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Sporos Bioventures taps first CEO during period of ‘explosive growth’; In the wake of murky Hunter syndrome data, Denali bulks up C-suite

Almost five months after emerging from stealth mode on a mission to leverage work being done in “flyover” states like Texas and Wisconsin, Sporos Bioventures…

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This article was originally published by Endpoint

Almost five months after emerging from stealth mode on a mission to leverage work being done in “flyover” states like Texas and Wisconsin, Sporos Bioventures has named its first official CEO.

Amit Rakhit left his role as president and CMO of Ovid Therapeutics to take the helm at Sporos, a Houston-based upstart launched by Genzyme vet Michael Wyzga, ex-MD Anderson chief Ron DePinho, BridgeBio co-founder Peter Feinberg, Tvardi Therapeutics CSO Jeno Gyuris, and entrepreneur Alex Cranberg.

Amit Rakhit

As an “inquisitive and curious” kid, Rakhit was always playing with bugs and flowers, or looking for constellations. But it wasn’t until he was older that he decided to pursue a career in healthcare.

After getting his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from UC-Berkeley, he went straight into medical school at Tufts University. He followed that up with a residency in pediatrics at Tufts, a stint working with the Mother Teresa at an orphanage in Kolkata, India, and a fellowship in cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Rakhit ended up on the staff at Boston Children’s for a while, but he eventually craved more. He began toying with the idea of a career in the biopharma industry, making drugs instead of prescribing them.

“While as a physician you can take care of one person, which is very, very meaningful… but in the industry, what we get to do is affect millions of lives,” he told Endpoints News. 

In 2001, he took a job at Bristol Myers Squibb, where he worked on the blockbuster blood-thinning drug Plavix.

“That’s where I learned the business,” he said, adding that he remained at BMS for almost 10 years, before that “inquisitiveness and curiosity” led him to Biogen.

“I really wanted to be in a smaller company and see what that was like,” he said.

Steve Holtzman recruited Rakhit to Biogen in 2011, where he joined the ALS team. After an unsuccessful Phase III readout, he pivoted over to the Spinraza team, which later became the first drug approved to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Rakhit recalled that during his residency, he treated a child with SMA who died without an available treatment.

“(That) really brought it back home, why I got into medicine and why I went into industry,” he said.

Rakhit continued working on neuro at Ovid, where he eventually worked his way up to CMO and president before leaving for Sporos in August. Sporos touts itself as an “innovation hub,” sporting four portfolio companies as well as a suite of in-house small molecule programs. The company nabbed $38.1 million in a Series A round back in May, and soon plans to kick off its own internal antibody engine, according to Rakhit, who said the upstart is experiencing a period of “explosive growth.”

Nicole DeFeudis

Katie Peng

→ At the forefront of studying the blood-brain barrier, Denali raised the window on Hunter syndrome data in late July in which the South San Francisco biotech found positives — and analysts expressed concerns. Two months later, Katie Peng has been named chief commercial officer at Denali, even though none of its drugs are close to launch yet. Peng had been associated with Roche and Genentech for the past 16 years, taking charge of Genentech’s OMNI (ophthalmology, metabolism, neuroscience, immunology) business unit before leaping to Denali.

Some analysts particularly soured on Denali’s muddled results for the neurofilament biomarker while giving themselves wiggle room to be swayed down the road. “Bottom line, these data are clearly not encouraging, but we don’t disagree with management that it may be too early to see anything as we don’t fully understand the kinetics of NfL changes, especially in a treatment setting,” wrote Stifel’s Paul Matteis.

Michael Amoroso

Michael Amoroso should pay rent in Peer Review as much as he’s been here in the last year. He turns up again this week by replacing Matt Kane starting Oct. 15 as president and CEO of Durham, NC-based Precision BioSciences, which got a shot in the arm from Jim Wilson back in February when he used Precision’s ARCUS gene editing platform for his PCSK9 study. We documented Amoroso’s meteoric ascent through the ranks at Abeona in last week’s edition when he was named chairman and then passed the CEO torch to Vishwas Seshadri. Before joining Abeona, Amoroso was Kite’s chief commercial officer, and earlier he was SVP, Americas commercial, oncology business group at Eisai.

