News - Market Insights

Silver has long sat in the shadow of gold as a kind of poor cousin (reports Stockhead).

Silver is more abundant than gold and found in higher concentrations, but is still considered a precious metal and trades at a far higher price by weight than base metals like nickel and tin. After hitting levels of around US$40/oz a decade ago prices spent most of the next 10 years at under half those levels. Exposure to the commodity is sparse on the ASX, and prices have suffered some hard times, largely missing the boom gold miners enjoyed from 2017 to 2020 before spiking upwards during the pandemic.

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Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI) has uncovered what it says is an “exceptionally high-grade gold zone” at its Mt York deposit, which is part of the wider Pilbara gold project in Western Australia (reports Small Caps).

Drilling at the 873,500 ounce Mt York deposit has led to the discovery of a new gold zone, which remains open at depth. The zone is located in “The Gap” between Main Hill and Breccia Hill historic workings. Drilling returned an “outstanding” new high-grade intercept of 32m at 3.79 grams per tonne gold from 124m, including 16m at 6.62g/t gold from 132m, and 4m at 15.7g/t gold from 144m. The company noted the intercept was the best in the company’s history of drilling at Mt York where 1,041 holes for 46,000m has been completed.

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Pilbara Minerals has underlined the strength of the surging lithium market with an online auction of product revealing price gains of nearly 80 per cent in just seven weeks (reports The West Australian).

The Ken Brinsden-led company late yesterday revealed its recently initiated Battery Material Exchange digital auction for 8000 dry metric tonnes of 5.5 per cent lithium concentrate (spodumene) received a highest bid of $US2240/t.

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It’s the shot being heard around the mining world (reports Chanticleer in The Australian Financial Review).

Just after 7pm on Tuesday evening, Perth-based lithium producer Pilbara Minerals announced it had conducted just its second-ever auction on the Battery Material Exchange, a platform it launched in March to sell unallocated tonnes of spodumene concentrate from its Pilgangoora complex, 120 kilometres from Port Hedland in Western Australia’s resource-rich Pilbara region.

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Minerals 260 will join a recent rash of spin-outs in the junior sector when it lists next month as a separate entity from parent Liontown Resources (reports The West Australian).

But unlike some of the recent crop, the uncoupling makes sense and looks well structured. Minerals 260 will house Liontown’s precious and base metals assets with a focus on the prospective Moora project and contiguous Koojan farm-in joint venture project with Lachlan Star. In March, Liontown reported an intersection of 44m at 1.6g/t gold from 200-244m at Moora’s Angepena prospect, which included 20m at 3.2g/t and 4m at 10.1g/t from the first RC hole drilled.

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Pilbara Minerals has confirmed Pilgangoora as one of the world’s largest hard rock lithium resource (reports MiningNews).

The company reported a 39% increase in measured, indicated and inferred resources to 308.9 million tonnes at 1.14% lithium oxide, 105 parts per million tantalum pentoxide and 0.59% iron oxide for 3.5Mt of containing lithium oxide and 71.7 million pounds of tantalum pentoxide at a 0.2% lithium cut-off grade. At a 0.5% cut-off, the lithium resource is 3.4Mt at 1.22%. Measured and indicated resources were up 59% to 2.46Mt of lithium oxide and 47.7Mlb of tantalum pentoxide.

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Lithium has a better claim than most commodities to be the “new oil.” It even comes with the latest geopolitical baggage (reports The Wall Street Journal).

Prices for the lithium-based chemicals that go into rechargeable batteries have soared this year as electric-vehicle sales have revved up, particularly in China. The average price for lithium carbonate, one of the two key compounds used by battery manufacturers, reached $US14,386 a tonne in August, according to Benchmark Minerals, up from $US6,124 in December.

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With Australian upstart Mincor securing the sort of financial support rarely offered to pre-revenue companies at a time when Andrew Forrest and BHP continue to battle over a Canadian nickel explorer (reports The Australian Financial Review).

Money continues to pour in for early-stage nickel stocks, with Australian upstart Mincor securing the sort of financial support rarely offered to pre-revenue companies at a time when Andrew Forrest and BHP continue to battle over a Canadian nickel explorer (reports The Australian Financial Review).

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