Dec 08, 2022
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Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) today announced a comparative Life Cycle Assessment has confirmed that high-purity manganese products from EMN's Chvaletice Project (CMP) in the Czech Republic have a significantly lower carbon footprint than the incumbent industry in China — where 95% of global high-purity manganese products are currently processed.
EMN reported that the global warming potential of its high-purity electrolytic manganese metal, using 100% renewable power, is 64% lower than that produced by the incumbent industry (largely in China).
Also, EMN’s high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate has a carbon footprint 59% lower than that produced in China.
The study found that global warming potential of EMNs products were also lower than other manganese projects that have recently published Life Cycle Assessment results.
Further, when benchmarked against the carbon footprint of the other battery cathode metals — nickel and cobalt — manganese from Chvaletice also compares very favourably.
As manganese is the most affordable and green battery metal, this supports the move to high-manganese cathode chemistries.
We covered EMN, which is one of our best performing Investments of the last two years, in a longer note yesterday that you can read here: EMN Update - We Have a Demo Plant. Now for Offtake Deals
In that note we looked at the interest that EMN is attracting from potential offtake partners across the electric vehicle battery value chain.
To meet their lower carbon emissions targets, auto makers are increasingly using strategic procurement of materials, so we expect the Life Cycle Assessment results reported today to assist in progressing offtake discussions.
EMN also announced that it will be hosting two separate fourth quarter and year-end 2022 conference calls — one for listeners in North America and Europe and one Australian audiences as follows:
CALL #1 – For North American and UK/European Audiences
CALL #2 – For Australian Audiences
The content of both calls will be the same with President & CEO Matt James and CFO Martina Blahova to provide an update on the Chvaletice Project and its upcoming milestones. They will also discuss the company’s North American strategy.
Dec 07, 2022
Objective 2 : Side bets: Drilling at the company’s other projects.
Milestone 1 : Drilling program at the Santy gold project
Milestone 3 : Drilling program at the Claw gold project
This morning our exploration Investment BPM Minerals (ASX: BPM) detailed its future exploration plans for its two gold projects (Claw and Santy) in WA.
First BPM confirmed that it is currently progressing through the approvals process for a drilling program at its Claw gold project in Q2-2023.
BPM’s Claw project sits immediately to the south of Capricorn Metals’ (capped at $1.8BN) 2.7m ounce Mount Gibson gold mine.
Here BPM will be targeting two high priority drill ready targets right near the southern border shared with Capricorn Metals.
BPM also put out assay results from its recent aircore drilling program at its Santy gold project.
The peak result from the drilling program was a 1m intercept where BPM returned gold grades measuring 0.89g/t.
Outside of this the remaining results returned no notable mineralisation, BPM has now run another geochemical sampling program as part of a target generation program for any future drilling at Santy.
Assays from the sampling program are expected to be released in early 2023.
What’s next for BPM?
BPM retains a strong cash balance of $5.3M in the bank (at 30 September), especially compared to its tiny market cap of $6.8M, giving it an enterprise value of circa $1.6M.
Given the tight capital structure and a strong cash balance we will now be watching to see what comes from the Claw gold project in early 2023 or alternatively want to see the company bring in new projects.
Read our latest BPM note to see our deep-dive on what we want to see BPM do next: Assays in - What does $6.5M capped BPM do next?
Dec 07, 2022
Objective 3 : Drilling of Jesse #2 well
Our 2021 Catalyst Hunter Pick of the Year Grand Gulf Energy (ASX: GGE) is hosting an investor webinar tomorrow morning to run through the details of its Red Helium Project in the USA.
GGE managing director Dane Lance will run through a presentation for shareholders followed by a Q&A in regards to the company’s helium project.
The details for the call are as follows:
GGE is preparing to drill its helium discovery with its second well, the Jesse #2 well which GGE expects to drill late Q4-2022/early Q1-2023.
The ultimate aim for the program will be to show GGE can produce a commercially viable flow rate from its discovery.
For GGE to deliver a commercial helium project it needs:
Dec 07, 2022
Investment Thesis 2 : Nearology to Pantheon Resources
This morning our oil and gas exploration Investment 88 Energy (ASX: 88E) signed a rig contract for its Hickory-1 well in Alaska, USA.
88E’s drilling program will target six key reservoir targets chasing a 647 million barrel unrisked prospective resource (net to 88E), right next to $1.1BN London-listed Pantheon Resources.
88E expects drilling to start in late February/early March 2023.
