The idea of hanging out in Noosa in November, just as the weather heats up, is an attractive proposition. Good beaches, excellent restaurants and some good investment stories seem like a no-brainer.
Until the weather changes, physically and metaphorically.
Grey clouds and the threat of thunderstorms hung over the conference this week, somewhat echoing the state of the resources sector for much of the year.
While the July and November editions of the Noosa Mining Conference are pretty similar on paper, there tends to be a different mix of investors at each event. For the November edition, there were mainly retail investors, whilst it appeared that many of the brokers from July were back home finishing off their last deals for the year.
Despite the price of lithium carbonate being off 68% year to date, it’s hard not to get excited about lithium at the moment. It seems like every day there is a junior that putting out lithium results and seeing a +100% spike in the share price. Happy days indeed.
Investors at the second instalment of the Noosa Mining Conference this week were on the lookout for which one (or more) of the presenters was going to be the next one raining down Christmas riches on the lucky few that heeded the message.
Rob Murdoch from Austex Resources gave the keynote address on day one of the conference, highlighting the astronomical gains of some of the lithium runners, led by Wildcat Resources, up 3379% year to date. Whilst Rob was pretty enthusiastic about Vanadium and Uranium, it’s fair to say that he doesn’t have much faith in Net Zero being achievable on current trajectories (and policy settings).
The message about lithium was somewhat backed up by Cameron Perks, Principal Analyst with Benchmark Minerals, whose graphs indicated that under most of the scenarios, there won’t be enough lithium developments to keep up with the Base Case forecasts, let alone the High Case.
A ray of hope for investors came just after lunch on Day 2 with Reg Spencer, Senior Resources Analyst with Canaccord Genuity, telling the audience that 2024 was likely to be a turnaround one for commodity prices after a lacklustre 2023. Reg is a gold bull and says that he believes next year will be back-to-back wins for the yellow metal.
While the audience numbers were a little off compared to July, the faithful heard some excellent presentations, with $550 million WA1 telling punters that its West Arunta Niobium Project had the potential to be up there with $30 billion CCBM from Brazil. Meeka Metals reminded the audience that its Murchison Gold Project throws off over $500 million free cash at the current spot price and Polymetals highlighted a cheap deal, a renegotiated royalty deal and $190 million in infrastructure should see it back in production next year.
Normally a highlight on Day 2 of the conference, the surf club drinks session had a somewhat more intimate feel with most of Hastings Street being blacked out. When the bar ran out of clean glasses and the last ray of light disappeared, the taps were turned off and that was the end of that.
Here’s looking forward to a bigger and brighter 2024.
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