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Plus, Alkane’s latest result fuels hopes it may have a Cadia-esque find on its hands

The coronavirus has knocked the stuffing out of base metals prices, taking equity values for the producers and developers down at the same time. The likelihood is that when the terror of it all passes and everyone gets back to work, there will be a strong rebound in prices for the metals and equities, probably with the added bonus of a big dose of stimulus from Beijing. While the timing of all that is uncertain, the here and now for the sector’s equities is that there is now more value to be had for investors than there was before the thing began to spread from Wuhan.

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Centaurus Metals (ASX: CTM) has bitten into a thick zone of high-grade semi-massive to massive nickel sulphides at the Onça-Rosa prospect, within its Jaguar nickel project in northern Brazil (reports Bevis Yeo of Stockhead). Recent drilling has confirmed the down-dip extension of historical high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation with a top result of 9.3m at 3.13 per cent nickel, 0.19 per cent copper and 0.08 per cent cobalt from 281.8m, Yeo said.

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Can both news reports and the flow of money be correct?

If you only read media headlines over the past week you might believe that the world is facing a great economic crisis caused by the China coronavirus, but if you skipped the headlines and looked only at share prices you might believe that nothing happened. Can both news reports and the flow of money be correct? Yes, they can, because the great unknown in the China virus panic is where it’s heading and it is that uncertainty factor which can weigh heavily on investor confidence.

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Australian investors are likely to notice a wave of media reports about the $90 billion LNG construction industry about to take off in Mozambique...

Over the next few months, Australian investors are likely to notice a wave of media reports about the $90 billion LNG construction industry about to take off in Mozambique. Until now, this massive investment in what will be four world-scale LNG projects has received virtually no coverage in Australia because they do not involve the usual ASX-listed petroleum companies such as Woodside and Santos.

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Upbeat assessment augurs well for what looks like being a much better year for exploration, with Rio pushing ahead with its Antipa JV while juniors Stavely, Chalice, Alkane and Nagambie are among those revving up expectations for the new year.

The about-to-end flood of December quarterly reports from the big and small players in the mining space has confirmed that on the exploration front at least, 2020 is shaping up as something special compared with the hit and miss of previous years. No less than Newcrest (NCM) proved the point on Thursday with its update on drill results from the  Havieron gold-copper discovery, 45km east of its ageing and grade-challenged Telfer gold/copper mine in WA’s Paterson province.

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The coronavirus roller-coaster which drove industrial metals down and gold up is showing signs of slowing...

The coronavirus roller-coaster which drove industrial metals down and gold up is showing signs of slowing, which could be a time for investors to consider a spot of bargain-basement shopping – but there’s no need to rush. Risks remain high and the fear generated by a mutant killer virus is having a real effect on some sections of financial and commodity markets. But if the last virus outbreak, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 is a guide, then a strong recovery is likely.

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Continued consolidation of the gold sector could be a theme for the rest of 2020...

Continued consolidation of the gold sector could be a theme for the rest of 2020, according to the investment arm of Bank of America, which believes there is a wave of mid-tier mergers on the way thanks largely what’s happened at the top end of gold. The bank’s argument revolves around last year’s big North American deals which saw Newmont merge with Goldcorp and Barrick acquire Randgold a double-barrelled process which has also seen a large number of non-core assets sold, including the Kalgoorlie Superpit.

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Centaurus Metals (ASX: CTM) has been rated as one of the “deepest value” and “highest potential” nickel developers on the ASX by a leading Australian broking firm

Centaurus Metals (ASX: CTM) has been rated as one of the “deepest value” and “highest potential” nickel developers on the ASX by a leading Australian broking firm (reports Stockhead). According to a desk-note from Perth-based Argonaut Securities, the $42m junior has well and truly caught the eye of experienced Argonaut resource analyst Matt Keane on the back of a bullish announcement about its expansive work program for 2020.

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