• Materials lift as iron ore futures, base metals and gold rise
  • Mincor release strong resource estimate for “Golden Mile” nickel prospect
  • Coal miner Terracom confirms record June quarter


‘My life, my life, my life, my life in the sunshine’: that’s the carefree tune the materials sector is singing today as a positive swing for metals delivers a day of peace and relaxation at the top of the market.

It may have been wet and woolly outside of late, but such turbulence is not plaguing the miners.

Catching vibes like Roy Ayers in the title track from his vibraphone laden 1976 masterpiece Everybody Loves the Sunshine (which comes stylishly presented in translucent yellow vinyl, I’ll have you know), the materials sector is up a tasty 1.09% today.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and MinRes (ASX:MIN) are leading the gains for the bulk miners, with Singapore iron ore futures up a handy 2.33% to US$105.55/t.

Northern Star (ASX:NST) was up to lead out the gold sector, which enjoyed the first weekly rise in gold prices in over a month as the US dollar got weaker.

South32 (ASX:S32) was also in the green after releasing its quarterly results, announcing record annual production from its Worsley alumina business in south west WA and a big jump in manganese output.

But it was some of the ASX’s little monsters with the most interesting news to report.


Monsters share price today:



Mincor rises on Golden Mile resource

Not to be confused with Kalgoorlie’s Golden Mile, Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR) has been drilling fast and hard on its own nickel-plated version in an underexplored area of its north Kambalda operations.

The results have come in well ahead of expectations, with an initial mineral resource at the LN04a surface of the Golden Mile returning 576,000t at a classic Kambalda grade of 3.9% nickel for 22,600t.

That makes a 41% increase in nickel tonnes at the north Kambalda operations, including the Long and Durkin North mines to 77,000t.

16,000 of those new resource tonnes are indicated, meaning they will likely translate to an economic ore reserve which according to RBC’s Paul Wiggers de Vries has the potential to add around 1.5 years of mine life to Mincor’s Kambalda ops.

It could also lead to a saving in near term capex, with the higher grade of the resource potentially lifting LN04a as a priority over the restart of the more remote and lower grade Miitel mine.

Mincor MD David Southam said the LN04a surface remains open with extensive drilling programs planned to define an initial ore reserve and expand its extent up dip and along strike towards Durkin North.

“In just 13 months since starting drilling at the Golden Mile, we’ve been able to unlock the most significant new discovery since our initial Cassini discovery – and one of the more significant discoveries across the Kambalda district in recent memory – while at the same time increasing our global Long/Durkin North Resource by 41%,” he said.

“Geologists have long discussed the potential for the Golden Mile zone to host significant nickel resources, with this fantastic result representing an emphatic proof-of-concept of that theory.

“We must pause to recognise the outstanding efforts of the Mincor team in achieving this result. Our geologists, operational teams and consultants have delivered an incredibly high-quality body of work, in what has been an incredibly busy period for the Company with the ramp-up of production in Kambalda.

“Having completed our return to the ranks of Australia’s nickel producers, this excellent result demonstrates the exciting growth pathway now in front of us as we continue to unlock the potential of the Kambalda district.”


Mincor (ASX:MCR) share price today:



Terracom preps ~10c a share divvie

Coal has been good business this financial year, and even the laggards of the Australian sector are making a go of it.

Terracom (ASX:TER) is forecasting a 10c a share unfranked dividend after generating a record $224 million in EBITDA in the June quarter on the export of 1.007Mt from its Australian and South African coal mines.

A further 1.184Mt was sold domestically in South Africa.

45% of its record $488m EBITDA came in the June quarter, with its Blair Athol mine is Queensland pulling revenues of $403/t in the final three months of the financial year and a cash margin of $278/t.

Wild stuff.

“The June Quarter combined operating EBITDA surpasses the previous quarter by 250% and sets a new all-time record for the Company underpinned by solid operational performance across the Group and the continuation of exceptional export coal prices and demand,” MD Danny McCarthy says.

“Following the repayment of the Euroclear Bond, the Company’s balance sheet is in great shape and our forecast cash flows look very strong.”

 Terracom (ASX:TER) share price today: