Mining | - Part 2

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Weekly Ramblings of an Australian Stock Trader
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Category — Mining

The Future Looks Bright for Platinum.

The Future Looks Bright for Platinum

After last year’s strikes in South Africa, platinum has been very much out of the news in 2013.

Yet global demand has hit record levels in the face of dwindling supply. The price now sits below its cost of production, which points to further supply shortages. And funding for exploration has all but dried up.

The case for platinum looks compelling.

So is it time to buy?

There’s record demand for platinum
Demand for platinum has never been higher. According to Johnson Matthey, a record of 8.4 million ounces is needed this year.

Just over three million ounces of that is needed by the car industry for catalytic converters. Another 2.75 million is used in jewellery (the Chinese can’t get enough of it, apparently).

About 1.8 million ounces comes from use in other industries. And another 765,000 from investment – particularly the new South African platinum ETF.

In fact, demand has been steadily growing since 2009. Yet the platinum price has been steadily falling since mid-2011, when it flirted briefly with the $2,000 mark.

Platinum’s all-time high came in 2008 at around $2,300. It’s $1,385 today. Its high for this year was $1,740 an ounce, in February. Its low: $1,300 in July. [Read more →]

December 13, 2013   Comments Off

Resource Stock Investors: Let’s Get Back to Basics…

Resource Stock Investors: Let’s Get Back to Basics…

It’s a bad time for the resources industry.

Who says?

Everyone says. So it must be true.

But what if it isn’t true?

We’re glad you asked. Everywhere you look, folks are writing off the resource sector and Australian resource stocks.

But what if, rather than being the death of Australian resource stocks, this was actually the time to invest?

The latest news from mining giant Rio Tinto [ASX: RIO] may suggest things aren’t so bad after all…

Yesterday Rio Tinto announced:

Rio Tinto has set out its breakthrough plan to optimise the growth of its world-class iron ore business in Western Australia. Mine production capacity will rapidly increase towards 360 million tonnes a year (Mt/a) at a significantly lower capital cost per tonne than originally planned.

It’s hard to pick any holes in that news.

That’s a big increase in production. Rio forecasts to export just 265 million tonnes this year. So that’s a one-third increase.

If the increased production came without the margin improvement we would have wondered if Rio was just trying to dump iron ore on the market before a potential fall in iron ore prices.

But right now that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, the iron ore price has been surprisingly strong in recent months. [Read more →]

December 3, 2013   Comments Off

There’s No Technology Without Mining.

There’s No Technology Without Mining

The last time you bought a car, did you suddenly notice other cars of the same type on the road?

We did. We noticed it last year when we upgraded our car.

Suddenly, there were Porsche’s everywhere. Only kidding. We upgraded to a Subaru Forester. But it was the same effect. We now see Forester’s everywhere.

And since we launched a technology investment advisory service six months ago, we now look at the whole market in a completely different way…

We no longer see companies as mining companies, healthcare companies or car companies.

Instead, we see them as different parts of one big technology industry.

Take cars. Mercedes-Benz has just released its new S-Class model. It’s just a car right? Albeit a super-luxury car. Well, it’s more than that. It’s actually one big piece of technology.

And like any other piece of technology, the pace of innovation doesn’t hang around for anyone. It’s unstoppable. As the Age reported on the Aussie S-Class launch:

Mercedes-Benz admits the rapid pace of technological advances has meant it can no longer afford to hold them [innovations] back for each generation of S-Class, which, due to its relatively low volumes and high development costs, generally only comes around each decade.

You know the story. Mercedes-Benz used to launch new tech in its luxury brands. This tech would then trickle down to the lower end models. Not anymore. Technology moves too fast for that. [Read more →]

December 2, 2013   Comments Off

Why There’s Still Opportunity in the Resource Sector.

Why There’s Still Opportunity in the Resource Sector

Here’s a headline that should send shivers down the collective spine of the Aussie resources industry:

Goldman Sees at Least 15% Losses for Gold, Iron Ore

So says Bloomberg, reporting on the Goldman Sachs commodity outlook for 2014. It takes a brave investor to bet against Goldman Sachs.

For resource companies, a bearish commodities report from Goldman Sachs is like bumping into the Grim Reaper in a dark alley.

So, what does this mean for commodities and commodity stocks next year? It may surprise. It means one word: opportunity. But it won’t be for everyone…

There’s an old saying that investors shouldn’t bet against central banks because they can last longer in the market than you.

Those investors who tried to short sell the market over the past few years have learned that lesson to their cost. Just when it seemed as though the market was about to collapse, the central bank cavalry came to the rescue.

We expect that to continue for a long time to come as they try to manipulate stock prices gradually higher.

So if you shouldn’t bet against central banks, the same goes for betting against Goldman Sachs. In short, if you think you’ve got a lot of money to bet on the market, just know that Goldman Sachs has way more…way more.

The trick is not to bet against them but rather to anticipate their next move. [Read more →]

November 25, 2013   Comments Off

Why Do Aussie Investors Still Hate Resource Stocks?

Why Do Aussie Investors Still Hate Resource Stocks?

