Here we are, finally at the end of a long week that promised to descend into carnage at the big end of town — before petering out to a scratch.

The potential collapse of Evergrande and a flailing iron ore price had several business news writers mouthing “how terrible” when they really meant “how interesting” as the ASX 200 posted its worst day since February led by big losses from the major miners.

Fast forward a couple of days, Evergrande has staved off disaster for now, the iron ore price is back above US$100/t on restocking ahead of the Chinese National Day holidays.

The unfortunate losers today amid all this apparent stability were the mid-tier and major gold miners, although they have their long term supporters if stimulus driven economic growth begins to wane.

Northern Star (ASX:NST) was off more than 4% today as the gold price slipped overnight, with Evolution (ASX:EVN), Ramelius (ASX:RMS), Perseus (ASX:PRU) and Regis (ASX:RRL) similarly fragile.

Sentiment in BHP and FMG was also off, with both dropping by more than 1%, through not for Rio as the materials sector closed the week down 1.33%, an ordinary day but nothing like Monday’s horrorshow.



Ioneer is back near record highs as lithium stocks have continued their status as the commodity class du jour, as prices have lifted to all time highs in China.

Indeed fellow lithium developer Liontown (ASX:LTR) was the only big resources stock to end a manic Monday in the green earlier this week.

Ioneer, which owns the Rhyolite Ridge lithium project in Nevada, is up almost 32% for the month.

It secured South African-American mining giant Sibanye-Stillwater as a JV partner for the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project last week.

The deal will see the major tip US$490 million in equity into the JV and take a US$70 million stake in Ioneer along with an agreement to pay another US$50 million if it exercises an option to enter a 50-50 JV over the North Basin project.



Ioneer share price today: