• S&P/ASX 200 Resources index drops 0.6% led by battery metals miners
  • FMG, South32 in the green as miners await US CPI and China Covid policy news
  • Second WA mine worker dies onsite this week


The S&P/ASX 200 Resources index fell 0.6% and the materials index slid 0.59% in a drop that accelerated through the afternoon as the world looks forward to some pretty big macroeconomic news.

First is the US CPI print, likely to indicate a direction for future rate rises from the US Fed.

Second is the Communist Party’s gathering in Beijing.

Analysts expect Xi Jinping to do Sweet FA about the country’s Covid Zero policy, after a slew of editorials from state news services supporting the stance.

Not good for metals that.

Singapore iron ore futures were down 0.8% to US$93.05/t at 4.15pm AEDT, while gold prices — likely to swing on the inflation data — were down slightly to US$1670/oz in Asian trade.

Super heated battery metals stalled today, falling by ~2.5-5% across the board, with Allkem (ASX:AKE) (-5.01%) and Ioneer (ASX:INR) (-5.88%) the biggest sliders.

On the positive side of the ledger, most gold stocks were up, with West African Resources (ASX:WAF), De Grey (ASX:DEG) and Gold Road (ASX:GOR) all looking good and platinum miner Zimplats (ASX:ZIM) up 7.6% on small volumes.

Fortescue (ASX:FMG) and South32 (ASX:S32) held their morning gains among the big boys.


Monstars share price today:



Mine deaths in WA

Unfortunately, with the good we need to report the bad as well, and this week has been a poor one for Australia’s record on mine safety.

It is unusual to see, but two workers have died on WA mine sites in recent days.

The first was an incident in an underground mine at Gold Fields’ St Ives operation on Tuesday afternoon in which one worker was killed and another injured.

“On behalf of our Gold Fields’ team, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and work colleagues of our business partner employee who has passed away,” Gold Fields Executive VP Australasia Stuart Matthews said.

“It is a devastating loss for our close-knit team, especially our underground crew who have a unique comradery.

“Gold Fields’ site emergency response team attended immediately to the incident, and will be commencing an investigation, whilst cooperating fully with the Regulatory investigation processes.

“Out of respect for the privacy of those affected by this tragedy, and whilst there are investigations underway, we cannot provide further details.

“All mining operations at our St Ives mine have been suspended, and will resume only once we, and the relevant authorities, are satisfied that work can safely recommence.”

Mines safety inspectors are now en route to an undisclosed mine in the Pilbara where a worker is reported to have died, the ABC reported. It was later revealed the worker was a MACA (ASX:MLD) contractor at Capricorn Metals’ (ASX:CMM) Karlawinda gold mine.

The last death on a WA mine site occurred in September last year, when 25 year old David Armstrong died at Fortescue’s Solomon Hub after the ground he was working on collapsed.