Proactiveinvestors Australia Proactive Investors Australia https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au Proactiveinvestors Australia Proactive Investors Australia RSS feed en Fri, 18 Jan 2019 19:01:23 +1100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Tony Locantro on the merits of using full service brokers ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11872/bulls-bears--brokers-tony-locantro-on-the-merits-of-using-full-service-brokers-11872.html Fri, 18 Jan 2019 12:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11872/bulls-bears--brokers-tony-locantro-on-the-merits-of-using-full-service-brokers-11872.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Dale Gillham outlines new industries of opportunity ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11871/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-outlines-new-industries-of-opportunity-11871.html Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:30:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11871/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-outlines-new-industries-of-opportunity-11871.html <![CDATA[News - Cobalt set for bearish 2019 but demand fundamentals remain strong ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212832/cobalt-set-for-bearish-2019-but-demand-fundamentals-remain-strong-212832.html Following strong upwards trends in 2017, the cobalt price in 2018 climbed to reach an all-time high of US$95,250 a tonne in March before plummeting more than 50% by year-end.

The market volatility across the year was shared by most other base metals, fuelled by the US-China trade dispute as well as China’s contracting economy.

Market sentiment for cobalt shifted further due to announcements from major battery makers such as Tesla to decrease the amount of cobalt to be used in their batteries.

It was also affected by a supply-side response in the form of larger artisanal production from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which put medium-term pressure on prices.

Six-year cobalt price. Source: tradingeconomics.com

  Strong demand fundamentals

Production from the DRC has added to volatility due to considerations of ethically-sourced cobalt and the country’s recent contested elections.

Nonetheless cobalt demand remains strong and its use in lithium-ion batteries will potentially triple by 2026.

This was given a jump-start late last year when Katanga Mining (TSX:KAT) halted export sales at its Kamoto mine in the DRC after identifying uranium in its cobalt production.

Cobalt demand increased at a rate of 8% per year from 2010-2017, according to Roskill, mainly driven by demand from the battery sector which now accounts for more than half of total cobalt consumption.

Demand for cobalt in batteries is predicted to grow at 14.5% a year to 2027, which, coupled with increases in other end-uses such as nickel alloys used in aerospace, paint a rosy picture for cobalt outlook across the next decade.

‘Demand will continue to grow’

The 2018 price correction was expected by some analysts, with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Casper Rawles noting he had anticipated the market to correct but was somewhat surprised by how much.

Rawles said: “There were some exceptions to the rule, but from the end of quarter one and throughout 2018, we’ve seen prices decreasing and continuing to fall.”

Explaining the downward trend, Rawles pointed to the increase in the price basis of raw material feedstocks from the DRC going into China and the resulting credit availability and cash flowing in China.

He remained cautious looking ahead, saying “demand will continue to grow, consumption of lithium-ion batteries is going to grow, but as of right now there’s enough cobalt around to meet the needs of the market”.

Rawles expects the recent election uncertainty in the DRC to potentially have small supply disruptions but these would be short-lived and have no impact on prices.

Advanced technology applications

Most cobalt is mined as a by-product of copper or nickel and is reliant on the strength of those markets.

The US Geological Survey estimates that 43% of world cobalt production in 2015 was from copper mining and 44% from nickel.

There is only one modern primary cobalt operation, the Bou-Azzer mine in Morocco, but that only contributes around 2% to global production.

Cobalt is useful in the manufacture of varying products due to its ferromagnetism and wear-resistance when alloyed with other metals.

The transition metal retains its magnetism at high temperatures and can be used in advanced technology applications as well as in superalloys and as a refining catalyst.

  Diversification of supply sources

More than 60% of the world’s cobalt production comes from the DRC, of which 10-25% is estimated to be artisanal in nature.

According to the US Geological Survey, total global cobalt production in 2017 was 110,000 tonnes, down from 111,000 tonnes the previous year.

The DRC contributed 64,000 tonnes in 2017 with Russia in second place at 5,600 tonnes.

Australia and Canada, the third and fourth highest producers respectively, have had added interest as cobalt jurisdictions due to stable mining codes, established supply chains and promising cobalt developments.

Darton Commodities Limited estimates that annual cobalt demand will exceed 120,000 tonnes by 2020, with further demand growth linked to potential technological advancements in the battery space.

The global hybrid and electric vehicle market grew by 33.2% in 2017, according to MarketLine data, and demand is predicted to keep rising through 2020.

This could potentially create substantial shortages in cobalt as early as 2022 with current production estimates.

A number of companies are actively developing cobalt projects in Australia and Canada which may soon begin contributing to global production if demand predictions and supply-side challenges persist.

Chinese contraction causes medium-term price weakness

Data shows China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has decreased for the past five consecutive quarters and the country’s leader Xi Jinping has remained vague on Beijing’s plans for a wider economic stimulus.

In terms of both supply and consumption China is a key market for base metals and its economic growth has a strong impact on prices and market sentiment.

According to Darton Commodities, China accounts for more than 80% of the production of cobalt chemicals and it remains a key producer of batteries.

Overall 2018 GDP growth for China is anticipated to be 6.6% and it is expected that the Chinese government will lower its economic growth target to 6%-6.5% in a March parliamentary session.

Forecasts from the International Monetary Fund for world GDP growth are 3.7% for both 2018 and 2019, including slower growth for the US and China at 2.5% and 6.2%, respectively.

India’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.4%.

Cobalt end-uses. Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

  Trade dispute foments uncertainty

Talks between the US and China are ongoing and have assuaged some investor concern, but until the dispute is concretely resolved the market uncertainty will persist.

According to Fastmarkets MB Research, China is planning new incentives to boost domestic consumption for goods associated with metal demand including auto and home appliances.

Along with any further economic stimulus, the measures could spark a brief recovery in metals prices but would need an established trade deal to sustain upwards price pressure.

Scotiabank analysts reported in mid-October that the global trade dispute was not only the primary driver of the base metals slump but that also it would continue to have an affect up to 2020 and potentially beyond.

Scotiabank said: “US-China trade concerns remain front-and-centre for commodity markets with no obvious end in sight.

“We now believe that the US-China trade dispute will remain a slow-burn drag on industrial commodity sentiment through to the 2020 US presidential election.”

The Scotiabank analysts pointed out that prices were down despite falls in base metal stockpiles, with nickel inventories at five-year lows and copper down 50% over the last six months.

Cobalt driven by Chinese consumption

With demand sustained from downstream manufacturing sectors producing smartphones and electric vehicles, and supply primarily constrained to the volatile DRC, cobalt prices are likely to remain strong in future.

China imports 99.3% of the DRC's cobalt exports, making it the world's largest cobalt importer at 38% of global imports.

In order to secure stable supply, Chinese state-owned enterprises are increasingly investing in cobalt production in the DRC, with Bloomberg noting eight of the fourteen cobalt mines in the DRC are Chinese-owned.

The largest example is China Molybdenum which is now the world's second largest cobalt producer behind Glencore.

Limited corporate social responsibility and a lack of awareness of local supply chains have given Chinese enterprises an advantage in securing products for its cobalt refining and chemical industry.

Cobalt producers will need to produce more than 200,000 tonnes of cobalt in battery-grade chemicals a year by 2028, according to Benchmark, pushing total demand to 250,000-300,000 tonnes including consumption in other products.

Global cobalt resources by jurisdiction. Source: United States Geological Survey

  Defining new cobalt jurisdictions

While the DRC is expected to remain the world’s primary supplier of cobalt in the foreseeable future, the issues plaguing the mining industry in the central African country have prompted a spike in exploration for cobalt in other jurisdictions.

A number of Australian cobalt and battery metal developers are advancing work on projects both at home and abroad, aiming to define and extract economic cobalt resources.

READ: Artemis Resources recommences drilling at Carlow Castle, resource update pending

Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) recently resumed aircore drilling at its 100%-owned Carlow Castle Gold-Copper-Cobalt Project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Results from the program will be combined with other exploration data to design a resource development drill program scheduled for the March quarter 2019.

A JORC resource update is underway using the near-24,000 metres of previous drill data and is expected this year.

Initial metallurgical results indicate that Carlow Castle ore is amenable to low-cost gravity gold recovery and base metal flotation processes.

READ: Australian Mines’ BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) released a definitive feasibility study (DFS) last year for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium in Queensland, valuing the project at $697 million.

The DFS estimates life-of-mine revenues of about $513 million a year, with average EBITDA at $295 million per year.

The company signed a binding term sheet with SK Innovation last year for the sale of all cobalt and nickel sulphate to be produced at Sconi and is also progressing financing discussions.

Historical mining in the area has produced 15,000 tonnes of cobalt and 327,000 tonnes of nickel.

READ: Blackstone Minerals raises $1.2 million for further exploration in Canada and Western Australia

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) is developing its landholding around the Little Gem project in Canada, which is rapidly emerging into British Columbia’s premier cobalt belt.

Last year Blackstone identified multiple new large-scale targets at the Jewel copper-gold-cobalt prospect within Little Gem.

The Jewel prospect is 1.1 kilometres northeast of the Little Gem prospect and is associated with the high-grade Jewel Underground Mine with historical production of 51 tonnes between 1938 and 1940.

Historical average mining grades of 73 g/t and 0.4% copper have been supported by Blackstone rock chip samples assaying up to 98 g/t gold, 3.2% copper and 0.1% cobalt.

  READ: Cape Lambert Resources highlights value in tailings pipeline

Cape Lambert Resources Limited (ASX:CFE) is focused on its Kipushi Cobalt-Copper Tailings Project in the DRC, from which it aims to recover cobalt from old tailings left behind in the hunt for copper.

The company has ambitions to produce thousands of tonnes of material a year near the town of Kipushi in the DRC’s Katanga Copper Belt.

The tailings dam extends for a kilometre, is more than 400 metres wide and up to 15 metres deep, and has enough material to last as long as five years.

Cape Lambert executive chairman Tony Sage said the company expected to produce about 2,900 tonnes of cobalt and 7,500 tonnes of copper a year, worth about US$200 million.

READ: Cobalt Blue’s Thackaringa drilling returns broad, high-grade cobalt results

Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) is developing the Thackaringa Cobalt Project in western NSW with joint venture partner Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd (ASX:BPL).

Drilling at the Pyrite Hill deposit late last year reinforced the project’s potential for resource growth and a substantial mine life.

Pyrite Hill represents 36% of the existing 72 million tonne mineral resource and about 36% of the contained cobalt inventory of 61,500 tonnes.

Results from the first seven infill holes have confirmed substantial thicknesses of cobalt mineralisation consistent with the existing geological model.

They include: 68 metres at 1,128 ppm cobalt, 13.4% iron and 13.4% sulphur from 116 metres; and 52 metres at 1,042 ppm cobalt, 11.1% iron and 11.2% sulphur from 93 metres.

READ: Corazon Mining to advance knowledge of Mt Gilmore, Cobalt Ridge this quarter

Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) aims to define a large deposit at the Cobalt Ridge prospect within its Mt Gilmore Cobalt-Copper-Gold project in northeast NSW.

The company is also developing the Lynn Lake Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Sulphide Project in Canada.

Drilling at Cobalt Ridge included 5 metres at 2.14% cobalt within a broader intersection of 27 metres at 0.47% cobalt from 49 metres.

Results from a geochemical soil sampling program which ended in November indicated cobalt and copper values of up to 450 ppm and 1,060 ppm, respectively, and rock chip samples have graded up to 1,795 ppm cobalt and 16.3% copper.

  READ: Fe Limited advances copper-cobalt in DRC and is leveraged to highly prospective ground in WA

Fe Limited (ASX:FEL) is advancing its Kasombo Cobalt-Copper Project in the DRC towards production in the first quarter of 2020.

Kasombo is 25 kilometres from the DRC’s second largest city, Lubumbashi, in the Katanga Copper Belt.

Recent trenching returned elevated cobalt results including: 10 metres at 0.21% cobalt from 42 metres; and 12 metres at 0.23% cobalt from 17 metres.

FEL executive chairman Tony Sage said Kasombo could be a very viable copper-cobalt mine, but needed a little bit more work on the ground.

READ: Great Boulder Resources prepares for deeper drilling of nickel-rich Eastern Mafic target

Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) is continuing to drill test targets at its Eastern Mafic nickel-copper-cobalt deposit within the Yamarna project in Western Australia.

A revised geological model based on geophysics and drilling completed in the Decemvber quarter infers that the Eastern Mafic intrusion was formed at depth and deep drilling will test this theory.

The company believes that drilling to date, which has returned encouraging copper, nickel and cobalt results, has only intersected the top of the intrusion, leaving the main body untested.

READ: Havilah Resources’ native title agreement paves way for mining lease at copper-cobalt-gold project

Havilah Resources Ltd (ASX:HAV) is progressing development of its Kalkaroo Copper-Cobalt-Gold Project in South Australia as well as its nearby Mutooroo Copper-Cobalt Project.

The company is aiming to find additional resources at Mutooroo to complement the maiden 100 million tonne resource at Kalkaroo, which contains 23,000 tonnes of cobalt.  

Havilah technical director Chris Giles said a 2018 achievement at Mutooroo was to confirm the cobalt potential of deeper ground at the project, with economic levels of cobalt, copper and gold found.

Mutooroo’s deposit contains 195,000 tonnes of copper and 8,400 tonnes of cobalt.

  READ: Meteoric Resources begins diamond drilling program at Joyce in Canada

Meteoric Resources NL (ASX:MEI) has recently begun drilling at its Joyce Copper-Cobalt-Gold Project in western Ontario, Canada.

Joyce is Meteoric’s highest priority target based on thick sequences of undrilled massive and disseminated sulphides exposed at surface.

Historical high-grade assays from Joynce include 11% copper, 0.3% cobalt and 8.07 g/t gold, confirming the potential of the system.

The mineral explorer also identified 18 cobalt targets from an airborne electromagnetic (EM) survey at its Mulligan East and Iron Mask projects last year.

READ: Marquee Resources prepares Werner Lake resource update, metallurgical sample

Marquee Resources Ltd (ASX:MQR) expects to update the mineral resource estimate for its high-grade Werner Lake Cobalt Project in Canada this quarter after earning into a 30% stake last year.

Drilling at Werner Lake has returned strong results such as 2.6 metres at 0.313% cobalt and 0.177% copper from 316.4 metres, including 1.6 metres at 0.406% cobalt and 0.176% copper.

Werner Lake features cobalt sulphide mineralisation and was discovered in the 1920s and mined in the 1940s.

Marquee’s other projects include the Skelton Lake Cobalt Project, also in Ontario, and the Clayton Valley Lithium Project in the US state of Nevada.

