News

A big couple of months is underway for Sunstone Minerals with its imminent drilling of the “compelling” El Palamar prospect in the same geological belt as the giant Cascabel copper-gold deposit (and Llurimagua copper deposit), the headline act

A big couple of months is underway for Sunstone Minerals with its imminent drilling of the “compelling” El Palamar prospect in the same geological belt as the giant Cascabel copper-gold deposit (and Llurimagua copper deposit), the headline act (reports MiningNews). El Palamar has been drilled once previously, by Codelco, which intersected porphyry copper-gold mineralisation with the three holes it put down. However, according to geophysics-vectored Sunstone, the main target is away from the Codelco drilling, which had determined its area of interest by surface prospecting.

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Sandfire Resources says it remains on track for first copper production from its $US279 million ($364m) Motheo mine in Botswana in early 2023 after securing a mining licence for the proposed operation (reports The West Australian).

The permit comes ahead of an updated mineral resource for the company’s satellite A4 deposit in coming weeks, which will allow Sandfire to boost throughput from Motheo from 3.2 million tonnes per annum to 5.2mtpa. A definitive feasibility study for the project in December 2020 estimated Motheo’s T3 deposit would be a 12.5-year operation, producing on average 30,000t of copper and 1.2 million ounces of silver a year over the first 10 years of operations, with relatively low capital intensity and robust operating margins.

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Former Orica boss Alberto Calderon has predicted a bright future for gold as a store of value in a world where central banks keep “printing money like there is no tomorrow” (reports The Australian Financial Review).

Mr Calderon is taking the reins as chief executive at AngloGold Ashanti just a month after quitting as boss of Orica. Johannesburg-based AngloGold Ashanti said Mr Calderon would bring two decades of executive leadership experience in the global mining sector to its operations in Africa, the Americas and Australia. The world’s third-biggest gold miner had been on the hunt for a new chief executive since the departure of Kelvin Dushnisky last year.

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Australia's big miners are cheap on a global basis and may drive the S&P/ASX 200 index as high as 8,000 points in the second half of 2021, according to Mike Aked, Director of Research for Australia at Research Affiliates (reports The Australian).

While banks have surged this year because of very low interest rates and the resulting rise in property prices Australia-wide, he says they are expensive on a global basis. "Because our financial companies are expensive on a global basis and our miners are cheap, we would expect that Australian resource companies are much more likely to drive our local market higher over the second half of 2021, to fresh all-time highs over 7,400, possibly rising to as high as 8,000 given the momentum in commodity prices," he says.

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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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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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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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Sunstone hoping imminent drilling program in Ecuador will reveal such a beast. And Bellevue dangles juicy carrot with bumper drilling results which point to increased production. But will a peer pounce before then?

Glencore’s not-so-retiring retiring CEO Ivan Glasenberg has added his voice to the call that $US6.80/lb ($US15,000t) copper prices are required to incentivise the new production needed to meet the wave of demand coming for the electrification of everything. His call followed an earlier one by Goldman Sachs which was more specific in that copper would peak at Glasenberg’s $US6.80/b – it is currently $US4.19/lb compared with its 2020CY average of $US2.72/lb  – as soon as 2025.

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