News - Fitzgerald Articles

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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Exploration poised to resume at spectacular Little Spring Creek find in WA and gem production on track for later this year at the Mothae project. Plus, Nagambie goes hunting for Fosterville-style bonanza gold

Long-time diamond buffs Miles Kennedy (chairman) and Stephen Wetherall (managing director) have positioned Lucapa Diamond Co (LOM) to become a rare thing before the year is out. The rare thing status will arrive when Lucapa becomes a diamond producer from not one, but two diamond mines where the average value of the rough diamonds is more than $US1,000 a carat.

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Plus, New Century Resources winning support with zinc production on track for August

Northern Star Resources and Dacian Gold are prime examples of the rewards to be had from showering some love and attention on mature gold projects. Give the geologists the time and funds to go and chase their best ideas and it is a fair bet that mines, and previously mined deposits, that were considered clapped out can quickly start to shine again. That is particularly so against a gold market backdrop which continues to provide strong support for rejuvenating exploration efforts through the $A700 an ounce margins to be had on the industry’s average cost of production.

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