Highlights include a look at Tesla’s lithium strategy from Joe Lowry, Goldman Sachs’ view of the gold price and the potential impacts of Argentina’s election for the mining sector.
Tough times certainly continued for the mining sector last month. According to SNL Metals & Mining, the market value of the entire mining industry fell below US$1 trillion for the first time since April 2009, and prices for most metals are still down from the start of the year.
That said, a number of metals did record slight percentage gains for the month. Spot gold was up 2.53 percent for October, although it’s still down 4.4 percent from the start of the year, while zinc was up 1.17 percent (down 22 percent since January) and copper was up 0.48 percent (down 21 percent since January).
Additionally, many companies in the space have been keeping busy, and there was plenty of news over the course of the month. Here’s a look at some of our most popular news stories from October.
1. 14 Junior Miners on Haywood Securities’ Watch List for Q4 2015
Each quarter, Haywood Securities updates its Junior Exploration Report, including its revised watch list of junior mining companies. Gold mining companies dominated the list, but there were also representatives from the base metals space (mainly copper, nickel and zinc) as well as one diamond and one uranium company.
Haywood admitted that “[j]unior mining equities remain under pressure as available capital continues to diminish, and the prospect of raising more becomes increasingly difficult.” However, it also pointed to a few examples of miners taking creative approaches to financing, and to increased M&A in the sector. Click here for the full list for Q4.
2. Is Tesla Rolling the Dice With Their Lithium Supply?
Many lithium investors are no doubt curious about Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ:TSLA) lithium supply. After all, excitement over lithium and other critical metals has centered on how much of the mineral Tesla will need to supply its new lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Nevada.
However, the electric vehicle maker hasn’t revealed much yet, save for two supply agreements with junior lithium companies that have been light on detail. Lithium expert Joe Lowry shared some of his thoughts on the subject, and we republished them with his permission. Click here to learn more about Lowry’s views on Tesla and lithium supply.
3. Argentina Election Could Bring Life to Mining Sector
The Argentinian election took place on October 25, but the nation will head to the polls again for a run-off vote on November 22. As Reuters states, opposition leader Mauricio Macri secured enough votes to force a second round of voting against Daniel Scioli, who hopes to replace outgoing leader Cristina Fernandez.
Ahead of the election, the Investing News Network spoke with Joseph Grosso, executive chairman, president and CEO of Golden Arrow Resources (TSXV:GRG), about how the election could bring life to the mining sector. Click here to read the full interview.
4. Could Lynas Take Over Molycorp?
Following Molycorp’s (OTCMKTS:MCPIQ) bankruptcy and decision to shutter its Mountain Pass operations earlier this year, the rare earths miner has started to attract potential buyers. According to an article from Bloomberg, the only other rare earths producer outside of China, Lynas (ASX:LYC), is one of them.
It might seem farfetched, but the company reportedly told the news outlet it “is ‘interested to understand’ the cost savings that could be available from a combination with Molycorp.” Could it really happen? Click here for the full article.
5. Goldman Sachs Wary Despite Positive Gold Price Action
When the gold price spiked on September 17 after the US Federal Reserve announced once again that it would not be raising interest rates, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) remained skeptical. The firm told CNBC that factors that had supported the gold price so far in 2015 couldn’t be relied upon going forward. Overall, it’s now predicting that the gold price will fall to $1,000 per ounce in 2016. Click here for the full article.
Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.