Price Charge Rattles Tassie Tin Prospects

THE INSIDE STORY: Discerning market watchers would be aware of Venture Minerals (ASX: VMS) as one of the Australian Securities Exchange’s diversified exploration plays.

Venture Minerals boasts a portfolio that includes a tin-tungsten resource at the company’s Mount Lindsay project in Tasmania and the Thor Volcanogenic Massive Sulphides (VMS) prospect in Western Australia.

Venture Minerals’ more advanced project is the company’s Mount Lindsay tin and tungsten project in Tasmania.

Venture has long declared Mount Lindsay as being one of the world’s largest undeveloped tin projects, one that is ideally placed to take advantage of the recent rise in both interest and the price of tin.

The 148 square kilometre Mount Lindsay project is in north-western Tasmania within the contact metamorphic aureole of the highly perspective Meredith Granite.

The project sits between the world class Renison Bell tin mine, which has produced more than 231,000 tonnes of tin metal since 1968, and the Savage River magnetite mine that has operated for over 50 years and currently produces approximately 2.5 million tonnes per annum of iron pellets.

Venture owns 100 per cent of the tenure that hosts both the Mount Lindsay tin-tungsten deposit and all surrounding prospects.

Since commencing exploration on the project in 2007, Venture has completed approximately 83,000m of diamond core drilling at Mount Lindsay, from which it has defined higher grade JORC compliant Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources of 4.7 million tonnes at 0.4 per cent tin and 0.3 per cent tungsten with over 60 per cent in the Measured and Indicated categories.

Tin has been trending of late, hitting over the US$21,000 per tonne mark, which analysts attribute to lowering LME stocks and that most of the mining for tin is carried out in jurisdictions of dubious ethics.

There are plenty of uses in modern-day technology where tin is already a vital element, however, it is its ability to make lithium-ion batteries last more than three times longer, that has positioned it as an obvious choice to meet the anticipated demand for better batteries in mobile phones, cameras, iPads and other mobile devices.

Of course, the obvious market for tin, as all new age metals, is the use of lithium-ion batteries in hybrid and all-electric cars.

As part of Venture’s response to high demand from the fast-growing electric vehicle market, the company kicked off an underground scoping study on the high-grade portion of the tin-tungsten resource at the Mount Lindsay project.

“There has been quite a lot of work carried out to advance the scoping study we have underway at Mount Lindsay, the results which we should be able to release to the market very soon,” Venture Minerals managing director Andrew Radonjic told The Resources Roadhouse.

“We could get Mount Lindsay into production reasonably quickly given that much of the work we have used for the scoping study is from the previously completed feasibility study.”

The scenario Venture Minerals is considering for Mount Lindsay is for a one hundred per cent underground operation.

The company recognises such an operation would lower the environmental footprint and the associated environmental risk and possibly reduce its capex from around $200 million to closer to $50 million

The flowsheet changes would include a much smaller and simpler plant, processing a higher-grade primary-source tin ore body.

In other words, a project that is more permittable and more fundable, operating in a more ethical environment than where a large portion of the world’s tin currently comes from.

The Thor prospect is situated within Venture’s 281 square-kilometre Southwest tenement package 240 kilometres south of Perth in Western Australia.

It is hosted within the Balingup Gneiss Complex, an area that was first identified as being prospective for base and precious metals by a Joint Venture between Teck Cominco and BHP Billiton.

The Teck/BHP JV completed surface sampling and airborne EM surveys to discover the Kingsley base and precious metals deposit, a meta-VMS system in high-grade metamorphic rocks.

Venture’s nearby Thor prospect hosts a strong and coherent arsenic in laterite anomaly with locally elevated levels of copper, zinc, tin, bismuth, tungsten and antimony, elements that are typically elevated in VMS systems.

Following the discovery of the main Thor target as well as three additional anomalies to the east, Venture focused on extending and refining the known exploration targets.

Surface sampling extended the main Thor target and identified additional targets to the north and south, pushing the total combined strike to over 10km of EM and geochemical targets.

The company later acquired the northern extension, meaning Thor now encompasses some 24 strike kilometres of prospective geology, which already hosts multiple VMS style targets.

