Share Talk Weekly Mining Sector News Round-Up, Saturday 30th September 2022

Of course, small caps are all about picking the winners — but in an environment where the market as a whole continues to slide, it can become disheartening — especially when otherwise excellent companies are dragged down by negative market sentiment.

Small caps to watch

AMRQ, ECR, GMET, ABDX, LIFS, TEK, OPTI, PREM, KOD, BRES, TYM & AVCT could constitute the 12 best small caps to watch in Q4 2023.

Resources conglomerate MetalNRG PLC (LSE: MNRG) has completed a strategic business review, concluding with a refined focus on the mining sector, specifically honing in on gold and copper projects.

This strategic pivot, revealed alongside the company’s interim results, is in anticipation of a prospective bull market cycle in metals and mining, propelled by global macroeconomic shifts, the transition in energy, and evolving technological trends.

Several potential reverse takeover targets have been identified by the company, with the goal of expediting value augmentation for shareholders.

Marula (AQSE: MARU), an African-focused mining and development company, is pleased to provide its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2023 (the “Period”).

 Jason Brewer, CEO, said: The first half of the 2023 year has further demonstrated what Marula is capable of delivering, as demonstrated by the progress that has been made at the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Mine and also at the Kinusi Mine which has the potential to be our second producing asset by the end of the year. Our strategy is clear and it remains one of continuing to invest in rapid growth opportunities in the battery metals sector here in East and South Africa.

Premier African Minerals Limited (AIM: PREM) reported on the progress of operations at Premier’s Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Project (“Zulu”).

George Roach, CEO, commented,Subsequent to our update of 21 September 2023, I am pleased to confirm the plant at Zulu resumed operations with material fed through the newly installed and commissioned mill.

With the completion of the installation of the RHA mill and restarting operations in the latter part of September 2023, PREM expect to meet the production target for shipments in November 2023. At the same time, this use of the RHA mill only allows for up to 50% of target production and the supply of a new mill to meet full design throughput is expected ex works in Q4 of 2023. This is expected to be installed and commissioned in early Q1 of 2024 following a two-week installation shutdown that we plan to coincide with the festive break.

Kodal Minerals PLC (AIM: KOD) Bougouni Funding Package: Long Stop Date Extension. The deadline has now been extended to 31 October 2023. Bernard Aylward, CEO of Kodal Minerals, remarked: “Kodal and Hainan continue to work together to finalise the funding transaction and during September 2023 the parties completed site visits to Mali and had discussions with Mali Government officials regarding the development of the Bougouni Lithium mine.  The parties involved have continued to receive strong support for the development and acknowledgement of the good standing of the Bougouni Mining (Exploitation) licence and the ability of the parties to commence development.

A restructuring of the company’s Mali subsidiary entities that hold the lithium interests has also been completed, it added.

Metals One PLC (AIM: MET1) said exploration drilling is well underway at its Kingrose battery metal prospect in Norway while plans are being drawn up for a phase one programme in Finland as it released its latest half-year results. The junior’s aim is to find battery-related minerals, especially nickel, in Europe, close to future customers.

Atlantic Lithium Ltd (AIM: ALL, OTCQX: ALLIF, ASX: A11) said it hopes to get the final mining lease from its Ewoyaa project in Ghana shortly, adding this would be the country’s first mining lease and also kickstart the permitting process. A definitive feasibility study for Ewoyaa outlined production of 3.6Mt spodumene concentrate, free cash flow of US$2.4 billion from US$6.6 billion Life of Mine revenues, a post-tax NPV of US$1.5 billion and an Internal Rate of Return of 105%.

Phoenix Copper Ltd (AIM: PXC, OTCQX: PXCLF)’s first half of 2023 was marked by ongoing operational progress at the AIM-listed group’s Empire project in Idaho, both in terms of the development of the initial open-pit mine and the exploration of the surrounding mineralised district. The group also highlighted progress at the Navarre Creek gold drilling programme, as well as further higher-grade base and precious metals mineralisation encountered at Red Star, which is also part of the Empire Mine Project.

