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Weekly Ramblings of an Australian Stock Trader - incorporating
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Category — Mining

STOP PRESS…Resource Stocks Pay Dividends Too.

STOP PRESS…Resource Stocks Pay Dividends Too

In the global quest for yield, it seems as though investors have labelled the whole resource space as ‘growth stocks’, and left them on the shelf.

Yet a quick scan through mining stocks shows resource stocks pay dividends too.

Some of them yield as much as 7%, 9%, or even 11%…

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) interest rate cut to 2.75% last week took us to a historically low rate. Anyone funding their lifestyle from interest is going to find things harder than ever. Falling rates have forced investors into riskier assets in the search for yield.

We’ve seen this in the financial stocks, with the XFJ index exploding 45% in a year.

And we’ve seen it in industrials too. Smaller players have done very well. Veterinary business Greencross (ASX: GXL) has increased ten-fold! [Read more →]

May 17, 2013   Comments Off

There’s Going to Be a Bull Market in Technology Metals.

There’s Going to Be a Bull Market in Technology Metals

Not long ago I was in Toronto for a couple of days for a conference on what people in the resource space call ‘Technology Metals‘. These are critical elements that go into all manner of advanced materials, electronics, optics and more.

Without technology metals, most modern technological systems won’t work like the builders advertise and users desire.

In a global economic sense, all sorts of people and companies produce all manner of technology metals. Technology metals are key to many supply chains, such as high-priority military technology.

For example, Boeing builds airplanes. Much of the structure and skin of airplanes is made of aluminium. So Boeing buys aluminium from, say, Alcoa, which in turn has a chain of processing facilities, smelters and ore in the ground at mine sites, located in faraway corners of the world.

Or Boeing buys jet engines from, say General Electric. GE has all manner of suppliers who build parts and components for those engines. The suppliers, in turn, have their own supply chains, including for exotic, high-strength metals like titanium.

Eventually, when you trace the flow for titanium, you’ll find an ilmenite deposit in the rocks of, perhaps, Quebec, or a sandy beach in Australia. [Read more →]

May 16, 2013   Comments Off

Platinum is a Buy — but What’s the Best Way to Invest?

Platinum is a Buy — but What’s the Best Way to Invest?

Platinum has, like every metal, been in the wars.

But the travails of platinum mining companies have been even greater.

Rising costs; mines that have become cash-drains; lay-offs and labour disputes leading to violence; and, in one case, an ill-advised purchase of a copper company at the top of the market.

In short, they’re in a bad way.

But is this reflected in the price? Is it time to put on our contrarian’s hat and go looking to buy into the sector again?

Let’s have a look… [

May 10, 2013   Comments Off

Build Wealth Fast through the Resource Sector.

Build Wealth Fast through the Resource Sector

Back in 1992, Gina Rinehart’s wealth stood at $75 million.

By 2009, it had INCREASED 38-FOLD to $2.9 billion!

Not bad. But she had only just got started.

Today her personal wealth measures $29 billion.

Put another way, over 21 years her wealth has increased at an average growth rate of 32.8% per annum.

It’s hard to think of a sector outside of resources that can create such vast personal wealth so rapidly.

Not even the best-performing hedge fund manager in history can compete. Stan Druckenmiller was close, with average gains of 30% per annum over roughly the same time frame, but Rinehart is ahead by a nose. More to the point, the wealth is hers, not a fund’s.

My point is this: if you know how to navigate the resource sector, there’s simply no other wealth generator like it… [Read more →]

May 9, 2013   Comments Off

Down 24% in Three Months…is it Time to Buy Resource Stocks?

Down 24% in Three Months…is it Time to Buy Resource Stocks?

It’s like late 2008 all over again for the resource sector…it’s bloody marvellous!

You couldn’t describe too many resource investors as ‘excited’ today. But this guy certainly is. He’s a Melbourne-based boutique fund manager who’s made a ‘buck or two’ in mining over the decades.

So why is he excited?

You make the real money by buying low, when something looks putrid…and selling high, when it becomes the new market darling.

And, right now…resource stocks are looking, well…pretty putrid.

Last time the mining sector was as putrid as this, a very simple method let us find stocks that then gained as much as 2,000% as the mining sector bounced back.

So I agree with my excitable friend: the opportunity of buying cheap stocks, and finding another 2,000% gain, is ‘bloody marvellous’ indeed…

So what is it that makes a stock stand out from the crowd, including the one that gained 2,000% in the aftermath of the GFC chaos?

In investing, you can make it complex…or you can keep it simple. I try and keep it simple. The tool I use is – cash. [Read more →]

May 6, 2013   Comments Off

Why the Commodity ‘Supercycle’ Might Only be Halfway Done.

Why the Commodity ‘Supercycle’ Might Only be Halfway Done

What if I told you that mining boom hadn’t even got started yet?

…Or that commodity prices have another fifteen years to keep rallying?

It’d be music to the ears of resource investors who have had a tough few years.

It’s tough to imagine in this bearish environment, but this is exactly what we heard from an expert in an exciting new presentation with our buddy Dan Denning recently…

Phillip J Anderson, of, sat down in front of the cameras with Dan a couple of weeks ago. Most of the talk revolved around Phil’s theory on property cycles.

