News

Leading fund manager names Boss as his pick of the uranium stocks. Plus, South32’s copper deal a boost for porphyry hunters such as Sunstone and Hot Chili.

World leaders - most of them anyway – will soon be heading to Glasgow for the United Nation’s Climate Conference, otherwise known as COP26. The idea is that there will be commitments to accelerated net zero emission targets to save us all from global warming through decarbonisation and the electrification of everything.

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China’s power crisis boosted prices for all forms of energy this week, though Australia’s full hand of coal, oil, gas, uranium, and renewables helped suppress investor anxiety about the threat of stagflation, an unpleasant mix of value-destroying low growth and high inflation. Adding to the sense of a sea-change in underlying economic fundamentals was a fresh burst of concern about rising interest rates and the withdrawal of easy central bank money which has propped up global asset values.

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23rd September 2021

It’s Tempranillo all round as El Simich solves miner’s big problema with purchase of long-life copper asset on attractive terms

Sandfire Resources (SFR) has had a problem ever since an exploration hole in May 2009 overseen by a young geologist, Margaret Hawke, hit bonanza copper grades in WA’s Bryah Basin. It was nice problem to have as the near-6% copper hit – along with good gold values – at the DeGrussa prospect always meant the find would be developed quick smart. And it was, with first production in 2013, and the nearby Monty deposit discovery in 2015 chiming in with its high-grade feed from 2019.

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Buy when others are selling. It’s one of the oldest pieces of investment advice and its one that Karl Simich and Andrew Forrest put into practice this week with copper and nickel deals.

Buy when others are selling. It’s one of the oldest pieces of investment advice and its one that Karl Simich and Andrew Forrest put into practice this week with copper and nickel deals. Simich, chief executive of Sandfire Resources, took the WA-based company he leads into Spain via the $1.2 billion acquisition of the Matsa mining complex. Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, boosted his private stake in a Canadian nickel explorer to 37.3% through the conversion of a loan into shares in what could be the knock-out blow in a fight with BHP for Noront Resources.

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Battery metals, led this week by nickel, continued to outperform the rest of the resources sector while gold took a peek above $US1800 an ounce but faded as U.S. investors turned their focus on interest rate settings ahead of a key central bank meeting

Battery metals, led this week by nickel, have continued to outperform the rest of the resources sector while gold took a peek above $US1800 an ounce but faded as U.S. investors turned their focus on interest rate settings ahead of a key central bank meeting. The gathering of bankers in the Wyoming ski resort of Jackson Hole could be the setting for the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, to reveal his plans for winding back monetary support for the U.S. economy.

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The nickel express has left the station, but it could travel much further as demand rises and supply lines are crimped – giving ASX-listed nickel miners and explorers a lift particularly if their product is of a superior quality (reports Tim Treadgold on

Those first two factors, supply and demand, are well understood and have been the key to the near doubling of the nickel price over the past 18-months as it has charged up from a Covid-effected US$11,000 a tonne early last year to latest sales at US$19,500/t.

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Any doubts investors might have had about the power of environment, social and governance (ESG) issues to dictate corporate decision making were blown away this week when BHP caved into activist pressure to quit the oil and gas business.

The deal, which will see Woodside Petroleum acquire BHP Petroleum, has not been well received on financial markets, with both companies sold down and some big BHP shareholders indicating they will oppose the transaction when put to a vote next year. But whether BHP and Woodside achieve their desired marriage of convenience is not the big issue for investors. The more important point is that ESG considerations have now been elevated to a company-making (and breaking) level.

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The gold price itself had 12 months of consolidation. Now we are entering a new stage of a bull market which Barry Dawes of Martin Place Securities believes “will take it much, much higher” (reports Stockhead).

In the big scheme of things, the pullback we have seen over the past 12 months is ‘small beer’, Dawes told the Virtual Gold Conference earlier this week. “Now everything is aligned up for gold prices in the decade to be very strong,” he says. “The short and medium term looks very good; the long term looks very good.” Punters should look to the big gold stocks in the US – they are the ones that matter, Dawes says.

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