Goyder to share his secrets to success in junior company land with Resources Risings Stars faithful

Also at RRS, Liontown stablemate Minerals 260 will outline its lithium hunt, as will Delta, while several gold stocks will unveil assays.
Barry FitzGerald

Independent Journalist

He is too self-effacing to welcome the accolade, but there is no doubting that Tim Goyder is the Australian mining industry’s oracle on what makes for a successful junior exploration company.

He will be sharing his thoughts on the subject next Tuesday on day one of the 2-day Resources Rising Stars conference on the Gold Coast.

The mainly retail crowd – which on the Gold Coast means a big dose of heavy hitters – will be as floored as anyone else in the wealth creation Goyder has overseen in the exploration space.

Like most other exploration stories, there were long and lean years for Goyder and the bunch of juniors he has founded and supported over the years.

But it started coming together back around 2018 which funnily enough, was the last time Goyder addressed the RRS conference crowd.

Back then he was simply the founder and major shareholder in two exploration companies – Chalice (ASX:CHN) and Liontown (ASX:LTR).

Chalice was two years off from making its world-class Julimar discovery on Perth’s doorstep (3 million tonnes of nickel equivalent across a magic mix of metals), and Liontown had just started work on a lithium prospect called Kathleen Valley (now a world-class 156Mt at 1.4% lithia).

The combined market cap of the pair in 2018 was $70 million. Today it is $6.26 billion, with Chalice valued at $2.91 billion (Goyder owns 9%), and Liontown valued at $6.35 billion (Goyder owns 15%). Talk about success with the drill bit.

The value of Goyder’s stakes in the companies – and two other listed explorers that he founded, DevEx (DEV, 15.4%) and Minerals 260 (MI6, 13.9%) – currently stands at $1.24 billion.

Not bad for country boy from WA’s south-west who turned a love of prospecting into a since-sold major drilling company and the formation of a stable of exploration companies.


While his thoughts on what makes for a successful junior explorer will be soaked up by one and all at the RRS conference, the investment banking types in the audience will be hoping for an insight in to Liontown’s recently rejected $5.5 billion, or $2.50 a share, bid from US lithium giant Albemarle.

Because Goyder has a loyal following, his stake in Liontown and that of his mates is thought to speak for as much as 40% of the company. So if Goyder – Liontown’s chairman – says no to $2.50 a share, it means no.

As it is, Liontown has since raced off to a record $2.94 share. That reflects the interest from Albemarle, and the recent bottoming of lithium prices after the big retreat from last November’s astronomical levels to what are still fantastic prices.

This week’s agreed $15.7 billion Argentinian brine-focussed merger between ASX-listed Allkem (ASX:AKE) and US-listed Livent said a couple of things loud and clear, and Albemarle’s low-ball move on Liontown was no different.

Put aside the gyrations in lithium market since last year’s peak, and it is clear that the big producers are not fearful of the demand side of the lithium business. But they are fearful of their ability to meet the wall of demand coming at them for the long-term.

In effect, they are saying demand is constrained by supply and the fix for them is to get bigger still. So we get Albemarle’s attempted takeover of Liontown, and the merger of Allkem and Livent. And before that, the thwarted $136m bid for lithium junior Essential (ASX:ESS) by the IGO/Tianqi joint venture.

Minerals 260:

Continuing the lithium and Goyder stable theme, Minerals 260’s boss David Richards is presenting to the RRS conference on Wednesday afternoon.

A veteran geologist, Richards led the Liontown team at Kathleen Valley which quickly become a major development (first production is slated for mid-2024).

Geologists prefer kicking rocks so Richards took charge of Liontown’s non-lithium assets in the spinout of Minerals 260. Under Richards, Liontown was actually an early mover in to the Julimar province before Chalice enjoyed success.

Its flagship project is the Moora copper-gold-nickel-PGE project where exploration has been producing encouraging results.

But recent interest in the stock has been piqued by Richards electing to have another lash at lithium exploration.

The company has managed to pick up some hot ground in the Gascoyne region. It is where lithium finds by Delta Lithium (ASX:DLI), and rare earths projects held by Hastings (HAS) and Dreadnought (ASX:DRE), are creating a buzz. It is an emerging lithium-rare earths province as they say.

Mineral 260’s Aston project area was put together in two separate tenement package deals with ASX-listed juniors and is now the subject of a six-month geological reconnaissance program, along with remote sensing and geochemical sampling.

The Jameson-Malinda lithium trend where Delta has been enjoying success (29M at 1.4% lithia from 121m at the Malinda prospect and 4.2% lithia in rock chip samples at Jameson) is believed to trend through the northern part of the Aston project.

Hastings’ Yangibana rare earths project and Dreadnought’s Yin rare earths resource are both located 50-60kms to the north of Aston. Minerals 260 has more than $20m cash in the till to chase down the potential of its Gascoyne ground. It last traded at 47c for a market cap of $108m.

Delta Lithium:

Delta Lithium boss David Flanagan is sure to fire up the conference when he hits the stage in the afternoon session on Tuesday.

First up he will be mentioning the name change from Red Dirt Metals which went by the ASX code RDT.

Then it will be on to the mountain of assays to come in from drilling at the Mt Ida lithium project in the Eastern Goldfields which already has a 12.7Mt resource grading 1.2% lithia under its belt.

Flanagan has Delta on the twin track of growing the resource at Mt Ida while also getting it in to production ASAP.

Then he will move on to the exploration success at the potential province-making Yinnetharra project in the Gascoyne.

It should all go down well, and it will be delivered with trademark Flanagan enthusiasm.

Whether he gets time to address recent speculation that Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) has been assembling a stake in the company remains to be seen.

The speculation has been a factor in Delta’s one-week share price rise from 44.5c to 57c on Thursday.


There are 51 companies presenting at the RRS conference where it has to be said, gold exploration and production stories are savoured, particularly with gold at $A3,000/oz.

There are plenty of gold company presentations on offer, with updates from companies with drilling programs underway at rated discoveries spread across the two days.

Among them are Rox (ASX:RXL), Astral (AAR), Killi (ASX:KLI) and Gascoyne (ASX:GCY).

Barry FitzGerald
Independent Journalist

One of Australia’s leading business journalists, Barry FitzGerald, highlights the issues, opportunities and challenges for small and mid-cap resources stocks, and most recently penned his column for The Australian newspaper.

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