That’s it. This time next week it won’t be November. Australia’s already playing India in the crickets. Queensland’s borders are open.

Summer it is then. Officially the Friday knock-off drinks season. (Are we allowed to stand up yet?)

If you can say one thing for 2020, it’s that it’s given us plenty to talk about in small caps world. BNPL riches, COVID-19 vaccines, dumping our dependency on oil and coal… and that’s just this past week.

Here’s the world’s most entertaining outgoing leader’s final summation on the situation:

And here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead.

1. Barry FitzGerald: It’s time for Garimpeiro’s BBQ season-opening junior gold explorers hit list

More importantly, it’s BBQ season. That means weeks on end of people bailing Garimpeiro up over a snag and trying to get his junior stock tips.

You probably don’t get invited to the kind of swanky fry-ups that Barry Fitz does, so here’s some early access to the kinds of things they talk about – it’s Garimpeiro’s BBQ season-opening junior gold explorers hit list.

There are six of them. But they come with a note that a) investment is juniors is exciting, yes – but it’s also high risk, so these are not recommendations. And b) anyone looking to have a punt on an exploration stock is best advised to seek expert advice that is appropriate to their circumstances.

Now Barry can get back to a proper chat about our openers or something. All a bloke wants is a mystery bag with a bit of dead horse…

2. Infant formula stocks guide: Here’s everything you need to know

COVID-19 hasn’t changed the fact that babies need food. But it has made global supply chains a lot harder to manage, especially when that supply chain relies on daigou trade via international tourists and students.

But that’s just one factor knocking the former ASX darling infant formula sector around in 2020. Nick Sundich has canvassed a few surprising others here, along with all the baby food stocks still in the market if you ‘re feeling optimistic about 2021.

3. Australian governments urged to clarify their position on EV taxes and net zero carbon target

A big fight broke out on our Facebook page last week because, well, it’s social media and that’s how social media survives.

It all over Mike Cooper’s story about how NSW had joined South Australia in thinking a special tax on EV drivers would be a really neat idea. Actual quote from NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet:

“It is hardly fair for tradies in utes to pay a tax that someone who can afford a $100,000 hi-tech car does not”

…who clearly has no idea how much utes can cost these days, or how much tradies actually earn.

There’s been a huge outcry over the idiocy of it all. So much so that now Victoria thinks a special tax on EV drivers is a really neat idea too.

Here’s why they’re embarrassingly transparent opportunistic money-grubbers wrong.

4. Explorers Podcast: North Stawell’s golden triangle plot points to Victorian gold boom success

You’ve got his BBQ tips, but if you’ve missed his dulcet tones, Barry’s also been busy in the studio this week. First up was Keren Paterson, founder, managing director and CEO at Trigg Mining (ASX:TMG).

Trigg’s a freshly listed potash player with a high-grade discovery at Lake Throssell and a JORC-compliant mineral resource at Lake Rason. Yep, it’s time to talk about SOP, because SOP helps feed the world. Tune in here.

And with “historic” being enough of a key word to trigger a buy frenzy among gold bugs everywhere right now, history doesn’t get much more historic than the historic mining town of Stawell, Victoria, Australia.

North Stawell Minerals is there. And so is Barry, here:

If you’re on mobile, click here to listen with Apple podcasts, here for Spotify or here for Google Podcasts.

5. A fish farm just raised $4.4m for its IPO in crypto – an Australian first

Got some crypto burning a digital hole in your digital wallet? Have no idea how to actually spend crypto? How about this: West Coast Aquaculture Group this week become the first company in Australia to raise capital in cryptocurrency.

That’s right. The international fisheries company raised $4.4 million in Tether on the fintech platform STAX. It formed most of the $5m it needed to list and start trading on the Sydney Stock Exchange (Code 833).

The Melbourne-headquartered company produces Grouper fish at its farms in Malaysia for shipment to customers in Asia.

There’s one in the eye for anyone who tells you your crypto is useless because “it’s not real money”.

Actually, while we’re on that – The Secret Broker has found a way to sit at the pub, buy Bitcoin and Ripple on the way up, switch them both into gold at the bottom, then buy beer with the proceeds. Instantly, with an app.

This is sorcery of the best kind.

6. DeFi guide: Everything you need to know about decentralised finance

Know all there is to know about decentralised finance? Course you don’t.

We can’t even start this sentence with the word “basically” or “in a nutshell”. If we had, we’d probably say something like “basically, decentralised finance is built around the concept that financial transactions such as currency exchanges or asset purchases can be executed via an automated network of checks and balances, rather than centrally-controlled clearing mechanisms”.


The first DeFi platform was actually launched in December 2017, but it’s only since June that the amount of capital locked in DeFi contracts has risen from around $US1bn to around $US15bn.

So yes, Sam Jacobs got handed the lucky red pill and became our overnight expert on DeFi – he now gets to explain it to you lot every time a DeFi success story floats past. He started this week by jagging two sector experts — Anthony Sassano from DeFi platform Set Protocol, and Dan Fries, CEO of The Tokenist — for the explainer.

Take your time; it’s an intriguing development. And of course, any DeFi guide wouldn’t be complete with commentary on yield farming

7. These are the 20 best (and worst) ASX stocks since the market bottomed March 23

Apparently, 2020 has been the Worst Year Evarrr. And yes, it actually has, because more than 1.4 million people have died after contracting COVID-19. As an extremely cool person once said:

“Death isn’t funny”

But what about all that economic grief? Yes, it’s most likely still to come. But for 2020, the stats don’t lie – the All Ordinaries bottomed out in March but just 22 of the 500 stocks in the index have lost ground since that time.

So if you pulled out your $20K free super and got in rather than blew it on a big telly and er, crypto, you should now be able to pile it back into your retirement fund with interest.

A lot of interest, if you’d invested in Afterpay (up 988%), Chalice Gold Mines (up 888%) or Sezzle (up 1578%).

In fact, it would have taken a special talent to pick a loser. But we’ve listed those as well – here are all the best (and worst) ASX stocks since the market bottomed March 23.

8. Got Gas: Is hydrogen the reason EVs are getting taxed?


Bevis Yeo has an interesting take on whatever Australia’s various governments might be thinking when they’re choosing to punish anyone with the temerity to buy a Tesla. He’s been getting press releases from Gummint types most of his working life as an energy and resources specialist, and there’s one topic that has recently been popping up more and more on a daily basis – hydrogen.

And he’s found several excellent reasons why encouraging the local hydrogen economy paints a far rosier picture for bean-counters than any number of battery-powered vehicles on our roads ever will.

“Building a hydrogen industry might not be the sole driver behind why Australia seems to be giving EVs the short shrift,” Yeo notes, “but it’s certainly getting a much smoother ride.”

9. How high can iron ore prices go?


Hungry Chinese steel mills pushed iron ore prices to two-month highs last week, after six straight days of rises. At $US130 per tonne, they’re up 10 per cent just in November.

This is crazy. Ish.

“Ish” because obviously China has invested heavily into the domestic economy – particularly infrastructure – in order to pull itself out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And according to Magnetite Mines (ASX:MGT) non-exec director Mark Eames, “their imports are only just picking up”.

“They have hit about 1.3 billion tonnes [annualised] for two months — that’s huge number, but if you look at underlying steel production China is going to consume a lot more iron ore,” he told Reuben Adams.

So yeah, how high can they go? This high.

But that’s still not as ballistic as copper right now.

10. What cannabis investors need to know ahead of the TGA’s decision


It was an exciting day for weed investors on Tuesday, who had their bongs packed and cheeseball stocks stocked in preparation for the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s final ruling on pharmacy distribution for CBD (cannabidiol) products.

The big number they were waiting for was how much CBD a packet of capsules could supply. Current levels were capped at a maximum of 1,800mg of CBD — equivalent to a 30-day supply of 60mg per day.

The problem with that is, according to cannabis companies, 60mg a day isn’t really enough to demonstrate the stuff works medicinally. It needs to be around 300mg a day.

So, the decision they were waiting for? Sorry – they still are. The TGA decided to sleep on the decision again until December.

But if you’re looking for a positive there, at least they didn’t say no.

Have a great weekend. Here’s a tribute to Diego Maradona messing around in the mud and still being better at the Beautiful Game than anyone who ever lived: