Wildcat Resources shares rocket 13% on news of major MinRes buy-up

ASX mining giant Mineral Resources has bought nearly one-fifth of Wildcat Resources.

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Wildcat Resources Ltd (ASX: WC8) shares are screaming 13.5% higher to 80 cents per share on Wednesday.

The surge follows news that mining magnate Chris Ellison has bought a major stake in the ASX lithium small-cap stock.

Ellison is the boss of ASX 200 mining giant Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN), and he's been buying up stakes in multiple lithium juniors for a while now.

Let's look into the details.

Wildcat Resources shares spike amid news of MinRes raid

According to documents lodged with the ASX last night, Mineral Resources has become a substantial holder in Wildcat Resources stock following a series of trades between 12 October and 31 October.

MinRes now owns just under a fifth of the company, holding 206.6 million shares or a 19.85% total stake.

MinRes is listed as the relevant holder of 186.66 million Wildcat Resources shares (purchased at 85 cents per share). Its subsidiary business, Wodgina Lithium Pty Ltd, is the relevant holder of the rest.

As reported in The Australian today, the significance of the 186.66 million shares is that this was the exact consideration paid by Wildcat Resources to Global Advance Metals for the Tabba Tabba lithium-tantalum project in the Pilbara.

Wildcat announced the deal in May and it settled on 12 October. On the same day, Wodgina bought its first parcel of Wildcat Resources shares within the series of trades documented in the ASX lodgement.

Mining investor Resource Capital Funds (RCF) is the majority owner of Global Advance Metal. RCF's co-founder is James McClements, who is the independent non-executive chairman of Mineral Resources.

The significance of the subsidiary business Wodgina being involved in the Wildcat Resources shares buy-up is that Wodgina is the hard rock lithium mine in the Pilbara owned and operated by MinRes.

MinRes owns Wodgina in a joint venture (JV) with US lithium giant Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB). This month, MinRes lifted its stake in Wodgina from 40% to 50% in a restructuring of the JV.

Wodgina is situated close to Tabba Tabba. Promising drilling results have helped drive Wildcat Resources stock to phenomenal heights. Wildcat Resources started the year at just two cents per share.

Wildcat Resources stock soars 3,950% in 2023

The ASX lithium stock has throttled almost 4,000% higher in 2023 alone.

As my Fool colleague Tony points out, had any of us bought $10,000 worth of Wildcat Resources stock back in May, it would be worth more than a quarter of a million bucks today.

Wildcat now has a market capitalisation of $895 million.

MinRes targeting ASX lithium juniors everywhere

As we mentioned earlier, Wildcat is not the only ASX lithium stock on Ellison's radar.

Most recently, MinRes acquired a 17.44% stake in Delta Lithium Ltd (ASX: DLI) in August.

Shortly thereafter, Ellison was appointed non-executive chair of the Delta Lithium board. The CEO of the MinRes lithium division, Joshua Thurlow, also joined the board as a non-executive director.

According to The Australian, Ellison also has holdings in Patriot Battery Metals Inc. CDI (ASX: PMT), Global Lithium Resources Ltd (ASX: GL1), and is speculated to hold a stake in Azure Minerals Ltd (ASX: AZS).

Ellison is not the only captain of industry rushing to acquire West Australian lithium assets.

Mining doyen Gina Rinehart of Hancock Prospecting recently amassed a 19.9% stake in Liontown Resources Ltd (ASX: LTR).

This move is thought to have contributed to the collapse of Albemarle's proposed $3 per share takeover.

A battle for control of Azure Minerals between Rinehart and Sociedad Quimica y Minr de Chile SA (NYSE: SQM) is also underway.

The Mineral Resources share price is up 1.2% today to $58.48.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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