It’s a cracking interview. We haven’t been exactly bullish on Australian property here at Money Morning. But Phillip made an interesting bullish argument based on a predictable 18-year cycle.

He sees the US property market leading the Australian market by about a year and a half, and as US prices are starting to pick up slightly, he’s very bullish on Australian property. [Read more →]

May 3, 2013   Comments Off

Here’s Proof the Silver Bullion Market is Alive and Well.

Here’s Proof the Silver Bullion Market is Alive and Well

Buyers are viewing the current fall in the price of gold and silver as an opportunity to grab a bargain — not a time to panic.

Have you tried to buy some gold or silver bullion yourself?

You might find it’s not as easy as you thought. I recommend you go through one of the usual dealers to see what I mean (and get it a sensible price). Just be prepared for a wait. This note on the Ainslie Bullion site says it all:

‘We’d like to apologise to our customers at having to close our web store this afternoon. After the craziness last night we have been overwhelmed on the trading floor all day with buying at these prices. With a back log of internet orders as well we could not be confident of having stock to supply new orders and took the decision to close the website rather than sell something we couldn’t deliver. We hope to have it back up soon tonight after a stock take now trading has finished.’

As I say, I’d recommend buying from a dealer. But to see what happens when buyers and sellers meet directly on the free market, also check out [Read more →]

April 28, 2013   Comments Off

Why A PlayStation And Mining Technology Have More In Common Than You Think.

The global mining industry is in the midst of a remarkable shift toward complete automation through technology. It has similarities with the automobile industry and the changes they went through over the last 30 years.

For example, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) are now performing geological surveys and investigating safety issues at mine sites and rigs. The US Geological Survey’s head of UAV Projects Mike Hutt compared the cost effectiveness of using UAV’s rather than manned aircraft. Hutt says that,‘It may cost $2,000 an hour to rent a helicopter…our costs for sending a couple of operators out with a system [UAV's] is under $200 an hour.’

If we look deep into central Brazil, VALE SA are constructing giant conveyor belts that start at their iron ore pit and go straight to the processing plant, eliminating the need for trucks all together. The whole operation monitored by a ‘Star Trek’ control room, satellites and sensors.

It’s not so farfetched to see the whole mining ‘pit-to-port’ process being run by a few operators (with degrees in Computer Gaming) and automated systems. It really is mining of the future.

My point? There’s a major shift happening right now to be smarter and better in the operation of mines across the globe. This shift is being driven by the need to lower costs. It’s also being driven by the growing demand for resources and the difficulty of extracting them from increasingly challenging places.

But at its core, this isn’t a mining story. It’s a technology story. Once you understand how technology drives progress – and has for all of human history – unlocking new investment opportunities becomes a lot easier, and a lot more exciting! [Read more →]

April 7, 2013   Comments Off

My Platinum Chat With Rick Rule.

I was chatting with Rick Rule last Friday. Rick is now part of Sprott Asset Management, one of the most respected natural resource investors around. Rick also had a ridiculously good long-term track record in managing money before joining Sprott.

Anyway, Rick has a new thesis he is hot on: platinum and palladium, or more broadly the platinum group metals (PGMs). I’ve learned when Rick gets hot on an idea, it is worth listening to him.

The thesis is simple, as most good ones tend to be…

The Law of Supply and Demand

‘What we discovered in about four weeks’ work,’ Rick told me, ‘is that the platinum and palladium mining industry as a whole does not earn its cost of capital. What that means is that either the price of platinum and palladium go up or there is less and less of it going forward.’

Another way to say it is that the platinum and palladium business, as is, doesn’t pay investors enough for the risks they take compared with alternatives. So it means people will not invest new dollars in the sector.

No new investment in mining means depletion of existing mines with no new sources of supply. Eventually, the price has to go up as rising demand (or flat demand) presses on a diminished supply.

What’s unique here is that platinum and palladium face particularly challenging supply constraints. [Read more →]

April 3, 2013   Comments Off

The Small Cap Miners Operating Deep in the West African Jungle.

The Small Cap Miners Operating Deep in the West African Jungle

Mining executives often like to describe their business as an exercise in earth moving. Maybe because they are not geologists they downplay the challenge of finding the stuff in the first place.

Instead they concentrate on the physical challenge and cost of digging it up, sorting the metal from the ore and taking it to the nearest railway line or shipping terminal.

Sometimes this process runs smoothly. In countries with established mining industries, with modern transport networks and power grids, mining is a simple business. But today’s miners are increasingly going where no miner has gone before, and they are finding that the necessary infrastructure does not exist.

One of the most exciting new mining regions is in West Africa, on the borders of Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Such is its wealth of iron ore that it has been called the new Pilbara – the rich iron ore region of Western Australia – but it is several hundred miles inland and unless a way can be found of getting the ore to the coast, commercial development will not be possible.

Why go to the trouble? Well, because of the potential for huge gains, of course. I’ll point to a few very attractive prospects today[Read more →]

April 1, 2013   Comments Off