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5 best small cap ASX gold stocks to watch

Gold has been on a bull run for much of 2023. Here’s five of the best small cap ASX gold stocks to consider in 2024.

gold stocks Source: Bloomberg

Why invest in gold stocks

Gold has historically enjoyed a reputation as one of the best real asset inflationary hedges in times of economic stress. It becomes particularly desirable in high inflation environments — hence the 15.3% rise in its value to around USD$2,295 an ounce over the past year.

And gold could continue to rise even as inflation falls back to more reasonable levels, because of its inverse relationship to the US dollar and strong hints that the stateside monetary tightening cycle is close to its conclusion.

Accordingly, the best small cap ASX-listed gold stocks can be attractive to investors with a reasonable risk appetite. Australia is one of the world’s top gold producers, and the country is regarded by Fraser Institute as one of the best places to mine in the world from a regulatory standpoint.

The top five ASX-listed small-cap gold stocks to watch

Here is a list of five of the top ASX-listed small-cap gold stocks to watch for those investors who seek exposure to the precious metal via small-cap equities.

1. Wildcat Resources (ASX: WC8)

2. Besra Gold (ASX: BEZ)

3. Gascoyne Resources (ASX:GCY)

4. Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA)

5. Brightstar (ASX: BTR)

Wildcat Resources (ASX: WC8)

Wildcat has three main projects in its gold portfolio — the Mount Adrah gold project in New South Wales, alongside the Bolt Cutter gold-lithium project, and the Tabba Tabba lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Wildcat successfully completed a drilling program at Mount Adrah in April, encompassing 16 holes over two phases, and conducted a 30 square kilometre drone aeromagnetic survey at the project which saw significant investor interest. Later mid-June progress reports revealed significant gold mineralisation in the area.

And then there’s the proposed acquisition of the promising Tabba Tabba project — very close to Pilgangoora and Port Hedland — which has had another positive impact on Wildcat's share price. Fieldwork commenced recently, and further share price rises could be incoming.

The miner's share price went on a mad tear in 2023, rising by 2,150% in the 12-month period ending in February 2024. It's since hit a roadblock, declining more than 26% year-to-date due to investor disappointment with its latest update on the Tabba Tabba project.

Besra Gold (ASX: BEZ)

Besra Gold's landholdings cover a vast area within the historically significant Bau goldfield in East Malaysia, which has a rich mining history dating back to the 1800s. Within the Bau project, Besra is currently concentrating on two deposits — Bekajang and Jugan.

The company published drill results from the Bekajang program in March 2023, which confirmed extensive gold mineralisation, and it plans to follow up with further drilling through H2. Besra also has ambitious plans for the Jugan deposit, aiming to construct a pilot plant processing facility and mine pit.

Importantly, the ASX gold company secured a US$300 million gold purchase agreement with shareholder Quantum Metal Recovery in May, which will be paid back over 30 months and help fund its plans.

Besra Gold shares have taken a beating in 2024, dropping over 30% year-to-date to just under 10 cents.

Gascoyne Resources (ASX:GCY)

Gascoyne Resources is primarily focused on the Dalgaranga gold project in Western Australia, and has made significant strides in gold exploration and development at the project.

The Dalgaranga project produced over 70,000 ounces of gold during the 2022 fiscal year before being placed into care and maintenance in November 2022. But last year, the company published drill results that confirmed a new discovery at the site, known as the Never Never deposit.

Since then, they have released further drill results showcasing several high-grade intercepts. These results will be integrated into a mineral resource estimate upgrade for Dalgaranga, expected to be released imminently.

Gascoyne Resources shares have risen by 132% year-to-date to AU$0.26, with a market cap of AU$223.6 million.

Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA)

Nova Minerals is an ASX gold small cap with a strong presence in Alaska, where it operates its flagship Estelle project. Boasting a JORC 2012 gold resource of 9.9 million oz, Nova has an 85% interest in Estelle.

An initial Scoping Study conducted in February 2022, focusing on the Korbel deposit, yielded promising results — including an NPV of US$381 million on a 5% discount rate, and all-in-sustaining-costs (AISC) estimated at US$1,120 an ounce. Nova then proceeded with a Stage 2 Scoping Study, encompassing both the Korbel and RPM deposits, and published very well-received findings in May 2023.

The Phase 2 study increased the Estelle NPV to US$654 million while lowering the pre-production capex to US$385 million. The AISC in this case was $1,149 an ounce, and the project showcased a 11- payback time of less than a year.

The Phase 2 study didn’t even include the Cathedral deposit at RPM, which holds an additional 2 million ounces. And Nova has further plans to build out the Estelle resource before moving on to feasibilities studies for a future mining operation.

It also holds 38% ownership of Snow Lake Resources, which is developing the Snow Lake Lithium Project in Northern Manitoba. Nova shares may be trading at a discount against other gold miners on ASX given recent share price falls.

Nova Minerals shares have fallen over 25% year-to-date, to AUD$0.28

Brightstar (ASX: BTR)

Brightstar s another popular ASX small cap gold stock, operating multiple projects in the Western Australia goldfields, including at Laverton, Cork Tree Well, and Menzies.

The company boasts an impressive JORC Resource — for a small cap — amounting to 20.5 million tonnes at 1.5g/t for 965,000 ounces. Brightstar has all the advantages of WA infrastructure, including processing facilities, an airstrip, and an accommodation camp, all of which are ready to go.

Brighstar has continuted to expand its gold inventory, recording a maiden resource of 70,000 oz at Aspacia in Western Australia in April. The company also announced at the start of May that it had increasesd its stake in Linden Gold.

Despite these promising developments, Brightstar's share price has fallen 20% year-to-date to AUD$0.016.

How to trade in ASX-listed small-cap gold stocks

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