News

Iron ore last year, nickel and titanium minerals this year (so far) with the connection being commodity price increases caused by supply disruption – with shortages and “outages” an investment theme likely to be as significant as demand.

Iluka Resources was the major beneficiary in Australia from this week’s big event, the closure of the world-class Richards Bay titanium minerals processing centre on South Africa’s east coast. The loss of supply from Richards Bay drove Iluka shares to a 10-year high of $9.27 before the stock settled at $8.89, up 73c (9%) over the week.

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Gateway Mining’s Gidgee gold project in WA is turning up more high-grade results, with infill RC drilling at the Evermore prospect returning coarse visible gold (reports Stockhead).

Highlight results from 10 of the 91 hole 14,311m RC program included: 10m at 2.8g/t from 101m, directly ‘up dip’ of a previously identified high-grade intercept (7m at 11.7g/t from 97m); and 2m at 10.8g g/t from 87m. In addition, the first diamond drill hole results from the six hole 2,550m program returned 1.9 metres at 22.4 g/t, including visible gold:

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One of the great unknowns about Chalice Mining’s exciting Julimar project is whether its proximity to Perth is a blessing or a curse (reports The Australian Financial Review).

The PGE (platinum group element) discovery – which includes nickel, copper, cobalt, gold and palladium –- sits a little more than 70 kilometres north-east of the city in farmland and state forest. Chalice is waiting for permission to drill in the state forest as it tries to establish just how big a deal it has on its hands with Julimar, and if it is of a size that supports one or more mines.

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Momentum is steadily building for uranium companies, as investors who have bet on the bottom for the past several years begin to see returns amid broader positive sentiment in the market (reports Stockhead).

Percolating in the background is a wave of optimism that nuclear energy will become a core part of the power mix as the world shifts away from fossil fuels and towards low-emissions power generation. Much of that comes from the US, where nuclear power makes up around 20% of the national electricity market.

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Growing up on the family property in country Victoria, James Stewart’s favourite pastime involved dismantling toys to understand the mechanics of how they worked (reports The Australian Financial Review).

“When I was five, I was pulling an alarm clock apart and my aunt tried to stop me,” Stewart recalls. “My mum just told her to let me figure out how it works – she knew I wouldn’t stop until I worked it out.” This innate curiosity saw Stewart build his first car at 15 years of age and then his first engine a year later before undertaking a degree in mechanical engineering at Monash University. Fast-forward a number of decades, and the co-portfolio manager of Ausbil’s global resources fund applies the exact same thinking to picking stocks.

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Iron ore, coal and oil ore will be the commodity winners when the financial is ruled off next Wednesday. Gold, however, will end flat when looked at over the full 12-months, while copper and other battery metals continue to shape as next year’s winners.

In a nutshell, that’s where we have been in financial year 2020/21 and where we appear to be headed as financial markets say goodbye to a roller-coaster ride dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and government spending designed to stave off a depression. By this time next year, a different picture will emerge, probably one dominated by the struggle to reel in the excess cash created in reaction to the pandemic which means inflation and interest rates will be one of big issues to watch, with energy transition another.

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The planned restart of a mothballed uranium mine in Australia -- the world’s third-largest producer -- is a fresh sign that developers are beginning to respond to an improving demand outlook

The planned restart of a mothballed uranium mine in Australia -- the world’s third-largest producer -- is a fresh sign that developers are beginning to respond to an improving demand outlook and the support of the Biden administration for zero-emissions nuclear energy (reports Bloomberg).

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The option of taking a proposal for nuclear power in Australia to the next election has been considered in cabinet-level discussions as pressure grows within the Morrison government to prepare for a nuclear energy industry (reports The Australian).

The top-level political and policy discussions including Liberal and Nationals ministers involved the argument that the moratorium on nuclear energy could be lifted in the decades ahead to cut greenhouse gas emissions and replace reliance on fossil fuels. Politically, the option of the Coalition adopting a policy of future nuclear energy was considered too dangerous without bipartisan support from the ALP.

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