 

READ: Panoramic Resources on track for first shipment from recommissioned nickel-copper-cobalt project

Panoramic Resources Ltd (ASX:PAN) is aiming to recommission its Savannah Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project in WA with the first concentrate shipment scheduled early next month.

The ramp-up to full underground mining production continues for the project in the Kimberley region while the process plant achieved a daily throughput rate of 2,000 tonnes early this month.

The company also holds platinum group metals and gold assets and its goal is to become a major diversified mining company.

READ: White Cliff Minerals’ new assays feature 40 metres at 0.22% cobalt and 1.75% nickel

White Cliff Minerals Ltd (ASX:WCN) is developing its Coronation Dam Cobalt Project in Western Australia, recently completing a 5,000-metre reverse circulation drilling program.

Highlighted drill results include: 40 metres at 0.22% cobalt and 1.75% nickel from 8 metres; and 36 metres at 0.1% cobalt and 0.88% nickel from surface.

The drilling has increased the extent of high-grade mineralisation to more than 600 metres long, 400 metres wide and with an average thickness of 20 metres.

Coronation Dam is 90 kilometres south of Glencore’s Murrin Murrin mining operation and 45 kilometres south of GME Resources Ltd’s (ASX:GME) proposed nickel-cobalt processing facility.

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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:31:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212832/cobalt-set-for-bearish-2019-but-demand-fundamentals-remain-strong-212832.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Barry Dawes shares holistic analysis on gold ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11859/bulls-bears--brokers-barry-dawes-shares-holistic-analysis-on-gold-11859.html Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11859/bulls-bears--brokers-barry-dawes-shares-holistic-analysis-on-gold-11859.html <![CDATA[News - Vanadium prices remain strong into 2019 as further new energy applications are developed ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212553/vanadium-prices-remain-strong-into-2019-as-further-new-energy-applications-are-developed-212553.html Vanadium was the best performing battery mineral in the last 12 months, based on price increases, with most of global supply going to steel production.

Present vanadium supply is largely dominated by coke production in steel markets, with vanadium use in batteries growing from a 1% share in 2015 to 2% in 2017.

In that same period, however, vanadium consumption from steel also increased its share from 68% to 76%.

More than 90% of vanadium consumption goes towards steel where an addition of 0.2% vanadium increases steel strength up to 100% and reduces weight by up to 30%.

Rising vanadium prices over the last three years have been partially caused by lower global inventory levels as total supply remains under pressure, as well as growing demand in traditional and new markets.

 

 

Produced primarily as a by-product, vanadium demand in standard applications such as strengthening steel will continue to grow and will be diversified through potential energy storage applications.

The mineral itself is derived from vanadium-titanium-magnetite (VTM) deposits, shale-hosted deposits or as secondary products from fossil fuels and uranium.

Near-term growth will be driven by steel production in developing countries as well as higher standards in rebar which will require more vanadium.

CSA Global principal consultant Tony Donaghy said vanadium consumption still had substantial room to grow in Asian steel markets due to further improvements in grade and purity.

Demand for vanadium use in rebar is increasing 6% annually and new Chinese rebar standards have doubled to reach the rest of the world.

Donaghy pointed out that analysts had predicted a significant deficit in vanadium by 2027, based on current projects in the pipeline and expected demand trends.

He also noted that a substantial downscaling of fossil fuel reliance in vanadium production was projected by 2050, potentially focusing global production on magnetite and shale-hosted deposits.

READ: Vanadium critical for renewable energy storage, hears Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference

DJ Carmichael director of corporate finance Oliver Morse told Proactive Investors that it was always unusual to see a strong commodity price performance over one year considering vanadium's history of spikes and dramatic falls.

Noting the typical skepticism around vanadium prices, Morse said we might see some volatility in the price this year but due to structural changes in the demand side it won't fall as it had done in the past.

Morse said: "Battery consumption is the big unknown - the view is that at some point vanadium redox batteries will take off.

"Will that be in the next 24 months? Who knows.

"Nonetheless, it gives a nice blue sky element to vanadium, a diversification away from the steel market which is helpful if you are a developer like AVL.

"On the supply side it's also very interesting - environmental regulations in China ... have clearly had an impact and I think the price movement is well-explained by that."

Morse said there were currently only three specialist vanadium producers - Largo Resources Ltd (TSE:LGO), Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) and Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN) - and that it was an interesting time for developing companies to be coming into the market.

He continued: "From a market point of view it's hard to have a lot of visibility.

"A lot of the information you can get is by word-of-mouth from those who have spent time in China's marketplace - it's not an LME price matter which partly explains the volatility, but structural changes will allow developers to get their projects funded."

Vanadium redox flow battery

An emerging application for vanadium is its use in the energy storage sector through vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB).

The VRFB is a rechargeable flow battery that uses vanadium in different oxidation states to store energy, utilising vanadium’s unique property to exist in four different oxidation states when in solution.

The flow battery has unique advantages including high lifecycles, no capacity loss over time, simple scalability, improved safety and immediate and rapid energy release.

It is estimated by Roskill that vanadium demand in VFRB markets could rise to 31,000 tons by 2025, an enormous increase on the 1,000 tons that went to battery users in 2014.

Source: Bushveld Minerals

 

Low supply, high demand

Speaking to Proactive Investors, Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) managing director Vincent Algar explained vanadium’s strong price levels in terms of supply and demand.

Algar said: “Last year we saw the price move significantly up – it started at the end of 2015 and really bottomed-out at about $2.20 a pound [before moving] up principally because of the supply and demand imbalance that was occurring.

“[This] stemmed from an event about a year before that … where South African company High Veld Steel went into receivership and that cut a whole lot of tonnes out of the vanadium market and those tonnes are basically never to return.

“Demand was low so you ended up drifting down in price – as soon as you got to $2 a pound, you started to put a lot of people under pressure.

“So we basically had a gap in supply and an increase in demand all happening at the same time, that’s really what has driven the price up so high.

“It rose up to near-long term highest ever pricing last year, nearly touching $30 a pound, but that was an unsustainable peak and it started to come down.”

Positive price outlook into 2019

After a rallying run across 2018, the vanadium price saw a slight decrease at year-end, however this was seen by most analysts as a short-term dip.

Increasing demand in steel alloys and further development of vanadium battery applications, coupled with limited supply until 2022, is expected to sustain higher prices into 2019.

Algar continued: “We’ve seen the price come off and we that there’s a band between $10-$15 which we think the vanadium price is going to settle into.

“If it settles into that band it will effectively have moved off its long-term band which is about $5-$7 as a bottom band.

“If you look at vanadium over the last 15 years, it’s got two peaks.

“The most common peak is around $8 and the second peak is around $13 – so those are the two common pricing areas that the price will live in.

“The pre-feasibility study (PFS) we did at Gabanintha was done at $8 – we looked at the pits at $8 – but then we [also] reported $13 and $20.

“We think that over 25 years [the price] sits at $8 but at the moment it’s going to be comfortably sitting at the $10-$15 range because there’s simply no new supply.”

 

Flow batteries critical for renewable energy

In his presentation at the Technology and Low Emission Minerals (TLEM) Conference at Perth in November, ScandiVanadium Ltd (ASX:SVD) director and Bannerman Resources Ltd (ASX:BMN) managing director Brandon Munro briefed the audience on the critical role VRFBs will play in renewable energy.

He told investors and stakeholders that understanding renewable demand, and the role renewables can play, was intrinsically linked to his understanding of nuclear power demand.

Referring to the role of VRFBs and their energy storage solution, Munro said: “There’s a key piece missing, and that is that intermittent renewables, without a storage solution, are hugely destructive to the existing grid infrastructure that we have spent the last 100 years building.”

Munro added that without storage capacity to back-up intermittent renewables, he believed our societies would start to reject renewables because they would mess with grid infrastructure.

This leaves only two viable storage solutions for grid power – pumped hydro, which has a number of constraints, and the vanadium redox flow battery.

Multiple new energy applications

Algar shared Munro’s views on vanadium’s crucial place as a new energy mineral, highlighting the high-volume market potential for vanadium in batteries as well as its application in other developing technologies.

Speaking to Proactive, Algar noted the potential to use vanadium as part of the cathode process in lithium-ion batteries, which has significant benefits.

Explaining other avenues being explored for potential product development using vanadium, Algar detailed an innovation using vanadium oxide-based film as a window tint.

He said: “Vanadium has got this really bizarre property – like a photo effect – where if it’s put in a film on a window and gets over a certain temperature it becomes opaque.

“[This] is a huge energy-saver from the building’s point of view and has a huge implication not only for vanadium consumption but for energy use.

“There’s a lot of innovation happening in the vanadium space which involves other energy applications.

“For us as new companies, looking at new developments in our processing design, we have to consider where our markets will be.

“With the VRFB, its special place in grid energy storage and the growth of that market … is an incentive for us to stay involved with that side of it because it diversifies our ability to supply to disconnected markets.

“It means you can be selling to flow battery producers, energy retailers and producers, and you can be selling to the steel market – and because they’re in different cycles you’re in a good position."

 

Increasing penetration of VFRB technology

Algar detailed several developments in the vanadium battery space including VRFBs that are being installed or tendered.

redT Energy has installed a VRFB at Monash University late last year as part of the Smart Energy City Project, supported by ARENA.

A VRFB is being installed by Juwi on Heron Island for the University of Queensland’s research station and the University of Adelaide has recently tendered a 500 kilowatt, 2-megawatt-hour system.

Protean Energy Ltd (ASX:POW) is commercialising its patented V-KOR vanadium battery energy system and holds a multi-energy mineral project in South Korea.

Algar also mentioned Robert Friedland’s current 3 megawatt, 12-megawatt-hour battery as part of a larger 10 megawatt, 40-megawatt-hour system.

Algar added: “We’re seeing lots of innovation around welded stacks, new innovations in the technology to make the production of the battery cheaper to offset the rise in the price of vanadium.

“You really have to have the right load profile to actually justify a battery – once you put solar in almost all of your problems are gone.

“The domestic battery is a great opportunity when someone comes up with the right type of flow battery and we think that a company called Volterion from Germany has got the right idea.

“They’ve got a cheap, welded aluminium stack they can rapidly reproduce which is light and easy to fit.”

  READ: Australian Vanadium’s pre-feasibility study confirms robust economics for Gabanintha deposit

AVL has completed a baseline pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its Gabanintha Vanadium Project in Western Australia, which estimates a net present value (NPV) range for the project that has an upper end of US$2.37 billion when assuming a US$20 per pound vanadium price.

The base case demonstrates robust project fundamentals featuring competitive product costs and financials and will allow AVL to move quickly into piloting and a definitive feasibility study.

In November last year the company updated Gabanintha’s resource, reporting 183.6 million tonnes grading at 0.76% vanadium pentoxide.

The resource is 50 kilometres from the town of Meekatharra and includes a massive high-grade magnetite zone featuring 96.7 million tonnes at 1% vanadium.

Drilling in 2018 at Gabanintha focused on a consistent 3-10-metre-thick zone grading more than 1.2% vanadium in 10 of 11 holes.

The massive magnetite layer averages 14 metres in thickness.

Besides vanadium, Gabanintha also features titanium and iron, as well as cobalt, copper and nickel in sulphide minerals.

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Mon, 14 Jan 2019 23:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212553/vanadium-prices-remain-strong-into-2019-as-further-new-energy-applications-are-developed-212553.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Davide Bosio highlights trends to watch ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11822/bulls-bears--brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-highlights-trends-to-watch-11822.html Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:56:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11822/bulls-bears--brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-highlights-trends-to-watch-11822.html <![CDATA[News - Base metals perform poorly in 2018 with analysts expecting ‘heightened volatility’ in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212452/base-metals-perform-poorly-in-2018-with-analysts-expecting-heightened-volatility-in-2019-212452.html Following strong price gains in 2016-17, the base metals market began 2018 with a mild corrective descent before plunging steeply mid-year due mainly to the US-China trade dispute and China’s contracting economy.

The third and fourth quarters of 2018 saw price drops for nickel, copper, zinc and aluminium while tin and lead had marginal increases.

Cobalt was also affected by the ongoing market volatility, rallying to an all-time high of US$95,250 a tonne in March before dropping by more than 50% at year-end.

READ: Forecast copper supply constraints provide optimism despite 2018 price decline

Data shows China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has decreased for the past five consecutive quarters and the country’s leader Xi Jinping has remained vague on Beijing’s plans for a wider economic stimulus.

In terms of both supply and consumption China is a key market for base metals and its economic growth has a strong impact on prices and market sentiment.

China's third-quarter GDP growth in 2018 was at a nine-year low of 6.5%, compared with 6.7% for the second quarter.

Overall 2018 GDP growth is anticipated to be 6.6% and it is expected that China will lower its economic growth target to 6%-6.5% in a March parliamentary session.

Forecasts from the International Monetary Fund for world GDP growth are 3.7% for both 2018 and 2019, including slower growth for the US and China at 2.5% and 6.2%, respectively.

India’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.4%.

Trade dispute foments uncertainty

Talks between the US and China are ongoing and have assuaged some investor concern, but until the dispute is concretely resolved the market uncertainty will persist.

According to Fastmarkets MB Research, China is planning new incentives to boost domestic consumption for goods associated with metal demand including auto and home appliances.

Along with any further economic stimulus, the measures could spark a brief recovery in metals prices but would need an established trade deal to sustain upwards price pressure.

Scotiabank analysts reported in mid-October that the global trade dispute was not only the primary driver of the base metals slump but that also it would continue to have an affect up to 2020 and potentially beyond.

Scotiabank said: “US-China trade concerns remain front-and-centre for commodity markets with no obvious end in sight.

“We now believe that the US-China trade dispute will remain a slow-burn drag on industrial commodity sentiment through to the 2020 US presidential election.”

The Scotiabank analysts pointed out that prices were down despite falls in base metal stockpiles, with nickel inventories at five-year lows and copper down 50% over the last six months.

Challenging macro environment

The nickel price was representative of the year for base metals, gaining 14% in the first half to reach a yearly high of US$15,745 before losing 25% of its value by late December.

Despite the price volatility, Australian nickel companies were busy with Poseidon Nickel Ltd (ASX:POS), Ardea Resources Ltd (ASX:ARL), GME Resources Limited (ASX:GME), Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU), Mincor Resources NL (ASX:MCR), St George Mining Ltd (ASX:SGQ) and Western Areas Ltd (ASX:WSA) advancing development and expansion projects.

Copper followed a similar pattern across the year, but the worsening global macro conditions could potentially be offset by forecast declines in global copper production and inventories in 2019.

