News

In Western Australia, up-and-comer Liontown (ASX:LTR) is now sitting on a large 4.5km by 2.5km lithium soil anomaly (more than 100 parts per million) at its Buldania project in the Eastern Goldfields (reports Stockhead). This is after fresh soil sampling confirmed the prospectivity in a new area, about 5-10km from its Anna discovery. Geological mapping will help accurately define pegmatites (the main source of hard rock lithium) in this new area prior to initial drilling in the second quarter.

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After falling sharply over the past six months, there is fresh hope that lithium prices could be set for a comeback as demand from the EV market surges.

The Western Australian hard-rock lithium brigade got beaten up something shocking last year as contracted prices for 6% spodumene weakened from more than $US1,000t in the September quarter to $USUS930/t in the December quarter. Prices - based on quarterly pricing for the Mt Marion project kindly posted by Mineral Resources (MIN) – have fallen further for the current March quarter to $US791/t, which when stacked up against forecast production costs and a friendly US70c exchange rate, is still not all that bad.

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Gold played second fiddle to industrial metals this week with copper, nickel and iron ore doing best despite the rolling uncertainty of the China v US trade war. But in the background was an event which could see gold perk up next week.

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There is a significant opportunity for investors in Battery Minerals on the back of strong progress at the company’s Mozambican graphite project, says broker Hartleys (reports Stockhead).

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Top Melbourne fund manager Hedley Widdup from Lion Selection Group has likened current market conditions for junior miners to the early 2000’s , but has predicted a growing flow of money into the junior resource sector over the months and years ahead.

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Newly-minted lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) could offer investors an ~80 per cent return as it rebounds from a recent sector-wide price correction

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Plus, strong iron ore price recovery boosts the outlook for Centaurus’ Brazilian iron ore project and Gateway looks to repeat the lucrative strategy of revitalising old WA gold mines

It was suggested here last week that what Breaker Resources’ executive chairman Tom “Colonel” Sanders had to say at this week’s Resources Rising Stars’ conferences in Sydney and Melbourne could be pivotal. The argument was that having established a 1.1m oz resource at its February 2016 virgin Bombora discovery, 100km east of Kalgoorlie, the pressure was on Sanders to convince the market it was undervaluing the stock in a major way.

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Orion Minerals’ sales pitch to investors at Indaba also coincided with a big charm offensive by the South African Government this week to attract global investors back into its mining sector.

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