News

Kamoa-Kakula in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a rare commodity in the modern resources industry: a high-grade copper mine that one day could produce enough metal to satisfy more than 5 per cent of China’s annual demand (reports Financial Times).

Surrounded by small villages, the mine employs about 7000 workers and has its own road for trucks to carry rock to a nearby smelter. The company is also upgrading a 40-year-old hydropower station on the Congo River to provide electricity to run the mine. The first phase of the $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) project began operating last month, more than four years after the last big copper mine of similar scale, MMG’s Las Bambas, in Peru, came online. A 3-megawatt wind turbine uses up to 4.7 tonnes of copper.

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Another whiff of inflation and hint of rising interest rates stirred financial markets this week, along with a warning of greater risks ahead from two big name investors (and a long-dead economist).

Larry Fink and Jeremy Grantham sang from the same gloomy hymn sheet, which is a favorite of grumpy old men who have seen countless market cycles -- and so too would Adam Smith, if he had not died 231 years ago. Fink is the key man in the threesome because he runs BlackRock, the world’s biggest fund manager. He warned that stimulus spending would create an inflation spike which would be a “pretty big shock” for most people, especially novice investors who have little concept of the value-corroding nature of inflation.

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At long last, green shoots can be seen across the Australian uranium industry, but they risk wilting unless the price of the nuclear fuel moves higher (reports MiningNews).

High hopes for a uranium revival in a country that ought to be one of the world's leading suppliers of the material given its rich geological endowment have seen a mini boom in the share prices of explorers with uranium interests. But all of the players need a price above the current spot uranium market which remains bogged at around US$31 a pound despite predictions that uranium will play a key role in energy transition and the decarbonisation of the environment.

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Little-known $10m Traka out to repeat Lefroy’s porphyry success and Kin wins support with 22m at 9gpt in first-up drilling.

A mix of copper and gold in an orebody – or gold and copper depending on the grade of the respective metals – is a wonderful thing to have. It’s why Australia’s lowest-cost gold production (with the help of copper credits) comes from Newcrest’s Cadia mine, and why the copper mines of Sandfire and Oz Minerals are low-cost producers of the red metal (with the help of gold credits).

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Energy transition and the rise of renewables topped investment topics this week thanks to a controversial report from the International Energy Agency, but it was coal which delivered the biggest price rise.

It isn’t supposed to be like that because coal has become the energy source that no-one talks about for fear of being sent to the naughty corner -- or cancelled. But the return of thermal coal as a star performer with this week’s 10% rise to $US106 a tonne coal has demonstrated that it remains a remarkably popular, if not indispensable, commodity for now. That will change, but in the latest coal price, which is a three-year high and more than double the $US52/t of just nine months ago, can be found several important lessons for investors and governments.

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Greenvale Mining is gearing up to drill its “mighty” Georgina iron oxide-copper-gold project in the Northern Territory (reports MiningNews).

It comes days after BHP formally entered the search for copper in the NT via a A$22 million farm-in and joint venture with Encounter Resources over the Elliott project, northwest of Tennant Creek. Greenvale's Georgina project is east of Tennant Creek. The project comprises seven granted tenements and two under application, covering 4475sq.km.

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A year after securing the bulk of its offtake agreements, and three weeks after starting development of its Coburn mineral sands mine in Western Australia, Strandline Resources has tied off one dangling thread (reports MiningNews).

It has signed a last, binding zircon offtake contract for a premium zircon project with European raw material supplier to the ceramics, glass and refractory industries Mario Pilato, finalising deals for 100% of the production from Coburn. Mario Pilato is expected to take 10,000 tonnes per annum for an initial two years, with the sales price will reference the prevailing US dollar price, and is expected to generate 8-9% of Coburn's annual revenue.

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Investors stand to triple their money in emerging WA iron ore junior CZR Resources, according to a new research report by experienced analyst Andrew Pedler of Matau Advisory (reports Stockhead).

Pedler values CZR, which owns the Robe Mesa project in the Pilbara, at 3c a share based on it shipping through Port Hedland. But he says the value rises to 4.5c in the event that its plan to ship through the closer port of Onslow is successful. CZR is currently trading at 1.3c for a market capitalisation of just $40 million. In his report, Pedler says that Robe Mesa is a low-cost, direct shipping iron ore deposit which, based on the pe-feasibility study, has potential to generate strong financial returns.

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