News - Prospector's Diary

Cobalt stocks led the way up in a short week on the ASX but the more interesting issue which is yet to be picked up by investors is the potential for a sea-change in iron ore, where the sell-off in low-grade producers could be coming to an end.

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Takeover time in the mining sector gathered pace in the shortened pre-Easter week when OZ Minerals launched a bid for copper explorer Avanco -- prompting a sell-off in OZ shares and serving as a warning for investors to watch out for over-eager managers.

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Two men dragged two old-fashioned minerals back into the limelight on stock markets this week with US President Donald Trump boosting gold as he arced-up his trade war with China and Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg reminding everyone that coal is not going away.

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A whiff of takeover activity livened up an already fully-charged battery metals sector during the week with lithium stocks moving higher but with even more interesting off-market action in cobalt that could have set the scene for roof-raising cobalt boom over the next few months.

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Daimler, the German company which makes Mercedes Benz cars, gave investors in nickel stocks cause to smile this week even if the news of what its head of research said at the Geneva motor show has been slow to filter through to the Australian mining industry.

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Lithium stocks took a hit on Tuesday, rebounded on Wednesday and in some cases, ended the week higher than they started, which all leads to the question of what caused the Tuesday sell-off and was it significant?

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The power of an apple is well known, either in keeping the doctor away or for pleasing a teacher. But what Australia’s mining industry learned this week is that Apple, of the technology species, is emerging as a powerful driver of future battery metal demand.

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Gold resumed its leadership role in commodity and currency circles this week thanks to the intervention of three old men, two speaking with overdue clarity and one continuing to behave like a bull in a china shop.

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