Plus, Boss positioning to be first cab off the uranium rank and Kingston prepares to finish DFS on 2.5Moz Misima
It has been a champagne week for the ASX-listed lithium sector.
The first-up boost for the sector came from Pilbara Minerals (PLS), courtesy of the spectacular price achieved in the second auction of spodumene concentrate on its newbie online platform, the Battery Material Exchange (BMX).
Then there was Ioneer (INR) securing $US560 million ($A765m) in backing from South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater for its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada.
A bunch of juniors are about to follow-up a test hole drilled by Geoscience Australia which revealed strong potential for IOCG copper-gold deposits near Tennant Creek. Greenvale, Inca and Strategic Energy among those about to try their luck at the big time. And Nexus defies gold gloom with some bumper results.
It goes without saying that there is a strong appetite for copper exploration with some big upside potential now that the price of the red metal has well and truly consolidated around the $US4.20/lb level.
Plus, eyes on Ioneer amid expectations of an imminent selldown at its Nevada lithium-boron project
Plus, eyes on Ioneer amid expectations of an imminent selldown at its Nevada lithium-boron project, Liontown spinout Minerals 260 to give maiden investor webinar today and Zenith awaits assays from JV partner Rumble and its Earaheedy zinc-lead zinc discovery in WA.
It is an embarrassment for the gold sector that companies with Australian operations have been seriously outperformed this year by the ASX-listed west African gold producers.
Good on the likes of Perseus (PRU) and West African (WAF) for showing up their Aussie counterparts too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.