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Strategic Energy runs amok after neighbour hits big silver

Updated: May 27


The science of nearology can be a difficult beast to understand.


There are a whole bunch of technical geological terms that come with it that can leave average market punters scratching their heads in a vain effort to understand the play. However, sometimes all it takes is a next-door neighbour to make a significant discovery and it channels a share price surge of almost biblical proportions – especially when a major exploration campaign is on the cards.


A prime example is the latest Bulls N’ Bears ASX Runner of the Week. Strategic Energy Resources (ASX: SER) enjoyed a share price hike of more than 191 per cent from a previous close of 1.2c, to touch an intraday trading high of 3.5c today after revealing it had raised $2 million to explore the Achilles 1 multi-metal prospect at its South Cobar project in New South Wales.


Previous exploration at South Cobar has been positive, but only modest (to be fair).


Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, Santa Fe mining identified anomalous copper, lead, zinc, gold, molybdenum and arsenic values from a grid-based soil sampling program. A diamond drill campaign at the site by Western Plains Gold returned peak values of 0.33 per cent copper within a 64m section grading 0.1 per cent.


However, on the back of impressive recent results from northern neighbour Australian Gold and Copper – which featured in this column last week after follow-up drilling at its own Achilles target that is, poignantly, part of its greater Southern Cobar project – delivered a 5m intercept at 16.9 grams per tonne gold, 1473g/t silver and 15 per cent lead-zinc from just 112m including 3m reading 19g/t silver and 19.5 per lead-zinc from 139m. The assays fall within a mineralised zone that has reached maximum grades of 45g/t gold, at least 3000g/t silver and 38.8 per cent lead-zinc.


At the time, Australian Gold and Copper management said the 3000g/t silver result was so high-grade that its laboratory in Australia was unable to properly analyse the sample and it is now being sent to Canada for further testing.


Combined with the oversubscribed capital raise, its plans for a major exploration blitz and the wild results from its northern neighbour, Strategic Energy Resources (ASX: SER) shares went ballistic. Today, more than 170 million shares changed hands, representing a massive increase on its previous biggest trading day – which was yesterday, with 73 million shares.


So, simply speaking, significant gold and silver results at its northern neighbour has prompted a ridiculous response from ASX punters. And with that much interest, the market will definitely be keeping a close eye on the results of the company’s upcoming campaign.


Taking out second place on this week’s runners list is Gibb River Diamonds (ASX: GIB), which enjoyed a share price hike of 160 per cent from a previous close of 2.5c to touch 6.5c on Wednesday. The stock surge coincided with the company confirming the grant of the three key mining licenses that form the heart of its Ellendale diamond project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.


Ellendale has been one of the world’s biggest diamond producers in the past and its previous production included the annual supply of more than 50 per cent of the globe’s “Fancy Yellow” diamonds, which were the subject of a special marketing agreement between the operation’s former operators and world-renowned jewellers Tiffany & Co.


The operation hosts a JORC-compliant resource of 5.2 million tonnes grading 1.26 carats per one hundred tonnes for a total of 66,200 contained carats of the precious gems at its Main Lights stockpile.


Gibb River hasn’t shied away from being vocal about its plans to re-establish diamond mining at its Kimberley operation ever since it picked up the project from Burgundy Diamonds early last year. Since then, it has defined a JORC resource for the Lights stockpile, negotiated a mining benefits agreement with the local Bunuba people, completed a fauna and flora survey and has now locked in the three mining leases.


It proposes to mine the Ellendale Lights tailings resource by utilising a simple washing, screening and sorting plant, with the tailings being disposed of in the nearby historic E9 open pit.


Plans are in place to kick off a heritage survey in the first week of next month, in addition to defining a JORC-compliant resource for the E9 West target where high-grade and shallow alluvials have been previously sampled and partially mined.


As Shirley Bassey sang on the James Bond film of the same name – Diamonds Are Forever – and Gibb River is moving quickly in its bid to bring more of the precious gems to light. And this columnist likes shiny things, so seeing a rare appearance based on diamonds in the Runners list is a sparkling sight for sore eyes.


Coming in third this week is Sierra Nevada Gold (ASX: SNX), which ran more than 119 per cent from a previous close of 4.1c to touch 9c when it announced plans to follow up on a 1270g/t silver intercept at its Blackhawk project in the US State of Nevada.


The impressive hit was recorded within a larger mineralised zone that delivered 12m at 219g/t silver from 250m including 5m going 479g/t silver from 256m. Higher-grade intercepts include the previously mentioned 0.5m section at a peak of 1270g/t silver and 2.58g/t gold from 256.5m, 1m reading 823g/t silver and 30.1 per cent lead-zinc from 257m and a slightly deeper 1m hit grading 654g/t silver, in addition to more than 50 per cent lead-zinc from 258m.


Management says it has identified 22.5 line kilometres of veins at Blackhawk, but this known mineralisation has sat largely untouched since mining ceased in the area in the 1920s. The Blackhawk epithermal project hosts eight mining centres, with main production coming from the historic Endowment, Silver Gulch and Blackhawk mines.


Sierra Nevada has already defined several high-priority drill targets at the site, with a 20-hole drill program permitted.


Silver plays an important part in the creation of solar panels. Credit: File

Silver demand for use in solar panels has soared by 330 per cent since 2014, growing from 48 million ounces to 160 million ounces in 2023. It will now be interesting to see what the company’s Blackhawk project can produce when the results of its planned drill campaign are delivered.


Fourth place for today’s Runners of the Week column goes to Charger Metals (ASX: CHR). Its shares jumped more than 89 per cent to touch 14c from a previous close of 7.4c after it identified positive lithium and niobium anomalies at the Mt Gordon prospect of its Lake Johnston lithium project in WA.


Results from the company’s infill soil sampling program – funded by Rio Tinto Exploration as part of a farm-in agreement – defined big soil anomalies extending across more than 3 square kilometres, with a slew of assays showing figures greater than 100 parts per million lithium oxide. The new targets sit adjacent to TG Metals’ recently-identified Jagermeister prospect that already has four drill targets identified.


Charger also defined a 1.8km-by-1.7km niobium anomaly at Mt Gordon to the south of its tenements, with positive results of up to 21.4ppm that the company says is coincident with an underlying magnetic high.


Management says it expects to receive approvals for its planned reverse-circulation (RC) drill campaign to test the multiple anomalies, with priority targets focusing on Mt Gordon in addition to strike extensions to the known high-grade spodumene at its Medcalf prospect and a similar trend to the south-west.


Lake Johnston sits about 70km east of Covalent Lithium’s Earl Grey project, sometimes known as Mt Holland, which hosts ore reserves of 189 million tonnes at 1.5 per cent lithium oxide.


More than 12 million Charger shares changed hands following the announcement of its discovery. Perhaps, it proves – with the deepest of apologies to Mark Twain – that the demise of lithium has very much been exaggerated.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au

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