The most recent work carried out at Thor consisted of an EM survey to follow up on a recent discovery Venture made of massive and semi-massive sulfides in reconnaissance drilling targeting a large historic EM anomaly.

The EM survey confirmed multiple priority VMS targets with final processing of the new data demonstrating the strongest responses sit outside of the areas drilled by two earlier reconnaissance holes targeting the Thor VMS style sequence, where a 17-metre zone of disseminated, semi-massive and massive sulfides with up to 0.3 per cent zinc and 0.2 per cent copper was intersected.

As a result, Venture is currently drilling to test the highest ranked targets based on these high-resolution survey results.

Just to round out its project portfolio, Venture recently acquired a prospective 374sqkm land package, situated less than 10km north of the Golden Grove Camp, which is currently Western Australia’s hotspot for VMS deposits.

The region has some sturdy VMS credentials. In 2002, Golden Grove had a resources and production endowment of 40.2 million tonnes at 1.8 per cent copper, 0.9 per cent lead, 7.6 per cent zinc, 103g/t silver and 0.8g/t gold.

The mine was recently acquired by EMR Capital for US$210 million.

It has been around 25 years since any VMS exploration was undertaken on the Golden Grove North project and Venture has signalled its intentions to implement a systematic exploration approach, utilizing the latest techniques to explore for VMS style mineralisation.

Several compelling target areas have already been identified throughout the project, including historic shallow gold drill intersections of:

10 metres at 1.4g/t gold from 16m;
8m at 2.1g/t gold from 6m;
6m at 2.3g/t gold from 6m and 3m at 3.6g/t gold from 95m.

Strong gold and copper surface rock chip sampling results have also been noted, including:

9.4g/t gold;
7.4g/t gold and 6.6 per cent copper;
6.2g/t gold;
5.7g/t gold;
4g/t gold;
3.8g/t gold and 0.1 per cent lead;
7.6 per cent copper and 27g/t silver, 8 per cent copper; and
2 per cent copper.

An extensive land position of interpreted lithologies prospective for VMS style mineralisation for over 25 strike kilometres also remains, due to cover, largely untested.

Since acquiring the project in October 2018, Venture Minerals has been collating historical data in preparation for a geological re-interpretation of the project in order to generate new VMS target areas for a field validation program.


Venture Minerals Limited (ASX: VMS)
…The Short Story

Suite 3, Level 3
24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA, 6005

Ph: +61 8 6279 9428


Mel Ashton, Andrew Radonjic, Hamish Halliday, John Jetter


Southern Hemisphere Summer Time for Domestic Exploration

THE INSIDE STORY: Northern hemisphere seasonal conditions provide Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) the ideal opportunity to stay home over the holidays and explore its domestic portfolio.

Blackstone Minerals’ major focus is the company’s BC cobalt project in British Columbia, Canada, however, it also has the emerging Silver Swan South gold project, located eight kilometres along strike of the five million-ounce Kanowna Belle gold mine near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The Silver Swan South project comprises one exploration licence application E27/545 and six granted prospecting licences, P27/2191 – 2196 covering an area of 47.2 square kilometres and are located approximately 40 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie.

“Around this time of year, we start to focus more on our Australian assets,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson told The Resources Roadhouse.

“The reason for this is that there is substantial snow covering in Canada, so we can’t access our ground.

“This is not at all a bad outcome, as it does allow us to give the attention, we feel, our Silver Swan South gold project in Western Australia deserves.”

Results from Blackstone Minerals’ 2018 drilling campaign at the Silver Swan South gold project produced several encouraging results.

The company’s second phase aircore drilling program at Silver Swan South demonstrated its potential as being an emerging gold discovery hosting extensive gold mineralisation and basement geochemical anomalism.

The basement geochemistry contours at the project’s Black Eagle prospect are similar in size to the footprint of the nearby Kanowna Belle deposit.

The basement geochemical anomalisms at the Black Eagle deposit as well as at the Black Hawk prospect are located along the interpreted extension of the Fitzroy Shear Zone, which hosts the Kanowna Belle gold mine.

The drilling encountered gold mineralisation and extensive basement geochemical anomalism at the Black Eagle prospect, providing a result of:

10 metres at 3.2 grams per tonne gold from 68m within 15m at 2.2g/t gold from 64m to end-of-hole (EOH).

On the back of this result, Blackstone was able to promote the Black Eagle prospect to priority drill target status given that it combined with previous equally encouraging reconnaissance results of 3m at 3.5g/t gold from 60m and 3m at 2.6g/t gold from 52m from the Black Hawk prospect.

Although Blackstone Minerals is keen to identify the extent and source of the gold mineralisation at Silver Swan South, it is also eager to follow-up results of surface sampling of the target ultramafic unit that previously confirmed the presence of nickel sulphides (pentlandite).

“When we originally acquired this ground, we actually did so for its nickel potential,” Williamson said.

“We have a ten-kilometre ultramafic package, which is the host for komatiite-style nickel sulphides.

“This is the project the company originally listed on, because we liked what we saw in terms of nickel sulphide potential, so we are now going to revisit that nickel sulphide potential.”

Williamson intimated the impetus behind the company’s nickel sulphide drive stems from discussions it is having with a potential partner; a Korea-based battery metals-focused company.

“We are in early discussion with a Korean entity that is interested, not only in cobalt, which is our Canadian focus, but is also interested in nickel,” he said.

Once the Canadian snow melts, Blackstone will return to British Columbia to follow-up the impressive copper, gold and cobalt targets it identified by way of a soil sampling program undertaken on the company’s BC cobalt project (previously known as the Little Gem cobalt project).

The most recent work undertaken at the BC cobalt project consisted an extensive soil sampling program that identified several copper-gold-cobalt targets.

This program identified the Jewel copper-gold-cobalt prospect, located 1.1 kilometres north-northeast of the project’s original focus, the Little Gem prospect.

The new soil anomalies are greater than 1.5 kilometres long and coincide with IP targets indicating a possible large sulphide bearing body at depth.

These copper, gold and cobalt soil anomalies are located within a structural setting near the contact between the granodiorite and serpentinite that Blackstone considers to be analogous in geological setting to the deposits of the Bou-Azzer primary cobalt district in Morocco.

“We consider there to be forty-eight kilometres of that particular geology that delivered the Little Gem target,” Williamson explained.

“We are now referring to the area as the BC cobalt project, or BC Cobalt Belt.

“We have only tested one target – Little Gem – out of the entire belt at this stage.

“The key target to have now emerged for testing is the Jewel copper-gold-cobalt prospect.”

Surface rock chip samples taken at the Jewel prospect returned grades of up to 5.6 per cent copper and 5.1 per cent copper.

The BC project took further shape with the discovery of the Erebor cobalt-gold discovery, located 900m along an interpreted ultramafic trend to the south-west of the historic Little Gem adits.

Results from surface rock chip samples taken from the Erebor discovery returned assays recording grades of up to 2.3 per cent cobalt and 32 grams per tonne gold.

High-grade cobalt assays from surface rock chip samples taken from the Erebor discovery included:

2.3 per cent cobalt, 32 g/t gold and 1.1 per cent nickel;
1 per cent cobalt;
1 per cent cobalt;
0.6 per cent cobalt;
0.6 per cent cobalt;
0.5 per cent cobalt; and
0.4 per cent cobalt.

These were complemented by high-grade gold and copper assays recorded from surface rock chip samples from Erebor, including:

16.7g/t gold and 1.6 per cent copper;
10.4g/t gold; and
1.5 per cent copper.

Blackstone claims Erebor as the first discovery of significant cobalt-gold mineralisation in the region since prospectors discovered similar mineralisation at Little Gem in the 1930s.

The company believes the Erebor discovery further suggests the potential for the BC project to host multiple deposits akin to the Bou-Azzer primary cobalt district in Morocco.

Blackstone remains encouraged by the fact there has been very little modern-day exploration undertaken across the BC cobalt project since the activities carried out by the early prospectors at Little Gem.

Even since then the main activities have involved airborne geophysical surveys (including magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic (EM) surveys) in the 1970s and a further two drill holes completed in 1986.

The mineral occurrence at the Jewel prospect supported some gold production from 1938 to 1940.

Cobalt contributes up to 60 per cent of the value of Lithium Ion Batteries (LIBs), which in turn accounts for greater than 50 per cent of global demand.

The projected role of LIBs in the emerging electric vehicle market makes them one of the more significant sources of power in the foreseeable future.

Analysts such as Bloomberg have forecast 55 per cent of vehicles sold by 2040 to be electric.

This statistic hits reality when compared to the current figure of just one per cent of global sales attributed to EVs.

Cobalt is expected to have a supply deficit as currently mining is only just meeting demand.

The cobalt price increased from US$10/lb (US$22,000/t) to US$40/lb (US$87,000/t) in recent times before falling to US$25/lb (US$55,000/t) due to seasonal factors.

Current prices are still well short of the 2008 high of US$52/lb (US$115,000/t) which was the last time cobalt was in deficit.


Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX: BSX)
…The Short Story

Suite 3, Level 3
24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA, 6005

Ph: +61 8 9425 5217


Hamish Halliday, Scott Williamson, Andrew Radonjic, Michael Konnert, Stephen Parsons


New Gold Discovery Sharpens Exploration focus

THE INSIDE STORY: Numbers, particularly those that quickly increase Resources, are a cornerstone of exploration activities and for gold play Bellevue Gold (ASX: BGL) the numbers continue to add up.

Bellevue Gold has been rapidly increasing the known gold mineralisation around and along strike of the historic Bellevue Mine underground workings, known as the Bellevue Surrounds, at the company’s Bellevue gold project, located 400 kilometres north west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The Bellevue gold mine came with some pedigree, having been one of Australia’s highest-grade historical gold mines producing approximately 800,000 ounces of gold at 15 grams per tonne gold before it closed in 1997.

After acquiring the project, Bellevue Gold wasted little time in releasing a maiden 500,000 ounces at 8.2 grams per tonne gold Resource for the project, just to remind market watchers of the project’s existence and the potential it holds for possible rapid growth.

This was followed just two months later with the release of an increased Inferred Resource estimate of 1.04 million ounces at 12.3g/t gold.

This included a maiden estimate for a new discovery made by the company at the Viago Lode, situated less than 150 metres from the historic Bellevue underground workings, of 550,000 ounces at 22g/t gold.

The relatively small amount of work already completed at Viago has already defined a bonanza grade zone in excess of 120m in the central portion of the new discovery zone returning results of:

3m at 85.9 grams per tonne gold from 597m, including 0.5m at 445g/t gold from 598m;

6.4m at 27.9g/t gold from 587.6m, including 2.8m at 62.8g/t gold from 587.6m; and

4.3m at 58.8g/t gold from 575.5m.

The Viago bonanza zone is characterised by massive to semi-massive pyrrhotite mineralisation with visible disseminated gold over widths up to several metres.

Subsequent Down Hole Electro-Magnetic (DHEM) surveying indicated potential for multiple repeats of these high-grade ore zones within the overall mineralised envelope that are analogous to the high-grade ore zones previously mined at Bellevue.

The company holds the scale of high-grade mineralisation at Viago in high regard, with it having been defined over 800m of strike and around 200m across strike and remaining completely open.

The mineralised shear zone has been intersected for a further 100m of potential strike with narrow high-grade intervals intercepted in scout holes testing the northern and southern extremities.

The current geological interpretation is that the high-grade mineralisation forms gently plunging ore shoots consistent with the high-grade plunges identified at the Tribune Lode and the Bellevue Mine.

The company believes recent drilling has proven the Viago Lode could be a company making, high-grade lode style gold discovery.

Even in its ‘newly-discovered’ state, the Viago Lode is an attractive prospect, given that all metal Bellevue reported from the Viago Lode in the Resource upgrade sits between 470m and 590m from surface.

No Resource estimates for previously reported deposits/lodes of the Bellevue project were included in the update.

This provides a good deal of blue sky for any further updates, which Bellevue has flagged to be expected early in 2019 with the company confident of significantly raising the Resource at Bellevue.

“We have just recommenced drilling on site with three drill rigs, and that will soon become four rigs,” Bellevue Gold executive director Steve Parsons told The Resources Roadhouse.

“Those rigs will be stepping out on the Bellevue Lode and stepping out on the Viago Lode.

“So, we expect there to be a fairly positive news flow regarding drilling results over the next few months.

“The next thing will be a Resources upgrade…we said last year that we anticipated a Resource upgrade to be released in the first quarter of this year.

“The Resource currently stands at just over one million ounces at 12 grams per tonne gold and we expect to grow that at the same rate we were able to achieve last year.

“From there we hope to release a further upgrade mid-year, around June or July.”

The current drilling is following up significant results Bellevue achieved from 11 holes it drilled into the Lodes hosted within the historic Bellevue Mineralised Zone directly to the north of the Viago Lode discovery.

That drilling targeted the southern extension of known mineralisation of the unmined section of the Bellevue Lode as well as testing an existing void from earlier stope development undertaken at the Bellevue mine to confirm mineralisation beyond the existing mined areas.

The drilling confirmed the existence of high-grade unmined gold mineralisation that returned highly-encouraging results demonstrating new parallel Lodes only a few metres from the historic Bellevue Underground workings.

Results included:

0.45 metres at 33.2 grams per tonne gold from 313.95m (New Parallel Lode) and 2.4m at 13.1g/t gold from 417.1 m, including 0.7m at 71g/t gold (New Parallel Lode);

1.6m at 12.5g/t gold from 215.5m (New Parallel Lode) and 0.8m at 2g/t gold from 320.4m (Bellevue Lode);

1.3m at 35.2g/t gold from 75.6m (Hamilton Lode) and 3.9m at 16g/t gold from 191.1m (Bellevue Lode);

0.7m at 17g/t gold from 124.9m (New Parallel Lode) and 0.7m at 11.6g/t gold from 160.6m (New Parallel Lode) and 0.6m at 25.6g/t gold from 202.4m (Bellevue Lode);

1.1m at 9.3g/t gold from 143.9m (Hamilton Lode) and 1.2m at 19.3g/t gold from 208.2m (Henderson Lode) and 2.4m at 26.1g/t gold from 269.9m (Bellevue Lode);

3.1m at 5.6g/t gold from 170.8m (Hamilton Lode);

6.4m at 5.4g/t gold from 90.6m (Tribune Lode) and 0.3m at 10.4g/t gold from 378.4m (New Parallel Lode); and

3.5m at 12.3g/t gold from 411.8m (New Parallel Lode).

It is worth noting that this round of drilling also intercepted several previously unknown mineralised positions, extending mineralisation within the Bellevue Shear 230m further south of previously tested extents of the underground workings.

Modelling completed by the company has indicated the Bellevue Shear to be completely open in this direction and as such has emerged as a high-priority follow up drill target.

As essential as its drilling program is to its exploration activities, Bellevue Gold has also been digitizing the project’s historic mined void models and reconstructing the Bellevue mineralised envelope at the old underground mine.

From this the company has determined that a healthy amount of mineralised material was left unmined during the previous operation due to the mining of only the ‘bonanza-style’ super-high-grade ore shoots and leaving the proximal ore behind.

Bellevue Gold was able to verify this theory by contacting previous mine management and completing further analysis of the mine closure resource void model.

A small portion of this remnant material is included in the current Bellevue global resource estimate and the company considers there to be potential to extend the known mineralisation along strike to both the north and south.

“The results from the most recent drilling at the historic Bellevue underground mine area as well as mineralised extensions immediately to the south of the underground workings confirmed our view that a significant amount of high-grade gold mineralisation remains in and around the historic Bellevue Surrounds underground area,” Parsons said.

“This remaining gold mineralisation is also very close to existing underground development infrastructure, which although is currently flooded, won’t be difficult to re-establish.”


Bellevue Gold Limited (ASX: BGL)
…The Short Story

Suite 3, Level 3
24 Outram Street
West Perth, WA, 6005

Ph: +61 8 6424 8077



Riversgold Identifies New Targets at Ella Prospect

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Riversgold (ASX: RGL) identified new drill targets from a review of historic drilling data surrounding the company’s recently announced Western Australia gold discoveries at Farr-Jones, Eales and Little.

Riversgold has identified added drill targets at the Ella prospect, approximately 4.5 kilometres north of Farr-Jones.