For all the talk in the mainstream you’d think the Australian resource sector was dead.

It’s a mighty struggle for any resource firm to raise capital.

And to look at the performance of Australian resource stocks, well, it’s hard to find any sector that investors hate more.

We won’t say investors are giving their shares away, but on some days, it sure as heck seems like it.

And yet despite the negativity, resources are still by far Australia’s biggest export. So what gives?

You can see the breakdown of Aussie exports for yourself in this chart:

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Click to enlarge [

November 21, 2013   Comments Off

A Timely Reminder About Opportunities in the Resource Sector.

A Timely Reminder About Opportunities in the Resource Sector

Natural resource veteran Rick Rule was in town last week and declared 800 of Australia’s mining companies mostly garbage.

That’s a pretty big call, but probably right.

We trust his judgement. If you’re unfamiliar with his name, Rick Rule has been investing in natural resources for over forty years.

He spoke for free to a select group of Port Phillip Publishing subscribers. Suffice to say, he’s seen the same cycles play out over and over again.

But don’t be misled by our opening comment. He sees plenty of opportunity in Australian resource stocks. Some of the news this week would suggest he’s right. He doesn’t appear to be alone, either…

Major Companies Still Interested in Australia
One reason the Aussie dollar appears to be holding up better than expected is that there is still foreign investment money flowing into Australia.

That’s bucking a global trend of declining foreign investment, according to a new OECD report. From all accounts, this is mostly resource related in the case of Australia. [Read more →]

November 12, 2013   Comments Off

The News Gets Worse, So We’re Buying Resource Stocks…

The News Gets Worse, So We’re Buying Resource Stocks…

If you own resource stocks, you don’t need us to tell you it has been a torrid two years.

The gold price is 30% below the 2011 peak, and the S&P/ASX 300 Metals & Mining index has lost a whopping 40.6% since April 2011.

And with headlines in the press talking about the ‘Economy at a turning point’ and ‘Mining sentiment in free fall’, only a lunatic would even consider looking at mining stocks today.

That’s where we come in. This is exactly why we’ve just tipped three mining stocks in the past six weeks.

As a contrarian investor, those are exactly the headlines to give us confidence that a rebound in resource stocks is on the way…

But not everyone agrees with our view. [

August 1, 2013   Comments Off

Follow the Vampire Squid to Aluminium.

Follow the Vampire Squid to Aluminium

Today’s Money Weekend will touch on a familiar theme before revealing a metal play that could remake one of the world’s biggest industries.

But first, there was no avoiding China this week. Jim Chanos will be smiling. If you happened to catch last week’s MW, you’ll know Jim Chanos is ‘short’ US blue chip Caterpillar, a company highly leveraged to mining and construction, especially in China.

Well, Chanos is on track for the moment. Caterpillar reported this week a 43.5% drop in quarterly profit and cut its outlook for the year, according to Reuters.

The news this week out of China of a contracting Purchasing Manager’s index won’t have eased any worries in the Caterpillar boardroom, either. Preliminary data has the PMI at 47.7, an 11-month low. A reading above 50 means expansion. Of course, you wonder how reliable and useful any of these readings are. But there’s no doubt they shift sentiment, and in the short term, that moves markets. [Read more →]

July 29, 2013   Comments Off

Could Uranium be the Best Investment in 2013.

Could Uranium be the Best Investment in 2013

Question: which commodity has had more false starts than a cane toad race?

Here’s another one: Which part of the mining sector has broken even more hearts than gold?

And a last one to round it up: What investment is possibly the toughest sell of 2013?

You’ve guessed it…the answer is the same for all three. But despite all these things, it could still be the biggest winner on the market over the next 24 months…

The answer is: uranium.

That’s right. Uranium is coming back. [

July 18, 2013   Comments Off

Asteroid Mining and the Commercialisation of Space.

Asteroid Mining and the Commercialisation of Space

A key person we’ve spoken to recently is involved in an industry at the cutting edge of human capability. If successful, this particular industry will turn the world on its head. It could open up amazing new opportunities for job creation and wealth creation over the next five to ten years and beyond.

It’s part of the trend we’ve written about in Revolutionary Tech Investor – the Commercialisation of Space.

More specifically we spoke with Mark Sonter from Deep Space Industries (DSI) about Asteroid Mining.

The Director of Mining and Processing for DSI, Mark has been involved in the study and development of Asteroid mining for over 25 years. (And here you were thinking the concept of Asteroid mining was new!)

In the mid-1990?s Mark got involved with some of the brightest minds in space research. One of those was Professor John S Lewis. He’s one of the world’s experts on the composition and chemistry of asteroids.

During this time Mark developed a thesis on the Technical and Economic Feasibility of Mining ‘Near Earth Asteroids’. Upon the development of his thesis Mark received a call from Rick Tumlinson, (one of Space News magazine’s 100 most influential people in the space industry) wanting to fund his research.

After ongoing research into the possibility of mining asteroids, in mid-2011 a group including Mark and Rick decided to incorporate a company. [Read more →]

July 17, 2013   Comments Off