China bulls and iron ore

Resources Corner

It was a volatile week; just as the crisis in Greece seemed to be under control it was China’s turn to face a crisis with the country’s major stock markets reversing a bull run to face a sharp correction.
 
While causation is much debated the woes coincided with the iron ore price facing its own slide on Thursday.  Prices for the steel making commodity fell below $US50/tonne. Pundits spent many a column inch predicting crisis in the Aussie materials sector, and their work would have run into Friday… had it not been for a reversal in prices on Friday, the ten per cent recovery came close to clawing back all the ground lost the day before.
 
Bradken says it has been approached for a possible merger by the Magotteaux Group, Sundance Resources has made significant progress in seeking finance for the Mbalan-Nabeba Iron Ore Project, Atlas has recommenced mining at its Mount Webber mine and Drillsearch Energy is on the hunt for a new CEO.
 
EOFY roudup
 
Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) was the worst performing stock in Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index over the 21015 financial year. The mining and materials group saw its stock plunge more than 80 per cent in the year to the end of June.
 
Shares in marine logistics company MMA Offshore Limited (ASX:MRM) sank 74 per cent and engineering company Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN) retreated 63 per cent.
 
M&A action
 
Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN) says it has been approached for a possible merger by the Magotteaux Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sigdo Koppers. Both parties have agreed to investigate the benefits of a merger over a 60 day exclusivity period before taking the idea to Bradken shareholders.
 
Shares in Alliance Resources Limited (ASX:AGS) have surged as it received an increased offer from Quasar Resources PTY Limited for its interest in the Four Mile Uranium project. The uranium miner has been offered $71.3 million which is up from the $57.6 million that was offered earlier but rejected.
 
New ventures
 
Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL) says it has made significant progress in seeking finance for the Mbalan-Nabeba Iron Ore Project in the Republic of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. The iron ore developer advises the Government of Cameroon will seek funding for and own the rail and port infrastructure in Cameroon.
 
Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO) has recommenced mining operations at its Mount Webber mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The iron ore miner says processing is planned to start mid-July with Mt Webber ore tonnes contributing to shipping shortly thereafter.
 
Panoramic Resources Limited (ASX:PAN) says its current exploration program is showing positive results for extending the mine life of its two main nickel projects. Panoramic says the three nickel zones discovered at its Lower Schmitz discovery at Lanfranchi is on track for drill exploration completion by the end of the year and show high promise.
 
Gold mining company Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) has started exploration at Mungana Goldmines Limited’s (ASX:MUX) Chillagoe Project in North Queensland. Under the deal Newcrest will spend up to $20 million on exploration over a period of up to eight years as both groups strive to unlock the value of the project. Shares in Newcrest Mining fell 0.76 per cent to close at $13.02 on Tuesday.
 
Aurizon Holdings Limited (ASX:AZJ) has renewed a coal haulage contract for the Dawson and Callide Mines with Anglo American and Mitsui. The logistics company says the 10-year performance based agreement provides for haulage of significant volumes of coal.
 
Executive reshuffle
 
Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS) is on the hunt for a new CEO after announcing Brad Lingo will leave the role. The oil and gas miner says the decision was mutual and would be effective immediately. COO Walter Simpson will act in the role while the search is progressing.
 
Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) will bid farewell to long serving executive Craig Elkington who will leave the company at the end of September. Mr Elkington was most recently Executive Director of Finance and has served over 20 years with Orica through various finance and commercial roles within the company. Thomas Schutte will take over as Chief Financial Officer following his relocation from London.