The Ella prospect is located immediately south of the Transline access road and approximately 2.5km north of the Little prospect, where Riversgold recently intersected 12 metres at 1.9 grams per tonne gold, including 8m at 2.8g/t gold in the first drilling of this target.

Riversgold explained that as with the Farr-Jones prospect, Ella is hosted in clastic sediments to the east of the Randall Fault and was previously drilled in 1990-92 by Mt Martin Gold Mines, as part of a wider campaign testing several soil anomalies generated over what was then known as the Gundockerta project.

The drilling intersected anomalous gold over a strike length of approximately 1,200m and down to a depth of approximately 80m below surface.

The east dipping mineralisation remains open at depth on several sections and no subsequent work has been completed since 1992.

“The historical results gained more prominence since the discovery of new gold mineralisation by the company at the North Farr-Jones, Eales and Little targets, all generated from soil sampling conducted by Riversgold during 2018,” Riversgold managing director Allan Kelly said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“These historical drilling results are similar to what we have been seeing in our recent aircore drilling and have never been followed up with any systematic deeper drilling.

“Given the discovery of high-grade gold mineralisation in deeper RC drilling at Farr-Jones, the potential for additional high-grade gold deposits along this emerging 7km long trend is significant.”

Riversgold indicated it is planning further drilling along the Farr-Jones corridor, following completion of the lake drilling campaign at Queen Lapage, and has submitted a POW application for drilling at Ella.

On the back of what it has seen from drilling beneath soil anomalies within the Farr-Jones project so far, the company will also extend its recently completed soil survey to the north, south and east.





Corazon Mining Makes Metallurgical Breakthrough at Lynn Lake

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Corazon Mining (ASX: CZN) declared a major technical breakthrough from initial metallurgical testwork completed at the company’s Lynn Lake nickel-copper-cobalt sulphide project in Canada.

Corazon Mining said the initial results from the metallurgical testwork program at Lynn Lake were exceptional and, for the first time, have delivered separate high-value nickel and copper concentrates.

The results include:

New nickel concentrate with a grade of 26 per cent nickel with recoveries of 71 per cent; and

New copper concentrate with a grade of 27 per cent copper with recoveries of 77 per cent.

The company explained these results have not been fully optimised and that it expects on-going work will deliver further improvements.

“This significant technical breakthrough represents an important step in Corazon’s development pathway for Lynn Lake,” Corazon Mining said in its ASX announcement.

“It supports the production and dispatch of separate copper and nickel concentrates from site to smelters and removes the need for potentially costly secondary processing from a bulk (nickel-copper) concentrate onsite.”

Corazon has testwork underway focused on ore characterisation, flotation and product definition for down-stream processing and is designed to provide key data for future mining and development studies for the possible re-commencement of mining at Lynn Lake.

The recent testwork demonstrated nickel and cobalt are captured together in the flotation process and separated from the copper sulphides.

The nickel concentrate does contain a small amount of copper and the copper concentrate retains a small amount of nickel, as such, Corazon’s on-going work aims to determine how much the recoveries can be improved while maintaining high concentrate grades.





Australian Potash Raising $5M to Advance Lake Wells

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Australian Potash (ASX: APC) is to undertake a renounceable rights issue, aiming to raise up to approximately $5.23 million.

Australian Potash declared its intentions to undertake a pro rata renounceable rights (or entitlements) issue to eligible shareholders to raise up to $5,229,824, comprising an offer on the basis of three rights shares for every fourteen existing shares held at an issue price of eight cents per Rights Share, together with one free attaching listed option exercisable at 12 cents on or before 8 August 2021 for every four Rights Shares subscribed.

Shareholders in Australian Potash will be given the opportunity to subscribe for Rights Shares in excess of their entitlement if there is a shortfall.

The Rights Issue is intended to be underwritten to $4.2 million by Patersons Securities, who are also acting as Lead Manager to the Rights Issue.

“The company’s directors intend to participate in the Rights Issue,” Australian Potash said in its ASX announcement.

“The funds raised from the Rights Issue will be used to complete the definitive feasibility study for the company’s high-grade, low cost Lake Wells Potash Project (LWPP), and for general working capital.