Conley Chee

→ With its RARα agonist tamibarotene in a Phase II acute myeloid leukemia trial in combination with venetoclax and azacitidine, Syros has looked to Novartis for its first CCO. Conley Chee has spent the last 15 years at the pharma giant, concluding his tenure as global head of portfolio management, global pipeline strategy and precision medicine. Chee’s Big Pharma background doesn’t stop there: He’s also been Pfizer’s team leader of international business development. During last year’s ASH conference, Bain Capital pumped in more than $90 million of financing as Syros charges ahead with a pipeline that’s also comprised of SY-2101 and oral CDK7 inhibitor SY-5609.

Molly Harper

Molly Harper is moving on after just a year as EVP of operations at Relmada Therapeutics, grabbing a C-suite gig as CBO of Cambridge, MA synbio player and Ginkgo collaborator Synlogic. We covered Harper’s jump to Relmada in May 2020 from Akcea, where she was SVP and global franchise general manager, and at Sanofi Genzyme she led US endocrinology in the rare disease division. In recent months she’s also tallied board seats at PreciseDx and Catalyst Pharmaceuticals.

Jose Menoyo

→ In this week’s first example of top talent at Alexion packing their bags after the AstraZeneca takeover, UK-based iron deficiency biotech Shield Therapeutics has welcomed Sanofi Genzyme vet Jose Menoyo as CMO. Menoyo has experience with companies that AstraZeneca fancies, recently leading US medical affairs at Alexion and serving as SVP of medical affairs at ZS Pharma, which AstraZeneca acquired in 2015. Toward the end of his time at Sanofi, Menoyo was VP, renal global medical affairs and division medical officer, specialty care division.

Lori Escobedo

→ Also putting the “ex” in Alexion, Lori Escobedo has been named chief people officer of biomolecular condensate specialist Dewpoint Therapeutics, one of this year’s Endpoints 11 honorees. Escobedo filled the VP of HR role supporting R&D, medical affairs, and legal functions at Alexion, and for 12 years before that, she was in HR leadership at Sandoz and Novartis. CSO Isaac Levin and SVP of chemistry and drug discovery Michael Wagner are other execs who have joined Dewpoint since Ameet Nathwani took the top spot almost one year ago.

Karen-Leigh Edwards

→ Wrapping up this little sub-section, Karen-Leigh Edwards has bought her ticket out of Alexion as well, signing on to Bedford, MA-based eye disease biotech Ocular Therapeutix as SVP of technical operations. Edwards spent five years at Alexion, eventually leading external manufacturing and operations before this opportunity came into view. Edwards became associate director, global supply chain during the second of her two tenures with Biogen.

Nicole Hayes

Bayer has turned to Nicole Hayes to be director of US external communications after nearly three years with The Bountiful Company, whose core brands like Nature’s Bounty and Ester-C are now under the control of Nestlé Health Science in a $5.75 billion acquisition. Hayes has also led external communications at Toys “R” Us.

→ German antisense oligonucleotide biotech Isarna Therapeutics has tapped Claus Schalper as CEO. Schalper tries his hand at leading another company after co-founding Pieris, where he was also CFO, and co-founding and handling CEO duties at XL-protein GmbH. Putting its eggs in the ophthalmology basket for now, Isarna’s lead candidate ISTH0036 will imminently start Phase IIa trials for AMD and DME.

Mohit Rawat

→ Radiopharma is all the rage with ITM, Aktis and RayzeBio gathering up some serious coin in the space this year — and Fusion Pharmaceuticals is in the middle of the action too, appointing Mohit Rawat president and CBO. Rawat hails from Novartis Oncology, where he was VP and global disease lead for the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) franchise and at one time was the marketing director for Cosentyx. Incidentally, Novartis has made another stride in with its radiopharma ambition with a breakthrough therapy designation for 177Lu-PSMA-617, a product of its 2018 acquisition of Endocyte.

→ New York-based cancer metastasis biotech HiberCell has brought on Jonathan Lanfear to be the new COO, coming shortly after HiberCell bought out Genuity Science in August with its genomics tools and AI platform. Lanfear, a Pfizer alum in business development, joins HiberCell after leaving Takeda last year, finishing his nine years there as the global head of business R&D.

Lise Lund Kjems has joined Gainesville, FL-based Cyclo Therapeutics as CMO. Kjems spent nearly a decade at Novartis before most recently serving as VP, head of clinical development at Albireo. At Cyclo, she replaces acting CMO Gerald Cox, who now shifts to the company’s scientific advisory board.

Russell Beyer

→ With BARDA’s financial assistance, Sioux Falls-based SAB Biotherapeutics is on the march to Phase III with SAB-185, its intravenous polyclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19, and has welcomed Big Pharma vet Russell Beyer as CFO. Starting well before the 1999 merger, Beyer was AstraZeneca’s CFO for Puerto Rico and Mexico, and he’s recently been senior director of finance at Teva for seven years. At the beginning of the summer, SAB announced it would merge with Big Cypress Acquisition Corp. in a $325 million SPAC deal.

→ Getting its house in order commercially for BTK inhibitor tirabrutinib, Ono Pharmaceutical’s US sub Ono Pharma USA has recruited David Trexler as CCO. Recently the president and a board member at MorphoSys — which snapped up Constellation Pharmaceuticals for $1.7 billion a few months back — Trexler was the global brand lead for Bavencio and the SVP, US oncology commercial for EMD Serono. He also logged 10 years at Eisai in various business and marketing positions.

Chun-Pyn Shen

Chun-Pyn Shen has made his way over to Impact Therapeutics, where he’s taking on the role of head of regulatory affairs (VP). Shen hops aboard the Shanghai-based company from DymaniCure Biotechnology, where he served as VP, global project head. Shen jumpstarted his career at Merck and spent a decade with the company before heading over to Adaptimmune to served as director, clinical research and development and later on Questcor/Mallinckrodt. Additionally, during his time at Merck KGaA, Shen made significant contributions to the approval of Bavencio.

Dennis Cho

→ Striking a huge deal with Boehringer Ingelheim earlier this month — up to $710 million in milestones — to allow the German pharma to gain entry into its antibody “library of libraries,” Emily Leproust’s DNA manufacturing squad at Twist Bioscience has turned to Dennis Cho as SVP, general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer. Cho leaves CytomX after only eight months as assistant general counsel and has also brought his legal expertise to Seagen and, for nine years, Celgene.

Brii Bio celebrated its $320 million arrival on the Hong Kong stock exchange with comeback data in the NIH-backed trial for its Covid-19 antibody combo last month. Zhi Hong-led Brii also has a new exec on board with Coy Stout taking the role of SVP and head of US market access and patient advocacy. Thus ends a 17-year relationship Stout had in several capacities with Gilead that drew to a close as VP of US commercial access and reimbursement.

James Cummings

Vaxart just revealed that James Cummings has taken over as CMO this month. Cummings was previously president of Icon’s federal business unit, Icon GPHS, and VP of clinical development and translational medicine at Novavax. It’s a pivotal hire for Andrei Floroiu’s bunch at the South San Francisco vaccine biotech as Phase II trials get underway for its oral tablet Covid-19 vaccine.

→ Swiss uterine fibroid biotech ObsEva has named Luigi Marro as its new chief transformation officer effective today. An alum of Finox Biotech as CFO and Merck Serono in global strategy, Marro is added to the leadership roster after Merck spinout Organon inked a $500 million deal in July for worldwide rights to ObsEva’s preterm labor treatment ebopiprant.

Mark Berger

→ After Avinash Desai earned a promotion to CMO of Actinium, his predecessor Mark Berger is taking the same job in the Lone Star State at Austin-based gene therapy outfit Genprex. Prior to his time at Actinium, Berger was SVP of clinical research at Kadmon and the CMO at Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. The C-suite at Genprex also grows with Hemant Kumar, a Big Pharma vet who settles into the new position of chief manufacturing and technology officer. Kumar’s been involved in manufacturing and technical operations with heavy hitters like Merck, Lonza and Janssen, and he heads to Genprex after a stint as VP, global head of manufacturing, supply chain, and strategy at Arcturus.

→ The Center for Breakthrough Medicines has tapped Peter Carbone as its COO. Carbone hails from Accorda Therapeutics, where he most recently served as EVP, quality. In addition to his stint at Accorda, Carbone joins with experience from his times at Novartis, Bayer and Amgen.

Nanocan Therapeutics has brought on Elizabeth Charlotte Moser as CSO. Moser joins the Princeton, NJ-based company from Galera Therapeutics, where she was VP for clinical development. Prior to that, she held positions at Elekta and Champalimaud Foundation.

