The company also said that Thalanga operations are progressing well with production up, reporting record zinc concentrate production.

Red River Resources (ASX:RVR) has released its quarterly activities and cashflow report for the period ending September 30, 2018, detailing operations at Thalanga, Queensland, and development activities.

As highlighted in the press release:

  • Red River achieves record production from West 45 – 90,000 tonnes at 0.3 percent copper, 2.2 percent lead, 5.0 percent zinc, 0.2 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 31 g/t silver (8.8 percent zinc equivalent)
  • Record mill throughput at Thalanga Operations of 98,000 tonnes at 0.3 percent copper, 2.2 percent lead, 4.3 percent zinc, 0.1g/t gold and 30 g/t silver (8.2 percent zinc equivalent)
  • Record zinc concentrate production of 6,800 dry metric tonnes
  • Far West development continues – 322 metres of development completed, including 283 metres of decline development. Development expected to intersect Far West orebody in December quarter

The company also said that Thalanga operations are progressing well with production up, reporting record zinc concentrate production of 6,800 dry metric tonnes – up 24 percent on the June quarter, 2,744 dry metric tonnes of lead (up 33 percent), 417 dry metric tonnes of copper (up 26 percent), and that recoveries were continuing to improve.

Click here to read the full Red River Resources (ASX:RVR) press release.

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Global News
miner inside the access tunnel of an underground gold-copper mine
Jose Luis Stephens / Shutterstock

Copper supply is expected to increase this year, but will it be able to keep up in the long term? Experts are forecasting a major shortage in the years ahead.

Copper prices have been on the rise since last year, reaching a fresh all-time high in early March at US$10,674 per tonne, partially on the back of concerns over low inventory levels.

In the short term, demand may rise in 2022, but still come in lower than supply. Top consumer China’s growth seems to be taking a pause, and supply for the red metal is forecast to increase, supported by a recovery in mine output, expansions and new projects expected to come online later this year.

Looking longer term, the picture gets tighter — almost half of global copper supply is used in construction, but demand from sectors like electric vehicles and energy storage has increased investor interest in the base metal.

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American west logo

Supplying High-Demand Minerals to Support Global Energy Transition



Overview

There’s no denying the transition to clean energy is already happening. We’ve seen the European Union commit to lowering its carbon footprint, US President Joe Biden sign an executive order “catalyzing” the shift to a clean energy economy, and the recent IPO of LG Energy Solution — which solidified the company as South Korea’s second most valuable company.

Supplying this exponentially growing global demand for the clean energy minerals needed to produce the components required to support this transition remains a significant challenge. Since 2010, the demand for these critical minerals has increased by 50 percent, with demand for both zinc and copper expected to double between 2021-2050. And yet, the majority of these minerals are produced in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Russia, and Australia. If North America and Europe wish to meet their lofty goals, stable domestic production of clean energy metals like copper, lithium, cobalt is essential.

When it comes to mining, long-term success and stable operations require both the right location and favorable social and environmental factors. Nunavut and Utah are among many tier 1 mining jurisdictions that have robust opportunities for high-value mineral production. The mineral resource industry is Nunavut’s largest private sector contributor to its economy. As a result, its government has taken a pro-mining stance to help maintain its tier 1 status. Additionally, Utah enjoys a long history of mining that dates back to 1862, with thousands of active mines scattered across the state.

American West Metals (ASX:AW1) is an Australian company that focuses on the rapidly growing clean metal sector in tier 1 mining jurisdictions within North America. The company is working to support global clean energy initiatives by developing low footprint mines that can supply minerals needed for global electrification. The company’s portfolio of projects remains focused on producing copper and zinc products in Utah and Nunavut to support increasing global demand.

American West Projects

American West Metals features an all-star management team led by experienced leaders Michael Anderson, John Prineas, and Dave O’Neill, all whom have decades of combined expertise in global mine development, mineral exploration and corporate finance. The company is building the foundation for continued success in delivering economic benefits to all stakeholders and high-multiplier returns on shareholder investment. American West Metals currently has three high-value base metal projects geared toward supplying future resource needs: West Desert, Copper Warrior and Storm and Seal.

American West Metals recently started its diamond drilling efforts at West Desert under the management of an experienced in-country logistics and exploration team. Their Copper Warrior project is located close to the Lisbon Valley Copper Mine — Utah’s second largest copper mine. Meanwhile, the Storm and Seal projects have two styles of high-grade copper and zinc mineralization within the 4,145 square kilometer land package. Permits are in place and the projects are drill-ready with two drill rigs and a 35-person exploration camp on site.

American West

Drilling at West Desert. Source: Twitter

“The drilling is planned to test the West Desert resource in areas that already have some impressive zinc, copper and silver intercepts, and to confirm our assumptions that the continuity of these zones will support a range of development scenarios. The drilling will also confirm the amenability of the shallow mineralisation to open-pit mining, further adding to the development optionality at West Desert,” said American West Metals’ Managing Director, Dave O’Neill.

Company Highlights

  • American West Metals is a critical metal focused mineral exploration and mining company that offers investors exposure to high-value projects in tier 1 mineral districts in Nunavut and Utah.
  • The company has an experienced management team with decades of expertise in developing mines, mineral exploration and corporate finance.
  • The advanced stage West Desert zinc-copper-indium deposit in Utah contains an existing resource base of over 1Mt of zinc, 120Kt of copper and 1,500t of indium.
  • The Copper Warrior project is located near the second largest copper mine in Utah, with 173 mining claims covering 14 square kilometers.
  • American West Metals’ Storm and Seal projects contain two styles of high-grade copper and zinc mineralization, have all necessary permits in place, and are ready for exploration to begin on the 4,145 square kilometre land package.

Key Projects

West Desert

American West Desert

West Desert is 100 percent owned by American West Metals and is located approximately 160 kilometers southwest of Salt Lake City in west-central Utah. The project is within the prolific Sevier Orogenic Belt, which also hosts the world class Bingham copper deposit and Tintic Mineral District.

Project Highlights:

  • NI 43-101 Results: The West Desert deposit is a massive zinc-poly metallic skarn and carbonate replacement deposit (CRD) with over 59Mt Indicated and inferred resources, with a higher grade core of 16.5 million tonnes (Mt) at 6.3 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper, 33g/t indium for 1.03 Mt zinc, 45Kt copper and 545t indium (NI 43-101, historical and foreign resource).
  • Existing Resource Foundation: West Desert has a strong existing resource foundation. Historical metallurgical test work exhibits clean concentrates and outstanding metal recoveries. The high-grade core may support a range of low footprint development scenarios.
  • Large Indium Resource: This asset has the largest known unmined indium resource in the world and American West Metals will become the first indium producer in the United States. Indium is a critical metal to the national security and economics of the United States as it’s used in decarbonization technology, semiconductor and the electronics industries. There are unusually high levels of this mineral found in the sphalerite at West Desert, and it has only been assayed in 35 percent of samples, giving huge growth potential..
  • CRD and Porphyry Mineralisation: Additional CRD mineralisation has been intersected about 1 kilometre east of the West Desert project, including 3 meters at 3.5 percent Cu, 7.65 percent Zinc (drill hole CC-43). There are numerous other high-grade intersections around the porphyry stock, which shows geological similarities to Bingham Canyon and other large porphyries in the region.
  • Exploration and Studies underway: Mining, environmental and hydrological studies are underway, infrastructure is in place and drilling will proceed in January 2022.

Copper Warrior

Copper Warrior

The Copper Warrior project is located along the Lisbon Valley Fault in the prolific Paradox Basin of southeast Utah and just 15 kilometers from the second largest copper mine in Utah — Lisbon Copper Mine. There is direct road access to the processing plant and the mine infrastructure. The project spans an area of 14 square kilometers and has 173 claims. This region has exceptional deposits of copper, vanadium, uranium and potash.

Project Highlights:

  • Stable Ownership: American West Metals has signed an option agreement to acquire all of Copper Warrior’s assets from Bronco Creek Exploration, a subsidiary of EMX Royalty Corp (TSXV:EMX).
  • Turnkey Project: This project is a turnkey asset allowing fast-tracked activities because of the well understood geology and simple processing and mining techniques
  • Ongoing Exploration: Outcroppings containing large volumes of copper, vein style and disseminated copper oxide and sulfides have been mapped across the Copper Warrior property. Sulfide and oxide mineralization in this region are typically amenable to easy low-cost leach processing. Low risk and low cost with Induced Polarization (IP) surveys and reverse circulation (RC) drilling set to go in the spring of 2022.

Storm and Seal

Storm and Seal

Storm and Seal, also known as the Nunavut projects, are in the lower Arctic Circle, close to the coast of Aston Bay on Somerset Island. This is northern Nunavut in the Polaris mineral district, with many exploration and mining projects close to the regional logistics hub Resolute Bay. The Storm and Seal project area extends 120 kilometers south from the north coast of Somerset Island and encompasses 4,145 square kilometers.

Project Highlights:

  • Signed Lease Agreement: The Nunavut projects are owned by Aston Bay Holdings (TSXV: BAY). American West Metals signed an agreement to earn 80 percent of the Storm and Seal project interest from Aston Bay. American West Metals has control of this very accessible project and its turnkey exploration projects.
  • High-Grade Copper: The Storm project is a structurally hosted high-grade copper discovery that has multiple, dense high-grade copper intersections across 15 square kilometers. Historical drill samples include 19m at 3.41percent copper from surface (ST97-02), 110m at 2.45 percent copper from surface (ST97-08), 56.3m at 3.07 percent copper from 12.2m (ST99-19) and 15m at 3.88 percent copper from 72.4m (ST99-47). There is also an unexplored sediment hosted copper system with many untested surface gossans that will add to the existing exploration endeavors.
American West

Drill core from the Storm Copper Project. Source: Twitter

  • Existing High-Grade Zinc-Silver Resources: Seal is adjacent to Storm and has an existing resource of 1Mt @ 10.24 percent zinc, 46.5 g/t silver for 103Kt of zinc and 1.5Moz silver (NI 43-101, historical and foreign resource). The deposit is open at depth and along strike. Historical intersections include;
    • 14.4m at 10.58 percent zinc, 28.7 g/t silver from 51.8m
    • 16m at 6.62 percent zinc,27.1 g/t silver from 76.6m
    • 22.3m at 23 percent zinc,5.1 g/t silver from 101.5m
    • 2.4m at 15.13 percent zinc, 91.9 g/t silver from 133.5m
    • Extensive zinc soil anomalies within the prospective stratigraphy render more drill ready targets.

Exploration-Ready: The Nunavut property and existing camp has easy access and is primed for exploration. All permits are in place and the property is drill ready with 2 drill rigs and a 35 person exploration camp on site.

Management Team

Dave O’Neill - Managing Director

Founder of American West and a major shareholder. A geologist with over 20 years experience in the resources sector gained in Australia and internationally. Dave has expertise in base metals and gold exploration as well as business development gained in senior roles with Anglogold, WMC, BHP and Western Areas. He has managed remote grass roots exploration to large resource delineation and mining projects in Australia, Europe, North America and Russia. Dave has a track record of successful exploration and was a leading team member for the discovery of the Succoth (Cu), Yappsu (Ni) and Cathedrals (Ni) deposits in Western Australia. Dave holds a BSc. (Honours in Geology) from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

John Prineas - Non-executive Chairman

Founder of American West and a major shareholder. John is also the founder and Executive Chairman of St George Mining Limited (ASX: SGQ), a successful explorer and emerging nickel company in Australia. Prior to starting St George in 2010, John spent 20 years in the banking and legal sectors, including the role of Country Head Australia for Dresdner Bank AG (now Commerzbank AG) with a focus on project and acquisition finance for resources and infrastructure projects. John has worked on funding arrangements and growth strategies for a range of mining companies, from global majors to junior explorers. John holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and is a Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australasia. John is also a director of BMG Resources Limited (ASX: BMG).

Michael Anderson - Non-executive Director

Dr Michael Anderson has extensive technical experience as well as substantial business development experience built up over a 30-year career. Michael is currently the Managing Director of Firefinch Limited (ASX: FFX) which has major gold and lithium projects in Mali, Africa. Previously, as a Director at Taurus Funds Management in Australia, he managed the fund’s investment in precious and base metals projects in a number of continents. Prior to that, Michael was the Managing Director of Exco Resources in Australia where he led the development of the White Dam Gold Mine and the advancement of resource development, feasibility studies and approvals for the Cloncurry Copper Project ahead of its sale to Xstrata. Dr Anderson holds a BSc. (1st Class Honours in Mining Geology) and a PhD in Mining Geology, both from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London.

