News

Plus, Red 5 eyes re-rating as first gold production draws near and Firefinch is a hot bird in demand with lithium feasibility study imminent.

The copper price is proving to be resilient in the face of all the uncertainty around the place. Last quoted at $US4.38/lb, the red metal remains a heady 56% up on last year’s (calendar) average. And why wouldn’t it be resilient when the likes of BHP, which is not known for exaggerating things, is running around saying the world will need almost double the copper in the next 30 years that it got by with in the past 30 years.

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A virus and a banker were a toxic combination on financial markets this week as the latest Covid strain rattled investor confidence and Jerome Powell, head of the U.S. central bank, warned that the punch bowl of free money could be removed sooner rather than later. The net result was red ink across most sectors with gold equities hit hardest as measured by a 5.5% fall in the ASX gold index, a drop significantly higher than what turned out to be a modest $US15 an ounce slide in the gold price over the week.

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Gold retains its status as the metal attracting the biggest exploration budgets, but for the best stock market performance these days it’s hard to beat lithium, which is why Breaker Resources (ASX: BRB), a stock with a foot in both camps, could be worth a look on the basis that history can repeat (reports Tim Treadgold on Small Caps). Not an inspiring performer over the past month with its share price down 21% from $0.42 to $0.33, Breaker has an asset base with the same hallmarks as earlier gold explorers which blossomed after their lithium interests won greater recognition.

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Gold miners must do more to justify their relevance to society if they are to remain relevant to increasingly ESG-focused investors, Blackrock fund manager Evy Hambro said on Wednesday (reports MiningNews). Speaking at a conference in London, Hambro - who leads Blackrock's natural resources team - said while battery metals miners were able to justify digging a hole in the ground because their products were central to the energy transition, gold miners must come up with other arguments.

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Veteran stockbroker Eddie Rigg says the current resources upswing will last longer than previous booms as battery metals dominate the capital investment landscape (reports Stockhead). Speaking at the RIU Resurgence Conference in Perth this week, the head of WA brokerage Argonaut said the current resources cycle could last for years. Rigg’s comments came just after the ABS revealed Australian miners and explorers tipped a near record $982 million into exploration in the September quarter.

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The deepest and thickest drill hit to date from the Antler copper project has left little doubt New World Resources’ recent maiden resource is just the tip of a large iceberg (reports Stockhead). New World Resources (ASX:NWC) delivered a maiden high grade resource of 7.7Mt at 3.9% copper equivalent at the Arizona deposit earlier this month with 74% in the high indicated category, but already has an exploration target to extend it to 10Mt to 12Mt grading 3%-4% copper equivalent.

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Perth-based Stavely Minerals (ASX: SVY) reports that its work at its eponymous copper-gold project in western Victoria is being effective in identifying “blind” porphyry intrusions with sulphides and veining seen in initial drilling (reports Small Caps). The company says its recently commenced regional exploration at Stavely is the most comprehensive program undertaken there in four decades

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Chalice Mining’s monster polymetallic find near Toodyay looks like getting bigger after the company announced a new zone of shallow high-grade mineralisation to the west of its initial Gonneville find (reports The West Australian).

Shares in the Tim Goyder-chaired company were up 5 per cent at the open on reports of the new mineralised intrusion which sits on the company’s wholly owned farmland directly south of the 6.5km-long Hartog airborne electromagnetic anomaly. Chalice reported a best intersection of 3m at 2 grams per tonne palladium, 0.3g/t platinum, 0.6 per cent nickel, 0.5 per cent copper Cu, 0.05 per cent cobalt from 68m.

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