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Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg is plugged into commodities markets like no other. It comes from being able to draw on the intelligence gathering efforts of some 4000 Glencore marketing and trading types on the ground in about 50 countries.
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Look for where the world’s exploration hotspots are and it is hard to go past to go past Ecuador.
Just ask Newcrest and BHP Billiton. They had a shoot-out of sorts last year over Nick Mather’s Brisbane-based but London AIM listed SolGold.
SolGold is the one-time junior now worth more than $US800 million on the strength of its Cascabel copper-gold discovery in northern Ecuador.
There has been a flood of money in to the leading exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on the global junior and mid-tier gold sector, VanEck’s Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ).
And why wouldn’t that be the case? The US dollar gold price is up 12 per cent since the start of the year and the local price is now more than a spectacular $1700 an ounce.
Plus, Geopacific’s offer for Kula shows it sees big prize at Woodlark gold project
Unlike the gold space where floats and spin-offs have come thick and fast, there has been a real dearth of copper floats in response to the metal’s near 20 per cent price improvement in the past six months to around the $US2.60 a pound level.
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Unlocking the value of hidden assets by spinning them off in to a separate and focussed ASX listing is proving fertile ground for the junior mining sector.
More often than not it has been structural shifts in supply/demand scenarios, and the resultant impact on the pricing of commodities, that has given rise to the spin-off opportunity.