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Australian REE Project May Get Investment From US Uranium Manufacturer
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Australian REE Project May Get Investment From US Uranium Manufacturer

Mineral sands miner Astron Corporation (ASX:ATR) has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding with $US1.4 billion capped Energy Fuels (NYSE:UUUU) to jointly develop the 2.6 billion tonne Donald rare earths and mineral sands project in Victoria.

The news has driven up ATR shares. At 2.30pm Thursday (AEDT), they were up more than 27 per cent for the day.

Donald could be a globally significant, long-life supplier of critical rare earth elements (REE), including neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium as well as zirconium and titanium minerals, ATR says.Energy Fuels – the US’s largest uranium producer and an emerging REE play – could invest $180 million to earn 49 per cent of the JV, plus issue ATR $US17.5 million worth of shares.

Astron is a favourite of Collins Street Value Fund (CSVF) executive director Michael Goldberg, who believes the Donald project is the largest undeveloped zircon project in the Southern Hemisphere, big enough to provide five full years of global demand.

Development of Donald would initially consist of operations to mine 7.5Mt per year of ore to produce 200,000 to 250,000t per year of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) and around 7,000 to 8000 per year of rare earth element concentrate (REEC).

Soon after commencing Phase 1, the venture will double ore production to 15Mt per year to produce 400,000 to 500,000 of HMC and 13,000 to 14,000t per year of REEC.

Astron, with a 51 per cent interest, will be the Manager and Operator of the Venture, with specified major decisions subject to approval of both parties.

AURIC MINING (ASX:AWJ)

This gold explorer is up nearly 23 per cent for the day at 2.30pm (AEDT), on no particular news.

It owns a portfolio of assets in WA’s prolific Widgiemooltha-Norseman region, with its flagship project being the Munda gold deposit, which hosts a resource of 198,700 ounces at 1.38 g/t gold.

A June 2023 scoping study on Munda outlined a projected cashflow of $76.9 million over a 13-quarter mine life based on a conservative gold price assumption of $2600/ounce.

Potential surplus cash flows are higher at current gold prices around $3000/ounce.

AWJ will begin operations at Munda with a starter pit with a mine life of three months and a low capital investment of $1.3 million.

According to new research from Canary Capital, the starter pit will also require a working capital investment of around $6 million and is expected to produce $8.7 million in surplus cash.

“Despite the significant cash flow potential of the company’s projects, the current market capitalisation is just $8.8 million,” the equity research firm said.

“We view this as presenting investors with an opportunity to invest in AWJ at a fraction of the real intrinsic value of the company.”

MORE FROM STOCKHEAD: Gold could get even better | FitzGerald’s ‘Barbecue Stopper’ stock tips | Experts conjure resources predictions

RIMFIRE PACIFIC MINING (ASX:RIM)

Rimfire is another company up substantially on no notable news.

At 2.30pm it’s share price had risen more than 22 per cent for the day.

Rimfire owns a cobalt and copper project within NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt, regarded as one of the hottest mining addresses in the country thanks to the giant Cadia copper-gold mine.

Earlier this month the company raised a total $3.25 million from several new family offices through a share placement.

RIM’s joint venture partner Golden Plain Resources committed $2.1 million of funding for work poised to kick off during the first six months of 2024 at the Avondale and Fifield projects, both prospective in high-value critical minerals such as nickel, cobalt, scandium, gold and PGEs.

The stock is up 300 per cent over the past three months.

EUROPEAN LITHIUM (ASX:EUR)

A big payday for EUR shareholders could be just around the corner after the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved F-4 Amendment No.5, allowing Critical Metals Corp to list on the NASDAQ.

Under the agreement between EUR and publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Sizzle Corp, EUR’s Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria will be merged with Sizzle to form Critical Minerals Corp.

Once it lists, EUR will be issued with $US750 million ($1.09 billion) worth of shares in CRML – implying that Wolfsberg project is worth considerably more than it is currently valued on the ASX, given the company’s current market capitalisation of around $120 million.

A special meeting of Sizzle’s stockholders to approve the proposed business combination with Critical Metals will be held on or around January 23.

Approval from EUR shareholders has been in place since 20 January 2023.

At 2.30pm (AEDT), EUR’s share price was up 30 per cent for the day.

Visit Stockhead, where ASX small caps are big deals

REDCASTLE RESOURCES (ASX:RC1)

Gold explorer Redcastle Resources is up nearly 17 per cent for the day at 2.30pm Thursday (AEDT).

RC1 completed a reverse circulation drilling program at its Queen Alexandra prospect earlier this month, which totalled 37 holes for 1937m.

Assays confirmed the presence of consistent, shallow gold mineralisation with a strike extent of 200m.

More high-grade intersections were received shortly thereafter, returning 1m at 10.95 g/t from 48m and 1m at 8.73 g/t gold from 47m.

A diamond drill rig has now been contracted to target deeper zones in Q1 2024 with resource estimation under way. "Source: The Chronicle"

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