Rob Rode takes over the CCO position at Apnimed as the company expands its leadership following such appointments as CFO Michael Rogers and SVP of medical affairs David White. Before joining Apnimed, which focuses on developing treatments for sleep apnea, Rode served as VP of commercial operations for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at Merck.

Chris Knibb

Prime Therapeutics has reeled in Chris Knibb to be its new CFO, taking over for Dave Schlett, who is transitioning to the role of EVP, chief client relationship and administrative officer. Knibb most recently served as CFO at SOC Telemed and previously served as Express Scripts’ SVP of finance and chief accounting officer.

→ Sandwiched in between The Ohio State University and the famed Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, immunodiagnostic and immunotherapy biotech Navidea Biopharmaceuticals has tapped Michel Mikhail as chief regulatory officer. Mikhail has been a regulatory exec for a variety of companies, including BioNTech, Fresenius Kabi, GlaxoSmithKline when it was SmithKline Beecham, and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Brad Loncar

Barbara Regonini has taken on the newly created post of finance director at Milan-based hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy biotech Genenta Science, which is in Phase I/II with Temferon for patients with glioblastoma multiforme. Regonini, formerly a senior manager at PwC, was recently CFO at OAM, an Italian financial brokerage company. Elsewhere at Genenta, Brad Loncar — an invaluable Endpoints resource — is on board as a strategic advisor, along with Alec Ross and Rocket Pharmaceuticals CEO Gaurav Shah.

→ Backed by MPM and OrbiMed, ReCode Therapeutics has been methodically assembling its leadership since taking the wraps off its lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery platform to the tune of an $80 million Series A in March 2020. ReCode now brings in Nick France as SVP of clinical development after two years as Escape Bio’s head of clinical research. At Roivant and Axovant, France was senior director, clinical development for neurosciences and rare diseases, and he’s also held clinical development posts at Strongbridge Biopharma, CSL Behring and GSK.

Craig Masse has been promoted to SVP of discovery research at Ajax Therapeutics out of New York, co-founded by partner Schrödinger and taking aim at hematologic malignancies using computational chemistry. Masse, who first joined Ajax in 2019, was the head of medicinal chemistry during his eight-year run at Nimbus. Furthermore, Ajax has brought on Christina Riordan as VP of preclinical development. Riordan brings a wealth of experience in toxicology from Biogen, Epizyme, Agenus, Surface Oncology and until her move to Ajax, Certara.

Rob Woodman

→ The Italian venture capital firm Panakès Partners has named Rob Woodman as partner, leading the firm’s newly created biotech investment team. Most recently, Woodman served as senior partner at Takeda Ventures. Panakès entered the biotech sector back in July with its $180 million fund to support “underserved” life sciences companies in Europe.

→ Right on the heels of an $11.5 billion acquisition of Acceleron, Merck has promoted Thomas Glocer to independent lead director. A member of Merck’s board of directors since 2007, he comes from the finance world as the current lead director of Morgan Stanley.

Kathy Giusti

EQRx has appointed Kathy Giusti to its board of directors. Giusti, who founded and serves as chief mission officer at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, also founded the Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator. Looking to shake up drug pricing, EQRx reverse merged with the CM Life Sciences III SPAC back in August, netting the new biotech $1.8 billion, while appointing Melanie Nallicheri as CEO. She takes over from Alexis Borisy, who becomes the executive chairman of EQRx’s board of directors.

Otis Brawley

Incyte doubled its fun last week with FDA approvals of ruxolitinib for atopic dermatitis and chronic graft-versus-host disease, and Otis Brawley now joins Incyte’s board of directors. Brawley, the chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society from 2007-18, is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins.

→ GSK neuro partner Alector has given ex-Novartis SVP global head of clinical development Elizabeth Garofalo a seat on the board of directors alongside Tillman Gerngross and Terry McGuire, among others. The principal for EAG Pharma Consulting, Garofalo is a board member at Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Exicure and Acadia Pharmaceuticals.

Ann Taylor

→ Newly retired from AstraZeneca, Ann Taylor has signed on to the board of directors at Terns Pharmaceuticals, which has reasons for optimism with its June data in a thorny NASH field. Taylor was head of clinical biologics at AstraZeneca sub MedImmune before becoming CMO at AstraZeneca in April 2019.