“Further details will be provided in a prospectus which is intended to be lodged with ASX on 13 February 2019.”

Australian Potash holds a 100 per cent-interest in the LWPP located approximately 500 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields.

The LWPP is a palaeochannel brine hosted sulphate of potash project.

Palaeochannel bore fields supply large volumes of brine to many existing mining operations throughout WA, and this technique is a well understood and proven method for extracting brine.

Australian Potash completed a Scoping Study on the LWPP in 2017 that exceeded company expectations by confirming the project’s economic and technical aspects are all exceptionally strong.

The company said the study highlighted its potential to become a major long-life, low capital and high margin sulphate of potash producer.





Northern Minerals Receives Final $1M From Placement

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) has received the final $1 million in relation to a subscription agreement with Chinese company Liu Xiaohua.

Northern Minerals announced the deal in February 2019.

The company explained the full placement is for 50 million fully paid ordinary shares in Northern Minerals at an issue price of six cents per share to raise $3 million.

The shares will be issued to Liu Xiaohua out of the company’s existing placement capacity under ASX listing rules.

“These funds from the issue of the shares will be utilised for ongoing working capital purposes,” Northern Minerals said in its ASX announcement.

Northern Minerals has completed practical completion of its Browns Range Heavy Rare Earth Pilot Plant Project in northern Western Australia where it has commenced production of heavy rare earth carbonate.

The three-year Pilot Plant project will continue to assist the company evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of mining at Browns Range and will provide the opportunity to gain production experience and surety of supply for our offtake partner.

Through the development of the Browns Range project, Northern Minerals aims to build the WA operation into the first large world producer of dysprosium outside of China.

The project is 100 per cent-owned by Northern Minerals and has several deposits and prospects containing high-value dysprosium and other HREs, hosted in xenotime mineralisation.

Dysprosium is an essential ingredient in the production of DyNdFeB (dysprosium-neodymium-iron-boron) magnets used in clean energy and high technology solutions.





Rox Resources Anoints Ian Mulholland Successor

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Rox Resources (ASX: RXL) has appointed Alex Passmore to the position of Chief Executive Officer, commencing immediately.

Passmore is a qualified geologist with extensive corporate experience and is a well-known identity in the resources sector having been spent over ten years at Patersons Securities in roles such as Director – Corporate Finance, Head of Research, Resources Analyst, and Institutional dealer.

He was also Executive Director – Natural Resources & Institutional Banking for Commonwealth Bank of Australia for two years.

Rox Resources espoused Passmore’s qualifications as an experienced corporate executive and company director with recent appointments including Managing Director of Cookatoo Iron, Non-Executive Director of Aspire Mining, Non-Executive (and Executive) Director of Equator Resources Ltd/Cobalt One (which merged with TSX-listed First Cobalt Corp), and CEO of Draig Resources (now Bellevue Gold).

In these positions, Passmore played a role in acquiring assets of the companies, reorganising their capital and funding, and setting them on a path to success.

Passmore has also Mr Passmore’s appointment follows the announced retirement of Ian Mulholland from the Rox Board effective 30 April 2019.

“We are extremely pleased to have been able to secure the services of such a high calibre executive as Alex Passmore,” Rox Resources chairman Stephen Dennis said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“His track record is very strong, and we look forward to a new chapter at Rox under Alex’s stewardship.”

Passmore said he was delighted to be joining Rox.

“It is very well placed, with a strong cash position, advanced projects at Mt Fisher, Fisher East and Collurabbie where existing resources are set to grow and drill ready targets are being followed up,” he said.

“The company continues to evaluate other growth opportunities which are complementary to the company’s strategic plan and expertise.”





Indiana Resources Inks Mali Gold JV Deal

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Indiana Resources (ASX: IDA) has entered into a non-binding term sheet for a Joint Venture (JV) covering the Lakanfla and Tabakarole gold projects, located in western and southern Mali respectively.

Indiana Resources struck the deal with London AIM and Toronto-listed Altus Strategies Plc, that is subject to entering into a definitive agreement, under which Indiana will have the option to earn up to an 85 per cent interest in Legend Mali Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altus, which holds a 100 per cent interest in the Lakanfla and Tabakarole gold projects.

