30 March 2023
Resources Rising Stars - Rare earths in abundance for RareX as resource soars 500% (Antipa section at end of article)
Quality junior gold/copper explorers are ‘’on sale” if it is assumed that in 2023 gold will trade in a $US1,900-$US2,100 band and that the absolute shortage in copper stockpiles will see the red metal consolidate on its move through $US4/lb.
Those sorts of metal prices would normally be expected to fire up interest in the junior gold/sector. So far at least, the sector has been left to languish, with all of the attention on the big end of town, including big ticket M&A action (BHP’s bid for OZ Minerals and Newmont’s bid for Newcrest).
Eventually investor interest will trickledown to juniors, particularly if the bullish forecasts out there for both metals comes to pass.. A more risk-on tone to the broader market will help.
But it is not necessarily required, as lightly-capitalised exploration juniors with quality projects come with the potential to make a game-changing discovery.
All the above means that “on sale” signs are now widespread across the junior gold/copper sector.
Hardy Paterson province explorer Antipa (AZY) is an example. It is trading at $1.8c for a market cap of $65 million (cash is $8.9m).
Shaw & Partners has a 6c price target on the stock. It noted in a recent research note that the share prices of emerging gold companies have declined significantly over the past 12 months.
“The second half of 2023 looks set to be more constructive for the small gold sector,” the broker said.
Antipa was in the Paterson before all the excitement in recent years caused by Rio Tinto’s Winu discovery and the Newcrest/Greatland discovery at Havieron.
Its strategic land position, assembled ahead of the excitement, has allowed it to cut free-carried exploration joint venture deals with Rio, Newcrest and IGO, as well as continuing to explore on a 100 per cent-basis on ground outside of the joint ventures.
While the mining majors chase the exploration upside on the joint venture ground, Antipa has been kicking goals on its own ground, most notably at its Minyari Dome project, 35km from Newcrest’s ore-hungry Telfer gold/copper mine and 54km from the Havieron gold/copper discovery.
It already stands as a 1.8Moz resource, with scoping study into a base case assessment of a stand-alone development pointing to 168,000oz annually in the first five years of a seven-year mine life at an AISC of $US1,062 an ounce.
But Antipa is now looking to bulk out and extend the back end of the project. And to do that it has tapped the brakes on a feasibility study so it can step up its 2023 exploration program starting in May to 12,000m to chase down high-priority targets identified from the 2022 program.
It will make for a bigger and better Minyari Dome, remembering too that the current resource comes with strategic appeal to those with hungry mills in the region i.e. Newcrest.
It is a point picked up on by Shaws.
“The most logical acquirer is Newcrest as Minyari is a potential source for Newcrest’s Telfer operation which is 35km away. Newcrest is also in the process of farming-in to Antipa’s Wiki project which is adjacent to the Telfer tenements, and owns 9% of Antipa,” Shaws said