The Hickory-1 well sits immediately to the south of Pantheon, which is currently drilling its first ever horizontal well aiming to produce a commercially viable flow rate for its project.
Pantheon has been active in this region since 2019, successfully drilling three out of three wells.
Over that period, Pantheon’s market cap has gone from ~$60M to now sit at $1.1BN.
We touched on this in our last 88E note which you can read here: 88E is Moving East to Chase Success
Interestingly, Pantheon’s drilling success comes from the same reservoir targets that are independently assessed to extend south into 88E’s ground — where the Hickory-1 well will be drilling.
We hope 88E makes a discovery with similar potential to the well drilled by Pantheon.
Dec 06, 2022
Objective 3 : Drilling results from the Halloysite project in WA
Milestone 1 : Drilling results
This morning our junior exploration Investment Ragusa Minerals (ASX: RAS) put out assay results from its kaolin-halloysite project in WA.
While assaying for kaolin and halloysite, RAS also confirmed rare earths mineralisation with total rare earths oxide (TREO) grades as high as 0.62%.
RAS also confirmed high grade alumina intercepts averaging ~33.73% with a peak grade of 38.3%.
So far the results are looking promising, especially when compared to peers with similar rare earth & halloysite/kaolin projects.
RAS is now waiting on the remaining assays from the drilling program to be received before it puts together a maiden JORC resource estimate.
We think RAS still has plenty of exploration upside at this project with the drill result covering only ~5% of its total project area.
What’s next for RAS?
Assay results from NT lithium project 🔄
On the 21st of November, RAS completed its maiden drilling program at its NT lithium project.
RAS confirmed that of the 18 RC drillholes completed, 12 intersected pegmatites.
Given RAS’s drilling program was done with an RC drill rig the company hasn't been able to confirm spodumene presence - this is because the RC drill rigs produce RC chips instead of solid drillcores.
Instead, RAS confirmed that it sent the RC chips to the assay labs, meaning we must wait for the assay results to determine if RAS has in fact made a new lithium discovery.
We are hoping to see the results from that program soon.
Dec 06, 2022
Objective 2 : Drilling of the targets identified in objective #1
Milestone 3 : Drilling results
This morning our 2022 Catalyst Hunter Pick Of The Year Tyranna Resources (ASX: TYX) completed its first ever drilling program at its Angolan lithium project.
The program saw TYX drill a total of 9 diamond drill holes with TYX confirming visible lithium mineralisation in drillholes 4, 5, 6 and 7.
TYX has now completed the sampling and cutting of the drillcores with the samples expected to be shipped to Australia by the end of December.
TYX expects the assay results from the drilling program to be received in February 2023.
While the main focus here is on lithium, we note that TYX detailed the discovery of ‘pollucite’ which contains caesium. Pollucite is used to create a product that is used by drill rigs targeting oil and gas discoveries.
The significance of this is that should TYX be able to delineate a large lithium resource it could also have a pollucite by-product that it can sell, improving overall project economics.
TYX confirmed that it would include some of these pollucite targets in its 2023 drilling plan.
Assays from 9 hole diamond drilling program 🔄
TYX is yet to ship the samples to Australia. Assays from the program are expected in February 2023.
Metallurgical testing of bulk samples 🔄
Concurrent to its drilling results TYX will also be running a metallurgical testwork program to see if the mineralisation at its project can be extracted economically.
The metwork program is expected to start in early January with results due in March 2023.
Dec 06, 2022
Earlier today, our silver development Investment Thomson Resources (ASX: TMZ) announced an agreement to sell its non-core Texas Project.
The sale is to private company Warwick Gold Holdings (WGH), which will pay TMZ consideration of up to ~$3.5M for the project, payable as follows:
Located 8km from the township of Texas in QLD, the Texas Project comprises 2 Mining Leases and 7 Exploration Permits, and incorporates processing and mining facilities.
The disposal of the Texas project enables TMZ to better focus on developing its New England Fold Belt Hub and Spoke silver gold-base metal project.
TMZ foreshadowed the disposal of other non-core assets, so we await details of these.
We also want to see TMZ complete all of its resource updates, as it looks to define a portfolio-wide 100M+ ounces silver equivalent JORC resource base.
Dec 06, 2022
Objective 2 : Drilling at PFE’s Manganese project.
Our WA-focused junior exploration Investment Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE) is building up its position around its Weelaranna Manganese project in WA, following completion of its maiden drilling program.
While we are awaiting for the labs to return those assays, 3 adjoining tenement applications - E 52/4046 E 52/4071 and E 52/4072 - have been granted, covering a total of 357 km2.
