Resource Market Weekly Recap – Apr 15, 2010

- April 15th, 2010

North America’s largest manganese mining company, Cia. Minera Autlan SAB, has reported larger than expected sales in the first quarter. The company’s share price has risen on the report and there is speculation that the company may issue a dividend this year despite last year’s revenue shortfall.

Manganese ore at harbour. First quarter sales have exceeded street expectations.By Dave Brown-Exclusive to Resource Investing News

Copper Investing News

On Tuesday, copper market consensus turned pessimistic as concern that the metal’s price growth has outpaced demand snapped the week’s rally.  Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 fell $32 to $7,873 by 0330 GMT, having dipped as low as $7,835 in early trading.

It was not all downhill for copper on Tuesday; a slipping greenback and news of a widening US Trade deficit gave the metal some early day upside. However, in the end, the negative data won out. Benchmark copper for three-month delivery CMCU3 on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,900 a tonne from $7,905 at the close on Monday.

Chile’s state-owned copper company Codelco will invest a record breaking $2.3 billion in its operations. Copper is Chile’s main export, and the company estimates that it has generated $26 billion in profits for Chile over the past four years.

Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX: NCU) successfully raised $20.6 million, with net proceeds planned to fund development of the company’s Pumpkin Hollow property, which is a copper-gold-silver-iron property in Nevada, and for general working capital purposes.

Southern Copper Corp (NYSE: SCCO) sold off $1.5 billion worth of debt in a two-part sale on Tuesday. The offering included $400 million of 10-year notes priced to yield 162.5 basis points over comparable U.S. Treasuries and $1.1 billion of 30-year bonds priced to yield 212.5 basis points more than U.S. Treasuries.

Manganese Investing News

Hitachi Ltd. announced a new lithium-ion battery that contains manganese, which has doubled the life of the batteries while increasing electrical output. This new battery may be pivotal in sustainable energy production, both wind and solar, as well as in the increasing hybrid and electric automobile market.

Aurora Minerals (ASX:ARM) announced that drilling is starting on their Capricorn Southeast Manganese Project located in central Western Australia. The drilling is targeted to begin on April 12 and consist of 30 prospect holes to find additional deposits of manganese ore.  The company has also announced talks with Desert Energy (ASX:DSN) for a joint venture for the proposed Carmel Hills project in Australia. Since the start of the year, both companies have seen gains in their share price. Aurora Minerals price as of April 12 is 1.07 per share, up from 0.74 at the start of the year. While Desert Energy has seen shares rise from 0.11 at the start of the year, to 0.19 as of April 12.

North America’s largest manganese mining company, Cia. Minera Autlan SAB, has reported larger than expected sales in the first quarter. The company’s share price has risen on the report and there is speculation that the company may issue a dividend this year despite last year’s revenue shortfall.

Rare Earth Investing News

The drilling results of Spectrum Mining Corporation released in October 2009 from their Wicheeda rare earth property north of Prince George, British Columbia, have triggered a flourish of activity in the region with other companies trying to cash in on Spectrum’s find. Several companies have bought-up claims neighboring Spectrum’s property while others are setting up shop in other parts of northern BC.

Bolero Resources Corp. (TSX-V: BRU) was quick to stake some ground around Wicheeda and grabbed the largest piece of property neighboring the site. Bolero entered into an option agreement to acquire 100 percent interest in the Carbonatite Syndicate property, which includes 43 mineral claims and covers over 16,000 hectares.

International Montoro Resources Inc. (TSX-V: IMT) has acquired 4 claims covering 1,818 ha at the- Chuchinka Property, which is also bordering the Wicheeda property. Then, next door to Chuchinka is Zimtu Capital Corp. (TSX-V: ZC) with claims to the north and west.

Another neighbor to Wicheeda is the Carbo property, where Commerce Resources Corp’s (TSX-V: CCE) and Canadian International Minerals Ltd. (CNSX: CIN) are partners. Last year, the results from the summer sampling program indicated the presence of both light and heavy rare earths, showing mineralization similar to Wicheeda.  Carbo’s resource estimate indicated 2,948 tonnes of tantalum and 19,881 tonnes of niobium and both rare earth elements are in high demand with fears of China restricting exports and the ensuing supply shortfall.

Tantalum Investing News

It is possible to be a natural resources investor with a predisposition towards Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) at the same time. All it requires is a little extra due diligence, and most investors and geologists are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get a little dirty.  Tantalum Investing News this week features a spotlight on the SRI trend and some useful resources available for the investor’s toolbox.

While tantalum is primarily used in cell phones and laptops because it is lightweight, the exploration and extraction of this rare earth are unfortunately viewed by some as environmentally harmful.  Closer examination however, will show that the industry is changing and there are many companies taking the initiative to make ethical choices in their operations from grassroots exploration to reclamation, including where they mine, how they mine, and how they interact with the local population and governments.

Socially Responsible Investing, or ethical investing, is becoming much more popular as investors look for ways to make a difference while also making a profit. Although ethical investing once mainly involved staying away from companies whose values didn’t fit your own (e.g. tobacco, alcohol, or weapons manufacturing), SRI now encompasses a much broader range of issues and terms such as “Green Investing,” “Sustainable Investing,” and “Impact Investing” have begun gaining importance in the investment world.

Tin Investing News

As with other industrial metals, the spot price of tin is correlated with inventory levels on the supply side and the global economic recovery on the demand side.  Over the last year the spot price of tin on the LME has moved from an average price last April of US $12165.8 per tonne to a current valuation of US $18695 per tonne, a gain of almost 54 percent.

The Indonesian island of Sumatra was hit by a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake on April 8.  Indonesia is home to the second largest estimated reserve bases in the world and the country produces approximately 30 percent of the world’s tin supply.  Abrun Abubakar, a company spokesman for the world’s largest integrated tin miner, PT Timah Tbk (JAK:TINS), said operations in the Bangka-Belitung islands, off Sumatra, were not disturbed by the quake.  Indonesia exported an estimated 6,576.01 tonnes of refined tin in March, down 41 percent from 11,086.42 tonnes in the same month a year ago.

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