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Chariot Corporation on fire after mustering lithium mission

Updated: May 3

This week’s Bulls N’ Bears profiled ASX runner is Chariot Corporation. Credit: File

Since way back in the early 16th century, there has been an old saying about putting a cart before the horse – an analogy for doing things the wrong way round.

Fast-forward a few hundred years and the irreverence in this columnist triggered an immediate urge to twist the adage for one modern exploration company, which appears to have put the “Chariot” before the horse.

On November 9, Chariot Corporation put a flag in the ground in the United States when it heralded the arrival of its diamond-core drill rig at its Black Mountain project in the State of Wyoming. But while the “chariot” had arrived, the company’s share price horse did not bolt until several days later.

Mind you, when it did, it really did and the company’s stock doubled in the past week, jumping from 40 cents to a shimmering new high of $1.05 during today’s ASX intraday trading. That represented a healthy hike of 162.5 per cent.

Normally, it takes a company to reveal a juicy set of assay results for the market to respond. But the shiny new Chariot only needed to get its boots on its prospective US ground and barely even had any Wyoming dust on the steel caps before the share price started running.

The rise prompted some questioning from the ASX today, but Chariot responded by saying it had no explanation other than the fact it had started its drilling at Black Mountain.

Bulls N’ Bears is speculating that the market may have reacted in anticipation of Chariot’s first assays from its impressive operation, where recent sampling returned a peak result of 6.68 per cent lithium oxide. Eight of the samples returned assays of more than 4 per cent lithium oxide, while the average across all 22 samples collected from the outcropping pegmatites came in at 2.16 per cent lithium oxide. Additional highlights include samples grading 5.24 per cent and 5.19 per cent lithium oxide.

Chariot has had an interesting start to its ASX-listed life. After an initial raise that was well supported at 45c, Chariot almost stalled at the gates to open at just 25c. Since then, the explorer has been on a steady rise and in the past four days it has moved volumes of at least 1.1 million shares each day – and some 2.17 million units today.

While Black Mountain is the company’s flagship, it has 10 projects in total in the US, including seven in Wyoming. It has pretty much locked in the majority of potential lithium-bearing pegmatites in the entire State.

And Chariot is not just focused on hard-rock lithium. Its clay-based lithium project known as Resurgent straddles the US States of Nevada and Oregon and already boasts some respectable clay grades from sampling.

Resurgent sits within the McDermitt Caldera, which also hosts two of the biggest lithium resources discovered in the US. The operation has been split into two project areas, with Resurgent North in Oregon and Resurgent East in Nevada.

Resurgent North is next to Jindalee Resources’ McDermitt project, which has a mineral resource of 21.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at 1000ppm lithium, while Resurgent East hosts the same sediment as Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass deposit that holds 19.1 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent at 1334ppm lithium.

So, while Chariot appears to be running on the back of not a lot of news, what it does have is a lot of potential. Assay results from the first phase of drilling at Black Mountain are due early next year and based on the figures released to date, we may see a few more “Charioteers” getting swept up for the ride.

Staying with international lithium projects and Pure Resources’ share price leapt more than 88 per cent to touch 32c, up from last week’s close of 17c. The rise coincides with the company returning samples of up to 11.69 per cent lithium – not lithium oxide, but lithium – from its Järkvissle project in in the Västernorrland region of Sweden, which hosts the country’s biggest lithium deposits.

And the result wasn’t just a one-off. Additional samples recorded results of 10.13 per cent, 7.04 per cent and 5.48 per cent lithium.

Pure has had a big year in terms of picking up projects. It has pegged out ground in Finland and Sweden, with management saying, “Scandinavia was identified as an area where we believe there will be significant growth in the battery metals sector with favourable geopolitical and geological conditions”.

In November last year, it also picked up ground in Canada within the province of Quebec and in an area well known to regular readers of this column – James Bay. However, it was the Swedish results that appear to have excited the market.

The Järkvissle claims cover 78 square kilometres adjacent to and along strike of Sweden’s most advanced lithium deposit, the Järkvissle Pegmatite Sites owned by Asera Mining AB. Its Bergby claims amount to 174sq km near the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia in central Sweden, sitting adjacent to United Lithium Corp’s high-grade Bergby lithium deposit where spodumene boulders were first discovered in 2007.

This column finds it a little difficult to get excited about Swedish results just at the minute after that country’s women’s football team spoiled the mighty Matildas’ chance for a podium finish at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, 11.69 per cent lithium is impressive. Well, let’s be honest, 5.48 per cent lithium is impressive and it will now be interesting to see if these results stack up with a drill campaign.

Speaking of drill campaigns, Sunshine Metals surged more than 109 per cent to touch 2.3c after a previous close of 1.1c when it intersected several gold zones in the first 12 reverse-circulation (RC) holes sunk into its Liontown prospect that forms part of the company’s Ravenwood Consolidated project in North Queensland.

The company returned some truly impressive figures with a 17m section grading 22.14 grams per tonne gold from 67m including 6m at a whopping 58.74g/t gold from just 68m. Now, that is definitely more like the traditional way to orchestrate a market run – conduct a drill campaign, get good results, markets sits up and pays attention. Simple.

The zones are interpreted to be gold and copper-rich feeder zones to the overlying 2.3 million tonne zinc-gold-copper volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) resource at the operation. A further 10 RC holes have been drilled at Liontown testing feeder and footwall lodes, interpreted to be the copper-gold rich parts of the VMS system, with results expected next month.

Sunshine explains that VMS systems form beneath the ocean when hot, metal-rich fluids rise through cracks in the sea floor stratigraphy. The fluids cool rapidly as they encounter cold seawater, causing sulphide mineralisation to precipitate and accumulate.

Over time, layers of sulphide minerals build up, forming VMS deposits. The deposits often contain metals such as copper, zinc and lead.

A resource update for the prospect is expected next month and will include the latest gold results. And with summer on its way, it feels right to expect a little more Sunshine.

Finally, it is somewhat gratifying when a story goes full circle. In October, this column wrote about Israeli-based Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies after its share price moved 160 per cent to touch 1.3c after it secured a purchase order and a potential representation agreement with Silal Food and Technology.

The purchase order will see Roots pocket $288,266 for two root-zone cooling projects for Silal’s berry farming operation in the United Arab Emirates.

Well, the company’s share price doubled again this week to reach 0.8c from last week’s close of 0.4c after it successfully completed the delivery of the equipment, with on-ground installation scheduled for this week.

Importantly, Roots’ ability to deliver the equipment in difficult circumstances will provide time for the technology to be installed in the Silal greenhouse ahead of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held at Expo City, Dubai from November 30 until December 12.

Roots is developing and commercialising technologies to address critical problems faced by agriculture, including the management of a plant’s root-zone temperature and the shortage of water for irrigation.

Just like a resources explorer, the team’s mission is about helping a project grow in difficult terrain.

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