PFE will now commence geochemical soil and rock chip sampling and mapping, with a view to determining several manganese and gold-silver drill targets to incorporate into next year's drilling programmes.
Consolidating the area around Weelaranna signals PFE’s confidence in the prospectivity of the area, and we consider it a positive signal as to what the assays may return later this month.
From visual and XRF analysis of drilling to date, PFE has already confirmed the deposit is open in three directions, and so we’re keen to see what the assays return. We will evaluate the results as such:
We're expecting the assays for Weelaranna this month. PFE will secure permits to drill manganese areas 2-4 in 1H23.
Dec 05, 2022
Objective 1 : Upgrade the JORC resource at the Canadian gold project.
Risk 2 : Financing risk
This morning our gold Investment Tempus Resources (ASX: TMR) increased the size of its capital raise due to “increased investor demand”.
The capital raise will see TMR raise a total of ~$1.4M via two separate issues:
Both issues are coming with 1:1 free “warrants” (options) with a two year expiry and exercise price of ~10c per share.
The difference in the capital raise pricing is because of the type of shares being issued.
“Flow-through shares” are a type of share issuance in Canada which gives investors certain tax deductions. This means companies are able to raise capital at premiums to the current market price - in TMR’s case this is an almost ~10% premium to the current market price.
The second issue is more representative of the type of capital raises we are used to on the ASX, with TMR issuing shares at a discount to its current market price of ~10%.
What’s next for TMR?
Assays from 40 hole drilling program at TMR’s Canadian gold project 🔄
TMR has ~21 assay results pending.
We are particularly interested in seeing what comes from the remaining assays at the No.9 Vein.
Given TMR is targeting thin gold veins, our focus will predominantly be on the grades of mineralisation.
We expect that anything above ~4-5g/t of gold will mean TMR could be onto something commercially mineable.
Updated mineral resource estimate 🔄
Since acquiring its project in 2019 TMR has completed three drilling programs for a total of ~80 new holes.
On top of this TMR completed ~49 drillholes in 2010 and 2011 that all sit outside of the current mineral resource estimate of 300k ounces of gold.
TMR will be looking to include all ~129 new drillholes in an updated mineral resource estimate that it expects to be ready in Q1-2023.
To do that TMR will have ~275% more drillholes than the 74 used to put together the ~300k ounce 2009 historic resource estimate.
Dec 05, 2022
Objective 1 : Start feasibility studies
Milestone 1 : Testwork reporting (metallurgy) (Q3-Q4)
Our lithium exploration Investment Latin Resources (ASX: LRS) just put out strong metallurgical test work results from its Brazilian lithium project.
Our key takeaway from today’s announcement is LRS’s ability to produce high grade lithium concentrates using a simple Heavy Liquid Separation (“HLS”) processing technique as follows:
Importantly, the simple processing method could mean lower operating costs when it comes time to actually mine and produce lithium from LRS’s project.
We expect this to have a positive impact on the overall project economics.
For some context, LRS’s results are only slightly lower than the theoretical maximum pure spodumene grade of ~8.03%.
The processing results came from a batch of 10 samples taken across LRS’s project in a north to south direction.
The image below shows where the samples were taken from:
The obvious caveat to today’s announcement is the fact that the testwork is being done only at lab scale, and there is no guarantee that the same results happen at scale at the project level.
LRS is now in a position where it can use the results from this program to help optimise a flowsheet for its lithium project which will form the basis of the company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment study (PEA).
We expect to see the PEA completed by the end of Q1-2023.
What’s next for LRS?
The next major catalyst we are looking for is the maiden JORC resource estimate at LRS's Brazilian lithium project.
As the JORC resource will form the basis for the PEA, we expect to see this announced before any other newsflow can come out.
Our expectations for the resource number are as follows:
LRS is looking to emulate the success of its larger Brazilian neighbour, Sigma Lithium, which announced its maiden resource estimate in 2018 of ~13Mt with lithium grades of ~1.56%.
At that time, Sigma had a similar market cap to that of LRS today.
Sigma now trades with a market cap of more than $5BN — that’s around 18.5 times LRS’s current market capitalisation.
Dec 02, 2022
Objective 2 : Final Construction Decision & progress towards Project Funding
Milestone 1 : DFS Optimisation
This morning our 2021 Wise-Owl Pick Of The Year Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX: EV1) set a deadline for its updated Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
EV1 confirmed that the updated DFS would now be released in early 2023 and that it would confirm its graphite project “as a high-margin project, that is well positioned to secure finance for development”.
The market never likes it when timelines get pushed back for key bits of news like a DFS but EV1 put out a good explainer as to why the study was delayed.
EV1 confirmed that the delays were because the company had “changed the design of its mine to remove a tailings storage facility” and instead pursue a strategy of dry stacking its tailings.
This is basically an improvement in the way any mining waste is handled - reducing costs associated with earthworks and sustaining capital expenditure while also improving the ESG credentials of EV1’s project.
In today’s announcement EV1 explicitly stated that it expects this change to “deliver improved project economics”.
While we initially expected the DFS to be delivered before the end of the year we like EV1’s approach of optimising the mine design so that the DFS will show as strong a project Net Present Value (NPV) as possible.
After all, the DFS will be the primary document financiers refer to when looking to provide financing for EV1’s project.
What’s next for EV1?
We are still waiting on EV1 to complete its drilling program and we want to see the signing of a Framework Agreement with the Government of Tanzania which will provide its project with regulatory certainty.
Dec 02, 2022
Earlier this morning, our innovative cannabis Investment Bod Australia (ASX:BOD) announced it had entered an exclusive 5-year licensing and supply agreement for a Schedule 3 (pharmacist-only) CBD (cannabidiol) product to treat insomnia, which is currently in development.
The agreement is with Arrotex Pharmaceuticals, Australia’s largest supplier of generic drugs to pharmacists that services over 5,700 pharmacies nationwide.
Under the terms of the agreement, BOD is to receive an upfront $500,000 cash payment for exclusive supply of the final product to Arrotex.
It is only very recently that CBD treatments have been made available for purchase at pharmacists. In February, the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA - think of them as the regulators for Australian pharmaceuticals and medical treatments) down-scheduled low dose CBD for over-the-counter purchase (sales without a prescription).
Whilst it is now legal to sell CBD treatments at pharmacies, no CBD drugs have yet been approved for sale in Australia. BOD hopes to be one of the first - if not the first - to offer CBD products nationwide. So the agreement with Arrotex is a major step forward.
How is BOD’s progress with developing the product?
A Phase IIb clinical trial is underway, with first participants already enrolled. Once completed (we expect this sometime in 1H2023), BOD will submit a Schedule 3 dossier to the TGA. If approved, that would pave the for Arrotex to distribute to its extensive network of pharmacies.
We also note BOD’s positive results from a Phase 1 Clinical Trial of its novel CBD soft-gel delivery format announced last week.
This supported the potential for BOD’s unique ECS BioAbsorb Soft Gel to be the benchmark delivery format for this OTC CBD market, with the trial reporting superior bioavailability (i.e. the extent a drug becomes completely available to its intended biological destination) than alternative formats.
Those results bodes well for this soft-gel tablet to become an OTC purchase option for BOD’s insomnia treatment, provided a successful outcome with the current clinical trials.
With ethics approval already granted for the clinical trial for the CBD-based insomnia treatment, we’re keen to see progress on patient recruitment (which has already begun). A dossier submission to the TGA is expected in 1H23.
Subject to the outcomes of the trial, it’s feasible that BOD could have its CBD treatment for insomnia available in pharmacies by late 2023/ 1H2024, positioning it as one of the first to offer such products in Australia.
We're also keen to see BOD's progress with the acquisition of the Aqua Phase technology, which we recently covered - BOD’s big bet – will it pay off?
Dec 01, 2022
Our Angola-based phosphate fertiliser and green ammonia Investment Minbos Resources (ASX:MNB) has reported successful trials of its phosphate rock product.
We see this as important validation of MNB’s product - and this should contribute to the overall economic case for the project.
New results from three years of field trials in Angola and five years of greenhouse trials at the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) have delivered a phosphate fertiliser product that is fit for purpose for the local agricultural market — MNB’s primary target market.
The product was shown to be suitable for use as a phosphate nutrient in Angola’s acidic soils and high rainfall environment, and at an attractive price point.
The field trials across more than ten locations in Angola trialling maize, wheat and potatoes delivered large yield increases.
In the IFDC greenhouse trials in Alabama on wheat, maize, soy, sorghum, it was demonstrated that a single application of MNB’s phosphate fertiliser before the first crop can improve yields in two successive crops.
The trials have confirmed that MNB’s phosphate rock is suitable as a direct application fertiliser product in soils with acidity of pH <5.5. Importantly, this includes much of the area of interest of the Angola Fertilizer and Farm Productivity Program (AFFPP) which has lodged an MOU for 120,000tpa of MNB’s phosphate fertiliser.
The findings of these trials are an important development that underpin the recently announced Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for MNB’s Cabinda Phosphate Project in Angola where construction is now underway.
The results further confirm the simplicity of the production flowsheet that is required to create the phosphate product.
MNB confirms that a review is now underway on a simplified flowsheet, which is expected to deliver “significant CAPEX savings”.
Lower capital costs is always good news, but this is significant for MNB because the CAPEX estimate that was used in the DFS was notably higher than the figure used in the earlier Pre-Feasibility Study due to the exceptionally high rate of global inflation at that time.
Dec 01, 2022
Objective 1 : More drilling at the Copper-Zinc project to upgrade the JORC resource.
Earlier today, our exploration Investment Auking Mining (ASX: AKN) significantly increased the overall mineral resources at its Koongie Park Copper/Zinc Project in the Halls Creek region of WA.
AKN did so by incorporating the maiden resource from its Emull prospect - 10.8Mt @ 0.28% Cu, 0.44% Zn, 0.1% Pb and 5.4g/t Ag (or alternatively, 10.8Mt @ CuEq 0.51%).
When combined with the 8.9Mt @ 1.01% Cu, 3.67% Zn, 0.16g/t Au, 32g/t Ag and 0.77% Pb at the Onedin and Sandiego prospects, that brings the total metal content at Koongie Park to:
We note that Emull is a low grade CuEq deposit, though the tonnages are substantial (ie more than doubling the resource at Koongie Park). We’re hopeful that the next drilling campaign can add some higher grade material to the deposit. This campaign will target two magnetic anomalies, north-west and south-west of the main deposit area, which AKN deems as highly prospective areas based on previous soil sampling and historic drilling.
We’re keen to see AKN complete its proposed acquisition of Tanzanian uranium and copper assets, and getting on the ground there.
🔲 Complete due diligence on transaction - December
🔲 Complete acquisition - December
🔲 Start fieldwork sampling, review existing data - 1Q23
🔲 Drilling of two anomalies at Emull prospect - 2Q23
🔲 Metwork progress for Onedin prospect - 1H23
Nov 30, 2022
Investment Thesis 4 : Similar drill target to WA1 Resources
Investment Thesis 1 : Relatively low market cap leveraged to exploration success
2023 is shaping up to be a big year for the West Arunta province in WA.
We recently Initiated Coverage on Lycaon Resources (ASX: LYN) which holds ground ~94km north of WA1 Resources which recently re-rated by ~2,300%+ after making a niobium and rare earths discovery.
LYN’s ground also sits north of Encounter Resources, which just yesterday announced that it has gravity anomalies similar to WA1.
Encounter announced a ~600m diameter gravity anomaly, which is similar to WA1 Resources’ whose grounds are prospective for IOCG style copper and carbonatite-hosted REE mineralisation.
Similarly LYN has an almost identical anomaly measuring ~700m long and is also preparing to drill its project in 2023.
At the moment the three companies have vastly different market caps:
We are Invested in LYN to see it drill its project and hopefully make a discovery similar to WA1 Resources leading to a similar 1,000%+ re-rate in the company’s share price.
LYN will be following an almost identical exploration process to its larger capped neighbours:
Nov 30, 2022
Investment Thesis 1 : US looking to secure local supply of semiconductors
We recently came across the following news from NASA, which contracted ~1.4 million litres of liquid helium and 87.7 million standard cubic feet of gaseous helium from three US-based helium producers.
The contract's total value is for a base fee of US$149M over three years.
NASA confirmed that it needed the helium "to support the International Space Station Program and the Space Launch System and Orion Programs that support the agency's missions to the Moon".
NASA also touched on the fact that Helium is an inert gas and how that specific characteristic makes it perfect for a range of uses, including:
This is good news for our 2020 Catalyst Hunter Pick Of The Year Grand Gulf Energy (ASX: GGE), which is preparing to drill its second helium well at its project in Utah, USA.
GGE expects to be drilling its Jesse #2 well in Q4-2022/ early Q1-2023.
The ultimate aim of the drilling program will be to deliver a commercially viable helium flow rate that it can tie into existing processing infrastructure in the region and take GGE from explorer to producer.
Yesterday we wrote about this well in detail. To read that full note click here: GGE going after helium in the USA for US$260BN in chip facilities
We also used yesterday's note as an opportunity to launch our new GGE Investment Memo where you can find:
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