It gave the world Covid-19 and now it looks like China is giving the world inflation and while some people might not see the connection between Covid and inflation, they are both a threat and an opportunity for investors.

To understand the significance of an inflationary outbreak, you only have to look back 18 months to see how a disease can turn financial markets upside down. Heavy losses at the start and fat profits later. Inflation, if allowed to rise too far, is an equally dangerous infection which destroys the value of certain types of investment (especially cash), but the flipside is that it improves the performance of hard physical assets such as property, gold and other commodities.

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Joint venture partners Coda Minerals and Torrens Mining have uncovered intense iron oxide-copper gold (IOCG) alteration with copper-sulphide mineralisation

intense iron oxide-copper gold (IOCG) alteration with copper-sulphide mineralisation while drilling at the Emmie Bluff Deeps target within the Elizabeth Creek copper project in South Australia (reports Small Caps). The first deep diamond hole drilled at the target encountered a sequence of approximately 200m of intensely haematitic and altered sediments and granites, including 50m of moderate-to-intense copper-sulphide mineralisation consisting of chalcocite, chalcopyrite and bornite.

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Australian investors moved heavily into gold during the crash last year with overall inflows up 100 per cent while high net worth investors tripled their holdings in the yellow metal (reports The Australian).

The swing by private investors – as opposed to big super funds – is revealed in a new research report from the Perth Mint’s investment research manager Jordan Eliseo. Needless to say most gold industry reports wax lyrical on the charms of the yellow metal and this report is no exception to the tradition. It does, however, put some very persuasive numbers around the case for gold as an investment choice: Importantly the case is made equally for global gold (always priced in $US) and for local investors using Australian dollars.

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Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) has defined a new exploration target at its Pilbara gold project south of Port Hedland containing between 4.4 million tonnes to 7.4Mt of gold bearing ore (reports Small Caps).

The exploration target, which has grades ranging between 1.5 grams per tonne gold and 1.8g/t, is located close to the company’s promising Mt York and Iron Stirrup deposits as well as to the Zakanaka prospect. It is possible that the new target area contains extensions of the mineralisation from the historical pits at Zakanaka, the company predicts. It includes untested greenfield exploration potential and is in addition to the current 873,500oz gold indicated and inferred mineral resource at Mt York, based on 20.9Mt at 1.3g/t.

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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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Analysts and fund managers from across Australia were given an opportunity to visit Northern Star Resources’ KCGM assets this week, many for the first time due to COVID-19 travel restrictions (reports MiningNews).

Though one of the world's most iconic mines, it has been largely unavailable to the investment community due to its previous ownership by Newmont Corporation and Barrick Gold. While Northern Star and Saracen took Western Australian attendees of Diggers & Dealers on a tour in October 2020, it was the first trip for eastern states investors and the first since Northern Star acquired Saracen and became KCGM's sole owner. The 90 million ounce gold camp has been in production for 126 years.

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Aspiring gold producer Kingston Resources (ASX: KSN) has announced significant new gold and silver results from the latest holes of a resource drilling program at Kulumalia within its flagship Misima project in Papua New Guinea (reports Small Caps).

The holes returned multiple new wide mineralised intercepts outside of the current reserve pit shell, which the company said increases its confidence in the existing resource and reserve models. Assay highlights include a 3m intersection grading at 8.3 grams per tonne gold and 87.2g/t silver from 1.5m and 21.3m at 1.69g/t gold and 30.5g/t silver from 218m.

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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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