Champagne corks could be popping for investors with iron ore shares as the steelmaking commodity zipped to $US150 per tonne this week.

The price is equivalent to $200 per tonne in Australian currency, and is at its highest point in eight years for those with fond memories of the last China ore boom.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) was the toast of the market, as its share price hit a record $22.51 Thursday, up 3.25 per cent on day.

In its Investor and Media Day web broadcast, the cash-rich company revealed it is sticking to its generous dividend policy.

Under this progressive policy, FMG pays out up to 80 per cent of net profit, meaning bumper dividend cheques for shareholders on top of its share price gains.

The iron ore shipper is now valued at close to $70bn, and was one of the bright spots in a off-colour ASX market that had its first slide for a week.

The ASX 200 market went down 45 points to 6,683 points at Thursday’s close, and the broader ASX All Ordinaries sank 0.7 per cent to 6,917 points.


Elsewhere on the ASX:


Flinders Mines (ASX:FMS) went up 29 per cent to $1.38 as it prepared to make an announcement on its Pilbara Iron Ore Project in WA. The company went into a trading halt Thursday, as iron ore prices hit another high of $US150 per tonne ($200/tonne). The $5bn PIOP lies to the west of Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon iron ore mining hub.


Immutep (ASX:IMM) was up 60 per cent to 45c on news it is to start in early 2021 a phase two clinical trial for its metastatic breast cancer treatment. The trial is fully-funded by its Chinese partner, EOC Pharma, and will involve 152 patients in China.

The trial is expected to take 24 months to complete, and will evaluate Immutep’s lead product eftilagimod alpha in combination with paclitaxel in metastatic breast cancer patients.

“Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in Chinese women, with more than 1.6 million people being diagnosed and 1.2 million people dying of the disease each year,” EOC Pharma chief executive, Xiaoming Zou, said.


Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR) slid 2.4 per cent to $1 even though the oil company said it had off-loaded its first shipment of 500,000 barrels of oil from its newly acquired Bauna production field off Brazil. The cargo has been loaded on to the Lambada Spirit shuttle tanker for transshipment to a Very Large Crude Carrier for dispatch to customers in Asia.


Manuka Resources (ASX:MKR) dipped 5.4 per cent to 44c despite announcing it had restarted production at its Wonawinta site after a severe weather event at the weekend. Wonawinta’s processing plant restarted after repairs were completed faster than an expected five-day outage. The NSW gold producer is planning to restart silver mining at its Wonawinta project.


Protean Energy (ASX:POW) rose 40 per cent to 1.4c following its successful share placement that raised $758,800. The funds are for the development of its Gwesan vanadium project in South Korea. Protean Energy is seeking to commercialise vanadium battery energy storage systems.


Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) was steady at $115.39 with its declaration of a maiden ore reserve and updated mineral resource for its Jadar lithium-borates project in western Serbia. Pre-feasibilty studies show Jadar has the potential to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate and boric acid. The project is located on the fringe of the European Union, one of the fastest growing markets for EVs, and has the potential to supply battery makers for decades.

Trading halts



LawFinance (ASX:LAW) – capital raising

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) – capital raising

IGO (ASX:IGO) – acquisition

Nanoveu (ASX:NVU) – capital raising

ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) – capital raising

Cynata Therapeutics (ASX:CYP) – capital raising

Kingston Resources (ASX:KSN) – capital raising

Moho Resources (ASX:MOH) – capital raising

Agrimin (ASX:AMN) – capital raising

Tempus Resources (ASX:TMR) – capital raising



Asaleo Care (ASX:AHY) – takeover offer

Stemcell United (ASX:SCU) – capital raising

Bod Australia (ASX:BDA) – capital raising

Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS) – capital raising

Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV) – capital raising

Medical Developments International (ASX:MVP) – capital raising

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