BHP's Xplor program picks 2 ASX juniors: Hamelin Gold and Cobre shares soar

Tue 23 Jan 24, 1:05pm (AEDT)
Copper 16 Exploration Cave
Source: Shutterstock

Key Points

  • BHP Xplor is a 6-month, accelerator program for early stage explorers looking to fast-track and de-risk their geologic concepts and become investment ready
  • The 2024 Xplor Program has selected six companies, two of which are listed on the ASX
  • Shares in Hamelin Gold and Cobre soared as the market opened on Tuesday

BHP (ASX: BHP) has selected six companies to join its Xplor accelerator program, designed to support early-stage exploration companies via grants of up to US$500,000 as well as access to a network of industry experts.

"Over the span of the six-month program, the six companies will work collaboratively with BHP Xplor to expedite the maturation of their geological concepts to position the projects for commercialisation or partnership," states BHP.

There are two ASX-listed companies among the six, including:

  • Hamelin Gold (ASX: HMG) – Seeks to execute a modern exploration program at its 100% owned West Tanami Gold Project in WA. The region is prospective for large scale gold deposits and nickel-copper-PGE mineralised intrusions. The stock is down 46% in the past twelve months (before Tuesday, 23 January open)

  • Cobre (ASX: CBE) – Focused on copper and base metals exploration in Botswana. The stock is down 74% in the past twelve months (before Tuesday, 23 January open)

Rocket fuel for share prices

Despite the lacklustre twelve month performances, both stocks surged as the market opened on Tuesday.

  • Hamelin Gold opened 1.3% lower at 7.4 cents. The stock was up 32% to 9.9 cents by 10:30 am AEDT

  • Cobre opened 43.9% higher at 5.9 cents. By 10:30 am, it was up 122% to 9.1 cents.

Why are the stocks rallying so much? As BHP states "each company will receive up to US$500,000 cash payment from BHP, together with access to a network of internal and external experts to help guide development across technical, business and operational aspects of the company." Cash, connections and expertise ... What more could you ask for?

It's also worth noting that the two explorers have market caps of around $15 million. This makes a cash injection of up to US$500,000 (A$760,000) rather significant and lowers the need to tap the market.

Looking back at the 2023 cohort

There were seven candidates selected out of hundreds of applications in the first Xplor cohort, three of which were ASX-listed.



Main Commodity

Mkt Cap



Impact Minerals

High purity alumina




Kingsrose Mining

Nickel, copper and PGEs




Nordic Nickel




The underperformance of Kingsrose and Nordic might not come as a surprise given the 45% year-on-year decline in nickel prices.

“The nickel industry is undergoing a number of structural changes and is at a cyclical low in realised pricing," BHP said in its recent quarterly report. “Nickel West is not immune to these challenges. Operations are being actively optimised, and options are being evaluated to mitigate the impacts of the sharp fall in nickel prices.”

Written By

Kerry Sun

Content Strategist

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University. He is an avid swing trader, focused on technical set ups and breakouts. Outside of writing and trading, Kerry is a big UFC fan, loves poker and training Muay Thai. Connect via LinkedIn or email.

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