News

Bill Beament thinks mining is about to become sexy again (reports The West Australian).

Speaking at the Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the former Northern Star Resources boss said the industry was changing its image as commodities like copper, zinc and silver became “critical” to deliver greener technology and energy solutions.

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A second spot market auction later this month could put the extent of the spodumene shortage on full display.

A second spot market auction later this month could put the extent of the spodumene shortage on full display. Plus, Beament goes green as Klein fights for gold, Brazilian hydro power could make Centaurus greener than a rain forest and Boss highlights why decarbonisation will fuel a run in the uranium price.   The big mining news of the past week landed just as 2500 mining and monied types were winding their way to the Diggers & Dealers bash in Kalgoorlie.

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The past and the future collided at this week’s Diggers & Dealers mining forum in the outback WA city of Kalgoorlie with of iron ore and gold challenged for top dog status by the fast-growing crop of “green” metals

Three speakers highlighted the story of yesterday’s investment winners, and tomorrow’s likely winners. Bill Beament, a flag-carrier for gold over the past decade, turned critic when he unveiled the new name for his copper and battery metals focused business, Develop, saying that “gold is not green, sorry but it’s not”.

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Exceptionally high grades of silver and zinc have been intersected in Alicanto’s maiden drill hole at its Sala silver-lead-zinc project in Sweden (reports Stockhead). The hole returned an interval of 0.95m grading 348 grams per tonne (g/t) silver, 12.2% zinc and 5.9% lead from a depth of 592.58m within a broader zone of 6.8m at 123g/t silver, 2.3% lead and 1.4% zinc from 589.75m. SAL21-01 also intersected a shallower intersection of 3.8m at 7.7% zinc and 9g/t silver from 572.75m.

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Any doubts about battery metals dominating the resources sector for the next decade, and beyond, were washed away this week when BHP and Rio Tinto made overdue expansion moves into nickel and lithium.

Both mining giants have been tinkering around the edges of batteries and energy transition, but they showed their hands when BHP lobbed a bid for control of a Canadian nickel discovery and Rio Tinto giving the go ahead to the Jadar lithium project in Serbia. Fat profits from mining iron ore, and selling coal and oil assets, are funding the shift into energy metals with more to come in the next few weeks with BHP expected to take a bolder step into “green” commodities with a commitment to finish building its Jansen potash project also in Canada.

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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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