News - Market Insights

Hot consumer demand for larger ceramic tiles in new kitchens and bathrooms combined with a government scramble to secure “critical minerals” is driving minerals sands prices to levels not seen in at least a decade,

says the developer of one of the world’s largest projects under construction (reports The Australian Financial Review). Strandline Resources revealed on Friday that its mining contractor, Mine Site Construction Services, was preparing to start pre-production operations at its Coburn mineral sands project north of Geraldton in Western Australia in May, a few months before originally planned.

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Strandline Resources has raised A$50 million in a strongly supported placement to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors (reports MiningNews).

About 116.3 million new shares will be issued at 43c each, a 3.6% discount to the 10-day volume-weighted average price. Shaw and Partners and Morgans Corporate acted as joint lead managers and bookrunners to the placement with Euroz Hartleys acting as co-lead manager. "The strong demand for the placement, led by institutional investors, reflected the quality of Strandline's mineral sands growth portfolio and enables the company to capitalise further on the growing global demand for critical minerals products," Strandline managing director Luke Graham said.

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Developer Bellevue Gold expects to be able to beat rising costs as it develops its flagship mine in Western Australia’s Goldfields (reports MiningNews).

Strong drilling results outside the reserve is expected to result in an upgrade to the project's 1 million ounce reserve this quarter. New results included a standout 2.1m at 42.8 grams per tonne gold from 411.6m, including 0.6m at 142gpt gold at the Deacon North lode. The reserve update will also include a project review to take into account favourable results of project optimisation studies and advanced commercial discussions with contractors and suppliers.

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Calidus Resources A$106 million Warrawoona project in the Pilbara remains on track for first gold within weeks (reports MiningNews).

Commissioning of the plant started in late February and the company reported today that the semi-autogenous mill was ready for commissioning. The first ore should be fed through the mill by the end of the month, with first gold to be poured about two weeks later. "Commissioning of the plant by EPC contractor GR Engineering is now well advanced with the SAG mill, the single largest and most complex piece of equipment ready to go," Calidus managing director Dave Reeves said.

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Genesis Minerals has boosted resources for its Leonora gold project by 25% (reports MiningNews).

Measured, indicated and inferred resources stand at 39.3 million tonnes at 1.6 grams per tonne gold for 2.01 million ounces of gold. The company added 250,000oz at Puzzle, including an initial 232,000oz at the emerging Puzzle North discovery, 103,000oz at Admiral and 55,000oz at Orient Well at a discovery cost of A$27 per resource ounce. Recent drilling has focused on underexplored opportunities since the acquisition of the Kookynie tenements in mid-2020.

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New Genesis Minerals boss Raleigh Finlayson says the explorer won’t rush development plans with its flagship Leonora gold project but rather build up mineable reserves and wait for WA’s labour crunch to ease (reports The West Australian).

Speaking after the company announced a 25 per cent jump in its mineral resource to 2 million ounces, the former Saracen Mineral Holdings managing director said he would focus on achieving seven years of minelife (or about 1.2Moz) in reserve before flicking the switch on production. “Life becomes a little bit easier at seven years,” Mr Finlayson said.

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South Australian emerging uranium producer Boss Energy (ASX: BOE) says its latest engineering study has confirmed there will be strong financial returns when it re-opens the Honeymoon uranium mine in South Australia (reports Small Caps).

The final investment decision (FID) is expected once the recently announced $120 million placement is completed, and that decision will trigger immediate work on engineering, procurement and construction. Long lead items have already been evaluated and are ready for procurement. The front-end engineering design (FEED) report confirms last year’s cost estimates, with Honeymoon being economically robust project with an internal rate of return of 47% with a uranium price of US$60 per pound.

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The final assays from CZR Resources' sampling of Robe Mesa in Western Australia's Pilbara region have revealed additional iron ore outside the current resource that appears to be suitable for a direct shipping ore operation, highlighting the potential to grow mine life and production rates beyond 3Mtpa (reports MiningNews).

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