According to JPMorgan estimates, China’s demand for copper has risen by 5%-6%, with head of metals strategy at the global commodities group Natasha Kaneva saying Chinese copper demand was not as bad as people thought.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch was more cautious, noting prices were under pressure and the macro environment would remain challenging into 2019.

Five-year nickel price. Source: tradingeconomics.com

  Cobalt price correction

Cobalt’s price correction following its 2018 surge was expected by some analysts, with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Casper Rawles noting he had expected the market to correct but was somewhat surprised by how much.

Rawles said: “There were some exceptions to the rule, but from the end of quarter one and throughout 2018, we’ve seen prices decreasing and continuing to fall.”

Explaining the downward trend, Rawles pointed to the increase in the price basis of raw material feedstocks from the DRC going into China and the resulting credit availability and cash flowing in China.

He remained cautious looking ahead, saying “demand will continue to grow, consumption of lithium-ion batteries is going to grow, but as of right now there’s enough cobalt around to meet the needs of the market”.

Rawles expects the recent election uncertainty in the DRC to potentially have small supply disruptions but these would be short-lived and have no impact on prices. 

Six-year cobalt price. Source: tradingeconomics.com

  Zinc lower

The price of zinc did not fare better in 2018 either, sitting at about 23% lower in mid-December than its January starting point of US$3,375 a tonne.

Zinc LME stockpiles are down to 120,000 tonnes from 250,000 in late July, with the near-critical inventory level to potentially create a short-term recovery.

Whether this will be sustained past the first quarter 2019 is a point of contention among analysts, as hard-to-predict factors around the US-China relationship and cautious investor sentiment have not subsided.

Bearish outlook

SBICAP Securities research analyst Kaynat Chainwala said base metal prices may remain subdued in the first quarter of 2019.

Chainwala said: “In March the US and China are expected to get into talks and this will be crucial for base metals.

“Brexit in March will also put the market in a cautious mode.”

Falling cobalt prices in December have led to a bearish outlook for the battery metal in 2019, as the market is expected to move into a surplus.

Fastmarkets head of battery raw materials research Will Adams said: “The fact the market did not rebound on news that Glencore was to halt exports from Katanga while it builds an ion-exchange plant [is] further evidence of bearish sentiment.”

“Even if exports are halted in the first half of the year, the market … will be well-supplied with stockpiled material.”

‘Heightened volatility’ in base metals industry

S&P Global downgraded its nickel forecast at the beginning of year from US$13,500 a tonne to US$12,000 for 2019 and from US$14,000 a tonne to US$12,500 for 2020.

Zinc was also slightly downgraded while the copper forecast remains steady at US$6,100 a tonne for 2019 before increasing by US$100 in 2020.

Moody’s said in an October note that it expected growth rates to be slow in 2019 but at a level supportive of a stable outlook.

The analysis pointed to trade tensions, tariffs, changing trade patterns and event risk as the drivers of price sentiment and that the company anticipated “heightened volatility” a hallmark of the base metals industry.

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Sun, 13 Jan 2019 21:21:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212452/base-metals-perform-poorly-in-2018-with-analysts-expecting-heightened-volatility-in-2019-212452.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Dale Gillham's lessons of 2018 for investing in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11793/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-s-lessons-of-2018-for-investing-in-2019-11793.html Fri, 11 Jan 2019 15:17:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11793/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-s-lessons-of-2018-for-investing-in-2019-11793.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: your 2019 financial horoscope, brought by Tony Locantro ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11791/bulls-bears--brokers-your-2019-financial-horoscope-brought-by-tony-locantro-11791.html Fri, 11 Jan 2019 10:32:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11791/bulls-bears--brokers-your-2019-financial-horoscope-brought-by-tony-locantro-11791.html <![CDATA[News - Oil supply reductions to potentially push up crude prices amid fundamental sector challenges ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212284/oil-supply-reductions-to-potentially-push-up-crude-prices-amid-fundamental-sector-challenges-212284.html Following peaks above US$100 a barrel in mid-2014, the oil industry witnessed a sharp and sustained drop in crude prices, reaching as low as US$25 a barrel at the beginning of 2016.

The past year has given optimistic signs to industry participants and investors, with the price slowly climbing to above US$75 a barrel at the end of September.

However, substantial price fluctuations throughout 2018 and a steep drop in the December quarter to just above US$40 a barrel suggest further catalytic price activity can be expected.

Intrinsic volatility of sector

Pwc’s report ‘Oil and Gas Trends 2018-19’ noted the intrinsic volatility of the sector as its fundamental challenge, saying “oil and gas companies must develop a resilient strategy to mitigate [market and new energy transition] risks”.

The report’s authors foresee a supply crunch for oil and gas which would potentially put upwards pressure on prices.

Deloitte’s 2018 oil industry outlook sees the year’s price recovery a result of the ongoing production restraint agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC and continued strong global oil demand growth.

The Energy Information Administration estimates global oil demand growth was about 1.6 million barrels a day in 2018.

Production cuts to lift prices

OPEC met in mid-December and agreed to cut 1.2 million barrels a day starting in January in response to the global oversupply.

The producing economies hope that production curtailments will drive prices higher, despite US shale production steadily increasing.

Responding to the growth in US shale oil production concurrent with falling investment in conventional sources, the International Energy Agency (IEA) refers to a ‘two-speed oil market’.

In their World Energy Outlook 2017, the IEA said “the world needs to find an additional 2.5 million barrels a day of new production each year, just for conventional output to remain flat”.

Source: BP Energy Outlook 2018 

  Potential price recovery

In their biannual Global Oil Supply and Demand and Outlook, McKinsey predicted average oil prices to stay in the US$60-70 a barrel range if current geopolitical uncertainties subside and OPEC increases production.

Prices could potentially go as high as US$80-90 per barrel, according to McKinsey, if existing supply disruptions such as Venezuelan production cuts or sanctioned Iranian exports continue.

Oil production in Venezuela has come down to about 1.5 million barrels a day, a 40% decrease from the 2.5 million barrels being produced in early 2015.

Libya is currently producing 990,000 barrels a day, down from the 1.5 million barrels being produced in 2012.

Political and financial catalysts

A factor of significant importance to the oil price in 2018 has been the turbulent geopolitics emanating from Washington.

US President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran in November before changing tack and providing waivers on Iranian oil exports caused prices to surge and then plummet.

Trump’s tweets directed at OPEC, as well as the unresolved trade dispute with China, have also caused a degree of uncertainty across markets.

Another important consideration for oil in 2019 and beyond is the potentially disruptive growth seen in the electric vehicle and battery space.

The BP report Energy Outlook 2018 notes this key uncertainty depends on several hard-to-predict factors, such as government policy, technological improvements and social preferences.

Other potential developments such as bans on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles or disruptive battery and energy technologies could potentially cause further volatility.

  Supply-side challenges

While supply is generally being curtailed, Pwc pointed out several supply-related challenges such as the ongoing decline in new discoveries.

The report said: “By the end of 2017, the volume of new oil and gas discoveries was its lowest since the early 1950s.

“To put this into perspective, only 3.5 million barrels of liquids (crude, condensate and natural gas liquids) were discovered in 2017, which was enough to meet only 10% of demand.

“The reasons for this decline are simple: it’s getting harder to find the large discoveries known as ‘elephants’ and most prospective areas have already been explored.”

A second challenge, according to the report, is the subdued growth in exploration spending since the price collapse in 2014-16.

“Globally, spending fell by more than 60%, from a high of US$153 billion in 2014 to about US$58 billion in 2017.

“It is forecast to recover modestly over the near-term at a 7% compound annual growth rate.

“The investment slump in traditional supply sources looks like it will continue to have an effect on new production.

 “Given that it takes about three to six years from project sanctioning to coming onstream, the decline in investment approvals during the price slump could continue to hurt the sector if financial investment decisions remain constrained.”

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Thu, 10 Jan 2019 01:25:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212284/oil-supply-reductions-to-potentially-push-up-crude-prices-amid-fundamental-sector-challenges-212284.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Barry Dawes from Martin Place Securities joins the lineup ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11743/bulls-bears--brokers-barry-dawes-from-martin-place-securities-joins-the-lineup-11743.html Wed, 09 Jan 2019 15:25:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11743/bulls-bears--brokers-barry-dawes-from-martin-place-securities-joins-the-lineup-11743.html <![CDATA[News - Lithium outlook uncertain amid growing demand, oversupply and potential disruptive technologies ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212201/lithium-outlook-uncertain-amid-growing-demand-oversupply-and-potential-disruptive-technologies-212201.html Lithium prices during 2018 suffered heavy losses as major miners lifted production and China slowed its burgeoning new energy vehicle market.

Demand fundamentals remain secure but the prospect of oversupply until at least 2022, and the uncertainty around potential disruptive technologies in the medium-term, have stymied lithium’s decade-long price hike.

Prices in China dropped to US$13,000 a ton in August from a peak of $24,750 in March, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

While demand is expected to be maintained through 2019, lithium carbonate prices are also expected to remain under pressure as global supply continues to grow.

Supply growing faster than demand

Fastmarkets BM head of research base metals & battery materials William Adams said lithium supply was expected to grow at a faster pace than demand once again.

He noted most of the price weakness in 2018 was due to the lithium supply response and exponential growth from the electric vehicle sector and lack of supply will see prices spike again by 2025.

Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) chief executive Richard Seville expressed reluctance to provide guidance on pricing but said it was not feeling strong.

He said: “We are not expecting a rebound in pricing at this point in time.”

The lithium carbonate producer’s share price lagged in late December after announcing prices it received for lithium output dropped in the December 2018 half-year.

An average of $10,800 per tonne on about 2,850 tonnes of lithium was received by Orocobre in the fourth quarter, representing an 8% decline on the previous half and more than 26% lower than the $14,699-per-tonne the company received in the preceding quarter.

Source: Fastmarkets

  Diversification of lithium sector

A key uncertainty in lithium’s medium-term outlook is the growing diversification of the sector and evolving structure of the industry.

Analysis from Moody’s noted that the industry had gone from “a few majors producing battery-grade lithium from low-cost brine in Chile and Argentina and low-cost ore from the Greenbushes rock mine in Australia, to a more diverse industry structure”.

The new structure includes rock-based entrants mining ore in Australia and selling spodumene to China, as well as new rock and brine-based suppliers in Brazil, Canada and the US.

Moody’s vice president & senior credit officer Joseph Princiotta said the 2020-22 period would be particularly oversupply due to a concentration of new and conversion start-ups.

The Moody’s analysis expects the battery industry to drive mergers and acquisitions in the lithium space while also anticipating evolving technologies in the longer-term.

Perth a potential new energy hub

Attention fell on Western Australia’s potential downstream processing industry in 2018 with Perth hosting the 15th annual Technology and Low Emission Minerals (TLEM) Conference in November.

Keynote speaker the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, told the conference that Western Australia, with its abundance of battery metals and technological know-how, can take advantage of future opportunities in emerging battery-related industries.

He noted that along with a focus on best practice, Western Australia has low sovereign risk and world-class resources, with three of the four best hard-rock lithium projects in the world.

The state is the world’s leading producer of lithium – 44% of world supply in 2017 came from WA’s seven operating lithium mines.

All other minerals used in battery components are mined, including globally significant nickel resources across 87 deposits and eight operational mines.

Source: WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry

  Lithium still leading WA battery minerals

Since 2017, investment in lithium mining and downstream processing in WA has seen projects worth $4 billion completed, under construction or planned.

This includes the Tianqi lithium plant nearing completion in Kwinana’s industrial area, which will be the largest lithium hydroxide plant in the world.

Speaking at TLEM, Argonaut Limited director of metals, mining & energy research Matthew Keane provided a market update, stating that battery metals had all sold down heavily in the second half of 2018.

Keane said: “In terms of small resources, it’s been a very challenging half-year.

“The impact of trade wars, the US dollar strengthening, it has had a large impact.”

Despite the price sell-down, Keane said the next wave of lithium projects was approaching, along with a number of Western Australian companies expanding their production. 

Keane noted Pilbara Minerals Ltd’s (ASX:PLS) 800,000-850,000-tonne expansion of its Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project, which went from first drill hole to production in four years.

He also listed Mineral Resources Limited’s (ASX:MIN) spodumene concentrate expansion to 750,000 tonnes and Kidman Resources Ltd’s (ASX:KDR) Mt Holland joint venture which has increased production to 315,000 tonnes spodumene concentrate and 45,000 tonnes lithium hydroxide.

A 3D overlay of plans for stage II at Pilgangoora

  Battery mineral predictions

Making a prediction on the future of battery metals, Keane said that we are on the cusp of an electric vehicle minerals boom and the uptake of disruptive technology was exponential not linear.

Keane said that medium-term lithium prices were likely to move closer to US$10,000 per tonne of lithium carbonate before returning up to US$20,000 per tonne.

He said we will see more active upstream investment from the US and Europe as electric vehicle manufacturers compete with China, as well as increasingly focusing on supply chains outside of China.

As markets balance, Keane expects to see a higher focus on quality, potentially moving from direct shipping ore (DSO) operations to those producing high-purity concentrates.

Cobalt will remain critical for charge-discharge moderation in lithium-ion batteries and will attract premium pricing for non-African supply.

Battery demand for nickel will move towards 15-20% of the total nickel market by 2025, accelerated by advancements in refining and processing nickel sulphates.

READ: Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference hears WA ready to leverage battery power revolution

A number of Australian lithium developers are advancing work on projects both at home and abroad, aiming to produce both lithium hydroxide and carbonates.

READ: American Pacific Borate & Lithium highlights strong financials of 'low-risk' US project

American Pacific Borate & Lithium Ltd (ASX:ABR) released a definitive feasibility study (DFS) last year for its Fort Cady Borate Project in California.

The DFS has evaluated mining of the Fort Cady borate deposit to produce a high purity (99.99%) boric acid (H3BO3) product along with sulphate of potash (SOP).

Importantly, the DFS forecasts an unlevered, post tax net present value of US$1.25 billion ($1.7 billion) and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 41%.

The study models a project where borate acid could be solution-mined below ground then brought to the surface to be upgraded with a solvent extraction and crystallisation process.

The company would produce gypsum as part of its extraction process, and sulphate of potash during processing, with hydrochloric acid then being a by-product credit to be used to again mine the project’s borate resources.

READ: Argosy Minerals confirms strong economics for Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina

Argosy Minerals Ltd (ASX:AGY) continues to fast-track the development of its flagship Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina.

The company achieved a key milestone in the September quarter in producing a successful and scalable chemical process solution to produce battery-grade quality lithium carbonate (LCE).

About 500 kilograms of LCE product has been produced to date.

Argosy believes the exclusive chemical process technology is effectively proven for utilisation of future development stages at the Rincon Lithium Project.

 

READ: Core Lithium boosts lithium inventory with maiden Carlton resource

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) is developing the Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin and last year lodged an application for a mining lease at the Grants prospect with the NT Government.

A definitive feasibility study focused on mining and production of high-grade lithium concentrate at Finniss is currently underway and on track for completion later this quarter.

Core completed a pre-feasibility study for Finniss in June 2018, indicating the project would be a low-capex lithium concentrate operation with globally competitive cash costs, high operating margins and rapid capital payback.

The Grants deposit is expected to generate a net present value (NPV) of $140 million pre-tax with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 142% at an average concentrate price of US$649 per tonne.

READ: Galan Lithium receives drilling permits for Candelas Lithium Brine Project in Argentina

Galan Lithium Ltd (ASX:GLN) is defining the Candelas prospect within its Hombre Muerto Lithium Project in Catamarca Province, Argentina, also known as the ‘lithium triangle’.

Galan has been de-risking the project through soil sampling and geophysics and has made plans to drill test defined targets.

Recent survey work conducted over the project’s western basin targets delineated new discoveries of lithium-bearing brines, adding to the project’s potential scalability.

The company expects to post a maiden JORC resource before the end of the financial year.

READ: Infinity Lithium scoping study supports lithium hydroxide operation

Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd (ASX:INF) is leveraging growing market demand for lithium hydroxide in the production of cathode batteries as it develops processing routes for its San Jose Lithium Project ore.

Last year the company expanded its lithium hydroxide scoping study at the Spain-based project to include further hydroxide as well as lithium sulphate flowsheet development.

The expanded study comes after the company identified the hard-rock San Jose resource has a natural advantage over brine producers due to a straight conversion process via a lithium sulphate transitional pathway.

Infinity is advancing its lithium hydroxide study in direct response to the evolving battery chemicals market, with lithium hydroxide demand continuing to grow faster than lithium carbonate.

Most of the recent global investments in lithium chemical plants have been in lithium hydroxide production as lithium-ion battery makers move towards higher-energy density and nickel-rich cathodes.

Looking east over ioneer's Rhyolite Ridge south basin

  READ: ioneer’s high-grade lithium-boron drill results indicate potential to improve cash flow

ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) released a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in the US state of Nevada last year, modelling a 30-plus-year mine life.

The PFS put forward a notable low cost for producing lithium equivalent, due to the high volume and value of the boron by-product it would produce along with lithium carbonate.

ioneer's study put the Rhyolite Ridge project’s after-tax net present value (NPV) at US$1.8 billion at a 7% real discount rate.

The after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) was 27.7%, making the payback period on the 30-plus-year mine a short 4.1 years.

Initial capital expenditure (capex) was US$426 million including indirect costs and contingency plus $173 million for a lump-sum turnkey sulphuric acid plant.

READ: Lithium Australia finalises option over Youanmi Lithium Project

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has designed disruptive technologies to furnish the lithium battery industry with ethical and sustainable supply solutions.

Through its SiLeach and LieNA lithium extraction processes, along with quality cathode material production from wholly-owned subsidiary VSPC Ltd, the company seeks to establish a vertically-integrated lithium processing business.

Stage II processing trials of SiLeach are ongoing at a facility in Sydney, with the objective of using the processing technology to convert mine waste into lithium-ion batteries.

The company is also reassessing the pilot plant location to optimise technical and financial benefits.

This process will take into account the principal financial considerations together with intangibles such as the ability to manage research & development in offshore jurisdictions.

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Wed, 09 Jan 2019 00:08:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212201/lithium-outlook-uncertain-amid-growing-demand-oversupply-and-potential-disruptive-technologies-212201.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: 5 tips for setting up your investing portfolio from Dale Gillham ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11701/accelerate-your-wealth-5-tips-for-setting-up-your-investing-portfolio-from-dale-gillham-11701.html Fri, 04 Jan 2019 12:41:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11701/accelerate-your-wealth-5-tips-for-setting-up-your-investing-portfolio-from-dale-gillham-11701.html <![CDATA[News - S&P/ASX 200 smashed lower, eyes on China data release at 12.45pm ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211938/spasx-200-smashed-lower-eyes-on-china-data-release-at-1245pm-211938.html S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) opened only slightly lower on yesterday but proceeded to lose over 1% in the first hour of trade.

At just after midday, the ASX200 is still down 1.00% or 58.3 points lower at 5,575.1 points.

Mid-Session 4 Jan 19: Market slumps following Wall St sell-off pic.twitter.com/pa5FUya3GQ

— CommSec (@CommSec) January 4, 2019

 

Wednesday's Caixin Manufacturing PMI data release was a market mover

On Wednesday this week, China’s monthly Caixin Manufacturing PMI data point disappointed and sent markets down across Asia.

The Caixin Manufacturing PMI surveys over 400 purchasing managers in China’s manufacturing sector asking them to rate the relative level of business conditions.

It is considered a leading indicator of economic health and a score above 50.0 indicates expansion and below 50.0 indicates contraction.

Wednesday’s forecast was for 50.1 but the index score came in at 49.7 indicating contraction.

Caixin Services PMI data release today at 12.45pm

Today’s Caixin Services PMI surveys about 400 purchasing managers in China’s services industry.

The consensus forecast is for 52.9 and the data will be released at 12.45pm AEST.

It is not uncommon for these data releases to move the Australian market when the release is higher or lower than the consensus forecast.

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Fri, 04 Jan 2019 12:20:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211938/spasx-200-smashed-lower-eyes-on-china-data-release-at-1245pm-211938.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Tony Locantro tells investors to stick to fundamentals in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11700/bulls-bears--brokers-tony-locantro-tells-investors-to-stick-to-fundamentals-in-2019-11700.html Fri, 04 Jan 2019 11:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11700/bulls-bears--brokers-tony-locantro-tells-investors-to-stick-to-fundamentals-in-2019-11700.html <![CDATA[News - ASX M&A deal activity set to continue in 2019 after solid 2018 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211931/asx-ma-deal-activity-set-to-continue-in-2019-after-solid-2018-211931.html Deal value in Australiasia reached US$105.3 billion in 2018, up 16% on 2017.

Q4 generated US$37.1 billion of that and was again the most valuable quarter, as was the case in 2016 and 2017.

The quarter that outperformed the most was Q3 in Australasia at US$35.5 billion.

The top 10 deals in 2018, excluding spin-offs and open market purchases, all featured an ASX company as either the acquirer or target.

Transurban with the biggest deal of the year

Deals by sector were relatively balanced in 2018 with the largest being Transurban Group’s (ASX:TCL) $9.3 billion acquisition of 51% of Sydney Motorway Corp Pty Ltd.

The toll road giant purchased the 51% interest from the New South Wales government.

At #2 was Vodafone’s 100% merger with TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX:TPM), which is being examined by the ACCC.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (ASX:CBA) 87% acquisition of Snowy Hydro Ltd was #3 and the private equity takeover of Healthscope Ltd (ASX:HSO) came in at #4.

Interest rates could make Australia more enticing in 2019

Notably, Australasia’s 2018 deal value was higher than that of Japan and Latin America and the state of our domestic economy could well act as a tailwind for deals continuing.

As already discussed, Australia is not expecting interest rates to rise, which depreciates our currency, especially against currencies from countries like the US who are raising interest rates.

READ: Keeping an eye on housing and interest rates in 2019

A lower AUD makes Australia’s domestic assets cheaper for overseas buyers.

Furthermore, given we are a developed country, our assets and companies are considered lower risk, adding another reason for increased M&A in 2019.

UBS, Goldman, Macquarie still at the top

UBS, Goldman Sachs, and Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) remained the top dealmakers in Australasia in 2018.

JPMorgan, which regularly features in the top US rankings, lost the most ground compared to last year, coming in 10th.

READ: Gold sector sees M&A consolidation on ASX ahead of 2019 price uncertainty

With volatility creeping back into global markets in the December quarter of 2018, gold has been stronger.

Australia once again gets a tailwind from our weaker currency, for example, the gold price is US1,296 per ounce, which equates to A1,848 per ounce.

According to PCF Capital Group, by the first week of December there had been 45 major gold asset transactions on the ASX for a total value of $2.3 billion, with 23 of these yet to be completed.

This is up from 40 transactions in 2017 which totalled $3.1 billion.

Exploration transactions were up on 2017, with 23 transactions in 2018 compared to 16 the previous year.

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Fri, 04 Jan 2019 08:28:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211931/asx-ma-deal-activity-set-to-continue-in-2019-after-solid-2018-211931.html
<![CDATA[News - Forecast copper supply constraints provide optimism despite 2018 price decline ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211939/forecast-copper-supply-constraints-provide-optimism-despite-2018-price-decline-211939.html Following a strong first-half rally in 2018, the copper price dropped amid a slowing Chinese economy and subdued activity in the US and Europe.

Closing the year at around 25% below its June peak, concerns surrounding the strained US-China trade relationship and China’s gradual economic slowdown have been sustained into the New Year.

Rhetoric from China’s leader Xi Jinping regarding the country’s commitment to a “Made in China 2025” policy, as well as little indication of a much-needed economic stimulus, have not assuaged investors and caused further steep declines in the copper price during December.

However, worsening global macro conditions could potentially be offset by forecast declines in global copper production and inventories in 2019, which would positively influence prices.

S&P Global predicts copper will remain at $6,100 a tonne in 2019, rising by $100 in 2020 and again in 2021 to reach $6,500 a tonne.

The copper price today is sitting at just above $5,681 a tonne, or $2.577 a pound.

China’s slowdown

A research report from Citigroup in mid-December recognised the persistent concerns over China’s macroeconomic conditions in 2019.

The report said: “Mixed China macro data, including a sharp slowdown in household consumption, call for more policy fine-tuning into 2019.

“On the positive side, investment across infrastructure, manufacturing and property improved with levels of infrastructure investment surging in November following weak readings over the past few months.”

Credit Suisse analysts expressed optimism in another report released in December, stating they could not rule out the Chinese government reacting to trade tensions and growth pressures by further infrastructure and construction investments.

This tried-and-tested method would provide a boost for commodity demand.

Slow start to 2019

The New Year began with further steep falls after data suggested China's manufacturing sector contracted in December, with global markets all closing lower on Wednesday.

The ASX was down 1.6% while the Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite, FTSE, CAC and DAX all dropped between 1%-3%.

Forecasts from the International Monetary Fund for world gross domestic product (GDP) growth are 3.7% for both 2018 and 2019, including slower growth for the US and China at 2.5% and 6.2%, respectively.

India’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.4%.

Supply-side optimism

According to JPMorgan estimates, China’s demand for copper has risen by 5%-6%, with head of metals strategy at the global commodities group Natasha Kaneva saying Chinese copper demand was not as bad as people thought.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch was more cautious, noting prices were under pressure and the macro environment would remain challenging into 2019.

Coupled with growing demand, forecast supply cuts from some of the world’s largest copper producers give some optimism to investors regarding the copper price over the next 12 months.

Production at the Grasberg Copper Mine in Indonesia, operated by Freeport McMoran (NYSE:FCX) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), will fall by more than 50% next year as the mine transitions to underground operations.

The transition is expected to reduce copper supply in the market by about 300,000 tonnes, or 1.5% of annual copper mine production.

BHP Billiton Ltd’s Escondida Copper Mine in Chile is also expected to produce less copper this year.

Sustained demand yet to show effect

Speaking at the 14th Asia Copper Conference in Shanghai, a Morgan Stanley representative said many industry participants were frustrated that recent strong demand and falling exchange inventory had not resulted in a higher price.

The investment bank’s speaker said supply growth to replenish falling stockpiles would be limited while disruption risk remained.

“We maintain our base case forecast of a modest deficit in the copper market in 2019 of around 240,000 tonnes based on China’s refined demand growth.

“Limited copper cathode inventory and weak supply growth make the copper market well-positioned to weather any slowdown in China’s demand, with little prospect of a significant surplus developing.

“Price upside is likely to remain limited until macroeconomic sentiments turns positive.”

]]>
Thu, 03 Jan 2019 21:47:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211939/forecast-copper-supply-constraints-provide-optimism-despite-2018-price-decline-211939.html
<![CDATA[News - S&P/ASX 200 surges after AUD has flash crash ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211874/spasx-200-surges-after-aud-has-flash-crash-211874.html S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) opened flat and on the day's low of 5557.8 points before going on to rally 86.4 points or 1.5% to a morning high of 5,644.2.

Markets were in disarray prior to the open with the AUD flash crashing and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) tarnishing a green day in the US by releasing bad news after market-close in the US.

Apple lowered revenue guidance citing weakness in iPhone sales and traded 7.4% lower in after-market trading.

 

EXCLUSIVE: After cutting Q1 expectations, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells CNBC that the shortfall is primarily in Greater China as trade tensions put pressure on the Chinese economy https://t.co/iOf79ebo17 pic.twitter.com/Lm7Wyp1VOX

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) January 2, 2019

 

11.27am AEST: ASX200 is up 1.2% or 67.0 points higher to 5,624.8 points

The AUD/USD fell below its 2016 low of 68.26 cents and hit lows of 67.1 cents not seen since March 2009 before rebounding to around 69 cents.

The AUD also crashed against other currencies including the JPY, which lost around 5 cents or 500bps within minutes. 

The AUD has recovered back to 74.4 yen but has been unable to retrace back to the 76-77 yen levels before the flash crash.

12.28pm AEST: ASX200 is up 0.9% or 51.8 points higher to 5,609.6 points

[VIDEO] Mid-Session: Every sector is higher on Thursday sending the ASX 200 up almost 1% to 5,608. The energy sector is the standout, jumping 3% following a rise in global oil prices overnight https://t.co/mcUIuJl90x #ausbiz

— CommSec (@CommSec) January 3, 2019 ]]>
Thu, 03 Jan 2019 11:13:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211874/spasx-200-surges-after-aud-has-flash-crash-211874.html
<![CDATA[News - Gold sector sees M&A consolidation on ASX ahead of 2019 price uncertainty ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211796/gold-sector-sees-ma-consolidation-on-asx-ahead-of-2019-price-uncertainty-211796.html Gold explorers and producers on the ASX have had a busy year in 2018, with increased mergers and acquisitions (M&A) buttressed by an uptick in exploration activity.

