• Tributes are flowing in for IGO managing director and CEO Peter Bradford, after his sudden death at the age of 64 over the weekend
  • Markets hit hard as Xi stays the course on economy-killing Covid policy in China

It is with great sadness we report, as many others will be doing today, the death at 64 of IGO (ASX:IGO) boss Peter Bradford.

It happened suddenly over the weekend and came as a shock to just about everyone in the industry, especially given the tour de force manner with which Bradford led the company since his appointment as managing director in 2014.

IGO was a nickel, base metals and gold miner at the time, best known as one of a handful of truly diversified mining companies on the ASX.

Under Bradford’s leadership it was transformed completely into one of the Australian bourse’s key battery metals plays, shifting the Jaguar zinc mine, Long nickel mine and its stake in the Tropicana gold mine and engineering deals to acquire Sirius Resources, Western Areas and part of Greenbushes, the world’s biggest lithium operation.

In that time it moved from a valuation of around $4 a share to almost $15 today, firmly ensconcing IGO’s status as an $11 billion ASX 100 miner.

Like many mining reporters, Bradford was one of the many executives I’ve dealt with and, pretty much uniformly across the industry considered one of the best — honest and thoughtful in his responses to questions and open about his opinions.

The sitting president of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, he didn’t just promote the clean energy story which has so gripped junior and mid-tier resources investment in recent years, but was a passionate and sincere believer in its value, both ethically and commercially.

In a memo to AMEC members last night, CEO Warren Pearce called Bradford “surprisingly humble, warm, friendly and caring, and relentlessly optimistic”.

“He led us through two years of the COVID pandemic, which had heavy impacts for all our members, and he was an unwavering voice for increasing diversity in our industry and driving harassment and bullying out,” Pearce said.

“He was also one of industry’s most strident and passionate voices for responsible and sustainable mining practices, and the critical role that mining must play in producing the minerals the world needs to decarbonise.”

IGO’s COO Matt Dusci will step into the main role ahead of an executive search process.

The company noted he was also an active mentor for Women in Mining WA and a former WA Mining Club committee member and vice president.

“On behalf of the Board, I wish to extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to Peter’s wife Vicki and his children and everyone who was fortunate enough to know Peter as we did,” IGO chair Michael Nossal said.

“The news of his death is devastating to everyone at IGO. We greatly admired Peter for not just his vision and commitment to delivering on our purpose but also for his endearing humility and enormous humanity.”


IGO (ASX:IGO) share price today:


And over to the markets

On a sad day for the Australian resources sector it is an appropriately dour market which greets us all, with materials down 2.8% and energy off 2.54%.

That came amid a broader collapse on the ASX 200 of 1.6%.

Iron ore futures have dipped to a 2022 low, with Singapore 62% Fe prices down 2.21% this morning to US$91.70/t. We would wager that Xi Jinping’s commitment to Covid Zero in his opening speech at the National Congress in China over the weekend is involved.

Gold is also in troubled waters off the back of last week’s US inflation data. 75bps rate rises are nigh.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), Northern Star (ASX:NST), MinRes (ASX:MIN) and coal miner Yancoal (ASX:YAL) were among those pulled away by the vicious rip this morning.

Swimming dutifully against the tide were a swag of lithium miners, recovering from last week’s Morgan Stanley induced case of the broker note lurgy.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) led the large caps, up 7c or 1.49% to $4.755.

In the mid-tier a quartet of lithium stocks stood out, with Liontown (ASX:LTR), Core Lithium (ASX:CXO), Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) and Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) all green.


Ground Breakers share prices today: