• Andrew and Nicola Forrest split won’t affect Fortescue control, iron ore miner says
  • St Barbara reports strong end to 2023 as Gwalia passes to new owners
  • Gold miners surge, up 51% in a year, as US CPI print gives hope for end to rate hikes

Flagged surreptitiously in the shuffling of paper between various entities controlled by Australia’s richest couple, behind only Gina Rinehart in financial heft, Andrew and Nicola Forrest have confirmed a separation that will see the Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) patriarch and matriarch, in their parlance, “live apart”.

The news was broken by various media outlets overnight and comes after a host of corporate dealings that saw ownership of the couple’s holding in the iron ore miner they founded, worth ~$23.3 billion this morning, moved around between a string of entities.

“After 31 years of marriage, we have made the decision to live apart. Our friendship and commitment to our family remains strong,” the couple said in a statement last night.

“There is no impact on the operations, control or direction of Fortescue, Minderoo or Tattarang.

“We will continue our shared mission to create and gift our wealth to tackle community and global challenges, as recently shown by last month’s donation of one-fifth of our Fortescue shareholding to Minderoo Foundation.”

That last one, the $5 billion odd donation to their charitable Minderoo Foundation arm, was the most heavily promoted move of the reordering of their empire.

But in June, in the first change of directors’ notice issued by Twiggy in around two years, around $1.1b worth of shares were now owned by a firm called Coaxial Ventures. The shareholder of that one is Nicola.

FMG was up 0.8% early this morning, almost certainly because iron ore prices shifted north by around 4% to US$110/t and not likely due to anything to do with the split, and issued a short statement of its own.

“There will be no change to the control, direction or major shareholding owned by Tattarang and Dr Forrest’s associated entities, except for what has been previously advised, that Dr Andrew Forrest and Nicola Forrest will be transferring their wealth to charity over their lifetimes,” the company said.

“Dr Forrest remains Executive Chair of Fortescue and Chair of Tattarang and Minderoo Foundation.”

The iron ore miner and green energy hopeful will report its June quarter production results on July 27, with its full year financials and dividend payment to follow on August 28.


Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) share price today:



St Barbara ends Gwalia ownership on a high

St Barbara (ASX:ABM) has said goodbye to its long-running Leonora gold operations with its best quarter of the year, hitting the upper end of its FY23 guidance.

Gwalia’s mill produced 40,855oz, up 32% on the March quarter, as the keys passed over to its new stewards Genesis Minerals (ASX:GMD).

The deal, which survived a late contest from Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) after a merger bid that fell over when SBM’s financial position and share price deteriorated earlier this year, saw St Barbara receive $370m cash and ~$250 million worth of Genesis shares.

It meant Leonora produced 138,050oz for FY23, slightly above guidance of 130,000-135,000oz.

All in all, SBM delivered 260,368oz, within its 240,000-265,000oz range for FY23. 77,320oz came from the Simberi mine in PNG, including a 55% lift in the fourth term to 25,189oz as ore zones outperformed expectations.

The Atlantic Gold Operations in Canada, which delivered 11,081oz, were the only mines to see a decline for SBM, down 3% to 11,081oz for 43,998oz across the financial year.

SBM shares rose 2.64% this morning amid a broader 4.57% stunner for the gold sub-index, which is now up 22.39% year to date and almost 51% on a 12 month basis.

The sector remains 22.5% off the all time highs seen in August 2020 as bullion prices hit a record US$2075/oz.

Prices rose 1% to US$1957/oz overnight as the US CPI print came in at 3%, its closest level to the 2% inflation target that would cause the US Fed to likely end rate hikes. Currently two more 25bps lifts are expected.

Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) rose 6.31%, with Northern Star (ASX:NST) up 4.52%, West African Resources (ASX:WAF) rising 6.25% and Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) a massive 8.5% higher.

The materials sector was up 1.64% as of 11.35am AEST.


Goldies share prices today: