News - Fitzgerald Articles

And Iluka’s bullish assessment of mineral sands prices is good news for Strandline as it ramps up construction of its Coburn project in WA.

It is hard to move the dial when market caps are $8-$20 billion like they are for the leading gold producers. They rely on the gold price to create share price momentum, and when the gold price is going through a consolidation phase at lower levels like it is now, that momentum is to the downside. It is against that backdrop that gold IPOs are attracting greater investor interest than the performance of the leading gold stocks – and gold’s retreat to below $US1800/oz – might have you believe.

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And again its juniors like Kalium and Trigg which offer the leverage. Plus, African Energy positions for big Queensland copper play and Argonaut sees much upside at WA gold developer Bardoc.

The need to “feed-the-world” thematic was on full display this week when BHP finally got around to approving a $US5.7 billion stage 1 development of its Jansen potash project in Canada. BHP reckons its got a 100-year business in the making as potash demand grows in response to global  population growth. The notion is that fertilisers like potash are needed in increasing amounts because crop yields have to rise to offset the pressure on food supplies from the dwindling availability of arable land, and because water is becoming a scare commodity.

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Gold juniors Breaker and Caeneus among those with overlooked lithium assets in their back pockets. Plus, copper spotlight turns on $26m Anax and Sunstone makes a promising start to porphyry drilling

The lithium sector remains on fire. So much so it has made it easy for analysts with their stock recommendations on the producers – buy the lot of ‘em. And that’s exactly what has been happening, with particular gusto too since Pilbara Minerals (PLS) revealed its first online auction of spodumene had gone off with a bang at $US1,250/t – more than double reference prices of earlier in the year. Joe Biden’s command – via an executive order – for electric vehicles to account for at least half of US auto sales by as soon as 2030 added fuel to the fire.

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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 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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