Rocky Pray - VP Operations

Rocky Pray has more than 30 years of engineering and project development focused on mining projects across several jurisdictions in the USA and abroad, including 12 years with Newmont Mining where he served as Project Study Director, Project Manager, and Consulting Mine Engineer. Rocky has a successful track record directing teams to safely build new mines, and expand existing mines on schedule and under budget. Rocky is a senior mining professional with expertise in pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, Federal and State permitting, environmental management mine operations, project engineering and construction. He is registered with the US Society of Mining Engineers and holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Geological Engineer) from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Related Articles Around the Web
AW1:AU

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation  is pleased to announce positive results from 48 drill holes, totaling 7,936 metres, drilled on the C6, C1 and C2 targets at its Cameron Copper Project as part of ongoing exploration at the property.  The drill program encountered intercepts of high-grade mineralization, within long, low-grade mineralized envelopes, with lateral continuity between intercepts of up to 1 kilometre. …

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (TSX: CMMC) (ASX: C6C) (the “Company” or “Copper Mountain”) is pleased to announce positive results from 48 drill holes, totaling 7,936 metres, drilled on the C6, C1 and C2 targets at its Cameron Copper Project (“Cameron”), as part of ongoing exploration at the property. The drill program encountered intercepts of high-grade mineralization, within long, low-grade mineralized envelopes, with lateral continuity between intercepts of up to 1 kilometre. The Company plans to carry out further drilling that will also include new undrilled targets with significant copper-gold anomalies in surface soil and rock samples. Cameron is situated 40 kilometres south of the Company’s Eva Copper Project (“Eva”), located in the Mount Isa region of Queensland, Australia near Cloncurry. See Appendix 1 for a regional location map. View PDF

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Sabel Blanco / Pexels

Copper hit a record high in 2021, boosting copper companies even into 2022. Here are the best copper stocks on the ASX so far this year.

The copper price hit a record high in 2021, and analysts expect prices for the red metal to remain high. This strong copper market has been a boon for ASX copper stocks.

Copper prices rallied to above US$10,700 per tonne during the second quarter of last year on higher demand as the economy began opening back up following strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Although the copper outlook is tainted by a slowing real estate sector in China, demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy is expected to boost copper use in China and globally in 2022.


Several Australian copper stocks are performing well in this copper price environment.

Here the Investing News Network looks at the best ASX copper stocks of 2022 by year-to-date share price performance. The best ASX copper stocks list below was generated on February 9, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all copper stocks listed had market caps above AU$30 million at that time.

1. Alara Resources

Year-to-date gain: 233.33 percent; current share price: AU$0.08

First on this list of best ASX copper stocks is base and precious metals explorer and developer Alara Resources (ASX:AUQ). The company has projects in the Middle East, including the Al Washi-hi Majaza copper-gold project in Oman and the Khnaiguiyah zinc-copper project in Saudi Arabia.

Alara owns a 51 percent equity interest in Al Washi-hi Majaza, where initial mining activities, including pre-stripping of waste, began in early February. Ore mining is expected to start at the asset in the June quarter, with consistent ore recovery following toward the end of the year.

2. Critical Resources

Year-to-date gain: 189.47 percent; current share price: AU$0.11

Base metals-focused Critical Resources (ASX:CRR) has properties in Oman and Australia. The company's Sohar copper project in Oman has a JORC resource of 819,000 tonnes at 3.4 percent copper, equivalent to 28,000 tonnes of copper metal, and zinc and other base metals were historically mined at its Halls Peak project in New South Wales. Aside from those assets, Critical Resources holds lithium projects in Canada.

In early February, Critical Resources reported zinc, copper, lead and silver assay results from two extensional holes completed at Halls Peak's Gibsons prospect.

3. Cannindah Resources

Year-to-date gain: 82.35 percent; current share price: AU$0.31

With a focus on copper and gold, Cannindah Resources (ASX:CAE) is reviewing strategies for its New South Wales-based Mount Cannindah project, which holds a large porphyry-style copper-molybdenum-gold mineralised system. The company is also looking to move forward with exploration at its Piccadilly gold project in Queensland.

In late January, Cannindah Resources shared results from a vertical hole in the northern part of Mount Cannindah. Results include 81 metres at 0.3 percent copper, 0.6 grams per tonne gold and 22.5 grams per tonne silver.

4. Celsius Resources

Year-to-date gain: 50 percent; current share price: AU$0.03

Exploration and development company Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA) has a portfolio of copper and gold assets located in the Philippines, Namibia and Australia.

