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Big Star Energy Ltd is pleased to announce that it has acquired 21,824 gross acres in 63 new leases in Colorado, USA at the State land auction.

Big Star Energy Ltd (“Big Star” or the “Company”) (ASX:BNL) is pleased to announce that it has acquired 21,824 gross (21,824 net) acres in 63 new leases in Colorado, USA at the State land auction.

Big Star Managing Director, Joanne Kendrick, commented “This truly is a transformational moment for the Company. These acquisitions at the State land auction, in addition to our existing acreage, bring us to 27,104 gross (23,294 net) acres across 9 prospects, significantly exceeding our targets and making us, by far, the dominant player in this highly prospective area.

“Encouragingly, we now have 3 prospects where our leases include locations sampled during our recent soil gas survey. All samples collected on the land that we have now leased returned positive helium readings of between 10-50% above normal atmospheric levels confirming an active helium system in the area.

“Following our successful helium acreage acquisition, I am excited to make a start on our next objective. We plan to design and permit a 5-well drilling programme early next year whilst we consolidate our acreage over these prospects. With success in our proposed drilling campaign, any discovered high-concentration helium accumulation would potentially be developed using a pressure swing adsorption plant. A standard-size PSA plant can process 2mmcf/day of raw gas (with 5-10% helium) to a saleable product stream with 98%+ helium concentration and requires between 5,000-10,000 acres to fill to capacity.”

big star figure 1

Figure 1 : Prospects and Leads Portfolio in Las Animas, Colorado

Big Star’s prospects and leads ranking has been driven by our regional and local structural mapping, proximity to historic high-concentration helium wells and the active helium systems proven by our proprietary regional soil gas survey completed earlier this year. Continued integration of proprietary geophysical and helium soil gas survey data into the geologic model over the last two months has resulted in improved delineation and greater confidence in prospect sizes and ranking. Notably, the areal extent of Enterprise has increased significantly as a result of this latest work.

The current leased acreage position over 9 of Big Star’s prospects is described in Table 1 below. Acreage over the previously leased Enterprise has increased by over 160% and 7 new prospects now have substantial leasing as a result of the State auction acquisitions. This includes 2 prospects (in addition to Enterprise) where soil gas samples were collected from currently leased areas and returned positive helium readings.

big star table 1

Table 1 : Summary of Prospects with Leasing

The new leases are for an initial term of 5 years with the right to request an extension of 1 year and an annual rental payment of US$2.50/acre payable in advance. In the event that Big Star successfully produces helium or other products from the lease area, a 20% royalty will be payable to the State of Colorado and the lease term will be extended indefinitely until production ceases.

The leases do not include any minimum work commitments. The consideration for the new leases is US$73,946 comprising the first year’s rental of US$54,560 and lease bonuses, application and other fees of US$19,386. The Company is the only working interest owner in the leases.

Further details of the new leases are set out in Appendix A. The new leases include 4 samples obtained during the regional gas survey referred to in the Company’s announcement of 19 September 2019. These are described in Appendix B.

For further details in relation to oil and gas leases in the US see the Company’s announcement of 19 September 2019.

For further information, please contact:

Joanne Kendrick
Managing Director info@bigstarenergy.com.au

About Big Star:

Big Star Energy Ltd (ASX:BNL) is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in Australia, with operations and exploration in North America. Big Star’s strategy is to provide its shareholders with exposure to multiple high-value helium projects and conventional oil assets in North America. For further information please visit the Company’s website at www.bigstarenergy.com.au

About Helium:

Helium is a unique industrial gas that exhibits characteristics both of a bulk, commodity gas and of a high value specialty gas and is considered a “high tech” strategic element. Due to its unique chemical and physical qualities, helium is a vital element in the manufacture of MRIs and semiconductors and is critical for fibre optic cable manufacturing, hard disc manufacture and cooling, space exploration, rocketry, lifting and high-level science. There is no way of manufacturing helium artificially and most of the world’s reserves have been derived as a by-product of the extraction of natural hydrocarbon gas.

Appendix A: New Leases

big star appendix a

big star appendix a

big star appendix b

Appendix B: Soil Gas Survey Samples

big star table 2

Table 1, Las Animas Leases Soil Gas Samples

Notes

  1. Falcon soil gas samples taken from leased areas 27 and 28 in Appendix A.
  2. Galactica soil gas samples taken from leased areas 11 and 48 in Appendix A.
  3. Enterprise: see the announcement of 19 September 2019.

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Emerging Technology Investing
robotic arm above a globe showing Australia

Australia is hoping to lead the way in robotics, and these are some of the country's top robotics stocks by market cap.

Robotics is a growing area of engineering and science technology. Although Australia is hoping to lead the way in robotics, the number of pure-play ASX-listed robotics companies isn't all that big.

Robotics is a broad term covering everything from design to the construction and operation of robots. It also includes the use of robots in roles normally played by humans, often to reduce errors or speed up processes.

This list includes a wide range of ASX-listed companies that employ robotics. Data was sourced using TradingView's stock screener on November 24, 2021, and stocks are listed in order of market cap from largest to smallest.


1. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC)

Market cap: AU$17.19 billion; current share price: AU$52.90

Technology powerhouse WiseTech Global provides software solutions to logistics businesses in 130 countries around the world. Its CargoWise platforms are designed using workflows, automation and robotics. The WiseTech Global Group includes more than 30 businesses.

The company has performed positively on the ASX over the past year, with its share price rising about 70 percent since the start of 2021. The company expects to continue this momentum in during its 2022 fiscal year, with projected EBITDA growth of 26 to 38 percent.

2. Altium (ASX:ALU)

Market cap: AU$5.47 billion; current share price: AU$41.67

Altium is a leading global software company that focuses on 3D-printed circuit board (PCB) design. Although seemingly obscure, the PCB design tool Altium Designer is used by robotics companies like Robotics Kanti. The company also sponsors student robotics design competitions that focus on PCB design.

The 2021 fiscal year was strong for Altium, which reported a revenue increase of 6 percent, to AU$180.2 million, and announced a final dividend of AU$0.21 per share.

3. Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)

Market cap: AU$249.49 million; current share price: AU$0.25

Vection Technologies is a multinational software company with offices in Western Australia, as well as Subiaco and Casalecchio di Reno in Italy. The company uses robotics technology in addition to 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial internet of things and CAD solutions.

The business is split into two sections: information technology development and outsourced services. The company also collaborates with Autodesk Technology Centres, the Microsoft Mixed Reality Team and Cisco Systems Italy.

4. FBR (ASX:FBR)

Market cap: AU$116.95 million; current share price: AU$0.05

FBR designs, develops and builds robots for the global construction market. The company's dynamically stabilised offerings are made to work outdoors using FBR's Dynamic Stabilisation Technology.

This technology was first used in the Hadrian X, a brick-laying robot that can build structural walls more efficiently than traditional methods and with less waste. The first commercial building to have its structural walls built by Hadrian X in 2020 was completed and tenanted in 2021.

5. Bill Identity (ASX:BID)

Market cap: AU$44.18 million; current share price: AU$0.25

Previously known as BidEnergy, Bill Identity provides a series of bill management solutions leveraged using its Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The RPA system helps clients increase their efficiency and serves customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe. The company had a strong year, with total operating revenue growth of 55 percent year-on-year to AU$14.6 million in its 2021 fiscal year.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article

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Robotics is an area of investing that is growing in Australia ― but is it a sector worth investing in?

The global robotics industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent through 2028 according to the Global Industrial Robotics Market Analysis 2020. Robotics is an area of investing that is growing in Australia ― but is it a sector worth investing in?

Broadly speaking, robotics is the design and construction of robots. This can include core automation and production, industrial software, robot technology and integration of robotics. From drones to self-driving cars to toys ― robotics is a growing industry that is beginning to permeate our daily lives.


The distinction between robotics and AI can be a little confusing, but essentially think of robotics like the body and AI like the brain. Both can exist separately, and they are powerful when combined. The goal of a robot is to complete a task faster and more efficiently than a human.

What does the market look like?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen technology sectors such as robotics accelerate as businesses have faced global challenges. Robotics has been able to help keep spaces safer by replacing humans with robots on factory lines, in eCommerce warehouses or on healthcare frontlines taking temperatures or disinfecting spaces.

What is Australia doing to support the robotics sector?

In early 2020, the Robotics Australia Network was formed to accelerate growth of the domestic robotics industry. The network aims to strengthen global competitiveness and cement Australia as a global leader in robotics.

How does the Australian robotics sector stack up?

According to the International Federation of Robotics, in a ranking of the world's most automated countries it's not even in the top 10. Number one is Singapore, followed by South Korea then Japan.

The investment space for pure robotics companies is relatively small, with greater opportunities to invest in more broader technology, AI and automation stocks.

Who are the big players in robotics stocks?

Robotics stocks in Australia are companies with a strong crossover to other technology sectors like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)
Market Cap AU$77.56 million

Vection is a multinational software company with offices in Western Australia as well as Subiaco and Casalecchio di Reno in Italy. The company uses robotics technology as well as 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial IoT and CAD solutions. The business is split into two sections: IT development and outsourced services. The company also collaborates with Autodesk Technology Centers, the Microsoft Mixed Reality Team and Cisco Systems Italy.

Bill Identity (ASX:BID)

Market Cap AU$52.97 million

Previously known as BidEnergy, Bill Identity is a series of bill management solutions leveraged using robotic process automation, which helps clients increase efficiency. The company serves customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe. Bill Identity had a strong year, with total operating revenue growth of 55 percent year-on-year to US$14.6M in FY21.

What are the other ways to invest in robotics?

Another way to get into the robotics sector is investing in robotics exchange traded funds (ETFs), a popular choice that offers exposure to the industry of robotics and artificial intelligence rather than a single company. Two major ETFs in the robotics sector are:

  • BetaShares Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (ASX:RBTZ)
  • The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ARCA:ROBO)

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

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