News - Market Insights

The planned restart of a mothballed uranium mine in Australia -- the world’s third-largest producer -- is a fresh sign that developers are beginning to respond to an improving demand outlook

The planned restart of a mothballed uranium mine in Australia -- the world’s third-largest producer -- is a fresh sign that developers are beginning to respond to an improving demand outlook and the support of the Biden administration for zero-emissions nuclear energy (reports Bloomberg).

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The option of taking a proposal for nuclear power in Australia to the next election has been considered in cabinet-level discussions as pressure grows within the Morrison government to prepare for a nuclear energy industry (reports The Australian).

The top-level political and policy discussions including Liberal and Nationals ministers involved the argument that the moratorium on nuclear energy could be lifted in the decades ahead to cut greenhouse gas emissions and replace reliance on fossil fuels. Politically, the option of the Coalition adopting a policy of future nuclear energy was considered too dangerous without bipartisan support from the ALP.

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Shares in Pilbara Minerals hit a new record high today on positive sentiment in the lithium market and further growth potential of the Pilgangoora operation in the Pilbara (reports MiningNews).

Pilbara shares reached A$1.58 in morning trade, up 5.7% and giving the company a market value of $4.55 million. Pilbara shares are now up nearly 540% over the past 12 months and 81% since the start of the year. The company was dropped from the S&P/ASX 200 in June last year when its shares traded as low as 24c, but was readmitted in March after sentiment in the lithium sector turned. Late yesterday, Pilbara reported "exceptional" drilling results from its Pilgangoora operation near the historical tenement boundary of the former Altura operation.

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A dearth of capital, construction wages one-third higher than rival countries, and a lack of university-educated specialists are among barriers to Australia developing the world’s first serious mine-to-lithium battery industry outside China

A dearth of capital, construction wages one-third higher than rival countries, and a lack of university-educated specialists are among barriers to Australia developing the world’s first serious mine-to-lithium battery industry outside China, according to a government report (reports The Australian Financial Review).

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Sandfire Resources has achieved a new shipping record, with sales from a single cargo of US$50 million (A$64.5 million) (reports MiningNews).

The shipment of 23,274 wet metric tonnes of copper concentrate from the DeGrussa operation left Geraldton bound for one of Sandfire's offtake partners in India. Record high copper prices meant the shipment broke the previous record of A$52 million, set in December 2020. "This shipment is higher in value even than many large iron ore shipments and sets an impressive new record for the DeGrussa operations," Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said.

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New World’s ongoing drilling continues to demonstrate the vertical and lateral continuity of mineralisation at its Antler project with further high-grade copper hits (reports Stockhead).

Drilling has highlighted the robustness of the Main Shoot with hole ANT58 intersecting a combined total of 16.5m of high-grade mineralisation consisting of:

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Lefroy Exploration says drilling has confirmed the 120m wide (to date) Eastern Porphyry has “at least” 180m of depth continuity below the discovery hit of 38m grading 7.63 grams per tonne gold and 0.56% copper from 134m (reports MiningNews).

Diamond coring is continuing having moved 40m north, and now 40m south, of the first line of follow-up drilling. Next assays are expected late June. Eastern Porphyry is part of the Burns prospect that's within Lefroy's Eastern Lefroy tenement package 50km southeast of Kalgoorlie. The copper and gold mineralisation hosted by both the diorite porphyry and basalt is considered by Lefroy to be a new style of mineralisation in the area. Lefroy ended the March quarter with A$2.9 million cash and forecast spending of $1.2 million in the current period.

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RareX (ASX: REE) has its eyes set on resource growth at its Cummins Range rare earths project as it begins the first diamond drilling campaign there in 39 years (reports Stockhead).

The last time such a program was carried out in 1982 the project, which sits 130km south of Halls Creek in WA’s Kimberley, was in the hands of CRA, now Rio Tinto. Since then the rare earths market has evolved significantly, with RareX among the explorers jostling for position to supply the tech-facing critical minerals to the world. Diamond drilling is the most expensive form of mineral drilling and is typically used to target mineralisation at depth. 3000m of the stuff is planned at Cummins Range to test for extensions along strike and below high-grade intercepts.

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