• Market tanks with materials down over 1%
  • Cold comforts to be found in largish miners Liontown, Emerald, Resolute and Allkem
  • Cambodian gold miner EMR now up over 60% YTD, RSG up more than 130%


Over in Ground Breakers we said the materials sector was having a dull and largely unspectacular day.

How wrong we were.

We left for lunch waiting for the RBA to give it’s call on rates, expected to be an equally dull, unspectacular (and in many commentators’ minds cowardly) pause to wait and see whether this inflation business will just fix itself already.

It won’t, so we’re up 25bps to 3.85%. The banks love cash, so they’ll no doubt follow.

There was twin pain for iron ore miners, who saw China’s steel PMIs (purchases by factory managers) fall to 45 in April. That’s deep in contraction territory and reflects falling blast furnace capacity utilisation rates as loss making mill owners shifted into maintenance mode.

Iron ore prices have been largely stagnant this week due to a public holiday in China, but could see more pain to fall below US$100/t soon unless we see a turn in sentiment.

This is normally the peak season.

Materials sunk 1.01%.

On days like these it helps to look for the silver lining. And we’ve found a little sliver in the large cap mining space.


Monstars share prices today:




Cold comforts

Your first cold comfort stock is Emerald Resources (ASX:EMR), which has nothing to report but has been an absolute godsend for gold bulls today with a 3.78% gain.

Already an out performer in the past couple years, Emerald has been a sensation amid a rising gold price environment in 2023, up 61% YTD.

Its main asset is the Okvau gold mine in Cambodia, where it has put paid to suggestions Tier-1 jurisdictions are everything when it comes to being successful in the mining game.

The first major gold operation in the South East Asian country, Okvau is a lowest quartile producer, delivering 28,800oz at an all in sustaining cost of just US$793/oz in the March quarter.

A healthy margin when you consider sales came in at 29,500oz for an average US$1903/oz, with $1.15b capped Emerald pulling in US$34.9m in operating cash flow before a US$12.3m Cambodian tax payment.

On a financial year to date basis, Okvau has produced 81,600oz at US$802/oz, with 25-30,000oz expected in June at costs of US$740-810/oz.

Those are the sorts of numbers the market is bound to reward, especially with bullion pushing US$2000/oz.

Also in the good books today was Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG), which is up more than 130% YTD to a market cap of almost $1b.

The West African gold miner remains a near 60% loser on a five year basis after years of operational issues and rising costs, but climbed 2.2% after releasing a sustainability report.

And last but not least was Liontown (ASX:LTR), which shot up this morning before returning to a more modest 0.6% gain after refuting a report that a second suitor had made a rejected bid for the lithium developer, as well as fellow lithium play Allkem (ASX:AKE).

LTR shares are up around 80% since the Kathleen Valley owner knocked back US behemoth Albemarle’s $2.50 a share offer, and have traded well above the bid price since news broke on March 28.


Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), Emerald Resources (ASX:EMR) and Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) share prices today: