News - Fitzgerald Articles

Plus, Sipa’s cracking JV with Rio highlights project’s potential

Doubts expressed by some big name investment banks and others that over-supply would kill off the lithium boom have been swept aside in fine fashion by Kidman (KDR) and the leading marque for electric vehicles and battery storage of renewable energy, Elon Musk’s Tesla. Having said that, the point of difference here is we’re talking about battery grade lithium which sells for anywhere between $US12,000 and $US20,000 at the moment, not the direct ship ore and spodumene concentrates being shipped out of Western Australia by others for $US100/t and $US900/t respectively.

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Plus, Capricorn poised to be Australia’s next 100,000ozpa gold producer

Elon Musk reckons ‘boring bonehead’ questions on Tesla’s massive cash burn rate are not cool. He was equally sensitive on Tesla’s recent first-quarter investor call on the subject of cobalt, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, which is today’s interest. The cobalt price has increased almost four-fold in the past two years as the world frets about being reliant on the less-than-stable Democratic Republic of the Congo for as much as two-thirds of its needs to power the electric vehicle and renewable energy storage revolution.

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Plus, Encounter Resources’ enviable JV with Newcrest leaves it highly leveraged to exploration success

Finding a lightly-capitalised growth story in the ASX gold space is tougher than ever. The Aussie dollar gold price of more than $1,730/oz and the on-average margins of $700/oz which that offers up for those with near-term production potential has kind of made sure of that. But there are still a few out there which for one reason or another have been overlooked. NTM Gold (NTM) is a case in point. It is trading at 4.5c for a market cap of all of $15 million, which is pretty much the value of your average gold explorer nowadays without any resource ounces in the bank.

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Plus, ‘impatient’ investors turn on Breaker despite 624,000-ounce maiden resource

OZ Minerals’ managing director Andrew Cole had some positive things to say about the group’s West Musgrave nickel-copper-cobalt joint venture in Western Australia with Cassini Resources (CZI) at OZ’s annual meeting this week. He said the project was currently in pre-feasibility off the back of a robust scoping study and that OZ was looking to develop the Nebo-Babel deposit there into a “low-cost, scalable, long-life operation.

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Plus, demand for WA gold underpins warm reception for First AU float

Orion Minerals’ counter-cyclical gamble on the abandoned Prieska zinc-copper mine in South Africa’s remote Northern Cape province back in 2015 has come up trumps on three fronts – a new resource confirmation, bumper metal prices, and dare we say it, the rise to power of a more mining friendly president in Cyril Ramaphosa. Prieska successfully mined more than 47m tonnes of zinc-copper mineralisation from 1971 to 1991 when it was owned by the long-gone AngloVaal. It could have gone on with things if conditions were right to push beyond the original 45 million-tonne mine plan.

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Plus, Macquarie tips Kirkland Lake stock to ‘outperform’ thanks in no small part to its exceptional Fosterville gold mine in Victoria.

Zinc prices have come off a touch from the 10-year highs seen in the opening months of the year. But at the current price of $US1.47/lb - more than twice its low in 2016 – there can be no complaints about the metal’s performance, one driven by the possibility of an actual physical supply pinch if the world’s official and hidden stocks continue their dramatic slide.

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Plus, vanadium emerging as TNT for revitalised TNG

It is not often that this column kicks off with an item on Rio Tinto, or any mining company from the big end of town for that matter. But the convention is broken today for a good reason. It seems that Rio has made a copper discovery of note in Western Australia’s remote Paterson province. The find is suspected to be roughly 150km north-west of Newcrest’s Telfer gold-copper mine (which has produced more than 10 million ounces of gold with a very handy copper kicker over the years) on ground wholly-owned by Rio.

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The imminent drilling program to expand existing Walford Creek resource will be keenly watched by growth-hungry mid-tiers. Plus, David Flanagan’s Battery Minerals secures its mining licence, putting it on track for graphite production later this year.

OZ Mineral’s premium-busting $442 million agreed takeover bid for ASX-listed Brazilian copper and gold producer/developer Avanco has got the pundits wondering if OZ’s move signals more acquisitions of the juniors by the mid-tiers to secure growth opportunities are on the way. That OZ was happy to pay a 116% premium to snare Avanco with its suite of Brazilian production and developments assets was as sure a sign as there is that growth is back on the agenda for the cashed-up mid-tiers.

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