The gold price has increased steadily across the second half of the year, making up ground lost in a mid-year decline.

Price forecasts remain mixed but sustained global demand for gold coupled with a weaker US Dollar could see further improvements over the first half of 2019, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicting highs of $US1,400 an ounce and an average of $1,296 in 2019.

In its “2018 Precious Metals Review” released earlier this month, Refinitiv’s GFMS metals research team said the US-China trade war this year had a negative impact on the gold price, pushing it below the $1,200 per ounce level after trading above $1,300 the first two quarters.

The cooling off between the US and China might drive the dollar down and be beneficial to gold, according to the report, but scheduled interest rate increases could constrain price upside.

Refinitiv reported that it expected 2018 to be another year of net de-hedging at a forecast 29 tonnes, 29% lower than in 2017.

It expects net physical demand to total 3,783 tonnes, 5% lower year-on-year.

While jewellery consumption is expected to pull back by about 4% year-on-year, the report notes industrial fabrication demand is likely to rise by 0.4% to an estimated 380 tonnes, fuelled by growing demand in the electronics sector.

 

Alto capital investment manager Tony Locantro told Proactive Investors Stocktube that Australian gold producers were doing well despite the global market.

Locantro said: “What I’m seeing at the moment is in Australia our property sector is due for a nasty correction.

“What I noticed today was the Dow dropped 800 points and the banking stocks were pole-axed, but all the major gold producers were up for the day.

“The Australian gold scene is doing quite well, especially when you can produce at a $1,000 all-in sustaining and sell for, I think the Aussie gold price is about $1,686.

“So, our gold sector … is in great shape and one of the themes coming up is M&A.”

Increased M&A activity

According to PCF Capital Group, by the first week of December there had been 45 major gold asset transactions on the ASX for a total value of $2.3 billion, with 23 of these yet to be completed.

This is up from 40 transactions in 2017 which totalled $3.1 billion.

Exploration transactions were up on 2017, with 23 transactions in 2018 compared to 16 the previous year.

Research by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows global exploration budgets for minerals other than iron ore, coal and bauxite reached US$10.1 billion in calendar year 2018, up 19% year-on-year.

Gold exploration spending of US$54.3 billion in the past decade was 60% higher than the US$32.2 billion spent across the preceding 18 years.

 

Also speaking to Stocktube, DJ Carmichael managing director & head of corporate finance Davide Bosio said that we were seeing active exploration and cashed up balance sheets now.

He said: "We're seeing a bit of activity with junior companies fighting over reserves, resources and near-term producing assets - it's been a very strong theme and one that I think investors have to give some attention to.

"We've started to see a lot more in North America ... we're seeing companies like Sandfire putting a lot of money to work in North America and various other jurisdictions.

"The West African gold belt seems to be firing up again as companies are able to raise money and have been active again.

"Australia really needs to fight for its relevance and that's the challenge of the guys with the balance sheet and the cash - they're always looking to replace reserves with tier-one reserves.

“There is very little fear now in crossing borders and provided the resources are there and the quality of the projects exist then I think these large companies have the balance sheets to make them work.”

READ: Tribune Resources rejects Northern Star’s offer

Much of the Australian gold sector’s consolidation in 2018 was focused on Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

Producer Northern Star Ltd (ASX:NST) acquired Westgold Resources Ltd’s (ASX:WGX) South Kalgoorlie operations and began a buy-out of Rand Resources Ltd (ASX:RND) and Tribune Mining NL (ASX:TBR).

Other sizeable acquisitions in the region were Hanking Gold’s purchase of Coolgardie-based Primary Gold Limited (ASX:PGO) and Intrepid Mines Limited’s (ASX:IAU) acquisition of AIC Resources Limited (ASX:A1C).

Mergers of note include: Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SRL) and Doray Minerals Limited (ASX:DRM); MacPhersons Resources Ltd (ASX:MRP) and Intermin Resources Limited (ASX:IRC); and the three-way merger between Bardoc Gold Ltd (ASX:BDC), Excelsior Gold Limited (ASX:EXG) and developer Aphrodite Gold Limited (ASX:AQQ).

Commenting on the Goldfields region, Locantro said: “The Eastern Goldfields, the Zuleika shear in particular – that’s home to the likes of Northern Star, Rand and Tribune – have been producing and they’ve just paid out some of the most ridiculous dividends you’ve ever seen to shareholders.

“Northern Star and Evolution have major operations in that area and there has been some canny juniors that’ve gone in and pegged the ground – they’ve out-pegged them basically.”

READ: Alto Metals intersects high-grade gold up to 19.2 g/t at Vanguard prospect in WA

Another WA region which has shown promise in 2018 is the Sandstone belt, within the East Murchison mineral field 630 kilometres northeast of Perth.

Alto Metals Ltd (ASX:AME) has had strong drilling success at its Sandstone Gold Project, where it aims to re-establish standalone oxide and primary gold operations.

The developer is focused on delineating a plus-1 million-ounce JORC resource to underpin the resumption of mining and processing.

It has already defined a gold resource of about 4.9 million tonnes at 1.7 g/t for 261,000 ounces of contained gold at Sandstone.

 

"Out there somewhere is another Bill Beament"

Locantro added: "They [Alto] dominate the Sandstone belt [and] they’re trading at 4.2 cents.

“[Alto managing director Dermott Ryan] has the Sandstone belt pretty much stitched up and I think that’s just a drill-out story.

“Out there somewhere is another Bill Beament.

“Everyone should be aware that Northern Star was a 1-cent stock and Bill’s gone out – M&A, whack whack whack, had some discovery success – and he’s now trading at $8.50.”

Emerging high-grade gold field

The year also saw further development of Australia’s newest goldfield, the Yamarna belt, 200 kilometres east of Laverton.

Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX:GOR) has an extensive portfolio of exploration assets in the area, also known as the WA’s “Golden Highway”.

The company uses a staged project pipeline approach to manage, prioritise and measure success of its exploration portfolio, with targets classified and ranked using geological and economic criteria.

In November 2016, Gold Road entered into a partnership with Gold Fields Ltd (NYSE:GFI) for the Gruyere Joint Venture covering 144 square kilometres of its 6,000-kilometre total Yamarna landholding.

  READ: Gold Road Resources concludes successful year of exploration in the Yamarna belt

Drilling designed to support the estimation of a maiden resource at Yamarna is ongoing, with Gold Road delivering high-grade assays from a number of prospects.

Exploratory drilling at the Gilmour discovery returned: 4 metres at 19.61 g/t gold from 111 metres, including 1 metre at 74.98 g/t from 113 metres; and 8.15 metres at 7.11 g/t from 261 metres, including 1.23 metres at 31.98 g/t from 267.91 metres.

Best results from infill drilling at the Smokebush target include 22.24 metres at 1.40 g/t gold from 82.17 metres and 11 metres at 2.27 g/t Au from 47 metres.

Bedrock gold mineralisation was confirmed at the Yaffler South target, with visible gold in diamond drilling returning 3.6 metres at 3.68 g/t gold from 281 metres.

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Mon, 31 Dec 2018 01:25:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211796/gold-sector-sees-ma-consolidation-on-asx-ahead-of-2019-price-uncertainty-211796.html
<![CDATA[News - Keeping an eye on housing and interest rates in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211759/keeping-an-eye-on-housing-and-interest-rates-in-2019-211759.html While stock pickers give their guidance for the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) in 2019, it’s important to take a look at what is going to drive the Australian stock market.

Drivers both domestically and from abroad

How our domestic economy runs in 2019 will directly impact our local share market but we also feed off strength from offshore markets such as the US who lead the rest of the world.

Australia is not in the same position as the US who is in a defined tightening cycle, meaning interest rates are rising.

The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 2.25-2.5% during its December meeting, its fourth hike of 2018.

Furthermore, the Federal Reserve foresees two more rate hikes in 2019.

Rates in Australia aren’t necessarily rising

The last interest rate hike in Australia was November 2010 and our last rate cut was August 2016.

Our interest rate has been at 1.5% since August 2016 and while the expectation is for Australia to follow suit with the US and start raising interest rates, we may not be ready.

The US economy was experiencing growth, lower unemployment levels and signs of inflation, which forced its central bank’s hand to begin their tightening cycle (rising interest rates).

Australia’s economy is experiencing positive signs of growth, unemployment and inflation but not yet to the same degree that warrants a rate hike according to our central bank, the RBA.

Snippets from the RBA’s December statement

The RBA’s Governor Philip Lowe in the December monthly statement said: “The Australian economy is performing well.

“The central scenario is for GDP growth to average around 3½% over this year and next, before slowing in 2020 due to slower growth in exports of resources.”

He added: “The outlook for the labour market remains positive. The unemployment rate is 5%, the lowest in six years.

“With the economy expected to continue to grow above trend, a further reduction in the unemployment rate is likely.”

He also said: “Inflation remains low and stable. Over the past year, CPI inflation was 1.9% and in underlying terms inflation was 1¾%.

“Inflation is expected to pick up over the next couple of years, with the pick-up likely to be gradual.

“The central scenario is for inflation to be 2¼% in 2019 and a bit higher in the following year.”

Housing market is key in 2019

Housing is very important for our domestic economy due to the ripple effects it has within our economy.

In a market of rising house prices, it is not just the home owner that experiences a positive wealth effect.

There is also the lender, the valuer, the mortgage broker, the real estate agent, the advertising, the tradesmen, the gardener, the insurance… the list goes on.

Let’s use an example of a person who bought a $1 million property with a $200,000 deposit ($200,000 equity, $800,000 debt).

If that house increased to $1.05 million in value, assuming the debt is the same, the equity component increases to $250,000, increasing the wealth by $50,000.

This person is a lot more likely to book a holiday, dine out at a restaurant, or pay to get their car washed.

If the housing market continues to fall, the wealth effect reverses and it can reach further across our economy than you may think.

Our central bank keeps a keen eye on housing

With housing being a large driver of our domestic economy, the RBA knows it must be well-informed on the state of the housing market to make policy decisions.

Lowe said in the December monthly statement: “Conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets have continued to ease and nationwide measures of rent inflation remain low.

“Credit conditions for some borrowers are tighter than they have been for some time, with some lenders having a reduced appetite to lend.

“The demand for credit by investors in the housing market has slowed noticeably as the dynamics of the housing market have changed.

“Growth in credit extended to owner-occupiers has eased to an annualised pace of 5–6%.

“Mortgage rates remain low, with competition strongest for borrowers of high credit quality.”

]]>
Fri, 28 Dec 2018 09:31:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211759/keeping-an-eye-on-housing-and-interest-rates-in-2019-211759.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Tony Locantro on how to make money in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11687/bulls-bears--brokers-tony-locantro-on-how-to-make-money-in-2019-11687.html Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:48:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11687/bulls-bears--brokers-tony-locantro-on-how-to-make-money-in-2019-11687.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Wealth Within's Gillham explains liquidity in the stock market ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11683/accelerate-your-wealth-wealth-within-s-gillham-explains-liquidity-in-the-stock-market-11683.html Fri, 21 Dec 2018 14:45:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11683/accelerate-your-wealth-wealth-within-s-gillham-explains-liquidity-in-the-stock-market-11683.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Davide Bosio looks ahead to 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11682/bulls-bears--brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-looks-ahead-to-2019-11682.html Fri, 21 Dec 2018 11:19:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11682/bulls-bears--brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-looks-ahead-to-2019-11682.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: it's been all about the gold sector this week for Davide Bosio ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11632/bulls-bears--brokers-it-s-been-all-about-the-gold-sector-this-week-for-davide-bosio-11632.html Mon, 17 Dec 2018 12:32:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11632/bulls-bears--brokers-it-s-been-all-about-the-gold-sector-this-week-for-davide-bosio-11632.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Locantro's sector by sector take on the ASX in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11624/bulls-bears--brokers-locantro-s-sector-by-sector-take-on-the-asx-in-2019-11624.html Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:34:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11624/bulls-bears--brokers-locantro-s-sector-by-sector-take-on-the-asx-in-2019-11624.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: are you a trader, and if so what type? ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11623/accelerate-your-wealth-are-you-a-trader-and-if-so-what-type-11623.html Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:59:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11623/accelerate-your-wealth-are-you-a-trader-and-if-so-what-type-11623.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Bosio expects flurry of deals before year's end ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11538/bulls-bears--brokers-dj-carmichael-s-bosio-expects-flurry-of-deals-before-year-s-end Mon, 10 Dec 2018 12:28:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11538/bulls-bears--brokers-dj-carmichael-s-bosio-expects-flurry-of-deals-before-year-s-end <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Wealth Within's Gillham shares 3 keys for successful trading ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11507/accelerate-your-wealth-wealth-within-s-gillham-shares-3-keys-for-successful-trading-11507.html Fri, 07 Dec 2018 14:18:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11507/accelerate-your-wealth-wealth-within-s-gillham-shares-3-keys-for-successful-trading-11507.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Alto Capital's Tony Locantro provides 2019 outlook ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11506/bulls-bears-brokers-alto-capital-s-tony-locantro-provides-2019-outlook-11506.html Fri, 07 Dec 2018 13:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11506/bulls-bears-brokers-alto-capital-s-tony-locantro-provides-2019-outlook-11506.html <![CDATA[News - Scandium a hot item on the metals menu and Australia is serving it up ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/210627/scandium-a-hot-item-on-the-metals-menu-and-australia-is-serving-it-up-210627.html When the film Avatar first came out, its screening coincided with the frenzy of the rare earth boom and we wrote a research piece on that sector, likening rare earths, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, to the film’s mysterious sought-after metal, ‘unobtainium’.

As history was to ultimately show, rare earths were all too obtainable and the whole suite of metals fell out of bed and still languish.

It’s rare but not a rare earth

At the time, some of the more ignorant of the mining space referred to scandium as one of the rare earths despite it not belonging to the lanthanide series and rarely appearing in their company in mineralisations.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

We note with some amusement that the latest swathe of US tariffs against Chinese metals exports targeting rare earths repeat the error and include scandium in the targeted metals, despite China (to our knowledge) not being a notable producer of scandium and certainly not an exporter of any note.

Despite this, scandium seems, in fact, to be the closest thing that we have to ‘unobtainium’ with its very scarcity being its own worst enemy. This is a situation that seems on the verge of being remedied and in this note we shall discuss the how and why.

The Friedland effect?

Scandium was, until 2017, one of the lesser talked about technology metals.

Since last year it has received increased focus and mention, not least because of the peripheral involvement of financier Robert Friedland in the metal.

This interest came in spite of the fact that the supply situation is severely limited with literally only a few tons of product hitting the market per annum, and even that is as a by-product of the refining and processing of other metals.

READ: Platina Resources to develop aluminium-scandium master alloy from Owendale ore

The applications for the element are known, particularly in aluminium alloys, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and lighting, but it’s just that manufacturers will not tool up for the metal if they cannot be guaranteed greater (reliable) supply.

Build it and they will come?

The absence of reliable, secure, stable and long-term production has limited commercial uptake of scandium.

Despite this low level of use, scandium offers significant benefits.

The potential for substantial expansion in usage and demand clearly exists and to an extent it is one of those ‘rare’ metals stories where the supply could potentially generate the demand rather than the other way around.

The first batch of Platina Resources' aluminium-scandium alloy.

The most obvious areas where this might happen are in lighting systems, SOFCs and aluminium alloys.

In some ways, a good analogy might be europium.

Its application in colour TVs spurred a surge in REE mining (ironically at Mountain Pass) which then made the 'rarer' REEs more abundant, lowering the price but, moreover, accentuating the supply.

READ: Australian Mines gets approval for Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project acquisition

This meant that new applications arose or were employed that spurred the whole evolution of the permanent magnet and laser usages of the other metals in the lanthanide series.

It is not too difficult to imagine that greater production will, firstly, spur the master alloy applications, followed by an expansion in the SOFC demand, lighting and then 'new' applications.

In aircraft alone, the aluminium alloy demand might totally consume the entirety of the extra metal that nascent producers might bring to market.

It is interesting to note that Bloom, the California-based SOFC manufacturer, and as such possibly the world’s major consumer of scandium, has an IPO underway and a word search of the prospectus yields no result for scandium, not even in the risks section.

The scandium space

When we first wrote on this metal, Scandium International Mining Corp (TSE:SCY) was quite clearly a lone voice in the wilderness.

Since then, a number of other wannabes have appeared touting their scandium virtues as either by-product kickers or attempts to make unviable and unsexy projects (pardon our cynicism) into viable and sexy propositions to potential investors.

In some cases, they have attracted investor attention and have had the positive effect of making the metal more high-profile than it has hitherto been.

At a recent workshop at the European Space Agency, scandium was the metal that was most mentioned with tellurium a very distant second.

READ: Platina Resources successfully produces high purity alumina sample

Bizarrely the scandium space is being fought over like some ridge in a First World War battle in Flanders.

This might be understandable if the price of the metal was raging higher but price is one of the most obscure elements of this element.

We know it is highly valued but that is a product of scarcity.

Highlights of the BFS for Australian Mines' Sconi project in Queensland.

There are few metals out there in which economic models and extant production plans actually guarantee a fall in the metal’s price if plan are realised, even in part. 

The players in the scandium space are concentrated in Australian properties, with two claimants that we know of, presenting properties in North America.

The six are:

- Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) - Sconi project in Queensland and Flemington project in NSW;

- Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) - Owendale project in NSW;

- Clean TeQ Holdings Limited (ASX:CLQ) - Sunrise project in NSW;

- Scandium International Mining Corp (TSE:SCY) - Nyngan project in NSW;

- Imperial Mining Group (CVE:IPG) - Crater Lake project in Quebec; and

- NioCorp Developments Ltd (OTCMKTS:NIOBF) - Elk Creek project in Nebraska.

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Thu, 06 Dec 2018 14:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/210627/scandium-a-hot-item-on-the-metals-menu-and-australia-is-serving-it-up-210627.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Davide Bosio flags major moves on ASX ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11400/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-flags-major-moves-on-asx-11400.html Mon, 03 Dec 2018 14:45:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11400/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-flags-major-moves-on-asx-11400.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Dale Gillham from Wealth Within plays Market Myth Buster ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11386/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-from-wealth-within-plays-market-myth-buster-11386.html Fri, 30 Nov 2018 12:22:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11386/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-from-wealth-within-plays-market-myth-buster-11386.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Locantro on the top excuses people give to not make money ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11383/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-on-the-top-excuses-people-give-to-not-make-money-11383.html Fri, 30 Nov 2018 11:18:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11383/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-on-the-top-excuses-people-give-to-not-make-money-11383.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Bosio on raisings, rumours, and roadshows ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11326/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-bosio-on-raisings-rumours-and-roadshows-11326.html Tue, 27 Nov 2018 15:05:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11326/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-bosio-on-raisings-rumours-and-roadshows-11326.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: is investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) right for you ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11299/accelerate-your-wealth-is-investing-in-exchange-traded-funds-etfs-right-for-you-11299.html Fri, 23 Nov 2018 13:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11299/accelerate-your-wealth-is-investing-in-exchange-traded-funds-etfs-right-for-you-11299.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Locantro's Nauseating Nine becomes the Tumultuous Ten ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11297/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-s-nauseating-nine-becomes-the-tumultuous-ten-11297.html Fri, 23 Nov 2018 12:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11297/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-s-nauseating-nine-becomes-the-tumultuous-ten-11297.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Davide Bosio on the ones to watch right now ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11234/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-on-the-ones-to-watch-right-now-11234.html Mon, 19 Nov 2018 16:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11234/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-on-the-ones-to-watch-right-now-11234.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Dale Gillham explains how buying cheap can be more expensive ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11220/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-explains-how-buying-cheap-can-be-more-expensive-11220.html Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11220/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-explains-how-buying-cheap-can-be-more-expensive-11220.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Locantro's current take on Biotech, Battery Minerals and Gold ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11219/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-s-current-take-on-biotech-battery-minerals-and-gold-11219.html Fri, 16 Nov 2018 12:13:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11219/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-s-current-take-on-biotech-battery-minerals-and-gold-11219.html <![CDATA[News - Australian new energy companies hold global appeal: TLEM Conference lowdown ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209337/australian-new-energy-companies-hold-global-appeal-tlem-conference-lowdown-209337.html The Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference in Perth this week showcased the breadth of Australian companies advancing battery metal and clean energy projects.

The conference featured emerging and established companies focused on lithium, graphite, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, magnesium, rare earths and other minerals associated with clean energy and battery components.

A running theme over the two-day conference was how battery mineral markets, as well as uranium and other clean energy commodities, will be impacted by renewable energy targets and expanding climate change policy.

Focus was also given to Western Australia’s potential role as a global hub for the supply and production of battery metals and components.

READ: Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference hears WA ready to leverage battery power revolution

Altech Chemicals Ltd (ASX:ATC) aims to become one of the world's leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) high purity alumina (HPA).

Its 4,500 tonnes per annum plant forms an important part of an integrated HPA strategy which incorporates kaolin clay sourced from the company’s kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia.

The production process will employ conventional off-the-shelf plant and equipment to extract HPA using a hydrochloric acid-based process.

Altech began planning construction of its Malaysia-based HPA plant in September.

READ: Altech Chemicals marks key milestone towards commencing high purity alumina plant construction

Argosy Minerals Ltd (ASX:AGY) continues to fast-track the development of its flagship Rincon Lithium Project in Argentina.

The company achieved a key milestone in the September quarter in producing a successful and scalable chemical process solution to produce battery-grade quality lithium carbonate (LCE).

About 500 kilograms of LCE product has been produced to date.

Argosy believes the exclusive chemical process technology is effectively proven for utilisation of future development stages at the Rincon Lithium Project.

READ: Argosy Minerals demonstrates chemical process for battery-quality lithium production at Rincon

Aura Energy Ltd (ASX:AEE) is advancing two high-margin development projects, Tiris Uranium in Mauritania and Häggån Vanadium in Sweden, with both offering attractive economics and resource upside.

Aura aims to bring Tiris into production in 2019-20 and is currently working on a definitive feasibility study for the uranium project.

 

 

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) has completed a baseline pre-feasibility study for its Gabanintha Vanadium Project in WA, which estimates a net present value (NPV) range for the project that has an upper end of US$2.37 billion when assuming a US$20 per pound vanadium price.

The base case demonstrates robust project fundamentals featuring competitive product costs and financials and will allow AVL to move quickly into piloting and a definitive feasibility study.

Gabanintha has a vanadium resource of 175.5 million tonnes at 0.77% vanadium pentoxide, which includes a high-grade zone of 93.6 million tonnes at 1%.

A recently completed infill drilling program at the project confirmed a consistent 3 to 10-metre-thick zone grading over 1.2% vanadium in 10 of 11 holes.

READ: Australian Vanadium confirms broad high-grade vanadium zone at Gabanintha

Bannerman Resources Ltd’s (ASX:BMN) 95%-owned Etango project is near Rio Tinto plc's (LON:RIO) Rössing Uranium mine, the Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine owned by Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX:PDN) and CGNPC’s Husab Uranium Mine.

A definitive feasibility study at Etango has confirmed the viability of a large open pit and heap leach operation with expected annual production of 7-9 million pounds of yellow cake for the first five years and 6-8 million pounds per year thereafter. 

The company undertook a large-scale heap leach demonstration program between 2015 and 2017 to provide further assurance to financing parties, generate process information for the engineering design phase and enhance internal capability.

READ: Bannerman Resources confident of 2019 uranium bull market amid spot price volatility

 

BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX:BEM) is focused on developing the Maniry and Ianapera graphite projects in southern Madagascar.

The company also has several exploration licences in Western Australia at tenements prospective for graphite.

READ: Technology and Low Emission Minerals conference to showcase emerging Australian battery metals industry

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) is developing its landholding around the Little Gem project in Canada, which is rapidly emerging into British Columbia’s premier cobalt belt.

Last month Blackstone identified multiple new large-scale targets at the Jewel copper-gold-cobalt prospect within Little Gem.

The Jewel prospect is 1.1 kilometres northeast of the Little Gem prospect and is associated with the high-grade Jewel Underground Mine with historical production of 51 tonnes between 1938 and 1940.

Historical average mining grades of 73 g/t and 0.4% copper have been supported by Blackstone rock chip samples assaying up to 98 g/t gold, 3.2% copper and 0.1% cobalt.

READ: Blackstone Minerals identifies further copper-gold-cobalt targets at Canadian project

Boss Resources Ltd (ASX:BOE) is positioning its Honeymoon Uranium Project in Australia to be the country’s next producer of up to 3.2 million pounds of yellow cake per year.

Honeymoon is a fully permitted uranium mine with $170 million of established infrastructure, including a plant under care and maintenance, and can be fast-tracked back into production in a 12-month time span.

READ: Boss Resources intersects high-grade uranium in Honeymoon restart drilling

Comet Resources Ltd (ASX:CRL) is advancing its Springdale Graphite Project in Western Australia, 30 kilometres east of Hopetoun.

In April 2017 Comet recovered graphene through exfoliation of diamond core and is continuing research and test work on graphene production and other graphite products, including battery-grade graphite.

Core Lithium's Finniss project near Darwin

 

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) is developing the Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin and last month lodged an application for a mining lease at the Grants prospect with the NT Government.

A definitive feasibility study focused on mining and production of high-grade lithium concentrate at Finniss is currently underway and on track for completion later this month.

Core completed a pre-feasibility study for Finniss in June, indicating the project would be a low-capex lithium concentrate operation with globally competitive cash costs, high operating margins and rapid capital payback.

The Grants deposit is expected to generate a net present value (NPV) of $140 million pre-tax with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 142% at an average concentrate price of US$649 per tonne.

READ: Core Lithium early drill results suggest large hidden pegmatite swarms

Perth-based Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) is advancing multiple work streams towards the completion of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) at its Butcherbird high-purity manganese project.

The PFS is assessing the path to commercialising Element's manganese resource following strong scoping study results and growth forecasts in high-purity manganese markets.

Element plans to mine and process high-purity products including manganese sulphate for lithium ion batteries and electrolytic manganese metal.

The company is in discussion with several independent advisory groups to provide early-stage project financing services including initial engagement with potential funders and advice on available funding structures and strategies.

Element intends to integrate substantial renewable energy into its power solution to minimise carbon intensity and further reduce costs.

READ: Element 25 on track to complete Butcherbird high-purity manganese PFS in 2019

Galan Lithium Ltd (ASX:GLN) is defining the Candelas prospect within its Hombre Muerto Lithium Project in Catamarca Province, Argentina, also known as the ‘lithium triangle’.

Galan has been de-risking the project through soil sampling and geophysics and has made plans to drill test defined targets.

Recent survey work conducted over the project’s western basin targets delineated new discoveries of lithium-bearing brines, adding to the project’s potential scalability.

The company expects to post a maiden JORC resource before the end of the financial year.

 

Hazer Group Ltd (ASX:HZR) has developed a unique proprietary process to convert natural gas and similar feedstock into hydrogen and high-quality graphite, using iron ore as a process catalyst.

An independently designed and operated external fluidised bed reactor recently tested and validated Hazer’s low emission hydrogen and graphite process, confirming its scalability.

The testing also provided a performance comparison to Hazer’s own FBR, produced comparative bulk graphite samples and assessed alternative heating methods.

Hazer has commissioned a demonstration plant which will utilise the Hazer process as a fully-integrated, continuously operating technology, at practicable scale, with proven capability to supply a final product to market.

READ: Hazer Group commissions studies for plants aimed at building business case for Hazer process

Hexagon Resources Ltd (ASX:HXG) aims to become a vertically-integrated graphite business supplying high-grade graphite materials to the energy storage sector.

The company is developing its McIntosh Graphite Project in WA’s Kimberley region, a low-risk fully-funded graphite project with quality downstream products.

READ: Infinity Lithium's hard rock lithium holds market advantage over brine producers

Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd (ASX:INF) is leveraging growing market demand for lithium hydroxide in the production of cathode batteries as it develops processing routes for its San Jose Lithium Project ore.

Last month the company expanded its lithium hydroxide scoping study at the Spain-based project to include further hydroxide as well as lithium sulphate flowsheet development.

The expanded study comes after the company identified the hard-rock San Jose resource has a natural advantage over brine producers due to a straight conversion process via a lithium sulphate transitional pathway.

Infinity is advancing its lithium hydroxide study in direct response to the evolving battery chemicals market, with lithium hydroxide demand continuing to grow faster than lithium carbonate.

Most of the recent global investments in lithium chemical plants have been in lithium hydroxide production as lithium-ion battery makers move towards higher-energy density and nickel-rich cathodes.

READ: Global Geoscience becomes ioneer of sustainable future with a new name

Ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) released a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in the US state of Nevada two weeks ago, modelling a 30-plus-year mine life.

The PFS put forward a notable low cost for producing lithium equivalent, due to the high volume and value of the boron by-product it would produce along with lithium carbonate.

ioneer's study put the Rhyolite Ridge project’s after-tax net present value (NPV) at US$1.8 billion at a 7% real discount rate.

