Pilbara Minerals buzz leads to a pegging rush
A nearology rush in full flight is a wonderful thing to watch.
And there’s a doozy going on with lithium, and on two fronts.
The first is into the commodity in general. Late last year, the number of companies on the Spinifex lithium watch list was in single figures.
Last week it breezed past 40, with the additions of Capital Mining, Paynes Find Gold, Prospect Resources and Quantum Resource. Spinifex calculates that, if the exponential growth continues, by the end of the year the entire ASX will be made up of junior lithium explorers.
The second front is the rush back into the Pilbara, where explorers are pegging ground at a rate not seen since the heady days of the iron ore rush in the mid-2000s.
That is because of the extraordinary success of the Ken Brinsden-led Pilbara Minerals, now worth $816 million.
For context, that values the company at about $250 million more than Western Areas, and within a sniff of Sandfire Resources and Saracen Mineral Holdings.
The buzz around Pilbara Minerals has led to the inevitable rush of tenement pegging around its Pilgangoora project as explorers jump in.
Metalicity has built up the biggest package of ground of the new players. It is promising to get the drill rigs spinning soon, so is worth keeping an eye on. Atlas Iron and Fortescue Metals Group still hold a lot of ground. While neither show any signs of becoming lithium players in their own right, who knows what their tenements hold?
Also of note, Global Advanced Metals holds a big bit of land around its mothballed tantalum operation, where it has a concentrator.
GAM’s major shareholder is Resource Capital Funds, which also holds about 8 per cent of Metalicity.