MetalNRG PLC (LSE: MNRG) has revealed the outcomes of its strategic assessment, disclosing a decision to prioritize acquisition activities within the mining sector. The company is also considering a dual listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a move motivated by the appointment of seasoned mining industry professional Chris Chadwick as an executive director at the beginning of this month. This strategic shift aims to capitalize on the potential growth and value creation opportunities presented by the metals and mining sector, which the board anticipates may enter a bullish market cycle.

Bradda Head Lithium Limited (AIM: BHL, OTCQB: BHLIF, TSX-V: BHLI) has announced that its Basin project in Arizona has unveiled a fresh mineral resource estimate, resulting in a substantial payment of US$2.5 million from Lithium Royalty Company (LRC). The revised resource estimate now stands at 17 million metric tonnes categorized as indicated, with a lithium content of 940 parts per million (ppm), equating to 85,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE). Additionally, there are 210 million metric tonnes in the inferred category, with a lithium content of 900 ppm, corresponding to 1 million tonnes of LCE.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (AIM: AAZ, OTC: AGXKF) has reported the findings of an independent assessment of the tailings dam at its Gedabek mine, submitted to the Azerbaijani government. This review was prompted by protests in July, led by local residents opposing the construction of a second tailings dam near the existing one.

Marula Mining (AQSE: MARU) an African-focused mining investment company, updates the market and shareholders on the activities of the Company for the three-month period ending 30 June 2023.

Cornish Metals Inc (AIM: CUSN, TSX-V: CUSN, OTC: SBWFF) has initiated the ‘wet’ commissioning phase of its newly constructed mine water treatment plant (MWTP) at the South Crofty mine in Cornwall. The MWTP is designed to handle a daily volume of 25,000 square meters of water pumped from the mine, employing high-density sludge processing to ensure compliance with discharge standards.

Technology Minerals PLC (LSE: TM1) has announced the successful completion of the commissioning phase at the UK’s inaugural industrial-scale lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery recycling facility in Wolverhampton, operated by its 48.25%-owned associate, Recyclus. The installation of bulk liquid nitrogen tanks enables continuous processing at the facility.

On September 27, 2023, ECR Minerals PLC (AIM: ECR) has officially submitted an application for an exploration license, denoted as EPM28910, situated in Kondaparinga, Queensland.

Spanning an expansive area of approximately 120 square kilometres, this license falls within the prolific Hodgkinson gold province. The exploration license carries a three-year term, obligating an expenditure commitment totalling A$487,000 during this specified period.

Also on September 27, 2023, Panthera Resources PLC (AIM: PAT) announced its intent to escalate its legal pursuit against India regarding the Bhukia project. This decision comes in the wake of the High Court of Rajasthan’s dismissal of Panthera’s motion, which was based on legislation introduced in 2021.

Panthera now intends to pursue a writ alleging breaches by India of the Bilateral Investment Treaty with Australia, as stated in the company’s official statement.

Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd (LSE: RBW, OTC: RBWRF) successfully raised £4.5 million through a private placement, offering shares at a minimal 3% discount to the last closing price. Notably, existing shareholder Pella Ventures, a party affiliated with chairman Adonis Pouroulis, subscribed for £0.54 million worth of shares.

Endeavour Mining PLC (LSE: EDV, TSX: EDV, OTCQX: EDVMF) welcomed Cathia Lawson-Hall as an independent non-executive director, effective immediately. This appointment elevates the representation of women on its board to 40%.

Cathia Lawson-Hall, previously serving as the head of Coverage and Investment Banking for Africa at Société Générale, will also serve as a member of the remuneration committee within the FTSE 100 mining company.

Great Western Mining Corporation PLC (AIM – GWMO, Euronext Growth – 8GW), which is exploring and developing gold, silver and copper targets in Nevada, announces its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2023 (the “Period”).

During the Period the Company continued to progress the construction of its processing mill in anticipation of the first production of gold and silver concentrates this year and continued its drilling, sampling and mapping programme, providing further evidence of the strength of its precious metals and copper portfolios.

Golden Metal Resources plc (LON: GMET), a strategic mineral exploration and development company focused on Nevada, USA, announced exploration work has confirmed the potential for large-scale porphyry and skarn-type copper mineralised bodies at the Company’s 100% owned Garfield project located within the prolific Walker Lane Mineral Belt in Nevada, USA (“Garfield” or the “Project”).