The after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) was 27.7%, making the payback period on the 30-plus-year mine a short 4.1 years.

Initial capital expenditure (capex) was US$426 million including indirect costs and contingency plus $173 million for a lump-sum turnkey sulphuric acid plant.

Looking east over ioneer's Rhyolite Ridge south basin

 

Ironbark Zinc Ltd (ASX:IBG) is developing its Citronen base metals project in Greenland, which has a resource of more than 13 billion pounds of contained zinc and lead metal.

Ironbark has published an exploration target of 302-347 million tonnes at 4.4-5% zinc over 11 kilometres of strike, suggesting a potential mine life of over 100 years at contemplated production rates of about 3.3 million tonnes per annum.

The exploration target exceeds the last published mineral resource of 70.8 mt at 5.7% zinc and lead.

Citronen has some unique characteristics that are likely to make it one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable global operations.

Ironbark plans to draw on these advantages to deliver the cleanest zinc mine in the world.

READ: Ironbark Zinc signs Citronen MoU for Metso services-and-equipment agreement

Kibaran Resources Ltd (ASX:KNL) is focused on its 100%-owned Epanko Graphite Project in Tanzania, which hosts large flake graphite with ‘expanded’ properties.

The Epanko deposit has a JORC indicated mineral resource estimate of 12.8 million tonnes at 10% total graphitic carbon, containing 1.28 million tonnes of graphite.

The battery metals-focused company has begun a pilot plant program and is planning commercial expansion.

READ: Lithium Australia to develop advanced silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has designed disruptive technologies to furnish the lithium battery industry with ethical and sustainable supply solutions.

Through its SiLeach and LieNA lithium extraction processes, along with quality cathode material production from wholly-owned subsidiary VSPC Ltd, the company seeks to establish a vertically-integrated lithium processing business.

Stage II processing trials of SiLeach are ongoing at a facility in Sydney, with the objective of using the processing technology to convert mine waste into lithium-ion batteries.

The company is also reassessing the pilot plant location to optimise technical and financial benefits.

This process will take into account the principal financial considerations together with intangibles such as the ability to manage research & development in offshore jurisdictions.

 

Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) is on track to become the first significant dysprosium producer outside of China.

The company is advancing its Browns Range Project, 160 kilometres southeast of Halls Creek in Western Australia, and has developed a three-stage plan to test and market its mixed rare earths carbonate product before a bankable feasibility study and final construction.

READ: Peninsula Mines confirms flake graphite exploration target with Gapyeong intersections

Peninsula Mines Ltd (ASX:PSM) aims to become a graphite producer in South Korea by the end of 2020, with recent work focused on demonstrating its processed fine flake concentrate can be converted into high-purity spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries.

In drilling completed last month the graphite developer intersected significant widths of mineralisation at its Gapyeong Flake-Graphite Project.

Gapyeong’s exploration target is 10-14 million tonnes grading 8-12% total graphitic carbon and containing 1-1.4 million tonnes of graphite.

Peninsula hopes to mine its graphite flake, turn it into concentrate, then produce spherical graphite to supply Korean battery-makers.

READ: Pilbara Minerals readies product as it increases lithium-tantalum reserves at Pilgangoora in WA's northwest

Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLS) is an emerging lithium and tantalum producer focused on its Pilgangoora project, 120 kilometres from Port Hedland in WA’s Pilbara region.

The project is one of the biggest lithium spodumene deposits in the world, with a hard rock mineral resource estimate of 226 million tonnes at 1.27% lithium, 116 ppm tantalum and 0.6% iron ore.

This amounts to 2.86 million tonnes of contained lithium and 57.7 million pounds of tantalum.

 

A 3D overlay of plans for Stage 2 at Pilgangoora

 

Protean Energy Ltd (ASX:POW) is focused on the commercialisation of its V-KOR vanadium battery energy storage systems and holds a multi-energy mineral project in South Korea through its 50% holding in Stonehenge Korea Ltd.

The company was recently awarded $3 million in funding commitments for a multi-party vanadium battery project which will aim to develop an industry standard for vanadium batteries in Korea.

READ: Protean Energy secures controlling stake in Korean vanadium-focused subsidiary

Renascor Resources Ltd (ASX:RNU) is developing its Siviour Graphite Project in South Australia and lodged a mining lease application with the South Australian Department for Energy and Mining earlier this year.

The company is completing a pre-feasibility study for the downstream production of uncoated spherical graphite, as well as reserve definition and metallurgical drilling and advanced offtake negotiations with potential buyers of Siviour production.

READ: Vanadium critical for renewable energy storage, hears Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference

ScandiVanadium Ltd (ASX:SVD) is an IPO-stage junior listing on the ASX next week with an enterprise value of $4.5 million.

The company completed its acquisition of the Skåne Vanadium Project this week and aims to develop the project’s sedimentary-hosted ore body which formed on the seafloor and exists over tens of square kilometres.

Skåne’s vanadium-rich deposit is about 10 metres thick and runs from surface over more than 40 kilometres.

Predicted vanadium deficit. Source: Bushveld Minerals 

 

Sovereign Metals Ltd (ASX:SVM) recently released a pre-feasibility study for its Malingunde Graphite Project in Malawi, confirming the project’s low capital and operating costs along with high margins and high-grade products.

The strong economic estimates can be attributed to the deposit being hosted entirely in soft saprolite material, its high grade of 9.5% total graphitic carbon, and the excellent infrastructure nearby.

The company has ongoing sales negotiations with numerous tier 1 and other offtake parties across multiple industrial sectors and locations.

READ: Sovereign Metals releases PFS for Malingunde Graphite Project, confirms low-cost operation

Tawana Resources NL (ASX:TAW) began lithium concentrate production at its 50%-owned Bald Hill Lithium-Tantalum Mine in March of this year.

Bald Hill has an indicated and inferred mineral resource of 18.9 million tonnes at 1.18% lithium and 149 ppm tantalum.

Probable reserves are 4.3 million tonnes at 1.18% lithium and 208 ppm tantalum.

READ: Tawana Resources gains on $40 million funds backing Alliance Mineral Assets merger, Bald Hill mine pick-up 

Triton Minerals Ltd (ASX:TON) is aiming to become a producer of high-value natural graphite concentrate from its portfolio of assets in Mozambique.

Through an 80% interest in holding company Grafex Limitada, Triton holds interest in three prospective graphite licences: the Ancuabe Project and the Balama North and South projects.

READ: Venture Minerals confirms Thor prospect targets in WA's southwest

Venture Minerals Ltd (ASX:VMS) is exploring for copper, lead, zinc, nickel and cobalt across several projects in Western Australia.

Recent drilling at the Thor copper-lead-zinc prospect intersected massive sulphides, confirming the target is a 20-kilometre long volcanogenic massive sulphide-style system.

CSA Global's Tony Donaghy speaking on the vanadium sector

 

Feature presentations during the conference were also made by: Argonaut Limited; Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; CSA Global Pty Ltd; InfraNomics; Olympus; TradeTech LLC; CRU; and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

The keynote address was given by the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, and the conference also heard from the Hon Mark Butler MP, Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

Private companies Tianqi Lithium Australia, International Graphite Pty Ltd and Earth AI also gave presentations.

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Thu, 15 Nov 2018 21:59:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209337/australian-new-energy-companies-hold-global-appeal-tlem-conference-lowdown-209337.html
<![CDATA[News - Vanadium critical for renewable energy storage, hears Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209246/vanadium-critical-for-renewable-energy-storage-hears-technology-and-low-emission-minerals-conference-209246.html The central theme to this week’s Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference was how battery mineral markets, as well as uranium and other clean energy commodities, will be impacted by renewable energy targets and expanding climate change policy.

Speaking after lunch on the first day, CSA Global Pty Ltd principal consultant Tony Donaghy gave a presentation titled ‘Vanadium: Putting Renewable Energy to Work When You Need It’ which detailed the current vanadium market and its growing potential for use in battery storage.

Supported by presentations from vanadium players such as Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) and ScandiVanadium Ltd (ASX:SVD), the conference was reminded of vanadium’s huge growth potential as the principal element in vanadium redox flow batteries.

READ: Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference hears WA ready to leverage battery power revolution

Vanadium was the best performing battery mineral in the last 12 months, based on price increases, despite most of global supply going to steel production.

Donaghy said that vanadium consumption had substantial room to grow in Asian steel markets due to potential improvements in grade and purity.

New standards for Chinese rebar will require more vanadium and further steel production is expected to increase demand for automotive and aviation materials and high-strength steel structures.

He also noted that analysts had predicted a significant deficit in vanadium by 2027, based on current projects in the pipeline and expected demand trends.

The present vanadium supply is largely dominated by coke production in steel markets, with vanadium in batteries growing from 1% in 2015 to 2% in 2017.

In that same period, however, vanadium consumption from steel also increased from 68% to 76%.

Only 17% of present supply comes from primary vanadium sources, with the remainder produced as by-products.

Donaghy listed a number of current supply constraints including lower production in China; shutdowns such as South Africa Highveld Steel; and lower North American vanadium volumes.

CSA Global's Tony Donaghy

ScandiVanadium director Brandon Munro introduced the emerging vanadium junior’s shale-hosted project in Sweden and briefed the audience on the critical role vanadium redox flow batteries will play as renewables take greater shares in power grids.

He said: “Vanadium appeals to me in a very deep, purpose-driven way – I’ve done a lot of work with the World Nuclear Association, and that’s been primarily driven at understanding the forward demand trajectory for nuclear power.

“And you can’t understand nuclear power demand unless you understand renewable demand, and the role renewables can play.

“There’s a key piece missing, and that is that intermittent renewables, without a storage solution, are hugely destructive to the existing grid infrastructure that we have spent the last 100 years building.”

Munro said that without storage capacity to back-up intermittent renewables, he believed our societies would start to reject renewables because they would mess with grid infrastructure.

This leaves only two viable storage solutions for grid power – pumped hydro, which has a number of constraints, and the vanadium redox flow battery.

Source: Bushveld Minerals

Vanadium redox flow batteries have unique advantages including high lifecycles, no capacity loss over time, simple scalability, improved safety and immediate and rapid energy release.

The mineral itself is derived from vanadium-titanium-magnetite (VTM) deposits, shale-hosted deposits or as secondary products from fossil fuels and uranium.

China dominates vanadium production due to its steel industry and is also the price driver and primary market for the commodity, consuming 92% of globally produced vanadium.

Donaghy said that a substantial downscaling of fossil fuel reliance in vanadium production was projected by 2050, potentially focusing global production on magnetite and shale-hosted projects.

 

AVL managing director Vincent Algar, speaking on the second day, explained to the conference that vanadium supply was in a deficit due to increased demand from the battery sector and tightened environmental controls in China.

He said that current producers could increase their supply to provide up to half of the deficit and developing deposits with high in-situ grade, combined with high concentrate grade, would have the best chance of success.

AVL has completed a baseline pre-feasibility study for its Gabanintha Vanadium Project in WA, which estimates a net present value (NPV) range for the project that has an upper end of US$2.37 billion when assuming a US$20 per pound vanadium price.

The base case demonstrates robust project fundamentals featuring competitive product costs and financials and will allow AVL to move quickly into piloting and a definitive feasibility study.

Gabanintha has a vanadium resource of 175.5 million tonnes at 0.77% vanadium pentoxide, which includes a high-grade zone of 93.6 million tonnes at 1%.

 

ScandiVanadium will list on the ASX next week with an enterprise value of $4.5 million.

The IPO-stage junior completed its acquisition of Skåne Vanadium Project yesterday and aims to develop the project’s sedimentary-hosted ore body which formed on the seafloor and exists over tens of square kilometres.

Skåne’s vanadium-rich deposit is about 10 metres thick and runs from surface over more than 40 kilometres.

Munro said the project’s shale-hosted vanadium “potentially offers some very distinct metallurgical advantages over other forms of vanadium ore bodies, particularly for feeding the vanadium battery market”.

Outcropping formation at the Skåne Vanadium Project

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Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:12:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209246/vanadium-critical-for-renewable-energy-storage-hears-technology-and-low-emission-minerals-conference-209246.html
<![CDATA[News - S&P shows 19% increase in global exploration budgets to US$10.1 billion ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209241/sp-shows-19-increase-in-global-exploration-budgets-to-us101-billion-209241.html S&P Global Market Intelligence research highlights that budgets for nonferrous metals exploration projects increased by 19% to US$10.1 billion this year.

The appetite for electric vehicles has particularly lured explorers, with cobalt and lithium exploration projects holding appeal among those looking to make precious or base metal, diamond, uranium or industrial mineral discoveries.

Iron ore, aluminium, coal, and oil & gas exploration was excluded from the research which sets its focus on nonferrous metals efforts.

Junior explorers tipped an extra 35% into their budgets as the number of companies on the hunt went up for the first time since the last major contraction, in 2012.

Active exploration companies now number 1,651, an 8% gain.

READ: Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference hears WA ready to leverage battery power revolution

Canada, Australia and the US hold notable appeal, with exploration in the tier 1 jurisdictions recording increases at higher levels than typically seen.

S&P said its data “confirms that the industry recovery, which began in late 2016, is continuing at an accelerated pace.

“Global nonferrous exploration budgets increased for the second consecutive year, rising 19% year-over-year to US$10.1 billion from US$8.5 billion in 2017.”

READ: S&P Global Market Intelligence highlights 83% reduction in major copper discoveries

S&P metals and mining research associate director Mark Ferguson said: “Improved metals prices and margins since 2016 have encouraged producers to expand their organic efforts the past two years.

“Over the same period, equity market support for the junior explorers has improved, leading to an uptick in the number and size of completed financings, according to the new CES report.

“This allowed the group to increase exploration budgets by 35% in 2018."

The research, published in the Corporate Exploration Strategies series (CES), showed nonferrous exploration budgets had increased for the second consecutive year, up 19% year-over-year across the world.

Estimated global nonferrous exploration budgets, 1996-2018

Battery minerals attract dollars, gold still gains

S&P’s research highlighted battery metals exploration budgets, including for cobalt and lithium, had risen a collective 500% since 2015, including 82% this year.

S&P put the rises in context, reporting “these allocations remain relatively small when compared with planned exploration allocations for traditional base and precious metals-focused efforts”.

READ: Vanadium critical for renewable energy storage, hears Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference

Besides uranium, which had a decline, budgets were up for all targets including gold and base metals such as copper and zinc.

Gold budgets increased US$810,000, or 20%, to $4.86 million, reflecting US$100 an ounce gold price band, while base metals allocations increased US$600 million, or 0.19%, to $3.04 billion.

