• Australia’s biggest name in mining (that’d be BHP) is giving Orexplore’s mineral-scanning tech a run. 
  • Nickel miner Corazon has been given First Nation nods of approval to get cracking at Lynn Lake in Canada. 

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday August 18.



Orexplore, a not-even $5m market-capped resources tech firm, is a bright light on a struggling bourse this morning, turning heads with a commercial agreement with none other than BHP (ASX:BHP).

It’s a huge moment for the mineral-scanning minnow industrials techie.

The $1.55m agreement centres around the field deployment of Orexplore’s mobile field-scanning installation and technology to BHP’s Carrapateena copper mine in South Australia.

BHP’s Carrapateena copper mine in SA. Source: Orexplore ASX announcement.

Orexplore will deliver site-based drill-core and sample digitisation services for BHP and the work will focus on bringing value to operations through “multiple OXT solutions”, according to the company.

Those solutions will involve “unlocking new rock mass characterisation and geometallurgical information to advance the short and medium-term mining and operational planning and decision processes”.

Aside from being “excited” and “proud”, Orexplore’s MD, Brett Giroud, said: “Orexplore is working in close collaboration with the BHP TAD team that is leading the way in the successful adoption of transformational technologies such as the Orexplore technology platform.”

TAD team? Whatchatalkin’boutWillis? It stands for Think & Act Differently, which is a BHP initiative that “supports the demonstration of technologies across BHP’s operations including digital core scanning”.

OXT share price



Corazon Mining has signed a new exploration agreement with the Marcel Colomb First Nation (MCFN) of the Lynn Lake area in Manitoba, Canada, who are in “full support” of exploration and potential mining at the nickel sulphide project.

We know this, because we A) checked the ASX’s latest announcements just now, and B), even better, because Stockhead’s team of resources experts had already written up an entire special report covering precisely that news.

We can’t cover it any better than that here, so we suggest you have a read of it. But just quickly, top-lining it further with a few choice, cut-and-pasted notes:

Lynn Lake was a prolific historical nickel-copper-cobalt production centre that was mined for 24 years before closure in 1976.

Corazon has now consolidated the entire mining centre and surrounding tenure under its sole ownership; the first company to do so since mine closure.

The company has been exploring at Lynn Lake since 2010 and has been actively engaging with the MCFN during that time.

[The agreement] sets the framework for advancing a long-term relationship while working to negotiate an agreement that contemplates economic benefits to MCFN, should Corazon Mining re-establish mining within MCFN traditional territory.

Nickel sulphide, by the way, is used to make nickel metal, used in stainless steel production, but probably the main narrative here is that it can also be processed into nickel sulphate – which is a key component for EV batteries.

Nickel demand has been forecasted for big growth on the back of the increasing interest/boom in electric vehicles.

CZN share price



(Up on no news)

Australian miner Firetail Resources is also up today on nothing actually fresh, although it did tweet out the following reminder about the Peruvian government approval granted to drill at the Picha copper mine.

Just in case investors and potential investors missed it the first time around. Good thinking.

Firetail recently signed a binding term sheet to purchase up to an 80% stake in the Peruvian copper projects of  Valor Resources, which actually sealed the drilling permission from the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Valor sold that amount of its interest in the project to FTL in order to instead focus on its Canadian uranium portfolio.

Firetail will be taking on the maiden program of 5,000m of diamond drilling at Pichu, and that’s planned to initially test four key targets – Cobremani, Cumbre Coya, Maricate and Fundicion.

FTL share price



(Up on no news)

VRX, which is on a mission to develop world-class, good-grade silica sand projects in Western Australia, is up on no news we’re seeing so far this morning. 

The most recent update we can give you re VRX, comes from its latest Quarterly Activity Report, in which it reminded us all it’s a “pure-play silica sand exploration and development company with five high-value, advanced, very long-term silica sand projects” in WA.  

Silica sand, by the way, is “the most-used commodity on the planet after air and water”. Well, VRX would say that, wouldn’t they? But on further examination, it appears to be true. It’s the main ingredient in all types of glassmaking, including specialty solar panel and high-tech glass.

The main thing the company highlighted, though, was this: 

A major advance in its Arrowsmith North environmental approvals process. 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.

As Stockhead’s Reuben Adams noted in June, “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.”

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.

VRX share price



(Up on no news)

Remember, recently, when Bowen Coking Coal reported its shipping news? No? Don’t blame you.

But, it seemed a big deal to Bowen, and we’ll remind you of it now, because we can’t see too much else that’s raising its share price by 20% this morning.

If you want some music with the more-than-week-old update, though, here you are:

Bowen essentially reported it shipped four hefty vessels on time in July, which was a target achieved.

The boats are exporting ~179,000t of coal from its Bluff Mine near Blackwater, and Broadmeadow East Pit (coking), part of the company’s Burton Mine Complex near Moranbah in Queensland.

“Our July shipping performance follows 199Kt being shipped in June across four vessels,” noted Bowen Coking Coal chief executive Mark Ruston.

Additionally, the company reported a 45% upgrade in the resource estimate for its Hillalong South project near Glenden, QLD, on the back of its 2022 exploration program.

Hillalong South is the southern part of the company’s Hillalong project in the northern Bowen Basin, and is owned 85% by Bowen and 15% by Japanese conglomerate, Sumitomo Corporation.

BCB share price


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Corazon Mining is a Stockhead advertiser at the time of writing, it did not sponsor this article.