Pil­bara Min­er­als buzz leads to a peg­ging rush

Pilbara News - - News - Nick Evans

A nearol­ogy rush in full flight is a won­der­ful thing to watch.

And there’s a doozy go­ing on with lithium, and on two fronts.

The first is into the com­mod­ity in gen­eral. Late last year, the num­ber of com­pa­nies on the Spinifex lithium watch list was in sin­gle fig­ures.

Last week it breezed past 40, with the ad­di­tions of Cap­i­tal Min­ing, Paynes Find Gold, Prospect Re­sources and Quan­tum Re­source. Spinifex cal­cu­lates that, if the ex­po­nen­tial growth con­tin­ues, by the end of the year the en­tire ASX will be made up of ju­nior lithium ex­plor­ers.

The sec­ond front is the rush back into the Pil­bara, where ex­plor­ers are peg­ging ground at a rate not seen since the heady days of the iron ore rush in the mid-2000s.

That is be­cause of the ex­tra­or­di­nary suc­cess of the Ken Brins­den-led Pil­bara Min­er­als, now worth $816 mil­lion.

For con­text, that val­ues the com­pany at about $250 mil­lion more than Western Ar­eas, and within a sniff of Sand­fire Re­sources and Sara­cen Min­eral Hold­ings.

The buzz around Pil­bara Min­er­als has led to the in­evitable rush of ten­e­ment peg­ging around its Pil­gan­goora project as ex­plor­ers jump in.

Me­tal­ic­ity has built up the big­gest pack­age of ground of the new play­ers. It is promis­ing to get the drill rigs spin­ning soon, so is worth keep­ing an eye on. At­las Iron and Fortes­cue Met­als Group still hold a lot of ground. While nei­ther show any signs of be­com­ing lithium play­ers in their own right, who knows what their ten­e­ments hold?

Also of note, Global Ad­vanced Met­als holds a big bit of land around its moth­balled tan­ta­lum op­er­a­tion, where it has a con­cen­tra­tor.

GAM’s ma­jor share­holder is Re­source Cap­i­tal Funds, which also holds about 8 per cent of Me­tal­ic­ity.

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