Just a reminder that you can sign up for Friday’s Freedom Factory conference in Perth here. Your editor has finally selected a title for his talk on Friday afternoon: Why All Libertarians Should Be Institutionalised. If you’re in Perth, you can stop by during any part of the day, or show up for the dinner. But please make sure you book your spot today or tomorrow.
Ron Manners, the founder of the Freedom Factory, sent a note this morning from Hong Kong in which he poses a valid question: why isn’t anyone worried that Australian miners, with their technical skills and business experience, are choosing to open more and more mines overseas and fewer here in Australia? Is the country exporting its future in the form of its most talented miners and entrepreneurs?
It’s a complicated issue. For example, Diggers and Drillers editor Alex Cowie has recommended a handful of Aussie-listed firms whose main resources and assets are overseas. There are certainly high-quality resources in Australia. But for a variety of resources Alex has outlined, these firms have taken their shop overseas. And from a shareholder perspective (if not a national economy perspective), it’s working out alright.
Speaking of Alex, he’s working from home one day a week now as a new dad. But we asked him via email if the proposed boycott of the Aussie iron ore majors (BHP and Rio) by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) was having effect on the smaller iron ore stocks he’s recommended. Incidentally, we wouldn’t expect the move to stick. The CISA famously bungled last year’s ore negotiations and is either too combative, or not able to corral China’s diverse steel producers into concerted action.
In any event, there HAS been some action in the ore juniors. Alex writes that, “Our junior iron ore recommendations are both up very nicely since the news broke. One of them has already started producing iron ore and has felt the full benefit, rising 12%. The other one is a few years from producing so is up 4%. Both are great results in just a few days. Between the two companies, they are now up 28% on average since we recommended them in February.”
He elaborated, “The changing pricing mechanism and the massive jump in the iron ore price recently has been another driving force in all companies involved in iron ore, from BHP to the smallest of the juniors. There have been some takeovers already and more are expected. This new move from China could change the playing field in the sector a bit. A takeover from a major suddenly looks less logical or appealing.”
“It will be interesting to see if China takes the same approach to coking coal, as there have been similar price changes amongst the majors there as well. We recommended a developing coking coal company recently, and subscribers that bought in are 10% up in less than two weeks. This company is more targeted at the Indian market, so should not be affected if China pulls the same stunt with coking coal.”
for Markets and Money