Closing Bell: It’s all about that base as metals, miners, energy inspire ASX day of action
All of the top 15 small cap gainers today are in the resources space. The benchmark has risen 0.7% and the ASX Emerging Companies (XEC) index just 0.2%.
Copper prices clocked US$8013/t. Nickel jumped over 4.2% to US$26,022/t and aluminium gained 2.1% to US$2429/t.
Aided and abetted by a diminishing US dollar – finally knocked off it’s high-horse of the last few months – ASX resources stocks have been augmented by some upbeat news out of China on official real estate sector support from local lenders, with the central authorities told to back developers who have the right balance sheet stuff.’
Ten of the 11 ASX sectors found some robust custom on Wednesday, the IT sector is the odd one down.
“Gold, coal, lithium and battery metals performers were also among the top dogs as the materials sector lifted 0.79%, outpacing the ASX 200’s 0.68% lift to a 22-week high.”
On Wall Street and in Europe, markets rallied as investors revelled in the cracking retail earnings they’d been waiting for from a week of big name US retail reports.
US retailers, brushing off the escalating COVID-19 outbreak in China.
The stronger-than-expected earnings results from a slew of retail businesses just days ahead of the holiday shopping season’s Black Friday reassured investors that US consumers are proving resilient in the face of the Fed’s aggressive tightening campaign and red-hot inflation.
Best Buy bought itself about 15% of investment love after beating the street’s expectations on revenue and consequently its full-year profit guidance.
Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters — just terrific US fashion houses if you’re living in either HBO’s Succession or Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone — found about 20% apiece overnight after smashing quarterly earnings expectations.
One would think this kind of unabated spending ahead of Thanksgiving’s official unabated spending season would bode badly for inflationary pressures, but what would I know.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) probably knows better, which is why the Board has lifted the official kiwi cash rate (OKCR) by 75 basis points – as expected – to 4.25%, with RBNZ governor Adrian Orr offering a few choice (stern) words of warning telling his bro’s that the OKCR needs to get higher, “sooner than previously indicated.”
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Leading a chockers field is Codrus Minerals (ASX:CDR) a $2m capped gold explorer which just became the third ASX junior exploration stock in three days to make +100% gains at the open.
Not unlike its peers, CDR is pivoting like a madman into a niobium-rich rare earths (REE) project. This one’s called Karloning in the WA wheatbelt.
Hearkening back to the mad old days (literally a few weeks ago) to WA1 Resources’ (ASX:WA1) discovery on the WA/NT border, Reuben says niobium is mainly used to make steel better, but also has growing uses in lithium-ion batteries, intelligent glass, solar panels, 5G tech, and nuclear energy.
CDR has inked a deal to earn up to 90% of Karloning, where a large 1.5km long and 200m wide pegmatite has been shown to host niobium alongside magnet REEs like dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, and praseodymium.
CDR says early-stage rock/soil sampling returned highly anomalous REEs and +5000ppm (0.5%) niobium.
According to CDR managing director Shannan Bamforth, the Karloning pegmatite is in an existing quarry, offering the team “a unique opportunity to see the geology and make a rapid assessment of the exploration potential.”
“We believe the pegmatite has significant scale, and grab sampling has returned impressive grades of the four key REEs required in the manufacture of permanent rare earth magnets.
“This is a walk-up exploration opportunity, and we are looking forward to getting on the ground as soon as possible to commence initial exploration activities with a view to firming up targets for drilling in early 2023.”
Initial work programs at the site include soil sampling and either drone or ground magnetics and ground radiometric surveys “as a priority”.
The results of initial soil sampling, ground magnetics and ground radiometric surveys surveys will underpin the maiden drilling program and are planned for Q1 CY2023.
BSA (ASX:BSA) has likewise jumped high on news that it’s selling off its APS Maintain business to NYSE-listed Fortune 150 mob CBRE Group, for a smart $20 million.
Mitre Mining (ASX:MMC) cruised upwards all morning on news that it’s buying the East Pilbara Lithium and Mount Alexander Lithium Projects.
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RareX (ASX:REE) reports its 2022 drilling program has wrapped up with “material progress” being made on multiple fronts with the development and evolution of the Cummins Range Rare Earths and Phosphate Project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.
Managing director Jeremy Robinson told the exchange that the foundation has been lain for a major mineral resource upgrade targeted for Q1, 2023.
“The project is advancing rapidly towards the development phase and 2023 should see numerous key milestones achieved.”
REE’s metallurgical work is continuing, Robinson says, and looks promising signs to achieve an upsized and simplified combined flotation product of rare earths and phosphate from the mine site with subsequent separation by magnetics.
The company says by focusing on monazite and apatite together and following a clay removal de-slime step, there’s potential to simplify the project from the one originally scoped out for the pre-feasibility study (PFS).
Unlisted drone maker and solutions provider Carbonix is capitalising on the boom in demand for innovative approaches to drone applications and defences.
The leading Aussie maker today reports it’s established a new long-range drone capability for its newest partner ASX-listed Fugro (AMS:FUR).
The company also recently partnered with SA Power Networks and Nokia to advance the use of long-range Un-crewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in aerial inspection work and flood monitoring on remote electricity distribution network assets.
The partnership is a first for FUR as well, with the partners aiming at producing long-range Beyond Visual Line of Sight missions (BVLoS), bolstering Fugro’s existing Geographic Information System (GIS) capability.
Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV) – Capital Raise.
EP&T Global (ASX:EPX) – Capital Raise.