At its Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog copper-gold project in the Philippines, the company completed a positive scoping study in December 2021 showing a 25 year mine life, a payback period of 2.7 years and a pre-tax internal rate of return of 35 percent. Drilling is also underway at Celsius’ other Philippines property, the Sagay copper-gold project.

5. Bougainville Copper

Year-to-date gain: 29.51 percent; current share price: AU$0.395

Bougainville Copper (ASX:BOC) states that its main goal is to work with communities in Papua New Guinea and the country's government to resume copper, gold and silver mining and exploration at the Panguna mine.

Panguna has been inactive since 1989, and while it was important to the nation's economy it has also been a source of controversy. There hasn't been any news from the company so far in 2022.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation will be hosting a conference call on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 7:30 am for senior management to discuss its third quarter 2021 results. The Company will be releasing its third quarter 2021 financial and operating results before markets open on Monday, November 1, 2021 . Dial-in information: Toronto and international: 1 764 8650 North America : 1 664 6383 Webcast: Replay …

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (TSX: CMMC) (ASX: C6C) (the “Company” or “Copper Mountain”) will be hosting a conference call on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 7:30 am (Pacific Time) for senior management to discuss its third quarter 2021 results. The Company will be releasing its third quarter 2021 financial and operating results before markets open on Monday, November 1, 2021 .

Dial-in information:
Toronto and international: 1 (416) 764 8650
North America (toll-free): 1 (888) 664 6383
Webcast: https://produceredition.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1501080&tp_key=fd3437f8d3

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Hot Chili Limited

Hot Chili Limited (ASX: HCH) (TSXV: HCH) (OTCQX: HHLKF) (“Hot Chili” or “Company”) is pleased to report another outstanding drill result at the Cortadera porphyry deposit, part of the Company’s Costa Fuego, coastal range, copper-gold hub in Chile.

Highlights


  • More significant results from development study drilling at the Cortadera porphyry discovery, part of the Company’s low-altitude, Costa Fuego senior copper development in Chile
  • CORMET005 returned 658m grading 0.6% CuEq (0.4% copper (Cu), 0.2g/t gold (Au), 122ppm molybdenum (Mo)) from 232m depth down-hole, including 134m grading 0.8% CuEq (0.6% Cu, 0.2g/t Au, 181ppm Mo) from 470m depth, and including 130m grading 0.9% CuEq (0.6% Cu, 0.2g/t Au, 253ppm Mo) from 662m depth at the main porphyry (Cuerpo 3)
  • 30m grading 1.4% CuEq (1.1% Cu, 0.5g/t Au, 165ppm Mo) from 690m depth was recorded outside of the current high grade (+0.6% CuEq) resource model in CORMET005
  • All three drill holes reported from Cuerpo 3 at Cortadera confirm expansion of the high grade core ahead of a planned Pre-feasibility study (PFS) and resource upgrade for Costa Fuego later this year
  • Drilling underway across three fronts - Cortadera, Productora and Valentina - with further drill results expected in the coming weeks
  • Update on PFS workstreams and port negotiations expected shortly

Hot Chili’s Managing Director Christian Easterday stated that Cortadera has a track record of outperforming expectation.

“The PFS in-fill drill programme across Cortadera has collected important geotechnical and hydrogeological information and has also continued to define and expand high grade resources.

“Upgrading our resources with wide drill intersections grading 0.8% to 1.0% copper equivalent is a great outcome, which demonstrates the quality and growth potential of Costa Fuego as one of the only low-altitude, material, copper developments in the world capable of near-term development.”

Latest Significant Drill Results from Cortadera

Latest results from development study drilling at Cortadera have returned further significant intersections.

Diamond drill hole CORMET005 returned 658m grading 0.6% CuEq (0.4% Cu, 0.2g/t Au, 122ppm Mo) from 232m depth, including 134m grading 0.8% CuEq (0.6% Cu, 0.2g/t Au, 181ppm Mo) from 470m depth, and including 130m grading 0.9% CuEq (0.6% Cu, 0.2g/t Au, 253ppm Mo) from 662m depth.

CORMET005 was drilled across the northern flank to the high grade core within the main porphyry (Cuerpo 3) at Cortadera. Pleasingly, the wide significant intersection again confirmed further extension to the high grade core and included an impressive 30m grading 1.4% CuEq (1.1% Cu, 0.5g/t Au, 165ppm Mo) from 690m depth outside of the current high grade (+0.6% CuEq) resource model.