Among these, copper attracted the largest share of budgets but zinc budgets increased the most - by 37%.

Canada holds top appeal

Canada attracted the most cash again this year, with a US$1.44 billion nonferrous exploration budget, which was a 31% year-over-year increase in allocations.

Second-placed Australia chased Canada’s heels, attracting an extra 23% for a US$1.33 billion budget figure.

In both tier 1 countries, gold budgets made up 55% of the total sum.

Number three, the US, attracted 34% higher budgets in 2018.

The top three countries — Australia and the US — each experienced above-average increases.

Four of the top 10 destinations were in Latin America, with Peru, Mexico and Chile taking fourth to sixth place.

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Wed, 14 Nov 2018 22:01:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209241/sp-shows-19-increase-in-global-exploration-budgets-to-us101-billion-209241.html
<![CDATA[News - Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference hears WA ready to leverage battery power revolution ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209126/technology-and-low-emission-minerals-conference-hears-wa-ready-to-leverage-battery-power-revolution-209126.html Battery metal companies and investors flocked to the Westin Hotel on Perth CBD’s eastern fringes yesterday for the annual Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference, now in its 15th year.

The running theme for the event’s first day was the state’s potential to become a global centre for battery minerals supply and processing, buttressed by its vast mineral resources, advanced mining practices and a proactive state government.

Both the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) and the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry have produced reports outlining the business case and necessary steps required for Western Australia to benefit from the exponential global growth projected in battery metals required for electric vehicles and components.

With proven reserves in all minerals requiring battery components, strong growth in greenfields exploration and a number of advanced near-development projects, WA can leverage its unique advantage to potentially capture a substantial share in the expanding global appetite for batteries and battery-related products. 

READ: Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference to showcase emerging Australian battery metals industry

A mixture of battery metal-focused companies gave presentations, including lithium developers ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) and Venture Minerals Ltd (ASX:VMS), as well as graphite companies Comet Resources Ltd (ASX:CRL) and Hexagon Resources Ltd (ASX:HXG).

Manganese was represented by Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) and advanced uranium developer Bannerman Resources Ltd (ASX:BMN) gave a feature presentation on the uranium market and the company’s Etango project in Namibia.

Perth a potential 'new energy hub'

Keynote speaker the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, told the conference that Western Australia, with its abundance of battery metals and technological know-how, can take advantage of future opportunities in emerging battery-related industries.

Johnston said: “One part of that is our ethical business practices.

“When we market WA products to the world and Perth is a new energy hub, people can see that we are a sustainable resource jurisdiction.”

He remarked on the growing confidence in the resource sector, particularly for battery metals, which had led to an upswing in exploration over the last 12 months.

World-class resources to match growing demand

Along with a focus on best practice, Western Australia has low sovereign risk and world-class resources, with three of the four best hard-rock lithium projects in the world.

The state is the world’s leading producer of lithium – 44% of world supply in 2017 came from WA’s seven operating lithium mines.

All other minerals used in battery components are mined, including globally significant nickel resources across 87 deposits and eight operational mines.

WA is also the world’s second largest cobalt producer, with demand increases sparking exploration in the cobalt space.

Johnston highlighted that 40% of global cobalt supply was going into batteries and that was expected to increase to 55% in 2019.

Established industrial centres and excellent infrastructure further add to the state’s advantage in leveraging a boom in battery metals.

Capturing share of global value chain

AMEC said in its report 'The Path Forward: Supporting the development of a lithium and battery metals industry in Western Australia' that WA mines significant quantities of global lithium resources and produces all other minerals necessary to domestically manufacture batteries.

Spodumene mined in WA has a lower conversion cost to lithium hydroxide when compared to brine evaporated in other regions, giving Australia a comparative advantage in technology and industries not heavily reliant on low labour costs.

The report points out that the current $165-billion global lithium value chain will grow to a conservatively estimated $2 trillion by 2025.

Australia will capture $10 billion of this without government and industry collaboration, however, a concerted effort to add one step of electro-chemical processing to the value chain would give Australia a further share of $297 billion.

AMEC's research showed that 89% of global electro-chemical processing occurs in China but that Australia could compete on both cost and quality of product.

 

 

Along with graphite, vanadium, magnesium, rare earths and other minerals associated with clean energy and battery components, WA also holds an advantage with resources in manganese.

Johnston said he expected to see further growth in the global manganese market, noting that world demand had doubled in the last decade, partly due to demand in battery technologies.

The Woodie Woodie mine in WA’s north is Australia’s only manganese mine and companies such as Element 25 are evaluating their projects to source high-grade manganese dioxide.

Moore Stephens' report 'Manganese: Is it the Forgotten Battery Mineral?' notes that by 2040, 55% of all new car sales and 33% of global fleet are expected to be electric.

New electric car sales are currently at 1.3% and global fleet about 0.2%. 

The report highlights manganese's importance in current preferred battery cathode compositions that utilise manganese, cobalt and aluminium, with manganese being the cheapest to mine and produce.

Although only 10% of the global manganese market by volume, high-purity manganese makes up about 40% of global market value.

READ: Element 25 on track to complete Butcherbird high-purity manganese PFS in 2019

Perth-based Element 25 is advancing multiple work streams towards the completion of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) at its Butcherbird high-purity manganese project.

The PFS is assessing the path to commercialising Element's manganese resource following strong scoping study results and growth forecasts in high-purity manganese markets.

Element intends to mine and process high-purity products including manganese sulphate for lithium ion batteries and electrolytic manganese metal.

Butcherbird infrastructure overview.

Lithium still leading WA battery minerals

Since 2017, investment in lithium mining and downstream processing in WA has seen projects worth $4 billion completed, under construction or planned.

This includes the Tianqi lithium plant nearing completion in Kwinana’s industrial area, which will be the largest lithium hydroxide plant in the world.

Argonaut Limited director of metals, mining & energy research Matthew Keane provided the conference with a market update, stating that battery metals had all sold down heavily in the second half of 2018.

Keane said: “In terms of small resources, it’s been a very challenging half-year.

“The impact of trade wars, the US dollar strengthening, it has had a large impact.”

READ: Global Geoscience becomes ioneer of sustainable future with a new name

Despite the price sell-down, Keane said the next wave of lithium projects was approaching, along with a number of Western Australian companies expanding their production.  

Keane noted Pilbara Minerals Ltd’s (ASX:PLS) 800,000-850,000-tonne expansion of its Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project, which went from first drill hole to production in four years.

He also listed Mineral Resources Limited’s (ASX:MIN) spodumene concentrate expansion to 750,000 tonnes and Kidman Resources Ltd’s (ASX:KDR) Mt Holland joint venture which has increased production to 315,000 tonnes spodumene concentrate and 45,000 tonnes lithium hydroxide.

Speaking to Proactive Investors, Vertical Events manager for resources Doug Bowie said that lithium was still the most common commodity of the conference, along with increases in graphite, vanadium and uranium companies.

With battery metal stocks having been tempered in the last six months, Bowie speculated that there is strong potential for markets to substantially improve over the next 6-12 months.

Source: WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Battery mineral predictions

Making a prediction on the future of battery metals, Keane said that we are on the cusp of an electric vehicle minerals boom and the uptake of disruptive technology was exponential not linear.

Keane said that medium-term lithium prices were likely to move closer to US$10,000 per tonne of lithium carbonate before returning up to US$20,000 per tonne.

He said we will see more active upstream investment from the US and Europe as electric vehicle manufacturers compete with China, as well as increasingly focusing on supply chains outside of China.

As markets balance, Keane expects to see a higher focus on quality, potentially moving from direct shipping ore (DSO) operations to those producing high-purity concentrates.

Cobalt will remain critical for charge-discharge moderation in lithium-ion batteries and will attract premium pricing for non-African supply.

Battery demand for nickel will move towards 15-20% of the total nickel market by 2025, accelerated by advancements in refining and processing nickel sulphates.

Looking at industry growth and demand projections, Keane echoed Johnston’s comments by saying that WA was rapidly becoming a global centre for battery minerals supply.

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Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:30:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209126/technology-and-low-emission-minerals-conference-hears-wa-ready-to-leverage-battery-power-revolution-209126.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: DJ Carmichael's Davide Bosio reviews major market movements ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11163/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-reviews-major-market-movements-11163.html Mon, 12 Nov 2018 15:28:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11163/bulls-bears-brokers-dj-carmichael-s-davide-bosio-reviews-major-market-movements-11163.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Dale Gillham predicts the future based on market phases ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11149/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-predicts-the-future-based-on-market-phases-11149.html Fri, 09 Nov 2018 12:40:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11149/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-predicts-the-future-based-on-market-phases-11149.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Locantro looks ahead to opportunities in biotech, commodities ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11148/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-looks-ahead-to-opportunities-in-biotech-commodities-11148.html Fri, 09 Nov 2018 12:01:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11148/bulls-bears-brokers-locantro-looks-ahead-to-opportunities-in-biotech-commodities-11148.html <![CDATA[News - Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference to showcase emerging Australian battery metals industry ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208890/technology-and-low-emission-minerals-conference-to-showcase-emerging-australian-battery-metals-industry-208890.html Investors and company leaders are gearing up for the Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference (TLEM) to be held in Perth next week, with the conference boasting an impressive line-up of emerging and established Australian battery metal companies.

TLEM features companies producing from or developing projects focused on lithium, graphite, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, magnesium, rare earths and other minerals associated with clean energy and battery components.

The opening address will be delivered by the Hon Bill Johnston MLA, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, and the two-day event will include feature presentations from industry leaders and experts.

Emerging Australian battery metals industry

Speaking to Proactive Investors, Vertical Events manager for resources Doug Bowie said the conference began in 2004 as the successful Australian Uranium Conference.

He said: “It evolved due to changes in the supply and demand in minerals over that time and in 2013 incorporated rare earths leading up to the change to add new energy’ and technology minerals in 2016.

“The conference has been designed to assist the resources companies in these markets to share ideas, create shareholder interest, and to promote forward sales of those commodities.

“It also is there to promote Australia and importantly Western Australia as the premium headquarters for companies involved in these markets.”

Doug Bowie speaking at last year's conference 

  Decrease in cobalt companies

Bowie continued: “Last year’s conference attracted over 400 attendees and this year is tracking ahead of that event with more companies involved along with more investors.

“Of note is the increase in graphite, vanadium and uranium companies and the decrease in cobalt companies.

“Lithium is still the most common commodity of the conference coinciding with some of the heavyweights of the WA lithium industry such as Tawana Resources, Pilbara Minerals and Tianqi Lithium who all appear in the closing session of the conference.”

First day feature presentations

Following Minister Johnson’s keynote address, brokerage firm Argonaut Ltd’s director of metals, mining & energy research Matthew Keane will present a market update.  

Among the presenters on the first day will be Bannerman Resources Ltd (ASX:BMN) chief executive officer Brandon Munro, who will make a presentation titled ‘Uranium: Big Bears Mother Bigger Bulls, as well as CSA Global Pty Ltd’s principal consultant Tony Donaghy, who will present on vanadium and renewable energy.

Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) senior process chemist Chris Griffith will talk on the challenges of high purity concentrate production before lunch and Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy the Hon Mark Butler MP will address the conference mid-afternoon.

A company speaker at last year's event

Features on second day

The second day will be opened by opto-digital manufacturer Olympus’ industrial sales specialist Simon Bailey, who will speak about breakthrough technologies for cobalt analysis using pXRF.

After morning tea Argosy Minerals Ltd (ASX:AGY) managing director Jerko Zuvela will present on South American lithium brines and their impact on global battery markets.

Second-day features will also include: TradeTech LLC’s mining geologist & analyst Patrick Plummer on evolving supply and demand dynamics in the uranium market; CRU senior consultant Toby Green speaking about the attractions and risks of battery metals; and a presentation on developing a battery minerals industry in Australia by Warren Pearce, chief executive officer of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

Tianqi Lithium Australia general manager Phil Thick will also give a talk titled ‘Leading the Move Downstream in WA’.

Other companies presenting on the first day include: Altech Chemicals Ltd (ASX:ATC); Aura Energy Ltd (ASX:AEE); Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ); Boss Resources Ltd (ASX:BOE); Comet Resources Ltd (ASX:CRL); Earth AI; Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25); European Metals Holdings Ltd (ASX:EMH); Hazer Group Ltd (ASX:HZR); Hexagon Resources Ltd (ASX:HXG); Ioneer Ltd (ASX:GSC); Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU); Protean Energy Ltd (ASX:POW); Renascor Resources Ltd (ASX:RNU); and Venture Minerals Ltd (ASX:VMS).

Second day presenters include: Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL); BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX:BEM); Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX); Core Exploration Ltd (ASX:CXO); Galan Lithium Ltd (ASX:GLN); Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd (ASX:INF); International Graphite Pty Ltd; Ironbark Zinc Ltd (ASX:IBG); Kibaran Resources LTd (ASX:KNL); Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT); Metalicity Ltd (ASX:MCT); New Energy Minerals Ltd (ASX:NXE); Peninsula Mines Ltd (ASX:PSM); Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX:PLS); Sovereign Metals Ltd (ASX:SVM); Triton Minerals Ltd (ASX:TON); and Tawana Resources NL (ASX:TAW).

The Technology and Low Emission Minerals Conference will take place on November 13-14 in Perth.

To see a program, please visit https://www.technologyandlowemissionmineralsconference.com.au.

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Thu, 08 Nov 2018 22:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208890/technology-and-low-emission-minerals-conference-to-showcase-emerging-australian-battery-metals-industry-208890.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears and Brokers: unusual opportunities in precious gems, health ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11111/bulls-bears-and-brokers-unusual-opportunities-in-precious-gems-health-11111.html Tue, 06 Nov 2018 11:39:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11111/bulls-bears-and-brokers-unusual-opportunities-in-precious-gems-health-11111.html <![CDATA[Media files - Accelerate Your Wealth: Dale Gillham busts some myths about investing overseas ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11077/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-busts-some-myths-about-investing-overseas-11077.html Fri, 02 Nov 2018 01:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11077/accelerate-your-wealth-dale-gillham-busts-some-myths-about-investing-overseas-11077.html <![CDATA[Media files - Bulls, Bears and Brokers: Locantro sees "outrageous" volumes after announcements ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11073/bulls-bears-and-brokers-locantro-sees-outrageous-volumes-after-announcements-11073.html Thu, 01 Nov 2018 14:36:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/11073/bulls-bears-and-brokers-locantro-sees-outrageous-volumes-after-announcements-11073.html