News - Fitzgerald Articles

It’s the most enduring thematic of our times, and now investors can get exposure at a significantly lower price thanks to the recent impact of rising rates and global strife.

Lithium stocks already showing first signs of recovery while Boss prepares for FID as uranium outlook charges up.   The global decarbonisation thematic is none too worried about the shakedown in equity markets over China’s slowdown and the impact of rising inflation/interest rates in the major economies. The thematic is alive and well. And it’s here to stay for decades to come as governments and companies alike combine forces to rein in global carbon emissions from the (renewable and sustainable) electrification of everything.

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Bellavista to hits the boards on Wednesday. Plus, PVW ready to put its strong bank balance to work in rare earths hunt and Battery Minerals sees plenty of smoke at gold prospect just 10km from rich Stawell mine

It is nice to think that amongst all the gloom, a bunch of investors will be having a knees-up at a Perth establishment next Wednesday to celebrate the listing of Bellavista Resources with its proposed ASX code of BVR. The prospectus for the $6.5m IPO is closed and as a measure of the demand for the 20c shares in the battery metals and uranium explorer in WA’s mid-west, it can be said the IPO was over before it began.

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Plus, Chalice stablemate Minerals 260 hunting for a Julimar of its own.

The junior explorers have been down in the mouth of late as the big switch to risk-off in equity markets takes its toll on their share prices. Given the on-going supportive backdrop of historically high commodity prices, the painful sell-off in the juniors has been something to behold. But among the gloom, the explorers can be relied on to serve up a reminder every now and then that impressive exploration results will win out over broader market weakness each and every time.

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Plus, newly-listed Maronan born with a polymetallic spoon in its mouth, Alicanto’s stunning silver-lead-zinc hit is almost 1oz-gold equivalent and Calidus set to pour first gold any minute.

Gina Rinehart is set to share in a Eureka! moment of sorts towards the back end of the year when Catalyst (CYL) releases a maiden resource estimate for its virgin Four Eagles gold discovery beneath Murray Basin sediments north of Bendigo. It is a Eureka! moment because the hunt for new gold deposits beneath cover to the north of where the 22 million ounce Bendigo goldfield “daylighted” has been going on for more than 10 years, without a resource estimate being made by Catalyst, or anyone else.

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Another record price for Pilbara Minerals’ product prompts MD Ken Brinsden to question analysts’ price assumptions. And Sandfire chief Karl Simich also has a message for the market: forget costs, focus on margins.

As is always the case in equity market shakedowns, there are babies thrown out with the bathwater. This time around it is the lithium babies that have been unceremoniously dumped by the professional money managers. There is really no excuse for it, remembering though that for every panicked seller there was a smiling buyer on the other side of the trade. Pilbara Minerals (PLS) demonstrates the point. It was trading happily at $3.43 a share at the start of April but has since been slammed 22% lower to $2.69, and that’s after a 9c lift in Thursday’s market.

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The red metal has not run with the likes of nickel and lithium, but the strong demand outlook means big inventories are very valuable, while explorers like Sunstone and Stavely are increasingly appealing amid the hunt for the next generation of producers.

It’s quarterly reporting time for the miners and things could get a bit messy due to some serious cost inflation. In some good old-fashioned field research, Goldman Sachs hit up 20 mining companies in Western Australia to gauge the level of cost pressures on the industry. It wasn’t pretty – labour costs 5-20% higher, higher diesel costs adding $US1-$US2 to Pilbara iron ore costs, higher chemical prices and a 10% increase in capex budgets driven by higher steel, labour and concrete costs.

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Lithium’s outlook remains strong but investors now need to look to juniors like Essential for growth; Plus, plenty of smoke in Nimy’s latest nickel hole and Larvotto offers investors three drilling programs.

Elon Musk is mulling whether he needs to get into lithium mining to bring down prices for the key battery material. He needn’t bother. It’s a commodity markets maxim that the cure for high prices is high prices. And high prices is certainly what the lithium market is going through at the moment. Talk of a perpetual shortage despite the high prices is nonsense because the high prices are triggering a supply response that in time, will bring prices back to more palatable levels for Elon and the rest of the EV brigade.

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Taxpayer loan for Australia’s first refinery highlights size of the prize for successful explorers. Plus, last week’s column on DGO-De Grey proves very timely, Calidus re-rates and Sovereign’s monster find yet to be appreciated.

The Federal Government’s $1.2 billion in soft loan support for Iluka’s (ILU) Eneabba rare earths refinery project highlights just how seriously Australia and the rest of the Western world are taking the challenge of reducing China’s dominance in the supply of the strategic metals. Apart from China’s current dominance of the industry, there is the need to increase supplies to see through the world’s decarbonisation challenge, with rare earths of one type or another critical to the technologies that can make a greener world happen.

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