Equity portfolio and share market valuations are being reassessed as investor try to work out where value lies following another bad week on capital markets.
So where to for investors looking to invest longer term and trying to ignore the carnage across most commodities?
One of the more interesting barometers of where equity markets’ interest lies in the resources space is the list of presenting companies at the annual Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum.
The presenter line-up for this year’s three-day talk fest, which gets underway in the Goldfields capital on August 1, was released during the week and makes for the usual interesting reading.
This is how the process works: applications for one of the speaking slots – this year there are 68 – are submitted at the start of the year. Sometime around April successful applicants are informed before the puzzle of making the program work is completed.
In summary, on Investor Insight’s categorisation, this year’s line-up of presenting companies includes:
- 28 gold stocks
- 9 nickel stocks
- 7 copper stocks
- 10 other battery metals stocks
- 4 lithium stocks
- 3 iron ore stocks
- 3 rare earths stocks
- 2 uranium stocks
- 1 manganese stock
- 1 minerals sands stock
Based on Investor Insight’s experience of and attendance at Diggers & Dealers over the decades – and our team will be in Kalgoorlie again in August for the entire conference to work with clients – this year’s line-up is among the most diverse.
Each year, there is a dominant theme for what, traditionally, has been a gold-centric, Western Australia-dominant company line-up.
At one stage in the 2008-2011 period, Diggers almost became an iron ore conference – now there are only three attending Diggers, including the privately owned Roy Hill Holdings and upstart Fenix Resources.
In the lead-up to the Fukushima disaster in 2011, uranium was prominent amid lots of investor interest. This year marks a return of sorts, with Paladin Energy and Boss Energy presenting.
Lynas Rare Earths has flown the flag for its sector for many years. Last year, the leader of the next generation of producers Hastings Technology Metals (ASX: HAS) joined the list, which this August will be swelled further to three as investors realise that Australia could, indeed, contribute to reducing the world’s reliance on China’s rare earths sector.
During the first lithium boom five or so years ago, Diggers was swamped with wannabes who talked up their spodumene dreams. Not surprisingly, lithium sentiment then became markedly subdued before Mark 2 of the boom got underway a year ago. In the absence of the largest lithium producer listed on the ASX, Mineral Resources, it will again be Pilbara Minerals that will lead the Diggers lithium charge. Watch out for Australia’s next producer, Core Lithium (ASX: CXO), which is making its Diggers debut.
Notwithstanding gold’s sustained strong showing at Diggers – led by Super Pit owner Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST) and the acquisitive Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR) and emerging players like Rox Resources (ASX: RXL) – it is the battery metals theme that will dominate if combined with copper and nickel pure plays.
And expect manganese, which is making a rare appearance at Diggers, to become the latest addition to the battery metals craze.
The line-up of the about 150 exhibiting companies in the two Diggers marquees is still being finalised.