The big mining stocks were weighed down on Tuesday after an 8.5% fall in the iron ore price to US$132.38 overnight, according to pricing agency Fastmarkets MB.

BHP (ASX:BHP) was down 23c or 0.55% to $41.96 a share at 4pm AEST today.

It fared better than its competition, with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) down 1.76% to $108.74, FMG (ASX:FMG) off 2.91% to $18.03 and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) down 3.59% to $51.80.

Reports suggested a new round of steel production cuts was being brought by local authorities in Handan which will be in force through October, while there has been increased focus in China as well on efforts to curb an overheated property market.

Copper, zinc and aluminium — riding a wave of uncertainty amid political unrest in the world’s second largest bauxite supplier, Guinea — held strong among the base and industrial metals complex.

However, the junta which overthrew Guinea’s Government over the weekend has come out in support of the mining industry, saying they would allow mining operations to continue – which if it holds true would shield a major source of income and economic activity for the west African nation.

The materials sector was the biggest laggard on the ASX today, falling 0.81% as the ASX 200 traded almost flat.



It’s been a while since we saw a big kick for market darling Chalice, who are drilling intently around their Gonneville discovery at the Julimar nickel-copper-PGE project north of Perth.

Shares in $2.5 billion capped explorer Chalice rose 44c or 6.34% to their highest level in a month today at $7.38.

Chalice has not released a market sensitive announcement since early August when it unveiled results from its ongoing 160,000m step-out and resource definition drilling campaign at the 1.8 by 0.9km Gonneville intrusion.

They including wide, high grade palladium results in step out drilling including 9m at 3.6g/t Pd with a mix of platinum, nickel, copper and cobalt attached from 237m.

Other mid-cap miners that bucked the trend today included copper miner 29Metals (ASX:29M) and critical minerals play Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM), who both posted plus 5% gains.



Chalice, 29Metals and ASM share price today: