News

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Uranium Production Specialist Dr Adrienne Hanly has flagged that uranium inventories are precariously low (reports Stockhead).

At the recent World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference in London, Dr Hanly said uranium fuel inventory levels for US nuclear utilities are at just 16 months of requirements – below recommended 2+ years minimum. And that US utilities may have limited capability to independently manage a protracted supply disruption. Compounding this, EU stocks on aggregate equate to two years’ supply, but many individual utilities fall far short of this ESA-prescribed benchmark.

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Interest rates rose in the U.S. and Australia this week as expected, but so did the stock market, gold, copper, and most other commodities, which was unexpected, and perhaps an interesting case of premature enthusiasm.

What could have started with a period of excess caution in the lead up to the rate rises was quickly replaced by a global exhalation of “phew, that wasn’t so bad,” without many people looking a little further down the track at a river of rate rises to Christmas and beyond.

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Dozens of countries including Britain and France are now turning to Australia to lock in a long-term clean energy source that can help the world dramatically cut its carbon emissions (reports The Australian).

After nearly a decade in the deep freeze, nuclear power has been getting a fresh look as a way for the world to rapidly end its dependence on heavily-polluting coal and oil. An energy crisis brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turbocharged this, prompting much of western Europe to look for ways to slash their reliance on Moscow. Shunned by politicians here as being too hot to handle, uranium has been a workhorse for decades, fuelling nuclear reactors in more than 30 countries.

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The global commodity rush slowed this week as markets prepared for the trading break over Easter but two factors, war and inflation, continued to rattle investor confidence as well as sparking a shift back to the ultimate safe haven, gold.

ANZ Bank expects gold to remain in favour as other currencies are debased by the highest rates of inflation since the 1980s, tipping on Tuesday that a rise by gold to above $US1960 an ounce “would be a bullish signal”. That hurdle was cleared a few hours after ANZ published its comments with the gold price moving up to $US1967/oz, a rise of $US30/oz in three days.

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Hidden gems are starting to emerge at the small end of the iron ore industry thanks to the growing interest of billionaire investors with low-profile CZR Resources (ASX: CZR) shaping as the stock to watch.

Super-rich Gina Rinehart and Mark Creasy are leading the charge into small iron ore stocks as the price of the steel-making material refuses to fall as noted in last month’s report. With the price of high-quality ore sitting around US$150 a tonne every iron ore producer in the world should be generating handsome profits and this is likely to continue for some time as Chinese steel demand rebounds and the war in Ukraine crimps exports from that country and Russia.

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As it had been promising in the past few weeks, Western Australian miner Gascoyne Resources has delivered its best-ever quarterly production performance (reports MiningNews).

As it had been promising in the past few weeks, Western Australian miner Gascoyne Resources has delivered its best-ever quarterly production performance (reports MiningNews). After what managing director Simon Lawson has called a "solid, but challenging" 2021, the company said first quarter production was likely to exceed a record 21,000 ounces of gold, and it delivered today with 21,669oz. While it is yet to reveal its costs, with an average realised price of A$2586/oz, the now-unhedged company generated A$55 million in revenue from sales of 21,260oz.

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Spiralling fertiliser prices and promising exploration and development activity have combined to make Trigg Mining an attractive buy according to research firm Corporate Connect (reports Stockhead).

Geopolitical pressures such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have sent the prices of fertilisers soaring and Sulphate of Potash (SOP) – a chloride-free premium product that is essential for high-value chloride sensitive crops such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and cocoa – is no exception. SOP typically commands a US$200 to US$300 per tonne, or 80% to 120%, premium to the more widely available Muriate of Potash (MOP).

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Priced to perfection or poised for a correction? That’s the question which investors should be considering as a mini-boom in commodities powers on against a background of international storm clouds.

A mid-week warning from the Bank of America (BofA) that the U.S. stock market has wandered into a bear trap ruffled a few feathers but not enough to deter optimists who saw signs of an easing in the Ukraine war as reason to keep on buying. It was a similar story in Australia where the all-ordinaries index rose by an agreeable 1.7% over the week, taking the gain for the past month to an impressive 7%. The metal and mining index did even better, up 4.8% this week and 10% for the month.

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