Monsters of Rock: Now we all know how Port and Geelong fans feel
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It’s been a week since Port Adelaide and Geelong were unceremoniously dumped from 2021 AFL Premiership contention after getting absolutely demolished by the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Demons.
Major mining stocks were similarly uncompetitive today, copping an absolute shellacking as iron ore and gold prices nosedived to squeeze the market from both ends.
The Materials sector in the ASX 200 was off over 4%, led by an 11.42% fall from Pilbara iron ore giant Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).
It suffered a double whammy with iron ore prices sliding almost 7% to US$106.35/t overnight and a news story about a mass exodus of executives from the Andrew Forrest-chaired business.
Most commodities thrive in times of economic growth, but investors buy gold as a hedge against misery. So news that US retail data was better than expected was not what gold bulls wanted to hear, sending the price down 2.1% to US$1754/oz overnight (a bit over $2400/oz Aussie).
Leave it to lithium to pick up the slack as Ioneer led the large and mid-cap market with a 10% gain, making up big losses yesterday.
It came on the second day after Ioneer announced a deal that would see South African mining giant Sibanye-Stillwater tip US$490 million in to back its Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in exchange for a 50% share in the operation.
Sibanye will also take a major stake in Ioneer by tipping US$70 million into the ASX-listed company in a placement at 65.5c
The mine is scheduled to open in 2023 at a capital cost of US$785 million and operate for 26 years, producing ~20,600 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate or ~22,000 of lithium hydroxide and 174,400 metric tonnes of boric acid per year, on average over the life of mine.
“Sibanye-Stillwater, with its proven track record of developing and operating major mining projects including operations in the United States, its commitment to developing and maintaining an inclusive and sustainable culture, and its determination to become a major force in the battery materials supply chain, is an excellent partner for Ioneer to jointly realize the promise of Rhyolite Ridge,” the company’s executive chairman James Calaway said.