The latest result follows the previous two outstanding drill results (see announcements dated 4th April 2022 and 29th April 2022) from Cuerpo 3, which also confirmed further growth of the high grade core, notably:

  • 552m at 0.6% CuEq from 276m depth, including 248m at 0.8% CuEq (CORMET003), and
  • 876m grading 0.5% CuEq from 246m depth, including 206m grading 0.9% CuEq (CORMET006)

In addition, diamond drill hole CORMET002 has returned 370m grading 0.4% CuEq (0.3% Cu, 0.1g/t Au) from surface, including 20m grading 0.8% CuEq (0.6% Cu, 0.4g/t Au) from 24m depth, and including 22m grading 1.0% CuEq (0.8% Cu, 0.5g/t Au) from 136m depth at Cuerpo 2. These high grade intersections were also outside the current high grade resource at Cuerpo 2.

A final development study diamond drill hole (CORMET004) is being completed at Cortadera and results are also pending for four metallurgical diamond drill holes completed at Productora.

Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Hot Chili Limited (ASX: HCH) (TSXV: HCH) (OTCQX: HHLKF), licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

HCH:AU
sydney opera house
Marley Clovelly / Pexels

The gold price is trading lower than some market watchers would prefer, but the top-performing ASX gold stocks so far this year are making leaps.

Click here to read the previous best ASX gold stocks article.

While 2021 was a disappointing year for gold, analysts are optimistic about the outlook for 2022.

The yellow metal passed the US$2,000 per ounce mark as tensions between Russia and Ukraine heated up, but has since pulled back to trade closer to US$1,800. However, diverse factors could combine to push it higher.

Demand for gold jewellery, gold bars and coins, and the metal’s use in the technology sector are still going strong, and supply is also a growing concern due to decreased gold exploration efforts in recent years.


Against this backdrop, many Australian gold stocks are doing well. And with the precious metal generally considered a safe investment, it's worth being aware of the county's top-performing companies.

Here the Investing News Network looks at the best ASX gold stocks of the year so far by year-to-date gains. The list of stocks below was generated on April 29, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all companies included had market caps over AU$30 million at that time.

1. Xantippe Resources

Year-to-date gain: 180 percent; market cap: AU$107.3 million; current share price: AU$0.01

Xantippe Resources (ASX:XTC) is focused on Western Australia's Southern Cross region, which is widely known for its past gold production. The precious metals explorer's Southern Cross project is made up of 20 prospecting licences and six exploration licences, and holds a number of key priority targets.

In late April, Xantippe confirmed the acquisition of lithium tenements in Argentina with the hope of commencing exploration activities in the third quarter.

2. Minrex Resources

Year-to-date gain: 55.81 percent; market cap: AU$63.05 million; current share price: AU$0.07

Minrex Resources’ (ASX:MRR) assets include five gold and base metals projects in Western Australia, four of which are in the mineral-rich East Pilbara region.

The company started off the year with high-grade gold drill results from its work at the Queenslander gold prospect within its Sofala project. The prospect is centred around the past-producing Queenslander mine.

3. Aston Minerals

Year-to-date gain: 38.1 percent; market cap: AU$164.19 million; current share price: AU$0.15

Gold and nickel-cobalt explorer Aston Minerals (ASX:ASO) is moving forward at its Edleston gold project, located in the Cadillac-Larder Lake fault zone of Canada's Abitibi greenstone belt. Edleston is its flagship asset, and according to the company, it is the first in over a decade to drill in this area.

Aston continues to focus on gold at Edleston, but its Boomerang nickel-cobalt target has come to the forefront in recent months, with the company announcing the results of its maiden hole there in early December.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Marlee John, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

business people stacking wooden blocks

Australian lithium miners continued to move ahead with their projects during the year's third financial quarter.

After hitting all-time highs in 2021, lithium prices started to stabilise in 2022's first quarter.

China’s lockdown measures to battle COVID-19 have disrupted the supply chain and impacted domestic demand in recent weeks, but this is expected to be temporary, according to William Adams of Fastmarkets.

“The lithium market is very tight. We don't see that easing anytime soon,” he said during a recent webinar about risks in the battery metals market. “We think the underlying fundamentals and the trends are still very strong.”


