Here are 5 ASX resources juniors with projects in unusual locations

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, April 26, 2024

ASX resources juniors live and die by many things, but project location is one of them. The majority have projects in Australia, the Americas (North and South) as well as Africa. But then there’s a minority of companies with projects elsewhere, and we’d like to recap some of them with projects in unusual locations.

We would like to point out that by the term unusual we don’t necessarily mean a ‘dodgy’ location (with one exception which there’s no prizes for guessing) but one you wouldn’t ordinarily expect a company to have a project. Nonetheless, ASX resources companies wouldn’t pitch their tents unless they believed there was something to be found. And some of these companies do have advantages in their jurisdictions you may not necessarily have thought of. Without any further ado, let’s dive into it.

 

5 ASX resources juniors with projects in unusual locations

Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAN) – Thailand

There’s more to the Phang Nga province of Thailand than beautiful beaches. Ever since it listed in 2020, Pan Asia Metals has made it a point of differentiation as having a project in Thailand with its Ruent Kiet project. The company purports it to be ‘the only lithium project in South and South-East Asia with a JORC Mineral Resource and undergoing feasibility studies’. It has another project in Phang Nga called the Kata Thong project that is at an exploration stage.

What’s the advantage to being in Thailand as an explorer and prospective project developer? You’re right in the middle of a fast growing economy for EVs, and close to others such as Vietnam. Indeed, Thailand has South East Asia’s top automobile industry. It, and neighbouring Malaysia where it intends to develop downstream processing operations, are highly cost competitive too.

 

Akora Resources (ASX:AKO) – Madagascar

Madagascar is 400km off the coast of Africa and is the world’s fourth largest island. Home to 27.8m people, it is home to a noteable mining industry including mineral sands, nickel and iron ore, has a corporate tax rate of just 20% and lower royalties than Western Australia for processed ore.

It is iron ore that Akora specialises in, with its Bekisopa project. Bekisopa has a 194.7Mt inferred JORC Resource and could deliver the premium-priced 68%-plus iron concentrate. A Preliminary Feasibility Study is underway, although an earlier-stage scoping study estimated a five-year operation with $815m in revenue and $405m pre-tax operating cash flow. There is potential for both the resource and the potential returns to increase as the project continues to be explored.

 

Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PBM) – Solomon Islands

This nickel developer has two projects in the Solomon Islands, specifically on Isabel Island. The first of these projects is Kolosori, which is in production and shipped its first nickel ore in December 2023. The project has a resource of over 7Mt at 1.57% nickel. Pacific Nickel Mines has an Offtake Agreement with Glencore that facilitates the payment of 85% of the value once it the nickel is loaded on the ship, with the balance payable upon adjudication at the discharge port.

The second, Jejevo, is planned to come into production following the same development blueprint, although the company is at the stage of awaiting a response on its application for a mining lease. Exploration will occur at Kolosori too, to extend its mine life into the 2030s as well as its JORC Resource.

 

Tigers Realm Coal (ASX:TIG) – Siberia

Meet the very inspiration behind this article, but one that won’t belong here for much longer. It spent over a decade with coking coal operations in Siberia, a place where it cannot even operate all year around due to the adverse conditions

 

 

When war with Ukraine broke out, the company attracted ire by the Australian government for having operations in Russia. Having China as a key customer didn’t help matters at all, but its not as if there were many other Australian companies with such exposure to the country.

Tigers Realm Coal conceded defeat in the Federal Court at the start of April 2024 and plans to sell its operations to a local merchant. The company will not face criminal penalties because the court case was actually bought by the company, in an attempt to overrule the original assessment.

 

Dome Gold Mines (ASX:DME) – Fiji

The company has three projects in Fiji. The Nadrau Copper-Gold project, the Ono Gold project and the Sigatoke Iron Sands project. Nadrau and Sigatoka lie in the south of Fiji’s Viti Levu Island that has the cities of Nadi and Suva, whilst Ono Island lies on Kadavu Island, which lies south offshore from Suva. In addition to these deposits, it has an attractive royalty and tax system (with just 20% corporate tax), a stable business environment and a cost-efficient skilled workforce. Indeed, gold is actually one of Fiji’s most important exports. Namosi has a gold resource of 8Moz and Vatukoula has another 12Moz.

Meanwhile, the Sigatoka project has 189.3Mt in magnetite sand and this will provide some near-term cash flow with production due to commence in the near future. It will require only modest capital, use conventional technology, and has the backing of the local population.

 

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