News - Fitzgerald Articles

The mining giant says lithium demand will grow 25-35% a year for next 10 years. Meanwhile, Pilbara Minerals is cleaning up in the here-and-now as spodumene shortage forces buyers to pay-up for spot cargoes.

Another Eastern States-lite Diggers & Dealers bash kicks off on Monday beneath Kalgoorlie’s big blue sky. Big blue sky perhaps but the weather forecast is not great. Just as well then that the biggest and the best, the mighty west, remains COVID-free because the delegates will need to get up nice and close to rub whatever they can to keep the late night chills at bay.

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Plus, Fenix locks in high iron ore prices, $8m Traka goes elephant hunting and Evolution raises a big lick well below the price of a week ago.

South Korea Inc has thrown its support behind the Dubbo rare earths and strategic metals project of Alkane spin-out, Australian Strategic Metals (ASX:ASM). A consortium of South Korean investors are to pump $340m into the holding company for the project in return for a 20% equity interest, as well a 10-year metal offtake agreement with the metals plant being built by ASM in South Korea.

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And speaking of hunger, is St Barbara about to consume Kin and kick-start a regional consolidation?

The nickel price has rallied hard since the setback earlier in the year which was triggered by news from China’s Tsingshan that it had plans to get into the battery materials space by converting a portion of its nickel pig iron (NPI) production in Indonesia into nickel matte. Hooray for them as there is unlikely to be a Western end-user likely to touch the stuff given the energy intensity involved in making NPI in the first place, and then using yet more to arrive at a suitable nickel matte.

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Plus, Macquarie backs up bullish lithium call with initiation note and ‘outperform’ on Liontown and newly-listed Ozz to hit the exploration ground running.

It’s a bit hard to know what’s more interesting – Bellevue (BGL) cranking up the resource estimate at its namesake gold project to 3 million ounces or heavyweight BlackRock taking on the 6% short position in the stock through steady purchases. The resource upgrade is in the here and now and has an immediate valuation implications, while BlackRock versus the shorts could end up anywhere, although there are signs the shorts are already beating a retreat.

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Plus, production challenges in the iron ore game point to prices continuing to beat bearish forecasts, which is good news for the new band of leveraged juniors like Fenix.

The rebound of the lithium sector has been nothing short of spectacular. So much so, it is fair enough for investors to wonder if the recovery from two years of misery when over-supply concerns dominated is all said and done. During that two years of misery, the commentary was that as lithium is abundant, which it is, demand would for ever and a day be comfortably met by the next big expansion, or the next big project.

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Sunstone hoping imminent drilling program in Ecuador will reveal such a beast. And Bellevue dangles juicy carrot with bumper drilling results which point to increased production. But will a peer pounce before then?

Glencore’s not-so-retiring retiring CEO Ivan Glasenberg has added his voice to the call that $US6.80/lb ($US15,000t) copper prices are required to incentivise the new production needed to meet the wave of demand coming for the electrification of everything. His call followed an earlier one by Goldman Sachs which was more specific in that copper would peak at Glasenberg’s $US6.80/b – it is currently $US4.19/lb compared with its 2020CY average of $US2.72/lb  – as soon as 2025.

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Plus, Antipa tantalises investors with a tale of nine rigs and four programs while Talisman counts the cash from a juicy iron ore royalty.

Back in the day, state schoolboys and girls would sit around the fire at the school camp and sing kumbaya. And they probably still do. It was different for the boys-only private schools. They preferred to sing about Daddy’s portfolio. One of their favourites went like this: We’ve shares in the very best companies; In tramways, tobacco and tin; In brothels in Rio ‘Janeiro; By god how the money rolls in. Singing about tobacco and brothels is not encouraged nowadays, and private investment in tramways is not an option.

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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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