28 Nov Here are some of 2022’s finest mineral discoveries on the ASX
- At what point does a ‘discovery’ become a discovery?
- Perennial’s Sam Berridge gives us the lowdown and a few ASX stocks he reckons have made standout discoveries this year
- Plus we highlight some of 2022’s biggest intraday gainers
It’s always exciting when an ASX listed explorer announces a new ‘mineral discovery’ but what does it mean to make one and at what point does a discovery become a discovery?
Does a ‘discovery’ occur after the first drill hole, or the 10th. Or does it happen when a maiden economic resource is defined?
According to Sam Berridge, portfolio manager and resource analyst at Perennial Value Management, the threshold for declaring something as a discovery is a clear line of sight on economic viability – “and sometimes you can see that reasonably early on,” he says.
With other projects it may take a bit longer for the development potential to become clear and several factors influence whether it’s worth the cost of digging it up — such as how deep you have to dig to get to it, the consistency of the mineral grades and the size of the hit.
What is considered ‘profitable’ to mine can also vary from one country to another depending on the type of geology you have to contend with. It also depends on the price of a commodity at the time.
The discovery process
Usually, once a resources company has made a discovery – either through greenfields exploration where mineral deposits have not yet been discovered, or through brownfields exploration where exploration is done close to previously discovered deposits – the next step is to grow a resource.
This means finding new information that shows an existing deposit is bigger than previously thought and from there, the focus tends to be on growing the reserves, which is the economically mineable part of a resource demonstrated by a preliminary feasibility study.
What does the market say?
Here are some of the ASX stocks that made intraday gains above 100% in 2022 as a consequence of mineral discoveries.
Cobre surged +100 back on July 27 after revealing a first diamond drill hole intersected a broad zone of copper, one of the main commodities at the heart of most electrical technologies, over a 59m interval.
A second diamond hole is currently in progress, positioned only 1km away along strike.
“This new copper discovery represents a transformational moment for Cobre shareholders,” CBE executive chairman and MD Martin Holland said.
“Cobre has never been in a better position from a project ownership, technical and operation perspective.
“And now we have a promising copper intersection, on one of the most prospective copper belts in the world.”