Pilbara Minerals chief eyes another spot sale as he ramps up second plant. Plus, Sunstone soars on ‘major’ gold-copper find and St Barbara spurned in offer for neighbour Kin.

The lithium stocks have been trading well off their highs in recent weeks. The broader equity market weakness in response to fears over the global economic impact of shortages and rising costs for good old-fashioned carbon sources of energy have been cited for the hit. It kind of works if the EV buildout was coming to a screeching halt, which it is not. If anything, governments can be expected to insulate the booming battery space from the energy shortages/rising costs, as looks to be the case in China.

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China’s power crisis boosted prices for all forms of energy this week, though Australia’s full hand of coal, oil, gas, uranium, and renewables helped suppress investor anxiety about the threat of stagflation, an unpleasant mix of value-destroying low growth and high inflation. Adding to the sense of a sea-change in underlying economic fundamentals was a fresh burst of concern about rising interest rates and the withdrawal of easy central bank money which has propped up global asset values.

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Trigg’s completed scoping study has outlined its flagship Lake Throssell project in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region as a robust new sulphate of potash project, positioning it as a potential top-10 global producer (reports Stockhead).

The study has defined a project capable of producing 245,000 tonnes per annum of sulphate of potash over an initial life of mine of 21 years at an all-in sustaining cost of $372 per tonne of SOP. Initial capital costs have been estimated at $378m with Trigg Mining (ASX:TMG) including a very conservative contingency of $70m while payback is expected in 4.5 years.

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When the wind was blowing and the gas was flowing, Britain’s energy market looked like an exciting place: a high-functioning, competitive market in which as many as 50 suppliers were jostling for customers, promising households ever-cheaper deals for their gas and electricity (reports The Australian Financial Review). But when the wind died down a few months ago, and the gas price paid in European markets surged fourfold, suddenly things began to look very different.

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Strandline Resources will proceed with full development of its Coburn mineral sands project in the Gascoyne after securing financial closure of a $150 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (reports The West Australian).

The loan is expected to help create 300 jobs during construction and 150 ongoing jobs after completion. Strandline said Coburn, which is targeting first production in the December quarter of next year, would capitalise on a strengthening price outlook for mineral sands and the growing demand for critical minerals. Mineral sands are used in ceramic tiles, pharmaceuticals, electronics, paint, plastics, titanium metal and the use of welding rods.

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Climbing uranium prices have generated a windfall for aspiring producer Boss Energy (ASX: BOE), which aims to capitalise on its strengthened position in project funding and offtake negotiations (reports Small Caps).

The company has been forging ahead with restart plans at its Honeymoon uranium mine in South Australia in a bid to take advantage of the growing uranium market. In an announcement today, Boss noted the spot price of uranium has risen from US$32.40 per pound in July to more than US$50/lb. The current spot price on Tuesday was US$41.25/lb, which exceeds the all-in cost of US$31.90/lb that the company forecast in June.

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7th October 2021

E79 Gold Mines has rocketed onto the ASX. In its first day of trading, shares in the junior traded as high as A27.5c, 37.5% above the 20c issue price of the initial public offering (reports MiningNews).

The company raised $7 million in an oversubscribed IPO managed by Euroz Hartleys. After offer costs and combined with existing cash, E79 has $9 million to advance its projects. Chaired by Stavely Minerals boss Chris Cairns, E79 will focus on underexplored areas of Western Australia. The company's flagship project is the Laverton South project, comprising of tenure in the Laverton tectonic zone. The project comprises the 100%-owned Lake Yindana project and a farm-in over St Barbara's Pinjin ground.

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Garimpeiro mentioned back on July 25 that he had grown a bit bored with the local gold exploration scene and that he was off to the wilds of West Africa in search of action (reports Barry FitzGerald on Stockhead) .

He came up with a couple of West African gold specialists to keep an eye on – Tietto (ASX:TIE) and Predictive (ASX:PDI) which were trading at 33.5c and 16.5c respectively. Tietto has since moved to 38c ahead of going into a trading halt on Friday, while Predictive has risen to 22c. So that’s gains of 13.5% and 33% respectively. They are more than handy gains given the gold price has fallen to six week lows, with investors giving ASX gold equities in general a lashing in response.

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