News

Leading fund manager names Boss as his pick of the uranium stocks. Plus, South32’s copper deal a boost for porphyry hunters such as Sunstone and Hot Chili.

World leaders - most of them anyway – will soon be heading to Glasgow for the United Nation’s Climate Conference, otherwise known as COP26. The idea is that there will be commitments to accelerated net zero emission targets to save us all from global warming through decarbonisation and the electrification of everything.

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Plus, first assays for Sunstone’s porphyry play should be close, runaway mineral sands prices a big tailwind for Strandline and Chris Cairns’ new gold float E79 shakes off gold market weakness with strong demand for IPO

The copper stocks have not been spared from the broader market malaise. That’s despite the copper price remaining nice and strong at $US4.17/lb. Plug the spot price into the current earnings period and profits for the producers are going to be substantially higher than the pricing of copper equities would have you believe. If there was a feeling the copper price was about to tank, fair enough. But it is near-impossible to find a forecaster who thinks the copper price is headed for a dive like say, iron ore.

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Nuclear power generated more than a sixth of the world’s electricity at its peak (reports The Financial Times).

In the following quarter of a century, safety and cost concerns pushed its contribution down to a tenth. Now, soaring fuel prices and the push to decarbonise are strengthening the case for a nuclear renaissance. Investors will be wary. Backing nuclear has been a bruising experience, particularly since the meltdown at the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011.

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Canaccord Genuity analysts believe the uranium spot price will continue to rise over the coming weeks, peaking as high as US$80 per pound by year-end as the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust continues to hoover up volumes for its physical uranium fund

According to Canaccord's calculations, SPUT still has $889 million available for uranium purchases out of a total facility of $1.3 billion. Sprott has bought an average of 2.3Mlb per week since launching its "at the market" equity program in August. The trust has purchased about 30Mlb of uranium, equivalent to about 17% of global demand. Spot prices have risen sharply from just over $30/lb mid-August to a fraction below $50/lb today.

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Return of the boom, or a Reddit-fuelled feeding frenzy? That’s the critical question after a week which saw uranium catch fire, along with most other energy commodities, including lithium, oil and gas.

The answer to the question of whether the boom is back or whether the market this week was dominated by speculators outbidding each other for a slice of the resources pie, is probably a bit of both. Uranium, after a decade in the deep freeze which followed the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan, has stormed back into favour as an energy metal destined to play a role in transition away from fossil fuels.

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Iron ore prices have slumped in recent weeks, currently sitting at US$120/tonne, or around AU$164/tonne (reports Stockhead).

It’s sweet spot to be in for players like Fenix Resources (ASX:FEX) who hedged ~45% of their planned production from October 2021 to September 2022 at A$230/dry metric tonne. The company had entered iron ore swap arrangements for 50,000 tonnes per month of the Monthly Average Platts TSI 62 Index converted to AUD for the 12-month period as part of its price protection policy. The idea was to secure the medium-term future of the Iron Ridge project – whilst maintaining exposure to the iron ore price.

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Silver has long sat in the shadow of gold as a kind of poor cousin (reports Stockhead).

Silver is more abundant than gold and found in higher concentrations, but is still considered a precious metal and trades at a far higher price by weight than base metals like nickel and tin. After hitting levels of around US$40/oz a decade ago prices spent most of the next 10 years at under half those levels. Exposure to the commodity is sparse on the ASX, and prices have suffered some hard times, largely missing the boom gold miners enjoyed from 2017 to 2020 before spiking upwards during the pandemic.

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When a ship full of Fenix Resources’ iron ore sailed out of Geraldton port and into the sunset on Tuesday, the company’s managing director Rob Brierley could relax without fretting over slumping prices for his product (reports The Australian Financial Review).

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