News - Fitzgerald Articles

Nimble juniors lining up to test the new frontier in copper-gold exploration;

A bunch of junior explorers are as excited as junior explorers can be after the big time copper/gold potential of the Northern Territory’s Barkly region east of Tennant Creek was confirmed in a government-sponsored drilling program. The East Tennant region, as the boffins are calling it, is not quite an exploration hotspot just yet.

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Early results at Vulcan project show promise, but we’ve been here before. Plus, junior Inca set to drill big copper target of its own in Peru and Battery Minerals prepares for first holes in Victoria’s gold-rich Stawell corridor.

Has Andrew Forrest’s iron ore money printing machine Fortescue cracked the code and made a big discovery at the Vulcan iron oxide-copper-gold prospect in the backyard of the daddy of IOCG’s, BHP’s Olympic Dam in South Australia? Too early to know, but it’s fair to say there was lots of interest in interim results from two deep holes on the Vulcan North anomaly reported by Fortescue’s (FMG) junior partner in the Vulcan joint venture, Tasman Resources (TAS).

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Venturex among big winners as bumper copper price and placement to Bill Beament put strong wind in its sails. Caravel and Orion also pick up speed.

The red metal copper has become the white-hot metal. It has surged from an average of $US2.50/lb in the June half of last year to $4.20/lb. It’s a level not seen since the 2011 height of the China-led mining boom and is a response to tight supply at a time of optimism around economic growth and the demand surge coming from the battery-powered revolution in the electrification of transport and the decarbonisation of stationary power.

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Plus, $9m Trigg says its potash fertiliser project is set to generate rapid growth – and not just for fruit trees

Bellevue’s “stage one” feasibility study (FS) into the development of its high-grade namesake project in WA has lifted the lid on a “green” money making machine. Mind you, Bellevue’s 22% share price fall to 75.5c on Thursday’s release of the FS did not exactly reflect that outcome. As is usual with such studies in a down market for gold – the price has fallen from $US1,957/oz in early January to $US1,783/oz on rising US interest rates and the tech-led surge on Wall Street – there can be an over-reaction to the downside from so-called misses to expectations.

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Plus, strong iron ore prices mean Fenix EBITDA set to exceed its market cap and Orion’s rising share price boosts its project funding prospects.

Geoscientists that double as CEOs rarely if ever get to take a world-class discovery they have made through to the off-take, financing, construction and production phase. The reality is that 99% of them don’t want too either. It requires a different “skill set,” as they say. And besides, they would rather be out kicking rocks looking for their next career-defining discovery. So it was this week with Liontown’s long-serving CEO David Richards.

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And as the uranium sector begins to glow amid bullish price forecasts, Boss moves to finance production restart at South Australian project

Copper has been a star performer since mid-2020 in response to COVID production hits in Latin America, global stimulus, and the global decarbonisation push gathering momentum. The red metal averaged all of $US2.50/lb in the first (calendar) six months of 2020 and is now sitting pretty at $US3.54/lb. Much of the gain can be attributed to COVID-related supply concerns and COVID-related stimulus. Decarbonisation is the longer-term and potentially more explosive thematic, with copper supply shortages more or less baked in come 2025.

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Plus, shares in battery graphite producer Syrah hitch an EV ride while Mincor looks set to follow suit in the name of nickel

Buying into one of the best metals discoveries in recent times – Chalice’s Julimar near Perth – has just got a lot cheaper, even though its story has just got a lot better, such are the joys of investing in the resources space during periods of metal price volatility. Chalice (CHN) was off 13% in Thursday’s market to $4.04. Nothing particularly wrong with that given $4.04 compares with a pre-Julimar discovery 52-week low of 14.5c. But it is down from a recent high of $4.92.

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Plus, Liontown’s results fuel hopes it may be Chalice Mark II and Bellevue’s imminent feasibility study set to reveal ‘a moving feast to the upside’

Rex Mineral’s chief executive Richard Laufmann reckons we’re in a new commodities super cycle, with copper in particular to benefit. He is a big fella whose collection of motorcycles includes a Harley-Davidson, so there will be no disagreement here with his call. Besides, the price performance of copper since mid-2020 has been nothing short of spectacular. The red metal averaged $US2.66/lb in the first six months of last year but has since charged 38% higher to $US3.66/lb, or about 60% above its March 2020 lows.

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