News

Plus, Legend’s latest assays fuel hopes of a new nickel-copper find in the Fraser Range and Sprott eyes a golden girl in Kalamazoo

The cooling US-China trade war is a positive for metals and bulk commodities, none more so than for zircon. The trade war was seen as a key factor in the price weakness for the key mineral sand in the back half of 2019. Tied as it is to building and housing activity along with some other sectors, zircon, like copper, is something of a bellwether of global economic activity.

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Welcome back to Prospector’s Diary after a Christmas break that saw a number of significant developments...

Welcome back to Prospector’s Diary after a Christmas break that saw a number of significant developments, and while a trade-war truce might seem to be most important, there are other contenders, including a fall in the value of the US dollar and the overdue return of inflation. Taken collectively, it’s hard to not see 2020 being a good year for resources with a glimpse of what’s to come to be found in a stronger-than-expected price for iron ore, a rising copper price, heavy-duty support for gold and a record high for leading indices which track the Australian stock market.

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Analysts at Morgan Stanley have named Whitehaven Coal, Sandfire Resources and Mineral Resources as their top three mining picks

Analysts at Morgan Stanley have named Whitehaven Coal, Sandfire Resources and Mineral Resources as their top three mining picks (reports The Australian Financial Review). "Whitehaven coal is generating strong free cash flow on both our base case and spot commodity price scenarios," the broker wrote. It has an overweight rating on the coal miner and reckons it has some 43 per cent upside based on a $3.65 valuation.

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Whether it’s going long or short, the iron ore market is not for the faint-hearted, as its latest unexpected rise shows. And the coming year is likely to see more of the same, while copper looks set for good gains.

Iron ore wasn’t supposed to be the star commodity of 2019 but thanks to a shortfall in Brazilian production and stronger than expected Chinese demand, that’s how it turned out, and next year could be just as interesting, though perhaps with a “back-to-the-future” twist. The performance of iron ore, and a strong year for gold, were coloured by a terrible 12-months for battery metals and a roller-coaster ride for nickel, leaving open the critical question of what’s best for 2020 –with copper the early favourite.

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6th December 2019

Plans to finally develop the world-class Coburn zircon and titanium mineral sands project in Western Australia’s Mid-West region are advancing

Plans to finally develop the world-class Coburn zircon and titanium mineral sands project in Western Australia’s Mid-West region are advancing, with proponent Strandline Resources signing an agreement to tap into a “world-first” trucked LNG-to-hybrid renewable microgrid project (reports MiningNews). Strandline has signed a non-binding proposal with a Woodside Petroleum and EDL joint venture for a 27 megawatt integrated project using gas from the Pluto LNG project to fuel gas generators with diesel back-up, and a solar and battery storage plant.

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Hedley Widdup believes the events of 2019 are setting mining stocks up for another strong run (reports MiningNews). Despite this year feeling like another tough one for many, it has delivered a number of discoveries. "Discoveries are exciting because they come from nowhere," Widdup told the Resources Rising Stars Summer Series in Sydney today. "2019 has seen a number of discoveries come to market - some still have a question mark over them."

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Despite Beijing ramping up plans for new coal-fired electricity plants, they will be outpriced by cheap wind and solar (reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in London’s Daily Telegraph). No further coal plants should be built anywhere in the world ever again. The great majority of existing plants should be phased out within 15 years.

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The notion that the junior mining and exploration sector has lost out to the cannabis and tech sectors in the competition for the speculative investment dollar – and that there is no coming back – has been shot down in recent days.

The notion that the junior mining and exploration sector has lost out to the cannabis and tech sectors in the competition for the speculative investment dollar – and that there is no coming back – has been shot down in recent days. Big capital raisings in comparison to market caps have been popping up across the junior space and outside of gold, it has been kind of unusual because as yet, there has not been much in the way of support from commodity prices.

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