Andrew Allen has joined the board of directors at Verge Genomics, Alice Zhang’s AI-driven upstart that’s teaming up with Eli Lilly in the neuro space, particularly ALS. Allen, who co-founded and is president and CEO of Gritstone Bio, is also on the boards of Epizyme, TCR² Therapeutics and Sierra Oncology.

Ran Zheng has taken a seat on the board of directors at Jennifer Doudna‘s CRISPR genome editing upstart Caribou Biosciences. The current CEO of Landmark Bio is a longtime Amgen vet who was also chief technical officer of Orchard Therapeutics.

Elizabeth Tallett

→ New York-based Phosplatin Therapeutics has enlisted Elizabeth Tallett to its board of directors. This isn’t Tallett’s first board appointment. Currently, she has seats on the boards of Moderna, Anthem and Qiagen. Tallett was the former president and CEO of Transcell Technologies and a principal at Hunter Partners. Prior to those roles, Tallett was president of Centocor Pharmaceuticals.

→ Oxford “dark antigen” startup Enara Bio — in a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop therapies that target lung and GI cancers — has added Robert Ang to the board of directors. Since 2019, Ang has been president and CEO of Vor Biopharma.

MAIA Biotechnology has appointed Steven Chaouki to its board of directors. Chaouki currently served as president, US markets & consumer interactive of TransUnion and previously served as EVP, financial services for the company.

Derek Graf and Paul Schloesser contributed to this edition.

Author: Alex Hoffman

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Monsters of Rock: Lithium shares flush with positive sentiment to dominate the gains

Lithium miners were the kings, queens, jacks and aces of the bourse on an avalanche of positive news around the … Read More
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Lithium miners were the kings, queens, jacks and aces of the bourse on an avalanche of positive news around the sector.

The biggest trigger was probably the incredible rise in value for Tesla overnight, which soared beyond a US$1 trillion valuation on news Hertz would order US$4 billion worth of electric vehicles from the automaker.

As the leading electric vehicle maker in the western world, and with a big presence also in China and energy storage, Tesla is one of the biggest end users of lithium products globally.

Its boss Elon Musk, now the richest man ever, has a fair bit of sway on the market as well.

On top of that Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), up 525% over the past 12 months since spodumene prices bottomed out at under US$400/t (it sold a batch for upwards of US$2000/t last month), gained 7.66% after formally announcing plans to develop a lithium chemical plant in a JV with South Korea’s POSCO.

Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) declared the start of construction on its Finniss Lithium Mine in the Northern Territory. That will be shipping concentrate from the end of 2022.

$550 million capped Neometals (ASX:NMT) was up 14% after announcing its battery recycling demonstration plant in Hilcenbach, Germany, had been fully commissioned.

The one time lithium miner is up 405% over the past year.

Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL), Sayona (ASX:SYA), Liontown (ASX:LTR) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) were among the lithium miners to dine out on the day’s news, while rare earths miner Lynas (ASX:LYC) was also up.

On the flippity flip, iron ore miners were weak with Fortescue (ASX:FMG) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) cancelling out a gain from BHP (ASX:BHP), while Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) cancelled out the gains it made with yesterday’s announcement the Wodgina lithium mine would be coming back online with news it ate a 48% price discount on iron ore sales in the September Quarter.

MinRes’ average realised prices fell from US$178/t to around US$78/t between the June and September Quarters.

The bright green is all lithium baby. Pic: Commsec


Base metals inventories falling, but can it be sustained?

Base metals were back up on Monday, with production cuts in energy starved China and Europe hitting primary supply.

Inventories held by the major exchanges are being chewed up.

While price moves among the miners was muted, nickel rose 3.2% to climb back over US$20,000/t overnight after hitting US$21,000/t briefly last week.

“Nickel rallied after Eramet disclosed a 19% drop in ferronickel production from its operations in New Caledonia,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

“The market is also showing signs of tightness, with cash contracts closing at their biggest premium to futures in two years. LME inventories are down nearly 50% since April.”

LME stockpiles for copper hit their lowest level since 1974 last week, but Commbank analyst Vivek Dhar says it is too early to say whether the market is as tight as it seems, or whether some traders are hoarding to capitalise on high prices.

