What do you get when you mix an energy crisis, underinvestment in old energy, and global net-zero targets? (reports Livewire)

Answer: demand for battery metals and the stocks that ride it. In market parlance, we're talking a 20% compound annual growth rate that is tipped to last until 2030. These stocks can be as volatile as they are exciting. They went gangbusters early in the year, but have been swept up in the market sell off since. But don't let that dissuade you - just about every stock mentioned below is in the green over a 12 month period. Further still, they make up a long-term term trend towards electrification that is here to stay.

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Labyrinth Resources has struck visual gold in exploration outside its resource at its namesake project in Canada, giving confidence there is plenty more of the rich, high-grade goodness to be found in the Quebec deposit (reports Stockhead).

The Labyrinth gold project boasts a foreign non-JORC resource to Canada’s NI43-101 standard of 2.1Mt at 7.1g/t at 479,000oz. But with a maiden JORC resource on track for delivery in 2022, the visible gold intersected between the known Talus and Boucher lodes is a very good omen, highlighting Labyrinth’s (ASX:LRL) potential to expand known mineralisation and validating its initial appraisal of the asset’s gold bounty.

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Mincor Resources boss David Southam says recent high-grade drill results between its Long and Durkin North mines provide increased opportunity to extend the five-year mine life of its Kambalda nickel operations (reports The West Australian).

The company on Monday reported significant intersections including 9.9 metres at 3.4 per cent nickel and 1.2m at 8.2 per cent nickel immediately along strike from Long and close to recently installed underground infrastructure. Mincor said two diamond drill rigs would continue operating in the area with the company targeting an initial mineral resource late in the June quarter.

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As the seventh anniversary of its involvement in the Caribou Dam project ticks over, PolarX has reported excellent infill copper results ahead of scoping numbers (reports MiningNews).

The drilling included a headline grabbing 19.1m grading 7% copper from 45m, with the true width estimated at 12.6m. Caribou Dome current resource is 2.8 million tonnes at 3.1% copper, while the nearby Zackly resource is 3.4Mt at 1.2% copper and 2 grams per tonne gold. Scoping work is due to be completed this quarter. Caribou Dome project is located about 250km northeast of Anchorage in Alaska, USA. On 25 February 2015, PolarX secured the right to acquire an 80% interest in the weather season-constrained project.

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Emerging sulphate of potash developer Trigg Mining (ASX: TMG) has been valued at 40c by Sydney-based equities research group Corporate Connect in a comprehensive initiation research report issued just weeks before the company delivers a scoping study on its flagship Lake Throssell SOP project in WA. The eye-catching valuation, which compares with a current share price of 10.5c, is informed from more progressed peer projects and a discounted cash-flow equity derived value “with potential upside as its projects de-risk through development stages.”

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Canaccord Genuity says gold production of 15.2koz from Red 5’s (ASX: RED) Darlot gold mine for the June quarter was above its forecast of 13.3koz, largely driven by higher plant throughput.

Canaccord has a Speculative Buy recommendation on the $434 million gold miner, with a price target of 35c-a-share, well above its current price of 18.5c. “AISC of A$2,461/oz was slightly higher than Canaccord’s estimate of A$2,445/oz with higher volumes mined and milled causing the variance,” said Canaccord analyst Henry Renshaw. “The result takes production for the full FY21 to 76.1koz at an AISC of A$2,273/oz, which is within the recently revised guidance range of 74-78koz at an AISC of A$2,240-2,290/oz.”

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Lithium developer Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) continues to attract attention from the bigger end of town, with two initiation reports since the start of July.

Macquarie Research initiated coverage with an Outperform rating (see last week’s story in our FitzGerald column) and a $1.05 valuation, saying that the company’s flagship Kathleen Valley lithium-tantalum project in WA has the potential to produce ~700ktpa of spodumene, a scale large enough to underpin a fully integrated lithium hydroxide refinery. “Kathleen Valley is one of the largest undeveloped spodumene resources globally and the largest not tied to off-take and joint venture agreements,” Macquarie said.

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Canaccord Genuity has issued a Speculative Buy recommendation with a 30c price target for emerging copper explorer-developer New World Resources (currently 10c).

In an initiation note, Canaccord cautions that its valuation is preliminary in nature and should be viewed as a what-if case, given no formal mining studies have been published and a maiden JORC resource is awaited, but outlines what it describes as a “likely development scenario” for the company’s Antler project in Arizona, USA. “Based on the published drilling data to date, we have modelled a potential mine inventory for Antler,” Canaccord says. The project has a non-JORC historic resource of 4.7Mt at ~3.4% copper equivalent.

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