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South Africa faces an uphill battle to restore its reputation as an international mining destination, with investors hesitant to back projects there after years of policy upheaval (reports The Australian).

South Africa faces an uphill battle to restore its reputation as an international mining destination, with investors hesitant to back projects there after years of policy upheaval (reports The Australian).

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Lucapa Diamond Company has posted a US$1.1 million net profit after tax for the first six months of the year (reports MiningNews).

Lucapa Diamond Company has posted a US$1.1 million net profit after tax for the first six months of the year (reports MiningNews). The result compared with a $4.3 million loss for the first half of 2018 and came despite a challenging period for the diamond sector. Diamond sales for the half were $29.4 million, including $22.1 million from the Lulo mine in Angola. At the new Mothae mine in Lesotho, diamond carat production was 36% ahead of plan, while operating costs were 14% below forecasts.

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Sunstone Metals managing director Malcolm Norris and his team believe they are on the cusp of a world-famous exploration hattrick. The team is already credited with finding the SolGold Cascabel and Intrepid Mining’s Tujuh Bukit deposits which have made many hundreds of millions of dollars for investors, Norris can now smell another major find at Sunstone’s Bramaderos project in Ecuador.

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Sandfire chief says this longer-term outlook means now is the time to get set for the next cycle. Plus, African minister’s appearance at local conference fuels hopes that its Mining Right is imminent.

Copper producers are rightly feeling a bit glum, most of them anyway. Prices for the bellwether of global economic activity have slipped in recent months to an uninspiring $US2.56/lb. That compares with the average price for the first half of the calendar year of $US2.80/lb and the 2018 calendar year average of $US2.96/lb. As noted recently by BHP’s VP of markets analysis and economics, Huw McKay, copper is being heavily influenced by the whipsawing of expectations with respect to the US–China trade confrontation.

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Congratulations to readers who took seriously last week’s departure from the norm with mention in this column of the long-neglected small oils sector because some of them could have doubled their money on Strike Energy.

Congratulations to readers who took seriously last week’s departure from the norm with mention in this column of the long-neglected small oils sector because some of them could have doubled their money on Strike Energy. Interest in Strike, and a number of other small oil stocks, such as Cooper Energy, Carnarvon Petroleum and Warrego Energy, has been building as a recovery in exploration accelerates after the painful oil-price crash of five years ago.

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The nature of annual profit reports is that they are but snapshots of history, writes Barry FitzGerald

The nature of annual profit reports is that they are but snapshots of history, writes Barry FitzGerald on (MiningNews). Northern Star's executive chairman Bill Beament must have had that in mind when fronting the group's investor call for its 2019FY profit report on Tuesday morning. Beament ran through the profit figures all right, but his real message was that we are in exceptional times for the Australian gold industry thanks to the local price for the yellow metal marching in to record territory.

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There aren’t many explorers capable of raising $18m right now, but Liontown (ASX:LTR) is having a hell of a year

There aren’t many explorers capable of raising $18m right now, but Liontown (ASX:LTR) is having a hell of a year (reports Stockhead). As lithium prices circle the drain, the WA small cap darling has consistently defied market sentiment. The stock is still up 331 per cent since the start of 2019. This is an aggressive timeline, with the immediate focus on completing a pre-feasibility study (PFS) by the end of 2019.

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Venturex listed on the ASX just before the markets went completely pear-shaped in 2009-2010 (reports Stockhead). Junior explorers were hit particularly hard, and Venturex (ASX:VXR) was forced to rationalise its portfolio and preserve cash as the value of equities plummeted and capital vanished from the markets. So it’s fitting that the company is currently developing a copper-zinc project, called Sulphur Springs, which is designed to be robust at any stage of the price cycle.

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