Outgoing Pilbara Minerals chief executive Ken Brinsden has tipped lithium miners to keep “winning” the margin battle in the electric vehicle supply chain as prices surge

Outgoing Pilbara Minerals chief executive Ken Brinsden has tipped lithium miners to keep “winning” the margin battle in the electric vehicle supply chain as prices surge, arguing supply is simply too far behind demand – and carmakers will have to keep “paying through the nose” for the key battery material (reports The Australian Financial Review).

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Raleigh Finlayson started looking for his next venture in Australian gold mining around the same time his peers were declaring the sector to be out of vogue (reports The Australian Financial Review).

It was August 2021 when industry talisman Bill Beament publicly lamented gold’s lack of relevance for the decarbonisation trend, while Evolution Mining chairman Jake Klein said investors’ focus on decarbonisation had left gold in “the doghouse”.

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Hot consumer demand for larger ceramic tiles in new kitchens and bathrooms combined with a government scramble to secure “critical minerals” is driving minerals sands prices to levels not seen in at least a decade,

says the developer of one of the world’s largest projects under construction (reports The Australian Financial Review). Strandline Resources revealed on Friday that its mining contractor, Mine Site Construction Services, was preparing to start pre-production operations at its Coburn mineral sands project north of Geraldton in Western Australia in May, a few months before originally planned.

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Strandline Resources has raised A$50 million in a strongly supported placement to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors (reports MiningNews).

About 116.3 million new shares will be issued at 43c each, a 3.6% discount to the 10-day volume-weighted average price. Shaw and Partners and Morgans Corporate acted as joint lead managers and bookrunners to the placement with Euroz Hartleys acting as co-lead manager. "The strong demand for the placement, led by institutional investors, reflected the quality of Strandline's mineral sands growth portfolio and enables the company to capitalise further on the growing global demand for critical minerals products," Strandline managing director Luke Graham said.

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Priced to perfection or poised for a correction? That’s the question which investors should be considering as a mini-boom in commodities powers on against a background of international storm clouds.

A mid-week warning from the Bank of America (BofA) that the U.S. stock market has wandered into a bear trap ruffled a few feathers but not enough to deter optimists who saw signs of an easing in the Ukraine war as reason to keep on buying. It was a similar story in Australia where the all-ordinaries index rose by an agreeable 1.7% over the week, taking the gain for the past month to an impressive 7%. The metal and mining index did even better, up 4.8% this week and 10% for the month.

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Spectacular share price jumps on early-stage exploration results reflect investors’ appetite for leveraged exposure to red metal, with Tennant Minerals among those attracting attention. Plus DGO Gold looking cheap on Hemi and Canaccord tips Kingston.

Copper has not experienced the wild upswing in price that a range of other mineral commodities have in response Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the red metal has been as strong as you like against a backdrop of growing concerns around cohesive global economic growth. Sanction-hit Russia is a significant copper producer, accounting for about 4% of global production, most of which it exports, or of late, tries to export.

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A wave of upgrades is about to hit the mining and energy sector, as analysts rush to keep up with soaring commodity prices sparked by the conflict in Ukraine, prompting them to increase their commodity price assumptions (reports The Australian Financial Review).

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Plus, little-known Labyrinth Resources uncovers historic hits of over 100gpt as it prepares for JORC resource at new Canadian project and fresh drilling results fuel hopes that Rumble’s Earaheedy project in WA is a base metals province in the making.

Gold’s retreat from near-record levels to sub-$US2,000/oz has put a stop to the re-rating of the leading gold stocks, for the time being at least. The re-rating got going at least 10 days before Russia invaded Ukraine and was notable in that the second-tier gold stocks and developers were pretty much left behind. But in recognition that the current price ($US1,983/oz late on Thursday, with volatility in response to the next war headline the order of the day) still represents a seriously elevated gold price, the second-tiers and developers are in catch-up mode.

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