“Lakanfla is strategically located adjacent to the world renowned Sadiola gold mine in western Mali,” Indiana Resources CEO Chris van Wijk said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Based on our review of historical data, we believe that Lakanfla hosts a potentially substantial karst-style gold target, analogous to the adjacent FE3 and FE4 pits of the Sadiola mine.

“Separately the Tabakarole project, which is located in southern Mali, targets a shear zone which has been mapped for 2.7 kilometres long and up to 200 metres wide.

“This arrangement with Altus follows a joint venture agreed with Cradle Arc Plc last year and is consistent with the company’s stated strategy to increase our interests in Mali, allowing us to methodically continue exploration in the area.

“Coupled with the announcement on non-binding funding proposals released today, and subject to completion of definitive agreements, the company will be well positioned to identify and test high priority targets on our highly attractive land package in Mali.”





Materials Sector Continues to Lead IPO Listings

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: One the annual highlights of February is the release of the IPO Watch Report from accounting firm HLB Mann Judd.

The report outlines the IPO activity for the previous year and is always informative reading, with this year being no exception.

According to the report there were 93 new listing to the boards of the Australian Securities Exchange in 2018.

As numbers people always on the look out for a positive, HLB noted that although this was less than the 110 IPOs in 2017, it was above the five-year average of 88.

The consistency of the materials sector was again reflected in the numbers with 35 listings (compared to 29 in 2017) representing 38 per cent of all new IPOs (increased from 26 per cent in 2017).

It is something of an anachronism that although the materials sector is always a major contributor to market growth the weight it carries in Western Australia is not felt in many eastern-state based, therefore focused, money factories making it difficult for what is the country’s major industry.

Anyway, back on track…

The report noted IPO activity for 2018 was fairly consistent throughout the year compared to 2017 when a pre-Christmas rush resulted in many of the companies listing in the final quarter.

The March quarter always seems to be the time companies choose to list and 2018 continued that trend with 20 companies listing, compared with the five-year average of 15 companies listing at this time.

Interestingly, all the new market entrants in the first quarter 2018, except one, were small caps.

This may be due to people not having enough spare change to throw around after the holidays, but it did mean we had a slow start to the year in terms of funds raised, with the first quarter raising just 2.5 per cent of the total for the year.

The June quarter was sluggish numbers wise with only 20 companies listing compared to 31 in 2017, but the larger nature of these listing meant more money was raised contributing 29.8 per cent to the annual IPO pot.

The September quarter stepped up a gear welcoming 26 new listings comprising 45 per cent of the funds raised for the year taking the prize for the highest average raising by quarter of $146.05 million.

In terms of year end share price performance, the June quarter was the worst performing quarter with an average year end share price decrease of 27 per cent for companies listing in this quarter.

The December quarter saw 27 new companies listing, well down on the five year average of 33 companies.

Adding to the poorer performance was new market entrants in this quarter recording an average first day share price loss of one per cent, going against the grain of typical day one gains. By year end, on average, there was a loss of 8 per cent for these listings.

“The year-end losses made by a significant number of IPOs in 2018 and general market conditions suggests that there is likely to be a reduction in IPO activity in the coming six months,” HLB Mann Judd said in the report.

This foreboding seems to be ringing true with only 17 companies applied to list on the ASX at the end of 2018, well down on the 37 that had applied at the same time in 2017.

Not only is the number of companies down, but so are the figures in terms of funds being sought at $179 million, which is a 70 per cent reduction on the $603 million sought at the end of 2017.

Once again it is the materials sector stocks leading the way of the proposed listings with seven listings in this sector (2017: nine), showing market sentiment remains for this sector.

“The Materials sector continued to grow in size in terms of new listings, with 35 in total,” HLB Mann Judd said.

“The total amounts raised by the sector contributed $1.42 billion or 17 per cent of the total raised by all companies.

“This was a sharp increase on the previous year which had been considered a strong year for the sector.

“In relation to small caps, the sector made up 43 per cent of small cap listings and 27 per cent of small cap fundraising.

“On average these small cap Materials listings performed poorly, with an average year end loss of 24 per cent.

“It will therefore be interesting to see if this affects investor sentiment going forward.”