Does DevEx Resources have a modern day Coronation Hill on its hands?

17th May 2019
Resources Rising Stars

A lot of metal was locked away forever when the Hawke Labor government banned mining at the Coronation Hill deposit on aboriginal and environmental grounds by including it inside Kakadu national park (reports Barry FitzGerald on Stockhead).

The 1991 ban locked away 1.4 million oz of gold, 300,000 oz of platinum group metals, and some 340,000 tonnes of uranium.

BHP had wanted to develop the deposit – named in honour of the Queen’s 1953 coronation when government geologists first discovered the uranium with their geiger counters near the headwaters of South Alligator river.

But when the deposit was parked inside BHP’s listed gold spinoff, which merged with Newmont Australia, the development plan was picked up by the then newly created Newcrest.

It was a big and controversial issue in the day and as Hawke pre-empted a cabinet decision on Coronation Hill’s future, it became a key factor in his loss of the prime ministership to Paul Keating late in 1991.

So much for today’s history lesson.

The good news is that while Coronation Hill is locked away, a little thing called DevEx Resources (ASX: DEV) reckons it could have a lookalike some 200km to the northeast, and well outside of Kakadu.

There is a bit of excitement building in the stock which last traded at 5.3c. That is its highest since October last year and comes as it prepares to get going with an exploration drilling program at its Northern Territory uranium-gold-platinum properties.

Even with the recent price rise, DevEx remains highly leveraged to exploration upside thanks to its modest $6m market value.

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