News

Iron ore, coal and oil ore will be the commodity winners when the financial is ruled off next Wednesday. Gold, however, will end flat when looked at over the full 12-months, while copper and other battery metals continue to shape as next year’s winners.

In a nutshell, that’s where we have been in financial year 2020/21 and where we appear to be headed as financial markets say goodbye to a roller-coaster ride dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and government spending designed to stave off a depression. By this time next year, a different picture will emerge, probably one dominated by the struggle to reel in the excess cash created in reaction to the pandemic which means inflation and interest rates will be one of big issues to watch, with energy transition another.

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Exploration and discovery news will become more important than ever for investors in Australian resources after this week’s intervention by China in commodity markets followed by another warning from the U.S. that higher interest rates are on the way.

The Chinese plan to sell surplus material from government stockpiles of critical metals such as copper and nickel has had a dampening effect on prices, while the U.S. central bank’s interest rate signal mean that gold faces a tough time. Both of those events at the top of the investment food chain had been widely expected as markets rattled by the Covid-19 pandemic start to normalise, radiating out ripples of uncertainty.

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Boss Energy set to feed investor appetite for near-term uranium producers with release of pivotal feasibility study. Plus, the runaway share prices of Coda and Sovereign show we were on the mark. And Black Canyon prepares to drill

Uranium stands as the coiled spring of the commodities space. At some point, the price of the nuclear fuel is going to take off. That’s the broad expectation out there. Ask around about the commodity to watch in the next 12 months and the answer increasingly comes back as uranium. Maybe so, but the reality is that at $US32/lb (spot), the uranium price remains well below the $US60/lb price considered necessary to incentivise the investment in new supply required to fill the ever-widening gap between supply and long-term demand.

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It gave the world Covid-19 and now it looks like China is giving the world inflation and while some people might not see the connection between Covid and inflation, they are both a threat and an opportunity for investors.

To understand the significance of an inflationary outbreak, you only have to look back 18 months to see how a disease can turn financial markets upside down. Heavy losses at the start and fat profits later. Inflation, if allowed to rise too far, is an equally dangerous infection which destroys the value of certain types of investment (especially cash), but the flipside is that it improves the performance of hard physical assets such as property, gold and other commodities.

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Joint venture partners Coda Minerals and Torrens Mining have uncovered intense iron oxide-copper gold (IOCG) alteration with copper-sulphide mineralisation

intense iron oxide-copper gold (IOCG) alteration with copper-sulphide mineralisation while drilling at the Emmie Bluff Deeps target within the Elizabeth Creek copper project in South Australia (reports Small Caps). The first deep diamond hole drilled at the target encountered a sequence of approximately 200m of intensely haematitic and altered sediments and granites, including 50m of moderate-to-intense copper-sulphide mineralisation consisting of chalcocite, chalcopyrite and bornite.

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Another whiff of inflation and hint of rising interest rates stirred financial markets this week, along with a warning of greater risks ahead from two big name investors (and a long-dead economist).

Larry Fink and Jeremy Grantham sang from the same gloomy hymn sheet, which is a favorite of grumpy old men who have seen countless market cycles -- and so too would Adam Smith, if he had not died 231 years ago. Fink is the key man in the threesome because he runs BlackRock, the world’s biggest fund manager. He warned that stimulus spending would create an inflation spike which would be a “pretty big shock” for most people, especially novice investors who have little concept of the value-corroding nature of inflation.

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Greenvale Mining is gearing up to drill its “mighty” Georgina iron oxide-copper-gold project in the Northern Territory (reports MiningNews).

It comes days after BHP formally entered the search for copper in the NT via a A$22 million farm-in and joint venture with Encounter Resources over the Elliott project, northwest of Tennant Creek. Greenvale's Georgina project is east of Tennant Creek. The project comprises seven granted tenements and two under application, covering 4475sq.km.

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The Pilbara Minerals founder plans to do it all again. And Liontown’s new MD is embarking on a roadshow of his own to explain the key points of difference around his company’s big WA lithium project.

It is almost six years since Neil Biddle hit the Eastern States on a roadshow for a then-obscure little thing called Pilbara Minerals. Pilbara (PLS) was trading at 5c a share at the time for a market cap of $32 million and it has to be said that Biddle got a lot of confused looks from investors at the June 2015 investor lunches in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Pegmatites? Spodumene? Lithium? Electric vehicle revolution? What was he on about? Pass the bottle.

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