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In what has been a bad year for IPOs on the ASX – following a fairly similar 2022 – Chariot Corporation (ASX:CC9) has been a standout exception.

One of the latest lithium miners to join the Aussie bourse, the company has rapidly drawn favour from shareholders all over.

Chariot listed on the ASX back in late October. The company spent its time showcasing its pre-IPO wares to investors in Australia and also wasted no time doing the same in New York City.

It intended to list down under at 45 cents, but it originally looked like the miner wasn’t able to escape the curse of 2023.

It instead listed at 25 cents, with mostly untested lithium acreage to its name, and not too much newsflow.

Then investors realised it has one of the largest – if not the largest – lithium landholdings in the entirety of the USA.

A visualisation of CC9’s projects in comparison to one another. Source: Chariot Corporation

Bulls see value early

Since the sheer size of its landholding has been realised, Chariot has been enjoying a standout run in its ASX infancy.

Consider the below. As of 3:30 pm AEDT on Monday, November 27:

  • Chariot Corporation’s year-to-date (YTD) performance is up 184.4 per cent
  • One week returns are up 220 per cent
  • Versus the ASX200, Chariot’s returns are outperforming at 194.76 per cent
  • The company has a market cap of $93.8 million
  • Average four-week trading volume of 777,466 shares a day
  • Chariot’s share price is $1.28

On November 9, shares were trading at 35.5 cents.

Interest in the stock has been so intense, that Chariot actually got hit with a please explain from the ASX earlier in November.

Why all the commotion?

Chariot actually holds some 10 projects in the US, with seven of those in the state of Wyoming – home to Chariot’s flagship project, Black Mountain.

The acreage has never been explored before, despite a survey in the late 1990s finding spodumene crystals on-site up to 60 centimetres in length.

Those crystals are associated with a system of outcropping pegmatites – and much mineralisation is at surface.

From the outset, Black Mountain has both words investors love to see – “spodumene” and “pegmatite”.

High-grade rock chips have also been logged by Chariot, with one coming in at 6.68 percent lithium – firmly landing in high-grade territory.

Across 22 samples, the average grade equalled 2.16 percent. Eight samples came in at greater than four percent.

Now, with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) permits already in place, Chariot has already commenced drilling at Black Mountain.

Talking geology, the acreage overlies granite-greenstone rocks within the south-central portion of the Ervay Basin. Estimated to be Archean age, that means the acreage could contain rocks up to 4 billion years old.

Chariot geologists travelled to the top of Black Mountain to collect samples. Source: Chariot Corporation

Long on Chariot’s radar

Chariot has been assembling the licences comprising its Black Mountain project in Natrona County since January 2022.

All in all, the project is made up of 134 different Federal mining claims.

Having staked out all the land it desires, Chariot Corporation is now set to drill for the next 12-18 months based on the proceeds of its IPO.

Seeking to deliver a “generational” hard rock lithium opportunity, Chariot’s geotechs are confident the company has the assets it needs to potentially substantiate the US lithium supply chain.

Company executives have previously asserted the Black Mountain opportunity – largely undrilled, except by Chariot itself – looks a lot like Liontown’s (LTR) project, Kathleen Valley, back in its early days.

Speaking of management, Chariot’s Managing Director Shanthar Pathmanathan is a former investment banker for Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG).

Black Mountain H1 CY24 focus

Since November 9, Chariot has had a diamond-tipped drill rig on-site at Black Mountain for a 2000-3000 metre run.

Going after the same locations where pegmatites are mapped and rock chips previously pulled, assays are expected in January.

Black Mountain will be the bread and butter of Chariot’s geotech team for the first half of CY2024.

Already funded for at least a year (bar any surprises,) there’s another little publicised fact while Australian investors may be interested in Chariot’s value proposition.

That fact is a boring but tantalising one: the US state of Wyoming has no corporate income tax.

That makes it one of two states in the US that offer such incentives, joined only by South Dakota, according to the US-based Tax Foundation.

Then there’s Chariot’s Resurgent

The thing is, Black Mountain isn’t Chariot’s only project.

Black Mountain – the current flagship – is joined by Chariot’s second project, Resurgent.

That play is a claystone-based lithium project opposed to hard rock straddling the border between Nevada and Oregon.

It’s composed of two parts: Resurgent North and Resurgent East.

Located in the McDermitt Caldera, Chariot’s Resurgent project is a strong nearology play.

The McDermitt Caldera, some 16 million years old, is thought to contain the world’s largest lithium resource by at least one group of researchers.

The McDermitt Caldera is thought to have been formed as part of an ancient supervolcano – and Chariot believes it has the second-largest lithium landholding across the formation.

Rock chip surface samples taken on-site have got the company’s geologists interested.

At least one sample turned up 3865 parts per million (ppm) lithium; 20 other samples all exceeded 1000ppm reads.

And the Caldera is a busy mining neighbourhood.

Emerging mining province

Chariot’s acreage is near ASX-listed Jindalee Resources’ (ASX:JRL) McDermitt lithium project.

NYSE-listed Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC) is also nearby with its Thacker Pass project boasting 19.1 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in its resource.

General Motors recently injected no less than US$650 million (A$988 million) into Thacker Pass, which Chariot sees as a testament to the potential of its acreage.

ASX-listed Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) is also in the McDermitt Caldera, where it boasts a dual lithium and uranium project. Former Nigerian iron ore miner Macro Metals (ASX:M4M) recently bought into Aurora’s lithium rights on-site.

Busy year ahead

With drilling set to carry across the next 12 to 18 months, weather allowing, Chariot Corporation is likely to commence posting a solid newsflow circuit.

Despite a lull in lithium prices, the decarbonisation theme clearly isn’t going anywhere. Nor are companies pivoting to lithium.

But with demand for the metal at the forefront of the Biden Administration’s mind, the world’s most powerful economy is scrambling to secure its own supply.

And with what is potentially the largest lithium resource in America, Chariot’s likely only a few high-grade drill hits from becoming a major name.

CC9 by the numbers
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