The market is expected to be in a small deficit at the end of this year to a 328,000t surplus in 2022 on rising supply (about 1.3% of global demand).

Mined supply is expected to increase 2.1% this year and 3.9% in 2022, but Dhar warned copper miners had a history of underwhelming.

“The rising forecasts for copper mine production reflect 5 major copper projects due to arrive by the end of 2022,” Dhar said.

“That compares with just two major copper projects in the last 4 years.

“Given the track record of mine disruptions (i.e. labour strikes, power and water scarcity and geopolitics) and the decline in copper grades, elevated copper mine production growth forecasts don’t tend to last long.

“We think it’s worth considering that new mine supply may take longer than currently expected to hit the market.”

The post Monsters of Rock: Lithium shares flush with positive sentiment to dominate the gains appeared first on Stockhead.

Author: Josh Chiat

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Lefroy Exploration secures major nickel frontier land package in WA

Special report: In line with its multi-commodity gold and base metals strategy, Lefroy Exploration has pegged five exploration licence applications ……

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In line with its multi-commodity gold and base metals strategy, Lefroy Exploration has pegged five exploration licence applications over a new nickel project named Glenayle.

The Glenayle Project covers a massive contiguous 2735sqkm of the Proterozoic age Salvation Basin that is intruded by multiple dolerite sills which extend over the entire land package.

These dolerite sills are part of the Warakurna Large Igneous Province (LIP), which extends west to the Bangemall Basin and east to include the Giles layered intrusive complex. More importantly, they are considered prospective for nickel mineralisation.

Glenayle represents a first mover approach by Lefroy (ASX:LEX) into a frontier nickel-copper exploration project with its stake over the Warakurna LIP.

New wholly owned subsidiary to list on ASX in 2022

The Glenayle tenement package is held by a new wholly owned LEX subsidiary, Johnston Lakes Nickel (JLN), which Lefroy aims to list on the ASX in 2022 subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

JLN will also hold other nickel assets currently held by LEX at Lake Johnston and at Carnilya South in the Lefroy Gold Project.

The company expects the tenements to be granted in Q4, 2022.

While the explorer aims to expand its portfolio in search for nickel, the focus remains on exploration at Eastern Lefroy and the Burns gold-copper prospect.

A rare opportunity

LEX managing director Wade Johnson said it is not often that an opportunity like this presents itself.

“It is a monster land package,” he said.

“We have taken the first mover approach into a new area that has seen very little exploration.

“We are very keen to further develop and apply knowledge learned about nickel mineralisation in large igneous provinces that will provide exploration targeting criteria for target selection,” he said.

“Glenayle adds another wholly owned project to the LEX greenfields exploration portfolio and complements our other nickel assets at Lake Johnston and Carnilya South.”

The Glenayle project relative to the other company projects and key geological rock units in Western Australia. Pic: Supplied

Identified in desktop assessment

The Glenayle nickel project was identified after a desktop assessment to identify new areas in Western Australia considered prospective for nickel mineralisation.

Prior geological knowledge of the area from a field reconnaissance trip in 1998 by Wade Johnson and the subsequent review of the research paper by Pirajno and Hoatson (2012) supported LEX’s acquisition.

What’s next?

Lefroy has kicked off compilation and assessment of previous surface geochemistry, geophysical and drilling data from WAMEX at Glenayle.

The location of drill core from the only three diamond holes drilled at Glenayle is being sourced, with two of the three holes being located.

Geophysics, and in particular interpretation of gravity survey data, will play a key role in guiding exploration targeting within the project.

Development of a detailed aeromagnetic and gravity dataset is underway and will be the primary exploration tool in the interpretation of the distribution of the mafic rocks such as feeder sills, layered intrusions and dykes within the Salvation Basin.

This will then be followed by targeted stratigraphic diamond drilling in 2023.

The company will apply for funding support through the WA State Governments Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) for this drilling where applicable.

LEX has also commenced land access negotiations with the determined Native Title group.




This article was developed in collaboration with Lefroy Exploration, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post Lefroy Exploration secures major nickel frontier land package in WA appeared first on Stockhead.

Author: Special Report

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Resources Top 5: Investors pile into ASX stocks as global magnesium shortage bites

China is slashing magnesium production due to ongoing power crisis and buyers are getting desperate ASX magnesium stocks Korab, Latrobe … Read More

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  • China is slashing magnesium production due to ongoing power crisis and buyers are getting desperate
  • ASX magnesium stocks Korab, Latrobe and Magnotec soar in early trade
  • Emmerson hits visual copper in drilling, Aguia inks phosphate sales agreement

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday October 26.



(Up on no news)

There are only a handful of current or likely magnesium producers outside China, which is slashing production due to an ongoing power crisis. Buyers are getting desperate.

$20m market cap KOR is currently in a pause pending a further announcement after shooting up almost 100% in early trade.

This sleepy explorer has been trying to develop, or sell, the ‘Winchester’ magnesium project in the NT for over a decade.

Over the last few months, KOR says it has been approached by two separate groups expressing an interest in developing Winchester.

The latest unsolicited proposal would see the two parties “jointly develop the Winchester quarry where the other party will fully fund the development in exchange for sharing the future profits from the quarry”.

No commercial terms have been met as yet, KOR said September 30.



(Up on no news)

LMG plans to develop a 3000tpa operation which will convert fly ash from the Yallourn coal operations in the Latrobe Valley into magnesium and a host of other industrial products.

Latrobe still has engineering and other studies to complete before issuing tenders for construction of its plant in January next year but managing director David Paterson said end users facing supply woes out of China were already desperate to get their hands on mag product.

“That’s why we keep on talking about diversity of supply,” he told Stockhead on September 30.

“We’ve had probably at least three or four inquiries a week, probably one a day.”

“We’ve had two today just on can we supply mag at a price, at any price, because they can’t get supply.”



(Up on no news)

China and Europe-based MGL isn’t a miner, but it does sell primary and recycled magnesium alloys into the auto, power tool and electronics sectors.

In the first six months of 2021 the metals businesses experienced a ‘difficult period”. The principal constraint on Magontec’s metals business in China is the absence of raw material supply, it says.

“Auto sector output was constrained, logistics costs rose sharply, magnesium prices were volatile and Magontec’s key magnesium alloy cast house at Golmud, Qinghai province, PRC continued to source its raw material from regional Pidgeon producers pending resumption of supply from the Qinghai Salt lake Magnesium Co Ltd (QSLM),” the company says.

“Until this supply re-commences the MAQ business will continue to be unprofitable at the EBITDA line and, with depreciation charged on this currently non-performing asset, will continue to negatively impact reported profit.”

MGL’s other metals businesses — recycling of magnesium alloy scrap in Germany and Romania — is also challenged.

“A slowdown in the automotive sector due to chip shortages, among other issues, has reduced volume throughput for the European recycling facilities over the last 12 months and we don’t expect a recovery in the short-term,” the company says.



A maiden drilling program pulled up visual copper at ‘Hermitage’, one of a cluster of targets held by ERM in the 5.5Moz gold, 470,000t copper Tennant Creek Mineral Field (TCMF).

Drill hole HERC002 and HERC003 intersected thick zones of malachite (copper ore) chalcopyrite (copper ore), interspersed with native copper.

Here’s what that looks like:

Native copper in RC drill hole HERC003.

HERC003 terminated in mineralisation at 192m, ERM says.

Drilling continues, and first assay results are expected in the current December quarter.

Hermitage has not seen any systematic, modern exploration since the 1980s.

The first phase of this exploration is aimed at following up historic hits like 9m at 12.8g/t gold from 176m and 23m at 4.84g/t gold and 3.7% copper from 203m.

$37m market cap ERM has been treading water, up 7% over the past month and down 6% year-to-date.



This aspiring fertiliser miner has presold 30,000 tonnes per annum of natural phosphate fertiliser from the ‘Três Estradas’ Phosphate Project (TEPP) in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil.

The MOU — with well-known fertiliser and agribusiness distributor Tuch — potentially represents well over half of AGR’s projected first year of TEPP sales, estimated at 50,000 tonnes, the company said.

The sale price from AGR to Tuch is $74 per tonne FOB for the product in bulk. Operational expenditure has been estimated at just $11/t.

The project, which will cost just $8m to build, is expected to produce 306,000tpa over 18 years following a three-year ramp up, AGR added.

The post Resources Top 5: Investors pile into ASX stocks as global magnesium shortage bites appeared first on Stockhead.

Author: Reuben Adams

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