This ground is highly prospective due to the simple fact that it sits on a fertile structure that is underexplored,” geologist Damien Keys says.

“The Mallina gold province sits on an ENE-WSW trending structural and intrusive corridor some 100km long and up to 10km wide. The recent discovery of the Hemi deposit highlights the potential for new discoveries in this underexplored belt.”


And Torian Resources (ASX:TNR) is up 20 per cent after announcing “an aggressive new wave of exploration programs” at the Mt Stirling project, next door to Red 5’s (ASX:RED) King of the Hills mine in the Eastern Goldfields.

Initial drilling at Stirling will focus on testing the systems at depth.

“Testing the down plunge on the significant intercept of 35m at 2.99g/t could be one of many discoveries on the property we intend to follow up,” Torian chairman Louie Simens says.

“We have now kicked off our three‐phase exploration approach with the work in each phase to overlap each other and we expect to get started within a week.

“The company is in a strong financial position and we’ll keep the market updated on our exploration efforts.”