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Production cuts have revitalised Australian iron ore stocks, delivering bumper profits and attracting new players, including London’s super-rich property magnates, the Reuben Brothers

Production cuts have revitalised Australian iron ore stocks, delivering bumper profits and attracting new players, including London’s super-rich property magnates, the Reuben Brothers. But how long the good times can last is a critical question for investors. Few analysts are prepared to stand in the way of the surging iron ore price, which this week hit a five-year high of $US95 a tonne, driving share prices up sharply, with most hitting fresh highs.

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The surging iron ore price has sparked renewed investor interest in long-dormant iron ore assets

The surging iron ore price has sparked renewed investor interest in long-dormant iron ore assets, with juniors such as Centaurus Metals (ASX: CTM) well placed to benefit given its ownership of an advanced iron ore development project in Brazil capable of moving into production quickly. This is the key conclusion of veteran Sydney-based resource analyst Gavin Wendt.

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A capital-raising rush over the past week by small mining companies is a clear signal that the downturn of the past few years is coming to an end.

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After a long period of over-supply, a global diamond shortage may be on the way

After a long period of over-supply, a global diamond shortage may be on the way, says analyst Kieron Hodgson of London-based broker Panmure Gordon (reports Stockhead). This top-rated analyst believes global diamond production will moderate this year before declining through until 2021. “We see the potential for the market to briefly encounter a shortfall scenario, possibly as high as 25 million carats, equal to 16 per cent of the current global production base,” Hodgson says.

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About 85-113 million tonnes of global iron ore production will be lost this year, according to BMO Capital Markets, following updates from major producers Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP (reports MiningNews). However RBC analyst Tyler Broda noted Vale's ability to draw down on stockpiles and tipped the Brazil-based miner would ship more tonnes into the seaborne market this year than in 2018, also pointing to the iron ore price easing.

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Plus, Peak Resources among the juniors poised to jump into rare earths spotlight

The WA gold sector has not exactly been shooting the lights out of late. Despite the local gold price trading at a near-record $1850 an oz, there have been a couple of small producers go out the back door and some that look they might any time soon. Why, even one of the big boys, St Barbara, has got in the act, with its share price resetting 30% lower in one hit last week when it revealed lower long-run production figures for its Gwalia mine.

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Australia's big miners have rallied hard, but that hasn't stopped Credit Suisse moving overweight (reports The Australian Financial Review). Australian mining giants might have had a stellar run over the past 12 months, but Credit Suisse’s head of global equities, Andrew Garthwaite, believes they’ve got scope to push higher still on the back of some big global trends. Credit Suisse moved overweight on the mining sector earlier this week, after seeing signs that the slump in global industrial production in the final quarter of 2018 was starting to bottom out.

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Gold played second fiddle to industrial metals this week with copper, nickel and iron ore doing best despite the rolling uncertainty of the China v US trade war. But in the background was an event which could see gold perk up next week.

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