Ground Breakers: Iron ore leads mining stocks higher and Mincor hits more nickel at Kambalda’s ‘Golden Mile’
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China’s topsy-turvy approach to its economic management this year has sent iron ore prices every which way.
They are back on a winner now though, rising above US$150/t on Friday after the country pledged to support its flailing property market.
“Iron ore futures gained as the outlook was boosted by China’s promise of more support for the economy,” ANZ Research’s Felicity Emmett said in a note this morning.
“Futures in Singapore pushed to US$154/t after Beijing said it would ease the recent regulatory crackdowns, while supporting the property sector.”
The bullish mood out of the Middle Kingdom predictably provided some steam for iron ore producers and other companies in the business of shipping metals to China.
$1.2 billion capped magnetite miner Grange Resources (ASX:GRR), which produces the sweetest premium high grade concentrate on the ASX at its Savage River mine in Tassie, was up ~4% with lithium stocks also featuring among the mid-tier gains.
Sayona (ASX:SYA), up ~7% today continues to gain, up a randy 47.5% over the past month.
It’s been a nervous week for nickel companies, who may have been spared a big sell-off in their underlying commodity by limits placed on both upward and downward prices moves by the London Metals Exchange after the wild volatility that sent prices to US$100,000/t earlier this month.
That has seen investors tread carefully when it comes to local nickel stocks, but Mincor (ASX:MCR) has broken the pattern this morning with some nice hits at its Golden Mile prospect in the Kambalda nickel district.
Mincor says it has found a new mineralised surface called the LN04a immediately along strike from the Long nickel mine it picked up from IGO (ASX:IGO) a couple years ago.
Significant hits include 9.9m at 3.4% nickel, 1.2m at 8.2% nickel and 7m at 3.8% nickel.
Underground drilling demonstrates the continuity of the new surface over strike and dip extents of 550m and 150m respectively and remains open on both counts, Mincor says.
Two diamond drill rigs are up at what Mincor calls its northern operations, where it plans to have an initial mineral resource of the LN04a surface by late in the June quarter.
Shares in the ~$1 billion rated Mincor were up a touch under 3% on the news. It is significant for the company given that while the Kambalda nickel sulphide resources are high grade and simple to process through BHP’s nearby Kambalda concentrator, the company does need to add mine life at its operations.
“The definition of a seemingly large and high-grade new mineralised surface in such close proximity to our existing mining activities at Long and Durkin North represents an outstanding opportunity for Mincor to drive growth and mine-life extensions from this high-grade nickel address, at a time when high-quality nickel sulphides are in incredibly high demand and short supply,” Mincor MD David Southam said.
“Even more exciting, this success at Golden Mile represents a resounding tick of approval for Mincor’s strategy to combine the Long and Durkin North infrastructure and dedicate resources to unlocking the exceptional exploration potential of this previously untested zone.
“The confirmation of multiple discoveries within such a short time period certainly bodes well for the long-term future of our operations in the Kambalda Dome.”