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Jan 2008 - China Consuming

China Continues Steady Consumption of Metal

This column is based on observations made during our (ERA) 2-week visit to China in November 2007 when we attended the China Mining Conference in Beijing. Before the conference we visited the properties of Golden Tiger (GTX) in western and eastern Guangxi, so gaining experience of what is happening in some of the rural areas of China, besides Beijing and Guangzhou.

Feb 2008 - Demise of US $

The Demise of the US$

It should be emphasised that this column is based on observations, and hence may violate some standard economic theories. Having said that, the US$ looks like yesterday’s currency, now is the day of Euro as shown in Figure 1. This results in a significant impact on any metal price forecasting in that the assumed exchange rate is likely to be just as much, if not more, relevant.

Mar 2008 - Small Gold Mines

The Re-emergence of Small Gold Mines

The history of gold mining shares often follows a well-known path from artisanal mining, through to collectives and smaller mines, discoveries to larger >100,000ozpa or >500,000ozpa producers, followed by larger companies taking over smaller companies. And eventually by those larger companies dropping the small mines (usually <50,000ozpa, occasionally <75,000ozpa) as they are too small to have any impact or occupy too much management time.

Apr 2008 - Mid-Tier Gold

Australia’s New Mid-Tier Gold Sector

In their presentation at Paydirt’s April 2008 Australian Gold Conference in Perth, Integra stated that the historical mid-tier of Australian gold shares that was taken over by the South African and North Americans, was now beginning to re-emerge.

Jun 2008 - Iron Ore Bubble

When is the Iron Ore Bubble Going to “POP!” ?

We have been through a number of popped bubbles in the past year such as nickel, most of the base metals, uranium and possibly even gold and are currently in the iron ore, coal and oil bubble, which like the previous ones that have burst has the media and some analysts predicting ever greater heights.

Jul 2008 - Boom Not Over

The Commodity Boom is NOT Over Yet!

Returning from China on 22 June 2008, we read in the FT that the Brits had sold out of commodities because they believed that the commodity boom was over. The following day, RIO announced iron ore price increases of 79.9% to US$144.66/t for its Pilbara fines and 96.5% to US$201.69/t for its Pilbara lump ore and RIO’s share price fell because even higher price increases had been expected.

Aug 2008 - Fly Away in May

Fly Away in May...

The old stockmarket adage of “fly away in May – return in August” based on a mix of the FA Cup, Wimbledon and the Northern Hemisphere holidays usually meant that due to a lack of traders on desks, the market usually drifted sideways, if not slightly down.

Sep 2008 - Diesel Fuel

Diesel Fuel Alternatives

The rising price of diesel fuel at one stage raised the cost of diesel power stations to the 35USc/Kwh to 38USc/Kwh region, prompting remote company operations to seek (where possible) alternative fuel sources to reduce power costs.

Oct 2008 - Low Nickel Price

Why is the Nickel Price Back Below US$5/lb?

Our column in the December 2003 edition of Paydirt, referred to the nickel price closing at US$12,080/t (US$5.48/lb) on 7 November 2003, with the 27-month LME forward curve then above US$10,000/t (US$4.54/lb). According to WMC the real long-term average nickel price was ~US$5/lb, or possibly ~US$6/lb in the opening presentation of Brian Hurley at the Paydirt 2003 Nickel Conference.

Nov 2008 - China Impressions

Impressions of China Depend on What You See

In the first two weeks of November 2008, we visited China looking at prospects in Guangxi and Yunnan in the first week, followed by the annual China Mining Conference with ~3,700 participants held in Beijing in the second week.

Nov 2008 - Understanding Gold

Understanding Gold

Quite a few comments have been written about gold and its expectations since October 2008. Particularly after the US$100/oz fall within two days to 23 October 2008, hovering above US$700/oz despite significant demand for physical gold, and subsequently rising US$100/oz to over US$800/oz similarly over about two days around the 23 November 2008.