During the third quarter of the financial year, Australian lithium miners continued to move ahead with their projects, and despite the increased volatility in the markets, many ASX lithium stocks saw share price gains as well.

Perth-based Pilbara Minerals' (ASX:PLS,OTC Pink:PILBF) production for the quarter was 81,431 dry metric tonnes (dmt), slightly down compared to the previous three months, but within guidance. The company said the main factor impacting output was higher COVID-19 cases, which resulted in staff and contractor shortages.

“COVID-19 has (and may continue in the near term) to cause operational delays, including staffing shortages for both shut-down and operating staff (mining and processing),” the company said in a statement. Even so, Pilbara has decided to maintain its production guidance in the range of 340,000 to 380,000 dmt.

During its fourth battery material exchange auction, the company saw the highest bid ever at US$5,650 per dmt for a cargo of 5,000 dmt of spodumene, showing the critical shortage in lithium raw material supply.

Western Australia-focused Pilbara, which owns the lithium-tantalum Pilgangoora operation, has partnerships with Ganfeng Lithium (OTC Pink:GNENF,SZSE:002460), General Lithium, Great Wall Motor Company (OTC Pink:GWLLF,HKEX:2333), POSCO (NYSE:PKX), CATL (SZSE:300750) and Yibin Tianyi.

Shares of Pilbara were trading at AU$2.53 on May 10, down 28.13 percent year-to-date, but up more than 100 percent compared to this time last year.

For its part, leading Australian lithium and iron ore miner Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN,OTC Pink:MALRF) saw its Mount Marion mine’s production reach 104,000 dmt during the quarter; it also shipped 94,000 dmt of spodumene concentrate. The company is maintaining its full-year production guidance at 450,000 to 475,000 dmt.

In April, Mineral Resources and partner Ganfeng agreed to optimise production and upgrade Mount Marion's processing facilities. Spodumene concentrate capacity at the operation is expected to increase from 450,000 dmt per year to 600,000 dmt annually.

“The decision to upgrade the plant reflects an expectation that the lithium market outlook will remain extremely strong for the foreseeable future,” the company said in a press release. A second stage increase, expected to be completed by the end of 2022, will see capacity rise further to reach 900,000 dmt.

Aside from Mount Marion, the company holds interests in Wodgina in partnership with another top producer — Albemarle (NYSE:ALB). The companies decided to restart Wodgina last year as a result of soaring global lithium demand. The mine produced its first spodumene concentrate on May 12.

“(We have) also agreed to review the state of the global lithium market towards the end of this calendar year to assess timing for the start-up of Train 3 and the possible construction of Train 4,” the company said. Each train has a nameplate capacity of 250,000 dmt of 6 percent product.

Mineral Resources’ share price was down 10.71 percent on May 10, trading at AU$52.71. That said, the stock is up 9.11 percent year-on-year.

During the March quarter, Argentina-focused Allkem (ASX:AKE,OTC Pink:OROCF) outlined its plans to increase lithium production threefold by 2026 and become a top three chemicals supplier.

In Western Australia, the company owns the Mount Cattlin mine, which produced 48,562 dmt of spodumene concentrate and shipped 66,011 tonnes in the March quarter.

“Strong conditions in the spodumene market are supporting advanced discussions for spodumene concentrate pricing in the June quarter of approximately US$5,000 per dmt SC6 percent CIF on sales of approximately 50,000 tonnes,” the company told investors in a note.

In Argentina, Allkem operates the Salar de Olaroz and is developing the Sal de Vida lithium brine. Additionally, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho (TSE:8015), Allkem is building a 10,000 tonne per year lithium hydroxide plant in Naraha, Japan. The company also owns the James Bay lithium pegmatite project in Canada.

On May 10, shares of Allkem were changing hands for AU$10.95, down 2.23 percent year-to-date, but up over 55 percent year-on-year.

Although its main focus is nickel, Independence Group (ASX:IGO) joined the lithium party last year after it bought a stake in Tianqi Lithium’s Australian assets. The companies, in joint venture, now control the majority of the biggest lithium mine in the world — Greenbushes.

Production at the mine was up 5 percent quarter-on-quarter at 270,464 tonnes of spodumene concentrate. By 2025, Greenbushes is expected to add around 800,000 tonnes per year to its output capacity.

IGO has seen its share price decline 4.63 percent year-to-date, trading at AU$11.34 on May 11. However, the stock is up 47.27 year-on-year.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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