News

Battery metals, after a six-month sabbatical, surged back to the top of the mining-sector league table this week

Battery metals, after a six-month sabbatical, surged back to the top of the mining-sector league table this week thanks to a high-priced takeover bid from Wesfarmers for lithium project developer, Kidman Resources, and a plan to re-open the mothballed Ravensthorpe nickel project. Both moves demonstrated a return of confidence in battery metals and for the overall health of the broader market for minerals and metals.

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And the falling stockpiles are more good news for Mincor and its growing Cassini discovery

Copper is the favoured metal of the big end of town miners like BHP and Rio Tinto when it comes to allocating exploration dollars. Revved up in part by the electric vehicle revolution and the electrification of Asia, demand for the red metal will certainly move in the right direction in the years to come. But does that mean that the price will also head higher from what veteran minerals economist Richard Schodde at MinEx Consulting calls the “wisdom of the crowd” on long-term prices, or the consensus of economic forecasts put another way?

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Oil and gas might not appeal to environmentally-conscious investors, but what’s happened over the past week on the global and local stages makes it a hard sector to avoid if profits are what you’re after.

Oil and gas might not appeal to environmentally-conscious investors, but what’s happened over the past week on the global and local stages makes it a hard sector to avoid if profits are what you’re after. A sharp rise in the oil price earlier this week to more than $US74 a barrel was largely a function of international events, including a fresh threat from Iran to blockade the narrow Strait of Homuz at the western end of the Persian Gulf in retaliation against US sanctions.

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Gold down, iron ore up - perhaps with a lot further to go. In a nutshell, they were the highlights of an Easter holidays-shortened week on the Australian stock market.

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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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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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Nickel is the clear winner in a three-stage minerals and metals “beauty parade”, scoring top marks as an investment over the next 12-months, 24-months, and a shared second place in the five-year category with its battery cousins, lithium and cobalt (reports Tim Treadgold on Stockhead). Interestingly, lithium and cobalt are not expected to join nickel as short-term winners because the current glut of material is overwhelming the market for electric cars which received a fresh setback this week when China cut subsidies for battery-powered vehicles.

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Rare earths made headlines this week thanks to a controversial takeover bid for Lynas Corporation

Rare earths made headlines this week thanks to a controversial takeover bid for Lynas Corporation, but whether the offer from Wesfarmers succeeds or not, the important message is that one of Australia’s biggest industrial companies has decided it’s time to invest in mining. More specifically, the move on Lynas is fresh evidence that the electric car revolution is more than a passing fad, reinforcing the case for the broad family of metals needed in electric motors, either as fuel (lithium) or in other applications such as high-strength magnets (rare earths).

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26th - 27th May 2020

Gold Coast Conference

The 2020 Resources Rising Stars Conference will be held on the 26th & 27th May 2020 at the scenic RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. 

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