Anglo-Asian Mining (AIM: AAZ) received positive news from the Azerbaijani government, which approved the resumption of operations at its Gedabek mine following a review of the tailings dam conducted by consultant Micon. While earlier reports suggested that full operations might not resume this year, the government’s decision now allows for a gradual reopening of the mine.

Furthermore, Power Metal Resources PLC (AIM: POW) is expediting its plans for the Badger Lake uranium project located in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan. This decision comes after hyperspectral analysis revealed distinct similarities with the nearby Arrow deposit, situated just 30 kilometres away. Arrow boasts a substantial measured and indicated resource of 256.7 million pounds of U3O8 and is owned and operated by Nexgen Energy.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (AIM: AAZ, OTC: AGXKF) announced that the flotation and agitation plant at its Gedabek mine in Azerbaijan will remain offline until 2024, contingent on the findings of an external review of the tailings dam. Consequently, the company disclosed that production for the remainder of the year will solely rely on its heap leach operation. This development has led to a downward revision of the annual gold equivalent production forecast to a range of 30,000 to 40,000 ounces.

CleanTech Lithium PLC (AIM: CTL, OTCQX: CTLHF) unveiled the results of a scoping study for its Francisco Basin project on September 26, 2023. The study indicated the feasibility of a 12-year project capable of producing 20,000 tonnes per annum of battery-grade lithium carbonate. Based on an assumed lithium price average of US$22,500 per tonne, the study projected net cashflows of US$2.5 billion post-tax over the project’s lifespan, with costs estimated at US$3,641 per tonne of lithium carbonate

Emmerson PLC (AIM: EML) reported on the same date that its cash reserves are sufficient to support essential engineering activities at the Khemisset potash project in Morocco for a minimum of one year while awaiting environmental approval. The timing of the environmental permit has become uncertain due to recent seismic events in the region, delaying the project’s progression into the development phase.

Looking back to September 25, 2023, Anglesey Mining PLC (AIM: AYM) confirmed plans to commence in-fill drilling at the Parys Mountain project in Wales in October. The primary objective of this drilling campaign is to upgrade inferred category resources to the more reliable indicated category within the Northern Copper Zone.

Empire Metals Ltd (AIM: EEE) successfully raised £3 million to expand its drilling initiatives at the Pitfield deposit in Western Australia. Currently, a 1,500-metre diamond core program is in progress, with the additional funding earmarked for a subsequent phase of reverse circulation exploration scheduled for early 2024. This phase will focus on dense zones recently identified within the magnetic anomaly.

Zak Mir talks to Cedric Simonet, CEO of Altona Rare Earths, as the resource exploration and development company focused on Rare Earths in Africa, announces its maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate for its Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique.

ECR Minerals plc (LON: ECR), the exploration and development company focused on gold in Australia, announced the latest exploration developments for the Lolworth Project, North Queensland, Australia.

The Lolworth Project is located approximately 120km west of the historic gold mining centre of Charters Towers, North Queensland, Australia. The project consists of three exploration tenements (EPM27901, EPM27902 and EPM27903) and are operated under the 100% owned LUX Exploration Pty Ltd. The Company has identified numerous Gold, Niobium and REE anomalous within the project.

ECR Managing Director Nick Tulloch commented: “In the midst of significant structural changes at ECR and our ongoing work to evaluate the Company’s asset base, Adam Jones and the field team are to be commended for their tireless work in bringing these exciting developments at our Lolworth Range project to life.”

ECR Chief Operations Officer Mike Whitlow added: “Echoing Nick’s words, our team have been particularly pleased with the latest results as this gives confirmation to our exploration thesis at Lolworth, 128 ppm Gold being our best result has been supported by a number of additional very high-grade samples taken within the surrounding area. Whilst we recognise the early stage nature of this work, the confidence in today’s announcement leaves us naturally inspired to continue our efforts at Lolworth towards the end of the year, at which point we will have the perfect opportunity to plan our accelerated future work programme. We are understandably very excited by this latest development.”

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